The Empire Strikes Back 446


If you argue a case strongly on the internet you must expect to receive robust argument back. Plus the odd insult. There has been plenty of both in reaction to my posts about corporate media control of access to the data in the Panama Papers. But I believe it is fair to say that the overwhelming public feeling I have picked up through monitoring online discussion worldwide, is that the full data should be made available online in searchable form so that the public can look through it and form their own conclusions.

I wish to address in a little more depth the arguments which have been raised.

Several people have argued with my reference to “corporate media”, as the consortium includes state organisations such as the BBC. My response to that is that the BBC has become in the last few years a mouthpiece for state propaganda with no effective independence of government, and that the politicians are very much in the pocket of the corporations who fund them. The BBC therefore promotes corporate interests just as much as those outlets directly owned by corporate interests. It is simply a question of direct or indirect control.

The key point is that access to the Panama data has been restricted in accordance with a media order which is decades out of date. It ignores citizen journalism. The only online based platforms given access are the billionaire owned Huffington Post and Craigslist. Nowadays people prefer to find things for themselves.

This ostensibly sympathetic article from Richard Smith illustrates the problem rather well. It is one of trust. Do we trust the – let me use a neutral word – established media to filter the information and decide what we are permitted to see? My answer is no, I do not trust them. I know many mainstream journalists and the vast majority of them are interested in pleasing their paymasters and advancing their careers. Very few and vanishingly less are disinterested promoters of truth.

Nor do I accept that revealing a story about David Cameron’s dead father – a story which had been in the public domain for four years – or securing the resignation of the Prime Minister of Iceland, a tiny state which happens to have taken the most radical action of any against bankers, is sign of balance.

It is a sign of a pretence of balance.

But Richard Smith is entitled to his view and perhaps his naïve trust in corporate media indicates a pleasant and trusting nature. I am often called naïve myself for wanting the world to be a better place. Mr Smith evidently believes it already is.

The only thing I actively dislike in Smith’s article is the contention that I criticised the BBC for not pointing out that the British Virgin Islands were implicated in one document flashed on the screen, obscured, during the BBC Panorama. Actually there were three separate documents about separate transactions, all involving the British Virgin Islands. Those transactions were central to the entire first half of the programme, and for the BBC to hide that it was all happening in the British Virgin Islands was disgraceful.

The BBC of course do not like me and I have been banned from appearing for many years. One of the many thousand people who retweeted my original post on the Panama Papers, subsequently tweeted that he had done so by accident. This brought the magisterial rebuke from Jamie Angus, editor of the BBC Radio Today programme, that accident “is the only acceptable reason for retweeting Craig Murray.” I can understand that Mr Angus does not want people to hear opinions not sanctioned by his employers, but I would be interested to know why he feels it is not “acceptable” to read my pieces. He has since challenged me to mention that the British Virgin Islands were criticised on his radio programme. I am happy to do so, because unlike Mr Angus, I do not believe views other than my own should be suppressed.

I shall not trouble you with the large volume of simply abusive tweets I have received, co-ordinated by the usual two groups – British unionist and pro-Israel lobbyists who for some reason like to troll me. Let us just ignore them.

I should now come to the question of privacy. The Guardian newspaper, along with the BBC the main “owner” of the data in the UK, has made no bones about the fact that most of the data will not be published, and that there are “legitimate reasons” why people have offshore accounts and companies. As the Guardian’s owners operated from tax-dodging overseas accounts for years, they have to say that of course.

There has been surprisingly little discussion of this topic. I do not accept that there is any legitimate reason for owning offshore companies and offshore bank accounts, if you do not have a business genuinely located in and operating from the jurisdiction. Ordinary people do not have accounts in tax havens. The only reason people have accounts and fake companies in tax havens is to avoid tax and other legal jurisdiction. This is not morally acceptable, whether or not our rulers make sure it is legal. I therefore do not accept any privacy argument for keeping the vast bulk of the data from the public.

This argument s absolutely at the heart of the corporate media’s interest in hiding 99.9% of the information – which behind the obfuscation is precisely what they intend to do. This argument needs to be met head on.

The only subject of any interest now in the Panama Papers is whether the data will be fully released on the internet and available to everybody, and not hidden by the corporate media.

We must all campaign to release the data.


