The UK grew rich by looting the world; now it launders billions for other looters

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/05/29/from-thieves-to-fences.html

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Upping the ability to launder money for Russian and other oligarchs and criminals is no small driver of the Brexit Leave campaign. Farage and his cronies are as sleazy as any banker who’s ever worked for foreign clients in the Caribbean (which is to say, dripping in slime).

There’s a great scene in the show “Succession” where Logan Roy, a despicable Rupert Murdoch type, assesses the current state of the UK, pointing at a stately home he’s visiting there:

I mean look at this fucking place […] Slaves. Cotton. Sugar. This country’s nothing but an off-shore laundry for turning evil into hard currency […] And now it just lies here living off its capital, sucking in immigrants to turn it and stop it getting bed sores.

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[sprays tea on screen]

“In decline”, you say? What’s next, Archduke Franz Ferdinand being assassinated?

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To which the current political response is;
“Yes. And?”

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Exactly what I was going to post.

This is what they’re trying to avoid by brexiting:

It took effect this year, which explains the hurry behind the hard leave campaign.

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The British empire was a globe-spanning criminal enterprise that produced vast riches for England (and, to a lesser extent, Scotland and Wales) by stealing the lands of others while slaughtering and enslaving them …

And by raising opium poppies on plantations in India and illegally selling opium to China.

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Fatcat #1 “How will we avoid paying those taxes?”
Fatcat #2 “We could always destroy the country…?”
Fatcat #1 “Genius!”

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Tea. The opposite of Kryptonite to the Victorian Empire.

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Yeah, the UK effectively took up drug dealing in order to feed its tea habit.

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“What we need is a return to good old Victorian values!” says Rees-Mogg.

So, Laudunum, money laundering and plunder in 2020 then.

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Whether a ‘has-been’ or a ‘never-was’ nation, this economic strategy is the fate of those with nothing else worthwhile to sell. File under 'If ya can’t beat 'em, join ‘em’.

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Imperial Leather

Also, hashtag butts…

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That’s going on my library borrowing list. Thanks.

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It should… it’s a good one!

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Certainly my kind of thing, I like a good bit of history reading. Speaking of which, this made me laugh today…

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They supply weapons, advisors and mercenaries to keep the corrupt regimes in power.

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Why is it that nefarious-yet-principled chaotic good types with computing ability will, say, steal John Podesta’s emails or ransom Baltimore’s hospitals with 'ware but never, never attack offshore banking groups? If I could EMP Trinidad, Tobago, Zurich and the Caymans, and make all that ill-gotten wealth turn back into vapor, I’d do that on repeat like a fat kid eats cake. …

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This is the thing that gets me, if i’m asked if i’m proud to be a UK citizen and say no the reactions are extreme from fellow UK citizens.

I can point out stuff like this, and the general destruction of the post-war social construct to enable the raw greed of the wealthy, but i’m treated like something equivelent to a rapist or similar for not supporting it…

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They did:

The response from the global ruling class was to pretend that it never happened.

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I was thinking about this just yesterday.

Just as many of the problems of the USA are rooted in a refusal to acknowledge history, the issue in the UK is based around the fact that much of the population still thinks of British imperial history as something to be proud of.

There should be no pride in empire. Imperial history is something to atone for, not something to be proud of. Behind every empire lies a massive crime.

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