Arrested Development 48

The great horsemeat scandal appears the result of fraud perpetrated in the European meat processing insudtry, and it worked because the supermarkets really care very little about food quality: care little and test less. The media frenzy has spurred on the arrest of a handful of people from small British abattoirs which are in no way central to the main scandal, and I suspect those arrested may prove to have done very little wrong.

But compare this rapid arrest of “small men” with the LIBOR scandal, where banks indisputably rigged, deliberately and repeatedly rigged, the basis of many trillions of dollars worth of financial transactions. It was deliberate dishonesty, fines on the banks have added up to billions, but not one of the fraudulent bankers who did it has been arrested – even though it is known who they are and there is a ton of documentary evidence. Not one arrest. Not one. Just as nobody has been arrested in this country for the fraudulent sub-prime packages and interest rate swaps that led ordinary, and even very poor, people to have to pay out huge proportions of their income to “bailout” the bankers.

The bankers meanwhile have got the bonus fatcat schemes rolling again. The economy is based on institutionalised robbery. The perpetrators are untouchable. They don’t get dirty with guts and blood. Little men who do are expendable. They can be made examples of, to feed the lust of the tabloid fed masses.

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48 thoughts on “Arrested Development

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  • Fred

    “The rich get richer and the poor get children!”

    See her on the bridge at midnight,
    Throwing snowballs at the moon…

  • Je

    “the supermarkets really care very little about food quality: care little and test less.”. You’ve got that bit way wrong Craig. If there’s one part of the economy which is actually extemely efficient, and successfully competitive in a way that benefits us all – its the supermarkets.

    Asda (just one supermarket I use) is taking a lead on hydrogenated fat – which the government should ban, but don’t. As a lot of their products have ‘no hydrogenated fat’ loudly on the packaging. Responding to consumer concersns, while our elected ‘representatives’ do nought.

    I buy own brand stuff – like bags of flour at 52p and its good quality. That’s only possibly because of supermarkets efficient distribution and retail.

    People should buy ingredients and make their own meals – its both cheaper and you know what’s going in it. And it doesn’t take the time to prepare people assume it does. Blame consumers wanting convenience and being unwilling to cook if you want to blame something beyond the fraudsters involved in this.

  • Jemand


    Hi Jimmy, I couldn’t get the video on saturated fats (my second favourite food group after booze) to load but I managed to find a webpage that seemed to correspond. This guy argues his case well. His personal website presents other articles written by him on controversial subjects, not comfortable reading but clearly sincere, well researched and excellently written. Whether his articles are right or wrong, they contain a wealth of valuable information.’re-good-for-you/

  • Jemand

    @Je – “People should buy ingredients and make their own meals – its both cheaper and you know what’s going in it. And it doesn’t take the time to prepare people assume it
    does. Blame consumers wanting convenience and being unwilling to cook if you want
    to blame something beyond the fraudsters involved in this.”

    Yes, we should make our own meals… If we had the flipping time. No working mother with several kids has the time to go out shopping like in those cute tv commercials where hot-ass middle-class mums leisurely wander around supermarket aisles, thoughtfully pondering over the wisdom of choosing one exciting product over another. And then going home on public transport lugging 20kg of shopping to then spend the next two hours cooking dinner while getting the kids to do homework and their shit ready for school the next day. Thank fuck for junk food.

  • Je

    Jemand. With a microwave it takes me the same time to cook a meal from scratch as it does to reheat a ready meal. And I don’t have to spend any time deciding what to buy – that’s what you do when you’re choosing processed food – not picking up ingredients like a bag of flour, frozen peas etc.

    You’re reaction is the one I anticipated when I said “it doesn’t take the time to prepare people assume it does”. You should try it. Its cheaper, it doesn’t take a lot of time, particulary when you get into the swing of it. And you decide what you’re eating – which is the only way to eat healthily without loads of salt in everything etc etc – the thing that made me start doing it.

  • JimmyGiro

    @ Jamand

    Well spotted, it’s the same guy, and your first link is the transcribed talk he delivered on the YouTube link.

