Published on February 6th, 2012 |
by Ryan Austin
Image © [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="345" caption="Former RBS boss Fred Goodwin stripped of knighthood"][/caption] All hail average Joe: Fred Goodwin. Once a renown and respected Banker privileged with a Knighthood granted by none other than our very own Her Majesty, now coined as the man that plunged the UK into her worst recession since World War 2.
Profit Not Prefix: Let’s Make The Banks Learn The Hard Way
All hail average Joe: Fred Goodwin. Once a renown and respected Banker privileged with a Knighthood granted by none other than our very own Her Majesty, now coined as the man that plunged the UK into her worst recession since World War 2.
Portrayed as the Bond Baddie, the fiasco of Fred Goodwin can successfully be ticked off the Treasury’s ‘To-Do List’. Used as the principle scapegoat by Whitehall, Fred Goodwin has been the unfortunate victim in Cameron’s quest to market blame for and distract the British public from the real financial troubles.
But this is where the key issue lies: It’s nothing more than a well rehearsed piece of political pantomime where Fred ‘Badwin’ has been forced to learn his lines as the pantomime villain and humbly accept defeat. Nevertheless, this tale wont bring any happily ever afters for Britain.
With the country’s mounting unemployment figure at a catastrophic 2.29 million, the nations increasing debt at a record breaking £1 trillion and economic growth at a bare -0.2%, Britain’s Banking crisis lies much deeper than a mere prefix before a name.
But this doesn’t mean I can’t also acknowledge the inadequacy and the sheer incompetence shown by Fred Goodwin’s premiership at RBS. A man that oversaw the purchase of the Dutch bank ABN Amro, which proved to be the catalyst for Britain’s series of bailouts, and hence led to a bailout from the taxpayer rising yearly to a total of almost £45billion.
However, this mustn’t serve as a distraction from the second player: The Government. As much as Cameron may hope the hysteria that surrounds bankers Hester and Goodwin will satisfy the lynch mobs, it wont satisfy Britain’s future, the unemployed nor the banks themselves.
Orchestrated by a vengeful George Osborne, the Coalitions message was clear. ‘Look what Labour’s done. Brought the country to its knees and had the nerve to honour failed bankers, so now don’t rebuke us on responsibility’
But they will be. Britain’s tired of the Punch and Judy politics: the cheap marketing games in which each side throws the ball of responsibility around the Chamber like a beach ball. Already Cameron’s hypocrisy has been displayed by his recent refusal to block Stephen Hester’s £963,000 bonus on top of his £1.2million salary and £420,000-a-year pension.
I’m not questioning what went wrong and I’m certainly not covering for the banks, but as a progressive, I want to see real change. Not just some imaginary fairy tale title being stripped away, but action, regulation and growth. Moreover, that’s only going to occur when Britain can accept the past, unite together and start to build the foundations for a strong economic future.
I’m not worried whether or not three letters stay in front of Goodwin’s name, but what I am worried about is what Britain wants, and I don’t believe Britain wants to hear any more about a knighthood, rather it wants to see decisive action in creating an atmosphere of responsible capitalism and benevolent banking. With inequality high and the Occupy movement manifesting this, Cameron must drop the rhetoric on his predecessors past and instead take ‘bold and decisive action’
But being bold isn’t forcing legislation upon Britain’s despairing public nor introducing yet more rationed austerity. Being bold is saying no to the bonuses, being bold is setting an example and being decisive is concentrating on profit rather than a prefix.
With Goodwin without a title and Britain without a hopeful economy, the unemployed still remain jobless, the homeless still hopeless and the needy still hungry.