446 thoughts on “The Empire Strikes Back

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  • giyane

    I was listening to the BBC World Service at 4.00 a =.m. this morning to @Should Britain be ashamed of its colonial past?

    The same phenomenon that Craig describes about the panama papers was happening there. there were, including Bennett-Jones, 4 plummy toned historians who recited tired old methane about the positive side of our colonial plundering and brutality – trains for carrying soldiers and laws for civilising savages. And there were some extremely lively and incisive comments from the audience witnessing against the BBC bias.

    I went to a top public school and I was interested in history and the morality of history, but the teachers were interested in the politics of history and I was not allowed to study history’s morality because the curriculum is about history’s politics. Not just the BBC, but all the elite outlets that exist are designed to prevent the discussion of morality. @ Look guys (and dolls) history is about power, deception and dosh.

    in the end, after several attempts to bring morality into the discussion of reparation one old fart said that the audience wanted a black)(white Manichean vision of history. means: don’t bring morality within 1000 miles of history. I think with that put-down the BBC thought they had sat on the voice of the oppressed for another few years.

    Nobody was allowed to point out the glaring truth that the colonialists are doing exactly the same today in Syria that they did in India and Africa in the past, getting proxies to murder and abuse on a vast scale in return for false promises. Nobody wants or expects reparation. All we want is for Britaion’s culpability to be acknowledged and a stop to colonialism.

    That is the purpose of the BBC , to explain to us peeps why we can’t have commonsense. In the restaurant of Western MSM,only colonialism is served.

  • Republicofscotland

    It’s not just David Cameron, swinging the lead.

    “Amidst all the current talk of money lost to UK taxpayers by the intricate financial arrangements of the super-rich, it’s worth pausing a moment to consider the important things that are funded by taxes. Such as ensuring that the Prime Minister’s wife has a tip-top social life without having to think about it too hard.”

    “Yes, unbelievably, Samantha Cameron has a “Special Advisor” (known in Whitehall as SPADs) to organise her social diary and her wardrobe. On a not-so-shabby, taxpayer-funded, salary likely to be around £53,000.”

    “Quite why Samantha Cameron should need a style guru is unclear, since it’s basically her profession anyway. She used to rake in £400,000 as Creative Director of upmarket leather goods brand Smythsons before reducing her responsibilities in order to concentrate on playing the First Lady.”

    http://www.thecanary.co/2016/04/08/grateful-nation-pitches-fund-samantha-camerons-social-life/

      • Republicofscotland

        Fred, do you actually read the link you post or can’t you be bothered to do so?

        From your link.

        “The arrangement, which is not unusual for authors, could potentially reduce Mr Salmond’s tax liabilities.”

        Could potentially not definitely.

        “Mr Salmond, who is also MSP for Aberdeenshire East, declared the new arrangement in his Scottish Parliament register of interests earlier this month – it was published on Friday.”

        So it’s been declared then.

        “Mr Salmond has told the parliament he will voluntarily update his register of interests to declare all income as it arrives.”

        And Mr Salmond will continue to update his interest if and when necessary.

        “As at the end of financial year 2014/15 (6 April 2015) no monies have been paid into the Chronicles of Deer company account from any source and it has a zero balance.”

        So the unionist Herald and you Fred have accused Mr Salmond, of what exactly?

        Finally.

        “Mr Salmond’s spokesman said: “Mr Salmond has updated his entry in the register of interests according to the rules. The entry notes that as at the end of the financial year 2014/15, the company account had a zero balance with no moneys received, either from book sales or journalism.”

        “It is common practice, indeed the norm, for writers to establish companies to separate earnings from journalism and books from other income and the fact that the company is unlimited merely reflects that it carries no risk of default and that Mr Salmond as the 100` per cent shareholder is willing to meet all company obligations in all circumstances.”

        “Clearly given Mr Salmond’s willingness, in the interests of transparency, to declare all company earnings within the relevant timescale, this goes far beyond the declarations that would be made in company accounts the following year making the claim of lack of disclosure simply absurd, indeed it is the complete reverse of the truth.”

        • fred

          “Fred, do you actually read the link you post or can’t you be bothered to do so?”

          Yes of course I do.

          Salmond set up a company to take the proceeds from his books so he can take them gradually over a number of years and avoid going into a higher tax bracket. He didn’t rightly need the money, he had two salaries from the hard working tax payer as MP and SNP. So instead of paying 45% tax on them he just pays 20%.

