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Wednesday 13 December 2017

Terry Prone: How dare banker caught ogling porn at his desk tell us to work longer?

The message is that the nation is broke, courtesy of bankers, developers and politicians.

We're broke right now. We'll be broke next year. We'll be broke, in fact, for 10 years to come.

Not only will the next Budget be as warm and comforting as being hit by a hurricane, but -- no matter who's in Government next year or the year after -- their Budgets are going to be just as bad.

You're going to be working harder, for longer, for less. You hadn't missed that?

No. Didn't think you had.



Plucked

But, yesterday, along comes a former banker to tell the Government to extend the working week so public servants will be forced to work five and a half days a week for the next three years.

This would, he says, boost production by 10pc. Or more.

The banker seems to have plucked the 10pc figure straight out of his head.

No evidence, just enthusiasm.

We may have to give him some basic lessons in productivity, starting right here, by pointing out that making people turn up on a Saturday morning, as well as on every other day of the week, doesn't mean you get extra work out of them.

It all depends, you see, on what they're doing at the office.

Some people, once they get to the office, work hard all the time.

Some slack a bit. Some check what celebs are saying on their Twitter pages. And some by-pass all that tame stuff and go straight for the porn.

Like the man who is now telling the nation to come to work on Saturdays, Michael Soden.

Seven years ago, Mike Soden had landed in the top job at Bank of Ireland.

Six years ago, Mike Soden had landed back out the BOI door. Having been caught accessing soft porn on his computer.

Now, let's be absolutely scrupulously fair, here.

Mr Soden was not ogling hard porn.

No, he wasn't, Nor was Mr Soden doing anything illegal.

Perish the thought that such a brilliant upstanding member of the community would break the law.

He didn't. All he did was break the articulated standards and values of the bank of which he was CEO. Tut, tut, I hear you say.



Squalid

Tut, tut would have been fine when the misdemeanour was revealed.

Mr Soden was shown the door and handed a massive pension as he went out through that door.

He decided -- fair dues to him -- not to hide in a corner but to use his brainpower (reportedly significant) and capacity to communicate (pretty good, too) as a commentator.

Brings in the odd bit of extra cash, too, this public commentary.

Neither I nor this paper have the smallest problem with that.

If someone can reconfigure their life, in public, having been caught doing something minor-league squalid, we all approve of that.

But bankers and former bankers seem to have a lethal thread of self-destructive arrogance running right through them.

Remember Seanie Fitz telling the Government on radio what to do with the economy just as the same economy was going under for the third time, thanks to FitzPatrick's creative approach to the dull world of banking?

Now, we have a man telling us that public servants must work harder -- when it has been proved that while he was in one of the highest paid jobs in the country, he occasionally wasn't working at all.

He was logging on to the website of a Las Vegas escort agency that had damn all to do with profit and loss and a lot to do with illicit personal pleasure.



Rich

It's difficult to describe an ex-banker who -- despite being fired for soft porn perusal is currently rich by the standards of gardai, teachers, nurses and firefighters -- would unselfconsciously call for them to work an extra half day a week.

To help solve problems largely caused by bankers.

Mike Soden may have a big brain.

But he's a slow learner.

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