Three things happened on Saturday, some more interesting than others.
The first was some 250,000 people gathered in Hyde Park to protest the public sector cuts. It was a peaceful gathering of a lot of very concerned people, worried about their futures, their pensions, their jobs and not a little angry that they were being asked to pay for things completely beyond their control.
The second was the intense reporting about a bunch of thugs who broke some windows, rummaged around Fortnum and Mason and generally caused some chaos in a small area of London. Who these people were we will probably never know. They used to travel with football teams, but they appear to have been bored for a while. Well they are back.
The last thing that happened is that I read the paper. In itself a fairly normal event which takes place most days. Not always the same paper, but I try to read a couple. What was interesting is that there were three (at least three – there may have been more) stories about three bankers who together had earned £24 million last year. At least one had headed up a failed bank, which is now being propped up by the people protesting in Hyde Park plus you and me.
I found these three events an interesting reflection of our current society and the way it appears government and big corporate leaders think our world should be managed.
I come from the school which believes that the way a business should be run is to ask a lot from our team but to treat them well and above all with respect. This respect appears to be lacking in our current environment.
250,000 gathered in Hyde Park and what was the reaction? “We are not going to listen to them” said the Government. We are going to continue getting rid of our front line services, blame Labour and make the lowest people pay. We are not reducing the packages of those ‘leaders’ who messed things up in the first place and this includes Council leaders and a lot of very highly paid other top civil servants.
The bankers are being bailed out and are continuing to pay obscene amounts to those they consider stars. At what point will those ‘stars’ pay for their mistakes or even the outright dishonesty they subjected us all to? No, they simply fire thousands of low paid bankers for the mistakes of these ‘leaders’.
And the thugs breaking windows? They got lots of press coverage and the police are going to change their tactics again from ‘kettling’ to Plan B (which will cost Fortnums a few bob) and now Plan C. Not sure what Plan C is but one thing is sure: we will have more violence next time and the press coverage will focus on the antics of the thugs and the policing.
I just hope that one day we can restore our world and we can all start to build our businesses with some respect. Think about it when dealing with your own teams.