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Corrupt Capitalism

Sudhir Choudhrie, who has donated more than £500,000 to the Lib Dems via his family company since 2010, was named by India's Central Bureau of Investigation as one of 23 "unscrupulous persons" in 2012. The Indian-born businessman, who lives in a £5m apartment in Chelsea, was placed on the Indian list of "unscrupulous persons" following two formal investigations of alleged bribery in Choudhrie's work brokering arms deals. The "Undesirable Contactmen" list, which was prepared by the CBI and distributed to all Indian government departments, states politicians and officials should be "careful and cautious in dealings with unscrupulous contact men whose names are on these lists, to avoid associating with them socially and accepting hospitality and gifts from them. "Even official dealings with the UCM should be discouraged. Nefarious activities of these individuals should not be allowed and they should not be allowed sponsorship of Govt proje…

Jobs for the boys and girls too

Andreana Adamson was singled out in the report when she was the chief executive of the state hospital at Carstairs  that examined payments totalling about £50,000 divided among a handful of senior employees and allegations of bullying of staff at Carstairs. Eligibility for the payments had not been considered by the Carstairs board through its remuneration committee. Instead, they had been given the “de facto” approval of board chairman Terry Currie, who had been left forms to sign by the chief executive. Junior workers had their pay frozen at the time. Adamson stepped aside as chief executive six months ago. The inquiry found “issues” around “leadership, culture and behaviour” at the hospital. “This is most often linked to the issue of bullying and harassment,” the report said. “Whilst this investigation was not focused on any specific allegation of bullying behaviour, it was, nonetheless, a running theme throughout.”

Andreana Adamson is now to be the NHS director health and justice…

Salmond - apologist for organised crime

Speaking during his New York trip, Alex Salmond said HSBC "in many ways is the most Scottish bank in the world now. Founded by Scots, run by Scots, on the principles of Scottish banking. Hence one reason why it's survived the winds better than other institutions"


With the Scottish-based HBOS and RBS exposed as incompetent and failed banking institutions Salmond was required to look further afield for a positive example. But the HSBC?

This was the bank fined £1.2 billion for money laundering in the United States and Mexico, and embroiled in a fresh scandal with Argentine authorities accusing it of laundering $100 million. In India, in November 2012, anti-corruption crusaders Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan alleged that the bank was involved in black money and hawala transactions. They said that in July 2011, the Indian Government had received a list of about 700 people having bank accounts in HSBC, Geneva, in 2006. The Bank also was fined $1.4 billion by the U.K. fo…

The Red Capitalists

For much of the last decade, while Bo Xilai, Communist Party chief in the city of Chongqing, a large metropolis with province status, and a member of the Politburo, was busy moving up the ranks of the Communist Party, and even striking populist themes aimed at improving the lot of the poor, his relatives were quietly amassing a fortune estimated at more than $160 million. His elder brother accumulated millions of dollars’ worth of shares in one of the country’s biggest state-owned conglomerates. His sister-in-law owns a significant stake in a printing company she started that was recently valued at $400 million. And even Mr. Bo’s 24-year-old son, now studying at Harvard, got into business in 2010, registering a technology company with $320,000 in start-up capital.

Just a few weeks before his fall from power, Bo Xilai wrote an inscription in calligraphy, praising the Chongqing Water Assets Management Company, and urging support for its operations. What he did not say was that a foundat…

one law for the rich , another for the poor

Five years ago Scotland’s wealthiest woman Stagecoach tycoon, Ann Gloag, to defend her privacy challenged the right to roam legislation, winning her battle against the Ramblers Association Scotland and Perth and Kinross Council to erect a fence around a 12-acre area of Kinfauns. Yet she is now happy to proposal to build another house which has led her neighbours to complain that it would ruin their privacy and seclusion.

Forestry Commission Scotland also objected, warning authorities that were the scheme to go ahead, it would ruin an area of ancient woodland and was in direct contravention of planning policies.

As part of the local authority’s decision to approve the plans for the new properties, Gloag will pay a £12,790 “education contribution” fee as a condition of the planning permission. The money will be used to fund improvements and increase pupil capacity at the nearby Kinnoull Primary School.

Socialist Courier wonders what does constitutes a bribe?

http://www.scotsman.com/news/an…

the more you have, the more you can have.

