There is Another World 132


Resigning minister Mark Simmonds earnt 417 pounds an hour for his “consultancy” work for Circle Healthcare, a group looking to profit from the massive privatisation of NHS services and functions. He had to give it up during his time as Minsiter, but presumably can now go back to it. Simmonds gets 50,000 a year from Circle, broken down into 12,500 payments once a quarter, for ten hours a month. That is 417 pounds an hour.

This is blatant corruption. Simmonds has no great expertise worth that money, it is simply that the private healthcare industry is buying the MPs who will vote to privatise areas of the NHS to them. New Labour are just as bad as the Tories. Alistair Darling received 12,000 pounds for one after dinner speech to Cinven Ltd, a firm which does nothing but benefit from privatisation of NHS services. Was it because Alistair Darling is just the entertainment people want after a good dinner? No, they were buying his vote. New Labour and Tory MPs are both up to their eyeballs in NHS privatisation money.

It is the same with defence spending. Lord Taylor of Blackburn epitomises the rampant corruption in this area the professional in infant education who earned hundreds of thousands of pounds as a “consultant” to British Aerospace. This blog now has ten times more regular readers than it did when I wrote this article, and I beg of you to click the link and read it. It may open some eyes.

Simmonds has come into the spotlight by resigning on the pretext that his total salary and expenses as an MP in 2012-13 of 271,000 pounds – including a 25,000 for his “secretary” wife and 32,500 in rental allowance – were not enough for him to be able to live a family life in London. This man voted for the benefit cap that limits the total income of families on benefits to 26,000 pounds – that is under ten per cent of the amount which is inadequate for his family to live on. These bastards really do live in another world.

In their world, however, all is good and foodbanks are a sign of a healthy society. This will take your breath away.

heartlessbastards


132 thoughts on “There is Another World

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  • Uzbek in the UK

    Corruption indeed. But people keep voting for them again and again. The latest MP expenses scandal would have put any decent voter off voting for any of them. But we keep seeing their faces in Westminster again and again.

    It is either them are to smart or us are too stupid.

  • Dan Huil

    Sadly some of the poorest people in Scotland will vote No because they believe the scare stories from Labour and Project Fear.

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    So who’s using them as a political football there, then? Love it.

    Simmons is almost certainly missing the £50K per annum he received for his valuable work for Circle Healthcare until he became a minister in 2012 and had to drop it. Aaah.

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/regmem/?p=11224

    Guess he’s been made an offer he can’t refuse.

    (Little update on our leaders’ penchant for the most expensive travel available – while serving – on ‘Apocalypse Blair’)

  • Mary

    A trougher of the first order.

    HOW MP ‘RECEIVED MORE THAN £500,000 FROM EXPENSES SYSTEM’
    Six months after becoming an MP, Mr Simmonds was said to have bought a four-bedroom terraced house (below, centre) in Putney, south-west London, for £650,000.
    Mr Simmonds’s house in Putney
    Its mortgage interest was paid by taxpayers from 2001 and 2009, with the MP claiming more than £2,000 a month to cover the cost, reported the Daily Telegraph.
    Following the expenses scandal in 2009, a rule change meant Mr Simmonds could only now claim for renting in London – instead of claiming for the mortgage interest on his Putney home.
    Property records show he sold the house soon after for £1,187,500 in December 2010, which represented a rise of more than £500,000 on what he had paid almost a decade ago.
    An estate agents’ description from 2010 which can still be viewed on property website Zoopla described the house as a ‘spacious and well-presented terraced family home’.
    The value of the house is now £1,742,500 – a further increase of more than £500,000.
    Asked if his expenses claims were in order under the old system, Mr Simmonds said: ‘I was one of those who was not involved at all.’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2722470/Foreign-Office-minister-Mark-Simmonds-quits-Government-moans-I-just-live-London-120-000.html

    I think you should say ‘earnt’ Craig. He gave up his association with Circle Health (who took over the running of Hinchingbroke Hospital) when he was outed.

