Unhand that banker, you filthy cad

Brendan O’Neill is hilarious, in an irritating way. His one trick is Defending the Indefensible. The only surprise he offers is what obviously bad exploitative ruthless item or person he can next find to claim as a victim of the mob.

This week it’s bankers. Yes bankers, who are so hard done by, being allowed to trash the global economy for the sake of stuffing their own wallets and then allowed to keep their wallet-stuffing jobs and continue getting gigantic bonuses to reward them for trashing the global economy in order to stuff their own wallets. Naturally they need defending by the fearless non-conformist quirky gang at Spiked.

The mad pursuit of Fred Goodwin and his ill-gotten knighthood confirms that bankers are the new paedophiles. Bank bosses are to posh commentators what paedos were to hacks at the News of the World – wicked creatures one can rail against in order to feel puffed-up and Good.

Pffffffff. One could just as easily say the same of O’Neill. He doesn’t know that that’s why people “rail against” Fred Goodwin, any more than I know that he writes this kind of coat-trailing shite in order to feel clever and Savvy.

Of course, the difference between the old tabloid wars against paedos and the current moralistic hounding of bankers is that the latter has been sanctioned by the influential chattering classes, giving it a reach and clout the News of the World‘s crusade against paedos never achieved.

Brilliant; he sounds like Terry Eagleton heaping scorn on “Islington man” from whatever blighted slum he would live in if only he hadn’t become so prosperous over the years.

There’s lots more of this formulaic bullshit; read it all if you like that kind of thing.


  1. says

    “You’re only saying that because…” is probably the lamest defense of the indefensible. No, the bankers didn’t do anything wrong; you just need someone to be righteously indignant at.

  2. Physicalist says

    My favorite banker quote of the day:

    “Do you think, Judge, if that tragedy occurred a week before he bid on that house we would have bankers sitting here? I don’t think so.”

    That was my thought too when I saw the headline referencing a prison term. Prisons aren’t for rich people.

  3. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Goodwin was CEO of the Royal Bank of Scotland from 2001 to 2008. However he was removed from power after RBS had a loss of £24 billion, the largest loss in British corporate history. The British government had to bail out RBS to the tune of £45 billion. Mr. Fred originally refused to refund any of his almost £17 million golden parachute. It wasn’t until the magic words “criminal charges” were uttered that Mr. Fred decided to play nice with the mean ol’ gummint.

  4. says

    There’s libertarianism – the belief that moral judgements shouldn’t direct policy – and then there’s the view of O’Neill and his cronies at Spiked – the belief, as far as I can tell, that moral judgements shouldn’t be. So, slaughtering dolphins? Fine. Sexualised abuse? Okay. Bullfighting? Great! (The irony is, of course, that they promote this through shrill, moralistic railing against people who, er – moralise.) Their principle appears to be that people are responsible enough as not to need to be held responsible, and I’ve no idea how anyone who’s been inside a school, hospital or police station could maintain that idea.

    Still, I do agree that Goodwin’s faced too much abuse. But that’s mainly because it’s let the structural problems go unchallenged. He’s become the fall guy for the financial sector.

  5. Matt Penfold says

    I am not sure Goodwin has suffered too much abuse given he has refused to defend his actions. He was responsible for the biggest corporate failure in UK history, and the blame is almost entirely all his since he bullied those who pointed out he was putting the bank at undue out of their jobs.

    On top of that he has not once offered a defence of his actions, which either makes him a moral coward, or that he has no defence.

  6. Dave says

    Comment above is spam.

    Meanwhile, there are few people in the world I’d cheerfully kick in the nuts, but B’ON is one, just so I could hear him explain how he hadn’t been kicked in the nuts, he’d made a courageous moral decision to allow his nuts the freedom to encounter passing boots.

  7. says

    The only thing I would say about Fred Goodwin losing his knighthood is that it appears to have been taken away from him for indulging in exactly the same behaviour that earned him one in the first place. This is not to defend him you understand, just to point out the inherent hypocrisy in the system.

  8. says

    Dave – ha – that’s a good one.

    Conformists! Chattering classes! Hive mind indulging in moral panic to feel puffed up and Good! You’re an outrage, all of you.

  9. says

    Balderdash, good sir! The concept that money changers are vilified to greater extent than an engager in illicit behavior with a minor is quite ludicrous, I dare say.

  10. Aquaria says

    The mad pursuit of Fred Goodwin and his ill-gotten knighthood confirms that bankers are the new paedophiles.

    There’s long been a saying here in Texas to describe cold weather: “Colder than a banker’s heart.”

    Anytime someone used this around my grandfather, he’d always add, “If a banker ever had one, anyway.”

  11. Sili says

    There’s lots more of this formulaic bullshit; read it all if you like that kind of thing.

    Would I be reading you, if I liked “that kind of thing”?

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