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Monday, 7 December 2009

Letter to the Editor

The following is a letter that was published (with some editing!) in The Herald newspaper on Saturday.

Dear Sir,

So the Board of RSB is threatening to resign if they are not allowed to dish out some £1.5 billion in bonuses! Now, there’s a surprise! However, I would wish to add my voice to that of Mr Vince Cable (apparently the only current politician with a modicum of common-sense, and a grasp of finance that goes beyond the ability of a basic pocket calculator!), and encourage the government to call their bluff. It would be interesting to see exactly how many would be willing to put ‘principle’ above their 7-digit salaries, and the gold-plated pension packages that go along with them.

As a tax-payer – who therefore owns, jointly with my fellow tax-payers, a whopping 70% of the bank (soon, apparently, to rise to over 80%) – I was particularly incensed by the reported comment of one of the Board members, that not too much notice should be taken of “only one shareholder” i.e. the government. If this person does not have the financial nous to understand that ‘the government’ doesn’t have a penny-piece of its own, but (all too) freely disburses the hard-earned taxes of a fair proportion of the British public, then he should not even be in the banking industry! Indeed, I will happily this person's place – and do so for a lower salary – as I truly believe that anyone who has lived in the real world, and who has successfully managed his personal finances could not do any worse a job than these people have done; and might even manage to do a slightly better one!

I am informed that at least 5,000 bankers will earn more than £1million this year, meaning that they will be earning more in one year than the average tax-payer earns in a lifetime. The old adage reminds us that “He who pays the piper, calls the tune”. Let Mr Brown, and Mr Darling, as those who represent the piper, insist that these Board members be told exactly where to get off, and offered a brief guide to claiming unemployment benefit!

Yours faithfully,

C.Brian Ross (Rev)

Yesterday, in Calderhead-Erskine Parish Church (both Shotts and Allanton), I made reference to the happiness of the true disciple of Jesus. For so many in our contemporary society, 'happiness' is dependant upon material possessions - how much money is in the bank account(s); how big a car is being driven; how expensive, and fashionable, the clothing and furniture are; how large a bonus is received. But these things may be lost, or stolen - and they will, eventually, disappear! The happiness of the disciple of Jesus comes from the indwelling presence of God the Holy Spirit, and that happiness is totally independant of external circumstances. This is the testimony of those on the persecuted church, who bear in their own bodies "the marks of Jesus." (see Gal.6:17).

Perhaps more of us should try that happiness that is real joy - a joy that is deep in the heart.

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