Monday, March 02, 2009

Of Pensions Gained. And Lost.

There has been an astounding furore over the Fred Goodwin pension debacle. Perhaps an element of jealousy from some quarters has been directed at Fred himself. The Government - via the mouthpiece of Harriet Harperson - has decided it needs to "do something" because of the public outcry (by retrospectively applying a new law that has been designed for one person, can't see anything going wrong with that, can you?).

Yet, of the people most likely to complain about Fred's pension, I'm sure most of them fail to see that Cristiano Ronaldo* "earns" Fred's annual remittance in a little over a month. For falling over a lot. And complaining. Ronaldo, like Goodwin, signed a contract guaranteeing him that money. Goodwin, like Ronaldo, should be paid that money. Whether it is obscene or not is a matter of opinion. Opinions are like arseholes, every one has one, but no-one really wants to hear someone else's.

I however, am an arsehole with a blog, so here's my opinion. Lord Mynas is the one who should be investigated and dealt with using the full scope of the current laws. It is he who agreed the remuneration package, and it is he who has deliberately leaked private conversations with Goodwin into the public domain in an attempt to smear him.

If there's anyone who actually needs their pension pot investigating and removing, I'd recommend Gordon Brown, who oversaw a disastrous collapse in the UK economy - as do the Daily Mash in genius fashion (re-printed below)


GORDON BROWN last night dismissed calls to surrender his £123,000 a year pension when he is forced to stop being prime minister next June.

He also has a nice big house which you pay for.

Mr Brown was defiant in the face of City outrage despite the UK government's annual operating loss of £100bn, rising to £1.5 trillion when the write-down of its banking assets is taken into account.

The prime minister said: "I've been building up this pension since I became an MP, it's all completely legal and now you want to take it away because I've been catastrophically bad at my job and you're looking for a scapegoat. What gives?"

He added: "Yes I've been in charge of financial regulation for 12 years, yes I encouraged the housing bubble, and yes I pissed billions up the wall giving pointless jobs to Labour voters, but I fail to see what any of this has to do with me being incredibly well off."

Brown's £3m pension pot is expected to cast the spotlight on the extravagant retirement packages of other failed politicians including Alistair Darling's inexplicable £1.7m and the £1.5m awarded to John Prescott for being a national scandal for 10 years.

Meanwhile Margaret Beckett has a fund worth £1.7m, something called 'Hilary Armstrong' has £1.2m and Tessa Jowell has £1m even though no-one has the faintest idea what any of them actually did.

Critics insist Mr Brown has a moral duty to hand back his pension fund as he will inevitably receive a multi-million pound advance for two volumes of eye-gougingly tedious memoirs which will end up in the bargain bucket at WH Smith within a fortnight.

Martin Bishop, head of pension rows at the Institute for Studies, said: "It's a fascinating dynamic. The politicians blame the bankers, the bankers blame the politicians, and the ordinary taxpayer is down on all fours with a confused look on his face, being fucked at both ends."

* - insert any current overpaid footballer's name here.

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