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Cheers - AE

Monday, 16 March 2009

Boundless public sector hypocrisy.

Such is the world today that anyone who has a character flaw, which is more or less everybody who's ever been born and is ever going to be, someone might well want to use it as an excuse to sue you. For example, ex-gobshite in chief of RBS Fred 'The Shred' Goodwin is being sued for, and this is quite incredible, hubris. Yes, seriously, the Times reports that:
Pensioners hire Cherie Blair to sue Sir Fred Goodwin and RBS.
That's the headline, and frankly that infuriated me as well. Clearly the point is to conjure up images in people's minds of povvo pensioners sitting round a lit match to keep warm because their pensions got wiped out by that nasty man Fred The Shred, who as we all know has walked off with his £700,000 pension intact, boosted in fact, because the government's due diligence was shithouse because they were too fucking incompetent to ask the right questions er... well, it was probably Fred The Shred's fault as well, you know, court of public opinion and all that. However, as the article quickly makes out, that isn't actually what's going on. Pensioners are not suing, pension funds are"
British pension funds are to sue Sir Fred Goodwin and the Royal Bank of Scotland in the American courts for hundreds of millions of pounds, The Times has learnt.
Cherie Blair has been hired by two local authority funds to seek compensation for the “massive losses” incurred when RBS was bailed out and the share price collapsed.
Worth noting also that this is another disgusting example of litigation tourism. Everyone involved is British but it's going to be heard in the US. Why? The bank is a UK bank, Fred The Shred is British, and the workers/pensioners who have paid into the funds must be British, or at least UK residents, because the funds are for local authorities. Even the legal representative they've hired is British. On the face of it that means it's got fuck all to do with America, so why not hear it in Britain?
It has been submitted to a court in New York, accusing Sir Fred of “hubris” for insisting on a disastrous lending and acquisition strategy that ran the bank into the ground. Class action lawsuits are common in the US, where the courts are more flexible and less expensive.
Well surprise surfuckingprise. It's because they think the US system is more likely to find in their favour, and given that the Yanks are known for such legal gems as suing McDonalds for the coffee being hot I'm prepared to believe it. Basically it seems that you get money if you can look tearful but honest while you stand in front of a jury and say that you didn't get hurt/lose money because you're a phenomenally stupid cunt, but because they didn't take into account that you're a phenomenally stupid cunt. Personally I think that if you're going to find in favour of stupid cunts then it's only fair to allow a counter suit that the previous plaintiff didn't give fair warning that they're a stupid cunt by wearing a sign stating it clearly and unequivocally. Or perhaps some sort of hat?

And then there's the reason for the suit; hubris. So if there was a Prime Minister who previously served a decade as Chancellor of the Exchequer during which time they claimed to have abolished boom and bust fifteen or twenty times, and is now frantically lurching about pointing fingers and blaming every fucker but the one in the mirror, would that be at all hubristic? Could this hypothetical fuckwit be sued?
...Mrs Blair said that she would coordinate with other RBS shareholders “with the aim of securing justice for as wide a pool of affected investors as possible”.
The former Prime Minister’s wife is acting in a professional capacity as Ms Booth, QC. She told The Times that she agreed to take on the case because of the “massive losses inflicted on local authority pension schemes and other UK institutions who were the largest investors in RBS”. She added: “It’s also about the potential to protect investors in the future by significantly raising the standards for good governance in major UK companies.”
Look, as every advert for financial products on British telly tells us, the value of investments can go down as well as up, you home may be at risk blahblahyaddahyaddah. I can't see how pension funds are different from other investments. By the time I can claim the UK state pension I expect either that it'll have imploded like all Ponzi schemes eventually do, or that the eligibility age will have been changed to reduce the numbers of claimants. By the time I'm in my mid sixties I expect it'll probably be octogenarians and older, and then only if accompanied by both parents. What about all the fucking National Insurance contributions I've paid over the years? Don't answer, I already know. It's gone, disappeared, vanished. Spent as part of general tax revenue rather than invested for my future as a pension should be, and I can go whistle if I want a penny of it back. And what if my private pension arrangements were devalued years ago as one of the first acts of a new Chancellor who'd go on to claim he'd abolished boom and bust at least once a year for the next twelve years? Could I sue? Could we all? A class action of millions of people who got fucked in 1997 and haven't stopped being fucked since? Of course, that wouldn't really have affected us all if we'd worked somewhere in the public sector, like for instance North Yorkshire or Merseyside councils, the two plaintiffs going after RBS and Fred The Shred.

Honest to fuck, the stench of the hypocrisy is enough to make you vomit. Public sector pensions have been protected by government while government has systematically looted and rooted private schemes, and the bastard responsible is capable of hubris that makes Fred The Shred look possessed of saintly modesty by comparison. Now the boot's on the other foot they've found a lawyer and Googled "where's best to win a law suit". Cunts.

Most annoying of all, before there was this desperation to make Fred Goodwin the symbol of hatred, target du jour for retribution and designated culprit of the entire banking balls up (without even the slightest nod to the role of HM Government and the FSA) I was quite comfortable despising the prick. I don't want to take the side of someone I think is a smarmy arsehole, but when people openly plan to change the law so contracts can be torn up retrospectively and sue because they couldn't be arsed to make their own judgements about the risk their investment was running I can't help but feel some sympathy. This whole get-Fred-at-any-cost mentality is pretty un-edifying and smacks slightly of dodgy coppers in the 1970s fitting up the most convenient suspect because they must have done it, and even if they didn't they're sure as fuck guilty of something.

I hope they lose, I really do. And then, since I'd be able to go back to disliking him, I hope Fred Goodwin falls down the stairs and lands right on his balls.


Anonymous said...

Right on all points.
Fucking Gob Shyte Booth is a disgrace and a hypocrite. Brown is an utter disaster and Goodwin is a cunt. I hope they all die in a terrible car crash.

Oh and you used the word rooted - you are sounding like an Aussie.

Angry Exile said...

Oh and you used the word rooted - you are sounding like an Aussie.

It rhymed. So sue me. North Yorks and Merseyside Councils probably would. ;-)

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