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Friday, 13 July 2012

Arise Sir Whitewash

The names on the Select Committee to hold the inquiry into banking and the libor fixing have been announced. Remembering the appearance of former Barclays chief Bob Diamond in front of the Treasury Select Committee. Andrea Leadsom (Con South Northamptonshire) and John Mann (Lab Bassetlaw) took him apart but both have been left out of the select committee inquiry. Despite them being the most aggressive and knowledgeable MPs on the Treasury Select Committee.

The Memebers who have been put forward are the Chair Andrew Tyrie (Con Chichester) Mark Garnier (Con Wyre Forest) Andy Love (Lab Edmonton), Pat McFadden (Lab Wolverhampton South East) and John Thurso (LD Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross) these MPs do have knowledge on the subject but Mrs Leadsom worked for Barclays and knows how that bank and the banking system works from the inside.

Although disappointing that both Mrs Leadsom and Mr Mann aren't on the inquiry but John Mann tweeted a number of comments #1 "New finance committee is a total joke" #2 "Leadsom and mann both available but too outspoken on banking" #3 "Tyrie had already reached his conclusions before he whitewashed libor scandal" and #4 "This is total joke. We need full exposure, not a whtiewash. I'm going to run my own inquiry into the banking scandal".

That last one has got him some ridicule from the Twitteratti. One of the more sarcastic comments was from Andy Barton "David Beckham should learn from @JohnMannMP and set up his own Olympic football team. #facepalm"

Although on John Mann's whitewash or as he put it "whtiewash" comment is right. Leaving the best members off the committee out of the inquiry does come across as a whitewash. When Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, Paul Tucker, appeared in front of the Treasury Committee John Thurso was so committed to getting to the bottom of the Libor scandal - he wasn't there - he was in the Commons making a speech in favour of Lords Reform.

The names of the Members of the House of Lords who will also be on the inquiry haven't been announced. The Inquiry will be able to bring in a Robert Jay type QC (Queen's Council) to cross-examine witnesses and judging by the MPs on there they're going to need one. This inquiry needs to get to the bottom of what happened and it needs to do it fast. As with most of these things the chair gets a reward from the state and if the result is as expected then "Arise Sir Whitewash" should be the words used as Andrew Tyrie is knighted!