Six in the City – 24 March 2008

If we accept our failings and get on with life things may turn out better, says Christine Toner

It would be difficult to write this column without mentioning the debacle that was the Heather Mills and Sir Paul McCartney divorce case. OK, maybe not, but it was so outrageous I thought I’d mention it anyway.

Take Mills’ declaration that she was McCartney’s wife, mother, lover, business partner and psychologist. It’s amusing that a woman who claims to have acted as her husband’s psychologist was found by the judge in the case to be a scheming liar.

And then there was Mills’ bizarre claim that she somehow rescued McCartney’s career. How? By suggesting he should have an acrylic fingernail because he’d worn down the one on his left hand to the point that it bled, of course. Without that pearl of wisdom, The Beatles may never have existed.

And if courting a famously rich man less than a year after the death of his wife counts as counselling him through his grief, there are many counsellors out there who are cruelly accused of gold-digging.

On top of this, there were the amusing ‘essentials’ Mills listed to qualify the huge amount of money she was after.

They reportedly included thousands of pounds for private jets, staff for seven houses and more than £3m a year for income purposes.

You can’t buy me love, it seems, but it helps.

But let’s call a spade a spade. McCartney was perhaps naive to get involved with Mills in the first place.

Still, he didn’t do too badly as she received just £24.3m despite initially asking for £125m.

Why am I talking about this? Well, I think it can be linked to the experience of brokers today.

Experts say that if Mills had used the help on offer from her lawyers, accepted her own failings in the situation, shut up and got on with it, she may have come out the other side better off.

The mortgage industry can learn from these insights.Yes, things are rubbish for all of us at the moment but there’s little point in complaining or playing the blame game.

Firms should make sure they accept all the help available to them, have the serenity to accept the things they cannot change and the courage to change the things they can, and get on with it.

After all, Easter is the time of new beginnings and spring gives us all the chance of a fresh start.