Thursday, March 10, 2011

bankers anonymous

My name is Fred and I’m a bankerholic.

It is not hard to understand why the former Head of RBS and therefore the man most culpable for its downfall doesn’t want anyone to remember that he was a banker, which of course he was until he left under a cloud, cheered up though by a pension of £700,000 a year and a lump sum of £3 million. Taxpayers coughed up £20 billion to keep the bank going and to ensure that its directors and employees would again be able to pocket obscene bonuses for doing very little of use.

But what someone like ‘the Shred’ is able to do, where the less affluent can’t, is to get an injunction (a secret superinjunction no less) that prevents the media identifying him as a banker. And he did. And so they can’t. This clever little tool (the injunction not the banker) even prevents the media from reporting the injunction that in turn prevents the reporting of his banker epithet.

So we can’t be told what can’t be done; and we would never have known about it were it not for a piece of trickery by the Libdem MP John Hemming, who mentioned it in the House of Commons, which he is allowed to do despite the legal ban because some rules don’t apply to MPs (as you may have noticed). How naughty of him !

These injunctions are only supposed to be granted to protect the rights to privacy of the people who seek them, for example to protect their families, and not to help them advance in new careers nor to evade the unwelcome publicity that they might rightfully deserve. Can preventing a newspaper from describing someone as a banker really do anything at all for his privacy, or is the bonus boomer up to some other mischief ? And if we can no longer call him a ****** then what should we call him ? Over to you.



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