In case anyone was wondering what all the shit ideas were about, here's the answer:

Britain's banks were given the go-ahead tonight to pay unlimited bonuses, drawing to a close a two-year political battle to rein in the City.

After months in which a series of government ministers of all parties have threatened a toughening in the stance over City bonuses, Downing Street said the government did not intend to intervene in the pay of the UK's top bankers

This toughening stance, did it go along these lines:

  • Minister: Do you think you could, you know, sort of, rein in the bonuses a bit this year.  It does look a little greedy
  • Bankers: No.
  • Minister: OK then.  Forget I ever asked.
  • Bankers: No problem.  Here's a big donation to Conservative Party funds.

I'm not entirely sure how much humiliation Nick Clegg can stand in one week - the bankers get to fill their boots as if the Coalition agreement hadn't happened, on Today this morning he appeared to have unilaterally announced an £11bn tax cut (subsequently clarified as an 'objective' by the Treasury, which is ironically what the Coalition agreement states), later in the week the Government is probably going to replace control orders with control orders and Clegg will be expected to declare it a great victory for civil liberties, regardless of the principled history of his own party in opposing control orders in the last Parliament.  After that he'll relax by indulging in something with a little more dignity and integrity, like licking Osborne's ringpiece clean or fellating a line of cheering bankers while they shove fifty pound notes up his arse.  What the hell is he doing?  Does it bear much comparison with what his party thought he was doing?

Bring forward detailed proposals for robust action to tackle unacceptable bonuses in the financial services sector; in developing these proposals, the Government will ensure they are effective in reducing risk;

So, allowing bankers to pay themselves unlimited bonuses - is this 'robust' and does it 'reduce risk'?  Nick?