So the press are at it again whipping up the public who are now baying for their pound of flesh.
Sir Fred Goodwin is their latest target, who is rightly being criticised for his obscene pension arrangements following the criminal mismanagement of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).
However I seem to remember that when the Government went in and bailed out RBS it was a condition that he and the others were effectively sacked. Now I know that when you sack someone, or they resign you have to negotiate a severance package – what and how much money they are entitled to.
For most people it is normally written into the contract of employment. In light of the situation RBS was in Goodwin agreed to waive his contractual entitlement, 15 months of salary and his ‘bonus’ which is reported to have cost him approximately £4.2m!
Now the Government are saying that his pension arrangements were not known to them, what utter rubbish! Are they seriously telling us that they threw huge sums of taxpayers money at a mismanaged organisation without preforming due diligence and checking exactly what the architects of the disaster had or were going to cream off?
We heard two stories yesterday – firstly Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling back to their Laurel and Hardy best claiming they knew nothing, and secondly Lord Myners (who is an ex-banker) and Stephen Timms saying they knew about it, but thought it was part of the contract and could do nothing about it! Surely it wouldn’t have took a legal team long to examine the contract to determine the truth?
However Fred Goodwin has not rolled over to political pressure. He now seems to have turned the focus back on the Government who are now looking quite frankly incompetent (again) and are now facing criticism from within their own ranks.
Being cynical, I believe the story was initially spun to take the press attention from the eye watering £325bn of taxpayers money being put at risk to secure the toxic debts of RBS and the damaging revelations about the role of Gordon Brown and the Government coming from the Commons Treasury Committee, firstly by Lord Turner and then Mervyn King and the other bad news about the growing rebellion concerning the Post Office sell-off and the shocking truth that the Government were involved in the extraordinary rendition of terrorist subjects.
And today we have the revelation that HBOS has also made unbelievable losses. I am sure Lloyds are regretting merging with HBOS earlier this year in a Government-brokered deal, mind you they are dumping £250bn in to the same piss-pot as RBS.