Wednesday 31 October 2012

The Mucky Business of Wonga

It takes a certain kind of person to run a company that takes advantage of people in desperate times, to squeeze money out of them when they have nowhere else to go. The kind of person who would do such a thing should be admonished by society for preying on the needy. However, this government sees him as a person to go to for advice and to send senior advisers to lobby on the company's behalf.

Adrian Beecroft invests in Wonga, a loan shark company that charges 4214% Annual Percentage Rate on loans. A loan of £100 over 40 days will cost you £47.12 extra to pay back. Wonga recognises itself as expensive and says so on its website: ‘It's a bit like using a taxi to get around - it's not economical if you use one too frequently, but paying a premium for speed, convenience and flexibility in the short term makes perfect sense from time to time.’

Neither Labour nor the Conservatives have been willing to bring an end to loan shark lending over the years, and so companies like Wonga are allowed to flourish, trebling their profits from £12.m in 2010, to $45.8m in 2011, with an increased revenue of £185m. Governments of course are reluctant to stop loan sharks because if companies like Wonga weren’t allowed to make the 6 million loans they have made since 2007, then there would likely be an increase in social unrest.

However, rather than tackle inequality with progressive measures that redistribute wealth or lower outgoings, such as a cap on rent, both parties have allowed rampant capitalism to spread inequality and leave loan sharks to take further bites off the misery of others and add to their financial burden.

So how are major investors in Wonga treated?

Well Adrian Beecroft was asked by David Cameron to produce a report, which promoted the ease with which employers could sack their staff. The report came about following its leak by the Telegraph, and could not have been more hateful if it tried. His main argument focused on how difficult it is to dismiss someone, and that the process 'makes it too easy for employees to claim they have been unfairly treated'.

However, in comparison with many other European states, the UK has a low rate of employment litigation as stated in a report called 'A review of employment dispute resolution in Great Britain'. Tribunal claims increased largely once the recession kicked in and this was not the fault of those left in poverty through losing their jobs.

As always in this deeply corrupt system, the reason why this government like Beecroft so much is because he gives them money, and lots of it. Since 2006, according to the electoral commission, Mr Beecroft and his wife has given the Conservative party £693,076, a handy sum, which included £50,000 to maintain the first past the post system. No wonder then Vince Cable should say he was opposed to the "ideological zealots who want to encourage British firms to fire at will". He was of course right, the attacks on workers conditions had no research to back up his argument that such measures would improve the economy.

Mr Beecroft admitted in his report that 'the downside of the proposal is that some people would be dismissed simply because their employer did not like them.' His lack of empathy for employees is clear and becomes more apparent when in his next line he wrote: 'While this is sad I believe it is a price worth paying...'

If anything making people more fragile in their employment will make people spend less, hold on to what they have in case their employer decided to get rid of them. This all fits in with the mentality of the neo-con's frequenting parliament and pushing for policy change dreamed up by their neo con counterparts in think tanks like the Adam Smith Institute. The book 'Unchained Britannia' which came out recently and was written by 5 neo con MPs, called British workers 'among the worst idlers in the world', adding incorrectly that 'we work among the lowest hours, we retire early and our productivity is poor.' Ideally they would like to see all our rights removed so we can become slaves to the financial elite that these people aspire to be. 

Morality is not something this government cares about, they are in power to simply snatch and grab the public services they can get their hands on, and hand them over to the corporations they are employed by or they own. No wonder then that Jonathan Luff, a senior adviser to No10 should join Wonga’s government affairs team and lobby on behalf of their dubious business.

The appointment will mean there will be no restrictions on loan shark companies in this government’s time, and given the amount of money Beecroft has given to the deeply corrupt Tories, it was hardly likely to happen anyway.

The question is will Labour do anything about it themselves when and if they get into government, and if not, why not?


  1. What comment is worthy of this person, note I do not call him a man as most men have some sort of honour, I would be happy to BUMP into him in a bar !!.

  2. The man is an utter arse and we should tell him so

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  4. what a nasty piece of work this man is, a loan shark preying on the most vunerable in society,i hope this parasite is proud of himself,probably never done an honest days work in his sorry life,hell awaits him and his like

  5. yes he's worst than a loan shark even a judge when sentencing one he asked his rates the judge said that his rates were better than the high street yep wonga ripping you off but who amazes me its legal these lousey no good politicians have sold their souls and thuss trying to hook those who haven't much

  6. "The Corruption of New Labour: Britain’s Watergate?"

    "Tony Blair and BAE Systems"

    "Rupert Murdoch and the Corruption of the British Media"

  7. one commenter asks. what r we going to do about this?
    Answer, get on every social network site and stamp ur feet, shout loudest, get the papers involved and if they dont push for a reason why not? get it out there so the public know exactly what is going down with our rights...down.

  8. QUOTE;;Governments of course are reluctant to stop loan sharks because if companies like Wonga weren't allowed to make the 6 million loans they have made since 2007, then there would likely be an increase in social unrest.
    You have hit the nail on the head with this comment alone - being able to remember the days of Harold Macmillan I can honestly say that I have never ever seen the U.K. in such a bad way. We now have legalised loan sharks with absolutely crazy APRs such as this awful company. We are now being Americanised much faster than we can cope with - the next step is going to be social unrest which is getting closer every day, the latest comments about that fancy new chic word "austerity", which by the way translates to "firm hardship" is expected to be with us all in the U.K. for another mind numbing 15 years - another reason to expect anarchy, yes this is Great Britain's future - sorry, we cannot avoid it!


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