Tag Archives: Airbus

Will the punishment fit the crime?

There are crimes out there, some are small, some are not called crimes, they are labelled as an ‘improper offense‘, these offenses are offenses, yet so small that the CPA might decide not to look into the matter.

The Guardian had an opinion piece on the Arms trade two days ago called ‘Is the government turning a deaf ear to arms deal bribes?‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/18/attorney-general-geoffrey-cox-gpt-arms-deal-corruption), now this is an article on bribery, one would consider it to be an improper act, optionally a crme, yet the facts do not bear this out. The setting is not that someone enriched themselves, no, they stated that they spend less than an addition 1%, almost 30% less than one percent to secure a contract: “to win a £2bn contract to provide communications and electronic warfare equipment to the Saudi national guard“, the so called former employee of GPT “Ian Foxley. When he was about to blow the whistle, he fled Saudi Arabia overnight fearing that his life was in danger“, the fact that we overlook ‘the fact that he was merely allegedly fearing that his life was in danger‘ is the first part, the fact that the bribery was there would be an issue for the Saudi Government to pursue (one would imagine), we see in the cold light of day that someone spend 1% extra to make sure that the order was accepted, OK, by law it would be an offense, it would be an ‘Improper offense‘, it might be a crime in Saudi Arabia as well, but they are seemingly not pursuing the matter are they? When we look at the black letter law we see that there is optionally a case to go after GPT Special Project Management, a UK-based subsidiary of the European aerospace group Airbus, yet in light of the thousands of cases not touched, and the fact that there is no actual victim here, should we pursue? Don’t get me wrong, corruption is nothing less than the proverbial blight on life, yet the EU gravy train is not stopped is it? Corporations are not being pursued in light of their activities to self-enrich themselves, are they? Yet there are a lot of eyes on anything accomplished in the Middle East, in this case in Saudi Arabia, I wonder if Ian Foxley would have shown the same candour if the buyer was the US, and they have the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. And there actually have been cases on that combination. Siemens (2008), Marubeni Corporation (2012), Biomet Inc. (2012), Goodyear (2015), and there have been plenty more, yet why is this one case important?

It is not seen immediate, or not until you take a longer look at the UK Bribery Act 2010, The BA 2010 received Royal Assent on 8 April 2010 and entered into force on 1 July 2011 in the UK, a guardian article spent a little time on it in 2013 (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/10/whistleblowers-snowden-truth-sets-free) there we see: In 2010, Ian Foxley was working as the programme director for a British subsidiary of defence giant EADS on a £1.96bn contract to modernise the communications systems for the Saudi Arabian National Guard. When he came across evidence of corruption and bribery he fled the country and reported it to British officials“. There is an overlap, the UK Bribery Act 2010 was not part of law at that point. The act was not entered into law until 1st July 2011 in the UK, this does not make the act of Bribery all right, it merely states that an act that is privy to the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906, and there we will learn that he agent might optionally be held to the dock, but it will not apply as the one bribed was allegedly part of Saudi Arabia, hence not part of England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland. It is the little things that make life satisfying, and the Guardian hiding behind “The delay in making a decision speaks to a deep malaise: suggesting that Britain is simply unwilling to prosecute major companies that are accused of paying bribes to foreign politicians and officials” is both unfair and incorrect, an alleged event took place in the time when the law was being adjusted, is it not interesting on how this one case, a case that should be in the hands of Saudi Arabia to consider prosecution (for the most) seems to get such attention, it seems that Anti-Muslim issues are rearing its ugly head, you see that statement is also alleged, yet I see no such news prosecution regarding Smith & Nephew paid US$22.2 million to the DOJ and SEC in 2012 regarding a deferred prosecution agreement. The idea of “possible improper payments to government-employed doctors” seems to hit people in general, but there is no real overwhelming amount of news there, is it? It seems to me that we are in a larger caser of ignorance when it comes to non-Muslim considerations, oh and that was in the US, how many prosecutions and investigations did Stephen and Nephew face in the UK? I am not telling, I am asking, the news does not seem to make mention of that.

