Here’s a how-de-do. Popular opinion up in arms and wanting to shred Sir Fred’s pension; government ministers jumping on bandwagons (I’m thinking of Harriet Harman in particular) and not a lot of sensible comment on the legal issues anywhere. Apart from, that is, the on the blog called “Usefully Employed”, which is on my blogroll. Have a look at his post of the 2nd March which provides the best analysis of the whole situation. http://blog.usefullyemployed.co.uk/2009/03/02/sir-freds-pension-protected-by-human-rights/
I share his view that the government is ultimately powerless to act. They had their opportunity to properly review Sir Fred’s pension arrangements and failed to do so. Whether Lord Myners is culpable in failing to take action is a matter that needs to be investigated. I certainly hold no brief for RBS or for Sir Fred Goodwin but the sight of various government ministers threatening to “take action” is rather unedifying and smacks of bullying and intimidation of the basest sort. It is political posturing by a government that has few answers to the current economic crisis and finds it easier to blame others.
Yes, he should agree to divest himself of a goodly chunk of the pension but I can’t see it happening. Perhaps he could agree to hand back his knighthood instead? I think it justifiable to conclude that his services to banking now no longer warrant such an accolade.