Sir Fred Goodwin defies public disgust. He just doesn't get it, and why should he? It's not his fault, it's a bad upbringing among grab-what-you-can and eat-what-you-kill predators. His feral overclass thinks it owes nothing to society: the notion of citizenship is incomprehensibly alien. You could write a "Gee, Officer Krupke" song about him: it's not his fault, he has a social disease. Like the smirking hoodie who sticks one finger up at the judge's sermon on antisocial behaviour, Sir Fred is a product of Britain's winner-takes-all culture that Labour never attempted to civilise. The two extremes here in Europe's most unequal country mirror one another in the social dysfunction they cause. Sir Fred's mob thieves from fellow citizens and their pension funds by avoiding tax and snatching monstrous "remuneration" instead of mugging and looting, but "everyone does it" is how they would each explain their milieu.
But after 12 years of Labour rule (that's your political party of choice, Polly), don't you think it's time to start laying the blame for this culture at the feet of the Labour Party?
Sir Fred is the target because of the gargantuan losses he has foisted on to the taxpayer. But a £700,000-a-year pension is by no means tops: at least 12 other CEOs are well ahead of him, and most bosses enjoy lavish schemes denied to their staff. Remember, top CEO pay has multiplied from 17 times that of their average workers to 75 times in just 20 years.
Indeed, Polly. It would be interesting for you to consider the pension plans in place at someone like the Guardian Media Group. And by the way, you arrogant cock sniffer, what does your pension look like? I bet it's a lot fucking better than mine.
Directors of failed banks and companies are all scuttling off with mighty swag. The law is on Sir Fred's side: probably nothing can be done. It's no use Gordon Brown bleating about it now. Over many years plenty of us at the Guardian, and many in his own party, have questioned him about his craven treatment of obscene City booty. He would shrug it off with irritation as an irrelevance and go back to boosting the City. To whisper higher taxes or strict remuneration controls was anathema.
"To whisper higher taxes"? Jesus, you boot-faced old cunt, where have you been living for the past decade? Tuscany? The monocular mentalist is taxing the fucking arse off us.
Brown had never protested about the bonus culture until he was outflanked by the Tories. He had never suggested raising the top tax rate to 45% until Obama won on that ticket. The people were always miles ahead of Labour: for years polls have shown that some 75% consistently feel the gap between rich and poor is far too wide. But Labour was "intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich", revelling in the bubble that is now over. Even if some have yet to get that message.
You know what, Polly, getting rich and paying more tax aren't mutually exclusive. As P.J. O'Rourke so memorably said: "Any rich man does more for society than all the jerks pasting 'Visualize World Peace' bumper stickers on their cars. The worst leech of a merger and acquisitions lawyer making $500,000 a year will, even if he cheats on his taxes, put $100,000 into the public coffers. That's $100,000 worth of education, charity or US Marines. And the Marine Corps does more to promote world peace than all the Ben & Jerry's ice-cream ever made."
By useful coincidence, the government's record on fairness comes under the closest scrutiny this week. In Towards a More Equal Society? Poverty, Equality and Policy Since 1997, Professor John Hills and his LSE team deliver their verdict on Labour and social justice. Hills is the great authority, the chief examiner most feared and respected, social policy's equivalent of an Ofsted inspector. This great tome, with its hundreds of graphs and tables, will prove to be the definitive academic judgment. It's an irony that it was Peter Mandelson, back in 1997, who invited doubters to "judge us after 10 years of success in office. For one of the fruits of that success will be that Britain has become a more equal society".
Tell you what, Polly, why don't you give me some of your fucking money? Or your Tuscan villa? Let's get more equal. Why does anyone listen to this hypocritical fucking windbag, anyway?
Has it? In crude terms, Hills says no. Equality has flatlined or slightly worsened - and that's before the unknown bad effects of the crash. The middle has drawn together, and the two ends further apart; while failure to touch excess at the top casts a shadow over all the figures. Best successes include the biggest ever drop in child and pensioner poverty due to tax credits. Yet the UK is still bottom of the EU-15 countries.
Polly, until you fucking give away your enormous salary and your Tuscan villa, you can just shut the fuck up about inequality, you overblown old cunt.
The poorest schools have improved most; the attainment gap between rich and poor children is narrowing. All three- and four-year-olds get nursery schooling for the first time, while Sure Start is improving child development and parenting. Young people's wellbeing has improved markedly since the 2001 data used in the shaming Unicef report that put the UK at the bottom. Everyone's health has got better - but the gap between rich and poor has widened.
So what you're fucking saying is that things are getting better for the poorest people despite inequality growing. Why the fucking fuck do you then want to attack inequality? It's clearly not the fucking problem! Is it, you dozy cunt?
Peruse this research, and you will be torn between gloom and admiration. Here is an intricate portrait of a government striving to tackle every cause and symptom of poverty - "No forgotten people, no no-hope areas," as Tony Blair promised in his first month in office, visiting a Peckham estate.
"Striving to piss out taxpayer money at every soundbite policy" is the phrase I think you are looking for.
Here is a story of a thousand initiatives, most of which worked only according to how much money and effort was put in. Some were let to slide: the new deal for the young unemployed started well, but figures fell back when government took its eye off the ball. So 10% of the young are still missing at 16, not in education, employment or training. Yet many more stay on at school and pass exams. Of 59 indicators of social exclusion, 40 improved, and seven got worse; some good effects will not flower until Labour is long gone.
No Polly, they didn't work at all. A handful of people are genuinely better off, but it's more by luck than government genius. And many, many more of us are infinitely worse off. So go fuck yourself with a rusty spade for bigging up this useless shower of shit.
Is this a report card to be proud of? Yes and no: better than ever before but not nearly good enough. Ministers sincerely willed the ends, but not enough of the means. They thought they could mend the ill-effects of inequality without making the country more equal. They thought they could get the gain without any pain. After 11 golden years of growth and a big majority, now we face slump and a Conservative government bent on reining in debt: this will be as good as it gets for social justice for a very long time.
I fucking wish. Anyway, what's wrong with reining in debt, you insulting fuckwit? Debt is how this crisis arose. Your fucking Norse sex object was the cunt who let it all happen!
Many who voted Labour in 1997 will weep at the opportunities missed. But they should also consider this: what would have happened had the Conservatives stayed in power? Since the Tories attack all Labour's extra tax credits, it's fair to assume they would have continued to uprate benefits as before, tracking prices. How would things look now? Britain would be hugely more unequal. Child poverty would have risen by some 9%, instead of dropping by 4%. Meanwhile, 7% more pensioners would be poor, instead of 10% fewer.
Let the cunts weep: I weep every day for the damage ZaNu Labour have inflicted on this country.
John Hills and his team will keep monitoring through the coming Tory era. Perhaps only when looking back and comparing what happens next will history form its definitive view of Labour's 13 years. What this research shows is that if many people have reason to bitterly berate Labour's failures, don't forget the many millions of lives that have improved. But Sir Fred is partly a child of Labour times, too.
Partly? I think you will find that his entire feckless stint at the RBS was entirely a product of Labour times, playing by rules set down directly by the monocular Scottish idiot.
Polly Toynbee: as ever, grasping the shitty end of the stick and flailing around with it like a drunken whore. Do the world a favour, Polly: take a bottle of Scotch, a couple of packets of painkillers and a pen-knife and put your arrogant, stupid, condescending, cock-sucking self out of our misery.