Police and Corporate Corruption Off the Gatsby or Max Keiser Scale

Those who enjoyed Gadget and the brilliant Night Jack could take a look at this site – http://www.upsd.co.uk/

Here, you will find a microcosm of the Swamp, Reservation and Everglades in a single West Yorkshire police station – Killingbeck.  I’d say, on language analysis, the site is run by former cops and journalists.  Pedophiles, a voracious female officer, thieves, Jimmy Saville‘s driver, senior cops who regularly lose case files and so on make up the story of this nick.  I’d apologize to any decent officers working out of this hole, and will when I see any giving evidence against the goings on.  I suspect one already tried and they fit him up for an assault.

Evidence is very tough to establish even when one has the relevant authority and resources.  The story in West Yorkshire is of – er – West Yorkshire getting to investigate – er – West Yorkshire.  The Incompetent Poodles of Constabulary Corruption (IPCC) don’t seem to have got in and done anything, though they barely report what they do these days and leak rubbish to the press as in inspiring national riots.  UPSD post the new police commissioner as a big part of the problem.  I can only say their blog rings true and I suspect most forces are as bad.

To understand these matters better we need to widen our view.  Our cops are unlikely to be worse than our general society – on work experience I still trust cops ahead of academics.  The C/Super caught shagging the C/inspector was taken out by the sergeant who lived with her, the C/inspector by the super’s former cop wife – all very ‘Swamp’, very incestual – except there were no arrests.  The shagging was newspaper fodder.  The important stuff is that we have lost (or never had) any sensible ways to prevent corruption in all our organisations (I work for myself and it’s still tough!)

Our regulatory bodies are designed not to regulate, not to weed out crooks and incompetence.  There’s a good example by Graham Smith on the IPCC written years ago (google) that gets to the nub.  You can’t let people investigate themselves or make decisions on what gets investigated.

Neo-liberal politics more or less gives up on regulation and investigation, leaving markets to sort out the crime on the grounds of consumer choice.  This is dumb as consumer choice is very limited, whether in terms of buying cheap clothes made in sweat shops about to burn down, or in reporting a sexual assault to a nest of pedophiles, complaint file losers and Jimmy Saville veneration club.  I drive a VW knowing a former CEO used to fly a prostitute favourite first-class from Angola to Paris.

What I’d favour is test-purchase/mystery shopper stings across our organisations and some strong legislation on transparency – including punishments for people who lose evidence from CCTV and so on.  We have banks telling us they don’t know where money has gone, CEOs who didn’t know what was happening (but want to keep pay and bonuses) and massive stealing of tax money and money laundering.  We could stop most of the corruption without the sky falling in.

I think Peter Fahy has made a positive difference with less resources in GMP.  We still don’t know why shagger Todd was so well thought of and have no clue why similar banksters are worth so much of our money or why so few white-collar crooks go to jail.  I’d bet Fahy would do the job for 6 times (Plato’s recommendation) the recruitment pay of a PC.  I know I could find enough cops at every level at Plato’s rates of pay.  The value of our local bobby far exceeds that of any banker I taught or know.  We need to understand the wider corruption and unfairness to understand why all our organisations are protecting their Killingbecks, selling us horse-meat (its rat as lamb in China and poisoned baby milk) and lie in cover-up at the drop of a hat.  Jimmy Saville was on the radar when I was a cop 30 years back.  We did some extra-judicial work on some of his mates.  Beatings were fairly common – I preferred to get them for something else I could stand up in court.  Against the highest standards I failed – but I can’t remember a single officer I should have reported and didn’t.  Most (not by me) who were reported should not have been, and cops who did make complaints were bullied.  Plus ca change – except in spades?

UPSD may have a great deal right.  News from Cleveland contains a standard excuse on missing CCTV (and back-ups).  Imagine what bank and corporate lawyers and managers allow to go missing when it can take months or years to get warrants for the evidence.  The outcomes across current corruption are the same – very few banksters, very few bent cops in jail.

