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My gob is smacked

Note: I am not Devil's Kitchen.

Every so often, something happens that I just cannot believe. Today is one of those days:
"Sir Fred should not be counting on being £650,000 a year better off as a result of this because it is not going to happen," she said.

"The Prime Minister has said it is not acceptable and therefore it will not be accepted.

"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."

I can, quite literally, not believe what I am reading here. A senior minister of the government of the United Kingdom is brushing aside the rule of law and opening the door to the rule of the wishes of the Prime Minister and / or that of the baying mob.

I am stunned. Is this what has come of more than two thousand years of British history? A bunch of spivs have walked in, brushed aside centuries-old rights and turned us into some sort of bizarre feral tyranny ... is that really it?


Anonymous said…
Labour is desperate. The question they face now isn't whether they'll win the next election but whether there will be a Labour Party left after the next election.

Harman is playing to the galleries because it's the only option she has left. She's posing as a populist and, by extension, attempting to equate the unpopular bankers with both the Tories and Harman's own enemies within the Labour Party.

Don't take what she's saying too seriously. It's political posturing rather than anything meaningful, but it does say something about Harman's willingness to sacrifice what is right and what is lawful in the name of her own personal advancement.
Blue Eyes said…
.. is that really it?

Yep, looks like it. Don't forget that private property and contracts are anathema to the Left. The state is supreme in their view.
the doctor said…
I trust that Harpie Harman is to be dragged before the Bench of the High Court and punished for her contempt .
When the inevitable " revolution " comes , Labour should realise that it , its self , has demonstrated how to ignore the law if the land .
Idle Pen Pusher said…
A bunch of spivs have walked in, brushed aside centuries-old rights and turned us into some sort of bizarre feral tyranny ... is that really it?

Yes, yes it is.

Idle Pen Pusher
Anonymous said…
If they do attempt to change the law, watch for the small print. Presently if you are already in receipt of your pension you are fireproof, betcha this will no longer be the case if your employer feels the scheme is no longer viable - yet another erosion of rights slipped in through the back door under cover of something else.

Of course this legislation will not apply to Parliamentary pensions...
Prodicus said…
Harriet Harman, QC, is a Law Officer to the Crown. She should be disbarred for bringing the law into disrepute for, along with Prescott, threatening honest citizens with lawless mob rule. (Not in my name, you outlaw socialist bitch.)

The Righteous show their true colours under pressure, don't you think?
bustop said…
From another angle is she so thick as to not see that those most at risk if tried by Public Opinion are her and her crooked cronies. In the court of public opinion Jacqui Smith, to name but one, would be toast!
Nink said…
Please will someone tell me when we can line these people up against a wall and shoot them!
Mark Wadsworth said…
What bustop says.

Pots, kettles.

I can't say that Fred's £16 million pension bothers me in the slightest, what upsets me is that the gummint is giving the banks hundreds of billions of taxpayers' finest to pay for all this.
Anonymous said…
I found this statement deeply, deeply sinister, she's a solicitor for gawd's sake. I'm glad I'm not alone in this. This fuss is pure distraction politics but the threats are beyond the pale. Any individual is thus susceptible to this goverment's threats and dislikes.
Angry Exile said…
Quite right bustop. I've got no time for Fred Goodwin and think he's a world class twat, but he's being used as a convenient target here by Harridan Halfwit here, probably to drum up support among rank and file Labour members come the eventual leadership bid. Got to make noises that the unions will approve of y'see. But I'm sure she along with the other 645 happy pigs in shit would be less than comfortable with attention drawn to their gold-plated taxpayer funded pensions, plus all the fucking expenses the bastards are milking before they can take their venality into the House of Lords.

What makes me chuckle slightly is that I expect Halfwit's posturing is very popular with the public sector union mob, but few if any of them have considered what effect the precedent could have for their own pensions. A future PM not beholden to the public sector could potentially turn round and say that since the country clearly can't afford all these public sector final salary schemes the deal is going to be torn up and rewritten retrospectively. They're so bent out of shape and twisted with envy that they don't want arseholes to enjoy the protection of a legal contract, but it's not occurred to them that if they achieve it then nobody else will be protected either. Stupid twats.
wonderfulforhisage said…
I wonder if the Tories will jump on this and attack Smith with the vigour deserved. On the other hand, if they do, they might frighten the horses by looking as if they are supportive of Goodwin.

I'd say the odds are 5/1 on that they'll take the 'Don't frighten the horses' route.