          Or were you saying Cameron must be found guilty unless proved innocent while Salmond must be found innocent unless proved guilty?

          • Republicofscotland

            That may well be the case, but unlike David Cameron Alex Salmond isn’t denying anything, according to your link he could potentially not definitely reduce his tax.

            Where as David Cameron, stonewalled, and denied he had any dealing with offshore accounts, a somewhat rather immoral approach, for the lofty position he holds, don’t you think?

          • fred

            He hasn’t any dealings with offshore accounts, he sold the shares before he became P.M.

            You have been following the news about David Cameron haven’t you?

          • Republicofscotland

            “After three days of stalling and four partial statements issued by Downing Street he confessed that he owned shares in the tax haven fund, which he sold for £31,500 just before becoming prime minister in 2010.”

            http://www.theguardian.com/news/2016/apr/07/david-cameron-admits-he-profited-fathers-offshore-fund-panama-papers

            You don’t pay attention do you Fred, it’s not that he sold his shares prior to becoming PM. It’s the fact he stonewall and filibustered about even having profited from them in the first place.

            Your rather mute point is that it was his father, Ian who set them up in the first place. But it is his son (David) who gained from them.

            Alex Salmond is a saint compared to David Cameron, when it come to declaring tax interests.

          • fred

            We don’t know he did profit from them. He says tax was paid in full on the sales which if true means the entire country profited from them.

            I see RBS has been implicated in the Panama Papers, didn’t Salmond work for them?

            I notice a SNP councillor has been charged with sending racist messages. How many SNP in public office are being investigated for various offences now? I lose track.

          • Republicofscotland

            He did make a profit, I’m pretty sure that you’re aware if that Fred, or you’re very naive.

            Of course David Cameron hasn’t broken any laws as such, but of course he denied any involvement from day one, which, in the eyes of Joe Public, is rather naughty and hypocritical, considering he sold his holding in 2010, just before he became PM for £ 31,500 pounds, making a clear profit of £19,500 pounds.

            He also accepted that some of the £300,000 left to him by his father may also have come from funds lodged offshore, according to press reports.

            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3528711/David-Cameron-admits-DID-shares-father-s-tax-avoiding-offshore-firm-sold-entering-No-10-days-frantic-denials-Panama-leaks.html

            But forget all of the above, all that matters to Britnats like you is #SNPBAD..eh

          • fred

            Cameron has never pretended to be anything he isn’t. Everybody knows he is upper class from a privileged background and just the sort of person who would be connected with fancy financial deals. Every one knew at the last election and that’s why they voted for him because in times of financial crisis that is just the sort of leadership the country needs. In 2010 Labour left power with the country absolutely stone broke and damn near bankrupt.

            As for SNP I presume you think sending racist text messages is good. How many more scandals before the Nats stop believing the SNP can do no wrong?

        • defo

          fred 21:03

          “Cameron has never pretended to be anything he isn’t. Everybody knows he is upper class from a privileged background and just the sort of person who would be connected with fancy financial deals. Every one knew at the last election and that’s why they voted for him because in times of financial crisis that is just the sort of leadership the country needs.”

          You certainly know your place fred !
          Lick yer boots squire ?

  • Trowbridge H. Ford aka The Biscuit

    Isn’t this hoopla about the Panama Papers just a convenient cover up of the corruption which goes on everywhere, especially in London and New York?

    Do their regulators have a clue snout what is going on in their world, and the means to deal with it?

    I think not, just talk about breaking up the corrupt big banks into smaller ones.

      • Jim

        It’s not really ‘pretty good’ though is it? I despise the Tories, but the shit Cameron’s getting for these revelations is undermining the possibility of the ‘In’ campaign succeeding in the EU referendum. Which plays into Putin’s preferred outcome. It’s basic stuff, why can’t you see it? You’re seemingly blinded to the obvious contradictions in your fixed conspiratorial worldview.

        • bevin

          By “pretty good” I meant worth reading.
          What you mean by attributing my opinions to a “fixed conspiratorial worldview” I have no idea. You seem to be addicted to the habit of making unsubstantiated charges against people, whether you know anything about them or not.

          Interestingly, before calling my worldview “conspiratorial” you pause briefly to suggest that the article “plays into Putin’s preferred outcome” by damaging the campaign to stay in the EU- now that suggests a conspiratorial worldview!

