There was a double-header overnight for fans of the now years-long show, the collapse of the integrity of British public life. Bob Diamond, the now ex-CEO of Barclays, appeared before a Commons select committee to try to explain the multibillion interest-rate fixing scandal. And in court, Glenn Mulcaire, the "private detective" at the heart of the phone-hacking scandal, was ordered to divulge the identity of News of the World editors who had instructed him to hack phones.
To the banking scandal first. Diamond's appearance came at the end of a bizarre 48 hours, which began with the resignation of Barclays chair Marcus Agius, was followed the next day by Diamond's resignation, which was then followed by the reinstatement of Agius as executive chair. In the interim, Diamond gained a new public support -- his daughter Nell, a 23-year-old analyst at Deutsche Bank, who tweeted how proud she was of her dad, for building up the bank over 16 years. She then invited Labour leader Ed Miliband and Chancellor George Osborne to #HMD, or "hold my dick", one of those twentysomething girl reverse masculisations that suggest second-wave feminism has either triumphed utterly, or failed beyond all measure. Photos then surfaced of Nell and Bob at a Kanye concert, doing the "Diamond Rock" sign, and yup, no daddy issues there.
Diamond's appearance before the committee was less spectacular. Indeed there was widespread dismay that the assembled MPs couldn't or wouldn't work together and co-ordinate their questions. There were a few general questions swirling around about the necessity of trust and integrity to banking, and of the values of the Quakers, who set up the bank in the first place. Diamond told the committee that he felt "physically ill" when he heard about the manipulation of the Libor rate. But he was not so vomitous as to choke on the "goodbye" payment he is technically entitled to -- that, he would be pursuing.