If there is a theme today, then I suppose you could call it ‘a sense of responsibility’ and the need for more of it in public life. By ‘public’ life I mean people who should Move n Shake, but more usually Shove n Make. We are, naturally, talking politicians, multinationals and bankers: not so much because I have it in for such people – although I certainly do – but because they are so consistently, predictably and multi-dimensionally crap.
I’m indebted to a Slogger for pointing out another case of You Read it Here First in relation to Boris Johnson and the new-taxis-for-0ld farce that has bumbled along now for quite some time. Thanks to BoJo demanding a rule that all taxis over a certain age had to be replaced on the basis of NO2 emissions, Tim Yeo’s company stands to benefit massively in terms of sales. Tim Yeo is a member of the Conservative Party. Boris Johnson the London Mayor and Olympic Greek Hero is also a member of the Conservative Party. When at Oxford, Johnson was a member of the infamous Bullingdon Club. Nick Hurd, Tim Yeo’s Chief of Staff while Shadow Minister, also went to Oxford. Nick Hurd was also a member of the Bullingdon Club. In 2005, Boris Johnson and Nick Hurd were founder members of the Conservative Green Chip Club.
Nothing to see there. Except Johnson’s assertions about emissions were and are complete bollocks. Now DEFRA has confirmed this in less than glowing terms. I quote directly: ‘There is a clear indication that absolute levels of NO2 emissions from taxis manufactured since around 2008 have been increasing. This is true for the LTI TX4, and the Mercedes Vito models. Given the intensity of taxi operations in the centre of London, the increase in levels of NO2 emissions from the newer taxi fleet is a matter of concern for local air quality management in general, and NO2 limit values in particular.’
I’m not sure what it is with politicians and taxis: the unlovely sleazebag Geoff Hoon once referred to himself as “a taxi with the doors open” – a euphemism, in that what he meant was “a whore with her legs open”. But Doris Bonksome and Hiffy Goon are little-league amateurs compared to some of the Cosy Nosferatus pulling strings in the US.
A former insider at the World Bank, ex-Senior Counsel Karen Hudes, says the global financial system is dominated by a small group of corrupt, power-hungry figures centered around the privately owned U.S. Federal Reserve. It says quite a bit about my continuing naivety in the face of opposing evidence that it wasn’t until summer 2012 that someone pointed out to me that the Fed isn’t really an arm of Washington. It’s more a sort of leg up for the endless phalanx of fixers busy screwing us out of every penny we have.
As she appears to have held down a high-powered job for twenty years at the Bank, it seems unlikely Ms Hude is a flake. What tends to confirm this is that, when she tried to blow the whistle on multiple problems at the World Bank, she was fired for her efforts.
Hudes points out with some convincingly evidenced data what many of us have suspected for some time: that a group of entities — mostly financial institutions and central banks — exert a massive amount of influence over the international economy from behind the scenes. Of late, they’ve come rather more centre-stage as the self-appointed élites have stopped bothering to hide this kind of skullduggery any more.
“What is really going on is that the world’s resources are being dominated by this group,” she asserts. At the heart of the network “are 147 financial institutions and central banks — especially the Federal Reserve, which was created by Congress but is owned by essentially a cartel of private banks. This is a story about how the international financial system was secretly gamed, mostly by central banks”. Given the Libor, gold, QE, Zirp and wheat manipulations revealed over the last five years, it isn’t as if Karen is just a woman scorned here: amazingly, everything she says rings true.
I say “amazingly” because five years ago I would’ve dismissed this kind of stuff as conspiratorial paranoia. But as I keep on writing in these columns, if the facts in favour of a conspiracy point that way, it is no longer a conspiracy theory.