As chairman of the Co-operative Bank, Paul Flowers shared responsibility for the decisions that led to a situation in which most of the bank is to be bought up by hedge funds. Last week, Paul Flowers was filmed buying cocaine. Bafflingly, many people seem to regard the second offence as worse than the first one.
Quakers take pride in the history of nineteenth-century Quaker employers, many known for their progressive thinking. Some have suggested that they can now be a model for us in developing a form of "ethical capitalism". But the most forward-thinking nineteenth century Quakers called not for philanthropy but for fundamental change to the economic system. Their example can inspire us to reject capitalism altogether and to seek alternatives.