          • Jim

            Ok, I apologise for the ad hom, but you know what I’m getting at: the idea being espoused here all the time that this leak somehow undermines Putin, when if you look at the actual possible (and ‘bigger-picture’) outcome it’s precisely the opposite. And it’s very ‘big-picture’ stuff. The breakup of the European Union. I’m not the one suggesting the leak was part of any master plan, I’m simply pointing out that if all the people suggesting it was are correct, then it’s not a very successful one from the perspective they are suggesting.

        • Tony_0pmoc

          Jim, what’s your problem with Putin? So far as I can gather…he couldn’t give a shiit about you. A couple of days ago, you responded to a post of mine that said absolutely nothing about him – I didn’t even mention his name or suggest any allegiance whatsoever to anything Russian..and you responded with an anti-Putin rant. Is your daughter in love with him or something? I don’t understand.

          Perhaps you can explain.

          Tony

          • Jim

            You’ll have to post a link to that, I don’t remember replying to you. But in answer to your question, my ‘problem’ is with having to listen to the mind-numbing rubbish people come out with regarding ‘East-West’ relations. The immediate jumping on the Panama leak revelations by these people as being some grandiose ‘anti-Putin’ conspiracy. It might be, I’ve no idea, but looking at the possible real-world outcomes as they are happening, then the conspiracies look more and more flimsy. And I’m a big Chomsky fan, well aware of all the iniquities of the west. People just seem to be so wrapped up in a monomaniacal hatred of everything western that everything else becomes invisible. It’s weird and disturbing to see.

          • Njegos

            Indeed. Some people are so obsessed with Putin they see his dark presence in every piece of “bad” news including cats stuck at the top of trees.

          • Jim

            Njegos, it’s hard to tell who your comment is directed at. However, you may have noticed that it was Putin himself, and the conspiracy-minded folk here who have been making the complaints of ‘dark-forces’, and he wasn’t complaining about himself. It was all Soros’ and the CIA’s fault, remember?

        • K Crosby

          You don’t really think that Cameron was elected do you? On 24% of the electorate? I was quite enjoying yout twitting of the Snat over Tspiras, er sorry Salmond’s tax dodge then your bacofoil had slipped into view.

          • C17 fwl

            Ah, I see you press reply, but reply ends up at the bottom of the thread.

            I agree with Jim’s original post.

            Who benefits? BREXIT benefits. I’m not suggesting though that this is the work of our Brexiteers.

            Leaving aside whether we might in the long run benefit from BREXIT which state actor with the capability of facilitating the Panama leak stands to gain and in what way?

            The US may gain commercially but its an odd one unless they have done a major U turn on their geo political strategy (and with Trump US is indeed odd as indeed with Cruz).

            But the obvious possibility is Russia. As Jim says Russia would like us out of Europe and then it can further weaken NATO.

            Who else? China: Unlikely. Leaks in Germany, but why would they do it? Israel, but why (ok ok I can here theories fermenting). France? Unlikely.

            So let’s not get our knickers in a twist bashing Cameron. Let’s think who might gain and how?

            Is the leak: Ethical ? Maybe but I doubt it; Commercial?, quite possible so see who reaps the gains; Geopolitical? Quite possible? Other? What Robert Ludlum Chancellor Manuscript run riot blackmail extravaganza to terrorize elites? it’s possible. Anything is.

      • Jim

        It’s not really ‘pretty good’ though is it? I despise the Tories, but the shit Cameron’s getting for these revelations is undermining the possibility of the ‘In’ campaign succeeding in the EU referendum. Which plays into Putin’s preferred outcome. It’s basic stuff, why can’t you see it? You’re seemingly blinded to the obvious contradictions in your fixed conspiratorial worldview.

        • C17 fwl

          Some people are so angry with injustice here that they turn a blind eye when it comes to Russia. Russia and Russians are great. If your a celt uts difficult not to like their wild devil may care attitude. They wear their fee state on their sleeve. You know the old truism about the best place to hide is in plain sight.

          As interesting and as important as it is to understand western deep state let’s not forget that Russia is a deep state full stop with no pretence.

          • C16 fwl

            Fee state – deep state. Fecking auto predict has gone bonkers.

            Though maybe its telling me something: Fee state – corrupt state?

