An address by the the Archbishop of Cant
Everywhere, the train companies are going off the rails, the water companies are dry and arid, the energy companies see their power ebbing away.
But spare a thought for the poor, downtrodden shareholders. For years they have seen the money pouring in to their bank accounts. They have been secure in the knowledge that their investments will go up and up and up. And even in the proverbial 'bear market' there is one thing of which they have always been certain - and that is the Holy Dividend.
These humble shareholder have a right to receive such dividends. It is clearly stated in the Book of Profits that "no state Utility, once it is privatised, shall exist purely for the benefit of the consumers." Indeed the consumers exists "purely for the benefit of the shareholders, who shall readily fleece the consumers, through good times and bad - yea, even when the waters do run dry and even when the power does black out."
But what is it we see before us now? The persecuted Utility companies are being harried on all sides by the rabble who do champion the rights of the needy consumers. The companies are told to lower their tariffs, they are told to improve the quality of their services, they are indeed even commanded to invest heavily in the infrastructure of their operations. And to what end? So that the whingeing consumers can whinge some more about the poor quality of the services that the Utilities do provide.
Think upon this: Whence shall that money for investment originate? Will it be the government that does provide? I fear not. The government says that it must cut the deficit and that investment in public utilities must henceforth be scaled back. Will it be the consumer who will pay more? Again, it is most unlikely as the turbulent watchdogs do announce that the consumer is already fleeced enough.
So whence shall it come, this capital? Yes, it shall come from the much maligned shareholders, who were from the outset led to believe that their investments would offer up never ending flows of cash, flows indeed that would vanquish for eternity that great terror of the investors through the ages - that investments could go down as well as up.
Are we therefore to ignore the plight of these poor shareholders? Will we leave them high and dry? I sincerely hope not. No, we must not abandon these good men and women in their hour of need. We shall not cut off that guaranteed flow of capital. For it is a God given right, as set out in the Book of Investors.
And so it is that I ask you now, you, the consumer, to help out those who have stood close by you when you did need your water and did demand your power. I ask you now to look out for these poor hard-done-by souls. I ask you to look within your selves and to dig deep within your pockets. I ask you to help out thus:-
- One pound excess charge donated by every rail user will add millions to the overall dividend of any rail company.
- Ten pounds overpay on your water bill will ensure healthy profits next year and beyond, irrespective of the capital investment made by the water company.
- One hundred thousand pounds paid to the Tony Hayward Give Me My Life Back Fund will do bugger all for the Gulf, for the fishermen, nay even for shareholders. But, yea verily, it will indeed put a big and happy smile back on that ass-hole's face.
Please give generously!