Friday, 25 February 2011


Christchurch Cathedral

Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of New Zealand following the terrible earth quake in Christchurch. It is thought there were 22 people inside the Christchurch Cathedral Tower when the earthquake struck and it appears that they were all killed. Tests have been carried out and they reveal no sign of life.

There was a time when if you were British you could rely on the Foreign Office to assist you if you were caught up in some uprising etc abroad. Help would be on hand quickly and efficiently. Sadly, it appears, those days are gone and to quote one commentator he described the situation as: “Britain’s shambolic response to the plight of UK citizens caught up in the revolution in Libya”. Other countries had started to evacuate their citizens whilst Britain seemed to be doing little or nothing. The Dutch, French, Bulgarians and Americans have been able to get their citizens out of Libya quickly. It now seems that transport is being provided for the British stuck there but it seems to me to be a case of too little and much too late.

The Royal Bank of Scotland announced yesterday that they had only made a loss of £1.1b but can afford to pay out bonuses of (guess!!!!!) £1.1b! Well that’s all right then! The RBS are 83% owned by the British Government who made a record loss of £24.3b in 2008. The Chief Executive is to receive £2.4 million in his bonus. The Guardian reports that “more than 100 bankers at RBS were paid more than £1m last year and total bonus payouts reached nearly £1bn – even though the bailed-out bank reported losses of £1.1bn for 2010”.

We have been lectured by David Cameron, Prime Minister and George Osborne, Chancellor, that we all have to feel the pain. What they never said was "unless you are a banker" and, as has been pointed out many times, it was the greed of the bankers which caused much of the deficit in the first place. Surely they should be made to “feel the pain” and forgo their bonuses and repay the money that was used to bail them out and then, and only then, get bonuses again. I’ve just had another thought: perhaps they could donate their bonuses to the British Red Cross Appeal for New Zealand.(click here to donate to the Red Cross Appeal)

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