Lawyers and Bankers
Columns from the Whitstable Gazette
The World's Wealthiest Lawyer
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.
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.
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?
© 2011 Christopher James Stone