"The prime minister has said that it is not acceptable and therefore it will not be accepted... And it might be enforceable in a court of law, this contract, but it is not enforceable in the court of public opinion and that is where the government steps in."
That's Harriet Harman as reported by the BBC.
If that quotation doesn't scare you, then it bloody well should.
What Harriet Harman seems to be saying is:
1) that if Gordon Brown says something isn't acceptable then it will not be accepted. Is the UK a one-man dictatorship now?
2) that regardless of the law the government can step in.
Do you find that acceptable?
Today I see that others have picked up on this staggering threat issued by Harriet Harman. Libertarian Alliance have an open letter to Fred Goodwin that includes this:
"Are laws to be changed by merely what the sitting government says is “public opinion”? What, then, is Parliament for? A very dangerous precedent for the prospects for individual liberty - and in particular property rights - would be set by Harbint’s words, if she were able to translate them into actions."
The Times have straight report that sheds little light onto the matter of Harriet Harman's extraordinary threats to ignore thye law of the land.
It is Jeff Randall in The Telegraph that gets the fact that this is a diversion, a deliberate obfuscation of the true problem:
"If the inappropriately named Goodwin did not exist, the Government's Department of Propaganda would need to invent him. By casting Sir Fred as the pantomime villain – the credit crunch's Dick Dastardly – the unholy trinity of Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling and Lord Mandelson has been able to deflect attention from Labour's calamitous stewardship.
The Prime Minister in particular has been brazen in threatening Sir Fred with court action to retrieve a pension package that was signed off by the City minister, Lord Myners. This is grandstanding of the cheapest kind. Sir Fred's deal is obscene, but that does not make it illegal. Mr Brown understands this, but is desperate for the searchlight of public opprobrium to be shifted away from the unfolding debacle in Downing Street. Ironic, isn't it, that having destroyed Britain's private pension system with a tax raid which, grossed up over 12 years, has snatched about £100 billion from personal savings schemes, the Prime Minister is now keen to preach on pensions and justice.
Even if Mr Brown were to get his way, and Sir Fred ended up as a modern-day William Wallace – emasculated, eviscerated, with his head placed on a pike atop London Bridge – Britain's deep-rooted financial stress would not be alleviated. Our thirst for vengeance, though understandable, is distracting us from a terrible reality: the economy is in worse shape than anyone in power is prepared to admit, and public finances are completely out of control."
The Labour spin machine has got their teeth into this one and they have generally succeeded in getting the press and the oh so compliant BBC to toe the "party line". Therefore it is the duty of all free-thinkers to expose the deliberate misdirection.