What a year it has been, the real challenge is getting all the nominations down into one 300 word blog.
My first nomination goes to the Phoenix Four who memorably brought MG Rover to its knees. The full DTI report has to be one of the best reads of the year with tales of dodgy Chinese consultants, pilfering escrow accounts, hunting estates in South West France, lying, bullying, cheating and greed. Never have the failings of four individuals been so ruthlessly exposed.
If this was a free vote, I am sure Mahmood Ahmadinejad, President of Iran, would garner the support of many, but I prefer to give special mention to the individual who helped rig an election, denying millions of people their democratic rights and, I suspect, pulls the real strings from behind the scenes (as Joe Klein in Time magazine pointed out). Step forward Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Whilst Fred Goodwin deserves a mention, for me he’s more of a 2008 villain despite his pension arrangements (he’s so yesterday). For me the title of ‘Banking Villain of the Year’ must go to Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, who memorably declared in an interview with the Sunday Times that he is “doing God’s work”. I admit my knowledge of the scriptures is poor, but didn’t Our Lord throw the money lenders out of the temple?
Tiger Woods has shown this year that hubris can still lead to nemesis. His extraordinarily arrogant behavior, particularly on the golf course (some spectacular club throwing at the Australian Masters can be viewed HERE) has only been matched by his whining public statements and willingness to use the British legal system to attempt to cover up his multiple transgressions with a dizzying number of Vegas cocktail waitresses.
However, whilst Mr Woods’ fall from grace has been spectacular, he poses no threat to world peace. Neither for that matter does my nomination for Villain of the Year (at the moment) but watch this space. This was the year when a politician compared herself to a dead fish (“only dead fish go with the flow”) whilst resigning from the Governorship of Alaska after only 18 months. Not for her the ‘drudgery’ of actually serving her electorate or compiling a political record before attempting a bid for the Republican nomination. No, far better, to charge tens of thousands of dollars for public appearances and write a self-serving book.
We can only hope that the people of Iowa will not fall for any of this when the Republican caucus takes place in January 2012.
My Villain of the Year is Sarah Palin.