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Lords inflict two defeats on government over ‘spy cops’ bill – but Keir Starmer could have made it three

Keir Starmer: he thinks the government and its agents should be above the law.

The Tories bid to allow spies working for government agencies like the Financial Conduct Authority to commit crimes like murder and rape without fear of prosecution has been foiled by the Lords.

Peers supported amendments to the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill as follows:

Peers inflicted two significant defeats on the government on Wednesday evening over a bill to regulate the use of undercover informants, passing amendments to stop them participating in murder and rape, and to curtail the use of children as informants.

The government was also defeated by 299 to 284 on an amendment from the peer Doreen Massey, which proposed explicitly banning those acting undercover from being allowed to participate in a list of serious crimes, including murder, torture, rape or other sexual offences as they gained information.

Ministers had ruled out introducing such a list previously, arguing that creating a list of forbidden offences could give terrorists and serious criminals ways to unmask infiltrators by asking them to engage in such banned activities.

Campaign groups welcomed the result, arguing that it would put the UK on a par with similar western countries in setting clear limits.

Sadly, this result is notable for another reason – Labour leader Keir Starmer’s unacceptable support for the Bill with all immunities against criminal prosecution intact.

If he had whipped Labour to oppose it in the Commons, it would never have got as far as the Lords. But he didn’t.

Worse still, after former shadow attorney general Shami Chakrabarti put forward an amendment to remove immunity from prosecution for crimes from government agents who commit them, saying there would otherwise be a “grave risk” of human rights abuses by undercover agents, Starmer whipped Labour peers to abstain and it failed:

Peers were debating the bill at the second day of its report stage. On Monday, an amendment from Shami Chakrabarti seeking to strike out immunity for undercover agents acting within authorised guidelines was defeated by 309 to 153, after the Labour leadership chose to abstain.

It seems clear that this former Director of Public Prosecutions thinks the government and its agents should be above the law.

It is an unacceptable attitude for any potential national leader to have.

Source: Lords inflict two defeats on government over ‘spy cops’ bill | House of Lords | The Guardian

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‘Spycops’ law will be used to spy on Labour, its MPs and trade unions. Why did 167 Labour MPs support it?

Another blunder: Keir Starmer’s insistence on allowing a law that would allow the government to undermine his party has created a rift between him and an ever-increasing number of his MPs.

It is already being labelled as a major rebellion against Keir Starmer’s leadership: 34 Labour MPs defying the party whip to vote against the controversial so-called ‘Spycops’ Bill that would allow government agents to commit crimes.

The real question about it, though, is: why so few?

Labour has been targeted by the so-called Establishment in the UK – probably from its beginnings as a political party. This includes espionage by the nation’s intelligence agencies.

We all know about famous incidents such as the Zinoviev Letter, which contributed to the fall of Ramsay MacDonald’s first Labour government. It was a forged communique allegedly between the government and the Communist government of Russia, written by people whose identities remain uncertain…

… but it was published by the Conservative Daily Mail, and it is widely believed that this was on the urging of the SIS – the intelligence service of the day.

Another famous issue is the MI5 file on Harold Wilson, which was opened when he first entered Parliament in 1945 and recorded his contacts with communists, KGB officers and other Russians.

It was opened because of concerns about his relationships with Eastern European businessmen. Can you imagine MI5 opening a file on Boris Johnson, over his relationships with oligarches from Russia?

Ultimately, none of the information in the file can have amounted to anything because MI5 never tried to use it to undermine him – despite his own paranoia about this in his later years.

Clearly there is a precedent for the security services – which are predominantly staffed by right-wingers – using every resource within their power to find ways of undermining the Labour Party.

And by abstaining on a Bill that allows government agents to commit crimes in order to achieve their aims, 167 Labour MPs including the party’s leader, Keir Starmer, have just handed them another such resource.

It’s undemocratic and dangerous – the kind of legislation created by a dictatorship in order to ensure, by fair means or foul, that no rival organisation can ever topple it.

But some good may come of it accidentally – the possible removal of Starmer as party leader.

Around 20 of his MPs rebelled against his demand to abstain on the Bill’s second reading. Yesterday (October 15), 34 defied his whip – including eight who resigned from front bench roles to do so:

 

Much of this can be attributed to Starmer’s own attitude, which suggests that he actually supports the Bill’s demand that government agents be allowed to commit any crime without fear of prosecution for it later – any crime at all, including the murder of the Tories’ political opponents:

Discontent with his lack of opposition to the worst Tory government in history is growing, and already there are rumours of a leadership challenge in 2021:

Political developments are strange; they don’t happen the way anybody expects – unless that person is very far-sighted indeed.

The Zinoviev Letter led to the fall of a Labour government – but only in a roundabout way. Labour’s vote increased in the general election; it was the collapse of the Liberal vote that allowed the Conservatives their victory.

It would be ironic if now, nearly a century after that attempt to end a socialist government, a piece of legislation that legalises espionage against the party that formed that government actually led to its re-founding as a socialist organisation once again.

