Saturday, February 28, 2009


Fred Seems to have got the Government 'Shredded'

The picture accompanying Phillip Inman's article today, is a bit like the one I've used but shows the tip of his tongue sticking out so that he looks like a scarlet faced streetwise snake of a man. Not the kind to feel genuine shame or contrition, I'd warrant. Reading the side panel to the above article on the legal options one realises Fred might well have got the government 'shredded'.

Gordon tells us he's seeking all legal means to claw back the pension but it seems there is no real way out. Why not just tell RBS not to pay and let him sue? Well, it's not RBS but the scheme's Trustees who pay the pension and Fred is the kind of person who would be shameless enough to sue. What if he goes on to win? Now that would be an even bigger humiliating disaster for the government.

So change the law? Well, possible, but is that what a responsible government does? Move the legal goalposts just to nab just one person? Human rights issues would be involved and it smacks too much of the slegehammer cracking the nut for any government to actually do it. So far, it looks like Sir Fred has got the government by the short hairs. It may hurt us all but, infuriatingly, we may have to let the greedy sod keep his ill-gotten gains.

Can't resist finishing off with this from Simon Hoggart today:

'Suppose a genie arrived and said: "Look, you are the greatest failure in your profession the world has ever known. You have brought not just your bank but your nation to the edge of ruin. However, I am obliged to grant your wish to have a pension of two-thirds of a million pounds every single year you live, for doing absolutely nothing!"

"Is there a catch?" asks Sir Fred, suspiciously.

"The catch is," the genie replies, "that you will be the most hated man in Britain. Everywhere you go people will feel loathing and contempt for your incompetence, your greed and your shamelessness."

"Call that a catch?" he replies. "I'll take it!"

Completely agree, he has them cornered. Regardless of the merits of the pension, if you enter into a legal contract with someone you have to honour it. I don't want to invest and live in any other sort of country(ie Russia). As for your comment about him being shameless. Smacks a bit of envy. Show me the person who would not take the full amount they were legally entitled to.

I can't help thinking our pathetic PM, who himself is being very well paid to mess up his job, is making himself look even more useless by pursuing this inconsequential and futile sideshow. Is he trying to distract us from his own failure and lack of ideas? One year and then he can have his pension.
It seems obvious that the pension was properly and legally approved by the Remuneration Committee comprising senior non executive directors and if anyone is to be pilloried it is the members. My personal take is that in the wish to get Sir Fred out quickly and quietly, there was a great deal of nodding and winking going on - hence his reaction - to which I am more than suspicious the Treasury was party.
I don't think you really understand ther mindset of people like me on modest incomes. We don't really 'envy' big salaries because they are beyond our comprehension. We don't compare ourselves. But we do feel anger if they are being paid for the taxpayer and are wholly unjustified and unmerited.
Many people envy things beyond their comprehension.

The payment is completely unjustified. It is unmerited. And it is by the taxpayer. It makes me wonder why the shareholders promised such a payment and why the Government bought into such a company which was contractually obliged to make the payment by the time the Government cared enough to notice.

Now that the awful Harman female has stepped in, and set her face against it, I sincerely hope Goodwin gets his money. Given the state of the UK economy, shouldn't members of the Government(hypocrites to a man and lady) being stepping forward to offer their pensions back? I wonder what Harriet's fabled "Court of Public Opinion" would think of this?
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