"If you have a troublesome teenager you don't carry on punishing them, you try and educate, train and reform them, and to some extent love them. And I think the banks need a little bit of loving even though they have been an unruly teenager over the last few years."
So said Mark Taylor yesterday on the Today programme. Criminal irresponsibility? No, adolescent hijinks. This is a new variation – new to me, anyway – on the (idiotic) idea that the state is best understood as a family which needs to learn to live within its means. Never mind hugging a hoodie, let's all love a banker. Attempting to have fun by allocating the remaining family roles reveals quite what a trivial image this is. Which bit of the family is transport? (A grown-up child who married abroad?) Health? (The great-aunt who's moved into the annexe?) Nothing is helpfully explicated, but the structures and decisions that actually govern the distribution of wealth and power are a little bit further obscured.