I just heard Harriet Harman on the BBC saying Sir Fred Goodwin, a.k.a. Fred the Shred, the former Royal Bank of Scotland chief, should “not count on" keeping his pension.
Harman – Labour’s deputy leader – said: “The prime minister has said it is not acceptable and therefore it will not be accepted. And it might be enforceable in a court of law, this contract, but it’s not enforceable in the court of public opinion and that’s where the government steps in."
Translation: screw your legal rights and screw the rule of law. We’re the government and we can do whatever the hell we like.
This is getting scary.
Does that mean I think Sir Fred ‘deserves’ £650K a year for leading RBS to the edge of collapse? Of course not. Given the mess Goodwin presided over, I don’t think he ‘deserves’ anything.
But I also realize that a world where I decided what everyone did and didn’t deserve, regardless of their legal rights or my legal obligations, would be a terrible one to live in.
Harriet Harman, I suspect, would find it particularly unpleasant.