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Thursday, 12 May 2016

You’re guilty of epic hypocrisy, The Guardian of London tells UK PM

  • For saying Nigeria is fantastically corrupt
THE Guardian of Lon­don has questioned the morality of the British Prime Minister David Cameron, to host a sum­mit on corruption when the International Mon­etary Fund (IMF) and others recognise London as a tax haven.
The Guardian, in its Editorial yesterday, was reacting to Cameron’s comment on Nigeria and Afghanistan as two fan­tastically corrupt coun­tries. Cameron made the statement during a visit to Queen Elizabeth II to mark her 90th birthday.
The newspaper said though Cameron may not be corrupt, he is “certainly guilty of epic hypocrisy. So, for that matter, are Britain and the West.”
Even then, the edito­rial was quick to remind readers that the summit was “being hosted by a politician who admit­ted last month that he has personally profited from offshore finance and whose party is bank­rolled by an industry that makes extravagant use of those same tax havens.
“Not only that, he has intervened to aid tax avoiders.”
The newspaper won­dered why Cameron failed to mention to the Queen a letter sent him a fortnight ago by anti-corruption campaigners in Nigeria. According to the Guardian, the campaigners said, “We are embarked on a nation­wide anti-corruption campaign.
“But these efforts are sadly undermined if countries such as your own are welcoming our corrupt to hide their ill-gotten gains in your lux­ury homes, department stores, car dealerships, private schools and any­where else that will ac­cept their cash with no questions asked.
“The role of London’s property market as ves­sels to conceal stolen wealth has been exposed in court documents, re­ports, documentaries and more.” The news­paper drew attention to Panama Papers and names of some Nigeri­ans linked to offshore as­sets, noting that though “none of these individu­als may have done any­thing wrong, but the charge from those cam­paigners is hard to duck.”
The editorial also que­ried Cameron, saying, the prime minister “should have told the Queen that President Muhammadu Buhari is coming to Lon­don to lobby it to sort out the tax havens in its own backyard.”
It lamented that Brit­ain and the West “have spent decades ordering poor countries and failed states (including Afghan­istan) to sort out their problems with doggy money, even while tak­ing much of that doggy money and ploughing it through their banks, their ritzy stores, their estate agents, and their offshore tax havens, with barely any ques­tions asked or eyebrows raised.”
Quoting Oxfam, the editorial said, “a third of all trillions hiding off­shore are sitting in tax havens linked to the UK,” explaining that these ha­vens rely on Britain for security and protection.
“The Jersey pound note features the Queen. On the Caymans, they sing as the national anthem God Save the Queen.
Yet Whitehall per­sists in pretending they are autonomous – even though London has over­ridden them before, on the abolition of capital punishment, say, or the decriminalizing of ho­mosexual acts. It will not do so on shady finance, however.”

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