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Londons Laundry Business

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OOOOF!

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/08/opinion/londons-laundry-business.html?_r=0

LONDON — The city has changed. The buses are still dirty, the people are still passive-aggressive, but something about London has changed. You can see signs of it everywhere. The townhouses in the capital’s poshest districts are empty; they have been sold to Russian oligarchs and Qatari princes.

England’s establishment is not what it was; the old imperial elite has become crude and mercenary. On Monday, a British civil servant was photographed arriving in Downing Street for a national security council meeting carrying an open document in his hand. We could read for ourselves lines from a confidential report on how Prime Minister David Cameron’s government should respond to the Crimea crisis. It recommended that Britain should “not support, for now, trade sanctions,” nor should it “close London’s financial center to Russians.”

The White House has imposed visa restrictions on some Russian officials, and President Obama has issued an executive order enabling further sanctions.

But Britain has already undermined any unified action by putting bankers’ profits first.

This is what it boils down to: Britain is ready to betray the United States to protect the City of London’s hold on dirty Russian money. And forget about Ukraine.

Britain thinks of itself as a trading nation, open for business, but it no longer has a “mission.” Any moralizing remnant of the British Empire is gone; it has turned back to the pirate England of Sir Walter Raleigh.

Britain’s ruling class has decayed not just to the point where Mr. Cameron is considered a man of exceptional talent, but to where its first priority is protecting its percentage on Russian money — even as Russian armored personnel carriers rumble around the streets of Sevastopol. But the establishment understands that in the 21st century what matters are banks, not tanks.

The Russians also understand this. They know that London is a center of Russian corruption, that their loot plunges into Britain’s empire of tax havens — from Gibraltar to Jersey, from the Cayman Islands to the British Virgin Islands — on which the sun never sets.

British residency is up for sale. “Investor visas” can be purchased, starting at £1 million ($1.6 million). London lawyers in the Commercial Court now get 60 percent of their work from Russian and Eastern European clients. More than 50 Russia-based companies swell the trade at London’s Stock Exchange. The planning regulations have been scrapped, and along the Thames, up and up go spires of steel and glass for the hedge-funding class.

Britain’s bright young things now become consultants, art dealers, private bankers and hedge funders. Or, to put it another way, the oligarchs’ valets.

Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, gets it: You pay them, you own them. Mr. Putin was absolutely certain that Britain’s managers — shuttling through the revolving door between cabinet posts and financial boards — would never give up their fees and commissions from the oligarchs’ billions. He was right.

In the austerity years of zero growth that followed the 2008 financial crash, this new source of vast wealth could not be resisted. Tony Blair is the latter-day embodiment of pirate Britain’s Sir Walter Raleigh. The former prime minister now advises the Kazakh ruler Nursultan Nazarbayev on his image in the West. Mr. Blair is handsomely paid to tutor his patron on how to be evasive about the crackdowns and the mine shootings that are facts of life in Kazakhstan.

This is Britain’s growth business today: laundering oligarchs’ dirty billions, laundering their dirty reputations.

It could be otherwise. Banking sanctions could turn off the financial pipelines through which corrupt officials channel Russian money. Visa restrictions could cut Kremlin ministers off from their mansions. The tax havens that rob the national budget of billions could be forced to be accountable. Britain has the power to bankrupt the Putin clique.

But London has changed. And the Shard — the Qatari-owned, 72-floor skyscraper above the grotty Southwark riverside — is a symbol of that change.

The Shard encapsulates the new hierarchy of the city. On the top floors, “ultra high net worth individuals” entertain escorts in luxury apartments. By day, on floors below, investment bankers trade incomprehensible derivatives.

Come nightfall, the elevators are full of African cleaners, paid next to nothing and treated as nonexistent. The acres of glass windows are scrubbed by Polish laborers, who sleep four to a room in bedsit slums. And near the Shard are the immigrants from Lithuania and Romania, who broke their backs on construction sites, but are now destitute and whiling away their hours along the banks of the Thames.

The Shard is London, a symbol of a city where oligarchs are celebrated and migrants are exploited but that pretends to be a multicultural utopia. Here, in their capital city, the English are no longer the ones calling the shots. They are hirelings

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Is this a joke? Coming from America? lol.

They really are on form this week, what with Kerry spouting nonsense about Ukraine etc.

Edited by Errol

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The only thing that I find more shocking than the above is that is anyone dares to mention such things on UK media they get shouted down and ridiculed by presenters and journos.

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When you consider that the US government is a bit pissed off with UK and europes response to Russia, and that the US government will have it's ways of getting the New York Times to publish such a piece, then the only thing we need to keep in mind is that the NYT articles is speaking the truth

..._

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All true but the only people that have been 'betrayed' are those living in the UK.

I am not sure what the Yanks have to moan about as their crooks have been laundering their money through the City of London for years right back to Big Bang in the 1980s when they essentially tookover the place.

Anyway if the US administration want to change peoples attitudes in this country getting their media to constantly bad mouth us is probably not the way to achieve that goal. Indeed they might want to start with this tome from Dale Carnegie How To Win Friends And Influence People

Carnegie believed, is due 15 percent to professional knowledge and 85 percent to "the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership and to arouse enthusiasm among people." He teaches these skills through underlying principles of dealing with people so that they feel important and appreciated. He also emphasises fundamental techniques for handling people without making them feel manipulated. Carnegie says you can make someone want to do what you want them to by seeing the situation from the other person's point of view and "arousing in the other person an eager want." You learn how to make people like you, win people over to your way of thinking, and change people without causing offence or arousing resentment.

