So Fred Goodwin has been stripped of his knighthood.
RBS was left teetering on the brink by his risk-taking and would have collapsed if it weren’t for that enormous bailout using taxpayer’s money.
I sincerely hope that other members of the financial industry will have their honours questioned and, if found wanting, will also be humbled. Maybe this will also make the government think a little harder about who gets awarded an honour in future – perhaps by focusing on those who have performed good deeds and served the wider needs of society (rather than those who have made the most money?).
In the wake of Mr. Goodwin’s demotion bleats about “anti-business hysteria” are being made. To which I say that the Institute of Directors are missing the point. This is not about anyone being anti-business. It is about people raising their voices in protest against unjust rewards, boardroom greed, and industrial incompetence.
Lord Digby Jones has said that the decision to humble Goodwin has “the faint whiff of the lynch mob on the village green” about it. Well, setting aside the hysteria inherent to that remark, perhaps there would be less outcry if action had been taken to deal with those responsible for the problems before now?