Articles

Don’t underestimate them

In Uncategorized on January 15, 2011 by grahamharrowell

I caught Prime Minister’s questions this week. How depressing. All the usual name calling and yah-booing (from both sides of the House) which passes for parliamentary debate in the UK. OK, I’ve seen Ukrainian parliamentarians hiding behind umbrellas in the chamber, French deputés in the Assemblé insulting each other as well as the guy jumping off a balcony somewehere in Mitteleuropa and a Guardia Civil waving his gun in the Spanish parliament. Was it Dom Mintoff’s daughter who threw excrement over our own lovable Commons?

Fortunately, the Treasury Select Committee this week did a much better job. Bob Diamond may be considered by shareholders as a fit person to run a bank but he doesn’t seem to have given too much thought (or respect) to the members of the Select Committee. However they behave at PM’s question time, we shouldn’t forget that our MPs don’t get where they are by accident and that a good many of them have a grounding in the law. David Ruffley may not be a barrister but he demonstrated this week that his experience in the legal profession was not wasted. Bob Diamond demonstrated that he had not been cross examined before. Diamond tried to avoid the question, to ignore it, to ask his own question and then to give a smart answer. Big mistake. Lawyers only ask questions for a purpose. They never ask a question to which they don’t already know thew answer and they certainly don’t ask questions just to obtain information from the witness. Hapless Bob floundered whilst Dave kept asking him the same question over and over again, a tried and tested court room wheeze.

If nothing else, we were treated to proof that the banks hold our parliamentarians and the electorate that appoints them in contempt. Perhaps just as the US insisted that BP appointed an American boss, maybe the UK might insist that Barclays appoint a Brit? Of course that would be too narrow minded and childish. Happily we are better than that.

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