"No rewards for failure", say the Government - and yet...

February 13, 2009 1:55 PM

...they continue to dish them out themselves. I have lost count of the number of times that Gordon Brown and other Ministers have said this week that the bankers who drove their companies to destruction should not be "rewarded for failure". It's an admirable sentiment, and one we have been pushing for some years in papers on local government, quangos and other areas of the public sector, indeed one we said they should include in the conditions of the bank bailout from the outset, so I'm glad they have started to take it on board. The rhetoric, though, has been somewhat undermined by the Government's actions.


Sir James Crosby is a prime example. He resigned from the position of vice-chairman of the FSA earlier this week after a former HBOS manager alleged that Crosby (who was HBOS' Chief Exec) had sacked him for warning that the bank was exposed to too much risk.


The Times today reveals what has become of Sir James. He's gone to work for "Northern Way" which is - wait for it - a quango set up by three other quangos. Yes, as if the failed Regional Development Agencies weren't ineffective, wasteful and unaccountable enough, they are now spawning their own foul brood, such as NW. Putting someone like Sir James in charge just reinforces the public impression that there is a huge quango merry-go-round for high earning executives. Once you get on board the gravy train it is almost impossible to fall off.

...they continue to dish them out themselves. I have lost count of the number of times that Gordon Brown and other Ministers have said this week that the bankers who drove their companies to destruction should not be "rewarded for failure". It's an admirable sentiment, and one we have been pushing for some years in papers on local government, quangos and other areas of the public sector, indeed one we said they should include in the conditions of the bank bailout from the outset, so I'm glad they have started to take it on board. The rhetoric, though, has been somewhat undermined by the Government's actions.


Sir James Crosby is a prime example. He resigned from the position of vice-chairman of the FSA earlier this week after a former HBOS manager alleged that Crosby (who was HBOS' Chief Exec) had sacked him for warning that the bank was exposed to too much risk.


The Times today reveals what has become of Sir James. He's gone to work for "Northern Way" which is - wait for it - a quango set up by three other quangos. Yes, as if the failed Regional Development Agencies weren't ineffective, wasteful and unaccountable enough, they are now spawning their own foul brood, such as NW. Putting someone like Sir James in charge just reinforces the public impression that there is a huge quango merry-go-round for high earning executives. Once you get on board the gravy train it is almost impossible to fall off.

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