    ‘Strategic adviser to Circle Healthcare (social enterprise), 42 Welbeck Street, London W1. Ceased 4 September 2012 on Ministerial appointment.
    June 2012, £12,500 quarterly fee received. Hours: 10 hrs per month. (Registered 26 July 2012)
    5 October 2012, £8,890 received for the period 1 July 2012 to 4 September 2012. Hours: 10 hrs. (Registered 16 October 2012)’

    He still has his chairmanship of posh W1 chartered surveyors Mortlock Simmonds Brown.
    Himself, wife and a Mr Brown.
    http://companycheck.co.uk/company/04402906/MORTLOCK-SIMMONDS-BROWN-LTD/directors-secretaries

    Mu comment yesterday:
    11 Aug, 2014 – 4:36 pm
    O/T Baroness Warsi’s thread is too far down but another one hits the dust.

    Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds resigns
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-28737781

    I see he was hauled over the coals by the Parliamentary Commissioner for this.
    http://www.parliament.uk/documents/Mr%20Mark%20Simmonds%20MP.pdf

  • Je

    I heard him on R4 yesterday. It boiled down to him being in a hotel on his own being boring and he doesn’t want to commute.

    He’s part of a government that’s been forcing families out of their homes with the bedroom penalty. Seen individuals in the UK starving to death because of benefit changes. One man freezing to death outside a building marked for demolition because squatting in it was made illegal.

    He voted for the Iraq war – how many families have been blown to pieces because of that.

    Yet he is the one with a gripe. Who hasn’t been treated fairly in all this… and thinks everyone with a family will sympathise with him.

  • Iain Hill

    The case is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. The only revelation is that it is so widespread, way beyond what we ever thought. How to stop it? Old fashioned methods like street protests seem pointless, and likely to do more harm to the protesters if Boris gets his water cannon out. Can we somehow turn the tables by using the press and social media to evidence large scale public disgust?

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    It’s nice to see the effects of the London property bubble inconveniencing one of its architects, but is he quite sure he can’t afford a half-share in a rented garden shed in Ongar? I don’t think he’s considered all his alternatives.

  • Nemo

    Couldn’t agree more. Well said. It is truly amazing that we are either so powerless or so stupid that they continue to get away with it. Thirty years ago I sat next to a Conservative leader of the House Of Lords at a dinner to which he had been invited to speak. Knowing that Lords were only paid an attendance fee, and being totally naive, I asked him how he earned his living. I’m a Lord he spluttered three or four times. But surely you can’t live on your attendance allowance, I said. I represent the interests of companies he explained, and then went on to describe what in my view, and I suspect, anyone else’s view, could only ever be described as corruption. The man was a hereditary peer who had done sweet FA in his life except take. These are the sort of people who sit in judgement on the poor and unfortunate. Who put their own good fortune down to their wholly undeserved high opinions which they have of themselves. Ian Duncan Smith reminds me of this chap every time I see of hear of him. I used to be a supporter of the Conservative party and a member. I was on committees, fundraising and the like. What a gullible twat I was, because I don’t think they were any different then than I can see they are now. The others are no different. There is no way to change it I fear. The whole rotten edifice will have to collapse into a pit of shit and be reborn anew, and that will be unpleasant painful and take a long time to work through. Lifetimes. Sorry to rant and to be negative. You tell it like it is Craig, thank you for that, and for your past bravery which brings you to where you now are

  • Abe Rene

    You’re absolutely right, Craig. £400 an hour for a share of a prize as big as a privatised NHS? £12,000 for a speech to the same end? Disgraceful! I’d never do it. ONE MILLION and not a penny less. Think I’m cheap, or what? 🙂

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Iain Hill

    This will not be effective. Majority of people in Britain are politically apathetic not at least because their income covers (more or less) their needs (mortgage, groceries, holidays, car(s), etc.). So majority of people in Britain are OK with this limited choice (one of two or in some cases three) which they are offered every 4-5 years. It does not matter if Mr Smith is a Lord or Mr Jones both will earn from consultancy anyway.

    The great move could be to discontinue House of Lords altogether. At least this will make British society few leaches less.

  • Miss Castello

    ‘Better Together Aberdeenshire’: “enriching example of human compassion”

    Utter Bollox. Now eat that.

