Posts Tagged ‘money laundering’

I heard a forgettable talking head recently speaking about an “existential threat to liberal democracy” across the world. Let me make a very simple hypothesis for these “experts”: liberal democracy can function very well if you STOP LETTING THE VERY RICH HOARD ALL THE LOOT.


People will always get disgruntled at immigration, mechanisation and a changing world, but nothing focuses the mind like seeing your standard of living steadily decline while those at the top are hiding untold riches in island paradises. If the Establishment stops repeating the mistakes of the 1930s; if it stops allowing globalisation to be used essentially as a racket for multinational plunder and money laundering under the guise of “investment”, it might still stand a chance of redeeming itself.


I won’t hold my breath.


I’ve been as delighted as anyone to see the FBI upset the rotting applecart of FIFA by arresting some key members on charges of corruption, most notably for racketeering, money laundering and bribery. Sepp Blatter is like Silvio Berlusconi without the bunga-bunga parties. No matter how much mud sticks to him, he doesn’t notice the smell. Blatter uses ‘plausible deniability’ as shamelessly as Rupert Murdoch did at the Leveson inquiry. He is the hugely experienced head of one of the widest-reaching corporations in the world, but he swears on that bible that he definitely is completely unaware of impropriety from any members of staff and definitely didn’t take any of those brown envelopes or favours for himself.

Of course he won’t resign through principle while he is breathing. He will have to be dragged from the podium, gibbering about the accomplishments of his organisation even as half the members are whisked away to prison for engineering those ‘accomplishments’ in return for hefty kickbacks. It’s like a Chancellor of the Exchequer smirking to his public, as he announces that doubling the national debt and only slightly reducing the deficit in the face of growing homelessness, crap jobs and family foodbank visits is actually a resounding success. And then being re-elected! Oh wait…

Anyway, chuckling at the whole saga as I was, something about the story baffled me: why was the FBI heading the investigation? What exactly does the nation so underwhelmed by football that they can’t even call it by its correct name have to do with a global football organisation? I thought it was great that a body finally waded in to deal with this laughably obvious corruption, but why America? Could it be their ‘manifest destiny’ complex again, riding to the world’s rescue?

Perhaps, but knowing world history, the USA’s foreign policy is nothing if not loaded with agendas. Every war America involves itself in furthers some other corporate or geo-political interests, but what was their mobus operandi here? Perhaps they were truly just the good guys now.

But then it happened: Vladimir Putin, a man who must feel a strong affinity to Blatter as a fellow believer in rigged elections, shameless corruption and ceaseless power; spoke out against America’s ‘interference’. After laughing at the irony of Blatter being defended by one of the only men on the planet more power-hungry and corrupt than him, it struck me that the bigger picture behind this FBI sting was of course to ultimately deprive Russia of the 2018 World Cup.

Let me lay me own thoughts on the line: I think Russia should be deprived of the World Cup, on the grounds of their rampant racist and homophobic laws and fan behaviour being completely at odds with the beautiful world game, not to mention the almost certain corruption involved in the awarding of the rights. Qatar too while we’re at it, for similar reasons…and the deaths of hundreds of migrant workers apparently seen as disposable by Blatter’s cabal. Slinging some of the FIFA cronies in the clink for their theft and fraud would set a great precedent too, and the not-so-great President himself should stand down with a tiny semblance of dignity.

All that said, we must see the bigger picture here: that the FBI have involved themselves in order to hurt Russia economically and humiliate Putin on the world stage. Whether that’s deserved or not, Cold War 2015 is unfortunately heating up.