That is the only comforting thought I can raise from what is, in all other respects, a disaster for democracy.

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Starmer’s whip cracks and his MPs start walking away from legalisation of crimes like rape by government agents

Bungler: perhaps Keir Starmer thought his decision to support a law that allows government agents to murder, torture and rape people with no fear of prosecution was a show of power. All it will do is turn more people away from the hollow shell he has made of the Labour Party.

Keir Starmer has gone too far and Labour MPs know it.

That’s how This Writer reads the groundbreaking resignation from the party’s frontbench team of rising star Dan Carden.

The now-former shadow chief secretary to the Treasury has only just distinguished himself in Parliament with this speech attacking Tory corruption and cronyism, taking advantage of the Covid-19 crisis to award themselves and their businesses huge wodges of public money in return for – well, nothing:

Now, after being told that Starmer is whipping Labour to abstain on the heinous Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill, he has announced that he will vote with his conscience – and resigned his post as a shadow minister.

He is quite right to do so. Starmer has lied repeatedly about this – or he has been wildly mistaken about what he could achieve.

First he told Labour MPs to abstain on the second reading of the Bill – allowing it to progress through Parliament when a concerted effort by all Labour MPs could have stopped it on the spot.

He told his MPs that there would be a chance to change the Bill, tightening up controls on the kind of crimes that could be committed and the circumstances in which they would be allowed. That has not happened.

And he told his MPs that they would be able to vote against the Bill if attempts to amend it failed. We see now that he is not going to allow this after all.

So Mr Carden did the honourable thing:

Take note of the words in his letter. He states that Starmer has “settled” on his position on “legislation that sets dangerous new precedents on the rule of law and civil liberties in this country”.

He’s saying that, in effect, Starmer is supporting a law that will harm our freedom.

The letter also states that in supporting the harm that will be done to us, Starmer’s position is at odds with the vast majority of his party: “I share the deep concerns about this legislation from across the Labour Movement, human rights organisations, and so many who have suffered the abuse of state power, from blacklisted workers to the Hillsborough families and survivors.”

Mention of the Hillsborough tragedy is particularly telling: in supporting this Bill, then, Starmer is setting himself against the Hillsborough families and survivors – and everybody who supports them and their struggle for justice.

That is not a good look for a lawyer!

The Third Reading vote on the CHIS Bill is this evening (October 15).

Labour-voting members of the public will judge their MPs by whether they support Starmer, or if they choose to support justice instead.

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Fury as Starmer asks Labour to abstain on Bill allowing government agents to commit crimes like murder, torture and rape

Keir Starmer: he’s not left-wing but he’s definitely sinister.

Why is a former human rights lawyer like Keir Starmer asking Labour MPs to let the Tories pass a law that will allow their agents to commit crimes that trample all over our human rights?

The crimes that will be allowed are bad enough – the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill is also known as the ‘Licence to Kill’ Bill. Also allowed would be torture and sex crimes including rape.

But it will also be impossible to mitigate the worst aspects of the Bill with the Human Rights Act, because the Tories stated 11 months ago that, as the state would not be the “instigator” of the crimes, it could not be held responsible for them.

Starmer, a former human rights lawyer, has reportedly convinced some Labour MPs that this is not the case. He must know that this isn’t true.

So why does he want to give government agents – including people from the Environment Agency and the Financial Conduct Authority – a licence for torture, rape and murder?

As This Site documented last week, Starmer already whipped Labour to abstain on the second reading of the Bill.

We were told this was in order to create a chance to modify the legislation, tightening restrictions on using the powers it creates.

This no longer seems to be the case: he is now suggesting that Labour should abstain once again – and let the Bill pass without opposition – if no amendments are made.

As you may imagine, there has been more than a little opposition to this:

But on the same day this information was released, Starmer called a press conference in which he changed his policy on Covid-19 and demanded a “circuit-break” lockdown, across England, for two or three weeks – creating a huge amount of fuss among the media and the public.

Do you think he was trying to hide something?

Source: Keir Starmer facing major rebellion after saying Labour should abstain on ‘Licence to Kill’ bill even if unamended | Evolve Politics

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Is Priti Patel’s latest pronouncement an attempt to have homeless people murdered?

I’m only using this image because I haven’t got one of her dressed as a Nazi.

‘Dumpy she-Hitler’ Priti Patel is at it again, it seems.

Only a day after it was claimed her attack on “activist lawyers” she said were frustrating the removal of migrants led to a “violent, racist attack” in a London law firm by a knife-wielding man – who actually injured a staffer…

… she is now calling for homeless people to be deported:

Priti Patel has been criticised for allegedly planning to deport homeless people who repeatedly engage in low level crimes.

The home secretary has reportedly asked Home Office officials to discuss new immigration rules that would make it easier to deport rough sleepers who engage in “persistent anti-social or dangerous behaviour”.

It is understood Patel wrote to ministers on Friday to inform them of the plans, according to the Mail on Sunday.

