Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite Save As Favorite View Article Stats
No comments

Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

Pirates in Pinstripes Sink Britain

By Ben Cohen, Daily Banter; G. Monbiot,Guardian  Posted by Jason Paz (about the submitter)     Permalink       (Page 2 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Why does the government keep these havens open? There's an answer in Geraint Anderson's book Cityboy - a crude but gripping exposure by a former research analyst at a City bank. "Eighteen years out of power has made these jokers so paranoid about being viewed as old Labour that every time Cityboys and entrepreneurs asked for business-friendly reforms they rolled over and allowed tax and regulatory changes."

There is a standard British procedure for dealing with problems like this - by which I mean problems that generate bad publicity but which you don't want to address. You commission a review and you choose the right man to conduct it. Confronted with a vocal international campaign and a new US president determined to tackle this issue, the government has selected a man called Michael Foot (not the former Labour leader).

Until last year, Foot was the inspector of banks and trust companies for the Central Bank of the Bahamas in Bermuda, a British tax haven. Though the review was launched only a fortnight ago, he already seems to have decided what it will say. Speaking about tax havens to the magazine Accountancy Age, he claimed that they had been given a clean bill of health by the IMF, and observed, "I can't see where the regulation failure is supposed to be." The Tax Justice Network maintains that throughout his long career in Bermuda, at the Financial Services Authority and elsewhere, he has never raised any public concerns about systemic problems in the financial sector. The identity of the person the government appoints is an index to the outcome it desires. Foot sounds like just the man for the job.

Even as it was commissioning this review, Brown's government tried to undermine international efforts to address the problem. Teaming up with that revolting little monarchy Liechtenstein, the UK sought to strike out a paragraph from the Doha trade agreement that aimed to eradicate tax evasion. Thanks in part to British lobbying, the draft commitment was substantially weakened.

Were Britain to release its remaining colonies, they would quickly succumb to pressure from the Obama government and the European countries trying to stamp out international evasion and organised crime. We hold on to the Falkland Islands for their oil and fish. We hold on to the other territories for something far more valuable: secrecy.

www.monbiot.com

Next Page  1  |  2

 

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Editor

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

What if Sirhan Sirhan Had Missed?

Kathleen Cleaver on Human Rights

What Goes Around Comes Around Like Torture

Martin Luther King and Unjust Laws Today

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
No comments