  • Trowbridge H. Ford aka The Biscuit

    Seems elementary to me that the source of the leaked Panama Papers could be CIA agent Robert Seldon Lady rather than the shadowy reported group, the resident in Italy who kidnapped Abu Omar while in Milan, and sent him off in the special rendition program to be tortured in Egypt as allegedly part of Al-Quaeda’s network

    .In 2013, Lady was kicked out of Panama where he had taken refuge while escaping being extradited to Rome, and he obviously knows a lot about covert operations in Central America.

    This way he blackens Panama’s eyes while getting back in favor with Langley.

  • Republicofscotland

    Re my comment on the Red sea.

    The president of Djibouti Ismail Guelleh of the UMP party has secured a fourth term as president, (landslide victory) that will take him up to twenty years in power.

    The picture becomes a little clearer, in my opinion, when you discover that Djibouti has a significant strategic position on the Horn of Africa. Add to this, that Djibouti is the only African nation that the USA has a military base in.

    In addition to the USA’s base France also has a military base, and China is now in the process of setting up its own military base in the country.

    Guelleh faced five rivals in the election, but three opposition parties boycotted the poll.The opposition complain of police brutality and media bias under Mr Guelleh’s rule.

    No doubt, that Guelleh was strongly aided by the likes of the USA and France, in the retention of the presidency. In my opinion a obedient and cooperative leader in a strategic location is an imperative. Djibouti is situated just across the Red sea from Yemen, where widespread slaughter and starvation of the Yemeni people goes virtually unchecked.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-35995628

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/04/ismail-guelleh-wins-fourth-term-djibouti-president-160409042824002.html

    • bevin

      You might be interested in the current Iranian plans to build a canal between the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf. It takes a long eastward lopping route so that it can irrigate eastern Iranian dry regions.
      I have no link but try googling it. The plan is of longstanding evidently but has only become practical with the lifting of sanctions.

      • fred

        The Caspian is saline. They would need desalination plants driven by nuclear power for irrigation to be practical.

      • Republicofscotland

        Thank you Bevin for that interesting snippet, could you provide me with a link to more info on the matter. ?

        Meanwhile I’ll see if I can find anything myself.

      • Laguerre

        Difficult to see it working, Bevin. The Caspian is 28m below theoretical sea level (which is an average of the variable actual levels), and there are quite a lot of mountains in the way. It would have to be something like a pumped underground pipeline, to avoid evaporation. Although there’s only 1/3 of the salinity of the oceans (still subject to what Fred says), the real killer is that the Caspian is getting increasingly polluted from all the shit the surrounding countries allow to flow into it. Not many caviar sturgeon left. Plus those countries will also be damming their rivers, lowering still further the level. Might have worked thirty or forty years ago.

        The other idea I saw today is the Saudis talking about a bridge across the Red Sea to Egypt. No doubt for Sisi to be able to send troops more easily, when the Saudi regime gets into trouble.

        • bevin

          The idea seems nightmarish but it is being bruited. The first thing that struck me was that it would likely reduce the Caspian to a muddy ditch. A few days of bonanza fishing followed by centuries of regret.

          • Laguerre

            I finally figured out that as the Caspian is lower than the Indian Ocean, the intention must be to use the Ocean as the source of water. Somewhat like the Israeli plan to feed Red Sea water into the Dead Sea by a canal, with the intention of filling the Dead Sea up to its original level, which has been lost because Israel (and Jordan) have taken so much water out of the Jordan.

            The Russians must be wanting to fill up the Caspian with Indian Ocean seawater, so that it doesn’t dry out like the Sea of Aral. That makes the Russian interest, but I still don’t get how Iran’s interest is supposed to work.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford aka The Biscuit

    And don’t forget that Lady is still pissed off with the Italians since he only received a partial pardon from its President a few months ago.

    If he goes to Europe, he still faces being arrested,and extradited to Italy.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Well, there were 7 of us including Mum & Dad – and we all gathered round the Table to Eat. I was sat on a bench that used to be my piano…I was not amused…but I guess this was O.K….does anyone else remember it?

    ““Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts which we are about to receive, through Thy bounty through Christ our Lord we pray. Amen.”