One can imagine a solution.  We could stop the useless recruitment and selection processes of “great leaders” and go for sortition – roughly qualification by exam and experience to a list and rolls of the dice for appointment.  The lot would stop much cronyism.  We’d need to do something about royal routes through private schools and elite universities and find genuine ways of recognising work achievement for qualification.  We seem to be destroying integrity across our organisations.  On complaints, the IPCC should already have conducted sensible research.  Typically only 6% of complaints are upheld.  A small sample, rigorously investigated, could tell us whether this unlikely figure is real.

The Great Gatsby is a novel about pathetic desire for an empty woman and money lust.  Max Keiser puts over a more credible ‘Radio Moscow’ message of a world run by bankster terrorists void of any integrity.  That we find this being acted out in a single police station with senior cops in sauna sex trists, fitting up their own, selling and using drugs, perverting the course of justice, shagging children, losing evidence and raising a wall of silence that should bring the ‘Untouchables’ raining down on the place – well it raises questions on whether anything has changed since celebrities were getting away with regular abuse and how far we have all fallen as yet more authority figures tell us ‘lessons are being learned’.  One wonders too, why Gadget had nothing to say on such and whether he knew which end of the whistle to blow.  My post should end with a statement that most cops are good people and the rest.  The shame of it is I don’t think any of us are.  We lack the system to be good in.  The basic problem is that we have UPSD reporting, but evidence from investigation is not put forward for public scrutiny even when we get the investigation.  Even people prepared to follow the evidence can’t when it isn’t revealed.  Hillsborough has demonstrated depravity by our authorities, press and idiot sections of the public.  The scandal underlying international banking is much worse.  This threatens democracy itself.

I don’t really care if a couple of senior officers get up one another in a sauna.  Their business unless they expect us to pay.  I’ve turned a blind eye.  Volunteering a week’s pay to charity and record expunged after 12 months sounds about right.  What would we expect of a Deputy Prime Minister doing much worse?   The real problem is some lad or lass on the shopfloor gets wacked for much less and that serious breaches of trust and law are covered-up.  Anyone thinking the police system impenetrable (away from the Killingbeck unlovely) needs to get out more.  Academe, the professions and bank and corporate accounts are much worse.  Most of us know about the blind eye, white lies and ‘there but for the grace of god go I’.

There are many malicious complaints, lefties who don’t realise the great plan failed in China and the USSR, righties with no clue that austerity is a Black Death solution in the third world and education has failed.  There are arguments about everything,  Did you know Britain was really behind Hitler as part of a plan to waste Germany and the USSR on each other?  The book is called ‘Conjuring Hitler’ – I got bored on lack of promised evidence.  We have known since the pre-Socratics that powerful arguments can be made for almost any view.  The key is evidence (though there are arguments this is not the case) and honesty in collecting and presenting it.

Anyone who has worked on a reasonably complex fraud or murder enquiry knows how tough it can be to collect, collate and present the evidence even before lawyers and judges ply their trade and various levels of disclosure.  Lab experiments can be more complex – but we have at least fucked the lawyers off.  In most social situations the actual evidence is not presented to us.  You must have seen banksters saying they have to get and pay huge salaries.  In 20 years teaching and researching in business schools I have seen no evidence for this at all.  Police forces regularly say there is no corruption problem or only a small one.  I see no evidence to support this.  The main reason in both cases for the lack of evidence is the lack of sensible and impartial investigation.  There is almost nothing that can be taken at face value.  Banksters and rich Harvard professors of moral philosophy point to soccer stars and their massive fees – so two wrongs make a right?  Soccer could bring in a salary cap.  So could banks.  When cops claim CCTV didn’t work or evidence has been lost – well this could be true.  But evidence here would be statistical – are cops regularly claiming evidence has accidentally gone missing and more often when their case might be contradicted by it?  Are the 160 amended statements at Hillsborough an exception or is this regular practice?  None of 17 civilian witnesses at Stockwell heard ‘stop armed police’ shouted – what’s the statistical likelihood?  The chance of me shouting that when about to shoot a suicide bomber is zero.  Tap, tap and explanation afterwards.  There is, at the same time, no evidence most of our cops are bent.

