Daily Archives: April 3, 2016


Corporate Media Gatekeepers Protect Western 1% From Panama Leak

Whoever leaked the Mossack Fonseca papers appears motivated by a genuine desire to expose the system that enables the ultra wealthy to hide their massive stashes, often corruptly obtained and all involved in tax avoidance. These Panamanian lawyers hide the wealth of a significant proportion of the 1%, and the massive leak of their documents ought to be a wonderful thing.

Unfortunately the leaker has made the dreadful mistake of turning to the western corporate media to publicise the results. In consequence the first major story, published today by the Guardian, is all about Vladimir Putin and a cellist on the fiddle. As it happens I believe the story and have no doubt Putin is bent.

But why focus on Russia? Russian wealth is only a tiny minority of the money hidden away with the aid of Mossack Fonseca. In fact, it soon becomes obvious that the selective reporting is going to stink.

The Suddeutsche Zeitung, which received the leak, gives a detailed explanation of the methodology the corporate media used to search the files. The main search they have done is for names associated with breaking UN sanctions regimes. The Guardian reports this too and helpfully lists those countries as Zimbabwe, North Korea, Russia and Syria. The filtering of this Mossack Fonseca information by the corporate media follows a direct western governmental agenda. There is no mention at all of use of Mossack Fonseca by massive western corporations or western billionaires – the main customers. And the Guardian is quick to reassure that “much of the leaked material will remain private.”

What do you expect? The leak is being managed by the grandly but laughably named “International Consortium of Investigative Journalists”, which is funded and organised entirely by the USA’s Center for Public Integrity. Their funders include

Ford Foundation
Carnegie Endowment
Rockefeller Family Fund
W K Kellogg Foundation
Open Society Foundation (Soros)

among many others. Do not expect a genuine expose of western capitalism. The dirty secrets of western corporations will remain unpublished.

Expect hits at Russia, Iran and Syria and some tiny “balancing” western country like Iceland. A superannuated UK peer or two will be sacrificed – someone already with dementia.

The corporate media – the Guardian and BBC in the UK – have exclusive access to the database which you and I cannot see. They are protecting themselves from even seeing western corporations’ sensitive information by only looking at those documents which are brought up by specific searches such as UN sanctions busters. Never forget the Guardian smashed its copies of the Snowden files on the instruction of MI6.

What if they did Mossack Fonseca database searches on the owners of all the corporate media and their companies, and all the editors and senior corporate media journalists? What if they did Mossack Fonseca searches on all the most senior people at the BBC? What if they did Mossack Fonseca searches on every donor to the Center for Public Integrity and their companies?

What if they did Mossack Fonseca searches on every listed company in the western stock exchanges, and on every western millionaire they could trace?

That would be much more interesting. I know Russia and China are corrupt, you don’t have to tell me that. What if you look at things that we might, here in the west, be able to rise up and do something about?

And what if you corporate lapdogs let the people see the actual data?

UPDATE

Hundreds of thousands of people have read this post in the 11 hours since it was published – despite it being overnight here in the UK. There are 235,918 “impressions” on twitter (as twitter calls them) and over 3,700 people have “shared” so far on Facebook, bringing scores of new readers each.

I would remind you that this blog is produced free for the public good and you are welcome to republish or re-use this article or any other material freely anywhere without requesting further permission.

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T20 World Cup

A wonderful final. Terribly sorry for Ben Stokes, but it was still headless bowling of the last over. Many congratulations to Windies, deserved.

I have always been pretty snooty about T20, which lacks the subtlety and complexity that makes cricket such a deeply satisfying sport. But I have come to enjoy T20 for its energy and vibrancy, and the final today was a fitting climax to what has been a riveting tournament. Scotland in the early stages, and the surprising competitiveness of their spin bowling in particular. The Dutch falling improbably short in a run chase then getting knocked out by rain. Shahzad of Afghanistan and their joyful cricket.

It just got better. New Zealand’s spinners defending an improbable total against India. Bangladesh failing astonishingly to score one run off the last three balls against India. Kohli and Root’s classicism. Those are just memories which stand out.

For a time it looked like the depth of England’s batting might have dug them out of their deep hole against Windies in today’s final sufficiently to win. Joe Root’s two wickets in his surprise over were astonishing. But you have to query Morgan’s decision not to bowl Moeen Ali at all in the final, after his two overs against the New Zealand run chase were key to England’s semi final win. And frankly if there was one bowler likely to go for 19 in the last over, it was Ben Stokes. He got two wickets against New Zealand at the death from rank full tosses. After Jordan’s penultimate over I was shouting at the TV “not Ben Stokes, please.” Perhaps my TV does not work, because it seems Ollie Morgan could not hear me.

But still – Brathwaite!

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Read Peter Hitchens, Repentant Thatcherite, Today

Excellent article by Peter Hitchens. Admitting fundamental error takes great courage and is always to be admired.

I have commended Peter Hitchens before. This upsets some of my readers, but I don’t care, which I suppose is what I have in common with Peter Hitchens.

I replied this morning to a comment on my last posting from a gentleman named Andrew, who said we should ditch loss making heavy industry and could live on highly profitable financial services. I am happy to say what struck me immediately was how old-fashioned this sounded. The zeitgeist has moved. We just have to be rid of a legacy government.

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