The Plastic Hippo

March 26, 2014

Whatever happened to Paul Flowers?

Image via Parliament UK

Image via Parliament UK

The former Chairman of the Co-operative Bank and former Labour councillor and presumably still suspended Methodist minister might not be the brightest button in the box but perhaps the question that should be asked is whatever happened to Mark Hoban.

It is generally accepted that Paul Flowers is not a real banker in terms of qualification, experience or fitness for purpose but he has displayed the arrogance, denial and contempt that real bankers usually reserve for the real world. He is not the first or indeed the last banker to allegedly partake in recreational, if illegal, substances nor the first to relieve understandable stress by paying for the companionship of younger and considerably more attractive people who do not earn a living in the financial sector. His guilt, if fallibility is a crime, is based not just on his status as a man of God but also his gullibility in walking into an entrapment scenario worthy of George Michael and the Los Angeles Police Department.

Flowers is unique in banking both real and imaginary as he has actually been arrested. He was not, however, arrested for naked greed, corruption and being responsible for the collapse of the global economy but had his collar felt for allegedly counting out 300 quid for some alleged “relaxants” captured on an alleged covert camera. It is interesting that the incriminating footage has, in no particular order, the words Sunday On Mail embedded in the indistinct imagery. He was arrested and then immediately granted unconditional bail and has, as yet, not been charged with any offence. As the investigation continues, the police and the Crown Prosecution Service find themselves in something of a predicament.

Hours after the arrest, the Prime Minister told the House of Commons that the former Labour councillor was guilty almost as if he had detailed knowledge of the alleged offence. Another dilemma brought about by charging the reverend might result in the prosecution of a celebrity TV cook and national treasure who admitted under oath in a high profile court case to sniffing a little bit of Columbia up her hooter. Then there is the “acquaintance” met through an adult internet dating site that did the filming with the words Sunday On Mail etched in reverse on the camera lens. As yet the police have not detained anyone on the charge of supplying Class A narcotics nor investigated if any organisation engaged the “acquaintance” for an undisclosed fee or supplied him or her with an embossed secret camera.

So whatever happened to Mark Hoban? The Conservative MP for Fareham was mysteriously removed from the Department for Work and Pensions and consigned to the back benches in order to make way for the fragrant if useless Esther McVey. At the time this was thought to be due to the unmitigated disaster of the Work Capability Assessment that Hoban was tasked to deliver. Under his guidance, Atos judged corpses as fit for work and withdrew support from the dying. All this would be incredibly funny if it wasn`t for the fact that fellow human beings are taking their own lives and actually starving to death as a result of harassment, sanctions, threats and bullying from the DWP. Astonishingly, Hoban and his like are still being paid handsomely by the public purse and are not, as yet, banged up in Wormwood Scrubs.

In a previous manifestation, Hoban was Financial Secretary to the Treasury under George Osborne with special responsibility for the reform and regulation of a toxic banking industry. It was he who “encouraged” the Co-operative Group in the disastrous move on Lloyds Bank against all sensible advice. It is worth remembering that Lloyds at the time was large bank that had been bailed out by the tax payer and the Co-op was a small bank that had not. As a result, a £1.5 billion black hole appeared in the Co-op`s account and Paul Flowers did the decent thing and resigned.

In terms of manipulation, interference and damage, Hoban`s “encouragement” is nothing short of political genius. Faced with regulating an out of control financial sector that remains about as trustworthy as a crocodile in a paddling pool, he engineered failure for a bank that prides itself on ethical standards, is mutually owned by its members and openly supports and grants loans to the Labour Party. Add in the irresistible Godsend of a former Labour councillor with no experience of banking exposed by a sympathetic scandal sheet as a very naughty boy and we have a sting worthy of a future chancellor being photographed with a hooker and some mysterious lines of white powder.

The political advantage is overwhelming. The elegant ruination of an ethical bank, the one and half billion political points scored against a discredited Labour Party and the chance to have a good laugh at a sad and rather unpleasant old man`s weakness is too good to be true. Interest in the Co-op has been compounded by the news of the resignation of the group`s Chief Executive Euan Sutherland who did a runner when someone on the board leaked to the press details of his £3.66 million pay and bonus pot. Describing the group`s democratic and ethical management structure as “ungovernable”, Mr Sutherland will no doubt return to the more familiar waters inhabited by his fellow sharks.

