Sunday 25 February 2018

Mandarins blind to UK bank's hubris

The Co-op Bank's hunger for expansion during the Gordon Brown era looks like a very Irish gamble

CRYSTAL METHODIST: Rev Paul Flowers was chair of Co-op
CRYSTAL METHODIST: Rev Paul Flowers was chair of Co-op

John-Paul McCarthy

THOSE who have tuned in to the Co-op Bank scandal in Britain these last few weeks might recall some of Garret FitzGerald's reflections on the British administrative state.

FitzGerald used to take regular side-swipes at the British civil service while complaining that he always found it hard to get them to focus on one thing at a time. This was his way of denouncing Whitehall for not accepting his analysis of the Northern Ireland situation after 1970.

To the extent that the British mandarin class were not convinced that FitzGerald's fixation on something like joint authority would end the violence, he liked to say that they lacked analytical clarity.

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