Monday, March 02, 2009

Nice pension but its a fuss over nothing

Can someone explain to me what all the fuss is about this bankers rather hefty pension? Sure, half a million or so quid a year is very nice, but why is the Government getting all upset about it when they were the ones that signed it off in the first place?

Are the likes of Harriet Harman complaining on the BBC about the immorality really expecting us to forget that they themselves are a member of the Establishment aristocracy, and more so that they didn't complain about any of these sort of nice deals for board members during the good times.

If it immoral now it must have been immoral then surely? Or is it only immoral when people are paying attention thus you might lose votes in it? Or, more accurately, is it only immoral when you are prostituting yourself to the populist left in your party in the blind hope they might take a punt on you as the Madam to lead the Whorehouse out of the gutter?

At the end of the day, as I think others have commented elsewhere, this little scandal over a massive pension is merely a well constructed distraction. It keeps the news that the Government has bailed out many of the banks more than once now off thwe front page. It builds cloud over the fact that the taxpayer is carrying liabilties now for probably two generations. It stops the split in the Government over the Post Office leading the news.

Men like Sir Fred Goodwin having been getting these sort of deals for years and they will continue to do so. They are but a single corner piece in a 10,000 piece jigsaw that makes up a much bigger and more important picture that we really ought to be paying attention too.

13 comments:

Plato said...

But it is a jolly expensive figleaf!

Anonymous said...

What about Gordon Brown's pension? He has done far more damage over the last ten years.

Demetrius said...

Do a detect a touch of cynicism in your item? No, it could not possibly be. But we have been here before. Many of those lovely 18th Century building lavishly maintained by the National Trust and others were built on the basis of the same sort of rackets. In a way we have gone back to the 1720's, only instead of the peasants being controlled by the Acts of Settlement, we now have them trapped either in unpayable mortgages or social housing. It's deja vu all over again.

Simon Emmett said...

Just think, if Labour did get their way with passing emergency legislation Sir Fred's pension back, could you imagine the damage that Labour could do with a piece of legislation that allows to claw back a pensions fund, any pension fund....OUR PENSION FUNDS.

It would be a Pandora's box if passed.

Boo said...

The way I see it, a contract is a contract is a contract...
The person you should be angry with is the one who signed over the cash.

Alistair Watson said...

When a minister of the Crown tells us that it doesn’t matter that something is legal if popular opinion (i.e. they) say its wrong I get very worried. We are a hairsbreadth from a dictatorship, if they do this how can anyone depend on their pension?

Prodicus said...

AW @10:49

Quite so.

Lola said...

Without wishing to be unjustifiably sef promoting I have done a little post on the technicalities of the proposed 'repossession' here:

http://lolathebeautiful.blogspot.com/2009/02/fred-goodwin.html

...which might help. Whether or not the pension is 'fair' is irrelevant.

dalesman said...

The huge pensions and bonuses are immoral, whether or not the institution has been rescued or gone into administration.

I doubt if Fred the Shred will give any of his pension back, nor should he, but something has to be done about these astronomical salaries, bonuses and pensions.

Lola said...

Dalesman - "I doubt if Fred the Shred will give any of his pension back, nor should he, but something has to be done about these astronomical salaries, bonuses and pensions." No, it does't, well not for private business anyway, as fredom and thge marktes will deal with it for us. Where it does need work is with the profigately run and overgenerous state employees schemes and rewards

IanH said...

The other issues might not be so easily overshadowed by Goodwin's pension if the newspapers and especially TV did anything other than regurgitate lobby briefings. The pension amount IS disgusting but I am rather pleased Goodwin has not backed down, these cabinet tossers have all got pension funds beyond the reach of ordinary people.

Gareth said...

Dalesman,

Pensions and bonuses are amoral regardless of size. They cannot be moral or immoral.

Had RBS been allowed to fail the most Fred could have got was about £28k a year. Government can't have it both ways. They wanted the bank and they wanted shot of Fred and paid about £3million to do it.(An extra £8mill in the pension pot but no severance pay and no bonus, which would have been about £5mill in total) They could have let it fail and stepped in to pick up the pieces, but no.

Fred's only 'crime' appears to have been at the top of his game when the house of cards fell down - Anyone shitting themselves the remuneration packages at Barclays, who were in a bidding war for ABN Amro? Will the Government hand back the billions in taxes they've had from Fred's "immoral" business? No. Brown and others lauded the City as a shining beacon of prosperity that they had a hand in constructing. Will Brown give up his pension or hand back his wages from the last decade? Or Mr and Mrs Balls? Stephen Timms?

It's all a handy (and cheap) distraction from the enormous liabilities Gordon and Darling are putting us on the hook for. Not them. Nor their pension pots. Us.

Sam Duncan said...

"The way I see it, a contract is a contract is a contract...
The person you should be angry with is the one who signed over the cash."


That would be Lord Myners. Who has been busy "attacking bankers for greed and arrogance", apparently. Funny, that.

Do they think we won't notice?