Barclays: “Shouldn’t we hear some answers before the condemned man is whacked?”

Timely analysis from Iain Martin on a trigger happy populism that could easily get out of hand… with a language straight out of Sean O’Casey…

what is slightly depressing is the sanctimonious lynch-mob mentality which currently prevails. It was there over Hester’s bonus and Sir Fred, sorry Mr Fred, Goodwin’s knighthood.

So intense has been the clamour from some MPs that Diamond is in the bizarre position of having been forced out before he has had a chance to try and explain himself in front of a parliamentary committee. The hearing will go ahead despite his resignation.

Is it generally not better to wait a few days to hear what someone has to say before sending them to the scaffold? The thirst for blood seems so over-powering that instead we want people dispensed with first; then afterwards we listen to their pleas and evidence.

Diamond, it might be said, is a special case. His bank has been fined £290m for its part in rate-fixing. But how high did it go? Which procedures and individuals failed? Shouldn’t we hear some answers before the condemned man is whacked?

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  • But did he jump?
    His demeanour the last time he appeared before the Committee suggested a touch of arrogance bordering on contempt.
    He is an American after all……and there will hardly be bloodhounds sent out if he boards a plane to USA or indeed the Cayman Islands.
    Indeed he can laugh all the way to several banks.

    Freed of responsibility ….he might just produce a grandstanding performance tomorrow. His state of unemployment perhaps frees him from any discretion. The people doing the questioning might just be more nervous than Bob Diamond.

  • Mick Fealty

    Racialism rearing its ugly head FJH?

    “He is an American after all…”

  • No…..he is an American after all clearly refers to the fact that the powers of a House of Commons are probably wasted on him if he just decides to (1) leave the country (2) be less than impressed by being questioned by a committee of the Commons.

    I have many faults….racialism (sic) is not one of them.

  • Mister_Joe

    But where does the buck stop? Ignorance of what his subordinates were doing is no excuse. He was honour bound to resign, just like the Chairman, although there would seem to have been a decline in honourable activity for a number of years now. People have to be “forced” to do the right thing.

  • tacapall

    Unlike Roger Haynes.

    “British Constitution Group Chairman Roger Hayes was arrested by police yesterday morning in scenes “reminiscent of Stasi East Germany,” before being tried in secret and sentenced to prison over Hayes’ refusal to pay state taxes.

    Four officers in two police cars arrived to arrest Hayes at his Wirral home yesterday morning at 8:30am.

    The first his family heard of him was at 18:30 this evening via a telephone call from a Warder in Liverpool prison, to say that Roger had been tried and sentenced to prison

    At no time were the family or any other members of the public informed of his arrest, and it is understood that he was tried in a secret court without a Jury.”

    Hayes’ arrest and secret trial represents a new intensity in the British government’s efforts to stop a tax revolt spreading across the country in light of yet more financial scandals with the news that Barclays Bank was responsible for an interest rigging scandal to manipulate the Libor rate between 2005 and 2009.”

  • Having sat in in a couple of Committee hearings at Stormont, I am convinced that the MLAs are often a “wee bit ignorant” towards their witnesses and that witnesses often successful and confident people in “real life” are turned to nervous wrecks in a committee room.
    Witnesses accord Committees too much respect, deference and frankly committees get carried away by their own sense of self importance.
    Recent examples……Tom Watson the Culture/Media Committee was downright offensive to James Murdoch with that mafia jibe….and Murdoch afforded not very much protection by the Chair.
    Whatever Murdochs feelings about Watson or the Committee he was obliged because of his business to be overly deferential which merely fed the Committees sense of importance.
    Contrast this with the performance of George Galloway who clearly was not going to be intimidated into being deferential to a Senate Committee. In fact he hectored them. He was of course a Scotsman in an American committee. And unlike Murdoch, there would be no comeback to his lack of deference.

    Tomorrow the Treasury Committee hoped to hear from Bob Diamond CEO of Barclays. As such he would have been bound to have some deference.
    Instead tomorrow they will hear from Bob Diamond, private American citizen and former CEO of Barclays and I believe that changes the dynamic ….in his favour. He can go “Galloway” on them.

  • wild turkey

    “He is an American after all”

    well FJH, the family and i extend a welcome to our 4th of july clambake and barbeque.

    but actually, you have, inadvertently hit on something. if it wasn’t for some serious and sustained trigger happy populism, Mr Diamond might be appearing before the commons committee on the 4th (sweet or what?) as a subject of the british crown, north american division.

    in his testimony and answers, Diamond has nothing to lose. my bet is his performance will elicit the admiration of Don Corleone.

    stay tuned.

  • Banjaxed

    Scenario 1. Plead the equivalent of the 5th amendment. There’s an enquiry coming along the line plus possible fraud charges from the SFO so why should he wish incriminate himself ? AFIK, it’s an ordinary house committee and he won’t therefore be bound by oath.

    Scenario 2. Feck off to the US.

    Scenario 3. Do both.

    Whatever, I read at the weekend he gets severance pay of £20 mill.

    So –
    Scenario 4. Take the money and run.

  • sherdy

    It is difficult to accept that a man who has pocketed £20m annually over a number of years has been treated unfairly. After all he is still a free man.