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Don’t be alarmed if you heard a banging noise last night: that was the sound of Whitehall slamming the stable door five years after the horse bolted. On the advice of senior civil servants, yesterday former RBS Chief Executive Fred Goodwin was stripped of his knighthood—a move which smacks of political opportunism and hypocrisy.

Deciding whether Goodwin should lose his knighthood seemed to be an open and shut case. He was among those responsible for the biggest corporate loss and public bailout in British history, and in this country he more than any other person has become synonymous with the…

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