“The UK government insisted on Tuesday that ministers did not know the full facts about the HSBC tax scandal until this week, in a collective closing of ranks in Parliament and in British financial services over the affair.
“No government minister had any knowledge that HSBC may have been involved in wrongdoing in regard to its Swiss banking arm prior to the reports of the last couple of days,” a spokesman for UK prime minister David Cameron said.”
His response: “With the greatest of respect to those involved, this require them to be either liars or stupid or both given that the information was readily available on the web at the time, not least from the BBC, who I quoted. The alternative is that they are lying now.”
Of course they are lying, as commenter John McCabe pointed out with this link. He added: “And Hansard states this was raised with a treasury select committee in September 2011.”
Another commenter, the amusingly-pseudonymed ‘Theremustbeanotherway’, pointed out why they must also be stupid: “Cameron thinks … we’ll accept his statement without question.”
This writer is keen on the way forward suggested by ‘Nile’:
“The Falciano document cache names names. It is now time to comb through those names and look for:
“1: Political donors;
“2: Constituency officers;
“3: Media players in a position to influence MPs or senior civil servants;
“4: Persons involved in the recruitment of senior public-sector managers to private consultancy positions and non-executive directorships;
“5: Clients of commercial entities who might be in a position to offer such positions and, in particular, clients whose relationship manager (or whose subordinates) might have been in a position to make such offers.”
‘Nile’ continued: “In some ways, it would be reassuring to discover that such straightforwardly venal motives are at the root of HMRC’s wilful negligence and Westminster’s silence; the people can be identified and excluded from future decisions about tax evasion and prosecutions.
“The alternative would lead us to conclude that this is not about individuals: rather, that it has become a matter of institutional failure which will persist after the most culpable individuals -or scapegoats – are identified and removed.”
Yes, indeed. To mix a metaphor, let’s open up the can of cronyism and corruption and give it a good airing!
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