Tuesday 11 January 2011

High achiever? Let's belittle you.

The roughing up of Bob Diamond by the Treasury Select Committee was an unsatisfactory and unappealing affair. David Hughes at the Telegraph has a good account of the action from this morning here. In summary, the MPs arrived with the aim of belittling Mr Diamond and securing a spot on this evening's news bulletins.

The MPs behaviour is symptomatic of a culture that is increasingly adverse to rewarding ambition. While MPs of all political colours talk about helping the 'risk takers and job creaters' in society when one of the most successful bankers of modern times arrives in front of them, they scald him as if he is a petty criminal.

What is ironic about this is that MPs themselves find they are treated with the same contempt by the electorate. The way MPs are perceived to be 'in it for themselves' or 'on the make' is hugely damaging to our democracy. The reality is that MPs work very hard for far too small a reward. For many becoming an MP is the achievement of a life-long ambition. The vitriol that is chucked their way must hurt.

And so for Mr Diamond; a high achiever who has been rewarded handsomely for making his bank - and the taxpayer - huge sums of money. A man in his position deserves to be given respect. If the Select Committee had actually listened they might have learnt something. But they were too busy poring scorn on the man in front of them.

High achiever? Let's belittle you.

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