After a few weeks of one grotty bank-related revelation after another, the Money Shot was sort of hoping that it wouldn’t have to broach the topic of former Barclays chief exec Bob Diamond again in a hurry. But it’s once again been the finance story which has not so much dominated the papers as trampled all over them like King Kong nursing a hangover of Biblical proportions, making an almighty din and leaving an unpleasant huff in the air.
In the least surprising financial resignation story since the Money Shot’s Uncle Roger was caught up in an unedifying embezzlement debacle at his local lawn bowls club and had to leave his role of treasurer in acrimonious circumstances, Bob Diamond SENSATIONALLY STOOD DOWN from his post at Barclays on Monday, and then faced an unedifying grilling in front of a Commons select committee.
But you don’t rise to the top of a colossal banking institution and draw a colossal salary without demonstrating a bit of good old-fashioned unflappability. And so it was that Bob deflected the questions from MPs on a rather disarming and cheerful first-name terms basis, using what’s known in the legal circles as the Shaggy defence. ie “It wasn’t me.” In short, he exuded all the quiet confidence that you’d expect from a man who’s trousered a ‘golden goodbye’ rumoured to be worth around £22m.
Debate now rages over whether the rate-fixing scandal at Barclays should be handled by MPs or by a judge. After all, it appears that there’s more than a suggestion that criminal acts have taken place, and thus far politicians have just used the situation to indulge in a bit of cheap point scoring. This was most notable in the Commons ding-dong between Chancellor George Osborne and his opposite number in the shadow cabinet on Thursday, which did nothing to aid the public apart from provide pub-table debates over which one was more unpleasant.
We’ll leave the final word on the subject – until next week, we imagine – to Neil Diamond:
Oh, sorry. That should have been NELL Diamond, Bob’s daughter. Clearly upset at the mauling (deserved or otherwise) being dished out to her dear Pa by the nation’s politicians, she issued a witty riposte to ‘the haters’ via Twitter, urging them to “#HMD” (sic)
The Money Shot initially thought this was an impassioned plea of "Help My Dad", but after consulting the oracle of Urban Dictionary discovered it meant something else altogether. Unless there’s something she’s not telling us, it’s anatomically confusing to say the very least.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Sign on you crazy Diamond”.
A sub-editor at the Sun should be feeling very proud of themselves with this one.
SAVING THE NATION
Have you seen our new ad? It premiered on Monday...
SHAMELESS OLYMPIC CASH-IN OF THE WEEK
It’s another pop-tastic display of Olympic tomfoolery this week. Last time round, we showcased the stadium-sized histrionics of pomp rockers Muse. This week, it’s an altogether more unlikely source...
The swinging sounds of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe – aka Pet Shop Boys – are familiar in sports stadiums across the country. The nation’s football fans adopted their 1992 cover of the Village People’s 'Go West' as a beery terrace anthem, with the words frequently changed from the original. Just ask Victoria Beckham.
But we can’t imagine 'Winner' being belted out by fans in stadiums across the land any time soon. The Money Shot very much enjoys the music of PSB, but this doesn’t rank alongside their finest work. We can imagine the writing process going a little something like this:
CHRIS LOWE’S PHONE RINGS, DISTURBING HIM FROM A COPY OF THE RACING POST HE IS IDLY LEAFING THROUGH. IT IS A POLYPHONIC RINGTONE OF 'IT’S A SIN'. HE IS WEARING SUNGLASSES AND A LARGE OSTENTATIOUS HAT.
NEIL: “Hi, Chris. It’s Neil. How are you?”
CHRIS: “Yeah, not bad. Could be better. I’ve had a sort of my hat collection like you suggested. It’s looking much better now.”
NEIL: “Oh, right. Look, bit of news here – we’ve been booked to play the closing ceremony of the Olympics!”
CHRIS: “Really? That’s fantastic news.”
NEIL: “Isn’t it? But we need something to play there. Something new. Something suitably ‘Olympic’ but sort of sad and elegiac and weary, too, because it’s the closing ceremony. And inclusive. That’s essential. Oh yeah, and LOCOG aren’t paying us so we’ll need a record to flog to make any money out of it. Our new album is out shortly, so we can just tack it on to that. Just think 'montage'.”
CHRIS: “Oh, cripes… that’s a bit of a rum deal. Well, all right. Let’s do this. WE CAN DO THIS. Let’s reconvene in an hour. I’ll put my hit-writing trousers on.”
HALF AN HOUR PASSES. CHRIS CALLS NEIL. NEIL’S PHONE PLAYS AN EXCERPT OF THE BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN SOUNDTRACK.
CHRIS: “Will this do?”
CHRIS PLAYS ”WINNER” DOWN THE PHONE AT NEIL.
NEIL: “Yep. I’ve scribbled some vaguely universal stuff about us all being winners down that we can use. I wrote them on the back of a packet of tabs down the Pony & Trap last night.”
CHRIS: “Done deal.”
IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK
Home insurance firms are braced for a deluge of flood claims, with 92 extreme weather warnings issued across the UK.
There was some stuff about banks. Then a bit more. Then… OH DEAR LORD WON’T SOMEBODY PLEASE MAKE IT STOP?
Britain is overtaking the good ol’ US of A as ‘The Whiplash Capital of the World.’ Look out America – we’re coming for your obesity crown next!
On a related matter, car accident numbers are down but claims are up. Hmmmm.
Car dealers enjoyed a bumper first half to the year, with sales up 2.7% from 2011.
The legacy of last year’s riots continues – more than half of compensation claims for damage caused by looters have been rejected.
ON GOCOMPARE.COM NEWS THIS WEEK
Dave Jenkins hitched up his wagon and tripped the light VANtastic. Here’s his 10 commandments for caravan drivers.
Kristian Dando pondered long and hard (well, about 45 minutes) and came up with six possible candidates for the top job at Barclays,running a probing eye over their credentials.
Mortgages – here’s some rip-roaring articles on them. First, the news that there are more low-deposit mortgages on the market than there have been for some time and, second, a warning that standard variable rates are on the rise.
The existence of mermaids – half-fish, half-woman creatures who live in the sea – has been SENSATIONALLY disproved by the US government.
The National Ocean Service made the declaration after a few public enquiries on the mythical beings following a ‘mockumentary’ programme on the Discovery Channel about the existence of mermaids.
We’re glad they’ve cleared that one up. Now, can they get round to confirming to us the existence of pixies so we can finally shove all that derision back down the throats of the naysayers who doubt our stories about the family of them who live behind the chive plant at the bottom of our garden? We’d be most grateful.
Join us for another thrilling instalment of THE MONEY SHOT. In the meantime, why not email the editor with your letters. If we print them, you could receive a prized Gocompare.com stationery set and an autographed picture of Gio Compario, star of our ad campaign. Three are up for grabs every week. (Promoter: Gocompare.com Ltd)
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