"The hapless Paul Flowers, former chairman of the Co-Op Bank, has been arrested and charged with possession of Class A drugs. The Flowers problem comes at the end of a simply horrible year for the Co-Op, in which it was forced to withdraw its bid to take on the TSB part of Lloyds TSB, its credit rating was downgraded to junk by Moody's and the PRA imposed capital requirements on it that it was unable to meet. It admitted in its half-year accounts that it was bust and proposed a recapitalisation plan that would have stiffed 15,000 grannies, only to see it trumped by two hedge funds who made the grannies a better offer - thereby presenting the world with the extraordinary spectacle of a group of vulturesappearing considerably friendlier than the supposedly cuddly teddy bear that is the Co-Operative Group.
"I don't intend to comment on Mr. Flowers's behaviour. The news reports speak for themselves. Though for me, the best bit was discovering that he had been chairman of a drugs charity. You couldn't make it up.
"However, it is not Mr. Flowers's alleged criminal activities that are the main problem, nor his exorbitant expense claims, nor even his religious hypocrisy (he is a senior Methodist minister). No, the main problem is his incompetence. Among other things, in his presentation to the Treasury Select Committee he appeared to have no grasp whatsoever of the figures pertaining to the business he had been running. Jeremy Hunt asked on BBC Question Time:
"How did someone with no knowledge of banking become chairman of a bank?" "Read on here.