The point across social issues is evidence is being withheld from us.   We take positions without the very stuff that would make them reasonable.  We vote on ‘the economy’ and know no economics.  Some are anti-CO2 but can’t explain likely models of climate change (one of the latest is cloud seeding by cosmic rays – science not clown fiction).  Economists of mainstream ilk based theory on rational man – a joke in biology – and debt being irrelevant (now an agony).   Blair tells us he is sound with god (which we can’t check) and asks if we would rather Saddam was still in power.  One suspects those Iraqis in the death count we don’t have might rather be living – and in any case we could have sent men ashore to achieve no Saddam.  One can argue we went to secure the oil – or that we went to keep the price up.  I increasingly think we live in a world denied evidence.  Our protest politics is UKIP – yet the EU only costs us £74 each and on the Swiss-Norwegian model we’d pay as much after leaving to remain in the trade area.  Of course, one might vote for them to repeal the smoking ban, curtail immigration and register how sick we are with the three main parties.

Pity John Prescott wasn’t elected a police commissioner.  They might be repealing the farce by now.  Two Jags outside the sauna, compliant chief inspector … we’d be better off with Max Keiser running the show.  If you watch you’ll see he only pretends to be mad.  The real psychos are running our organisations.

UK Financial Sector Debt and Assets May Be A Good Thing

National Statistics (ONS) say our external liabilities were £6.7 trillion in Q2 – 461% of our annualized GDP.  The UK is presented in a number of horror headlines as ‘the world’s biggest debtor.  Given most of us see debt as owing someone else and as a bad thing, all the financial services debt tends to be seen as a very bad thing.  This neglects that there are two columns to consider – debt and assets.  UK overseas assets are also big. They‘re £6.4 trillion. So our net overseas liabilities are just £309.4bn, 21.2% of annualized GDP. This itself largely a reflection of the fact that we’ve been running  small current account deficits for ever and a day.
Our huge gross assets and liabilities, to a large extent, reflect the UK’s position as a financial centre and much of the debt-asset combination is actually held by foreign banks operating in the UK.

If a UK bank  swaps a loan with a French one, UK assets and liabilities vis-à-vis France both rise by the same amount. The UK does more of this sort of thing than other countries, so our overseas assets and liabilities are disproportionately big relative to other countries.  We may have some severe problems if we’ve been doing dodgy swaps with Greeks, but if due diligence has been observed this won’t be the case.

In Q2 we actually had a small surplus (£3.4bn) on net investment income, as our assets yielded more than our liabilities.  This excludes capital gains or losses, but is what you’d expect from prudent investment.  After all, a business borrows money and incurs debt in order to make a profit – the idea is to make profit faster than you spend on costs.

Our big overseas assets and liabilities are just what we need if we haven’t just been buying pigs in pokes.  As sterling falls it’s a good idea to have foreign assets, though I guess our foreign currency assets are largely matched by foreign currency borrowing.

There are many questions on whether our financial wizards are keeping honest books and any of the assets are worth more than a ton of Max Keiser‘s goat poo, but in principle this aspect of UK debt does not turn us into the world’s largest debtor and could actually be healthy unless the assets it bought turn out to be high yield, delta-hedged Greek honesty bonds or securitisation of sub-prime mortgages in Gary Indiana. The question is whether the money was borrowed and pissed up the wall (in bankster bonuses), or used to buy investments that will pay an income or appreciate.  You’d think some overpaid BBC BimboJourno would be able to tell us.

The UK has been buying a lot of US paper of late (along with the other major international debtor Japan).  It may be that all this debt is part of a giant Ponzi scheme and that all will go tits up if some parties stop doing the trades (China and Russia are pulling the plug on US paper).  I can’t tell and the standard analysis, still absent from BBC Bimbo levels of reporting, is as above.  Nothing to worry about if the money has been used to buy real stuff or in honest trades.  After all, if you owe a few million, invested in houses and the rents pay the mortgages and give you a net income, life is sweet.  If you pissed it away on tonsil lubricant down the local or bet on a donkey in The Derby, it ain’t.  The latter would be the case if this UK financial sector overseas debt is floating on Greek credit derivative swaps.  Some hedge fund may well be betting this is the case.  If banks weren’t allowed so much secrecy I could tell you.  If I was a BBC journalist, I’d be making enquiries – but then who’d want to be that git Robert Peston?  I’d place a bet on him being next in line for Royal toadying.  Given our useless media, we’ll have to wait for the umpteenth Greek bailout to fail to know just what UK and foreign banks here have been buying.  I already have a bet on that failure!

