Saturday, February 14, 2009


...about complaining

(don't worry, neither long nor a rant)
(at least, thats my intention)

First instance of national complaining
Apparently there were 15,000 phone calls to emergency services during the unexpected and atypical snow here in the UK -

15,000 calls from people complaining about snow ball throwing.

In the face of this statistic*, I find myself without the words - or even, indeed, the will - to make any further comment.

Proud to be British?

Second instance of "national" complaining:
Some of the bosses / ex-bosses from major banks were in Parliament this week, and all over the news and papers, apologising for their part in the crash.

They also proffered the information (presumably in their defence) - is it too much to call this a complaint? - that they too had suffered losses of £££millions.

Again, I find myself almost beyond making any further comment.


These losses are through bonuses taken primarily in shares.
Bonuses given, of course, on top of £££million salaries.

We the British public are, also of course, complaining about this.
I have no confidence that our complaints will be heard by those who "matter".

After Obama's cap on the salaries of bosses of US bailed-out banks, our bank bosses have apparently been scrabbling frantically around to get out bonuses for the current year before the various loop holes which allow for this are closed.

Despite their currently huge salaries.
Despite the recession.
Despite the loss of savings and pension affecting ordinary people on low incomes.
Despite the £££billions of public money recently put into saving their banks.

Despite...despite...spite...spitefully...spitting...sorry, mustn't rant.

Will Gordon Brown might follow Obama's example?
I have no such hope.

Complaint over. I hope this was neither too long nor too ranty.

My next post will be much more frivolous.

In the context of thinking about this, I loved and thought most brilliant this cartoon by Martin Rowson from last week's Guardian:

Cartoon: Martin Rowson, The Guardian Saturday 7/02/2009
* source of information: Marina Hyde in The Guardian Saturday 7/02/2009


Akelamalu said...

Oh don't set me off about the bank bonuses!

Dumdad said...

Thank you for voicing what I feel! I'm glad I got that off my chest.

Love the cartoon.

R.L. Bourges said...

the first instance had me giggling - can just hear the voices of those callers, too "must do something about meh-meh-meh-ban on snowballs - meh-meh..."

the second - well, I suppose when you get into counting your millions, when your whole LIFE has been about getting more of same, there must be something terrifying in the discovery a snowball can pack more punch (and more fun) than your next anticipated bonus.

(obviously, I'm only guessing on the second one - The Angst of the Ex-Bank Tycoon is really a huuuuuge stretch for me )

thanks for the five-minute rant. I'm a great believer in same as a mental hygiene measure. Clears the brain for better things.

e said...

Dear Lettuce,

Don't worry, you've every right to rant, a few snowballs notwithstanding...

I am out of work and must deal with medical and insurance issues, as we have no national system here and what we have is fairly nasty, and often leaves people broke.

Having lost some savings in the meltdown, my sympathies to the pensioners, young families and working class. Many on my side of the pond remain optimistic about Mr. Obama's plans, but all the wrangling has left them short of what they could be.

Your bit of an image of a sorrowful tycoon, and the Guardian's cartoon gave me a small laugh...As others have said, it is a major reach to feel sorry for any banking/brokerage boss!

My apologies the Fish Verse didn't strike a chord, but that was a bit of a reach for me...

I'll try again next week!

Squirrel said...

I call the police on snow ball throwing kids several times a week, even when I see them way in the distance.

Reya Mellicker said...

OMG, the cartoon is brilliant!

The Brits are SO different from Americans. Our financial scoundrels would never apologize, not ever.

As for emergency calls about the snow, well ... wow! Wonder what was so scary about that?

Barbara said...

Personally I'm disgusted at execs on both sides of the pond who have been taking such huge bonuses every year! I think they should have to give some of it back. It's just plain old GREED! And yes I am complaining.

dennis said...

Dennis doesn't care one way or the other.

Chick said...

Obama's proposed cap of exec. salaries of companies involved in bail outs might never come to be here...& even if it did come to just know those in power will find ways around it...stinks to the core.

Betty said...

Rant away, Letty! And then we can line up those bloody bankers and pelt them with snowballs. Pah.

(I luuuuurve snow - was standing in several feet of it less than 48 hrs ago :D)

e said...

Hi Lettuce,

oops! No worries. I hope you have a good week...

Shammickite said...

That is an inspired cartoon.... and so true!
Big boss bonuses.... YIKES! I'd like to have one too, after all I'm CEO of this whole house, and nobody gives ME a bonus for being so efficient and clever.

ArtSparker said...

Great cartoon. Funny about the snowball throwing. Apparently a phone conversation was recorded hereabout boards of trustees getting some form of cash distribution which they were to;d not to refer to as bonuses. Here, they don't get bonuses in stock but in cash. I believe they have changed that, making the bonuses for those bailed out in money that they have to earn by repaying the's actually more complicated than how I just put that.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

kudos lettuce, you were amazingly well controlled.... I love to complain about complaining....

I have often said (I mean complained) that there is a 'culture of complaint' that has run amok! it's enough to drive one completely batty.

more and more I am hearing the words "snow event" - has this always been around and I just wasn't paying attention?

I like to throw snowballs but not at people but fences, walls, and trees....

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

I've been wondering if Brown would have the balls to follow Obama's lead - but as you say, I suspect not.

As for the national sport of complaining, we have an evil saying here... "how do you know when the BA flight from London has landed? The engines cut but the whining continues..." Erm, yes, well :-)

Lynne said...

Who could get mad at people throwing snowballs? Unless of course they were throwing them maliciously at people, then I could see their point. But ... really, it's all a bit of fun, isn't it?

herhimnbryn said...

A very articlate rant.

herhimnbryn said...

That would be articUlate!

The Clever Pup said...

Hey that's the snowman. I used to read/show that to my son 11 years ago.

Good joke.