The Slog meets an unlikely hero on Twitter
Fraud is a human phenomenon worsened by an ‘anything goes’ culture. For years, MPs charged everything from duck houses to lavatory seats to the taxpayer, and paid their family salaries out of the public purse. The same practice has been going on in Greece for generations, and still does. But this being Greece, there is fraud after death: senior ministers are, on retirement, allowed to hire up to six people and charge it all to the citzenry. All those memoirs, you see…somebody has to check and make sure the lies, alleged conversations and dodgy dates make sense.
But the elite’s determination not to prosecute its wrongdoing is hard-wired into the species more firmly than the original fraud motivation requiring a cover-up in the first place. 12,000 Whitehall mandarins awarded themselves obscene pension increase between seven and four years ago. I’ve posted about this dozens of times: it’s an open and shut case, but there has not even been an accusation from officialdom, let alone a collar felt or a trial held. Here we are, years into the Hackgate scandal, and so far two people have been charged with conspiracy. The cases have yet to come to trial, and nobody at all in the real Establishment has suffered more than being gummed to sleep by half-briefed and/or showboating idiots like Louise Mensch, may she now at last disappear forever.
From the US, we learn this morning that Goldman Sachs – thought by just the one mental patient in Kuala Lumpar to be possibly innocent of all charges relating to the 2008-9 crash – will not face any prosecutions of anyone at all. A Senate subcommittee chaired by Senator Carl Levin found in Spring 2011 that Goldman marketed four sets of complex mortgage securities to banks and other investors, failed to tell clients that the securities were very risky, and then secretly bet against the investors’ positions – thus deceiving the investors about its own positions to shift risk from its balance sheet to theirs.
Last night the Justice Department said the “burden of proof” had proved too heavy a weight for them to carry. So that’s that. Earlier in the day, the Securities and Exchange Commission decided not to file charges against the firm over a $1.3bn subprime mortgage portfolio. I (like many others) have looked at the detail of this case. Tony Blair was (I know first hand) the most incompetent prosecuting counsel in British legal history, but he could’ve got the verdict on this one just by turning up.
From Britain and America, we turn to what is allegedly an entirely different culture, Greece. A regular source of Athenian grime wrote to me last night to explain why – although 13 senior civil servants with a combined $30.7 million in undeclared bank deposits are being investigated about tax evasion – they’ve been fingered before and escaped scot-free. So nobody really expects them to go down this time. They include:
A female court official with $9.8 million in unexplained deposits.
A retired Ministry clerk with $10.9 million in the bank
A customs officer illegally possessing $1.13 million
An Urban Planning Agency clerk with $1.9 million
Two former Urban Planning Agency workers with $750,000 each
An Urban Planning Agency supervisor illegally possessing $435,000
An Urban Planning Agency clerk with $75,000
A former Forest Inspector with $5.05 million of which $1.24 million
was said to be illegal
A Former Forestry supervisor with $108,000
A Greek Manpower Employment Organization (OAED) clerk with $830,000
A supervisor of the Association of Municipalities and Communities
Former head technician possessing $737,000.
You’d think that this one would be a doddle for Tony Blair’s cat, but apparently not.
Why am I wittering on about this today? Last night I met (on Twitter) a young man of the Left(ish I think) persuasion called Scott Duffy. He said all Tories hate equality, and I asked him to define equality. We had a spirited exchange, and then I gently suggested he was being a bit ageist towards me. His reply was: “You are right I was being very presumptuous and rude… I will read your blogs…”
There are other clear signs that Scott is a good egg. First off, he’s a mental health worker, without whom my Dad would’ve been face-down in a gutter somewhere years ago. But even more telling, he describes himself at his Home
@ScottDuffy as having “an irrational hatred of CJ from the Eggheads”. His only error here is to describe the emotion as irrational: CJ is an appallingly dismissive prat, and represents one of the very few sound arguments in favour of capital punishment.
So I hope he’s reading this. Scot I mean, not CJ. No, cancel that: I hope CJ is reading this, the bloody pillock. Because yes, Scott is right, the rich exploit the poor (that’s how they get rich) but if the system works properly, they also employ the poor to more productive usefulness than State-run economies. However, without equality before the law, there can be no fairness, no progress, no decency and – in total – no civilisation.
In a civilised society, for example, clots like Boris Johnson would not be considered for positions of power. He is a friend of criminals, a foul-mouthed bully-boy, a detester of the public, a dissembler of facts, a dictator pretending to be a clown, and an idiot who calls a principled New York regulator a favouritist “jealous of London’s success as a banking regulator”. This from the man who thinks it OK to spend Locog money entertaining Rupert Murdoch at the Olympic Games. This from the man who has always sided with the Lord Greens and the Newscorps, the Bob Diamonds and the Fred Goodwins, the Darius Guppies and – now – Peter Sands who, while he seems guility of very little, really does not deserve to be thought a victim. He is the victim of a principled lawyer, Ben Lawsky, who got tired of cosy deals between crooks in US banking and crooks at the Fed.
In a civilised society, there would be no room along the corridors of power for Harriet Harman, who wants privileged status for her gender based on perhaps the most ignorant and outdated theory of behaviourist nonsense on the planet. In her pursuit of this, she has encouraged Secret Courts, unwittingly enabled paedophiles to target victims, and replaced equality of opportunity with the cancerous favouritism of ‘affirmative action’ – aka, promoting the mediocre.
Both people were plunged into the spotlight four years ago by The Slog as the two most dangerous people in Britain – because they share a liking for favouritism, the promotion of their tribe; because they then pervert the law to bring that to life; and because they excuse the inanities of their position with potty arguments like “We must show the world that Britain is open for business”. Behind Jack Dromey are the undemocratic legions of Unite. Behind Boris are George Osborne (who this morning joined in the anti-Lawsky chorus) and media proprietors, none of whom either live in or pay taxes to this country. I would love to say a lot more about the relationship, but the lawyers say I mustn’t. Not yet.
Harman is the power (along with hubby Jack) behind Ed Miliband. When Camerlot collapses, there is a good chance Boris will step into the vacuum. The bad guys are winning. This is not good.
Now that, Scott, is what I call real inequality – the law as protector of privilege, rather than blind prosecutor of wrongdoing. Anyway, good on yer mate – we may never agree on much, but at least you’re tolerant, do a vital job, and have nice manners. And you hate CJ.