To Be Or Not To Be

Should Fred Goodwin have been stripped of his knighthood? Yes or No. We would love to hear your thoughts.

He is the first person to be stripped since Robert Mugabe in 2008. Before him Ceausescu and before him Anthony Blunt. Reasons previously for losing a knighthood have been exceptional: treason, crime and brutal governance.

Does Fred the Shred fall into this category? I guess not. However, as a BBC economist clearly stated last night, he received it for his services to banking but actually provided a disservice to the industry so should not be entitled to the title. It’s a tricky slope to go down as Alistair Darling, who I rarely agree with, said. How many more peers will follow for actually doing a disservice to their trade. I can name a few. Maybe titles should be awarded for a term and reviewed rather than be for life….

Personally, I couldn’t care less about his peerage and I really doubt he does either. I would be happier to see him stripped off rather handsome pension pot.





4 Comments to “To Be Or Not To Be”

  1. I’m not going to defend Fred as I think he is a grade a tosser. However, he was lawfully entitled to the pension and no-one could strip it from him. I suppose your point it that he could choose not to accept it – but not many of us would do that. He was advised at the time to waive it as he would otherwise be despised and I think that is exactly what has happened.

    His service to banking also included bringing £11bn to the UK which we would otherwise not have, not to mention the respect we gain by having a name in the world with such a powerful bank. Ok, he messed up but he did not single handedly bring down the banking industry. He also did not do anything that others were doing and if he stopped trading like other banks he would have been criticised at the time.

    It is not clear how these awards are given in the first place, and now less clearer why they are taken away. There are many Sirs and Lords that have actually been to prison for committing criminal offences – Lord Archer springs to mind. Why on earth is he allowed to keep his title having committed perjury?

  2. Doesn’t this show there is something inherently wrong in the way honours are awarded. It’s seems that you are in the club until “the old boys network” decide they do not want you. Fred has been made a scapegoat for the whole banking mess.

    Clearly he was not doing what anyone else wasn’t. The whole industry seems to have been driven by exploitation and greed and no one can say that he didn’t make RBS into the largest UK bank. Sadly for anyone who runs a business, the buck stops with those in charge. If you fail and others don’t it is your fault. You live by the sword and die by the sword. In his case knighted and then ousted.

    Totally agree that Lord Archer, other Lords and peers who have committed criminal offenses should lose their peerage much before Fred.

  3. I think it depends on when he received the peerage. If before the crisis, when everything was going well, every one was happy, no one was complaining about the banking systems with its bonuses and multi-million pound pension pots, everyone had plenty of money, then why are these people complaining now?

    Lord Blank, the former chairman of LTSB, is now under pressure to have his peerage stripped also, as Goodwin has had his stripped. Lord Blank pushed through the disastrous takeover of ailing Halifax Bank of Scotland in 2008 – under pressure from then Labour government who actually changed competition laws to push the takeover through. Now Lord Blank was knighted in 1999 for services to the financial services industry and charities – BEFORE he joined Lloyds. If he has his peerage stripped, it would be totally unrelated to the reason why he received it.

    I agree with Vakeel Bibi, it is not clear how these awards are given in the first place, and now less clearer why they are taken away. Until that whole process is made more transparent, we are all just speculating.

  4. Imagine that these cooks and cronies have access to the House of Lords? What a system we have in Britain.

    I agree that Fred Goodwin seems to be the scapegoat in the banking debacle but everyone, including the chancellor and the Bank of England was clueless. Why is Mervyn King still trusted to pull us out of the mess we’re in and stop one in the future?

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