    My family has a profound record of heart attacks, Dad died of one when he was 42, sister had her first when she was 41, granddad died of one in his 70s, and brother having various angina episodes. Mum broke the spell by dying of cancer, so there’s always hope :))

    So when I saw Donald Miller’s talk on YouTube, a few months ago, it was a hell of a paradigm shift. It truly left me shell shocked, causing me to wonder just how far ‘science’ has sold out?

    As a graduate physicist/chemist, I’ve followed the ‘science’ of nutrition as close as I can, and it comes across more as a set of Agatha Christie novels, more than well grounded method. But just as ‘climate science’, once governments and their lobby jockeys get hold of a subject, it stops being science, and becomes propaganda. “Who pays the piper, calls the tune.”

  • Je

    Jemand – PS if you are a working mother with several kids then you’ve got several pairs of hands to prepare the meal. You can

    a) feed your children processed packaged muck that’s easy to prepare. So they leave home having eaten rubbish their whole lives and be unable to cook. Given how many cancers and heart disease are food related – that’s possibly the thing most likely to kill them.


    b) buy ingredients, cook healthily and cheaply. Spend a little more time cooking and get the children involved. So they leave home having eaten well all their lives, have cooking skills to pass onto their children. And you get all the family bonding involved with doing cooking together.

  • Jemand

    Je, i’m not a mother (despite what some people call me), but i am a father and i know what it takes to hold down a job and run a household. Cooking a decent meal, for me, takes 2 hours. Then there’s the washing up. Maybe shopping, cooking and doing the dishes is fun for happy families that function like clockwork, but in many homes it is a time consuming and expensive chore. But I should let the mothers (ie female variety) who comment here speak from their own experience.

  • thatcrab

    It really neednt take 2 hours to cook a nice meal, but skills are involved and not everyone has to develope them. Recieved wisdom and ideals for kitchen skills are a bit distorted by perfectionism, maybe hung over from days of domestic service. As long as food is stored well, the state of the kitchen can be kept in convienient productive states, rather than all out and then all tidied away, which is a chore to hurry.
    Some tips for washing up, sorry if patronising but ive been a commited cook:
    Rinse out, shake off and put away pots while they are still wet, before the food dries onto them, so the big things are mostly washed before you eat.
    After eating just pack all the plates and things into the sink, like a game of tetris, and let them soak, later they will mostly just rinse squeaky clean.
    Avoid spoiling active sink water with very greasy stuff, or everything will need nuked. Leave it soaking at side or rinse it outside the basin or something.
    Avoid strong detergent, it only acts a little quicker in a hurry and needs excessively rinsed to avoid tainting cups and bowls. Ecover is ideal.

    Dont get to stuck with certain waysand demands and its brisk game to play during and after cookery, but quite involved to learn and not everyones kung fu maybe.

  • thatcrab

    JimmyG – thanks for linking those vids, i hadnt seen them before but have been aware of the general info, they put it rather well.

    You know i think the connection between commercial nutritional science and climate science is bogus, they are derived and motivated and reviewed differently. Climate science checks out. Nutritional science has always been in conflict with natural indications because it sells novelty.
    Earth science just sells earth research and now, industrial advice, basically to stop burning. Do contrast that that aspect if that is what catchs your attention.

  • Jemand

    @Thatcrab re dishes

    Thanks, but i’ve got that sorted. The point is, these chores are especially burdensome for poor people who are worked hard for low pay. Being poor means you have less time and fewer options. Being poor means you have a smaller fridge and therefore need to shop more often. Being poor means not having a car and needing to travel further on public transport to cheaper supermarkets, or paying premium prices at local independent shops. Poor people can’t afford baby-sitters, so the kids have to tow along. Poor people get up at 4.30am to get to work at the factory by 6.00 and they don’t know what time they will finish because production is interrupted and changes to schedules are made. Those who work in the factory office start at 8am and leave at 4.30p on the dot. Some of them have reserved parking. Being poor means you are tired as you go home, looking out the bus to see street-side gymnasiums filled with energetic yuppies running marathons on treadmills. Dinner could be at 7pm or 9pm and then it’s straight to bed because you have to get up at 4.30 again the next day.

    I’ve worked as both a white collar suit and a blue collar stiff and I can tell you office workers are spoiled arseholes who work with less physical stress for more pay. The culture and attitudes are poles apart. Poor people are expected to work like robots, constantly moving, talking banned. Office workers can lounge back as they contemplate what formula to plug into a spreadsheet while having a laugh at an amusing email. 