An article worth reading and quoting from by the author Arundhati Roy

"In a nation of 1.2bn, India’s 100 richest people own assets equivalent to a quarter of gross domestic product...In India, the 300m of us who belong to the new, post-“reforms” middle class – the market – live side by side with the ghosts of 250,000 debt-ridden farmers who have killed themselves, and of the 800m who have been impoverished and dispossessed to make way for us. And who survive on less than 50 cents a day."

"Antilla belongs to India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani. I’d read about this, the most expensive dwelling ever built, the 27 floors, three helipads, nine lifts, hanging gardens, ballrooms, weather rooms, gymnasiums, six floors of parking, and the 600 servants. Nothing had prepared me for the vertical lawn – a soaring wall of grass attached to a vast metal grid...Ambani is personally worth more than $20bn. He has a controlling majority stake in Reliance Industries Limited (RIL),…

Pigs in the trough

Finance Secretary John Swinney, whose main home is in his North Tayside constituency, bought the four-bedroom apartment on one of the capital’s most desirable streets for £355,000 in December 2003 while SNP leader. At the time, the two-storey terraced property was the most expensive second home ever bought by an MSP. Mr Swinney, who earns £100,000 a year, used parliamentary allowances to pay the interest on his RBS mortgage, ultimately claiming more than £60,000 from the public purse. He also claimed around £10,000 to pay council tax for the Band G property on Morningside’s Hermitage Terrace. (Only former Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Tavish Scott used Holyrood expenses to maintain a more expensive second home after buying a £380,000 house in 2005.)

The sales prospectus praised its “magnificent” 23-foot drawing room, private front garden, “delightful leafy outlook” over Blackford Hill to the rear and it was sold for £430,000 was made to Registers of Scotland on August 1. After capi…

that's clever!

Inverclyde Council spent £650,000 in order to make savings of just £250,000.

Four senior local government officials, all of whom receive salaries of between £75,000 and £105,000, have been suspended after paying consultants hundreds of thousands of pounds to deliver savings that failed to materialise.

Meanwhile, in Edinburgh the city’s new chief executive has said thedisaster-hit trams project must go ahead because too much money has been spent to cancel it.

First the greasy pole, now the gravy train

Former Labour Cabinet minister and Celtic chairman Lord John Reid made expenses claims for chauffeur-driven travel of £4,000 to ferry the former home secretary to 14 matches and football stadiums across Scotland to watch his team.

Despite claims the peer needed the travel arrangements for security reasons, the journeys are understood to have been made unaccompanied by any police officers or drivers trained in protection. Chauffeurs usually picked up Lord Reid either at his home or Glasgow Airport, drove him to the ground, waited, then took him back home or to an airport. The cost of Lord Reid's travel included a £1,376 bill for two fixtures - against Hearts at Celtic Park and a clash with Aberdeen at Pittodrie. A further £723 was spent on trips to Celtic Park - including the day of the club's annual general meeting - or the team's training ground.

Green MSP Patrick Harvie said "Lord Reid is the chairman of Celtic Football Club and it surely should fall to that club to …

One rule for you , another rule for us

Got a lot of commuter travelling time between home and work ? Don't worry , House of Parliament will pick up the bill . Or they do for the Labour Party Minister of Employment , Tony McNulty , who has been claiming second-home expenses on a London house where just as it happens his parents live. The MP lived in the house in Harrow with his parents before then moved into her home about eight miles away in Hammersmith, west London. Under parliamentary rules Mr McNulty can claim an allowance for a second home in his constituency even though it is only 11 miles from Westminster. The MPs' Additional Costs Allowance of up to £24,000 a year goes to MPs from outside inner London to cover the cost of staying away from their main home when carrying out parliamentary duties.McNulty and his wife, Christine Gilbert, the chief schools inspector, have a combined annual income of more than £300,000 and between them own two London homes worth £1.2m. he compared the defence of his actions to …

one law for the rich , another law for the poor

From the Sunday Herald columnist Tom Shields and we have to agree much of what he wrote


A TORY MP is caught paying £82,000 from public funds in wages to his Hooray Henry sons; money for which they had done little or no work. The MP is suspended for 10 days on full pay. He is ordered to repay £13,000, leaving a nice little profit of £69,000 from this creative accountancy.
But he did say sorry to the House of Commons. He said: "The committee the committee on standards and privileges; that's as in many privileges and few standards was entitled to reach the conclusions that it did and I have accepted its criticisms in full. I unreservedly apologise to the House for my administrative shortcomings and the misjudgements I made."
The MP will be allowed to sit out the remaining time (potentially until May 2010) of this parliament, receiving £120,000 in wages and God knows how much extra in expenses.

