Monday, 25 July 2016

Philip Green to be "punished" with an impotent slap on the wrist

On the weekend that the first 20 BHS stores shut their doors for good Philip and Tina Green cavorted on their brand new £100 million super yacht Lionheart in Malta.

When Philip Green took over BHS in 2000 the company pension fund had a £43 million surplus. When he sold the company to Dominic Chappell (a twice bankrupt businessman with absolutely no retail experience) the company pension fund was already £571 million in deficit.

Between 2002 and 2004 Philip and Tina Green extracted £400 million in dividends from the company.

When David Cameron came to power in 2010 he decided to bring Philip Green into the government (presumably because his experience of asset stripping of BHS could help Cameron and Osborne in their project to asset strip the entire UK).

Until the scale of the BHS catastrophe became clear the Tories heaped lavish praise on Philip Green, pretending that by associating themselves with the very worst kind of self-serving capitalist they were somehow demonstration their good business acumen. 

“We are extremely fortunate to have Sir Philip, with his immense commercial experience and of course his fantastic track record at managing large organisations, on board.” - Francis Maude, 2010
A few years down the line the Tories are singing a very different tune. This is the updated 2016 Tory view as expressed by Tory MP Richard Fuller:
"It is a portrait of how individual greed can affect the lives of thousands of people ... Personally, I now believe he should lose his knighthood."
11,000 BHS staff have lost their jobs and 22,000 pensioners face stress and uncertainty over their catastrophically mismanaged pension funds, yet the guy who caused all of this misery by greedily pillaging the company and then selling the debt-ridden husk to a manifestly unsuitable owner faces no threat of punishment other than being possibly stripped of his knighthood!

The idea that sycophants no longer sticking the word "sir" before Philip Green's name is somehow a punishment befitting the pillaging of a company resulting in the destruction of 11,000 jobs and a vast pension black hole is yet another demonstration of how out of touch the Westminster establishment club are.

A parliamentary report has found that "Sir Philip systematically extracted hundreds of millions of pounds from BHS, paying very little tax and fantastically enriching himself and his family, leaving the company and its pension fund weakened to the point of the inevitable collapse of both."

As far as the establishment club are concerned, Philip and Tina Green can continue living their spectacularly decadent lifestyles on the hundreds of millions they extracted out of the business they completely ruined because the disappointment of Philip losing his knighthood is supposedly punishment enough.

This is how British justice works. If you're not part of the establishment club and you pinch a bottle of mineral water or smoke a bit of herb you can go to jail But if you're part of the club (like Fred Goodwin or Philip Green) you can systematically ruin a huge business, destroy thousands of jobs and leave the taxpayer looking at vast bills to repair the damage, but you'll be able to keep your ill-gotten gains and your "punishment" will be stopping sycophants from calling you "sir".

No wonder the public are so furious with the out-of-touch Westminster establishment club when these people honestly seem to think that the same impotent slap on the wrist they gave to Fred Goodwin for destroying RBS is punishment enough for Philip Green for pillaging BHS too.

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