    But maybe your experience in the UK is different to mine in Oz.

  • Jemand


    Both my parents are/were stubborn survivors, my dear mother still alive in her 80s and still telling me to “fuck off”. My father, an unmitigated hedonist, succumbed in his mid 70s, from what i don’t know. I think his Catholic faith and charitable interest in helping prostitutes pay their rent kept him going through several bouts of serious illness including cancer. Both have/had good hearts, physiologically speaking. So i’m expecting to get through cardio only to face the big C. Ya gotta die of something!Maybe i’ll retire in Thailand and find another way.

  • thatcrab

    I dont find its essentially about money Jemand. Grass can look greener and all. The better off can end up as isolated and even as drained and busy as the brassic.
    I experienced some of my best years ‘living hand to mouth’, though i hadnt responsibilities, experienced some hard work where i was consumed but strengthen by it, and then i found office work dull and on occasion horrible atmosphere, worse than a cold factory. I am poor now but still with few dependancies, and kindof content working away at small business.
    From younger travels i have broad experience of many different social sets and the thing which seems to make the difference in quality for people isnt their income level, but their location/environment and relationships/group culture. It is too easy to get stuck in environmental/warmth/spirit impoverished places, without money but also to unexpected degree with it.
    I hope something comes up.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ John Goss,

    I agree:-

    ” Only the collapse of the current world financial system, which would initially hurt us all, would enable a new system where the medium of exchange was more equitable. Only after such a collapse would the ‘sheeple’ begin to wake up to how they have been ripped off and made to pay for everything through their taxes in an economic system established on mythological premises like liquidity ratio. Unfortunately those at the leading-edge of the world financial system believe that wars are good for certain individuals, and they appear to be so for the Rothschilds, as history has shown. But not so good for those who die in them. Two of the countries which do not have a Rothschild central bank are North Korea and Iran. Consequently they are on the Israel/US/NATO hit-list. One day this message will get home despite interjections in support of these practices by the hairy giants under the bridge”



  • geoffrey

    The LIBOR scandal is a red herring. It is impossible to show whether the infinitessimal moves in the Libor rate caused by the “rigging” benefited a particular bank or not.
    The banks,encouraged by the all governments since Maggie,have been lending irresponsibly to keep the plebs happy and politcians in office.
    Gordon should have let them go bust.

  • thatcrab

    Not a red herring, just a scratch on the surface.
    They would not have been manipulated if not to swindle money, and if it is difficult to quantify how much was practically swindled that doesn’t change the fraudlent intent.

  • Bryan Hemming

    Regarding the non-arrest of bankers for creating the financial crisis, the situation is even worse when it’s realised they helped launder billions for Mexican drug cartels and got away with a slap on the wrist. I quote from my own article ‘The Myth Peddlars – the war on drugs has failed’.

    ‘And while I’m pointing the finger, another arrest that should be swiftly made is that of the chief executive and HSBC chairman at the time of the scandal, Britain’s Trade Minister, Lord Green. An ordained priest in the Church of England, now known as the invisible minister because of his low profile since the scandal erupted, Green became executive of HSBC in 2003 and went on to become its chairman. The illustrious lord once said: “The (banking) industry has done many things wrong. It is important to remember that many ordinary bankers have always sought to provide good service to their customers; but we must also recognise that there have been too many who have profoundly damaged the industry’s reputation.”’

    The full article can be read at

  • geoffrey

    It’s a “red herring”,because of all the bad,unethical,dishonest activities the banks participated in LIBOR rigging was insignificant.
    The original accusations were that the banks understimated their overnight borrowing costs,because if they had told the truth,other financial institutions would have known that that they were insolvent,which could have led to a run on the bank. The consequences of LOWER Libor rates for the banks,in general, would have been lower interest reciepts.
    Therefore,the deception,probably encouraged by the Bank of England,REDUCED their profits,though made it less likely that there would be a run on all banks.
    This was probably one small manipulation with the overall aim,of protecting the way of life we have got used to.
    No banks-no money-no capitalism-no democracy……..boohooo!

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