i Editor's Letter: Working in the City

  • @stefanohat


Did I miss much? Thanks to Vicky and Rhodri for holding the fort in a hell of a news week. Bob Diamond found out he was not God, while the rest of us discovered that if God isn't in a giant particle accelerator 175 metres beneath the Franco-Swiss border then a safe place to look is the right boot of Andres Iniesta.

I sat next to a banker last week. I knew this, not because he was had red horns or was sheepish about the crisis that appears to be destroying the summer tourist trade, even in places that are enjoying their regular fabulous summer. No, instead he wore a hideous t-shirt from some horrible corporate away-weekend plastered with "soaring with Citigroup" or similar such drivel.

To be fair I was a banker-basher in the good times. There's something so scary about their unique arrogance, epitomised by the "I work in the City" response to the "so, what do you do?" question.

For the record, I work in "Kensington". Although I don't want to bore people with the details of my job, I don't assume the person asking will have to make do with that response because they will not be able to understand what I "do".

It appears after years of marvelling at this haughtiness, that many "in the City" do not understand the intricacies of what they "do". Or worse, they do, and should be ashamed of themselves.

I learnt last week that the rest of the world is indeed watching all this with an amused air of silent (for now) revenge. Decades of our hubristic lecturing of societies like Italy over their "endemic" corruption are coming home to roost.

Our leaders need to take their heads out of the sand, rise above party politics and act to put right Britain's reputation. And fast.