Originally published at Renegade Inc on Wednesday August 22nd 2018
The Foundation for this viewpoint:
In the early eighties I joined a group of other young, energetic people who wanted to create their own business, and have it be a satisfying place to work, to learn about life, and to grow as human beings. We did that. We also had a certain amount of commercial success…which, in my opinion, came because our motivation was about more than just making money.
Over the next decade we built a company that became a recognised leader in its market. In 1997, having been acquired by new owners two years earlier, us ‘old lags’ were cashed out…and encouraged to ‘bugger off’. This is normal – new guys prefer to do their own thing without the prolonged help, AKA ‘irritating interference’, of people who still think that they know best.
So, I started my own small firm focussing on the stuff I enjoy most – passing on what I’ve learned. I ran this for 20 years until I retired a few months ago, having had the pleasure of working with a group of marvellous colleagues & wonderful clients, some of whom are lifelong friends.
Why am I telling you this? Because this experience has taught me a ‘quality of mind’ that must be present in any organisation if it is to meet its objectives & be a healthy place to work. It’s a quality that has an unusual trio of characteristics. It is: a) glaringly obvious, b) badly misunderstood, and c) disturbingly rare:
The fact that this is ‘glaringly obvious’ goes some way to explaining why it is also ‘badly misunderstood’. This word means far more than ‘who does what’, ’who is to blame’ or ‘who gets credit’. It speaks to honesty: will this person tell me what is really going on, or will they spin events to further a hidden agenda? It speaks to integrity: will this person deliver what they promised or will they cut corners & cover their backside? And it speaks to how a person reacts under pressure: do they look to blame, or do they look for a solution?
You won’t find accountability on an organisational chart; because it is a function of character: it’s not about how ‘smart’ you are, it cannot be ‘bought’, and you’ve either led a life that has nourished it…or you haven’t.
Clearly, this is not just a business thing – people from all walks of life will know exactly what I’m talking about…or they won’t. It’s the same if you’re an academic, a journalist, a craftsman, a manual worker, or if you’ve raised a family. It’s human:
If you believe that conducting yourself with integrity is MORE important than ‘winning’ or ‘getting away with it’…if you believe that ‘means justify ends’ rather than ‘ends justify means’…if you can be counted upon to be true to your word…if you will hold up your hands unprompted when you’ve screwed up…then you know exactly what I’m talking about.
I can say without any doubt in my mind that the British Government is bereft of this quality.
I can say with equal certainty that the leadership of many large corporations in this country, and around the world, are also a few sandwiches short of a joyful picnic in this department. I know this because I have worked closely with more than a few, and observed many others. The good ones are outnumbered.
A Corrupt Leadership
'Government' in the UK...and elsewhere...is a function of a corrupt relationship between politicians and vested interests from the corporate sector and foreign lobbyists. This relationship produces domestic and foreign policy outcomes such as these:
A government that finds undeniable evidence of criminal and negligent behaviour in the banking system, and then: a) bails them out, b) doesn’t put any of the senior guys on trial, and c) hides behind the excuse of ‘insufficient regulatory powers’…when it is abundantly clear that if it were you or I, the ‘rule of law’ would be sufficient to land us in front of a jury of our peers. The truth, bullshit aside, is that the government has no appetite for applying the rule of law to its pals in the City, particularly when those ‘pals’ would certainly ‘sing like canaries’ about political complicity with many of their practices. If you honestly believe that top people in the City enjoy the privileges and immunity that they do without greasing the palms of politicians, without providing revolving doors for regulators, without ‘buying’ economists with grants and other ‘incentives’…then frankly, and I am being polite…you are incredibly naive
A government that claims to have an ethical foreign policy, but is currently supporting genocide in Yemen, terrorism in Syria, and ethnic cleansing in Palestine. (I will say more on the first of these in my description of ‘The current crop’ below)
Did you vote for any of this? If you had been asked, would you have said ‘OK fine’, or would you have responded with something like this, perhaps with a tad less of the colloquial:
“Jail the bankers, reform the monetary system…and get your arrogant arses out of the Middle-East. STOP killing people…STOP supplying arms to governments that kill people….and STOP lying about it…or GET OUT and make way for people who will”
The Current Crop:
My assertion: We have a Prime Minister who, when Home Secretary, allowed known and suspected terrorists out of this country to travel to Libya to remove Gaddafi, let them back in again afterwards, and then, as Prime Minister, when one of them turned out to be the Manchester bomber...she covered it up.
You won't have read any of that in the MSM. What you will have read most recently is that the Royal Navy picked up the Manchester bomber, Salman Abedi, and brought him back to the UK in 2014. This from the Independent, 31st July 2018:
"The suicide bomber who killed 22 people at Manchester Arena was rescued from Libya by the British military less than three years before committing the attack, it has emerged.
Salman Abedi was 19 when he boarded the HMS Enterprise in Tripoli with his brother and more than 200 other British citizens in August 2014.
The Foreign Office had told any remaining UK nationals to leave the country immediately because of worsening violence, including battles that forced the closure of Libya’s main airport in Tripoli.
