What the sleazy powerful need now more than ever is a bogey man they’re genuinely scared of
In case it passed you by, the last time MPs held an enquiry into one of their own, no case was found to answer. Nor the time before that.
Not even the one before that, or before that, or even before that.
Some people like Michael Fallon and Boris Johnson were well worthy of investigation…and still are. But their little, um, alleged petty crimes never even got to the enquiry stage.
It has taken ordinary citizen Nicholas Wilson years of his life and most of his money to get to the stage of having the various HSBC corruption, fraud and extortion cases the bank should face reopened. He has done it – and the bloke is a bloody hero: but can somebody tell me please, since when did being British require everyone with that millstone of nationality to become the new Ralph Nader?
The American Congress also ‘regulates’ itself. As far as I can see, it regulates the number of bungs and crooked donations taken per year to a maximum of 1,070….or two per legislator. Sorry, I’m being sarcastic – but not too sarcastic.
Observe: lowlife lawyers representing the, um, House of Representatives are escalating their bid to block congressional insider trading investigations – one involving allegations that Brian Sutter, a former senior staff member of the Ways and Means Committee, passed along secret information concerning a Medicare reimbursement rate change to a lobbyist with Greenberg Traurig in April 2013. It seems the information was then disclosed to Wall Street geckos, and a series of somewhat incriminating buy/sell stuff inexplicably followed.
Because it’s their job, the Securities & Exchange Commission opened an investigation, eventually serving subpoenas on Sutter and the Ways & Means Committee.
Despite Congress having passed a free-vote law to address legislator insider trading — the STOCK Act of 2012 — attorneys acting for that self-same body have tried at every turn to block, nobble and generally derail the course of Justice.
Among other ludicrously (almost hiariously) Orwellians stunts, the Congress’s attorneys argued that the case can’t proceed because lawmakers and their staff are constitutionally protected from such inquiries. Doncha love it – they pass a law the Supreme Court isn’t even asked to find constitutionally unsound, and then when some poor taxpaying sap tries to act upon the law, well – how very dare he! Offside ref – Offside!
The filibustering continues with mad people very well paid to act mad continuing to insist that a law passed specifically to catch and prosecute legisator insider trading has no jurisdiction over, er, legislators. As such.
The full story by Lee Fang is at the increasingly entertaining US site The Intercept, but my point here is simple: as the bank robber replied when asked by a judge why this was his chosen profession, “Because your honour, that’s where the money is”. If you’re an SEC cop paid to investigate breaking a law specifically aimed at bent legislatures, you don’t expect some legal beagle dickhead to ask what right you have to investigate legislators.
Let’s just stop and think for a moment about all the excrement that’s been hitting revolving propellers for the last seven years. When has the self regulation of a bank, a police force, a legislature, a bureaucracy, a school, a communications medium or a bourse ever led to the guilty rushing to confess without even the hint of a cover-up in sight?
In contemporary western cultures, it is farcical bordering on depraved to suggest that self-regulation has a snowball in Hell’s chance of leading to justice. It is an excuse – a rationale – to allow overfed privileged mega-rich crooks to crap on all of us even more than they do already. Humphrey Bogart was right:
“Frankly lady, that comes under the heading of you would say that”.