People Power Matters!

Late last night, RBS chief Stephen Hester said he would not take his £1 million bonus after all. That’s a huge turnaround – and 38 Degrees helped make it happen.

When they launched the petition on Friday calling on Hester to refuse his giant bonus, it looked an uphill struggle. David Cameron and George Osborne were both claiming their hands were tied. Many thought it was a done deal.

But in 48 hours over 80,000 38 Degrees members signed the petition. The public outcry grew in volume across the internet and in the press. More and more politicians started to join in. By the end of the weekend Hester had backed down.

This latest breakthrough is yet more proof that people power matters. When enough of us speak up together, we can help change things for the better – even when politicians claim there is no alternative.

Remember when the government said there was nothing they could do to stop Rupert Murdoch taking over BSkyB? Or that selling off England’s forests was essential? Or that the NHS changes would be done and dusted by the middle of 2011? Time and again 38 Degrees members work together to prove there are alternatives.

Is there more we could be doing together to tackle the scandal of bankers bonuses and skyrocketing executive pay? You can share your thoughts on this on our Facebook page: or on the 38 Degrees website:

Here’s what some other 38 Degrees members are saying so far:

Deborah: “Way to go! 82K people signed in 48 hours! Well done 38 Degrees!”

Shaun: “This is great news, i like to think that our petition and facebook protest on here and on the RBS facebook page had a hand in making him change his mind on the bonus :)”

John: “A small enough victory but I hope a significant one. On to chasing tax dodgers and saving our NHS :)”

Anthony: “We need to remember this was not brought about by any pressure whatsoever by the government or the board. Both backed the bonus, the board siding with him and the government limp in their glaring lack of condemnation. The more we speak up the louder our voice.”

Wendy: “The arguments in favour of high salaries for bankers are as obscene as the salaries and bonuses themselves.”

Sylvia: “We pestered Hester – and he crumbled!”

Thanks for being involved,

Becky, Cian, Marie, David, Hannah, Johnny and the 38 Degrees team

PS: Big corporations keep a close eye on social media to spot threats to their reputation. RBS won’t have been able to miss all that we did over the weekend, with over 12,000 shares of the petition on Facebook, and 2,000 messages on Twitter. Well done to everyone who spread the word!


About I Am Not A Number

I Am Not A Number is written by Chris Jury. For 30 years Chris Jury was a TV actor, director and writer best known for playing Eric Catchpole in over 60 episodes of the BBC’s antique classic, Lovejoy, and for directing over 50 episodes of Eastenders. In 2008 he was appointed as the Senior Lecturer in Recorded Media in the School Of Music & Performing Arts at Bath Spa University. He currently presents, Agitpop, a pop & politics radio discussion programme on North Cotswold Community Radio He is currently the Communications Officer for UCU at Bath Spa University and a UCU SW Regional Rep at SWTUC.
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3 Responses to People Power Matters!

  1. I did my part. I signed the petition. It made me feel strange – almost like a radical or anarchist.

  2. Oh they know I’m cool.

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