Abedi, who was not believed to be a security threat at the time, registered for evacuation under his real name and passport and was taken to Malta.
“The Border Force was sent over to assist the evacuation of British citizens and their dependants known to be in the area, or who had contacted the government for help,” a government source told The Independent."
What you will probably NOT have read...because the MSM sticks to the official narrative...is what John Pilger wrote over a year ago. This from 31st May 2017:
"The unsayable in Britain's general election campaign is this. The causes of the Manchester atrocity, in which 22 mostly young people were murdered by a jihadist, are being suppressed to protect the secrets of British foreign policy.
Critical questions - such as why the security service MI5 maintained terrorist "assets" in Manchester and why the government did not warn the public of the threat in their midst - remain unanswered, deflected by the promise of an internal "review".
The alleged suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, was part of an extremist group, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, that thrived in Manchester and was cultivated and used by MI5 for more than 20 years.
The LIFG is proscribed by Britain as a terrorist organisation which seeks a "hardline Islamic state" in Libya and "is part of the wider global Islamist extremist movement, as inspired by al-Qaida".
The "smoking gun" is that when Theresa May was Home Secretary, LIFG jihadists were allowed to travel unhindered across Europe and encouraged to engage in "battle": first to remove Mu'ammar Gaddafi in Libya, then to join al-Qaida affiliated groups in Syria.
Last year, the FBI reportedly placed Abedi on a "terrorist watch list" and warned MI5 that his group was looking for a "political target" in Britain. Why wasn't he apprehended and the network around him prevented from planning and executing the atrocity on 22 May?
These questions arise because of an FBI leak that demolished the "lone wolf" spin in the wake of the 22 May attack - thus, the panicky, uncharacteristic outrage directed at Washington from London and Donald Trump's apology.
The Manchester atrocity lifts the rock of British foreign policy to reveal its Faustian alliance with extreme Islam, especially the sect known as Wahhabism or Salafism, whose principal custodian and banker is the oil kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Britain's biggest weapons customer."
So, to recap: a 'government source' told the Independent that Abedi was 'not believed to be a security threat'...whilst an FBI leak disclosed he was on their 'watch list'. Who do you believe? I never thought I'd say this, but I believe the FBI. More importantly, however: When it comes to digging up governmental skeletons, the Independent, with the notable exception of Robert Fisk, uses a table fork. John Pilger drives a JCB.
Let's turn now to Yemen. Have a look at these two images. The first one shows that the UK is number 6 on the world list of arms exporters; but it is the breakdown of the buyers that is far more interesting:
May visits 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment at Bulford Camp (Sept 2016). The UK’s largest clients were: Saudi Arabia (49% of all sales), Oman (14% of all sales) and Indonesia (9.9% of all sales). The UK accounted for 4.8% of all exports and its exports increased by 37% compared to 2008-12.
The 'humanitarian concerns' referred to in the caption include Saudi Arabia's relentless military campaign against the Houthis in Yemen, which has resulted in thousands of deaths by bombing and many more from cholera and starvation. We supply the weapons that they use to do this, and our military 'consultants' sit in their control room advising them how to use them. For the Prime Minister, or any government official to say they are 'concerned' about what is happening in Yemen is a sick and despicable cover up of the truth:
We are totally complicit with the death of those children…and Burt knows that.
Again, did you vote for this? Here's someone who did - Theresa May's hubby, Philip:
Did you know that? Do you think it's relevant? Does it suggest an ethical foreign policy & commitment to 'human rights'?
Re-consider for a moment, the actions of our government regarding Libya, the Manchester bombing and the slaughter in Yemen, and ask yourself a question: Does the British Government meet the standard of accountability that I defined above:
If you believe that conducting yourself with integrity is MORE important than 'winning' or 'getting away with it'...if you believe that 'means justify ends' rather than 'ends justify means'...if you can be counted upon to be true to your word...if you will hold up your hands unprompted when you've screwed up...then you know exactly what I'm talking about.
Finally, it is important to note that this is not just the agenda of Theresa May. Britain effectively put the al-Saud family on its 'throne' in 1932 - to protect our 'interests' in the Middle East. The relationship between Britain (and the US) with Saudi Arabia is a Faustian pact...although the jury is still out on which one of us is the devil. Our arms trade with them, our support of their destruction of Yemen, our tacit and overt support for Wahhabi terrorists in Syria...is a massive fraud on the truth...happening in plain sight.
Clearly, this is not a problem that can be fixed by simply replacing Theresa May with another puppet for the vested interests I have spoken about. This is a systemic problem that requires reform of the monetary & banking system, overhaul of the electoral system & the accountability of MPs, a damn good clear out at the BBC and a change in the rules for media ownership. Personally, I would not 'drain the swamp', I'd fill it in. I will write more on how to 'fix' this in a later piece.
But for now, I will finish by saying this about our current government. As a guy who has been involved with the running of businesses for 35 years:
I would not employ any of them, not a single one. They do not pass my smell test.