There will be lots of anti-capitalists out there delighted with Gordon Brown's announcement that he is going to use the entire apparatus of government to attack Sir Fred Goodwin and 'claw' back some of his pension, that government ministers previously signed-off on.
Although I agree it is breathtakingly incompetent that a government minister approved of this pay-off for Sir Fred, presumably so that he would keep his mouth shut while the government took over RBS, there are three ramifications we need to be really careful of here:
1) The use of state power to target and then try to destroy a single individual
2) The reneging on and failure to back up in law the voluntary joint agreement of a signed contract
3) The use of retro-active law to achieve a desired governmental aim to attack a single individual
Any of the three measures above are bad for liberty and good for tyranny, therefore we must oppose the government on this plan to attack one man.
Yes, it is appalling that the unelected City minister, Lord Myners, agreed on Gordon Brown's behalf to award Sir Fred this pension. But we should lay the blame for this on Myner's boss, not Sir Fred, who as an individual simply signed an agreement in good faith, which then made it easier for the government to take over RBS.
It's no good Gordon Brown swapping five marbles for a hundred sweets, then scoffing all of the sweets, and then demanding his marbles back. Brown entered into a deal nobody forced him into and he should stick with it.
What we should be really focussing on here is the bait-and-switch case. That is, we should be prosecuting Gordon Brown for the theft of these five marbles from the rest of us, not worrying about how he disposed of them in his bid to live up to the fifth commandment in the Communist Manifesto, which tells all good communists everywhere to try to take over the banks.
I hope Sir Fred Goodwin shields himself successfully both from Gordon Brown and whatever sharp-edged knives our Greek tyrant tries to throw at him.
Thus is the cause of liberty always riding on the knife-edge of bad cases.