Charles Moore

Too many Hoggs spoil it for Charlotte

Too many Hoggs spoil it for Charlotte
Text settings

Charlotte Hogg forgot to tell the Bank of England, of which she had been appointed deputy governor, that her brother Quintin is director of strategy at Barclays bank. She has had to resign. There is something strange about this story. After all, if the Bank of England did not know already that her brother held this position, its knowledge of the banking world it is supposed to supervise must be thin indeed. You can see why Miss Hogg might have assumed that those appointing her knew already, and so have given it no thought, rather as Tony Blair and David Cameron probably never thought to put in the Register of Interests as lawmakers that their brothers are QCs. Quintin Hogg’s job was not a secret, and when two people called Hogg hold senior financial positions, you could guess they might be related and establish the facts in about ten minutes. Perhaps, indeed, the name is the problem. There has long been an atavistic sense that there are too many Hoggs in our public life. There was Quintin (philanthropist), then Douglas (Lord Chancellor), then Quintin (Lord Chancellor), then Douglas (Minister of Agriculture, moat owner), and now Quintin (of Barclays), not to mention Sarah (economist and Hogg by marriage). Poor Charlotte seems to have been the straw that broke the Hogg’s back. It is unlucky that they are called Hogg, with its suggestion of snouts in the trough. If their name had been, say, Murgatroyd, Charlotte would still be in post. Another explanation for Miss Hogg’s punitive treatment may be ‘diversity’. People do not say so, but whenever they think others have got a post because of diversity requirements rather than merit alone, they have it in for them.

This is an extract from Charles Moore’s Notes. The full article can be found here