It was as inevitable as night following day. No-one can swim against such a relentless media tide forever, and this morning Bob Diamond surrendered to the mass of people calling for him to go.
And at the head of that mass was Ed Miliband.
I wrote yesterday about Diamond calling Ed last week – effectively begging for his job – but it was to no avail. Miliband had been, on this occasion, swift and decisive. The LIBOR scandal was huge. Diamond must go. And now, in no small part thanks to Ed Miliband, he has.
Another scalp for the mantelpiece. He’ll look great alongside Rebekah Brooks.
In some ways though Diamond’s early morning resignation may be bad for Miliband. It threatens to stop in its tracks the momentum I spoke of yesterday that his team are seeking to build. It will inevitably mean a rewrite of PMQs questions for tomorrow – now that “Will you join me in calling for Diamond to go?” is off the table. A win it certainly is, but it may make it harder for him to use the personal (Diamond) to push the political (a full, independent enquiry). And whatever any individual banker might have done, it’s the political change not the personal retribution that counts.
Still, there are questions Miliband can ask – like why did Marcus Agius resign yesterday only to be made full-time chairman today following Diamond’s demise. Is he still “truly sorry”? But the mileage for Miliband is no longer found at Barclays. He’d be better served by asking which other banks are similarly guilty. And if the government “knows what happened” over LIBOR – does that apply to the unknown misdeeds of other banks to?
A full enquiry isn’t off the agenda, not yet. Not with events moving at a pace like this. And securing a government u-turn on that should still be the prize Labour are aiming for.