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UK: Corruption, cronyism and sleaze – oh my!

UK. The David Cameron/Greensill Capital cronyism scandal is just the tip of the iceberg of a network of ruling class sleaze and corruption. Former Prime Minister David Cameron used his connections to powerful government ministers to personally profit in his post-political business career. Lex Greensill, the owner of Greensill Capital who Cameron has been working for, was an unoffical government adviser to the Cameron government.

Originally published by Anarchist Communist Group.

Greensill Capital provided low-interest loans to corporations who impatiently do not wish to wait months to be paid by their customers. In 2012, Cameron announced as PM that his government would begin a new policy that provided low-interest loans for pharmacists waiting for NHS payments, a policy developed and lobbied for by Greensill Capital. Greensill Capital profited massively from this. In 2018, Cameron became an employer of Greensill Capital, who by then had been operating this entire scheme. Business, though, started to go badly for Greensill Capital last year. This is why Cameron started to use his government connections so that Greensill Capital, and him, could pocket tens of millions of pounds. Cameron sent text messages directly to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to ask for government loans to go to Greensill Capital. Cameron also sent messages seeking loans to a couple of other people at the Treasury. Cameron is said to have potentially personally gained £21.8 million from this cronyism.

Cameron also is a paid adviser to the US healthcare company Illumina, for whom he gained a £123 million contract with no competition. Just a coincidence we’re sure.

In 2010, as Conservative Party leader, David Cameron promised to ban former ministers from lobbying for two years and punish them with pension deductions if they broke the rules. Cameron said the following in a speech at the time: “The far too cosy relationship between politics, government, business and money. I’m talking about lobbying – and we all know how it works: the lunches, the hospitality, the quiet word in the ear . . . “

Such are the promises of politicians and Prime Ministers, who know all too well how it works.

In 2010 Cameron also stated: “We’re going to make absolutely sure that ex-ministers are not allowed to use the contracts and knowledge gained in government for their own private gain”.

Other recent revelations of government corruption include, Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s family profiting from a contact with NHS Wales. Topwood, the company in question, was selected as an approved contactor and was at the time owned by Hancocks’ sister and family members. Hancock should have declared this to parliamentary authorities but did not. Companies House documents have confirmed that Hancock has a ‘minor stake’ in the company. Hancock was also lobbied at a private drink by Cameron, on behalf of Greensill Capital.

The Tory Lord John Nash has shares worth £112 million in Softcat plc, a company that has just happened to gain £16.2 million in covid contracts. Almost a couple of weeks ago it was revealed that Tory multimillionaire Lord Richard Drax, who appears to benefit from historical family links to slavery, failed to properly declare inheriting his family’s sugar plantation located in Barbados. Drax has admitted not declaring it, or his Swaledale estate in North Yorkshire, at which he owns a £4.4m let in one of the most profitable parts of the country.

The Observer recently discovered that 42 Tory MP’s claim their own rent on expenses while they rent out residential properties for at least £10,000 per year. And it’s not as if Labour MP’s and Councillors are corruption free. The Labour Party has always been ridden with the very same cronyism and corruption, which would undoubtedly continue with any type of Labour government.

Altogether the Johnson government is said to have given at least £37 billion to people personally close to them for contracts.

This corruption and cronyism is part and parcel of the capitalist system and the lives of those in the ruling class. Meanwhile, ordinary working class people, including those unable to find work, or unable to work for health reasons, or those who just want ‘something for nothing’ are criminalised and punished by the very system that greedily rewards those with connections and class privilege, in fact those that run the system themselves (for their own benefit).

And, as has been pointed out already in some quarters, these members of the ruling class are likely to get away with it. It helps when you actually know the person selected by the government, who has given you money, to run the investigation into your dodgy dealings. Nigel Boardman is the man who has been chosen by Johnson to oversee the investigation into Cameron and the other government ministers in question. Boardman himself is a partner of Slaughter and May,a law firm that profited from the collapse of Carillion from May 2017 to the last day of Carrillion’s existence, squeezing £9 million out of the dying company.

As if any ordinary working class people could be in the same position. Instead most working class people are exploited and punished by the system and struggle to get by on not much at all, sacrificing their time, happiness and working too much for too long in a pandemic, not even standing to receive a pension in the future these days. And all so the rich can live in luxury, living lives completely alien and privileged compared to most people.

They will likely get away with it, which is why the only way to deal with this corruption and injustice of capitalism is a revolution. We need to come together, fight back, expropriate all of what the rich have, seizing the means of production and everything else for ourselves, for our class. Never has the abolition of capitalism been more justified and more urgent. And when we finally do that there will be no need for greed and corruption, for all shall be owned and shared and enjoyed by all. A world of self-governing communities sharing all resources and not greedily monopolising them for a parasite minority who live at our expense and to our detriment.


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