A brilliant shaft of light shone for left and other progressive activists today as Barclays bonus king Bob Diamond lost his lustre and fled the bank at the Sign of the Black Spread Eagle.
As politicians lined up to cast censure on the 60-year-old father of three, who resigned as Barclays' chief executive with immediate effect, it became clear a left alternative economic strategy is possible.
US-born Mr Diamond was once dubbed the "unacceptable face of banking" by Lord Mandelson due to lavish pay deals which have netted him an estimated fortune of around £95 million.
He went in the wake of a rate-rigging scandal, which saw Barclays fined £290m by British and US regulators for manipulating Libor, the rate at which banks lend to each other.
Barclays - which was founded founded in 1690 and set up shop at the Black Eagle sign in Lombard Street in the 1720s - said chairman Marcus Agius will lead the search for a new chief executive.
Mr Agius had previously said on Monday that he would resign over the scam.
The scam's fallout has also claimed the bank's chief operating officer Jerry del Missier, a Canadian who was co-president of Barclays Capital at the time its bankers were rigging Libor.
Disgraced Mr Diamond is set for a grilling by Treasury select committee MPs today and Mr Agius will appear on Thursday.
Labour leader Ed Miliband stepped up his demands for a full judicial inquiry into the scandal, saying the moment must be seized and the public was in no mood for an Establishment cover-up.
The party has rejected government plans for a quick probe led by the Treasury committee's Tory chairman Andrew Tyrie.
It was set to put its demands before the Lords late yesterday and the Commons later in the week.
Mr Diamond, who was appointed chief executive on January 1 last year, picked up a salary of £1.3m and was reportedly in line to receive £11m in payouts this year, before waiving his annual bonus in the wake of the scandal.
Plaid Cymru Treasury spokesman Jonathan Edwards said it was "yet another scandal with London's elites at its heart."
And Lib Dem peer Lord Oakeshott called it "a great day for democracy."
Mr Diamond "is the symbol of the gambling and greed we must root out of our banking system.
"We must never again let the rich and powerful in the City or the media get their hands round the windpipe of government," he said.
Industrial relations expert Roger Seifert said: "We are witnessing struggles inside the coalition and beyond as to the best way to reconfigure the political class relationships within the ruling capitalist elites.
"Within that there also has to be a new relationship between the Labour Party, the most organised sections of the working-class - the unions - the unorganised working class and the state.
"It is this that allows for the debate around a genuine left alternative economic strategy and provides a positive opportunity for the balance of class forces to be shifted away from the dominance of big business."
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