We keep being told that we are all in it together, the revelation in The Guardian (05.02.2011) that the number of ministers setting up blind trusts so that they can continue to profit from financial interests that might present a conflict with their government responsibilities has increased threefold under the coalition (as revealed by official documents) may well suggest that many of us are significantly more in it, than some in the Con Dem Cabinet. The Guardian notes that 16 ministers, including the energy secretary, Chris Huhne, the justice secretary, Ken Clarke, and the cabinet office minister, Francis Maude, have blind trusts in place, as recorded by the official register of ministerial interests.
The Independent on Sunday (06.02.2011) notes that Britain's four biggest banks – Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC and Lloyds Bank – are expected to pay out a total bonus pool of about £5 billion over the next few weeks to their high-performing bankers and traders. RBS's chief executive, Stephen Hester, is due for a bonus of £2 million; the recently departed boss of Lloyds, Eric Daniels, will take home a £2 million bonus while Stuart Gulliver, the new chief executive of HSBC, is set to be paid a Diamond-style bonus of about £8 million.
"It is wholly untenable to have millions of people making sacrifices in their living standards only to see the banks getting away scot-free."
Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, 17 December 2010
"Bankers have to realise that the British public helped to bail out the banks and it is very galling when they see bankers pay themselves unjustified bonuses."
David Cameron, Prime Minister, 17 December 2010
So much for curbing the bank's bonus culture...