(This kerfuffle may have passed my US readers by; basically, Sir Fred Goodwin used to be chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, our worst-performing bank. He got a big pension payoff, £650,000 a year, and now politicians and the government – which has since come to own 70% of RBS – are upset and want the money back.) From BBC News:
“Nobody disputes that Sir Fred should be deprived of his pension,” said [Liberal Democrat] Treasury spokesman Vince Cable.
“The only issue is what is practical.”
Well, Vince, I dispute it. They probably shouldn’t have given it to him but, now that he has it, it’s his. A cornerstone of dealing with others justly and fairly is that when you make a deal and give your word, you stick to it, even if it turns out to be a bad deal.
If the UK Government had put half as much energy into saving waste in other areas that they’ve put into trying to get back the £16m of Fred Goodwin’s pension, the country would be a lot better off. This synthetic anger serves only to distract the attention of the public from the real problems.