  • Brendan

    We may mock this defence of foodbanks, but mockery is too easy. Some examination is interesting. The whole statement reads, quite genuinely, as the viewpoint of an ignorant, possibly mentally unstable, individual. The kind of person who, when released from prison, gravitates to authoritarian fringe groups. The kind of person who literally has psychiatric issues, which, left untreated, causes him to be a problem for society. On careful consideration, it reads like the kind of thing Blair said, routinely. It has a kind of surface plausibility, if you aren’t paying attention, but closer scrutiny is revealing.

    “Far from being a failure they are an enriching example of human compassion, faith and social cohesion.”

    Is entirely nuts. It’s not even about rejecting the welfare state – a mere ideological position – it is actually a statement which assumes the entire non-existence of the welfare state. The welfare state has – miraculously – been made invisible. Food banks are better than nothing, sure, but the welfare state isn’t nothing.

    “Using them [foodbanks] as a simplistic political football insults the people who contribute, who run and who use them”.

    According to this piece of bonkers, the existence of foodbanks should be ‘above’ politics. It is not explained why. The fact that people live in poverty and need foodbanks is, I should think, a matter for society to worry about, and thus a matter for politicians to discuss. Now, the politician in question may be a corrupt, self-aggrandizing nobody – many are – but the subject itself if not out-of-bounds. To state otherwise is completely insane.

    I think this whole statement is relevant, because, routinely, I see shallow, myopic bullshit passed off as ‘serious’ political discussion. It’s endemic. Tony Abott can barely grin and sound-bite at the same time, yet his weird neoconism is treated seriously and soberly. Nope. It’s nuts. The loons have taken over, for sure.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Miss Castello

    As always to get more or less objective view one needs to look at a problem from two (or more) different angles.

    Feeding poor is in fact act of human compassion. The problem here is condition of existence of poor who cannot afford to buy food and thus the need for this compassion.

    Now, how SNP is going to end foodbanks (if they indeed determined to do it)? Are they going to ensure that those poor are paid more (or made spend less on other things) so that they have enough to buy food? Are they going to make food cheaper? Are they going to get rid of poor (by shipping them to England)?

    We will live and see indeed.

  • Mary

    Dr Chand is a good man and a GP.

    Privatisation is ripping the NHS from our hands
    The notion that competition promotes excellence and market forces breed efficiency is a myth
    • NHS is on the brink of extinction – we need to shout about it
    • Outsourcing in the NHS – your views
    Kailash Chand
    6 August 2014

    Bunch of cherries
    ‘The commissioning system makes it easy for private providers to cherry-pick tasks ensure they maximise their income and overall profit,’ writes Kailash Chand. Photograph: Zoran Milovanovic/Alamy

    Last year, a majority of new contracts to provide NHS services went to private companies. Most of these private companies hide behind the NHS logo but siphon off a profit. Collectively, such providers received more than £10bn from the public coffers in 2013. And according to the Financial Times, around £5.8bn of NHS work is currently being advertised to the private sector, a 14% increase on a year earlier.

    Clinical commissioning group (CCG) leaders do not consider that privatisation is their main agenda. They do admit, however, that they face difficult decisions regarding the need to tender which, in a nutshell, is a tool for commissioners to facilitate competition. Promoters of the concept of Any Qualified Provider who indulge in marketisation do so under the false belief that this achieves better health outcomes, which flies in the face of both the theory as well as overwhelming evidence that equity, efficiency and equilibrium of the NHS are adversely affected.

    For the last two decades, the leaders of all major political parties have been wedded to the concept of the marketisation of healthcare. Do they seriously believe that private healthcare companies would not put profits before patients? The idea that competition breeds excellence and market forces drive efficiency is a myth. There is not an iota of evidence that the costs go down and efficiency improves when private companies deliver NHS care. Costs increase and services may well get worse. Already we have seen major companies such as Serco criticised for failing to report accurately on their performance. An NHS contract for elective services with the private company Clinicenta was terminated due to poor quality care. It was bought out at great expense to the taxpayer and taken back in-house by the NHS. The commissioning system makes it easy for private providers to cherry-pick tasks to ensure they maximise their income and overall profit from the NHS while minimising their costs. It must be largely paid for by some kind of central taxation like the NHS, or an insurance scheme like in the US and other developed countries. This means that someone other than the patient ends up making decisions about what is affordable.

