Thursday 17 February 2011 by Malcolm Everall

Mervyn King ‘chased home in his PE kit’ by interest rate bullies


The mother of Bank of England governor Mervyn King was on the warpath last night after her son arrived home wearing only his plimsolls, vest and gym shorts, having been chased by senior economists demanding a sharp rise in the base lending rate.

And a furious Mrs King pledged reprisals on the ‘nasty great bullies’ of the City of London following reports that her son’s lunchbox was thrown onto the roof of the Bank’s changing rooms.

Clever Mervyn, 61, has been head boy of the United Kingdom’s central Bank for the last seven years, where he is described by fond staff as ‘an able, diligent boy,’ achieving grade four in the clarinet although unable to play football because of his asthma.

But at a noisy impromptu meeting of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee in the drama room on Monday lunchtime, it is understood that a number of ‘big boys’ impatient with the UK’s stubbornly high rate of inflation cornered King and threatened him with ‘an atomic wedgie’ unless he voted for an immediate quarter-point rise in interest rates.

“They was all crowding round Mervyn, and they was like ‘you better better put those rates up or we’re gonna do you’,” said one committee member, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“And Merv, he was all like ‘whatever’ and that but I could tell he was bricking his pants.”

Pressure to raise interest rates

It is understood that the Governor attempted to persuade the more hawkish members of the Committee that a rise in the base rate would be seen as a panic measure by investors and serve to undermine confidence in the Bank’s anti-inflationary policy.

But sources relate that only the sudden arrival of the bank’s caretaker at the end of the lunch break prevented King’s head from being flushed down the drama block toilet.

It was by sticking close to staff members for the rest of the afternoon that Britain’s top economist was able to steer clear of trouble for a few more hours.

Unfortunately for him, Monday at the Bank of England ends with compulsory P.E., where his tormentors were confident of cornering him alone.

“Mervy was like really really scared, cos in the changing rooms there are all these tiny metal cubicles and sometimes the big boys push your head inside till you’re nearly suffocating,” said a Bank of England source.

“He pretended he was having an asthma attack so he could go and lock himself in the sick bay but the games teacher doesn’t like Mervy and just shouted at him to get changed.”

Mervyn King defiant

Details of what followed are sketchy, but reports suggest that a series of Chinese burns were administered to a defiant King, before his glasses were snatched from his face and tossed out of the changing-room window.

Earlier indications that the glasses were stamped on, or thrown into a urinal, proved to be incorrect.

But as members of the Monetary Policy Committee whipped King’s bare legs with their rolled-up towels, it appears that the governor saw his chance to make a break for the door, throwing a series of wild, inaccurate punches before running the half-mile home in his gym kit with tears and snot streaming down his face.

The Cambridge graduate and architect of the controversial policy of ‘Quantitative Easing’ has remained tight-lipped about Monday’s fracas, describing it as ‘a wide range of views’ and refusing to make an official complaint.

Meanwhile, other members of the Monetary Policy Committee have denied all knowledge of any alleged bullying.

When pressed by senior staff on how King’s ‘Spiderman’ lunchbox came to be on the roof of the changing room, they merely looked at the floor.

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