British Politics’s Blog

The ravings of an individual, UK voter frustrated with our politicians

RBS Pension scandal or attempt to divert attention

with 4 comments

Perhaps it is the cynical side of me, but, I can’t help wondering whether the release of Sir Fred Goodwin’s pension entitlement is a bit too convenient. Bear with me if you will.

Sir Fred has complained that his pension arrangements have been made public. Now lets face it, given the scale of the losses at RBS, it is not inconceivable that this particular obligation could have been ‘lost’ in the malaise, but it wasn’t. Why is that? At time of public anger over bankers, a nice juicy pension to a former banker was bound to get the blood pressure rising, with the masses venting their anger at the recipient. Yes, yes, the government must have known about it, but they have got away with other issues in relation to due diligence, so why not this. Added to which, the government will have known that the public, for the most part, would target the recipient not them. Then there is media commentators, the vast majority of whom have fallen for it, stating that the if the government did know and released the details then, it must have been an own goal. But was it?

Take a look at the headlines and you can get a feel for what has captured the public imagination. Not the fact that RBS is about to receive another £13bn of taxpayers money (on top of £20bn last year);  not the fact that a bank that is 70% owned by the tax payer has just announced losses of £24bn, 70% of which is ours; not the fact that we, the taxpayer, are about to underwrite £325bn of ‘toxic assets’ in return for a premium of just £6.5bn; and not the fact that our ownership of this company is now likely to rise to 84% in economic terms, if not voting shares (75%).

You would expect something of this magnitude to lead the news stories, but is has not, instead, in a classic New Labour ‘smoke & mirrors’ game designed to dupe the public, our attention is turned to Sir Fred Goodwin and his obscene pension. The bailout of the banks, the underwriting of inter-bank loans and the public guarantees on toxic assets have all but bankrupted this country and here we are kicking up a big fuss about Sir Fred’s pension arrangements. Instead of Gordon Brown having to defend the fact that he has just spent way in excess of our expected tax receipts for this year, he could go on television and say that the government were considering legal action to challenge Sir Fred’s pension entitlement, in other words, he (Gordon Brown) could appear to be in tune with the public mood.

Please people, stop falling for these classic New Labour, cynical moves to wrongfoot the public, they are laughing at us and in a way, we deserve it. As for the political commentators that have fallen for this trick, they should hang there heads in shame. Before anyone accuses me of supporting Sir Fred’s pension arrangements, I will state for the record that I firmly do not, I just believe that this government has used the pension to divert our attention and boy, has it worked!

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Written by British Politics

27 February, 2009 at 3:59 pm

4 Responses

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  1. At last, someone appears to have got a feel for the manipulation that is going on right under our noses, as you have said, maybe we have brought it upon ourselves by allowing the Labour party to get away with what they have with relative impunity.

    Liberty Lover

    27 February, 2009 at 4:15 pm

  2. […] compromise agreement back in October. Yet it has only come to light now, when there was a need to divert attention from the real issue, which is the massive injection of additional taxpayer cash into RBS and the taking on of massive […]

  3. they do this a lot if you actually look carefully, I think there were several “Internal issues” that dominated the papers when Iraq was becoming a big issue again…

    Jenny Wartnaby

    27 March, 2009 at 10:10 am

    • @ Jenny: Yes, I think an expression they used to use was “a good day to bury bad news”, it is shameful.

      British Politics

      27 March, 2009 at 1:00 pm


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