The Daily Mirror, on it’s front page,majored on the surreal show trial of the four bad bankers. It was angry. “YOU SORRY SHOWER”. It went on in this vein, “the most pathetic apologies in history…their self pitying rambles…..with alarming arrogance insisting the crisis was not their fault”.
In the Mail, Quentin Letts, master of understatement, “The quartet-these guilty grovellers! this gruesome foursome!- looked queasy.” The Times was kinder, commenting that the bankers delivered their prepared soundbites and responded to questions with candour and courtesy.
The concensus was that the bankers, briefed and well rehearsed, came out of the hearing better than they deserved. They were lucky. “Select committees are currently better at theatre than scrutiny” (Times). And the Mirror,”The bloodsuckers…escaped with a couple of hours on the naughty step”.
They were indeed lucky. One of their legacies for anyone pitching today is a much more challenging climate of searching, even hostile, questioning. The subject being cost! And the questions are asked by people who do know their business, unlike select committees.
As ever, preparation and rehearsal is all. The response and the way you make it. Grovelling will not work!