I'm fast discovering the most interesting part about the Evening Standard is the Business Section. Especially for politics.
Today's highlight has been a whole page ad taken out by Lloyds TSB to sell themselves as business lenders and advisors.
Not only does it mask it's self as an article, it is shamelessly self congratulatory, reiterating their 'compassionate' side, emphasising their competitive approach and selling contract and procurement opportunities.
There is a bi-lateral intention in such a vast display of government sychophancy.
Firstly, they are desperate to demonstrate their willingness to aid small businesses, in line with their agreement on being government-owned. By promoting themselves so flagrantly, they can demonstrate to Osbourne and Cameron that they are 'trying their hardest'. Conviniently, this will also serve to fuel the bank's chief complaint that businesses just aren't looking for loans. As they turn down swathes of potential business customers on the basis of poor credit, they can deny their role in the scheme, after all they did offer it on a plate, in the Standard.
Another bonus to this mileage is that the weakness of their business services, dressed up to look fancy, will further delay any malignant intent those 'yellow bastards' the Lib Dems might have to break them up.
But at the same time Lloyds is pushing an entirely different strategic game. They are preparing themselves for Big Society meltdown of the public sector. Pushing their expertise in contracts and procurement will serve two roles. Firstly they will be the market leaders in proposals around social investment bonds and other obscure financial dreams the Government have for commissioning out the public sector. Secondly, they are demonstrating further obsequiousness towards ministers, saying 'hey look, we support this plan, see how we're helping'. In fact what they are saying to me is they have seized across a great opportunity to cream more money out of the taxpayer and keep the Tories sweet simultaneously.
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