There is also the case CAS-Global Ltd. and the Private Nigerian Coast Guard Fleet (at https://sites.tufts.edu/corruptarmsdeals/cas-global-ltd-and-the-private-nigerian-coast-guard-fleet/), the Independent was seemingly the only paper taking a look at that (at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/two-british-businessmen-arrested-on-suspicion-of-involvement-in-sale-of-naval-vessels-to-nigerian-9991217.html), as I see it, the Guardian might not be guilty, it does have a few explanations to hand out, it will seemingly lash out at Saudi Arabia, but not much beyond that, Nigeria is loving it, I wonder how Saudi Arabia feels about being singled out and let’s face it, I personally perceive the GPT issue what could be set as an ‘Improper Offense‘, so I leave it up to the powers that be to decide, that was Jeremy Wright, trying it again and having Geoffrey Cox decide on it is a little childish, but OK, such are the rules, yet no one is asking questions too loudly on the Nigerian private security company setting up some similar form of payment for services whilst this involved selling 6 Norwegian former naval vessels to a privately owned security firm? And why does it matter, because like me two British business subjects thought it would be lucrative to enter the arms dealer world. It is a whole different level is it not? Robe Evans and David Pegg did write a good piece, and it is an opinion piece and we are and should be asking questions, yet I wonder if the writer intended the questions that are on the mind are the ones he wanted us to have on the mind.

The fact that in this day and age, whilst the UK STILL has not figured out its tax laws on properly taxing corporations filling its pockets in the UK whilst paying so little tax, it should be regard as an insult, are given all the space they need and the laws we see enable them and seemingly set the stage where other cases are not ignored for a decade, all whilst that one case had no real UK victims. OK, I admit that this is the wrong direction to go, but there are cases with an abundance of UK victims that seemingly do not get the attention or the jurisprudence it deserves, should that not be a first for the UK?

It is just one part in all this that we should consider before we consider anything else. And when we compare the Norwegian Navel issue towards private companies and one deal going towards the Saudi Government, where was our focus? That is before we see the elements in the Smith & Nephew deal, so they paid for it in the US, yet how much investigations was done regarding their actions in the UK?

 

