People in the UK were appalled when the Barclays banking scandal broke a few weeks ago. Those in the inner sanctum of government and business would have known what was coming. The case had been ongoing and it only became public when Barclays was fined for wrongdoing.
It appears that staff had been involved in rate rigging. The LIBOR rate had been manipulated in a way that meant customers had lost out. The fines levied against Barclays were huge. In UK Parliament politicians called for an inquiry. Labour politicians demanded an independent investigation.
Chancellor Osborne, PM Cameron, and others at the opposite side of the House, used the excuse that speed was essential to claim an MP based inquiry would suffice. Alarm bells rang in most people's heads and sure enough they sounded a true alarm.
The MP panel who will investigate Barclays, which is a majority taxpayer owned bank these days, have been carefully selected. Selected for skill and experience you may ask?. No selected so that the whole inquiry will be either a fiasco or a whitewash.
Opposition MPS had smelled a rat when Osborne waffled on about the inquiry. If you think that the MP led panel will cost British taxpayers less then think again. An inquiry will be costly no matter who participates.
One notable exclusion from the inquiry panel is plain speaking Labour politician John Mann. MP for Bassetlaw, Mt Mann, sits on the Treasury select committee (TSC) which has already given Barclay boss Bob Diamond a pasting. He did not pull his verbal punches when questioning Diamond including statements such as "grossly incompetent", "complicit and negligent", and labelling Barclays as a "rotten, thieving bank".
Mann let his anger, at being left off this panel, vent on Twitter. He Tweeted that the "New finance committee is a total joke," and on the face of it we have to agree. Panellists carefully selected to go so far and no further is a fair assumption, but we would love to be proved wrong.
Currently it smacks of lip service to keep people happy.
A few days ago the TSC was told that Mr Diamond had graciously waived his £20 million pay and bonus package, instead just taking the £2 million plus basic.
This followed his resignation from Barclays following a public outcry. It is doubtful that Barclays where the only bank behaving in such a manner. Once again it is watch this space. Barclays have been shown to be the worst offenders to date but that is all. Other cases are ongoing.
Andrea Leadsom and John Mann have been two of the most fiery inquisitors on the TSC. Both have been excluded. Those selected are Conservative Treasury committee chairman Andrew Tyrie, Conservative Mark Garnier, Labour MPs Pat Mcfadden and Andy Love, and Liberal Democrat John Thurso,
A defiant John Mann has said he will begin his own investigation into the banking system. We wish him luck with that one.
Plans for the inquiry panel will still have to be passed by Parliament, which it is expected will be sometime next week. What a sham.