- Other IssuesOther Opinions
- September 26, 2010
- 20 minutes read
What links HSBC, Asil Nadir and Dr David Kelly?
You’ve heard of the “broken tail-light effect”? The police pull a driver over to tell him his tail-light isn’t working and find that he’s top of their wanted list with his car stuffed full of drugs, guns and blank credit cards. I understand that it often happens.
There is widespread doubt that the death of weapons inspector Dr David Kelly was suicide as officially claimed. It was announced on 24 September that the government is allowing independent investigators to see the medical evidence relating to his death. This is very welcome and a step toward clearing up this long-running controversy but there is still delay, the government citing legalities.
In searching for the latest developments in this case I came across a wildly improbable conspiracy theory on Dr David Kelly’s death which to my amazement led to two real conspiracies. With two out of three apparently true, what is one to think about the unproven but improbable one? I honestly don’t know but it surely makes it worth investigating. Here are the three highly topical stories:
Dr David Kelly
Under the Thatcher government Dr Kelly was (the story goes) the scientific representative accompanying young David Cameron on an excursion to South Africa at the end of the Botha apartheid regime around 1994. The South Africans had nine nuclear bombs that they had developed with Israel’s help and no-one wanted black Africans to get their hands on them. The Americans bought six; the British bought three. The Americans took theirs but the British bombs went to Oman from where they vanished.
As a substitute for the bombs appearing in the UK, GBP 17.8 million appeared as Conservative Party donations. Rich Conservative supporters are said to have financed a scam for buying the weapons and recovering their money from taxpayer funds. Dr Kelly knew of this and when he fell foul of the government it was feared that he would talk or his book would contain details of this conspiracy, so he was murdered by or on the instigation of British intelligence agencies.
This seemed to be one of the most absurd stories ever concocted but it had a reference to Hansard (the official record of proceedings in the British Parliament). I looked it up and there were, indeed, parliamentary discussions about a mysterious donation of GBP 17.8 million to the Conservatives on this web page, from Column 198:
No further information on the GBP 17.8 million was given, so of course it could have come from anywhere. We must therefore leave it aside for a moment. A little further down, however there were references to two other stories.
In Column 202 of the same Hansard record, donations to the Conservative Party of more than GBP 400,000 by Nadir are discussed.
Nadir was the chief executive of Polly Peck, a company that went bankrupt in 1990. Nadir fled the country after being charged with 70 charges of false accounting and theft. He lived in Northern Cyprus, which has no extradition treaty with the UK, until 26 August 2010, when he returned to the UK. He now lives like a prince in Mayfair. Clearly, in Northern Cyprus he could not enjoy the lifestyle to which he became accustomed in London. There has been much speculation in the media about the reasons for Nadir’s return to the UK after 20 years, but the reasons are transparently simple: firstly lifestyle, but also now that the Conservatives are in government Nadir expects them to get him off his criminal charges. Douglas Hoyle MP raised the matter of Nadir’s GBP 400,000-plus in donations to the Conservatives, but on this basis he is taking a risk. Does he know something more? Did he help the Conservatives further from Cyprus?
The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) originates where its name suggests. In 1991 it registered HSBC Holdings in London to enable it to take over the UK’s Midland Bank as a UK company. In the same Hansard record at Column 199, Douglas Hoyle MP raises a GBP 1 million donation to the Conservative Party at that time by one Li Ki-Shing. Ki-Shing was the Chinese government’s representative at the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, according to Hoyle.
It appears, therefore, that HSBC took over the Midland Bank by corrupt means. At the present time, HSBC is threatening to withdraw its headquarters from London and return to China. It dislikes the present proposals for legislation to keep depositors’ money safe, prevent banks gambling with depositors’ money and to enforce stricter reserve asset ratios, all to prevent another banking crash.
Let them go. Let China have HSBC. Let all their directors and top executives go too. Like Mr Nadir they do not deserve to enjoy living in London and the UK. Let them extort their obscene bonuses from the Chinese – or attempt to. I suspect that if they had behaved in Shanghai as they have in London they would have been shot rather than being cosseted by the Brown government – and so far by this present government. I cannot find the thought disagreeable.
A more civilized approach would be to strip this disgraceful bank of its corrupt gains – the Midland Bank assets or their equivalent. An inquiry certainly needs to be held about the means by which the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank became HSBC and acquired the Midland. This was, incidentally, my own bank and no-one asked me if I wanted my account to be taken over by a foreign corporation. In the event I have found HSBC to be not merely unhelpful but a coven of liars and its directors totally without honour.
A year ago I wrote in complaint about the management of my account to the chairman of the HSBC Board at that time, Stephen K. Green, as well as all the senior directors and the chief executive, having gone up the management hierarchy. I received no reply from Green or the directors who allowed the lies and deceptions of their senior managers to stand. These people want the public’s money and they do not care how they get it. The banks in their present form are a curse upon the country.
