The schadenfreude derived from the downfall of Charlotte Hogg has been huge – at least for me – and not a jot of guilt will colour the emotion. There is nothing quite like witnessing the privileged be publicly dragged over the coals; there can only be smiles at seeing a silver spooned parasite exposed for exactly the qualities that make the elite so despised.
How can one not laugh at the sheer stupidity of the self-absorbed idea that the rules do not apply to them, even the very rules they themselves have drawn up. As the Treasury committee of MPs highlighted: “Professional competence for this role includes an ability to follow the rules, particularly those that one has had a hand in writing and enforcing.”
Here is a woman that is an Oxford graduate, who has also studied at Harvard and held positions such as head of Santander’s UK high street banking operation, a job that earned her £2.5million in a year, natch. Here is a woman who wrote in her letter to MPs, apparently in all seriousness: “I do not anticipate that an actual or potential conflict will arise in future.” The gall required to commit to paper something so ridiculous, when you have already been rumbled, is laughable.
This is a woman whose job would have entailed sitting on the Prudential Regulation Committee, which has day-to-day oversight of Barclays, the place of work of her brother, and she did not think there could be a possibility of a potential conflict of interest? Staggering.
The only response to such foolishness was for her failings to be hammered home and for her to be held to account, which the Treasury committee duly did.
On the subject of this seemingly prevalent attitude among the elite that the ordinary rules do not apply to them, what are we to make of the fact that when all of this first came to light, Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, offered nothing in response but a verbal warning? Maybe in the world of banking, a world that lives by an entirely different set of moral and ethical standards than the rest of the population, it was nothing but a banal inconvenience. In the real world though, conflicts of interest, including the potential of one, cannot be tolerated within the banking sector. Especially the banking sector.
There is a good chuckle to be had from reading Carney’s statement upon the resignation of Ms Hogg which includes: “Since Charlotte joined the Bank almost four years ago, she has transformed its management and operations.” Yes, she transformed the place enough that she paid no heed to, and broke, her own rules. Quite the culture of competence and transparency.
Let us not forget that Ms Hogg is an apple that has not fallen far from the tree, her father also being an odious character; only a man with no regard for the common person could claim expenses for the cleaning of a moat at his 13th century Manor House; the sheer audacity of such behaviour is beyond comprehension, except, for these people and the other parasites, it is nothing but normal. These are the values and behaviours that pass down through the generations, until it is seen as nothing out of the ordinary to live by their own rules, their rulebook being an establishment free pass that guarantees the best education, the best connections, the best jobs, the best of everything.
So enjoy your schadenfreude, revel in it, because they revel in all of the perks that emerging from the right vagina brings.