Giving shareholders clout

January 8th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

(I’m on my phone so no links. Sorry)

If the government is going to try and make shareholder votes on executive pay binding why for the last fuck knows how long have all these thinktanks, committees and what not been telling us that all that’s needed to reign in excessive pay is for the shareholders to take responsibility and vote the pay deals down?

I didn’t know those votes weren’t binding, but then I’m not a boardroom expert. These other cunts put themselves forward as such and so are either lying wankers, bullshitters or incompetent.

We’re surrounded by cunts, we really are.

Kettled Chips

November 9th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

First there was…

and people are still going with it

Just Fuck the fuck off. It wasn’t funny the first time and it hasn’t been funny since.

When you live in a supposedly capitalist society you have to use that system to, ooh lets see? Earn money to buy food and heating and clothing, get to a place of employment (if you’re lucky), enjoy hobbies. You even have to use its’ ‘fruits’ to change the system itself.

A fucking bloke on a demo eating stuff made by a corporation doesn’t make him a hypocrite. He may not even be a fucking communist/anti-capitalist/socialist/whatever-the-fuck-you-think-he-is. He might think that capitalism would be ok if it worked a little different.

Not everyone can fuck off to a forest and live off the land. That doesn’t make them hypocrites and it doesn’t make that sort of quip funny or ironic or anything else. What it does do is makes you look a twat.

If you live within such an all-pervasive system as capitalism there is no choice but to use what it provides, and no shame in using the things it provides against it.

*The title of this post is shamelessly ripped from @robinboggs‘ reply to the above tweet.

Minimum wage op-out

June 16th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Why should employees have an opt-out of the minimum wage (.pdf)? What does it achieve?

It just makes the vulnerable even more vulnerable by enabling unscrupulous employers to put pressure on an employee to waiver the’re right to it.

You can say there will be sanctions for employers that will do this, just as there are employers that don’t play by the rules already. This just gives them something else to fuck people with and, realisticaly, if people are getting fucked over now when everyone has to be paid a certain amount this is not going to make the system more robust, is it?

(via TheNatFantastic)

Getting fleeced

April 7th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Immigration detention centres. Not the nicest of places. The people in there are generally pennyless and have a big need to talk to solicitors and stuff.

So what does the ever so intelligent people who run the private companies think up for their detention centres? A new telephone system

The trial at Tinsley House detention centre, near Gatwick airport, is run by Global Comms & Consulting Ltd (GCC), which specialises in secure telecommunications services to major government agencies and multinational companies. As a result, detainees will not be able to call free numbers and will pay significantly higher rates to call their family and solicitors. All calls will also be recorded, monitored and disrupted when necessary by the immigration authorities and/or the immigration prison’s management.

When a detainee arrives at the centre, they have their own phone taken from them and issued with one from the centre. These phones are described as ‘crap’ and cut out ‘after a few seconds’.

Along with the phone the detainee is also given a phone card…

Detainees will be given a Call4Five card when they are admitted in to detention. Call4Five, owned and operated by GCC, allows users to dial any UK or international number from any phone for “five precious minutes,” using a special code provided on a scratch voucher.

GCC claims its Call4Five cards are “a good deal.” However, a voucher of five minutes for international calls (10 for UK calls) costs £2.50 plus VAT. This works out at 60p and 30p per minute respectively, which is significantly more expensive than using pre-paid phone cards or even normal mobile phones.

The new system also means that detainees will be charged higher rates for dialling 0845 numbers and will not be able to call free 0800 numbers without buying credit, for example to use pre-paid phone cards provided by visitors groups or to call their solicitors and other support organisations that provide a free phone service for those who do not have credit on their phones.

What a lovely bunch of people run these services, eh?

Happy Valentines

February 14th, 2011 § 3 comments § permalink

So. It’s Valentines Day or whatever the official title is. Did you get you partner anything?

You did? Well done you. You’re either under the thumb of capitalism or your other half.

You either don’t tell your loved one you love them often enough or you need someone else to tell you when to tell the love of your life how you feel.

Have a good day, won’t you?

(Posted using my phone so, please, excuse the spelling)

On the privatised rail network

January 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Alex Gabriel at Political Promise has a sort-of-rant about the trains. I’m not sure how accurate the figures are Alex uses but they sound about right…

If Arriva run the train you need and you’d rather travel with Virgin, tough. Unlike buying most other things, we don’t get to choose the superior brand. The companies aren’t really competing, either, because we have to travel with whichever one has trains at the right time. They might as well have the monopoly that the Conservatives promised they’d take from British Rail, because there’s no real choice of service involved: we board the train irrespective of how good or bad it is, or else we can’t make our journey.

