Hi all – been away all day so just catching up with things!
I spend the early part of the day debating the issue of whether it was right and proper for Sir Fred Goodwin to be stripped off his Knighthood on the BBC Nolan Show. You can listen to me here - go to 1hr 20mins or so!
Now, to reprise my argument.
I think that this decision is spiteful, petty, politically contrived and damaging. Yes, Goodwin presided over a Board which collectively made a commercially disastrous decision when the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) acquired ABN Amro back in 2007. At the time, this was hailed by virtually ALL commentators as a brilliant decision and the BBC even questioned the future prospects of Barclays – the Bank that Goodwin beat off to get the ABN acquisition!!!
In retrospect, it was ill-timed and it slowly ensured that RBS was brought to its knees. But Goodwin had been knighted in 2004, THREE YEARS before all of this happened. The likes of Tony Blair and a certain Alex Salmond heaped praise on him for his contribution to our economy!
The only reason for NOW taking away his Honour is to let David Cameron be seen as “tough” on Bankers – our favourite pantomime villains!
It gets worse though.
For starters, Goodwin is not the ONLY Banker who got an honour. Shall we ensure that all those in all Banks also lose their Honours? How about those who sat on the Regulatory Bodies and who have been honoured? How about Sir Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England? Why is Merv still a Knight? Thoughts?
And then we turn our attention to the REAL villains of the piece – the politicians.
John Prescott was Deputy Prime Minister when all this was happening. Where is HE now? Ah – arise Lord Prescott! Shouldn’t HE lose his Honour? And what about the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, the man who went on to flog a significant % of our Gold deposits for a record low? Shall we make sure he NEVER gets an Honour?
Fred Goodwin committed NO crime but he has been stripped of his Knighthood today meanwhile we have several LORDS sitting in their Ermine in Parliament who have been CONVICTED of crimes. Why are they still there?
Are the lawmakers above the law? Surely not?
Don’t get me wrong. I have no time for Mr Goodwin but I have less time for opportunistic ruthless politicians who will sacrifice anyone to cover their own posteriors.
That’s the bottom line.