Double Standards as a Symptom


Farage is a pygmy” wrote Will Hutton in a tweet a few days before Dame Alison Rose resigned from her post as CEO of NatWest, the partially state-owned British bank.

A few days later, she resigned, admitting she was the source of an inaccurate briefing about Nigel Farage’s finances to the media.

Her position was untenable. She broke client confidentiality, smeared one of her customers by leaking false information to the press hoping to destroy his reputation, mainly to the BBC and the Financial Times, two media platforms innately and unthinkingly anti-national sovereignty, and lied about why Nigel Farage’s bank account was being closed.

NatWest, the bank she once led, is now facing an investigation into whether it broke the law. The Information Commissioner’s Office, the official watchdog set up to uphold data privacy for individuals, said the Bank, and Dame Alison Rose in the process, had “betrayed” Nigel Farage’s trust.  

And yet, the likes of Will Hutton allow themselves to attribute the downfall of her hapless Ladyship to the right-wing, Brexit, antediluvian mob.

If you have likely never heard of Will Hutton, Hutton was the editor-in-chief of the Observer and currently writes weekly columns for the same paper. He has written widely on economics and the United Kingdom, mostly from a censorious and fickle eye. In short, he has been a prominent voice in our media universe over the last four decades. He has also played a role in our educational one. After all, he was the principal of Hertford College at the University of Oxford for close to a decade to 2020. In short, he is the archetypal member of our Red in tooth and claw establishment.

Like all members of this clan, when it comes to politics, the world is binary. You are either with us or against us. The grey zone of mutual agreement is unsatisfactory, because “imperfect”. It must therefore be rejected. To his mind, the world is free from friendships, at least when they are politically cross denominational. It is though full of short-term alliances between nominally left wing, but competing, interest groups. All of which seek political power at all costs.

The “Right” is whatever they disagree with and want to destroy.

Constraints and principles rarely come into play. And when these are forced on them by inconvenient laws or traditions, such as client confidentiality for instance, these power seekers will work night and day to remove them to clear the road to unhindered power at some future date – perhaps when Sir Keir becomes Prime Minister.

In a total reversal of commonly held views, winning an argument with facts for the likes of Will Hutton is what the “mob” does. Free speech and, its by-product, debating to get to the truth of a topic is merely a waste of time. Why stoop to the level of the “Pygmy” by arguing the toss when you can short-circuit the entire process by braying the longest and loudest, smearing opponents, and wilfully misrepresenting your intellectual opponent’s motivations?

Indeed, Will Hutton feels entirely free to call Nigel Farage a “pygmy” – at first glance, to be charitable, a term that verges on the racist.


He didn’t use the term as one of endearment to describe Farage as a happy member of the group of ethnicities native to Central Africa, mostly the Congo Basin, who tend to be under five feet in height. He meant to insult. He used the term to depict Farage as an insignificant and unimpressive person. However, as the Oxford Dictionary says the term is “often derogatory and likely to be considered offensive”.

Will Hutton and his like grant themselves the right to insult those they believe to be beneath contempt. This means, as we saw earlier, anyone who voted Brexit, who believes in the application of the law when it comes to border control and who fancies the idea of a smaller and therefore less intrusive state. Their freedom to use overtly racist terminology and much more to besmirch those they disagree with consequence free is the hallmark of the power they feel they have. And woe betide those on the other side of the political divide who deign to utter concern, in a polite way, with all the necessary caveats, on “divisive” topics such as, for instance, the desire for the country to be self-governing. They would be cancelled, labelled “controversial”, shunned, and have their bank account closed in the blink of an eye.

The awesome double standard is starring us in the face.

Dame Alison Rose and Peter Flavel, respectively former CEOs of Natwest and Coutts, were of the same opinion. Nigel Farage did not deserve to be treated fairly. His bank account was actually closed because his views did “not align with our values” – that is to say those of the bank and the board.

Rachel Reeves, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, saw the story through the prism of her one-dimensional gender-based world view. Dame Alison Rose was the victim of bullying at the hands of that dastardly Farage. She said: “I don’t like, some of the frankly, what I see as bullying attitudes towards her. She’s the first female chief executive of NatWest.”

In Rachel Reeves’ mind, Dame Alison Rose’s sex trumped her responsibility to uphold her client’s confidentiality, without which there can be no banking sector.

If this attitude is widely spread across our corporate sector, perhaps explaining why our top 100 companies have barely grown since the winter of 1999, it is the new religion that clogs up almost all the arteries of the State in the United Kingdom.  

The privilege of the double standard our establishment has granted itself is a symptom of the loathing they feel for the broad electorate. It must be rejected. Will Hutton and his likes cannot freely use deeply “offensive” as well as racist language and grant themselves immunity from its consequences.

Accepting this means accepting a de-facto caste system in the United Kingdom, at the bottom rung of which you and I will be forced to dwell in perpetuity as untouchables.

Alex Story is Head of Business Development at a City broker working with Hedge Funds and other financial institutions. He stood for parliament in 2005, 2010 and 2015. In 2016, he won the right to represent Yorkshire & the Humber in the European Parliament. He didn’t take the seat.