    /..
    http://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2014/aug/06/privatisation-ripping-nhs-from-our-hands

  • Mary

    This is two years old. There are probably many more now. See the links on the LH side too.

    Wednesday, 11 July 2012

    Over 70 MPs Connected to Companies Involved in Private Healthcare

    In total 76 MPs have recent past or present financial links to companies or individuals involved in private healthcare. Of them, 61 are Conservative MPs, 8 are Labour MPs, and 4 are Liberal Democrats, leaving 1 other from the Bishops. This means, 81% of MPs with these links are Conservative.

    The Members financial interests represent every stage of the healthcare value chain from advisors to private equity firms funding the private healthcare companies, to having shares in those same companies.

    They are Chairman of estate companies involved in PFI deals, partners in legal firms that make those deals, advisors to private hospitals, they represent companies in pharmaceutical media, medical equipment, care homes, lobbying, and insurance. You name it, they have it covered and the list of vested interests in both the Commons and the Lords is so great, that it can best be described as a healthcare coup d’état of our parliamentary institutions.

    These parliamentarians coupled with the 142 Lords with the same interests, make a total of 206 parliamentarians with financial links to companies involved in healthcare.

    All of these public servants were allowed to vote on the Health and Social Care bill, helping it pass into Act.

    Recent released research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has revealed 124 members of the House of Lords ‘benefit’ from the financial industry.

    Several of these Peers are linked to the Healthcare companies and many of these companies will be funding the private healthcare companies that threaten the very existence of the NHS.

    /..

    http://socialinvestigations.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/over-60-mps-connected-to-companies.html

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Mary

    Once Tories effectively ended social housing by introducing wholesale privatisation. This time Tories (as it seems) will effectively end NHS by slow but consistent privatisation.

    Interestingly, whenever there is a debate about healthcare every commentators try to compare to the healthcare in the US (which in my opinion is as segregated as their society was) but no one has even mentioned our good neighbours Germany and France which seem to be able to provide better quality healthcare and spend considerably lower on it.

    I say start with reducing pay to the doctors and consultants. Why should nurse or midwife whose working hours are as long as of the doctors exists on fraction of the money paid to the latter? Why doctor in Germany or France is able to deliver better quality for smaller pay? Are we overpaying our doctors?

  • Clark

    Uzbek in the UK, 11:29 am:

    “But people keep voting for them again and again […] we keep seeing their faces in Westminster […] It is either them are to smart or us are too stupid.”

    It’s the voting system (which favours well-established parties), the corporate media (which favours corporate interests), and the lack of time most voters have for working out what the real problems are.

  • Tristan

    The foodbank thing – that is rather splending contortionist reasoning – food banks are a good sign, it shows we care as a society.

    Funny how the sticking plaster is seen as the thing to praise whilst ignoring the festering wound beneath.

    I do wonder how likely NHS privatisation is: Its a great threat to keep people occupied whilst decimating the rest of the country. Keep people occupied with defending ‘their’ NHS and they have less energy to oppose the surveillance state, the military-industrial-political state or many more.

    The NHS is also a nice tool to stoke xenophobia – all these stories of health care tourism etc.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Clark

    It is easy to dismiss everything on conspiracy. Average British voter has million times better chances of influencing elections outcome than average Uzbek voter and thousand times more than average Russian voter. It is just petty that “the lack of time” stands on their way.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Ba’al Zevul (With Gaza)

    Why exactly are you so concerned with London property markets? Have you had your eye on that nice 2 bed semi which went to the overseas “investor” for the price you could not afford?

    There is another dirty trick behind this. Not so long ago friends of my found nice property in one of east London suburbs that they wanted to buy. They put an offer on it (250K) and when so called chartered surveyor (from Countrywide) wanted to value the property he undervalued it by 30K. So all this hype about fast growing London property market was just a b..ll sh..t for him. Friends of mine could not afford the property as they could not find another 30K cash at the top of their deposit. It went to the overseas “investor” or as they call it “cash buyer” for 250K. Now possibly because of this bastard who swiped them off the property and made it to be sold to the cash buyer friends of mine have been left (possibly for lifetime) as tenants of their apartment for which they pay year after year increasing rent, so that their landlord (quite possibly) could save enough cash to buy yet another BTL property.

