The UK Gold: riveting documentary on the deep, ingrained corruption of the UK's banking centre, the City of London


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This is the only soundtrack this film needs, and it’s from 1985 courtesy of Gary Clail and the ON-U Sound System. I daresay this film itself is about forty years too late…


Even that track is nearing 30 years old, it still gets crowds moving when I break it out at sound system events. As trite as it might sound, you haven’t heard On-U till you hear it coming from a full row of bass bins.


Yah, that’s why they had the words SOUND SYSTEM after the ON-U :smiley: …DAT BASS!

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I had to laugh at this characterization: “highly secretive, centuries old institution, The City of London”. Um, you mean the local council? There’s nothing secretive about it, and they don’t have an “office” in Parliament, but rather a member of Parliament. In other words, the City of London is a government entity. I’m sure there is deep, ingrained corruption, but that’s true of every government, and not very remarkable.


I had to laugh at your extremely facile and transparent attempt to ameliorate the illegal and ruinous activities undertaken by the largest criminal organisation in the UK.


The trailer also led me to think that this film is pushing a one-sided agenda. Can anyone that has seen it comment on its balance? If it’s sensationalist then I’m not interested.

Ameliorate? How? I agree, it’s true that the government is the largest criminal organization in the UK - I’m simply confused as to why someone would single out a local council for documentary treatment. More to the point, I’m absolutely sure that everything they are doing is quite legal under the law, regardless of how it may be viewed by others. The trailer attempts to imply that what is going on is somehow a secret, somehow hidden from the government, which is quite obviously not the case - the people doing this are the government.

I called them criminal and attempting to hide the inbuilt arbitrage of tax avoidance, constantly written in to law by corrupt and criminal conspirators (I said it!) behind the formal frontispiece of a local council is verging on lunacy. Are you aware of the just world fallacy?


They probably were referring not to an MP but rather the Remembrancer. According to the City’s website:

The Office [of Remembrancer] acts as a channel of communication between Parliament and the City. In the contemporary context, this means day to day examination of Parliamentary business including examination of and briefing on proposed legislation and amendments to it, regular liaison with the Select Committees of both Houses and contact with officials in Government departments dealing with Parliamentary Bills. Liaison is also maintained with the City Office in Brussels and other Member States’ permanent representations in relation to draft EU legislation.

Over the last millennium the City has accumulated other special privileges like being allowed to set its own business rate “at a higher or lower level than the National Non-Domestic Rate determined by central government for the rest of the country,” and allowing businesses to vote.


I like the production company’s name - but where’s their self re-cocking-spect?


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To be a bit pedantic about it, in this case it was more due to the nature of Gary Clail’s role in the whole thing being first in live events to warm up crowds and as part of recordings later and keeping him separate from any other On-U recordings. The riddim used here was released as “JA Minor” on Strike The Balance by the Dub Syndicate collective,

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Looks fascinating. I hope I can watch it sometime without buying it.

I am starting to think that the financial gangsterism is in its end stages. They are out in the open now, and think they are untouchable. Which they will be until they really break something, at which point the tumbrels will roll (at least figuratively).

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The UK Gold is not a “riveting documentary”, but merely conspiracy theorist drivel. Mark Donne is not a journalist, but merely an amateur film maker who has contributed a small number of ‘opinion pieces’ (space fillers) to newspapers. With no journalistic experience and no grasp of basic research methods he got taken in by various nutters with their loony assertions about the City of London Corporation.

Far from secretive, agendas and minutes for all the Corporation’s myriad committees are available online. Committees are held in public in the same manner as any other English local government body.

The Corporation does not have an office at the Palace of Westminster nor does it have a budget of $1.2 billion, nor anything like it. Residents and businesses in the City are subject to the same laws and pay the same taxes as anywhere else in England.

Cayman Islands

As for the Cayman Islands (mentioned in the trailer and a matter Donne has prattled on about elsewhere) the premier lost his majority in Parliament when two or three of his members crossed the floor and joined the opposition; giving the then opposition leader sufficient members to form a new government.

All proposed legislation (or Bills as they are better known) are available on the Parliament website for anybody, anywhere in the world to view for free.
Up until the 1980s all principal councils in England and Wales set their own business rate. It is an Urban Myth that businesses can vote. See my comment on a previous doctorow post:

The City is represented in Parliament in the normal way by the member for the Cities of London and Westminster. The City Remembrancer no more ‘sits’ in Parliament than a hack in the press gallery or a Japanese tourist in the press gallery does.


nor does it have a budget of $1.2 billion, nor anything like it.

Well, there is the City’s Cash, which is “not governed by any statutes or regulations and there is no statutory requirement to publish the City’s Cash annual report and financial statements.” The non-required annual report goes on to state that as of March 2013 it had net assets worth ₤1.8 billion. Of course, that’s not the same thing as an operating budget. If I’m reading the summary budget right the City this year has about ₤550 in revenue and ₤555 million in expenses.

All proposed legislation (or Bills as they are better known) are available on the Parliament website for anybody, anywhere in the world to view for free.

Yes, anyone can read the Hansard and other business online. I suspect not everyone gets to regularly meet face-to-face with Select Committees and department officials, which is explicitly described as a duty of the Remembrancer on page 76 of the above-mentioned summary budget. In my general experience direct, personal contact with legislators is something valuable enough for people to spend large sums of money to get.

Up until the 1980s all principal councils in England and Wales set their own business rate.

And now they don’t, except for the City. The City’s own website describes their current situation as “unique”.

It is an Urban Myth that businesses can vote. See my comment on a previous doctorow post:

Would that be the post where you say “15,581 [voters] are either appointees of businesses (or institutions such as churches, charities and educational establishments) or they are sole traders or members of partnerships.”? Because that sounds quite a bit like businesses voting. I will cop to technical imprecision in that businesses don’t directly vote but instead nominate employees to do so.


The reason why the City Cash is “not governed by any statutes…” is that it is not public money. In reality it is not money, but land and buildings, many of which are operational. Not sure which page you got the £550/555million from, going by page ix I make it about £500 million, but no matter. Whatever the grand total the majority of income and expenditure (£336 million) is City Fund i.e. ordinary local council expenditure.

If you regularly attend any select committee the Chairman will want to know who you are. Although open to the public most select committee hearings are thinly attended.

As I went on to say in the previous comment “All voting is by secret ballot in the normal way.” so businesses can choose who they appoint, but cannot control how they vote.

It’s no use arguing with the inequality deniers.

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The bankers must have put up the libertarian lapdog Bat Signal.

Won’t somebody think of the poor bankers who are constantly manipulated by governments…?

You might recall that the “libertarian lapdogs”, as you call them, argued that the bankers should be left to go bankrupt. It was the “progressive lickspittles” who argued for bailing them out and saving them. Progessives are the reason these people are still rich and powerful.

And this case is precisely how the argument goes. “Look at the evil corporations!” Oh wait, that’s actually a government. Pay no attention to the men behind the curtain, just put your blind faith in your betters.