Greed is Good?
David Cameron is a very wealthy man. He wants more and more wealth. One way for the former prime ministers to get rich, is to become a PR lobbyist for a large corporate entity. As a part-time lobbyist for Greensill Capital, Cameron thought he could use his influence on Government ministers to push the company's interests. Not so. The former prime minister is now facing questions over his failed attempt to secure money from the Treasury to Greensill, which employed him before it went bankrupt.
Who or what is Greensill? Financier Lex Greensill worked as an unpaid advisor to David Cameron when he was prime minister. His job was to advice and construct policies which would see businesses paid by their creditors more quickly. Mr Greensill's specialism was 'supply chain finance' - a service for businesses that needed immediate capital while their bills are waiting to be paid. At one point the company was valued at $7bn (£5bn), with a fleet of four luxury jets.
According to the BBC (31 March 2021), Mr Cameron told friends that he was set to earn as much as £60m from shareholdings in Greensill, where he had worked since 2018. Not bad for a humble part-time employee whose political career had imploded when he lost the Brexit referendum. Easy money?
Unfortunately it all went wrong. In a bleak financial market, one of Greensill's insurance companies, Tokio Marine, which was insuring $4.6 billion of its working capital, announced to Greensill that it was withdrawing cover that protected some of Greenhill's investors. Then Credit Suisse froze $10 billion in funds that were invested in Greensill's financial products (WALL STREET JOURNAL 22 March 2021). Greenhill could not secure loan protection for companies.
There was collateral damage. Liberty Steel, Britain's third-largest steel producer, employing 3,000 workers, was receiving financial support from Greensill. When Greensill Capital filed for insolvency protection on March 8, 2021, Liberty Steel lost its protective umbrella and now faces bankruptcy and unemployment for thousands of workers. And Mr Cameron will not get his easy money. No £60m. No more flying in private jets. It is back to the caravan in his Oxfordshire garden to contemplate on the vagaries of capitalism.
Cameron's Etonian friend, fellow Bullingdon Club bully and congenital liar (see Peter Orborne THE ASSAULT ON TRUTH, 2021) and now Prime Minister, Boris Johnson must have looked upon Cameron's potential bonanza of $60m with excitement. He was paid a mere chicken feed salary of £275,000 a year for articles in the DAILY TELEGRAPH, and now cannot live on a Prime Minister's salary of £158k plus free accommodation. Boris must have looked at what ex-Prime Ministers now earn. Look at Tony Blair from earning a PM's salary to a multi-millionaire (net worth $60 according to 'Celebrity Net Worth') who also holds an extensive property portfolio including houses at smart London addresses. The joy of capitalism?
In this vein, when Johnson met Tory Backbench MPs he claimed Britain's successful vaccine programme was "because of capitalism, because of greed" (PRIVATE EYE 15 April 2021). For Johnson "greed is good". And he is a very greedy man. He looks at effortless, easy money and wants a cut of the action.
Johnson was obviously referring to the film WALL STREET (1987) in which Hollywood's Gordon Gekko (portrayed by actor Michael Douglas) exclaimed "greed is good". Unfortunately for Johnson he did not realise that Gekko was based on the former Wall Street trader, Ivan Boesky. By 1986 Boesky had amassed a fortune of more than US$200 million by betting on corporate takeovers and the $136 million in proceeds from the sale of The Beverley Hills Hotel.
Boesky told business school students in the mid-1980s:
"Greed is all right...you can be greedy and still feel good about yourself".
Months later he was arrested for insider trading. Boesky went to jail, was fined a record $1000m and banned from the stock market for life.
Object and Declaration of Principles
The establishment of a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of the whole community.
Declaration of Principles
THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN HOLDS:
1. That society as at present constituted is based upon the ownership of the means of living (ie land, factories, railways, etc.) by the capitalist or master class, and the consequent enslavement of the working class, by whose labour alone wealth is produced.
2. That in society, therefore, there is an antagonism of interests, manifesting itself as a class struggle, between those who possess but do not produce and those who produce but do not possess.
3.That this antagonism can be abolished only by the emancipation of the working class from the domination of the master class, by the conversion into common property of society of the means of production and distribution, and their democratic control by the whole people.
4. That as in the order of social evolution the working class is the last class to achieve its freedom, the emancipation of the working class will involve the emancipation of all mankind without distinction of race or sex.
5. That this emancipation must be the work of the working class itself.
6. That as the machinery of government, including the armed forces of the nation, exists only to conserve the monopoly by the capitalist class of the wealth taken from the workers, the working class must organise consciously and politically for the conquest of the powers of government, national and local, in order that this machinery, including these forces, may be converted from an instrument of oppression into the agent of emancipation and the overthrow of privilege, aristocratic and plutocratic.
7. That as all political parties are but the expression of class interests, and as the interest of the working class is diametrically opposed to the interests of all sections of the master class, the party seeking working class emancipation must be hostile to every other party.
8. The Socialist Party of Great Britain, therefore, enters the field of political action determined to wage war against all other political parties, whether alleged labour or avowedly capitalist, and calls upon the members of the working class of this country to muster under its banner to the end that a speedy termination may be wrought to the system which deprives them of the fruits of their labour, and that poverty may give place to comfort, privilege to equality, and slavery to freedom.