Fred Goodwin has never been convicted of anything, he has not been censured by any regulator, yet the very obscure and to most of us, hitherto unknown Forfeiture Committee has recommended to the Queen that he be stripped of his knighthood. This committee (apparently) is non-political and consists of several high ranking civil servants as well as the head Treasury lawyer.
But what motivated this cruel and unusual punishment? Why exactly was Fred Goodwin stripped of his Knighthood?
In the absence of concrete reasons, it seems that Fred Goodwin was tenderised by the media, before being served up to the baying mob. A sacrificial lamb with our howling political leaders elbowing themselves to the front of the queue.
Deputy Conservative Chairman,Michael Fallon says, “Ministers don’t control the timings of the forfeiture committee, this is an entirely independent committee of civil servants.”
So why did these independent free spirits make the decision? What motivated them? Why wait THREE years?
We may well agree that Fred Goodwin is an odious little man who had been promoted to well above his personal level of incompetence but that is nothing unusual within the Financial Services Industry. He was merely one among the many.
He was Chief Executive of a huge bank which was chaired by Sir Tom McKillop – a chemist. Goodwin himself was no more than an accountant who was nowhere near ready to run an international bank. He was not a banker – yet at the time, EVERYONE had decided that he was as close to a banking deity as was possible.
The laughs in this financial farce are amplified by the names of some other Sir Knights who have been unfortunate enough to be stripped of their knighthoods: Robert Mugabe, Nicolae Ceaucescu and Benito Mussolini are just three. Then you add “Fred Goodwin” to the list and suddenly realise that it just doesn’t scan!
In December 2011, the Financial Services Authority produced a report into the RBS failure. There was one section which Fred Goodwin’s lawyers asked to be removed from that report.
It was the bit which criticised his lack of banking experience.
Here is the 450-page FSA report into the RBS collapse. If you scroll down to Page 223, you will see that it is The RBS Board which has been found to be lacking and NOT just Fred Goodwin: http://www.fsa.gov.uk/static/pubs/other/rbs.pdf
There is a very simple rule in management which always applies, especially to the Board of a company: ” If you hired the wrong man and he screwed up, it’s YOUR fault. If you hired the right man and he screwed up, it’s DEFINITELY your fault.”
It is the RBS Board of Directors which ought to be standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the dock and being stripped of honours. NOT their overpromoted hireling.
So why was Fred Goodwin stripped of his Knighthood?
Petty Political Revenge.