It’s a fickle thing, public opinion. It blows hot, it blows cold.
As we are seeing with Fred Goodwin, it can even turn into the kind of mightily destructive whirlwind no-one ever wants to reap. Fred the Shred has, in turn, been shredded.
But fickle by its very nature means flighty. Public opinion is as changeable as the wind.
How then, do we explain away the kinds of sustained and immovable hate fest that has characterised the Goodwin affair?
The British public may well be disgusted by the morally bankrupt and grasping-to-the-end antics of the failed financier. I suspect most who saw his sham apology to a parliamentary select committee also felt there was no hint of genuine remorse.
Reprehensible though Goodwin is, he’s just one man.
Scotland has two collapsed banks. Which means you don’t have to go far to find a motley collection of soiled money men, all of whom were complicit in the destruction of 300 years of fine banking heritage – all of them are unfeasibly wealthy as a result.
What then sets Fred so very apart in the crucible of public opinion? Or should that be who?