Meanwhile, not so long ago, a Glasgow single mother appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court…

Northern on the Rocks

Northern Rock , the bank that is in crisis , has been paying a number of its senior managers secret bonuses according to a report in the Independent .

The bank has sanctioned millions of pounds in confidential "retention bonuses" to managers and management board directors deemed "essential to its continuing excellent operational performance". Some 173 staff out of a workforce of more than 6,000 have been paid the bonuses. An outlay of more than £2 million a month on bonuses to this select band of employees.

As the saying goes "The Devil protects his own"

Blair - politican for hire

Tony Blair has taken a part-time post with US investment bank JPMorgan , one of Wall Street's leading banks, part of JPMorgan Chase & Co, a global financial services firm with assets of $1.5 trillion (£760billion) and operations in more than 50 countries. Blair has been employed "in a senior advisory capacity", the bank said ,
Advising the bank on the "political and economic changes that globalisation brings" according to Blair himself .

It is not known how much JPMorgan will pay him, but some estimates say more than $1m (£500,000) a year. The bank said he had a "unique perspective".

Blair would advise the firm's chief executive and senior management team, "drawing on his immense international experience to provide the firm with strategic advice and insight on global political issues and emerging trends... Our firm will benefit greatly from his knowledge and experience," the bank said.

Blair earlier told the Financial Times he planned…

Price fixing at your local supermarket

Always first with the news , Socialist Courier reported here the Capitalist Scam of supposed rivals and competitors co-operating to fix prices of goods to extract extra profits .

And lo and behold , what should appear on the BBC , but the revelation that Sainsbury's and Asda have admitted fixing the price of milk and cheese and who along with a number of dairy firms, have agreed to pay fines totalling at least £116 million following an inquiry by the Office of Fair Trading . Cases against Tesco and Morrisons will continue after no deal was struck.

The OFT said that its evidence found that while dairy product prices went up after the collusion, the price received by farmers did not increase. The price fixing saw customers being charged 3p extra for a pint of milk and 15p extra per quarter-pound of butter. Customers also being allegedly overcharged 15p per half-pound of cheese .

In September, the watchdog provisionally found evidence of collusion by 10 firms relating to price-set…

Price Fixers

Capitalism is all about competition , right ? Wrong , if these stories are to go by .

Four of the world's biggest glass manufacturers have been fined a total of £348.2million for illegally co-ordinating price rises. The firms are Guardian of the US, Pilkington, which is the UK unit of Nippon Sheet Glass, Saint-Gobain of France and Belgium's Glaverbel. The European Commission said the firms had raised or stabilised prices in 2004 and 2005 through illicit contacts.

Between them they control 80% of Europe's market for flat glass. Flat glass is used in products such as windows, glass doors and mirrors.

Then there was this in Canada too

Regulators have launched an investigation into allegations of price-fixing by some of the biggest makers of chocolate bars in Canada. Officials from the Canadian divisions of Nestle, Cadbury, Hershey and Mars confirmed the probe is underway.

"We can confirm that we are investigating alleged anticompetitive practices in the chocolate confectioner…

Hypocrisy

BAE Systems will pay Lord Woolf, the former Chief Justice, up to £468,000 over the next nine months to chair an inquiry into the defence company's business ethics . Lord Woolf said he would be paid £6,000 a day for his work on the inquiry, which is likely to consume two days a week for the next six to nine months.

Well , the Socialist Courier will save BAE time and money .

Ethically , the arms industry are no better than glorified gun-running murderers . A corrupt , immoral business and a bane on civilisation , that is out to get a quick and extremely lucrative profit from war and the fear of war .

Lord Woolf's role is to place a cloak of respectabilty around a killing industry .

BAE has no ethics .