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The outspoken lie

This is the issue we have seen many times in the last months. The lie perpetrated by people (including journalists) to keep them in some fake shape of ethical non-prosecution. The clearest one was shown by the Guardian Yesterday (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/may/22/secret-bank-of-england-taskforce-investigates-financial-fallout-brexit), it is not the first one, it will not be the last one and until some individuals get out of their lazy chair, it will never improve. The quote “News of undercover project emerges after Bank staff accidentally email details to the Guardian including PR notes on how to deny its existence“. This is not even close to an accident, you do not ‘accidently‘ add journalists to confidential e-mails. This is almost like me going to Lucy Pinder (famous UK Presenter) stating: “Can you please stand there, now bend backwards a little and please keep your legs spread and without knickers, so I can ‘accidently’ land my penis into your vagina” (sorry about the graphical intensity Miss Pinder)! Either event does not happen accidently, only intentional or orchestrated as I see it! We will likely hear on ‘accidental’ typos, on how names were the same, but the cold reality is, is the mere fact that some people are trying to be some misguided whistle-blower yet the other group are doing that intentionally, some to warn ‘friends’, some to influence the market. And this event is nowhere near the only one. I wrote about Brexit yesterday in my article ‘Is it all Greek to you?‘ there are several issues in play. There is the link to Natixis, regarding their over half a Trillion Euro issue. Is that information not really handy to have? So in my view what is currently ‘regarded’ as an accident is possibly a simple case of either whistleblowing or corruption! The next quote is another one we need to take issue with “The revelation is likely to embarrass the bank governor, Mark Carney, who has overhauled the central bank’s operations and promised greater transparency over its decision-making“. The issue is, is that there is no issue. The Bank of England has a clear responsibility to investigate economic impacts, this means that both Brexit and Grexit are to be investigated. You see, if Brexit becomes a necessarily evil, those making the decisions would need to have all the facts, not just ask for the facts at that point. So, 30 seconds after the Guardian revelation, Natixis and all its links, Airbus, HSBC and a few other players will now be preparing their own kind of noose, threatening the UK government on the consequences of going forward on Brexit, the equations as per today will be pushed in other directions, including by the US, who would get into deep insolvent waters the moment Brexit becomes a fact. So, the accidental mailer is in my view an intentional traitor to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. That person is an even bigger traitor as this is not about where the freedom of choice for a sovereign nation lies, but the fact that it is no longer able to get the true facts ready for the people to freely make a choice on, so when the referendum does come, the people are likely to get misinformed because powerful players do not like it when their profitability is on the line. It is of course every little bit useful for the large industries who believe in keeping the status quo of exploitations high, dry and mighty. So even though Mark Carney will likely be under fire of questions as per Monday, we must also see that in this case our Canadian Marky Mark is totally innocent (in this case). He did what a responsible governor of the Bank of England did. He made sure the correct facts were collected (tried to do so without kicking a fuss), a task that is now less likely to be successful. So as we look at what happened, according to the Guardian article, we see “The email, from Cunliffe’s private secretary to four senior executives, was written on May 21st and forwarded by mistake to a Guardian editor by the Bank’s head of press, Jeremy Harrison“, so as I see it a mail from Sir Jonathan Cunliffe went to 4 senior executives. Now we suddenly see that Jeremy Harrison had it. Was he one of the 4 recipients? It seems unlikely as the text would have stated something slightly different. It is the formulation that gives way to the notion that it is likely (read: possible) that one of those executives forwarded the mail to Jeremy Harrison and he did give it to the Guardian. So we have two issues. Who gave it to Jeremy and was the release to the press more intentional than not? That question remains an issue. Is this orchestration or blatant treason. Let’s not forget that treason means: ‘The betrayal of someone’s trust or confidence‘, in this case the trust AND confidence of the British parliament. So the people are confronted with a spokesperson who likely spoke out, against the wishes of the ruling governor. So this event will have consequences from Monday onward. The markets will react and after that we will see more events into escalations as the British people will get to see over the week how the Greek fallout will hit the markets and the European economies as a whole. The non-actions, or any act regarded too small by the people will shift political allegiances fast, yet that effect is less likely to be felt in the UK and more likely to impact France at present. And these Brexit revelations are not the first ones. That Greek tragedy called insolvency is riddled with ‘leaked’ documents all over the place. In February 2015 we had ‘Leaked documents reveal what Greece had to say at the Euro group negotiations‘, in this view, I agree with blogger Raúl Ilargi Meijer who wrote less than a week ago “Whenever secret or confidential information or documents are leaked to the press, the first question should always be who leaked it and why” (at http://www.theautomaticearth.com/2015/05/the-imf-leaks-greece/), but that is not what orchestration is about, is it? So are the events from the Bank of England orchestration too? If so fine (well not entirely, but that would not be my call), if not then please fire Jeremy Harrison and give me his job. I have no proper degree for the function, but at least I will not be leaking any documents. These events go a lot further then just Greece of course. The Herald Scotland gives us ‘Civil servant who issued RBS leak email links with Better Together leader‘ (at http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/revealed-civil-servant-who-issued-rbs-leak-email-links-with-better-together-leader.120666908) gives us “THE Treasury civil servant who issued an email leaking sensitive information about Royal Bank of Scotland’s plans to leave the country in the event of a yes vote had links to the head of Better Together campaign, it can be revealed“, so again the question regarded is, is this not corporate treason? Consider the quote “Now the civil servant who issued the communication can be identified as Robert Mackie, the son of Catherine MacLeod, who was a special adviser to Better Together leader Alistair Darling when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer“, was he preparing his own more comfortable future? Getting himself into the proper future setting with friends of Alistair Darling? These are questions to be asked, for sure. Of course, a valid question might be, why would the Royal Bank of Scotland, leave Scotland if it becomes independent? Is it about the lost power of image of its board members? I do not proclaim or imply to have the actual answers, but the truth is not likely to come out, which means we end up living an outspoken lie, does it not? My own little island Australia is not without its own negative merits here. The title ‘Leaked documents reveal problems within Air Warfare Destroyer program‘ should give cause for concern, because that is not a mere commercial/political issue, it is a military issue, where one might expect a little more bias into ‘disclosing’ classified information (me going out on a limb here). we see the information (at http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2015/s4232702.htm), where we get the quote “But documents obtained by Saturday AM reveal the alliance is now worried continued cost blowouts and delays are harming its shipbuilding reputation“, of course ‘cost blowout’ usually means that the leaders of those projects did not have a proper clue to begin with and the amount of 9 billion gives a lot more weight to my statement (the UK NHS IT program being a nice piece of 11 billion pounds in evidence), but that is not too unexpected. The quote “MARK THOMSON: With an alliance contract where you don’t have somebody clearly in charge, you can rapidly find yourself in a situation where things go wrong and people are looking at one another passing blame, not taking responsibility, and decisions aren’t made” is precisely to the point. Our own Marky Mark (not the one running the Bank of England) shows the major influence, a person that is clearly in charge. I would add that quality of communication tends to be a solid second one in these projects. You see, as these elements go back and forth the e-mail (read Memo) goes on and on. When someone is in charge we get that defining moment when they hear (or should hear). ‘Shut Up! This is what we have decided on!‘, yet military contractors (like Raytheon and Northrop Grumman) are very trained in encapsulating questions within answers, adding premises so that the water is murky, as this is all about their continues consultancy as those people are like lawyers, they bill by the hour per project (as I personally see it), so here again, we see the outspoken lie, now not by telling, but by omission through non-clarity. So as the article ended with “Last year problems with the AWD program prompted former defence minister David Johnston to warn he wouldn’t trust the government-owned Australian submarine corporation to build a canoe“, on one side it seems odd to bite the hand that feeds you, on the other hand the question becomes what evidence did he have access to? Was this a political move to shelter individuals or signal true issues? So now we get the news (less than 2 hours ago at http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/first-air-warfare-destroyer-launched-at-asc-osborne/story-fni6uo1m-1227366174513) ‘First Air Warfare Destroyer launched at ASC, Osborne‘, which should be a huge reason for parties as well as spoil a bottle of bubbly against the hull of that beauty. Yet, the article is not all good news. We see that in the quote “The occasion was overshadowed to a degree by Friday’s release of a Federal Government audit claiming the destroyers cost three times as much to build in South Australia as they would if they had been built overseas. It also found the total cost of the project had blown out to $9 billion“, so here are my questions in this:

