Wednesday 26 July 2017

We called the sheriff, now let's back him

As much as he wants to trust Sean Quinn, Brendan O'Connor is more inclined to go with sheriff Elderfield

In the midst of the worst hangover ever, we said, as you do, "never again". We wanted to give up our auld sins and we even wanted someone to help us curb our worst excesses. So we went and got ourselves a sponsor, in the form of Matthew Elderfield. Admittedly, Elderfield was probably as much the result of an intervention by concerned family and friends, but nonetheless we welcomed him.

We all agreed that so-called light-touch regulation, also known as virtually no regulation, had been at the core of our problems. We had all only acted as anyone would in an all-day free bar situation. But the barman should have been more responsible in how he doled out the drinks. And so we got in the clean cut Mr Elderfield, who wasn't one of us, wouldn't go along with our foolish ways. Elderfield would save us from ourselves and would make sure we never got into a mess like this again, even if we were tempted to.

The favoured metaphor was of a new sheriff coming in to clean up Dodge. The prospectors and the speculators in our gold rush had run riot, with no proper law and order. We had become the Wild West and we needed to bring in a hired gun, a righteous man, to clean the place up. It was as satisfying a morality tale as any classic Western.

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