Paul Moore, former head of risk management at HBOS (which, by the way, has just cratered its new owner, Lloyds Bank), was sacked in 2005 by Sir James Crosby, allegedly for warning about the bank's excessive lending.
Whistleblowers generally suffer for speaking out. Under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, there is no limit for compensation paid by industrial tribunals in whistleblower cases; but I should very much like to know what is the average paid out under such circumstances, and the most that has ever been paid.
Mr Moore has received "substantial damages" but was also gagged, so I regard whatever he was paid, as merely a recompense for his silence. I doubt whether the damages come anywhere close to the "compensation" paid to some greedy, corrupt and incompetent senior executives at top banking and financial firms; and I think it should.
The OFT has introduced a scheme to award up to £100k for cartel-breaking snitches. Big, fat, hairy deal: five bankers spent £44,000 on wine alone on a single evening in 2001.
Maybe demobureaucracy doesn't work; maybe we should go back to old-fashioned kingship. In Shakespeare's Henry V, the King goes about his camp in disguise before the crucial battle:
KING HENRY V: I myself heard the king say he would not be ransomed.
WILLIAMS: Ay, he said so, to make us fight cheerfully: but when our throats are cut, he may be ransomed, and we ne'er the wiser.
KING HENRY V: If I live to see it, I will never trust his word after.
WILLIAMS: You pay him then. That's a perilous shot out of an elder-gun, that a poor and private displeasure can do against a monarch! you may as well go about to turn the sun to ice with fanning in his face with a peacock's feather.
After the battle, the King calls a trembling Williams out of the ranks and reveals himself as the anonymous interlocutor of the night before; but instead of dealing with his frankly-spoken subject as one might expect of a ruthless Plantagenet monarch, he returns Williams' challenge-glove, filled with gold coin from the royal treasury.
And how might King Solomon have adjudicated a dispute between a CEO and his erstwhile employee? Is it not possible that, in some cases, he would have taken years of earnings from one and passed it directly to the other? Where are the mega-bonuses for those who risk their careers to defend their firm, its shareholders and the general public?