Fred Goodwin does actually have some friends. It's worth mentioning this as his standing is so low following the announcement he is to be stripped of his knighthood there might be a temptation to feel sorry for the former Chief Executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).
Speaking on the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 this morning, however, the former racing driver Jackie Stewart mentioned that his mate, Fred, had "turned off his phone, probably wisely".
So at least someone is willing to go into bat for the man who has become a lightning rod for anger at the banking industry.
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The reasons are easy to trot out.
His decisions, particularly the acquisition of the Dutch bank ABN Amro in 2007, bankrupted Britain's biggest bank. He then clung on desperately to his full pension entitlement of around £700,000 per year despite the UK tax payer sinking £45.5bn into the empty husk of a business that he left behind.
That was the decision that killed his reputation. Later of course, he agreed to give back some of his pension pot, cutting the payments to just shy of £350,000 a year. But by then it was too late. Venality and cussed disregard for national sentiment had sealed his fate.
The problem was, that while the political elite saw an easy win in changing "Sir" Fred to just Fred, they needed some ammo to do the deed. That was supposed to come in the recently released FSA inquiry into just how RBS collapsed so spectacularly. The trouble was, that report didn't deliver the goods. Sir Fred wasn't found to have made any regulatory breach. In other words he hadn't broken any law or code which would have changed his actions from ill-advised to illegal.
Nevertheless, the momentum of public opinion is not something politicians are inclined to ignore. With RBS in the headlines yet again, with Fred's successor Stephen Hester under pressure to turn down his near £1m bonus, the time to strike had arrived. While the Conservative government felt they couldn't force Hester to take too much of a hit, they knew they could win friends by stripping the Shred of his gong.
Some in the business community and, indeed, the former Chancellor, Alistair Darling, have made the point that, in the absence of a criminal conviction, just what is the justification for the decision? The justification of course is what, in Roman times, was called the mob. The insatiable appetite for blood.
But is (Lord) Jeffrey Archer really of higher morale caliber than Fred Goodwin?
Benito Mussolini and Nicolae Ceausescu were both stripped of honorary titles. It could be said Fred Goodwin isn't quite in their league.
Nor did "the Shred" spy for the Russians, as did "Sir" Anthony Blunt (the "Sir" disappeared after he was exposed as a spook).
What remains fascinating, to this writer at least, is just how much Fred Goodwin did achieve before his fall.
His early career was as an accountant in a Scottish firm no one had ever heard of. He got into banking after dealing with the fall out from the demise of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International and built Royal Bank of Scotland up from being a bit part player in Britain to, at one stage, the biggest bank in the world by market capitalisation.
It seems, now, that a man capable of doing that, of bending the market so completely could not be without an uncommon ability. But Fred Goodwin's talent must now fester in inglorious isolation and removal from the world in which he once stood very tall indeed.
Perhaps he will take comfort in his friends.
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