In February 2009, the Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition, David William Donald Cameron flexed his muscles to the British people. Gordon Brown’s Government were weak, said Cameron, and he told The Guardian:
Cameron said today that bankers “needed to wake up and smell the coffee” as he urged ministers to tear up existing bank executive contracts at semi-nationalised banks to prevent them receiving any bonuses this year.
[Cameron argued] …that the government, as majority shareholder in some of the banks, could simply force the issue. Cameron said “it is infuriating to listen to all this stuff about ‘existing contracts must be kept to’.
In fact, only last week ‘Determined’ Dave in the Mail…
…vowed to block a £1million bonus for the boss of a failed bank rescued by the taxpayer yesterday. The Prime Minister’s war on excessive executive pay comes as critics said Royal Bank of Scotland boss Stephen Hester should not receive ‘a penny in bonus’.
Speaking this afternoon Cameron’s Chancellor, Gideon Oliver Osborne, told the Davos Summit:
…that RBS bonuses were not set by the Government.
Speaking to broadcasters at the Davos World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Mr Osborne said: “They were determined by the board of RBS under arrangements set up by the previous government.”
Yes, but surely, Gideon, you can just tear those contracts up? It is so infuriating having to listen to all this stuff about ‘existing contracts must be kept to’ don’t you know?