News digest 30 January 2013

News digest 30 January 2013

30 January 2013

The digest opens with Unite cited on the front page of the Daily Mirror over the fury at £250 million in bonuses for wheeler-dealers at the bailed out bank just as it faces a £500 million Libor fine. Unite national officer Dominic Hook is quoted in the Mirror, Guardian and FT taking the bank and the government to task: "The RBS division implicated in the Libor scandal is set to reap huge financial rewards, but innocent bank workers in call centres and branches up and down the country are having their jobs cut, pensions slashed and terms and conditions eroded. Once again, it looks like ordinary bank workers and taxpayers will pay the price for the greed at the top of RBS. It is time George Osborne put his foot down. This is no way to repay the country's patience.”

From bankers to boundaries , and yesterday could go down as the day the Con-Dem coalition sealed Cameron’s fate after the Lib Dems joined Labour in the lobbies and voted against the government’s bill that aimed to equalise constituencies across the country and cut the number of MPs by 50, mainly in Labour areas. This is the first time Lib Dem ministers have voted against the government, what took them so long?

And speaking of boundaries chancellor George Osborne is in a bit of bother as the Mail reports he has been accused of diverting the HS2 rail route from his constituency backyard, conveniently avoiding the more affluent parts of his Tatton seat, Osborne’s office denies any involvement and that could be true after all he is increasingly seen as a part time chancellor.

One call over HS2 that Osborne should heed is from music mogul – and train enthusiast – Pete Waterman who says that the HS2 trains should be built in the UK. After the row over Bombardier surely the government should look to using a UK based manufacturer, if there are any left by the time the project starts.

And from rail to the road and it Is bad news for Ford which has announced it expects to make further job cuts as its European operations lose an estimated $2 billion over the past year. A quarter of that total will be due to restructuring costs – such as shifting van production from Southampton to Turkey – but the company says the outlook in Europe is unpredictable with it factoring in almost 20 per cent cuts to production capacity, that sadly means the closure of three factories.

And still on car factory closures, some good news – albeit expected to be temporary – is that for once a court has intervened in favour of a trade union. The Telegraph reports that Peugeot Citroen has been ordered to pause its restructuring plans because its needs to properly consult its workers. Peugeot plans to shed 11,200 jobs and car workers across France took action yesterday. Solidarity comrades…

And also taking strike action today are workers at Greencore. The workers are challenging the greedy CEO over his fat cat bonuses while their own pay packets are slashed to the bone, with workers losing up to £2,000 a year. This is the first-ever strike at the Hull site and will hit production of favourite cake products, including the novelty and celebration cakes carried in major supermarkets such as Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury's, sadly it looks like the CEO won’t even give the workers crumbs from the table…

 Morning Star

 Daily Mirror







 FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Brussels hints at ringfence retreat (p1)
  • Tory MPs call for halt on military cuts (p2)
  • Labour demands extra tax on bonuses (p2) – Unite quoted
  • Fear of town hall failures (p2)
  • Nuclear flashpoint plays out in Cumbria (p3)
  • Rating agencies under fire (p4)
  • South east airports face capacity crunch by 2025 (p4)
  • Cable urges companies to end all male boards (p4)
  • Lib Dem deal allies blow over boundaries (p5)
  • Apple doubles iPad storage (p15)
  • RBS to pull out of M&A market (p16)
  • Ford to continue investing in Europe (p18)
  • Car part suppliers embrace flexible future (p19)

 Edited by Mik Sabiers

Comment on this story


  • WhiPsNBoaoPS4/4/2013 12:20:58 AM The acceptance of the gambling approach to the stock market was, with the deregulation of banking, an invitation to the banks to join the party.Gambling, (trading is the preferred term) became more and more attractive to the banks. Quick profits could be shown compared to the traditional method of lending money on a small margin. Commission was charged by the banks whether buying or selling, and this could be boosted by trading in stocks that the banks did not own.With the results of these bets garnering bonuses for the traders who place the bets, the outcome was easily predictable.Additionally, the UK banks decided to trade in mortgages sold to them from the US and the UK banks bought from US intermediaries without any guarantees. The UK banks UK practice of stringently vetting the property and the mortgage applicants simply went out of the window.It was never going to be the case that the unemployed blue collars getting mortgages on tarpaper shacks in the bayou were ever going to redeem these mortgages. And so it quickly proved, leaving UK banks, their investors and customers holding paper worth less than confederate currency.To stop this being repeated at least two things need to happen.Firstly all stock market purchases need to be for a minimum period, say 3 months. That is if shares are bought by anyone than they cannot be sold within 3 months. Share gbalming must cease and shares become investments for the long term.Secondly, domestic bank business, ie customer accounts, lending and mortgages needs to be carried out by a separate company to other activities.

  • apVwQHwekJRwNOpUIc4/14/2013 6:42:01 AM Law and order needs to be restored in the bakinng and financial world. Firstly, I think we need an inquiry and or investigation which leads to criminal prosecutions and heavy sentences for the offenders. These people continue in the way they do because there is no consequences. Secondly, no more public money, let these banks fail. Next, all the board members past and present, should be made to repay the bonus earned within the period of the LIBOR scandal and the traders. In addition, if they don't have the cash now for the total figure owed, they should have their assets frozen and then sold. Next, all these people should be banned from the profession for life. May sound extreme, but whilst bankers continue to get away with corruption and incompetence on this scale. They need to pay and watch standards rise. These people are unable to work within the system no matter what is created, the culture of greed is breed in. New people are required then any new system at least has a chance. In additon, we need to ban the revolving door between the government and the financial world. Some might say it gives MP's and civil servants much needed experience etc but in practice, it increases corruption. I am disgusted with these people and if I had my own way, I would jail them all for life!