Sex, drugs and British politicians

One of the UK’s former banking chiefs, Paul Flowers, is alleged to have been buying drugs and soliciting sex. Photo: Paul Flowers (AP)

LONDON, 24 November, 2013 — You think Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is bad? England has its own version of the pantomime villain. One of the UK’s former banking chiefs, Paul Flowers, has just been allegedly caught trying to buy drugs. 

The story gets even better: he’s also a Methodist minister.

And a rent boy has come forward with sex and drugs allegations, along with the emails to prove it.

To his credit, Flowers has taken it on the chin, describing his actions as ‘stupid and wrong’.

The disgraced minister was filmed by a Sunday newspapers allegedly paying for cocaine and crystal meth. Saddest of all, until the summer of this year, he held the post of Chairman for the UK’s only bank with an ethical investment policy, the Co-Operative.  Examples of who the bank won’t loan to include fur companies, arms dealers supplying oppressive regimes and organizations with poor environmental records. In a crowd of merciless scumbags, the Co-op stood out as the good guys. Yes, they were a bank, but they were a bank with heart. 

Isn’t it depressing when even the good guys turn out to be bad guys? 

But hang on a minute. Just because one of it’s former chairmen appears to like a varied social life, does it mean the bank is all bad? The stain on the good name of the bank is a shame but it turns out there’s more going on here than first appearances suggest. 

British newspapers delight in holding the burning torches when there’s a witch-hunt on.

One in particular, the Daily Mail is thrashing around as gleefully as a school of piranhas that have come across a cow in the river. The story is working on many levels for them.   The first one we can all join in with - banker bashing. Who doesn’t love a bit of that given the last few years?  The Mail is the voice of the moral guardians of middle England, so the disgusting practice of alleged drug taking and homosexual fornication has certainly raised their puritanical hackles.

But best of all, Mr. Flowers donated money to the (opposition) Labour party and it seems that the Co-op has apparently lent Labour something in the region of £18m pounds. The Mail are not fans of Labour. They recently ran a story entitled ‘The Man Who Hated Britain’ about the father of the Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, despite Miliband Senior having served Britain in the war. 

So you can imagine how cock-a-hoop they are at having found a former banker with dubious morals that donates money to the political party they’re doing their level best to discredit.  

For the Daily Mail, this particular pantomime villain means Christmas has come early. 


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Lee Mannion

Lee Mannion is a writer and photo editor that lives in Notting Hill, London. He enjoys cycling, pubs and forests but is not so keen on social inequality, SUVs and the expression ‘my bad’.


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