Dishonouring Fred 爵士丢了乌纱帽

英語學習點: Vocabulary: Public Humiliation 有關羞辱的詞匯

Image copyright PA
Image caption Fred Goodwin presided over a disaster at RBS.

The man formally known as Sir Fred Goodwin is going to have to get used to being called plain old Mr Goodwin. He has now lost his knighthood.

The former head of Royal Bank of Scotland became the subject of a public outcry after RBS had to be bailed out by the British taxpayer, whose bill came to £45 billion (450 billion yuan).

Unsurprisingly, Sir Fred left the company under a cloud. But it was after this that the Scot was really pilloried - for drawing payments worth about £700,000 (seven million yuan) a year from a massive pension pot worth £16 million (160 million yuan).

After coming under fire for the package, Sir Fred eventually reduced his pension by £200,000 (two million yuan). But that wasn't enough to appease his critics, who have never forgiven Sir Fred for his role in causing the financial crisis. They continued baying for blood and began to clamour for the removal of a knighthood he had received in 2004 for services to banking.

Yesterday the Queen stripped the honour from the discredited banker. But now some people have hit out at the government for vilifying Goodwin. They believe that he has been made a scapegoat and is taking the fall for a much wider global financial crisis. The former Chancellor Alistair Darling said:

"I'm not here to defend Sir Fred... I just think we're getting into awful trouble here if we go after people on a whim."

At least Goodwin has a nickname he can revert to if he finds himself missing his title. In his days as a cost-cutting superboss he was proud of being known as 'Fred the Shred'.