Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Running With the Hare, Hunting With the Hounds

Ruth Lea used to be a fairly regular panellist on David Dimbleby's Question Time. She would usually put the employers' view, often in a no-nonsense, hard nosed, right wing way.

Then last week she materialised on Newsnight. Paxman was conducting a 'Factory Floor' programme from Birmingham on the economic and banking crisis. There was a crowd of workers, and others, with Ruth Lea sitting there in the front row, as large as life. I decided to record the show for reference.

Ruth Lea made a couple of contributions. The screen caption said that she was from Arbuthnot Banking Group. I imagined she might be a bit contrite and apologetic, saying she was 'sorry' on behalf of bankers, the way bankers do.

Not a bit of it. With no sense of irony, she attacked the government for not making sure the banks released credit funds for small businesses. Well, of course they should. I began to wonder whether Arbuthnot Banking Group might make a start on this, and show how it's done. And Ruth Lea might explain this to the audience.

Not a chance.

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