In the meantime, we need to remember that debt is an investment and working out what to invest in instead of the doomed austerity project.  Crap like Facebook and business models based on advertising revenue won’t do and nor will financial services that need bubbles and asset inflation.  I’d go for an investment in our young and unemployed people giving them all three years international service administered by our universities and hopefully partnered across the EU and USA.  I’d put this on a war footing without a war.  And I’d make the rich pay by investing in the project.  The real problem with debt is we’ve been investing in the wrong things.  Money shouldn’t be allowed to make money and income should either be earned through work or invested in developing people rather than riches for a few.  Debt should be a matter of honour and gratitude for that investment, not debt peonage to the rich.  And what would be better than the entrepreneurial, creative private sector doing this public good instead of flooding us with plastic crap from China and horning in on those parts of the public sector already run better by the State?

Tour de Farce

In the last quarter of my life, I just hope the world is really changing.  The promises of childhood seem largely broken, and the world run by criminal bankers and some ‘mechanism’ like Michael Betancourt‘s ‘agnotologic capitalism and the aura of the digital’.  This latter phrase means something like ‘lying spin and insider trading’ to me.  Steve Bennett at thinblueline is on thew case to some fair degree in his book ‘Crime of the Century’.  Terms like ‘agnotologic’ pass most of us by and even as an academic I’m tired of such ways of speaking.  Honesty has rarely (if ever) been the real best policy; yet over my lifetime we have moved further and further away from any possibility of trying to live with the truth, or at least what we might call a ‘communicative’ rather than ‘systemic’ rationality (terms from Jurgen Habermas).  We might be able to live very different lives  if we could recognize and speak with honesty, rather than function through ‘manners’ (I have Norbert Elias in mind here).

One doesn’t have to read Betancourt, Habermas and Elias, or use the kind of language in the paragraph above to understand something is very rotten in the State of Denmark.  Indeed, the academic codes involved in citation do more harm than good these days.  Often, the real code is merely a statement that the writer is educated enough to be harmless, that she has read learned tosh and discovered how to reformulate it in the farcical text engine of small-world academic thieving.  I’m all for a better read world, but we have to shape up and remember a quarter of our people (in countries where education is free and compulsory) can’t read and write well enough to fill in forms.  Insisting on high, unachievable literacy and numeracy as a democratic solution to anything is fatuous, as is dropping standards to pretend we have a properly educated population.  Most people are not fitted to do well in the schooling we provide and pretty much insist on.

I wonder whether schooling could be redefined to ensure a greater recognition that human life is essentially repetitive, and that most of what we think has been thought before, recorded and yet remains well hidden to most individuals undergoing schooling.  Most of us will only learn in the very limited and selfish sense , and only a tiny part of this will be connected with what might be available to us all if education was not so entangled with the freakish madness of our lack of grip on human nature and our enslavement in pretension.   Greek and other traditions of thinking discovered ages back that argument does not produce answers, but rather lots of arguments that need to be worked on.  Pyrrho was a key figure in this kind of skepticism.  I can safely ask most audiences if they have heard of him, safe in the knowledge I could tell them anything I don’t know about him as though expert in the field!

To understand what I’m trying to put forward, I wouldn’t ask people to read up on ancient philosophers.  We have to move away from idiot notions of the philosophers’ stone, or stuff Indiana Jones might unearth.  The place to start is probably with arguments that clash with cosy common sense in our culture.  The Keiser Report is an example I use.  All episodes can be found at –  http://rt.com/programs/keiser-report/ – and it is weird enough to generate other issues about argument that need to be closer to the fore.   One might say the broad message, often shouted by Keiser as though he is mad, is that terrorist bankers have taken over the world and are ass big a threat to us now as when they were funding Nazi Germany to force war upon us for their profit.  These days, they destabilize and manipulate markets through war and super-algorithms.  Goldman-Sachs and JP Thompson replace the term ‘global Jewish finance’.  The big question that should develop in watching alternative propaganda like Max Keiser, or any deep academic reading concerns why we have so little of any of the alternatives in our mainstream.  I wonder, as an academic taken to the road, why I find almost no argument in our mainstream media at all, let alone anything of interest.