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Modern capitalism is at a moral dead end. And the bosses are to blame

From Will Hutton’s article in The Observer this Sunday:

… modern capitalism has arrived at a moral dead end, interested largely in feathering the nests of its leaders while imposing enormous costs on the rest of society and accepting no reciprocal obligations. Neither Lewis nor Arup (1) would have dreamt of needing to be paid 81 times the salary of an average worker (2) to do their job or of investing a nanosecond in trying to evade or avoid tax. They aimed to build enduring innovative organisations and to do so was a matter of enormous satisfaction in itself.

1. Ove Arup, founder of one of the Arup Partnership and John Spedan Lewis, founder of John Lewis
2. Chief executives were paid 47 times average pay in 2000; today, they are paid 81 times the average.

Exodus of talent?

“The PRs who are paid lavishly to shamelessly defend our dreadful banks were at it again this week. After emasculating British industry and destroying our pensions while amassing vast personal pay packets and bonuses, we’re now supposed to believe that it’s City bankers who are the victims.

After the chancellor unveiled a supertax on bonuses, British Bankers’ Association boss Angela Knight talked of the “hardest hit”. The CBI warned of an “exodus of talent”. The hardest hit, Ms Knight, are the millions thrown on the scrapheap, in the UK and elsewhere by the City’s appalling greed and short-termism. And to use the word “talent” to describe Britain’s bankers over the last decade is yet more evidence of the delusional world they live in.”

From Patrick Collinson’s excellent article in today’s Guardian.

Quote of the week

The first in what may become an occasional series.

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy.” – Ernest Benn.

Use when and where appropriate!

The Spirit Level – Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett

Sorry to interrupt the music yet again but I read a really interesting article in the Guardian this week about the book “The Spirit Level” by Richard Wilkinson (retired professor from Nottingham medical school) and Kate Pickett (University of York) which highlights the damaged done to societies by inequality.

“… they argue that almost every social problem common in developed societies – reduced life expectancy, child mortality, drugs, crime, homicide rates, mental illness and obesity – has a single root cause: inequality.

And, they say, it’s not just the deprived underclass that loses out in an unequal society: everyone does, even the better off. Because it’s not absolute levels of poverty that create the social problems, but the differentials in income between rich and poor.”

The links between inequality and social problems discussed in “The Spirit Level” were brilliantly illustrated in this graphic accompanying the article.


Just to draw your attention to the fact that I have added more links to other music blogs in the sidebar’s Blogroll section. Do check them out; there is some amazing music in them all.

Ruth Sunderland on “BankThink”

From today’s Observer:

“BankThink maintains that curbing bonuses will lead to a brain drain from the (banking) sector. What brains are those? I guess it must be the great intellects who can’t see a problem with creating the credit crunch, then asking taxpayers on the average income (about £25,000 – a year, not an hour) to fund their bonuses. Adherents to BankThink say big bonuses attract the best people. They don’t: they attract the soulless, the amoral and the avaricious. Professions such as teaching and medicine – and, yes, politics – draw in excellent practitioners without ludicrous rewards.”

Hello world!

Welcome to Furious Music, the music blog of Andrew Turner

Over Christmas 2008, I made 3 New Years resolutions:

  1. to read a novel by Charles Dickens (to my shame I have not read one yet)
  2. to continue posting slideshows to my foreign language vocabulary site pixlingo
  3. to start a music blog

1 and 2 can wait; but here goes with resolution number 3.

The aim of the site is to encourage a regular trawl through my record collection; mainly for my benefit but also for the benefit of anyone who might stumble across this blog and follow it for a while.

The plan is to post one track each week with my comment / observation / memory. My self imposed rules state that the tracks posted should be in my record collection, either bought by me or given to me (with or without subtle hints / coercion) as a gift.

The audio files posted on the site are intended to promote the music and the musicians involved. The files will be available to listen to and / or download for a relatively short period of time, c. 8 weeks. At the end of that period they will be deleted from the site. If you like the music, you are encouraged to buy the CD to get the best quality sound and to support the artists!

If you are the artist or label representative and would like your music / album art to be removed, please email me at theplodder at gmail dot com and I will remove them immediately.