    After hearing that from my friends I started reading about chartered surveyors scumbags and found that most of them (and particularly those from Countrywide) down value properties on purpose. One is to save their own back in case property is sold as repossessed. Two is that by down valuing property buyers will then need to take down valued amount off their deposit and apply for higher LTV and thus higher APR mortgages.

    The winners of this scam and the banks and cash buyers. And scumbag chartered surveyors who gets their £400 from the buyers who have been f..cked by him.

  • passerby

    Corruption indeed. But people keep voting for them again and again. The latest MP expenses scandal would have put any decent voter off voting for any of them.

    UITU shows a clear disdain for the standard issue UK citizen, whom does not take their “democratic” and “civic” duties seriously enough, and just goes on to vote willy-nilly any old corrupt and useless MP into the parliament.

    …Majority of people in Britain are politically apathetic not at least because their income covers (more or less) their needs (mortgage, groceries, holidays, car(s), etc.). So majority of people in Britain are OK with this limited choice (one of two or in some cases three) which they are offered every 4-5 years. It does not matter if Mr Smith is a Lord or Mr Jones both will earn from consultancy anyway.

    UITU then reiterates the disdain by further elaborating about the politically “apathetic” UK citizens, and further throws in a bit of sound bite about the House of Lords and leeches, that effectively reflects the rewards (serves them right) for the “apathy” of said citizenry.

    Then goes on about;

    Feeding poor is in fact act of human compassion. The problem here is condition of existence of poor who cannot afford to buy food and thus the need for this compassion.

    This is clearly in contradiction to the earlier contentment of the “apathetic” UK citizens, who are in desperate need of compassion translated into feeding them because they cannot afford to eat. (human rights anyone?)

    Now, how SNP is going to end foodbanks (if they indeed determined to do it)? Are they going to ensure that those poor are paid more (or made spend less on other things) so that they have enough to buy food? Are they going to make food cheaper? Are they going to get rid of poor (by shipping them to England)?

    Then comes a swipe at SNP and if they can “end food banks”?

    Conclusion;

    UITU is the latest in the line of master races, who are all knowing, all sentient, all wise, and all ……. These can see the “apathetic” UK citizens whom have everything and never manage to get out of their home and tick a box and make their lot much better, how thick these Brits can be?

    As ever the fact that UITU has no idea about the whole concept of the voluntary indentured slavery as practised in UK, seeing as UITU has been educated by reading DM, and various other Telegraphs etc, along with watching BBC thus the sound bite wisdom regurgitated, without any attention to the detail: can the whole lot of the Britons be as thick as UIUK would have them to be?

    Finally is UIUK part of the problem or a solution to the problem, somehow is never entertained, although there seems to be a thread of misanthropy and hating the fellow man as part and parcel of UIUK teachings.

  • Mary

    ‘Here’s a scary prospect:

    The NHS being carved up by more and more private companies. Coke or other mega corporations taking our government to the cleaners because they don’t like how strict our laws are.

    Sound far-fetched? A huge new trade deal is being negotiated right now between the US and the EU, that could make that scary prospect a reality. [1] The deal’s called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – its a fancy name for a sinister trade deal.

    Under the deal, US healthcare companies trying to provide NHS services could sue our government for passing a law to put a stop to privatisation. Or big businesses could sue the government for raising the minimum wage – if it hurts their profits. [2]

    Business Minister Vince Cable’s department is in charge of TTIP in the UK. He’ll decide what we sign up to – he could make or break the deal. If he hears how important TTIP is to the public, he might do the right thing and fix or scrap TTIP.

    A huge petition is the first step in showing Vince that we’re watching him closely. Can you take two minutes to add your name to a petition telling him to fix or scrap TTIP now? Click here:
    https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/petition-ttip

    It’d be easy to fix this deal. Vince could take a stand against businesses being able to sue the government, like Germany has done recently. [3] Or he could call for the NHS and public services to be completely removed from the deal, like the French government did when they got some areas excluded. [4]

    So let’s push TTIP into the spotlight and force Vince’s hand. Already thousands of us have chipped in and raised £100,000 for an ad campaign launching in the Autumn. But we need to keep the pressure mounting. We need to tell Vince Cable to fix or scrap this deal.’

