In many respects, Britain’s anti-money laundering regulations are tough, but … as Imran Khan, a leading criminal and human rights solicitor, says: “These rules were originally drawn up to deal with drug money, and most cases that reach the courts are low-level criminals and minorities. People who have plundered billions from their countries are left in peace, as are the banks and advisers who assist them.”
… Private Eye has made more progress in cataloguing offshore-owned property in the UK than the government has. Now the Land Registry is slated for privatisation, discovering who owns what is likely to become more expensive …
… Our politics relies on the largesse and patronage of the fantastically well heeled. Some foreign billionaires employ former cabinet ministers and other establishment figures to advise them. Others enjoy questionable diplomatic immunity that they have bought from Caribbean tax havens, while dozens of Gulf royals are accredited to London embassies while carrying out no diplomatic activities at all; mandarins maintain that they are saviours of the economy. Might this explain why enforcement is so feeble?
And why some of us – seeing all this as one side of a coin whose other is ‘austerity’ for the many – conclude that there is a ruling class and it is waging class war.