Lawyers and Bankers

Columns from the Whitstable Gazette

Richest ex-Prime Minister ever
Richest ex-Prime Minister ever

The World's Wealthiest Lawyer

I had a horrible thought a while back. This was while I was watching Tony Blair in front of the Chilcot Inquiry into the War on Iraq.

I realized I was watching a lawyer’s dissembling performance.

Tony Blair, of course, is the richest ex-Prime Minister ever. He went into parliament as a well-off lawyer, but left it as a multi-millionaire. Since then he has gone on to amass an almost unbelievable fortune.

How has he achieved this, I wonder?

In the past few weeks we have a seen a succession of lawyers making their appearance before the Inquiry, wriggling their way around the truth.

There has been a lot of talk about the possible interpretation of some of the words in Resolution 1441, which the government used as its justification for the invasion, having failed to secure a second resolution at the UN.

Well I have an absolute clear memory of members of the British delegation reassuring the Security Council that Resolution 1441 was not a precursor to war.

It was clear at the time that it was meant as a warning and that a second resolution would be required.

Failure to secure United Nations authorisation for an act of war is called a crime of aggression, defined by the Nuremburg Tribunals as "the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."

What all of this does, of course, is to make a mockery of international law. A law that cannot be enforced is worse than useless. In this case, the only parties with the power to enforce the law were the one’s intent upon breaking it.

Tony Blair reminds me of one of those mafia lawyers working for crime syndicates in America. He is brazen in his self-justification. He has the certainty of someone who knows he can never be prosecuted, having the backing of the wealthiest people on the planet. They have to be wealthy in order to afford his services.

He is the world’s pre-eminent lawyer.

Who says that crime does not pay?

Lawyers and Bankers

In my last column I said that I’d had a horrible thought, but then didn’t tell you what it was.

This is it.

We've watched a succession of lawyers in their role as government ministers parading themselves before the Chilcot Inquiry. These lawyers are very wealthy, but they are not the wealthiest people in the world. The wealthiest people in the world - without exception - are bankers.

Bankers control the economy. Lawyers administer it for them.

So that was my thought: we’ve become a nation ruled by lawyers on behalf of bankers.

What makes this even more pitiful is the fact that this particular crop of lawyers all claim to have something to do with the Labour Party.

Clause IV part 4 of the Labour Party constitution, prior to 1997

To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service

Those of you with long enough memories will recall that the Labour Party was originally set up to represent working people in parliament. Its agenda was very simple: to wrest economic control from the vested interests and to redistribute it amongst the population as a whole.

These New Labour people, on the other hand, appear to have the opposite view. They appear to think that the population should suffer cut-backs and austerities in order to keep the new vested interests afloat.

Do you remember when Gordon Brown borrowed vast amounts of money in order to bail out the banks? Who do you think he borrowed it from?

He borrowed it from the banks.

So he borrowed money from the banks in order to lend money to the banks, in order – supposedly – for them to lend the money back to us.

Only they didn’t. They paid themselves large bonus’ instead.

So now you have to ask yourself, did he really think that these private corporations had the public interest at heart, or wasn’t this just another form of redistribution of wealth in reverse: from the taxpayer to the banks?

You can draw two possible conclusions from this: either Gordon Brown knew what he was doing, and is in hock to the banks; or he didn’t know what he was doing and he is incompetent.

I don’t know which is worse.

Rogue State

The United States has just entered Somalia as part of it’s world-encompassing “war on terror”. It is now actively fighting in Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen. It is also amassing weaponry in the gulf states ready for an invasion of Iran.

Expect a pretext any time soon to do with weapons inspectors and Iran’s nuclear capabilities. We seem to have been here before. In fact under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty Iran is perfectly entitled to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, and for all the bluster has not yet broken the terms of the treaty. Israel, on the other hand, has unknown numbers of nuclear weapons hidden away and has refused to sign the treaty.

The war on terror is perhaps the strangest war in history. There can never be an end to it because there is no identifiable enemy as such. A “terrorist” is anyone the United States deems a terrorist. Meanwhile it brings terror to the populations of all of those countries where fighting is going on, and an inevitable backlash. The on-going result of the war on terror is always more terror.

The United States is currently building huge, fortress-like embassies in cities around the world - London is only one of many - and has troops on every continent..

It also has seven massive military bases in Columbia – where most of the cocaine comes from - from which it is making threatening noises about the governments of Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Paraguay.

The pretext in South America is a little different. There they call it “the war on drugs”, but, just as the end result of the war on terror is always more terror, so the war on drugs appears to yield nothing but more drugs.

Last year the United States government spent $1.03 TRILLION - as much as all other governments of the world combined – on its Military capability.

And while the British government squirms at revelations about complicity in torture, no one is arguing that the United States actually engaged in inhumane and degrading forms of interrogation.

Isn’t it about time we reappraised our relationship with the world’s premier rogue state?

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Comments 15 comments

Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 5 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

Hi Chris - so much of the last ten dismal years might never have happened (in UK at least) if John Smith had lived to take the helm. Blair is a different kind of disaster from Thatcher, but a disaster just the same.


CJStone profile image

CJStone 5 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

Hello Paraglider: to me he is worse, because, unlike Thatcher - who was at least honest about her objectives - he has done it under the mantle of the Labour Party, and sucked the soul out of the Labour Party at the same time. Without an effective Labour Party, what is there left?


