Photo: The Sun
Sir Fred Goodwin, the former CEO of RBS, got a superinjunction forbidding the press from calling him a banker, the Guardian reports.The reason we even know about its existence — because a superinjuction prevents the media from even reporting that an injunction was obtained — is because a British back-bencher called John Hemming brought it up in parliament.
A superinjunction, also know as a “gag order” is an order that restricts information or comment from being made public, and are often used in lawsuits or criminal trials. More importantly, they’re often used to prevent media from publishing unwanted information on a particular subject.
“In a secret hearing this week Fred Goodwin has obtained a superinjunction preventing him being identified as a banker,” Hemming declared in the House of Commons, according to the Guardian.
The British MP is pissed that wealthy individuals continue to be granted these superinjunctions by the court.
Photo: The Sun
Goodwin, who was the chief of Royal Bank of Scotland when it nearly imploded, was apparently infuriated by negative press coverage during the financial crisis, and detested being dubbed “Fred the Shred” in the media.Hemming, who used parliamentary privilege to avoid the legal ban on reporting the use of superinjunctions, asked: “Will the government have a debate or a statement on freedom of speech and whether there’s one rule for the rich like Fred Goodwin and one rule for the poor?”
He attracted widespread media attention after he was forced to step down in 2008 as a non-negotiable condition of the bank’s £20bn bailout by the taxpayer. Goodwin initially left RBS with a pension of £700,000 a year and a lump sum of nearly £3m. He agreed to reduce the payout following public outcry.
Goodwin was CEO of National Australia’s British business when he earned the nickname “Fred the Shred” from London financiers, for his reputation as a ruthless cost-cutter. He has also been called “a corporate Attila”, because he “gained a reputation in the City for being a fearsome outsider – being Scottish, and not educated at a public school or at Oxbridge – who made raids in the south and abroad when it suited him.”