Big Brother is compulsive viewing. It has become an addiction for the nation, with viewing figures breaking Channel Four records. Nearly four million people tune in to see which of the contestants gets thrown out each week and just short of one million of them vote on who that will be.
And it is easy to see why. The characters are all more than colourful. And they all have, to a greater or lesser degree, hidden agendas. Their behaviour towards each other is often a complete contrast to their secret rants to the Big Brother camera. We are intrigued by their secret, machiavellian manoeuvrings.
Oh, that the Big Brother cameras were elsewhere. What would we see if Channel Four installed Big Brother-style cameras in every room of the otherwise secretive General Insurance Standards Council?
Would the entente between it and the ABI really be that cordial? Would the broker and intermediary organisations that have been vocal supporters, Biba and the AIIB, really be that friendly? And would the process of throwing out unfavoured members be open for all to see?
There is more hidden within the GISC than that. We know that the Big Brother contestants are playing for a prize of £70,000. We don't know if that figure is even close to the salary paid to the GISC chief executive (and we have asked). We don't know how much money the GISC has in the bank, or who funded it, or who the shareholders are. We don't know much about the body in which we are all supposed to place our faith.
Like never before the British public demands openness and laps it up when it comes. Transparency in the way honours are given out, MPs' registers of interests, Freedom of Information Acts, these are the rules of the game in modern society. And the GISC should be no different.
If we are to have a regulator that can truly represent the whole industry it will have stop hiding itself from public scrutiny. The public, and those about to be regulated, have a right to know.
Our message to GISC is simple: Insurance Times is watching you.