Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Dancin' to the Jailhouse Rock

Prosecutors@Work:  those Americans know how to write an indictment.   Take a look at the Manafort / Gates document, as they throw the book at these two gentlemen in no uncertain fashion.

Central to the case is that "in furtherance of the scheme [i.e. disbursing the millions he is supposed to have made working for pro-Russian Ukrainian players] Manafort used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States without paying taxes".  Oh yes, this being America naturally the bulk of the material relates to alleged tax offences, always a nice place to start.  (Often, "wire fraud" is thrown into the pot because almost everyone has made an interstate telephone call at some stage in the proceedings - but I didn't notice it this time.)   In another standard American ploy, they are also accused of misleading the people who prepared their tax returns for them, doubtless so as to render their professional advisers guiltless  -  and, errr, co-operative?   Same thing happened in a lot of the Enron indictments. 

We should of course note that Messrs M and G deny everything.  That said, check out the details given of Mr M's "lavish lifestyle".  Quite a bit is alleged to have been spent on houses, home improvements and the like (oh, and four Range Rovers - three in 2012 alone - how many do you need?).  But the real winner is $934,350 paid to "Vendor C - Antique Rugstore in Alexandria, Virginia".  As a nice detail, that can surely be bettered only by the famous list of Tuco's crimes, read out before one of his many hangings, in The Good The Bad & The Ugly.  Amongst all the rape, pillage and murder, Tuco is accused of impersonating a Mexican general ...    

Anyhow, in America they do actually sometimes lock people up, often for many years.  A propos of which, who's this shuffling into view with a new book to promote?  It's Gordon Brown!   And what does he wish to tell us?  He thinks some of the wicked bankers should have been locked up after 2008!!   And who was PM 2007-2010 ..?   FFS.  

I recall we aired similar views ourselves - but that was actually at the time.  What a plonker.  Altogether now:

The warden threw a party in the county jail ...



Gnome of Zurich said...

Wasn't Brown hobnobbing with Victor Blank at a Canary Wharf cocktail soirée when he discussed the Lloyds HBOS merger? Wasn't Brown's No.10 chief of staff a former City banker from Morgan Stanley? Didn't Brown knight Fred Goodwin? And well after the crisis erupted wasn't Brown jetting around the world to give after-dinner speeches to financiers for five figures sums a night?

For someone now saying the bankers should have gone to jail he seemed to enjoy their company an awful lot back then. Still I suppose the headline guarantees some publicity for his book.

miker22 said...

Yes, I know Brown has defective sight, but the only way to put it is that he is blind to his own faults and character. He genuinely seems to think he is morally superior and more intelligent than other people. He simply isn't.

Anonymous said...

Still, GB kept us out of the Euro, for which much praise. We'd be up the Swanee if we'd joined.

If we finally leave, I'd be in favour of him occupying the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square.

I hope these Manafort charges aren't a case of hoping he'll invent something about Trump just to take the pressure off him.

Anonymous said...

4 Range Rovers needed to carry all those antique rugs. Obviously.

Doesn't sound like lavish lifestyle to me.

Steven_L said...

Haven't you ever played around with one of those prestige car configurators? You can't always have the fancy self-dipping headlights and the robot self-steering and driving in the traffic jam on the same motor for some reason. Then there's the usual problem of wanting the cream leather interior but not for the dead of winter or any time when you might have passengers. That's 4 cars you need before you even get to the question of petrol of diesel, let alone exterior paint.

Dick the Prick said...

And GB's stated that had he won in 2010 he'd have pushed for an International Bankers' Constitution which all sounds lovely but curiously no mention of it at the time. It's almost as if he's spent 7 years coming up with good ideas that were absent when he had authority!

Umbongo said...

He only kept us out of the Euro because Blair wanted in. Had Blair wanted out, Brown (eagerly assisted by Osborne) would have been first in line to sign up.

miker22 said...

It is often forgotten that William Hague when leader of the opposition led a campaign to Save the Pound. This incurred much ridicule and disdain from the Best People such as those of us who voted to leave the EU receive today, but it did contribute to Blair promising a referendum on the Euro and checked the headlong flight towards the Euro. Also Brown was a fervent advocate of the ERM, until it blew up in Major's face and then he smoothly changed sides and castigated Major for joining. If a statue is ever erected to Brown I would like to be reincarnated as a pigeon.

Electro-Kevin said...

Russian attempts to interfere in the US election.

A nothing burger.

President Obama threatened our country during our referendum with our suppine PM standing beside him like a cuckold.

And after all the support we'd given the US in the past 20 years.

andrew said...

Russia has been waging an information was against the US and much of Europe for the last few years.
The US is just waking up to this.
They are trying to undermine democratic institutions by spreading lies about those in power. That was Clinton and now trump.
One might think that it is part of a campaign to let them keep the Ukraine but I really cannot see the point as they have been rumbled now.

Nick Drew said...

Nothing like Gordon Brown to stir up a BTL thread!

I always felt it was contempt for Blair/Brown that got political & semi-political blogging underway a little over a decade ago. So many voices went quiet(er) after 2010

Anonymous said...

Russia has been waging an information war against Britain and Europe since around 1947.

Key activities here were infiltration of the Trade Unions and the Ban The Bomb campaign. Wherever they suspect a weak point they will probe it and if possible insert a wedge.

Why they persist in seeing Europe and America as enemies after the Cold War is over, I don't know. There was a great opportunity to let bygones be bygones, as the Vietnamese have done.

Don cox

Electro-Kevin said...

This is what direct interference in another country's democracy looks like.

Russia ?

Nothing burger.

Anonymous said...

"Why they persist in seeing Europe and America as enemies after the Cold War is over, I don't know"

Because NATO, far from disbanding at the end of the Cold War as the Warsaw Pact was, is expanding up to and indeed inside the borders of the old Soviet Union?

(Leave the vodka and gold by the milk bottles, please, tovarich!)

Dick the Prick said...

Ukip is dead. How does the Tory Party win it oop North?

auralay said...

Anon. said "Key activities here were infiltration of the Trade Unions and the Ban The Bomb campaign. Wherever they suspect a weak point they will probe it and if possible insert a wedge."

Apparently now they are behind the anti-fracking groups (and possibly other water-melons trying to weaken our economy). They REALLY do not want to lose the lucrative gas sales to Europe.

Electro-Kevin said...

Dick - If we have a flurry of knee-patters resigning we may find out sooner than we think.

There is a feminist putsch going on - family friendly hours and no after work bars/restaurants in Parliament.

They should rename a Parliamentary bar The Knee-Patters and Munter's Club so people who don't give a shit about such things can go there and not be offended.

Not exactly Weinstein league, is it.

hovis said...

auralay - Russia behind anti fracking groups? I'm afraid that is only the fevered wank fantasty of those that believe that anyone who objects to anything the authorities wish to impose is some sort of shadowy subversive; in the case of fracking that mutates into seeing everything as green-communist plot.
I am sure you are intelligent enough not to take on other's narratives promoted to protect their positions (financial and otherwise).

Now if we are looking for special interests buying their agenda on fracking you only have to look as far as government ministers with financial interest, the use of police as private ecurity firms and the so called "gold standard" of
and still the incompetant numpties can't make it work - because it's predicated on a false premise and QE levels of misdirected investment.