Monday, March 02, 2009

The Pension of Sir Fred the Shred Goodwin

Firstly the idea that the man who drove a well respected and solid bank straight into the ground should walk away with anything is obviously wrong. It seems reward for failure at almost its most grotesque. It seems that he gets to retire early on £693,000 per year. His pension pot is reputed to be worth £16 million though I have heard some say it may be worth as much as £24 million as it is both indexed linked and presumably would benefit his widow.

Now, as I said it is very very wrong that he should have been given this pension, or quite possibly given a contract of employment that would give rise to such a pension even if he trashed the bank.

Thing is though, he was and he has. However wrong that is, that is it.

Harriet Harman has made much of how wrong it is, and implied that it is wrong in the court of public opinion, as if that counts over the rule of law.

It does not. That was lies mob rule and a very dark place where paediatricians get their homes burnt down because some mobs are to thick to understand the difference.

What is more, parliament could not pass a law to now strip him of his pension no matter how much people hate it, nor should parliament do so. What would you call such a bill? The ¨we all hate Sir Fred bill¨? Or perhaps the ¨removal of unjust rewards bill¨? If the latter who decides what an unjust reward is?

Even if parliament did pass such an act then it would be remarkable if it was retrospectively active as in affect past deeds. Obviously it would have to be so, which is very very rare indeed. Then of course such a law would get thrown out as being incompatible with the Human Rights act, as an unjustified interference with property.

This all goes to show just how ridiculous Labour´s and in particular Harriet Harman´s position is.

So who is to blame? Well clearly if there was any legal discretion in the award the people who failed to exercise it including government ministers and board members of RBS and the UK investment authority. If there was none, then we have to blame those who drew up Sir Fred Goodwin´s original contract.

The BBC has this.


manwiddicombe said...

"Harriet's Law" - It has a certain ring to it don't you think?

Apparently a Bill of Attainder would do the trick with regards to removing Sir Fred's pension fund although the last one was passed, or so I'm informed, in 1798 so whether it is compatible with the Human Rights Conventions is unclear.

Benedict White said...

Harriet´s law would have a ring to it, only if that ring was on someones neck..

Bill of attainder? I thought that would remove a peerage and was more recent than that...

I rather suspect Sir Fred will get his pension though he may not retain his knighthood.

Anonymous said...

What really struck me about Harman's size twelve, steel-toe capped, ill judged foray into what is a delicate and complex debate, was the way the Prime Minister gave hints on how he might go about clipping her 'wings'.

If there's any truth in the report, I wouldn't know what be worse, 'Harriet's Law', or placing Harman in a government department, knowing full well she will 'sink' - with all the potential negative consequences it might have for the people on the receiving end of that department.

Gordon Hamilton said...

The pension of Sir Fred Goodwin should be revoked and there are no ifs, buts or maybes about that. Whatever it takes, it has to be done as he should have been sacked from his position for gross misconduct and not "invited" to resign. He and his fellow "fat cat" bankers should also be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and probably imprisoned for the extent to which they misappropriated the funds entrusted to their care.

What is not acceptable, however, is the vigilante attacks on the property of Goodwin and his ilk, as was evidenced last week. I found an excellent article today on this very subject and agree with it wholeheartedly.