I had not thought I should write in support of Sir Fred Goodwin, nor any other banker, but the sinister orchestration of media voices baying for his blood has brought out my mothering instincts.
Leave Freddie alone. No one, so far, has alleged that he has done anything criminal. He signed a contract which seemed reasonable to those who offered it to him. He is entitled to expect that contract is honoured.
It is easy to whip up a clamour for his ritual stoning, tarring and feathering, when you are asked whether it is reasonable that the tax payer should be asked to stump up £33 million for his pension. It is a ridiculous sum of money. So are all the other sums of money that the tax payer is being asked to pay. However, I don’t see the banking crisis as being Freddie’s personal fault. He was just the monkey, doing what he was asked to do – and I am deeply suspicious that it is the organ grinder and his henchmen who are behind this constant drip of innuendo designed to paint Freddie as personally culpable.
You don’t change the off side rule half way through a championship match, and that is what is being suggested should happen to Freddie. Gordon Brown has been scrupulous in his choice of words regarding Banking bonuses – ‘we shouldn’t reward failure’ – we never have done, nor is it proposed that we do so now. What is being proposed is that someone be denied the reward they earned for what was considered success at the time.
Gordon Brown, the micro managing Chancellor of the Exchequer, presided over the changes to the banking system that allowed the bubble to burst. He presided over the FSA who should have been drawing attention to the fact that it was a bubble. Freddie happened to be the last person invited, nay hired, to blow into the ballon, according to the rules at that time. He was offered a lot of money to do so because it was believed that he was likely to do so more effectively than anyone else. He did. It burst.
Blame the man at the top. Gordon Brown, don’t fall for the politics of envy. The stories being fed to the papers at the moment are on a par with ‘Freddie Goodwin ate my pension’, they are manufactured propaganda, designed to take your eye off the real culprit.