    Click here to add your name to the petition:
    https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/petition-ttip

    NOTES:
    [1] The Independent: British sovereignty ‘at risk’ from EU-US trade deal: UK in danger of surrendering judicial independence to multinational corporations, warn activists:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/british-sovereignty-at-risk-from-euus-trade-deal-uk-in-danger-of-surrendering-judicial-independence-to-multinational-corporations-warn-activists-9057318.html
    Open Democracy: On TTIP and the NHS, they are trying to bamboozle us:
    https://opendemocracy.net/ournhs/john-hilary/on-ttip-and-nhs-they-are-trying-to-bamboozle-us
    [2] Touchstone: Special courts for foreign investors have no place in trade deals:
    http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2013/11/special-courts-for-foreign-investors-have-no-place-in-trade-deals/
    [3] ipolitics: Germany throws down gauntlet in CETA investor state negotiations:
    http://www.ipolitics.ca/2014/07/27/germany-throws-down-gauntlet-in-ceta-investor-state-negotiations/
    [4] Screen Daily: EU-US free trade talks under fire from filmmakers:
    http://www.screendaily.com/news/eu-us-free-trade-talks-under-fire/5072471.article

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    Thanks, Uzbek. I will never be able to buy a property in this country unless the market goes hard astern, so no interest in buying anything in London. Thank you for confirming my worst suspicions re. chartered surveyors. But the property market is a gigantic ripoff from top to bottom. If you’re not buying, the letting agents will charge you for answering your enquiry, these days. There are usually two or three additional fees to pay before you put down your deposit and start paying the inflated rent. And as often as not the cash is going to some plutocrat in Brunei or Delhi.

    WTF has happened to this country?

  • Uzbek in the UK

    passerby

    “As ever the fact that UITU has no idea about the whole concept of the voluntary indentured slavery as practised in UK, seeing as UITU has been educated by reading DM, and various other Telegraphs etc, along with watching BBC thus the sound bite wisdom regurgitated, without any attention to the detail: can the whole lot of the Britons be as thick as UIUK would have them to be?”

    You could have benefited too from reading something else apart from “little red book”. Meanwhile keep barking here. There is a (Russian) proverb that says “mad dog is barking but caravan is passing by”.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Passerby

    I bid you find this sh..t from one mad mass murderer very pragmatic “Liberalism is extremely harmful in a revolutionary collective. It is a corrosive which eats away unity, undermines cohesion, causes apathy and creates dissension. It robs the revolutionary ranks of compact organization and strict discipline, prevents policies from being carried through and alienates the Party organizations from the masses which the Party leads. It is an extremely bad tendency.”

    What make you better than those fat ass Lords in Westminster? If anything it makes you more cruel.

  • passerby

    You could have benefited too from reading something else apart from “little red book”. Meanwhile keep barking here. There is a (Russian) proverb that says “mad dog is barking but caravan is passing by”.

    This one smells of “chosen” kind!

    Insults galore (more misanthropy, and hatred), the rebuttal amounts to “crazed divination” (little red book), and then breaks into Russian proverbs (although Russians are not the favourite race either).

    Back to the question; is UIUK part of the problem, or is UITU a solution to the problem?

    =======

    WTF has happened to this country?

    1- Muslims and immigrants have come to take our jobs, property, women, benefits.

    2- The banking crash and the very cheap money to maintain the “unusual returns” revenue stream has compelled the would be investors to hunt around for alternative modes of investment.

    3- The money is parked in property to make it inflation proof.

    4- The asset strippers are now after the morsels in the proletariats possession starting from their publicly owned structures and to finish with their home and chattel.

    Tick your answer.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Ba’al Zevul

    “WTF has happened to this country?”

    I have not lived here long enough but was it every (except short post WWII) any different? Napoleon called England nation of shopkeepers. Buy low sell high, is not it what made greatest and largest empire?

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