|What's wrong with this picture ?|
|What's wrong with this voting form ?|
The other option is to go through each of the items individually. All that the options provided allow a voter to do is to choose "for", "against" or "abstain" next to each of the suggestions of The Board. Ther are no options to vote for or against anything which has come from a source other than The Board. This is not a real democratic process because no alternative is provided. The only thing that anyone can do to express displeasure is to go to the effort of voting against each of these proposals individually, and you have to tick every single "against" box because otherwise "If you do not do this for a particular item, the Chairman or your representative can vote on it as he or she sees fit." i.e. unless you make sure you put a cross in all the "against" boxes then you will still be held as having voted "for" what the board has already decided to do. This is analogous to voting forms in communist countries where "Communist election committees typically counted as "aye" all the ballots unless both the first and last name of their unopposed candidate were crossed off completely. A casual scratch across a name or the whole list was not considered a vote against."
Communism ? Capitalism ? For the average guy, what's the difference ?
|What's wrong with what we're voting for ?|
Non executive directors are "paid a basic fee, with an additional supplement paid for serving on or chairing a Board Committee". So how do they fair ? The Chairman - i.e. he who will vote for you should you decide not to vote yourself - does not get a pay rise this year, but he does still expect to receive 300,000 for his services. The smallest amount paid is 27,000, but this is to someone who retired in April, so it is not a full year's pay. Many of the non executive directors can expect to receive six figure sums for part time work.
| "On your side". I'd smile|
too on £2M per year
A leaflet enclosed with the voting form including the "Voting guide and Notice of AGM 2013" is entitled "Your building society - On your side" . Here are some images from that leaflet:
|"On your side" and "Helping to get you moving". i.e. they've "helped" people to take debt to buy a home. Note also the "caring" cycle helmet.|
|Win your own money back !|
Not bad, eh ? But remember that such trifling amounts of money only sound like much if you don't have much. These prize draw sums are significant only to "the little people". For the top earner, Mr Beale, even the top prize is less than one day's salary. For him, it would hardly be worth the effort of bothering to go and collect such a sum. What's more, this is again your money that they're offering to buy your support. While normal members of the society each have a small chance to win £5000, the top five directors pay-rises for 2013 together add up to be worth 200 times this amount. The real prize on offer here is you give them your votes so that they can carry on as they have always carried on.
Why pick on Nationwide ? I actually doubt that any of the other building societies are much different. However, I'm a member of Nationwide so I was sent their literature. They're also the largest BS in the UK so could lead by providing a better example than average.
Lots of people work hard in this world, but few of us are in the position of being able to vote ourselves ever higher salaries. For my part, I've been struggling to reach minimum wage for years despite working very long hours at a number of different initiatives