    Tony

  • Tom

    Strange how ten years after Cameron became Tory leader, the media are suddenly taking an interest in Cameron’s wealth and tax affairs. It amazes me that anyone is so gullible as to allow the nation’s rotten media to whip them up into a frenzy about a situation that was blindingly obvious from the start of his leadership. They want Cameron out for their own ends, and the public are being used to add legitimacy to the campaign.

    • Jim

      Hang on, I thought this was all a Soros/CIA plan to leak only to the Corporate western media in order to smear Putin? Cameron was a ‘false flag’ small fish to distract from the real target? Now it’s all a plan to oust Cameron after all. I wish people would make up their minds! And it would be nice if Craig himself would make some comment on how his theory is holding up.

      • bevin

        ” I wish people would make up their minds! ”
        Sometimes it is better to change your mind when the facts change. In this case information is being slowly leaked out and those leaking it, for example The Guardian, are doing so in a very biased and misleading manner. There was nothing in the Papers about Putin. It was The Guardian’s irresponsible and idiotic idea to hand the story to Luke Harding who is obsessed with Putin and Russia.
        Irresponsible, idiotic and dangerous too: we live in a world in which those preaching hatred are numerous enough without enrolling what’s left of CP Scott’s legacy to start up lynch mobs.

        • Jim

          But the facts haven’t changed have they? The Guardian didn’t say that Putin had offshore accounts, they published leaks about the vast enrichment of his closest friends. That’s honest reporting, but the so-called small fry, false-flag Cameron is the person getting all the attention, with potentially vastly important consequences. Where does that leave the western corporate master plan theory? We’ll have to agree to disagree on Putin. I think you’re naive, you think I’m the same. No harm done, it’s not personal.

          • bevin

            I do not subscribe to any theory suggesting that this is part of a masterplan. If it were these people would mess it up. They are totally incompetent, conceited and drunk on the dregs of power that they have inherited. The people who run Britain and the USA have a track record of failure that is relieved only by the blood that they have shed achieving it.
            Evidence: Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria. And the list just keeps on lengthening. These people couldn’t run a piss up in a brewery, though they could probably get a wahhabi nutcase to reduce the party to a bloodbath.

            I’m not one of those who believes in the cunning and omnipotence of the Empire, I know that it is run by the most servile conformists and shamelessly cynical careerists and that it is collapsing on all fronts.

            If there were any chance of it succeeding, it might be worth considering its defence. But it isn’t: poverty is increasing everywhere in North America and Europe-the heartland of the empire. De-industrialisation proceeds apace- manufacturing in the UK has almost disappeared, so has the family silver being pawned to meet the annual deficit in payments. Similar tendencies exist in the US where the mid west is a rustbelt, and former industrial communities are shells, with shabby shops and loan companies the last businesses open on Main Street.
            I don’t think that you are naive , I think that you are uncritical. You don’t recognise the significance of what you see around you. Poverty means low demand, more unemployment, lower wages, less demand. The economy is in a death spiral and the only thing preventing this being recognised, apart from the cacophony of ideology, is cheaper credit than there has ever been before in history. Money at less than 1%, money at minus 1%. And this has been going on for close to a decade.
            Do you think it can last? Do you think that the people in government know what they are doing? I don’t.
            Believe me, if I thought that the Panama Papers had any significance at all I might be worried about a “masterplan” But they are just another silly distraction from a system that is run by idiots, who can only keep their balance because they are too greedy to spill anything, who spew out these things because it passes their time.
            Oh, and probably someone thought that “If Wikileaks can do it, and everyone listens… Maybe people will pay attention to us if we leak some stuff.” And that is the “plan”- the masterplan- to get a bit of attention. Not for any reason, that I can see. But then it is too much to expect that the idiots who brought us these wars and, in doing so revealed to us how stupid and crude and careless they are (witness ISIS-Turkish relations; the clear lines between al nusra’s weapons and the US government etc), would be able both to act and to reason at the same time. They can do one. Or the other. But don’t ask for both, it just confuses them.
            The sooner the military relieve them of their responsibility-for they are playing with very dangerous weapons- the better it will be. Unless, that is, the people wake up and take charge of things for themselves, all of us.

          • lysias

            What mystifies me is why they think they have a right to rule, after their dismal record of failures.

  • BrianFujisan

    I just went through some comments from the 4th to about the 7th April, to see if anyone gas posted this great interview with Crag..Such heavy traffic = tired Eyes.

