Friday, 19 September 2008

Gordon Brown, the Banks and the Media - the impotents of society

It was Mr Eugenides' post that got me thinking.

There is a scandal in the midst of all the banking mess.

Gordon Brown and Sir Victor Blank (Chairman of Lloyds) are good friends. Lloyds buy HBOS in a move that would usually fall foul the Competition Commission. Gordon Brown hurries through legislation to make this move permissable. Lloyds are generally thought to have done some good business in this deal. Gordon Brown says that he oversaw the deal.

Or, Sir Victor calls Gordon and says, "We want, and are in a position to buy, HBOS, which might take some of the sting out of the whole economic 'troubles' you're facing, Gordy. How about, if we buy it, we will safeguard Scottish jobs as a higher priority than English ones, and we can even say you had steady-hand over the whole deal, effectively saying you brokered it, then you legislate to get it past the Competition Commission. Deal?"

This is a scandal. There has been no mention, no suggestion of a conflict of interest, and as more and more details are revealed, it's just getting more and more a political deal, rather than financial one. Take the whole "the Prime Minister was involved in pushing through the deal" nonsense. That just sounds like a spun line that the media just took up, nodded their heads and ran with. Now the whole Scottish jobs being saved above English ones just smacks of pre-by-election scandal - just watch how often the HBOS story is mentioned in Glenrothes (because, in the last 6 months, it's his only 'achievement').

But does the media report anything of the like? No.

The media is practically dead in the UK, with investigative journalism restricted now to once a week/month programmes like Dispatches and Panorama.

Every day journalists just print what they get from a briefing room and a press release.

This was not a financial deal, this was not a sign that Gordon Brown can lead us through the 'tough times'. This is a man who is willing to pawn off dodgy deals solely to save his unsavable skin.

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