More trouble for our Attorney-General

Not only is our attorney-general Baroness Scotland in trouble over her very own illegal immigrant, and queries over £170, 000 of expenses claimed for a principal home outside London when she has lived for years in London W4 with her husband, questions are being asked about her general competence to discharge the huge range of duties involved in the Attorney-General’s job. 

She is now about to be involved in something as far removed from her experience as rocket science or brain surgery.

In an act of pure insanity, the Serious Fraud Office is pursuing British Aerospace or BAE Sysytems over allegations that it or its agents have been involved in paying commissions or “bribes” to foreign individuals to win export orders for this country.

BAE sells massively complex arms and vehicles in the teeth of cut-throat competition from the USA, France, Israel, China and many others. BAE runs the only ship yards in Britain capable of building much more than a row-boat.

Whole towns like Barrow-in-Furness in Cumberland and Wharton in Lancashire, not to speak of Rolls-Royce towns like Derby and Filton near Bristol which provide many of the engines for B AE’s sea and land vehicles, depend for their very existence on BAE’s winning export orders. Theirs  are the people  whose livelihoods are threatenend by the obsessive pursuit of B AE by the Serious Fraud office under it new head Richard Alderman.

Not only are swathes of our country’s most able engineers and technicians personally threatened with unemployment by these actions of people, who as lawyers working for the government are completely shielded from the consequences of their actions in this case, but even more gravely the nation’s very ability to pay its way in the world is still further compromised.

Britain currently runs a goods deficit of  £90 Billion with the rest of the world, only partly reduced by our trade in services to about £50 Billion, a reducing advantage in the current economic climate. BAE’s exports pay for the imports of about 150,ooo well paid people like  lawyers and accountants. How do they imagine they are going to pay for the foreign made elements of their life styles if BAE should fail to win orders in the future?  Do they imagine that the foreigners currently lending us money to cover our existing deficits are going to continue to do so at any thing like current interest rates as they see yet another British industrial asset struggle to survive  due to their actions?

Anybody who has done business abroad outside the Anglosphere and Scandinavia knows that just about every interaction with officialdom involves the paying of “commission” to get the officials to do what in Britain they do as part of their duties and would be severely punished for if they took bribes. In many places abroad there is no such ethic: “commissions”  are seen like tips in a restaurant – a necessary supplement to the wages paid by their employer which he not only knows about but encourages, demanding his own cut as some restaurant owners have been exposed recently for doing in this country.

Sometime ago my late employer was trying to import critically vital machine parts into East Africa in order to keep his fertiliser plant running. Having paid all the official duties and obtained all the import licences, he was puzzled why his equipment was still being held in the  import pound. Ah, it was explained, you need a “special release certificate”. This will take another 4 weeks, during which time your plant will have to shut down, because it will no longer have a “safe operator’s licence”. However it was further explained: “There is a way round the delays – a certain individual has the Minister’s ear this afternoon as it happens! ” Of course this way was a little more expensive than the “official” route but the plant would not have to close down for weeks on end, possibly for ever, putting several hundred local workers out of a job. So we paid up. What would the SFO have advised us to do?

Baroness Scotland with her complete lack of know ledge of doing business overseas (her speciality is family law we are told) will shortly have to decide whether to prosecute BAE for alleged “corrupt” practices in obtaining four foreign contracts totalling about  £2.5 Billion equivalent to 25,000 man-years of highly skilled work. Only by a whisker was the SFO thwarted (by Tony Blair) from causing a prosecution of BAE over the al-Yamamah contract with Saudi-Arabia, at £42 Billion the largest contract ever won by a British company’

The real fundamental point in all this is do our official classes not realise:

  1. The world does not run on our principles, however many pretty speeches are made at the UN
  2. If we continue to behave as if  it does we shall sacrifice for no purpose whatsoever the livelihoods of our people and our very existence as a selfgoverning nation AND
  3. Nobody pays any notice to the moralising strictures of  a debtor. 



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