Today's letter from the Editor
Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: This is a senior appointment with huge potent...
£28000 - £31500 per annum + benefits: Randstad Education Newcastle: Permanent ...
£50000 - £58000 per annum + Benefits and Bonus: Progressive Recruitment: SAP F...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + BENS: Progressive Recruitment: Drupal Developer A ...
i Editor's Letter: Whither morality in business?
Listening to Mervyn King yesterday would be enough to have even teetotal Mitt reaching for the vodka. It was the starkness of his message – especially when so many other public speakers dissemble. Although even Mervyn couldn't admit the Treasury was setting monetary policy.
So many business people now neither say what they mean nor mean what they say. You hear it in tax-avoidance defences from Google, Amazon, Starbucks, Vodafone and eBay, or the "what, us, profit out of hiking our prices?" nonsense of SSE and other energy giants. It's there when banks pretend they are doing us a favour by charging a "small" fee for services they used to provide "for free" (it's an Americanism, get over it!). And, there are those old canards that pretend we have a say: "Your M&S" or "Your Santander".
At some point in my lifetime, companies became corporations. No longer are they there to provide services and products to us for a price at which they could make a profit, but instead their executives' primary focus appears to be what they can get away with. How much can they charge us? How few staff can they employ? How little need they pay them? What's the least tax they owe? How blatant should they be that they, to a man (usually), care primarily about the endless pursuit of ever-greater profits that they can pass on to shareholders?
To paraphrase Margaret Hodge at the Public Accounts Committee earlier this week: it's not about the legality of business practices but the morality. Whither morality in business? As they say at school: Discuss.
- 1 Asteroid nine times the size of the QE2 liner to sail pass Earth
- 2 Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
- 3 British business: We need to stay in the EU - or risk losing up to £92bn a year
- 4 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.