What Ed appears to be forgetting is who was running the country when this all started. Labour had the chance to sort out the bonuses at RBS when it effectively took them over but they bottled it. They also could have stood up to the RBS board in December 2009 – but again bottled it.
Now we have Fred Goodwin being stripped of his Knighthood and again Ed Miliband apparently forgetting who gave it to him to start with.
Thankfully the news programmes don’t appear to be. Over the last two days I’ve seen BBC News, ITV News and Channel 4 News reminding us that the rot started on Labour’s watch. For example:
Mr Hester is attacked left, right, and centre for daring to consider requiring his employers to honour his contract – a contract drawn up by the Labour government. When it looked as if he would take the money, who better than the very people who had written the contract, the now Labour opposition, to cry foul. (Jon Snow’s Blog)
I’m not excusing the coalition on this: I feel David Cameron should have done more and sooner. He’s had 20+ months to get this sorted out and now it’s come back to bite him and the rest of the government.
So what next? A feeding frenzy? Ed Miliband now has a policy and looks to be ready to pursue it after several very poor weeks in the polls. Unfortunately this policy appears to be mainly calling for things that Labour had 13 years to sort out and in many instances got worse.
Maybe if Ed could finally come up with a detailed policy rather than “bankers bad, bonuses bad”? And what of the possible consequences? Is there a danger of overseas money not coming in as a result?
And what if Stephen Hester decides he doesn’t need the hassle and leaves? Yes a lot of people will say they could do the job – 99.9% wishful thinking – but he has helped steer the bank on a better course. There is the risk we could end up with another Fred Goodwin and what of our billions then?