Sense of fair play needed

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Oh dear, Fred Goodwin, former boss of The Royal Bank of Scotland, has been stripped of his knighthood. Poor man. Let’s hope he manages to get by on his pension of £325,000 per annum, or thereabouts. He shouldn’t worry too much about the thousands of his former workers who have lost their jobs or the British taxpayers who stumped up billions of pounds to plug his sinking ship.

Some have sympathy for poor old Fred. Fellow Scot and friend Jackie Stewart has sprung to his defence. The Institute of Directors has warned of “creating ant-business hysteria”.

If there is “anti-business hysteria” I would suggest it may be due to the sheer greed and arrogance of those senior executives and company directors who feel they are due disproportionately high rewards for their (often mediocre) efforts. These are the people who keep a very tight rein on workers’ pay while rewarding themselves handsomely for their own efforts. Their salaries and benefits have mushroomed while company profits and share prices have sometimes stood still or even fallen.

The bosses of the big companies employ remuneration experts to advise what their salaries and benefits should be. It is hardly surprising that these experts come to the conclusion that these company bosses should be better rewarded. I don’t suppose they are likely to get any more work from those companies if they tell them the opposite! How often are we told “these are the salaries that need to be paid to get people of the right calibre” or “if we don’t pay it they will go elsewhere, leave the country”. Sadly it seems many of these people are not of the right calibre and if some wish to leave the UK then let them.

At a time when so many are unable to find work or make ends meet it will not be surprising if there is trouble ahead since the gap between rich and poor gets wider and wider. Institute of Directors - look first at yourselves, get a conscience and try to get a sense of fair play.

Rob Rose

Main Street