    Anyhoo if already posted appollz… but as Macky once said ” if it’s Good ”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3LR5hO6QxU

  • Becky Cohen

    The prime minister was caught out lying and he should go. If that sounds harsh, he’s relatively lucky that this is all we require him to do. If this were Japan the only route to apologizing for his dishonour would be for him to kill himself.

      • Becky Cohen

        Yes Fred, before he fessed up he stated that he, nor his family, had benefited from offshore tax agreements. He cannot be trusted. He is a dodgy dealer.

        • fred

          I don’t recall him saying that and I don’t know that he has.

          Do you have an exact quote of what he said?

        • fred

          The headline says ” David Cameron didn’t lie about his father’s offshore fund”

          Are you saying he did lie or that he didn’t?

      • Becky Cohen

        I’m sorry Fred, you are right: he hasn’t been caught out as lying per se. By effectively saying he doesn’t do it now and won’t do it anymore, he intimated that he, and his family, did benefit from profits accrued via offshore trusts. I feel that since he was benefitting from tax avoidance whilst at the same time preaching the importance of taking responsibility and paying one’s taxes to everyone else this definitely makes him a hypocrite. It’s akin to a leader of a country introducing conscription to send everyone else’s kids off to war and punishing objectors severely yet sending their own kids to a neutral country. Using taxpayers’ money on a ‘fashion adviser’ for his partner is akin to someone diverting £53, 000 per year from their workplace accounts to pay for a personal shopper for a family member or friend at home. In my workplace, that would not only be a sacking offence, but the culprit would be considered to have defrauded the company and would be referred to the police.

        • fred

          Cameron’s tax returns have been published now and look in perfect order, we are hearing calls for others to publish their tax returns.

          So tell me Becky, the difference between what is happening here and McCarthyism is what?

          • Laguerre

            “Cameron’s tax returns have been published now and look in perfect order, ”

            It was a summary that was published. Evidently things can be omitted if it’s not the original text.

          • fred

            So in effect you have already decided he is guilty and as how much evidence is produced you will not accept it.

            The question remains what is the difference between what is happening here and McCarthyism? The only thing Cameron seems to be guilty of is being a capitalist and that isn’t on the statute books.

    • BrianFujisan

      Indeed Becky . ..Seppuku…Well said…Sad though that this should be done over a few Tens of K’s…And not for his war crime murders

    • Resident Dissident

      Since Putin lies regularly on his tax returns – will you join me in saying that he should go as well?

      • Republicofscotland

        Resident Dissident.

        Yes I agree Putin should go, not just because of his vast accrued, wealth, of dubious origins, but because he’s remained in power far too long using a quasi-dictatorship methodology.

        David Cameron on the otherhand, should go on the moral and ethical nature of his involvement. Do we really need a morally compromised politician running the country?

        • bevin

          You’ll have your chance in the next election.
          Where do Russians get to give their verdict on the SNP government?

  • Becky Cohen

    And what of Samantha Cameron’s ‘fashion adviser’ on a whopping £53, 000 per annum. To put this in perspective, this is twice what most nurses get and those in the armed forces whose duties include a requirement to sacrifice their lives if necessary. Add to this the fact that the recipient of such a salary that most British workers could only dream about hardly needs the money as she is a Lord’s daughter and that we, the taxpayer mostly on a much lower wage, are paying for someone to provide this service to the prime minister’s wife who is not even a member of the government then this is simply obscene. It’s the kind of entitled attitude that people ended up revolting over during the French revolution. However, we are the Brits so we’ll just nod, doff our caps and obey like faithful, love-hungry dogs with an abusive owner.

  • Arby

    “My response to that is that the BBC has become in the last few years a mouthpiece for state propaganda with no effective independence of government, and that the politicians are very much in the pocket of the corporations who fund them.” I don’t know whether Craig subscribes to the ‘corporatocracy’ concept, but I do. He just doesn’t have anything to defend. BBC, CBC and the like are defending and promoting a worldview that the 1%, and the CEOs who are part of it, want conveyed.

  • Noyades de Nantes

    Bevin, always the voice of reason. Why look for the grand plan of leaks that amount to bureaucratic office politics? This is the chairborne rangers adapting to incapacity and collapse as opportunities to jockey for position. Nobody cares what Momyllus Augustulus was trying to do. He was another helpless turd circling the bowl. Same with the CIA-controlled leaks here.

    http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/04/08/cherry-picking-leaked-documents-cia-art-form.html

  • Trowbridge H. Ford aka The Biscuit

    Don’t understand the lack of interest in what the Panama Papers disclosed about 800 Italians, especially four-time Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

    He was leading his second government when Abu Omar was kidnapped in Milan, and shipped to Egypt to be tortured in hopes that he would reveal what Al-Qaeda was up to.

