As late as last year, most tories would have wearily patronised anyone attacking obscene banking bonuses as being completely out of touch with the realities of the business world. These sums were essential to keep the best talent, and maintain the highest standard of practice in the banking industry, we were parentally reassured.
Today, with the masonry still collapsing, the tories are now the most vocal in their outrage at the very idea of rewarding failure in this way. Today's Daily Express would have front-paged a picture of Sir Fred Goodwin dangling from a gibbet if it could have. And George Osbourne, the Bullingdon Blagger, is frothing that
“Whichever way one looks at it, this obscene pension is unacceptable"'Obscene'? Six months ago it was a healthy sign of a vibrant, dynamic progressive industry, facing the challenges of the future with confidence and resolve.
And other bollox.
So is this complete about turn evidence of innate conservative malleability - the ability to hold contradictory opinions - and all the political implications of that failing? Or is it evidence that the conservative mentality always tries to solve problems by finding a victim it can punish? It could even be both. But it certainly isn't evidence that tories are any good at realising that you can't cure smallpox by lancing the spots.