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Chris, despite being a citizen of the "world's premier rogue state", I agree with everything you said. The U.S. can no longer afford to send our military into every nook and cranny in the name of the "war on terror". Yet Congress somehow chooses to keep paying for such follies rather than spend that money on rebuilding our woefully deteriorating infrastructure. Repairing roads, bridges, and schools in the U.S. doesn't seem to be as important as rebuilding the same in countries halfway around the world that we have no business being in in the first place. Nor does putting Americans back to work. Instead the Republicans in Congress are bent on destroying the unions and taking the working class back to the Dark Ages.

So it's not just the UK that's suffering from Bankers Own Us and Too Many Lawyers. "Kill all the lawyers" used to be a joke over here, but not any more. Money talks, and those who can get their hands on huge piles of it, like a banker or Wall Street CEO, can (and do) pay lawyers to do their talking for them.

But take heart. With the finances of every developed country teetering on the brink of collapse, that may change soon. The "little people" are getting mad as hell about the mess bankers and lawyers have made of things, and there's more of us than all of them combined.


CJStone profile image

CJStone 5 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

Hello JamaGenee, well I don't know how many roads, bridges and schools the US is building in countries halfway across the world. I suspect it is using public money to pay its tame corporations to do some measly amounts of building work in order to "win hearts and minds" as it so hypocritically puts it - in exchange for huge profits for the corporations - but we all know this is a front. Not sure that the inevitable financial collapse will save us either. When people are hungry they are too busy thinking about the next meal to be all that radical. Remember the 30s? They are on their way back, only this time the Fascist dictatorship which is driving us to war is us.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

$160 billion is what we've paid already. How much value for money we got is unknown, but I suspect very little and that the majority went into the pockets of the contractors (aka Halliburton and its subsidiaries) or as bribes to local officials. And yes, we have become the Fascists.


tonyduxburyuk 5 years ago from Rotherham, south yorkshire, england

Well done,mate! If we keep exposing these frauds, then hopefully, we will all react together and force these regimes into change.Tony


CJStone profile image

CJStone 5 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

JamaGenee, I think a lot of the money is unaccounted for. It went directly into people's pockets, without even being recorded, and until the government is willing to prosecute - including those who were in the heart of government in the last regime - then there really is no hope.

Hi Tony, well I do my best. Let's hope it can effect some small change, at least in the minds of those that read it.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida

Your horrible thought is one shared by many. But the next logical question is: aside from thinking and writing, what is there to do? Not much. Will writing soon become an act of terror? Will those drones soon hover over your house?

Witness the public pressure here in the US to adulate the troops, the "heroes who serve our great country." And heaven help you if don't hold that opinion. We see a competition among young people to enter the military -- why not? At least it's a job.

I believe we are seeing the formation of a very bleak world, far worse than most imagine. With money in charge, backed by lawyers as "leaders" and a massive military... Don't look good!

Good hub. Always enjoy reading your work. Lynda


CJStone profile image

CJStone 5 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

The next logical step is to do like the Egyptians and take to the streets. When the Argentinians were going through their IMF induced financial woes, they took to the streets with pots and pans. Eventually Argentina defaulted, and in now doing OK. The Greeks are on the streets, and Greece is now being offered a partial default. Over there in America you have an occupation of Wall Street going on I believe. Here in the UK we had some riots recently. We need our own Tahrir Square to get rid of the Mubaraks of Wall Street and the City of London.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

The Occupation Of Wall Street is still going on, Chris, and it's anybody's guess how it'll end or if it'll have the desired effect. So far no one has been killed. A good sign. So far. But a non-lethal Tahrir Square, yes. On both sides of the Pond.

Do have to mention that at the peaceful protests in Wall Street and a similar one in front of the White House recently, police reacted *exactly* as they did at the beginning of the Viet Nam war protests in the Sixties...i.e. that citizens were breaking the law by gathering in large numbers in a public place, which they weren't of course. 2011 may end up in the history books as "The Winter of Our Discontent"...on both sides of the Pond. ;D


My Minds Eye53 profile image

My Minds Eye53 5 years ago from Tennessee

I can't keep up on politics so I have to trust other people to inform me. I do use my right to vote and I do read up on candidate, but all the stuff that goes on on the side I can't keep up.

Thanks for the useful info.


CJStone profile image

CJStone 5 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

Glad to hear the occupation is still going on JamaGenee, and not at all surprised that police reaction is the same as it was before the Vietnam war. Let's hope a similar protest movement gets off the ground as it did in the 60s

Glad to be of help My Mind's Eye. How does it feel to learn that the ex-Prime Minister of one of the world's most powerful states should turn out to be a greedy little crook?


fen lander profile image

fen lander 5 years ago from Whitstable

Nice 1 Mr Stone. I trust that your awareness of these things(and that of your readers)is now becoming a universal awareness, and the counter-infection has begun in earnest.I do strongly feel that the eruptions of The People in the States you mention are like a physical-symptom of a chronic, deep seated illness; but my Grandma always said that inflammation, bruises and pains were/are a symptom of a healing process already underway.The scum rises to the surface so it can be dealt with. You can see a lot of scum, but that's so you can get rid. She was always right, my Granny. So there is hope.


CJStone profile image

CJStone 5 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

I do hope your Granny is right Fen.


Anna Sternfeldt profile image

Anna Sternfeldt 3 years ago from Svenljunga, Sweden

Very interesting!! Voted up. Added to this Tony Blair promised his voters to get rid of the nuclear weapons if he came to power and when he did, sure, he didn't keep is promise, instead he kept his hand tight with US as UK leases the missiles for the Trident system (the nuclear weapon system deployed on the submarines) from US. Good agreement, isn't it?

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