Brogue traders

brogues

Don’t let the shiny brogues fool you


They may look respectable with their well cut suits, silk ties and immaculately polished brogues, but what are they really up to?

Here we take a look at some of the occupations that have fallen foul of public opinion in recent years and ask whether beneath their professional veneer, the guys in brogues are really rogues…

Bankers

Bob Diamond

Image source: World Economic Forum / Wikimedia
Bob Diamond ex-Barclays CEO resigned over rogue rates


They’re the fat cats most responsible for the global financial credit crunch. Greedy traders, bloated by enormous bonuses, took huge risks with other people’s money.

When it all went horribly wrong, it was UK taxpayers that paid for their mistakes…and yet the bonus culture persists. Banks like Barclays and Lloyds were started by sober, responsible Quaker families, but most modern financial institutions put profits first.

The money grabbing culture of investment banks gives hard working staff in your local retail banking branch, a bad name. You can’t say everyone who works in a bank is a rogue, but as a sector – it stinks.

Politicians

David Cameron

Image source: Moritz Hager / Wikimedia Commons
David Cameron doesn’t always get the thumbs up


Political scandals are nothing new. But the 2009 MP’s expenses scandal exposed institutionalised corruption at the heart of British politics. Since then, regulations have been tightened up and after the last election, there was a huge intake of new blood into the House of Commons.

But as an occupation, politicians continue to be seen as pompous, out of touch and self serving. Research by the London School of Economics, shows that in the UK, there’s been zero improvement in social mobility in thirty years.

Whatever politicians, are doing – it isn’t working. And not even Jeremy Paxman can get them to answer a straightforward question. Rogues in brogues? All too frequently…

CEOs

Tony Hayward

Image source: World Economic Forum / Wikimedia
BP CEO Tony Hayward resigned over oil spill disaster


When it all goes wrong, the buck stops with the company chairman and/or chief executive – right? Wrong. These days, if you make a huge mistake at the helm, you try to brazen it out and stay on the payroll.

If you do decide to do the decent thing, chances are, you’ll pocket an indecent sum of money as a golden goodbye. When BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward finally resigned after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, he pocketed a cool £11 million. Not bad considering that eleven people were killed and 1000 miles of coastline polluted.

Rogues in brogues – what do you think?

Oligarchs

Roman Abramovich

Image source: Marina Lystseva / Wikimedia
Roman Abramovich – Chelsea fans might love him but…


Fabulously wealthy, they own a host of businesses in the UK, including football clubs and newspapers. Back home in Russia, their money comes from oil, aluminium, and even banks.

From humble beginnings in the chaos of post soviet Russia, somehow, they’ve managed to claw their way to the top. The emphasis here is on ‘somehow’, because all too often the origin of the vast wealth of these hard men, is shrouded in mystery.

Some were petty criminals, others worked for the KGB, now they control strategic assets, of great importance to the UK economy. Russian rogue traders? Quite possibly.

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Cute kids in mens shoes

Young children are our little mirrors – they copy everything we do.

They’re always excited to be involved in our fascinating ‘big world’, desperate to fill our roles. Or our shoes, rather. Men’s shoes seem to be particularly alluring to the little ones. After all, who wouldn’t want to be Dad for a day?

Here’s a collection of kids caught in the act of ‘borrowing’ their Daddy’s shoes, and practicing being an adult.

The Geek
Photo by Paul Jacobson

The Gardener
Photo by Matt Stanford

The Dude
Photo by Jennifer Monson

The Charmer
Photo by Erin Reichelt

The Player
Photo by Shawn Anderson

The Joker
Photo by Kona Gallagher

The IT Guy
Photo by Benjamin Gray

The Coach
Photo by Zakwitnij

The Dandy
Photo by Caren Parmelee

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Black shoes of the Underworld

Gangster

Image source: VadimGuzhva
Gangster

When walking in the underworld it seems black shoes are the only infallible footwear.

From the blood-proof black shoes of gangsters to the blinding gloss of banker’s brogues, it appears black is the only shoe colour that counts when doing dirty business.

The Exorcist

Only black shoes will do when fighting the devil[/caption]For years Father Gabriele Amorth was the vatican’s chief exorcist – a black shoe wearer who means business.

He says Yoga and Harry Potter are, ‘the work of the devil,’ and claims to have conducted some 70,000 exorcisms. An exorcist par excellence, his favourite film? Yep, you guessed it – ‘the exorcist’. He says it’s substantially accurate, albeit a little heavy on the special effects.

Father Amorth favors black shoes – there’s no place for frivolity in this occupation – we think slip ons because you wouldn’t want to trip over your shoelaces in this game.

Gangsters

The black hearted Kray twins, Ronnie and Reggie, dominated the London underworld of the 1950s and 60s. Along with their brother Charlie, they ran protection rackets and committed hijackings, arson and armed robbery.

Their ownership of clubs in the West End put them in contact with the stars of the swinging sixties and they became celebrities in their own right. But the crimes they committed were beyond the pale – in particular, their murder of one of their own, Jack ‘The Hat’ McVitie, whose body was never discovered.

Why black shoes? They don’t show the bloodstains.

Sheriff

No sheriff, surely, can match up to the gun slinging, fast draw reputation of that ultimate U.S. lawman, Wyatt Earp.

Famous for his role in the gunfight at the OK Corral, Earp finished the shoot out with several holes in his long black coat, but incredibly, in all his long and illustrious career, Earp was never once wounded.

To emulate this hero of law enforcement, you’ll need an impressive set of whiskers, a preference for black clothes and of course the shoes – or boots if you prefer, should be black.

Zorro

It’s a tough job, but someone has to right wrongs, protect the vulnerable and steal from the rich.

Zorro means, ‘fox’ in Spanish. It’s thought the inspiration for Zorro, was one Joaquin Murrieta, a notorious Mexican bandit. Supposedly captured and beheaded by the California state rangers, nevertheless rumours rapidly spread that the head, displayed in a jar of alcohol, was not his.

Should you fancy a spot of sword swiping – make sure your shoes are black. So when your work is done, you can slip away into the shadows, ready to fight another day.

Bankers

They drink fine champagne, slurp down raw oysters and gamble with our hard earned cash.

If there’s one villainous bunch that is the epitome of modern day dastardliness, it has to be fat cat bankers. They make big bucks, spend vast bonuses on fast cars, and lead hedonistic lifestyles the rest of us can only dream of.

Greed is their creed, these people wear the sharpest of suits and think that their highly polished black brogues lend them an air of legitimacy. But we know better – they’re a bunch of crooks -and not a single one of them would be a match for Zorro.

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