Merlin the wizard has moved to dissociate himself fully from the bank deal thrashed out yesterday by the coalition. In no way does the enchanter wish to be linked to the Operation named after him, despite revealing that he had been involved from the initial discussions with the banks.
"While honoured by my invitation to be part of the negotiations, I now regret that the recommendations I made weren't implemented and will be declining the fee due to me while taking a step back from the round table. As a result of my contribution to the original deficit reduction consultation process, the Government asked me to return to sort out the banks. I must say I was more than a little flattered when they proposed naming the commission after me and so I rather giddily accepted. I have never been a fan of HSBC, Barclays, RBS or Lloyds and I assumed I had been brought in to give the banks a good thrashing.
"Unfortunately, the settlement reached, while better than some commentators had predicted, doesn't go anywhere near far enough in making the banks pay for getting us into this mess and merely reinforces the idea that the coalition are in bed with the bankers. I admit I'm happy to see that lending to small and medium sized enterprises will be raised to £76 billion this year, but the meagre £2.5 billion levy on the banks is getting well-earned opprobrium from the Opposition as well as the Government's own back benches. Until now I had been a big supporter of the work done by the coalition, but I'm beginning to regret the endorsement I gave them leading up to the election, not to mention the sorcery I used to ensure their march to power.
"I thought I'd make a difference, but will now head back to Camelot and my role with the Lottery while attempting to forget this misguided dalliance in the dark arts of politics."