I must admit that I did not immediately grasp the obvious parallels between the decision to strip a banker of his knighthood and the brutal murder of hundreds of American blacks at the hands of a mass white supremacist paramilitary organisation.
So I am thankful to Lord Digby Jones, a man who served as trade minister under Labour, for bringing the comparison to my attention. The erstwhile head of the Confederation of British Industry believes that the treatment dealt out to Fred Goodwin earlier this week carries ‘the faint whiff of the lynch mob on the village green’ about it.
Who knows? Maybe Alan Parker can be prevailed upon to remake his powerful 1988 film ‘Mississippi Burning’, maybe relocated to somewhere like Esher, as bands of roaming vigilantes track down and string up stray City Boys.
Lord Jones might care to ponder on the fact that victims of lynch mobs in the last century were typically hung to death. Not only is Mr Goodwin still very much alive, but he is in receipt of a pension of hundreds of thousands of pounds a year while still a sprightly fifty-something. That doesn’t sound too bad to me.
According to the Wikipedia, the home of all reliable information on the internet, Goodwin is the son of an electrician from Paisley, a place where not many kids on the local council estates will have had feudal titles when he was growing up there in 1960s. And the few that did would probably have been bullied on account of it.
Whether or not Fred the Shred is particularly bothered about no longer being able to use the designation ‘Sir’ we do not know. But if he has got any sense, he will not give a monkey’s. If there is any whiff of lynch mobs here at all, it is decidedly faint.