Saturday, 17 September 2016
Thailand’s Corruption list - UK and Kent failing?
How refreshing for Thailand to take the lead on producing the next list of 20 corrupt officials.
And also PM Prayut’s firm use of S44 to remove the Bangkok Governor Khun Paribatra on corruption allegations.
And an open way in dealing with the fire engine corruption amongst other such issues.
A sharp contrast to the murk surrounding Freedom of Information – and more effective EIR at the EU for scrutiny of any European public sector costs and policies - at Kent Fire Brigade, and purchase for fire engines and fire station build costs. Can a garage for two fire engines really cost $12M?
In contrast, UK is dragging its heels - and still only 10th in the Transparecy International corruption rankings.
Only in the last month has the dynamic Eric Pickles MP been appointed as an Anti-Corruption minister. Astonishingly, UK having no such specific role for hundreds of years.
~~Corruption in London~~
Eric’s first piece of business after rolling up his sleeves, was to take a large bite out of the most notorious local government corruption in London with Lutfur Rahman which has dragged on for the best part of a decade.
Rather being removed from office, as with BKKGov, and a report on notorious electoral abuses eg postal votes allowing people to vote numerous times and fairly normal ballotbox stuffing.
It’s depressing that electoral corruption has its natural home in the UK electoral system with Rotten Boroughs -now the name of the Private Eye satirical magazine’s regular column on local government corruption.
And a namecheck to the original UK Rotten Boroughs 200 years ago where the Industrial Revolution left large towns without MP’s, but tiny villages with numerous MP’s, all to be bought and paid for by the local Lord.
The last vestiges of such archaic systems are still working their way out of the Mother of Parliaments with only 92 hereditary Lords left (but 800 in UK) – and bizarrely the only election in the Lords is to replace the ageing 92 hereditary Lords as they die off.
While The Lord Grabafee scandal of Lord Anthony Grabiner QC of the notoriously fraudulent One Essex Court barristers was exposed in a parliamentary enquiry over Sir Shifty Philip Green of BHS: the 88 year old High St staple of 163 shops closed, 11,000 over staff sacked and sold for $1 in an $800M pension scandal.
A closing of the ranks and whitewash as extensive as it is breath-taking.
In the Glick-Hollingworth One Essex Court, High Court case, one judge dubbed The Crying Judge, starting to tear up at the sight of the corrupt invoices and refused to touch them presumably for fear of DNA contamination, and the Teacups Judge urging "you'll never get Glick".
~~Corruption in East Kent~~
And here in East Kent my “Stop the Pollution, Stop the Corruption Stop the Construction” MP campaign has resulted in the Gang of Four senior civil servants and councillors sacked, and one jailed.
The Toxic Three of KCC leaderless and drifting in the face of the Infratil, Manston airport monitors fraud and corporate manslaughter- 6 airports in Europe and NZ closed.
Only Wellington Airport with the fraudulent directors Steve Fitzgerald, Marko Bogoievski, Kevin Baker, et al still in place – Asia’s most dangerous airport?
Certainly it must be worrying for both BA and Thai Airways flying their tourists and citizens into an airport run by such fraudulent and reckless, if not murderous directors.
The tally of cancer victims from the removal of airport monitors, with the assistance of the councils, and faking of air pollution data is still to be accounted for.
Or just a few miles away the Thor Mercury, Margate scandal is not dissimilar to Klity Creek or Flint, Michigan or Minamata Japan and even Bhopal.
A Margate banned factory, illegally remaining open, polluting and killing its workers and residents – as in Cato Ridge, South Africa.
Or the brazen TDC 0% salary fraud of senior councillors and civil servants publicly declaring no pay rises, then secretly awarding themselves 10% increases. Not one fined or jailed yet.
The British Way seems to be to accept it, and eventually pay them off anyway.
While Pleasurama BVI and Panama tax haven corruption for Kent’s largest seafront site is breath-taking as a senior councillor and civil servant pension payday.
And just last month OLAF the EU fraud organisation called in for £500,000 of funds stolen by civil servants over Ramsgate Port becoming bankrupt, yet the names censored by GIAA auditors of Whitehall.
And just this week, the clerk of UKIP MEP fined and given a suspended jail sentence for fabricating invoices for the UKIP election.
Janice herself was booted out of UKIP for racism and notorious for being filmed by BBCTV describing a Thai citizen, bizarrely a member of her own UKIP party(!), as “a tingtong from somewhere”.
While Chief Constable Pughsley is allowing the longest-ever police investigation into the 2015 Conservative election fraud exposed by Channel Four television of party loyalists being bussed around the UK to bolster falling party numbers and supporters – in excess of UK electoral laws.
Shouldn’t UK and Thai politicians and civil society and media form a Thai-UK partnership, say as a part of NACC or ACT, in rooting out corruption and flagging up problems sooner rather than later?
As well as a version of the Spanish Operation Captura for criminals abroad as say Viktor Bout of Ostend airport gunrunning arrested in Phuket.
The blatant and frequent Ostend airport gunrunning into Africa and cocaine and blood dimands back into Amsterdam and London, and Antwerp, still not tackled by the ineffective and idle CAA unable to request a list of banned or late flights for any airport:
Even a spot of Iranian sanctions-busting:
The KLM and Cargolux illegal overflights and resulting asthma and cancer tumour effects still unaccounted for.
The UK is still only 10th in the latest Transparency International league table of corruption – far lower than other nearby European nations such as Denmark.