We shall see.
Anna Raccoon said…
Obnoxio -

Don't take it to heart - a senior official of the High Court and a cabinet minister has just told us that we can ignore the law and exact retribution from whomever we think got us into this banking crisis - that has to be good news and an instant defence for anyone caught stringing Gordon up by his heels from a lamp post outside Downing Street.......
David Davis said…
I have deliberated, and I genuinely think she means it sincerely. She has thought about it, and means absolutely that what the Nazis in power say is, is what actually is. There is, in her eyes as a lawuer, one law for her and hers, and another for the rest of us.

Interesting times.
Anonymous said…
after the revolution public sector pay/pensions can be reduced, including MP's renumeration.
Old Holborn said…
I'm looking foward to seeing them try.

Really looking forward.
Dennis said…
What bustop said, also.

Let me get this straight. The whole industrial, commercial, academic, you name it, apparatus of the United Kingdom depends on the law of contract. And she's saying a signed contract can now be breached merely because some Scottish fellow finds its terms "unacceptable". A Scottish fellow, moreover, whose stooge and stand-in oversaw the creation of said contract.

Wake me up, somebody, I'm having a nightmare.
Anonymous said…
The other benefit of a retrospective right enshrined in law to rewrite an individual's contract is that anyone out of the jursdiction will have second and third thoughts about entering into any contract here. Well done!
Anonymous said…
Aah Horrid Hardbint. Can't wait for the day to come when the wire tightens around her neck.
Anonymous said…
I find tax unacceptable. Therefore it will not be accepted. I know this because Harriet Harperson said so.
Sandy Jamieson said…
Now here is the Question. Under which legal system is Sir Fred's pension contract set up. Is it a matter for the Westminster Parliament or is it a matter for the Scottish Parliament?

Now I am in no way a lawyer and am not sure of what matters ar5e exactly reserved to the Scottish Parliament but it strikes me that if RBS is a Scottish Company, such changes in the law of contract for Scotland may not be in the power of the Westminster Parliament and defininately not in that appalling woman. Though that type will not bother with anything so inconvenient as a Act of Parliament
A N Other said…
If a lawful contract can be set aside at a political whim then we are back to medieval times when the local robber baron could take what he wanted from you.

There goes the rule of law.
usher in the court of public opinion said…
"The court of public opinion"

Sorry, I missed exactly where that is located.

I'd love to go and see it in action. I imagine they have a long list of cases waiting to be heard, and I expect there are a lot of NuLab's slugs waiting at the front to be tried and duly condemned when found guilty of corruption, sleaze, incompetence, neglect and deceiving the ordinary citizens into believing our leaders have any idea what they are doing.
David Davis said…
I have posted an open letter to Sir Fred here:-

Please feel free to transmit it virally. I will hand them a hard copy for him in any case.
Anonymous said…
I find that my attitude to Fred Goodwin is rather similar to my attitude to Israel - by rights I should hate him, but so odious are his opponents that I can't help coming down on his side.
Alec said…
Anon said: "Don't take what she's saying too seriously."

You would be a fool not to.
Anonymous said…
Sir Fred's pension today, your's tomorrow.
Nuliabour make a corkscrew look straight
Werner Patels said…
A contract is a contract is a contract.

You know, things are bad all over the world right now, with, for example, the "Conservative" prime minister having made a full conversion to what appears to be socialism -- all in the name of "economic stimulus". (Newsflash: Canada's economy will recover only once the American economy to the south has swung into action again.).

But the things I have been reading about in Britain are of such hair-raising stupidity that it's hard to believe.

This is one such example. Let the guy enjoy his pension -- that was the agreement. Public opinion is not enforceable under the law; only the letter of the law is.
David Gillies said…
Harman is mooting a Bill of Attainder. Under a just and parliamentary system she should forfeit her head for such a transgression.
berenike said…
Funny, when you had that "send an MP a copy of 1984" thing, I thought you ought rather to have sent A Man for All Seasons.

