Frank Field MP
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Unnatural selection. . .

Why the extraordinary fuss over Sir Fred Goodwin’s pension? Isn’t there a danger in concentrating on this boil and losing sight of the pox-ridden body of which it is such a nasty part?

It is this main picture that has always distressed me. Hardly a week goes by without my coming across a constituent, or a correspondent from a wider field, managing to bring up a family on something around £11,000 a year. I know there might be tax credits on top of this sum, but it is usually the bureaucratic failure to get tax credits right that introduces me to the constituent.

For decades now we have been awash of news of the loads of money brigade flaunting ‘their’ wealth in our faces. One of the big political failures for most of my lifetime has been the Centre Left’s inability to see any distinction between self-interest, selfishness and greed.

This simple failure to appreciate the subtlety of human nature and to applaud self-interest, also left much of the Centre Left speechless when it came to playing a role in helping to curb the unpleasant excesses of human nature. New Labour found this fertile ground to promote its amoral philosophy.

I think it was St. Augustine who said we should preach all the time and sometimes use words. We have a culture, thank goodness, where actions speak louder than words.

What words does New Labour have to help remake a moral map and compass for negotiating today’s mega economic crisis when four Cabinet Ministers defend their expenses as being within the rules, when practically the whole country is appalled by their behaviour?

Back to Sir Fred. These pensions, rewards and expenses are disgusting in a country where families nobly manage to survive on salaries with five or more of the end noughts missing.

Of course the whole RBS pension package is obscene. But that the Government nodded it through says everything about our warped sense of fairness.

In the natural world, few of us are ten times taller than the shortest, nor ten times brighter than the least bright person.

So how can salaries or pensions that are ten thousand times greater than those of the humblest individual ever be justified at the bar of history?
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Taking up the image of the pox ridden body: there is a tax stucture in place, which needs to be tweaked to redress the glaring inequalities without passing more laws or creating selfdefeating bureaucracy: raise taxes on 2nd, 3rd and 5th homes, take away tax relieve for buy- to- let properties,the greatest bane on a neighbourhood,eroding cohesion of a community,as there is little culture in England to look after property unless you own it.As a consequence property may be released on the market.The housing shortage is not only due to short supply but lack of fair redistribution.To profit from man's need for shelter is morally dubious as slavery is - after all the planet is of finite size.The greed for money is well matched by greed for space.
Comment by Anonymous on 15 Jul 2011
Over the last number of years, company after company have gone out of business and thousands of men and women have lost their pension entitlements, after paying into schemes for many years, yet Fred Goodwin can help bring this country almost to its knees and still gets rewarded. This is not just obscene, but flies in the face of natural justice. The law needs to be changed so that people like him can be taken before the courts and made to pay, preferably with jail time and asset stripped. This Government needs to wake up and think about what the ordinary people, the real people, the voters, want and expect from those who they put in place to run the country on their behalf.
Comment by Anonymous on 15 Jul 2011

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