It's taken nearly 5 years, but there appears to be some very... very small comfort for people who were the victims of the collapse of RBS with the news that Fred "The Shred" Goodwin has had his knighthood taken from him. The common concencus is that this is the right decision, with Cameron saying "The proper process has been followed and I think we have ended up with the right decision."
Er... no, ther right decision has not been made.
As far as I'm aware, there are no criminal proceedings against either Goodwin, McKillop (the former RBS chairman who still has his gong), Andy Hornby, James Crosby (former CEO's of HBOS, Crosby again still has his gong) or Dennis Stevenson (former chairman of HBOS, who sits in the House of Lords). Indeed the closest that the FSA report comes to alleging criminal negligance is with their conclusion that "RBS proceeded (with the purchase of ABN Amro) without appropriate heed to the risks involved and with inadequate due diligence".
To date there is no equivilant report on the collapse of HBOS, let alone any sign of an inquiry into the collapse of Dunfermline, Bradford & Bingley or Alliance & Leicester. And there is certainly no sign of an inquiry into the purchase of ABN Amro, despite the questions surrounding both RBS decision and Barclays actions. Then again, this is Britain where we are soft on financial crime and soft on the causes of white collar crime - going back to Ernist Saunders.
Were we serious about looking at punishing those responsible, there would have been criminal charges brought against the responsable parties, we would have had trials and those responsible would possiably be behind bars. Instead we get ourselves in a frenzy about the removal of a discredited gong from a discredited businessman. We really must look like a laughing stock abroad.