Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell is facing renewed accusations of profiteering after reporting record profits of $27.6bn (£13.9bn) - the highest-ever figure reported by a British company.
The huge profits - equivalent to more than £1.5m an hour and a 9% increase on last year - will cause anger amongst Britain's motorists who are paying over £1 a litre for petrol after the huge increase in oil prices in recent months.
The Shell figures were immediately branded "obscene" by Unite, Britain's biggest union, which called on the government to levy a windfall tax on the oil industry.
Joint general secretary Tony Woodley said the union had no problem with profits but that consumers should question the "excessive, mega-profits" of the oil companies.
(The Guardian, here.)
The simple truth is there is nothing "obscene" about profits. It's the whole motor of capitalism. Profits derive from the surplus value us workers create, so if you accept the system (as Woodley does) then why moan about companies making profits, record or otherwise, at all?