The rewards of failure
One of the most tiresome spectacles in life is that of besuited businessmen lecturing the rest of us on the consequences of poor performance. Thus we are told that workers who are laid off because their productivity isn’t up to scratch somehow deserve their fate. But further up the capitalist food chain, the situation is reversed. There, failure is lavishly rewarded. The Financial Times tells me, for example, that Sir Peter Davis, the bloated smoothie who presided over the decline of the Sainsbury supermarket chain, is to get a £2.6 million cash payoff. And my own newspaper reveals that the former chairman and chief executive of Jarvis, Paris Moayedi, received a £260,000 ‘performance bonus’ for 2002. Why is this noteworthy? Well, 2002 was the year of the Potters Bar rail crash. Jarvis was responsible for the maintenance of points at Potters Bar which broke when a train passed over them and derailed, killing seven people. And this happened on the aforementioned Moayedi’s watch. Quite a performance. Quite a bonus.