Sir Fred no longer

 

Related Stories

Arise plain old Fred Goodwin. Sir Fred no longer.

The man who sank a bank - the former chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland - has been stripped of his knighthood.

It was - formally at least - the Queen who honoured Fred Goodwin in 2004 for services to banking and it was Her Majesty who today decided to dis-honour him.

She, as ever, was acting on the advice of her prime minister who was acting on the recommendation of a shadowy Whitehall committee - the so-called forfeiture committee - chaired by the Head of the Civil Service.

The decisions first to give him a knighthood and then to remove it were, primarily, political decisions.

Tony Blair honoured a man who had built the Royal Bank of Scotland into one of the world's largest banks - with a balance sheet bigger even than the British economy. When RBS crashed, it cost tens of billions of taxpayers' money to stop it collapsing altogether.

David Cameron has been desperate for a symbol that the bankers have paid a price for the economic havoc they have wreaked.

Few are likely to publicly sympathise with Mr Fred Goodwin. They may note though that, unlike others who have had their honours removed, Fred Goodwin has neither been convicted nor charged with any crime.

Some may wonder why the man who was the chief executive of RBS cannot remain a knight when the man who was chairman of RBS or the chairman of HBOS can.

They will surely notice that this announcement comes in the middle of a predictable row about what those still in banking still earn.

What bankers will surely notice and some other senior businessmen too is that politicians who queued up to be their friends have now turned on them with the press and the public cheering them on.

 
Nick Robinson, Political editor Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

Miliband on Israel and plan to be PM

Labour leader Ed Miliband speaks to the BBC's Nick Robinson about delving into his past on a trip to Israel - and planning for a future as UK prime minister.

Read full article

More on This Story

Related Stories

Comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
 

Comments 5 of 131

 

This entry is now closed for comments

Features & Analysis

  • French luxury Tea House, Mariage Freres display of tea pots Tea for tu

    France falls back in love with tea - but don't expect a British cuppa


  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine


  • Female model's bottom in leopard skin trousers as she walks up the catwalkBum deal

    Why budget buttock ops can be bad for your health


  • Music hackathonMusic hackers

    Sleep-deprived coders enjoy an epic adventure


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world

Programmes

  • Tuna and avacadoThe Travel Show Watch

    Is Tokyo set to become the world's gourmet capital?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.