Now forced to sell off its farming interests, snuff out its funeral services and flush its stash of pharmacies down the toilet, the Co-op is now at the mercy of hedge fund managers eager to make a killing by converting a mutual society into a normal, corrupt bank. The “encouragement” offered by Hoban and by implication Osborne resulted in a massive drop in Co-op share value and the discovery of its former chairman caught in possession of a number of crisp £20 notes that could be rolled up for some nefarious reason has seen the asking price for the group plummet into the bargain basement. More importantly, the carefully stage managed decent into infamy has provided a welcome distraction from the legitimate transactions of more respectable and reputable banking institutions. They continue their vital trade laundering drug money, bankrolling arms dealers, fixing currency rates and awarding themselves ridiculous bonuses unmolested and free from tiresome scrutiny.

After the disgrace, downfall, derision and ruin, Paul Flowers may yet revive his fortune following a spirited appearence on Newsnight by applying to be the new host of ITV`s You`ve Been Framed. Mark Hoban, on the other hand, belongs on Crimewatch.


  1. I tell you where he is, ruining our life & many others not just in Fareham. I exposed fraud & corruption between Aviva, Lloyds & the Financial Ombudsman Service which resulted in us not living in our home for 3 years. I tried for many years to expose Mark Hoban’s involvement & eventuall succeeded. He became personally involved in condoning & replicating the fraud & deception used against us in writing. I discovered all this under the Data Protection Act 1998. Mark Hoban, Aviva (3times) & the Financial Ombudsman Service were all found guilty in writing by the Information Commissioners Office of illegally withholding incriminating internal documents & emails in this financial deception case. When these documents were eventually released the amount of fraud & deception used was staggering. FOS tipping of Aviva in emails, informing Aviva not to pay correct insured perils before a case is brought to FOS, collaboratting in fraud with Aviva & Lloyds in emails to them, it gets worse. I was able then to use these documents & expose this & several years later received many £10,000’s from Aviva after exposing this fraud & collaboration with FOS & Mark Hoban. I did not know just how much Mark Hoban had collaborated in this deception. There was an internal Aviva document that stated that Mark Hoban agreed with what Aviva & FOS were doing to us, that I am a nuisance to Mark Hoban & that he had instructed his staff to ignore us. I then discovered that Mark Hoban had been working with board members of Aviva in this country & abroad, this would explain how these comments ended up on Aviva’s internal documents. When I exposed this fraud I was then intimidated by the police in his constituency and also by the MET. In this matter I even had a independent arbitration hearing faked in my name by a government scheme, guess who replicated this fraud in writing, yes Mark Hoban. I was then able to expose this fraud again by using the DPA and receive another substantial payment. I gave all this evidence of fraud to No 10 but they informed me that I would have to deal with Mark Hoban on this matter. When we were still not living in our home due to this fraud Hoban telephoned me and warned me to be careful who I talk to & what I say. He became out of control & now can’t retract all the written evidence deception & fraud he personaly became involved in on behalf of Aviva, FOS & Lloyds after I exposed it all. The Paul Flowers scandal was no shock to us & may have been one to many misdemeanours committed by Hoban for No 10 and got rid of him before he could cause any more damage or became embroiled in any more scandals or fraud. No 10 should have taken action on the documented evidence we supplied them of Mark Hoban’s deception & involvement in fraud two years ago & the whole Paul Flowers scandal may have been avoided. We have got so much on him that it does give me a lot of protection when I receive intimidation from the police. They did try to prosecute me on behalf of Aviva before I exposed their fraud, but the police had no evidence. No one wants me in court as I have got so much on Aviva, Lloyds, FOS & Mark Hoban & have received multiple payments after exposing all this fraud & deception. I forced the police to give me crime reference numbers against Aviva, FOS & Lloyds when presenting the documented evidence. there could be a lot more coming out about what Hoban got up to, having personally dealt with him I find him dangerous and delusional, I think he really believes his own lies. Scary. He surrounded himself with so many yes men in Fareham that no-one ever said to him hold on Mark be careful & being in one of the safest seats in the country which meant he became unaccountable which has led to his own downfall, which I warned him of three years ago would happen if he carried on replicating fraud against us on behalf of Aviva & Lloyds Bank.

    Comment by Kevin — March 30, 2014 @ 5:51 pm | Reply

  2. Interesting Kevin – but no great surprise to me, as a claimant who has been abused for 18 years. Keep strong; all the best
    Andrew Currie

    Comment by Andrew Currie — April 3, 2014 @ 9:05 pm | Reply

  3. The gift:

    as they say.

    Comment by Rob — April 9, 2014 @ 10:43 pm | Reply

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