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David Parkin on the HBOS furore and the passing of Baroness Thatcher

12th April 2013

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QUESTION: Who is the odd one out? Former HBOS directors Sir James Crosby, Andy Hornby and Lord Stevenson, or Terry Wogan?

Answer: Terry Wogan, as he is the only one with banking qualifications.

I can't lay claim to this illuminating fact, it was quoted by City financier Terry Smith on Radio 4's Today programme this week, and amply explains why HBOS flourished in the boom times and hit the buffers as soon as markets took a turn for the worse.

Whilst the HBOS trio must shoulder much of the blame for what happene......for the full story register now for free or login below...


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Strange that a Yorkshire-based business media company should 'forget' the economic devastation wreaked on this region in the early 80s by Thatcher's deliberate policies and callous disregard for their impact. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the miners' dispute, no-one can argue that hundreds of Bradford engineering workers somehow deserved to lose their jobs because they had brought it on themselves. Anyone whose job was to try and help men and women come to terms with the loss of their job as they poured out of GEC, Renolds, International Harvester and the rest will not easily forget the bitterness and hopelessness of people with few other prospects. Watching young well-dressed bankers trotting out of Lehman Bros 25 years later with their boxes and potted plants was a different matter - they had somewhere to go, whereas many of Bradford's former engineering workers were still struggling years later and will have paid the price in poor health and reduced life expectancy. Please don't airbrush the past, David.

Viv Rivis

Strange that a Yorkshire-based business media company should 'forget' the economic devastation wreaked on this region in the early 80s by Thatcher's deliberate policies and callous disregard for their impact. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the miners' dispute, no-one can argue that hundreds of Bradford engineering workers somehow deserved to lose their jobs because they had brought it on themselves. Anyone whose job was to try and help men and women come to terms with the loss of their job as they poured out of GEC, Renolds, International Harvester and the rest will not easily forget the bitterness and hopelessness of people with few other prospects. Watching young well-dressed bankers trotting out of Lehman Bros 25 years later with their boxes and potted plants was a different matter - they had somewhere to go, whereas many of Bradford's former engineering workers were still struggling years later and will have paid the price in poor health and reduced life expectancy. Please don't airbrush the past, David.

Viv Rivis

It's not banker bashing, it's incompetence spotlighting and they deserve all they get. Re your second point, perhaps Thatcher fansshould start buying an alternative record to support their idol - She by Charles Aznavour, perhaps?

David Downham

I haven't seen much evidence of a free market functioning quite so well in recent years. As for the free speech angle you start by defending the right of people to criticise and argue against the moral majority getting too uptight but you smoothly move into what appears to be a rejection of its validity. To dismiss criticism of her legacy as coming either from those too young to have lived through her time as PM, or from those who have done well out her (and by implication somehow hypocritical), is exceedingly simplistic. Citing the latter category is symptomatic of a fair amount of what was wrong with her approach; too much focus on the individual and less on the collective good. Yes, I own my own home and I invest for my future. Sometimes, I go on foreign holidays. But that does not make me unqualified to despair for the millions less well off who were cut adrift by her policies and those of successive governments after her, whether Labour or Conservative. And as for the ‘it was 20 years ago’ line; doesn’t that also apply to her supporters? Thatcher left a legacy, that’s the whole point. It’s still with us and will be for a very long time. Yes, there is a small minority engaging in distasteful behaviour but don't dismiss the very negative feelings she engendered in a very large, far more reasonably minded, section of the population. Strivers vs skivers. Private vs public. Management vs union. Indigenous population vs immigrants. Never mind Thatcher’s famous reference to the ‘enemy within’. It's all about division isn't it? Crude but effective. And you've done the same; at a stroke you've dismissed the legitimacy and validity of any criticism of her. Not bad when you only started by defending the right to free speech.

Matthew Cormack

I haven't seen much evidence of a free market functioning quite so well in recent years. As for the free speech angle you start by defending the right of people to criticise and argue against the moral majority getting too uptight but you smoothly move into what appears to be a rejection of its validity. To dismiss criticism of her legacy as coming either from those too young to have lived through her time as PM, or from those who have done well out her (and by implication somehow hypocritical), is exceedingly simplistic. Citing the latter category is symptomatic of a fair amount of what was wrong with her approach; too much focus on the individual and less on the collective good. Yes, I own my own home and I invest for my future. Sometimes, I go on foreign holidays. But that does not make me unqualified to despair for the millions less well off who were cut adrift by her policies and those of successive governments after her, whether Labour or Conservative. And as for the ‘it was 20 years ago’ line; doesn’t that also apply to her supporters? Thatcher left a legacy, that’s the whole point. It’s still with us and will be for a very long time. Yes, there is a small minority engaging in distasteful behaviour but don't dismiss the very negative feelings she engendered in a very large, far more reasonably minded, section of the population. Strivers vs skivers. Private vs public. Management vs union. Indigenous population vs immigrants. Never mind Thatcher’s famous reference to the ‘enemy within’. It's all about division isn't it? Crude but effective. And you've done the same; at a stroke you've dismissed the legitimacy and validity of any criticism of her. Not bad when you only started by defending the right to free speech.

Matthew Cormack

Agree David on both counts. Interestingly the left leaning and self appointed conscience of the nation the BBC is highly selective about what it bans, depending on its own political agenda promotion at the time. In 1981 it banned Spasticus Auticticus written by polio victim Ian Dury as a protest song against the patronising (as he saw it) International Year of the Disabled. As Thatcher bashing has suited he BBC agenda for many years and helps explains the inherited hatred now of the short trousered at the time it chooses not to intervene about the current protest song. For the record however it is worth pointing out that the Wilson Labour Govt which preceded Thatcher closed more pits at a rate of approx 3 to 1 and that Neil Kinnock said recently that Scargill and Co did more to destroy the mining industry than either Wilson or Thatcher. And he is right.

malcolm cowing

Do me a fovour.Just where has selling off our Council house stock to buy votes got us? And now we are stuck with a Tory government, sorry coalition,who, for doctrinal reasons, are unable to adopt the blindingly obvious and get housebuilding up and running.

MARK CROWTHER

Certainly agreed on the Thatcher comments David. She may not have been everyone's cup of tea (to say the least) but at least she had proper political opinions and standpoints unlike some of the politicians of today who shuffle around to garner a few extra votes to keep their 'jobs for life'.

David, well said on Thatcher. We take a lot of the freedoms she fought for for granted in this country.

Bridget Summers

On HBOS - One wonders if Mr Parkin would be so generous if this trio of incompetents were running one of his companies or perhaps his pension scheme.

Gary Styles

Certainly agreed on the Thatcher comments David. She may not have been everyone's cup of tea (to say the least) but at least she had proper political opinions and standpoints unlike some of the politicians of today who shuffle around to garner a few extra votes to keep their 'jobs for life'.

Jonathan Hirst

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