I’ve called for a Magnitsky list – named after the horrific Sergei Magnitsky scandal of a Russian lawyer exposing police and civil service fraud in Putin’s Russia - as detailed in Bill Browder’s Red Notice book.
A concern here in East Kent as Crimea is twinned with Margate.
Sadly, with East Kent, the home of parliament with Pugin, the creator of the Palace of Westminster a resident and former PM Ted Heath, the UK’s corruption list seems to grow daily.
The British Disease of secrecy, even extending to watered-down Freedom of Information laws – the EU’s EIR laws far stronger in insisting on transparency and accountability for public funds. Most government seems to only function with secrecy to cover up the incompetence or corruption.
Less blatantly, the revolving door of military officials joining the arms manufacturers they used to regulate coming under scrutiny – a licence to print money and bullets, as Germany is urging a ban on all EU arms exports.
While Grabiner and colleagues such as Ian Glick being QC’s, and horrifyingly, judges as well – in effect sitting on their own firms’ cases. The new Justice Secretary Liz Truss MP handed the brief to fumigate the Augean Stables of the High Court with Judge Smith of the BA Suitcase case declared mentally unfit and sacked.
No doubt the first of many.
UBS, Barclays and Deutsche Bank and Lloyds and even the UK arms of the Olympus cameras are facing corruption allegations and charges.
While Sports Direct the UK’s largest seller of football shirts and boots facing a £1M fine and shareholder revolt for fiddling the minimum wage and zero hours contacts. Surely Wetherspoons pubs with its zero-hours contracts is next in the firing lane?
New cases around the effectiveness of Bar Standards Board and judges such as Justice Mann are waiting in the wings. It’s concerning for ASEAN as many of the Commonwealth nations such as Singapore or Malaysia, and indeed New Zealand as with Infratil, still rely on the UK Supreme Court and its judges as the final legal arbiters.
Crooked UK judges and barristers and lawyers and fraudulent decisions can ricochet through ASEAN’s courts and policies.
~~New Corruption Cases~~
The UK’s High Court is spectacularly old-fashioned and out of touch – actually slipping backward in having almost no women or BME ethnic minorities. The vast majority of judges are elderly, white lawyers form Eton and Oxbridge. Not so much the 1% as the 0.1% sat in judgement of everyone else.
While the archaic 18th century practice of MP’s and councillors, also sitting as magistrates in local courts still persists in Kent.
Private Eye magazine has already stepped forward with various City and government frauds around LIBOR etc to be investigated by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office eg:
*GPT Special Project Management corruption in Saudi Arabia: allegations of bribes by the UK MOD and companies such as Airbus to gain and continue arms sales (East Kent’s MP Jonathan Aitken was jailed over the similarly hushed-up Al-Yamamah arms case).
The case being particularly shocking as the arms sales involve hundreds of MOD clerks and soldiers over several years being seconded to Saudi princes on UK tax-salaries. And the arms sales likely to be used mainly as a slush-fund front for bribes.
* ENRC corruption in Kazakhstan and Central Africa
* Rolls Royce corruption in Indonesia, China, Brazil and Nigeria
* G4S and Serco: UK prisons and electronic tagging contracts
* GlaxoSmithKline: corruption in China, Europe and Middle East
* Tesco: fraud of overstated profits
* BHS and One Essex Court (again): fraudulent invoices and secret shareholders
* Two more LIBOR trials in 2016 – LIBOR affecting exchange rates for every nation including Thailand
* Contamination scandals over UK nuclear sites eg Sellafield and Dungeness here in East Kent
* Magnitsky (again): Bill Browder presenting further invoices for property purchases etc to Parliament by blacklisted Russian officials
* White collar crimes from the Lough Neath and Anti-Corruption Summits still to be detailed with the weakness of UK’s tax havens, Land Registry fraudulent property sales etc
UK could well do with taking lessons from Thailand in its handling of corruption cases and judicial reviews and prudent and measured use of S44.
Surely their are some simple reforms:
* central government edict and review of FOI - indeed scrap the law for EIR: mere duplication
* ban doublehatters eg councilors and MP's in multiple roles suc as magistrates
* fast forward High Court and BSB/SRA reform
* sack fraudulent judges and QC's as Grabiner and Glick
* Jail and sack more local government officials - and claw back salaries and pensions - such as Howes and Berry, Button and Sproates in oovering up Infratil etc
* A review into Thor Margate and Cato Ridge
* Extradite Infratil's directors - and suspend Wellington gflights
So far in UK it’s fine words but hot air.
Time for Change
* Good news from the EU Bratislva Summit (the first one without Brexit-UK and a pledge for free wifi in Every European town centre and 5G by 2020 - the USA achieving this in 2017 so when will UK achieve it? It's little more complicated than flicking a switch
* Facebook's aim of 100% internet coverage everywhere confirms that technology issues are only 5-10% of the problems - surely time for always-on emergency internet and phone connections say £5 a year and free SMS?
* Silence on Kent and South East hospitals in Special Measures an delays on cataract operations etc - the most popular and routine operation If the NHS can't do that what's the point of it without P45 reform?
* Also Parliamentary reviews of bank overdrafts/charges - easy to cap and standardise those and a review of FTSE350 pay and governance given the LIBOR frauds etc
* Disappointing Hinkle approved but I just cant see it being built and by 2030 if UK will have nay nuclear power stations: not one built for the last 20 years so a junk and radioactive technology ending
* More on KORA, Project Gilgamesh and Surin school charity later