Fred Goodwin is shredded: former RBS boss stripped of knighthood
Fred Goodwin has been stripped of his knighthood after a political campaign to see the former head of Royal Bank of Scotland punished for his role in the financial crisis.
Time was, as a country, we respected the rules. Whatever they were, the ref might be blind but on the field he\’s the boss. Honours were stripped according to criminal convictions (a la Sir Lester) not to political campaigns whipped up in the mob.
When the rules were not followed, the hanging of Lord Haw Haw (how can a not Brit be guilty of treason to Britain? but the mob would not have it….and the deal done that he would hang but his bird would not to encourage him to acquiesce), it is now regarded (by me even if no one else) as a grave injustice.
Sir Fred did indeed fuck up right royally: but that is not the same as being a criminal. Other people fucked up right royally at the time too: those supposedly regulating Sir Fred and those who made him Sir Fred for example. And I for one would like the K to stand for that reason if no other: as a reminder that it wasn\’t just one man at all.
But the larger point also stands. Quite apart from anything else I reject the idea of punishment for fucking up in business: for stealing, sure, for criminal acts, right on, but would anyone really expect to see advance in an economy where fucking up is a punishable offence, rather than just a financially painful one?
Over and above that I\’m afraid that I really am very English. Rules is rules and we don\’t change them dependent upon the way the political winds are blowing. Far from it, rules is what protects us from those gales.