The same applies to public transport in general. Fields, lakes and mountains surround my hometown, and when last I checked it cost £10 for the twenty minute journey to the next town. Long distance bus companies which compete for better prices will take you from Manchester to London for half that, but local companies – like rail firms – can be as exploitative as they like because people who use them have no choice.

They’re not accountable, efficient or cheap, but don’t the train companies at least strengthen the economy with their profits? Well, no. Salford University published a paper which found that in 2002-3, taxpayers paid subsidies of £1.34bn to prop up the rail industry. That’s right – we’re actually paying them to rip us off, and they wouldn’t be profitable if we didn’t.

When British Rail existed, it received £1.07bn of the same subsidies, so ironically train travel is more tax-funded now than then. National Rail even gets £20bn a year from general taxation to keep it going. The Thatcherites said not to fund unprofitable industries with public money, but that’s exactly the situation we’re in – except with all privatisation’s downsides and none of its benefits.

Sometimes there is no market and trying to create one just doesn’t work.

On stopping the export of executions and how it’s paid for

November 18th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

So, Legal Aid is being used pay for a Judicial Review on the decision by Vince Cable not to block an export licence for the UK company to export to the USA a drug used in executions.

The review is being brought o behalf of two death row prisoners by Reprieve who…

Reprieve uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay.

We investigate, we litigate and we educate, working on the frontline, providing legal support to prisoners unable to pay for it themselves. We promote the rule of law around the world, and secure each person’s right to a fair trial. And in doing so, we save lives.

Without looking into them further, they sound quite an admirable organisation.

But, on the the point of using Legal Aid for this review, fair enough. The UK government, in allowing this export, is complicit in the execution of prisoners. These two guys on death row do not have the means to challenge Vinces’ decision. It is a UK company, enabled by the UK government that is knowingly providing the means for these executions to go ahead. It is only right that this should be challenged.

The UK doesn’t extradite to suspects to countries when, if found guilty, the result is execution. So what is the difference between exporting people to their deaths and exporting the means when it is known it will be used for executions? None.

The reason for allowing the export of this drug?

“Sodium thiopental is a medicine. Its primary use is as an anaesthetic … Legitimate trade of medical value would be affected by any restriction on the export of this product from the UK.” Any ban would be ineffective, he added, because supplies could be obtained from elsewhere.

Try changing what’s being exported from a drug to weapons. Would the government allow the export of weapons, whose primary and legitimate use is for defence against invaders, to a country that was shooting up it’s own people? (Ok, the government probably does, but you get the idea.)

And the reason that supplies could be obtained from eslewhere anyway is just risable that it hardly needs rebutting. The point would be that we, as a country would not be part of something that we are supposedly against.

This then, the actions that Reprieve are taking and how it is funded, I think is A Good Thing.

The Amnesty ad the FT wouldn’t publish

May 18th, 2010 § 2 comments § permalink

What’s with this ad?

Capitalism through the medium of roadsignage

April 29th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

(Image ripped from Google)

Trafigura, Carter Ruck and a sock stuffed in a mouth

October 13th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

The Guardian has had a legal sock stuff in their mouth by those champions of justice Carter-Fuck on behalf of Trafigura

The Guardian has been prevented from reporting parliamentary proceedings on legal grounds which appear to call into question privileges guaranteeing free speech established under the 1688 Bill of Rights.

Today’s published Commons order papers contain a question to be answered by a minister later this week. The Guardian is prevented from identifying the MP who has asked the question, what the question is, which minister might answer it, or where the question is to be found.

The Guardian is also forbidden from telling its readers why the paper is prevented – for the first time in memory – from reporting parliament. Legal obstacles, which cannot be identified, involve proceedings, which cannot be mentioned, on behalf of a client who must remain secret.

The only fact the Guardian can report is that the case involves the London solicitors Carter-Ruck, who specialise in suing the media for clients, who include individuals or global corporations

I am absolutely staggered that a court would give such an order.

Alex Massie in the Spectator reckons he knows what the question is and the gagging order is to try and suppress this report.

This gagging order may not go right to the heart of Parliamentary privilige, which alllows an MP to speak in the house without fear of being prosecution or legal action, but it punctures a lung of an open parliament.

It may be the case that groups and individuals may be barred from being named, granted anonymity, in the reporting of parliament for reasons of national security, but to have that applied purely for commercial reasons is disgusting.

An open, freely reported parliament is essential for a smoothly run and corruption-free (as far as possible) democracy.

Something has gone very, very wrong.

I also found this at Sweeney* Maddison, the judge that approved/passed/whatever-it’s-called the order needs his arse kicking about this, too.

*apologies to Mr Justice Sweeney there.

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