The 12 Op-Eds of Christmas (Day 12)

Throughout the festive season, LDV has been offering our readers a load of repeats another chance to read the 12 most popular opinion articles which have appeared on the blog since 1st January, 2009. The most-read article on LDV of 2009 was by LDV co-editor, Stephen Tall, and appeared on 11th April …

Join the campaign to Shred John Prescott’s £1.5m Pension

Today the Government, in the person of Harriet Harman, announced it would legislate retrospectively to terminate Sir Fred Goodwin’s £650,000 a year pension, five months after Labour business minister Lord Myners agreed to the deal. I don’t always agree with the Telegraph’s Jeff Randall, but I think he’s bang-on-the-money with this judgement, written even before Ms Harman’s latest desperate attempts to extricate Labour from the hole into which they’ve dug themselves:

Once we set off down the road to annulling pension contracts, who knows where the journey will end. Nobody, to my knowledge, is claiming that Sir Fred had his hands in the till. His crime, if it can be so described, was one of vainglorious incompetence, embroidered with insufficient contrition.

Yes, he ran one proud institution into the ground. But no one died. If he is to be stripped of his pension, what should happen to those of ministers who have driven a whole country into the ditch, while sanctioning a futile adventure in Iraq that has cost the lives of at least 179 British servicemen?

If Treasury lawyers are going to be examining the legality of Sir Fred’s bonanza, perhaps they could apply the same level of rigour to the retirement entitlements of the entire Cabinet and many who have left it, including Tony Blair.

John Prescott is demanding that there should be no reward for failure. Quite right, too. So might we, the taxpayers, expect a partial refund of his pension pot, worth the equivalent of more than £1.5 million?

Sounds like an idea to me, to which end I’ve created a new Facebook group, Shred John Prescott’s Pension:

The Labour Government, of which John Prescott was Deputy Prime Minister for 10 years, has for the last six years waged a war in Iraq which has cost the lives of 179 members of the British armed forces. It has also cost the British taxpayer over £1 billion a year. The Government went to war claiming Iraq was concealing weapons of mass destructon, which have yet to be found.

This same Labour Government of which John Prescott was Deputy Prime Minister for 10 years, was also reponsible for creating a failed financial services regulatory body which did nothing to stop the current banking crisis. With the taxpayer forced to pick up the tab for the Government’s failures, the UK’s national debt is some £2.2 trillion, almost 150% of GDP, the worst since the 1950s.

As Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott had the power and responsibility to speak out against his Government’s craven mishandling of domestic and foreign affairs. He failed to do so.

Yet Mr Prescott will benefit from a taxpayer-funded pension pot of £1.5 million. How an earth can Mr Prescott claim without a guilty conscience such a pension?

His ignorance and unquestioning loyalty to party-over-public have plunged Britain into this mess. It is time Mr Prescott’s pension was shredded, and the money used to help pay off the catastrophes which his Government has created.

Let’s show Mr Prescott what people power can do.

You can join Shred John Prescott’s Pension here.

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