Somehow the US has lost that art

Edited by stormymonday_2011

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If you look into the evidence, the US was very happy to take oligarch and criminal money for decades. Look at the drug money flowing into southern US state banks throughout the financial crisis - some say it kept a number of them afloat!

Doesn\t mean the NYT article is not true, though...

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If you look into the evidence, the US was very happy to take oligarch and criminal money for decades. Look at the drug money flowing into southern US state banks throughout the financial crisis - some say it kept a number of them afloat!

Doesn\t mean the NYT article is not true, though...

The US/UK invaded Iraq. Therefore Russia should be allowed to invade Ukraine.

Depressing. The slipping of standards never stops. Until it does.

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Nicholas Shaxton's book Treasure Islands, and every other issue of Private Eye explains this (and the long history of chasing dirty capital). Yet nothing seems to ever happen, presumably because of the Corp of London's massive (and, of course, secret) PR and legal fighting fund.

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Nicholas Shaxton's book Treasure Islands, and every other issue of Private Eye explains this (and the long history of chasing dirty capital). Yet nothing seems to ever happen, presumably because of the Corp of London's massive (and, of course, secret) PR and legal fighting fund.

Simpler than that. Most voters don't know the options.

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The US/UK invaded Iraq. Therefore Russia should be allowed to invade Ukraine.

Depressing. The slipping of standards never stops. Until it does.

power does what power needs.

and people obtaining power do what they need to keep it.

money is power. It represents the wealth of men.

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LONDON — The city has not changed. The buses are still dirty, the people are still British, but something about London has not changed. You can see signs of it everywhere. Some of the townhouses in the capital’s poshest districts are empty; they have been sold to Russian oligarchs and Qatari princes.

England’s establishment is exactly what it was; the old imperial elite is as crude and mercenary as ever. On Monday, a British civil servant was photographed arriving in Downing Street for a national security council meeting carrying his dick in his hands. We were permitted to read for ourselves lines from a confidential report on how Prime Minister David Cameron’s government should respond to the Crimea crisis. It recommended that Britain should “not support, for now, trade sanctions,” nor should it “close London’s financial center to Russians.”

The White House has imposed futile visa restrictions on some Russian officials, and President Obomber has issued an executive order enabling further futility in a push for war.

But Britain has temporarily saved itself from war by putting bankers’ profits first.

This is what it boils down to: Britain is ready to betray the unhinged neocons to protect the City of London’s hold on dirty Russian money. And pray for Ukraine.

Britain is a trading nation, open for business, but it no longer has a “mission”, having been made a vassal and petri dish of said neocons. Any moralizing remnant of the British Empire is alive and well (microscope needed); thankfully, it has turned back to the pirate England of Sir Walter Raleigh.

Britain’s ruling class has evolved according to circumstance to the point where Mr. Cameron is considered a man of exceptional talent, and to where its first priority is protecting its percentage on Russian money — even as Russian armored personnel carriers rumble, quite legitimately, around the streets of Sevastopol. The establishment understands that in the 21st century, as in every other, what matters are banks, not tanks.

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If only Tony Blair truly was the embodiment of 'Pirate Britain's Walter Raleigh'.

Then we could look forward to him having his head chopped off in Old Palace Yard Westminster.

Edited by stormymonday_2011

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Who is they? Bloke is a 25-year-old Oxford grad from London.

An expat activist, or at least campaigner?

So a view on the home country and its rulers akin to other expats who complain of their own monstrous regimes. Notably those whose home countries our meeja (rightly or wrongly, but I suspect more often wrongly 'cos a real horror like North Korea needs no such spin) want to demonise.

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The US/UK invaded Iraq. Therefore Russia should be allowed to invade Ukraine.

Invade? Or support that country's elected leaders in a time of trouble?

What seems terribly suspicious there is the double-standards coming from the west. A mob ousts a twice-elected president, and the West's chattering classes unquestioningly supports the mob and declares not only the president but anyone else in Ukraine who opposes the mob - such as the regional parliament in Crimea or demonstrators in Eastern cities - illegitimate. One might think the mob's new regime was someone's puppet.

Can you imagine the US, UK et al applying similar standards if the mob were, say, Golden Dawn having toppled a Greek government?

Edited by porca misèria

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Simpler than that. Most voters don't know the options.

In our democorruptcy their are no options.

Vote City!

Edited by aSecureTenant

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Invade? Or support that country's elected leaders in a time of trouble?

What seems terribly suspicious there is the double-standards coming from the west. A mob ousts a twice-elected president, and the West's chattering classes unquestioningly supports the mob and declares not only the president but anyone else in Ukraine who opposes the mob - such as the regional parliament in Crimea or demonstrators in Eastern cities - illegitimate. One might think the mob's new regime was someone's puppet.

Can you imagine the US, UK et al applying similar standards if the mob were, say, Golden Dawn having toppled a Greek government?

British media will say things about other countries they would never say about UK.

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Is this a joke? Coming from America? lol.

They really are on form this week, what with Kerry spouting nonsense about Ukraine etc.

....

"it has turned back to the pirate England of Sir Walter Raleigh....
....if it wan't for the likes of SWR ..few US citizens would be 'in situ' today ..this high and mighty attitude epitomises someone who is rather illiterate in terms of their own history...or just rewrites it to suit themselves.... :rolleyes: Edited by South Lorne

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The Shard encapsulates the new hierarchy of the city. On the top floors, “ultra high net worth individuals” entertain escorts in luxury apartments. By day, on floors below, investment bankers trade incomprehensible derivatives.

Complete bollucks. The Shard is empty.

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