How did he ever get the job? Splashed by the Mail on Sunday, phone film footage of disgraced Methodist minister Paul Flowers (the Methodists would de-frock him except they don’t wear any to start with) allegedly buying illegal drugs (did you see how long it took him to count out the money?), has got everyone asking how someone with his chequered career could have been appointed chairman of the Cooperative Bank in 2010.

More than two years after the ‘credit crunch’ exposed two full decades of excess (creeping up each year since the previous corrective in 1987), wasn’t British banking meant to be brushed clean by a new broom? So how come this dodgy character wasn’t shaken down and dusted out of the boardroom? Instead of a(r)sked to deposit his fat bottom on the chairman’s seat.

The answer lies on Rev Flowers’ upper lip. His snow white moustache is a chevron of probity. Its prominence is his provenance. By comparison, underestimating The Cooperative Bank’s lending book by £40 billion – a mere bagatelle; overestimating, allegedly, how many rent boys he could party with without coming to the attention of the Party – similarly insignificant.

The ‘tache tells you to trust him, this honest Bradford broker; pillar of the mill town that was (even if he does come from Portsmouth); the kind of reliable character which local author J.B. Priestley would surely have included in The Good Companions. 

Ignore the string of previous ‘resignations’ which might have been enough to hang him – even before the trapdoor opened last week. Focus, please, only on the moustache of Monsieur Paul.

The more you look, the more you will find it fascinating…..And you may pick up your coat and bag on the way out, minus all jewellery, watches, wallets etc.