It was therefore with dismay and alarm that I saw that Stephen K. Green has resigned from HSBC to take up the post of minister for trade and investment. What a coup for the bankers! One of their own a minister in the heart of government! For all the talk of change, David Cameron and Nick Clegg are Obama’s and America’s running dogs in the footsteps of Anthony Blair and Gordon Brown. They are continuing to order British soldiers to die in Afghanistan in course of murdering Afghans in their own country. They will doubtless emulate their master in banking change as well. American progressives are still patiently waiting for Obama’s change and they will wait their lives out.
The facts are that the Conservative Party has been taking secret bribes as donations from foreign nationals as well as from UK nationals. A good list is provided in the Hansard record referred to. This is not all, however. The police inquiry into the Blair government “cash for honours” allegations revealed that all three main political parties had been taking secret bribes, now in the guise of “loans”. The origins of all these loans was not revealed at that time and Blair was found to be blameless. None of the political parties could afford to let the public know the origins of these funds.
In the cases of the HSBC takeover of the Midland Bank and Asil Nadir’s return to the UK we see the subversion of law, the costs to UK investors and the UK economy as a result of political corruption
Another fact is that Dr David Kelly, a man of impeccable character, is dead through the machinations of the bought-and-paid-for Blair government and the vicious, useless government bureaucracy.
It is curious that in following up Dr Kelly’s case one should find oneself reading of profound political corruption on the same page as events in which he was allegedly involved. The cases of HSBC and Asil Nadir from 17 years ago are current with the pressures to investigate Dr Kelly’s death. One has the sense of movement beneath our direct observation. Government delay and obfuscation indicates that Dr Kelly’s death is much more than a simple suicide.
We know our politicians. We saw into their hearts in the Iraq war debate and vote. We saw their personal motivations in the inquiry into their expenses. What moves our politicians is not the best interests of the country. It is money and their own interests. The political parties are bereft of members through public disgust and disillusionment. The result is that the nation is being moved by secret donors. It is bad enough if these donors are UK citizens using bribery in their own interests. When they are foreign nationals using bribery to take over major institutions such as the Midland Bank, the economic security of the state is involved.
One immediately wonders whether the takeover of Cadburys by Kraft, a US company without capital, a 5 billion dollar hole in its pension fund and failing profits, on 100 per cent borrowed money was based on similar bribery. Even from what we know, that was predatory capitalism at its worst. The HSBC case is nothing less than corrupt collusion with a foreign company and government.
Just as MPs’ expenses were investigated, we need to know from whom all large past political loans and donations have come. We need to know, in this time of economic crisis, exactly who our politicians and political parties are. It is obvious that the present secrecy in these matters is unacceptable. It seems unlikely that the GBP 17.8 million donation came from the sale of nuclear weapons but from whom did it come? If such allegations about bribery, missing nuclear weapons and murder were made against an individual both the police and security services would investigate immediately and forcefully, guns drawn. Who are political parties to be above the law and investigation?
The corruptly acquired Midland Bank assets or their equivalent should be stripped from HSBC and converted to mutuals (owned by customers), together with those banks or proportions of banks in which taxpayers hold controlling or substantial shareholdings. There should be no possibility of demutualization. We will recall that the demutualization of many UK building societies was an orgy of greed by their executives, merchant banks, the City of London and a public that has been corrupted by money-for-nothing. It reduced competition and reinforced the banking bubble.
The banks and some building societies too have until now treated their customers and taxpayers with contempt. All the evidence is that this will continue. When Barack Obama appointed Hillary Clinton as his secretary of state it was obvious what his foreign policy would be. Similarly, David Cameron’s appointment of the unelected minister Stephen K. Green from HSBC tells us what the government’s policy toward the banks will be. If UK taxpayers and citizens want their banks to be safe and honest they will have to force it on this government.
Tragically, we also have Dr Kelly to consider. The government has something to hide and is talking but still not acting in releasing the Kelly papers, much less taking up the inquest that it cut short. There is no reason why the doctors who have requested sight of the Kelly postmortem papers should not see them immediately. The government cries legal difficulties on this simple matter. No legalities prevented Anthony Blair when he smelled the money and our politicians from voting for the Iraq war, from killing hundreds of our soldiers and untold numbers of Iraqis. Nor do the niceties of legality prevent our soldiers’ deaths in the war of aggression in Afghanistan.
The answer to my original question about HSBC, Asil Nadir and Dr David Kelly should now be clear. The link is political corruption and allegations about them appear on the same page of Hansard. Political corruption is destroying the nation.
Christopher King is a retired consultant and lecturer in management and marketing. He lives in London, UK.
Source: Redress Information & Analysis (http://www.redress.cc). Material published on Redress may be republished with full attribution to Redress Information & Analysis (http://www.redress.cc)