  1. Could we ever rely on our defense by getting things build overseas?
  2. Who kept check on the expenses?
  3. If I go over the books and If I can cut more than 20% by invalidating time wasted on drawn out lines of ‘communications’ (I mean those long winded memos from these military contractors), will I get 10% of the 20% saved? (This should amount to 180 million) not bad for a few months’ work! You know, I had a dream where I ended up with 160 million and bought a nice house on Guernsey. I am willing to settle on 20 million less!

So here we see the outspoken lies! Political, commercial and even military, lines of miscommunication drained through ‘leaked’ documents. Is it all orchestration? Is orchestration not the same as treason when we consider the allegiance those people were supposed to have (in opposition where ‘leaked’ documents are a tactical move)? It would be for a court to decide, yet we will soon learn that these matters will not make it into any court, and as the cost blowout of 9 billion is shown, this leaky path will pay handsomely into the hands of businesses like Raytheon and Natixis, and what do you know, there are links between these two as well! So is this last statement my outspoken lie? Or can we agree at least to some degree that these companies all talk to one another? So in the end are governments getting played and who is actually in charge? That would be a very valid question as the bill got pumped by 9 billion, where 10% of that 9 billion could have solved the Australian legal aid issue (as well as a few other issues), so will any investigation into that issue result in a new outspoken lie (read: carefully phrased political conclusion without further accountability by anyone)? Time will tell!

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