here is a particularly relevant scene.
Francis said…
By the same logic Harperson should forfeit her pension
Neal Asher said…
It's all nailed here. Should they pass some sort of legislation to enable them to grab back Sir Fred's pension it will be used ever afterwards. Look forward to having your pension stolen should you infringe any of Labour's thousands of new laws. Should we be surprised? No, Gordon Brown has a history of stealing people's pensions.
peterh-s said…
What seems to be being overlooked is that if Fred Goodwin had had an ounce of integrity, he would have done what other bankers in his position did in the 30's and jumped off a high building. Also, the law is made by the clowns in government voted in by the baying mob, so all this crying about the rule of law is irrelevant. Law can only exist with the consent of the majority. If the majority feel sufficiently anarchic, law is fucked. Ergo, if Brown does not want the odious banker to get his pension (because he does not want to upset the majority of the people) out of the billions that I have contributed to in my taxes, then if he passes a law preventing him getting it then he won't get it. The law can be changed and implemented retrospectively - whether this is right or not is not relevant - if the public want it sufficiently, they'll get it. If RBS had been allowed to go bankrupt, then his pension would have fallen into the hands of the Pension Protection Fund. Under that scheme the maximum he would have been entitled to is £28,000. It was a government cock-up that they did not allow RBS to fail and immediately pick up the pieces. We should not have to pay the knight anything for screwing up so badly. We are headed for a difficult time where law is likely to break down anyway or at least we'll see mass rioting on a scale never previously seen. People like Goodwin and the injustice of the reward he is receiving for his failure only make that rioting more inevitable.
Paddy said…
If only they could be a little consistent.

Will they follow the same pattern of thought regarding the overwhelming wish of the public for

: exile of the immoderate Muslim hoards
: reinstatement of the death penalty for serious crimes
: going back to having a leader sanctioned by a general election


Rob said…
That scene from "A man for all seasons" was marred only slightly by what appeared to be a wobbling green plate of jelly on the table.
Rob said…
Goodwin - "An Enemy of the People". Expect a show trial soon.

"The Prime Minister has said it is not acceptable and therefore it will not be accepted."

Who elected Brown Generalissimo, you hag? No-one of course. Funny how the Communist and Trotskyite influences in Labour are coming more to the fore as their panic sets in.
Anonymous said…
Trying looking at the "Henry VIII" provision in the Banking Act 2009, which has recently received the Royal Assent.

Section 75 gives the Treasury the power to change the law WITHOUT PARLIAMENTARY APPROVAL:

"The Treasury may by order amend the law for the purpose of enabling the powers under this Part to be used effectively, having regard to the special resolution objectives."


"An order under subsection (2)(c) may make provision which has retrospective effect in so far as the Treasury consider it necessary or desirable for giving effect to the particular exercise of a power under this Act in connection with which the order is made (but in relying on this subsection the Treasury shall have regard to the fact that it is in the public interest to avoid retrospective legislation)."

It is a quite remarkable provision. This really is elected totalitarianism. If they can pass such a provision re the banks, why does anyone think they won't do it re Fred's pesnion?
Chalcedon said…
My brother worked in the NHS. He was told that he would have to reapply for his job 'sometime in the future'. So why don't the useless twats try this wheeze and they can then impose contracts that they prefer re pensions, bonuses etc?

The Harpie is playing to the gallery of course. But if it's public opinion, then we should get a referendum and then this lot should call a general election. Or they should all be strung up. Maybe that's the better option.
Gareth said…
Anon 11:43 AM,

Many of the major bits of legislation under Labour have included such enabling acts. The mandarins used to just write the laws, now they can enact them too.(And instigate Police investigations against opposition MPs...)

A recent comment from a retired senior civil servant illustrates the predicament - When he told Thatcher something she didn't like she was enraged. When he told Major something he didn't like Major went quiet. When he told Blair something he didn't like Blair changed his mind.

The yes men in Government aren't the civil servants, it's the MPs - too dim and too vain to know better. They used to be the only effective barrier to the unelected state taking control. Not any more.
Anonymous said…
I agree that much ZanuLabour legislation contains enabling provisions for subsequent secondary legislation without parliamentery scrutiny. But they have never before allowed the goverment to change ANY law they don't like and to do so retrospectively. In that regard the Banking Act is a new low.
johnny nunsuch said…
In 1997 when NuLab became the government a high up stated "We are in charge now"

After 12 years can anyone be surprised at their contempt for anyone and anything else.

Sir Fred is just a distraction from the mess these F*CKTARDS have made of the UK

Don't expect much different from "boy dave" and his glee club either
Campaign to save Fred's Pension said…
They already have almost half Freds' pension back in tax, now McSnotty wants the rest. It's not good enough after the poor chap worked so hard to do McSnotty's will.

Of course Fred's pension is just a Mandleslug distraction but they'll be after what's left of yours next. Once you've been tried in the Harpeoples court, that is.

BTW didnt' Adolf blame the bankers.

'Kristall Nacht coming up shortly'
wh00ps said…
ain't that the sad truth. the equivalent to the usa's bailout bill giving unlimited power to the treasury, whilst through nationalization merging the state and the banks. interesting times indeed.

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