    Berlusconi refused to give Robert Lady’s kidnappers cover, helped see to their prosecution in absentia, and Lady was sentenced to a number of years in prison.

    In 2013 Berlusconi was sentenced to jail for corruption, and having sex with a prostitute minor, and is currently in prison himself, so there is little reason to go after him, but many of his former officials and supporters are, as the Italian tax people are now doing.

    In sum, Panama Papers look like a settling of scores with many officials, especially those Italians who left Lady out to dry.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford aka The Biscuit

    Iceland got on the CIA’s shit list for similar reasons, complaining about the use of its airports for special rendering of alleged terror suspects, especially when there was no mention of it in a Senate report about the process.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford aka The Biscuit

        Good question, and the answer is for essentially the same reason that Iceland’s PM ended up there – they objected to the use of their countries for such cruel, useless conduct.

        Brennan should be sacked for promoting it, and then trying to cover it up by this gigantic diversion.

    • fred

      Your problem is you judge everyone by your own pathetic standards.

      If you want a discussion about the issues don’t start them with “Fred will”. If you make it personal I will make it personal.

      Now crawl back under your stone creep.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Mossack Fonseca (and other Panamanian outfits) were deeply suspect before the leak. In this (2014), the question of why few American entities were named in the recent leak becomes less easy to dismiss. MF was just as interested in selling dodgy financial structures in the US as in any of the classical tax havens. Nevada was a favourite.

    http://www.vice.com/read/evil-llc-0000524-v21n12

  • Trowbridge H. Ford aka The Biscuit

    And don’t overlook DCI John Brennan stating that the Agency will never resort to water boarding again no matter what Donald Trump promises which is why the Panama Papers were disclosed to get those who opposed it in the first place.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Sunday Times has compiled a downloadable list of companies from the MF leak at the bottom of this page:

    http://features.thesundaytimes.co.uk/web/public/2016/04/10/index.html

    Bubbling under: one Emmanuel “Manny” Cohen who runs MF’s UK branch and until 2015 was promoting MF in Latvia…with eastward links.

    http://www.lsm.lv/en/article/societ/society/latvia-braced-for-panama-leak-info.a176426/

    The JC is very proud of him…

    http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/156635/former-hasmonean-pupil-director-british-mossack-fonseca-offshoot

    As is Iran:

    http://www.theguardian.com/news/2016/apr/06/mossack-fonseca-oil-firms-petropars-iranian-state-sanctions-panama-papers

    He specialises in due diligence, apparently.

  • J Hurst

    Mr Murray, I arrived at similar views through analysis and patiently sifting the available facts, you’re not alone. In fact, there are more questioning voices every day.

    Please be aware that you’re not working in vain, you’re a valuable and valued part of a burgeoning ecology of independent journalism and dissent (disinterested, reflective response.) Were it left to the megaphone of the interests, BBC, Times, Guardian etc. we’d be completely in the dark believing ourselves to be informed. So, thank you.

    Keep on doing what you’re doing, we are grateful.

  • Ba\'al Zevul

    Update on Michael Ashcroft’s mention in the Panama Papers.

    There is now no longer a due diligence application in which it is proposed that Mossack Fonseca and Belize Bank, an Ashcroft Allied company, join forces in Belize.

    http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=35942

    However, its historical existence was asserted here:
    http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=35863

    ….and a Google search once linked to a real URL, presumably: Here’s the entry, but the link is now dead:

    Belize Bank International’s Due Dilligence for Ramón …
    https://www.documentcloud.org/…/2782972-Ashcroft-…
    DocumentCloud
    Belize Bank International’s Due Dilligence for Ramón Fonseca, Jurgen Mossack and others. Contents. Original Document (PDF) » · Related Article ».

    And an American dimension exists – predating the Panama leaks – with regard to Ashcroft’s BCS and Belize Bank:

    https://adrianrowles.com/category/us-shareholders/

    Looks like Delaware isn’t the only option for Americans after all….

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