Monthly Archives: January 2012

This is how you lose your knighthood

In case, ya know, you ever wanted to get rid of that pesky “Sir” at the front of your name:

LONDON — The British government announced on Tuesday that Frederick A. Goodwin, the former chief executive of the now-nationalized Royal Bank of Scotland, would be stripped of his knighthood.

The announcement comes after the country’s prime minister, David Cameron, said on Jan. 19 that he supported a review of Mr. Goodwin’s knighthood, which he received in 2004 for his service to the British banking industry.

That honor now looks woefully out of place. The bank, based in Edinburgh, is 82 percent owned by British taxpayers after receiving a multibillion-dollar bailout in 2008. Mr. Goodwin, who gained the nickname “Fred the Shred” for his cost-saving efforts, left the bank after the government took control of it in 2008.

The decision to remove Mr. Goodwin’s knighthood has to be ordered by the queen after receiving advice from the so-called forfeiture committee, made up of high-ranking government officials.

In a statement, the committee said Mr. Goodwin’s decisions while chief executive of the bank “meant that the retention of a knighthood for services to banking could not be sustained.”

The committee said its decisions were not usually announced in advance, but the scale and severity of Mr. Goodwin’s actions made this an exceptional case.

The removal of his knighthood places Mr. Goodwin alongside other notable individuals. Robert G. Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe, had his honorary knighthood annulled in 2008 because of violence ahead of a presidential run-off election. Jean Else, who helped transform a failing British school, had her damehood revoked last year for ignoring some standards and promoting her twin sister.

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io9 gives us The Walking Dead…as a 1980s sitcom:

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