After it was revealed, the scheme was blasted by commentators who warned “somebody is going to end up getting hurt”.

Damn right – somebody is going to get hurt. Most likely, it will be a homeless person (or many), attacked by people of similar mentality to the knife-wielder in the London law firm mentioned above. Or the lawyers trying to stop them being sent to Ascension Island.

And it occurs to me that Priti Patel must know this.

She knows that somebody got hurt after she had a go at “activist lawyers”.

Only an irresponsible (or psychotic), homicidal fascist would then suggest that another societal group should be targeted for deportation in those circumstances.

But that is exactly what she has done.

So it seems to me that the UK now has a Home Secretary who is deliberately trying to incite people to commit the crime of murder.

Source: Priti Patel criticised for ‘planning to deport homeless people’

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If Starmer hadn’t whipped Labour to abstain on #spycops bill, this support for murder, torture & sex crimes would have been defeated

Keir Starmer: he probably thought he was being smart but all he really did was get it wrong again.

Well, isn’t this interesting?

The tweet isn’t quite correct; only 20 MPs voted against the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill that would authorise people from the Financial Conduct Authority (for example) to commit crimes up to and including murder, rape and torture in the course of an investigation – and they were all from the Labour Party.

But only 182 Tories voted for it.

If Keir Starmer had not whipped Labour MPs to abstain – and take note that exactly 182 of them did – then this endorsement of crime by a criminal government would have been stopped in its tracks.

Defenders of the Bill have claimed it isn’t as bad as some of us are saying – that spies working for the various government agencies would need approval to commit crimes before carrying out the acts for which the planned law would grant them immunity.

But the safeguards against abuse are said to be “very vague and very broad” and, as I mentioned in a previous article, there is the issue of “mission creep”: agents will end up committing ever-more-extreme crimes because they are told to do so on the spur of a moment, creating precedents to stretch what is permissible until it covers anything at all.

Take note: Starmer used to be a human rights lawyer.

But he just gave an insult to human rights a free pass to the next stage of becoming law.

And his supporters are trying to flood the social media with claims that he is a good thing. #StarmerOutstanding, they say.

He is outstanding. He is an outstanding threat to the well-being of you, me and everybody we know.

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The UK’s criminal government is authorising undercover cops to commit sex crimes – and Starmer is supporting it

Keir Starmer: in abstaining on the Bill to give government agents carte blanche to commit crimes including murder, torture and rape, he is supporting the commission of those crimes. The perpetrators will be protected from prosecution by the law.

In one sense, it was only to be expected: a criminal government authorises its enforcers to commit criminal acts.

So the Johnson government – an international criminal due to the Internal Market Bill that is currently going through the House of Lords like a dose of salts – is authorising its spies to commit crimes as part of their duties.

These crimes include murder, torture, and sexual offences:

According to the BBC,

the legislation would explicitly authorise MI5, the police, the National Crime Agency and other agencies that use informants or undercover agents to commit a specific crime as part of an operation.

Security officials will not say which crimes are authorised, on grounds that this may give away the identities of undercover agents to terrorists and other serious criminals.

So the sky is the limit and the legislation offers the UK’s secret police a licence to do anything they like, to anybody.

Yes, the legislation does require MI5 officers and others to show the crime is “necessary and proportionate”, but what happens when they encounter what’s known as “mission creep”?

The definition of “necessary and proportionate” will stretch over time to encompass anything, laying it open to corruption – and agents may find themselves committing ever-more-extreme crimes because they are told to do so on the spur of a moment.

Home Office minister James Brokenshire said the legislation would “help keep our country safe”, but he did not elaborate on whose country he meant, or who it would be kept safe from.

Both Labour and Conservative MPs have expressed opposition to the Bill as it currently stands, saying the safeguards were “very vague and very broad” and must be strengthened.

But Labour’s leadership said it would not oppose the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill at its second reading on October 5.

This has led to further claims that current Labour leader Keir Starmer is nothing more than a closet Conservative, forcing party members to accept acts that are directly opposed to their principles as he supports the Johnson government time and time again – and his MPs support him.

Only 20 Labour MPs defied his order to abstain on the Bill’s second reading, including former leader Jeremy Corbyn and former shadow chancellor John McDonnell, and others including Ian Lavery, who tweeted this:

Note the hashtag #spycops – others include #LabStainers and #NoOpposition, with #StarmerOut being the most popular (although it is also infested with supporters of ‘Sir Keith’ who are trying to stifle the views of the majority).

Here are a few examples of the #StarmerOut tweets, to show the strength of feeling about this:

Supporters of Starmer say he is acting strategically in order to demonstrate that Johnson and his ministers have nobody to blame for their mistakes but themselves. This is a trap for Labour.

Having abstained from voting on this Bill, Starmer and his followers in the Labour Party have said they accept the necessity of agents of the Financial Conduct Authority committing rape (to put forward an extreme example).

Are their supporters seriously trying to tell us this won’t come back and bite them?

There is only one reasonable response to legislation that authorises government agents to commit crimes – especially extreme crimes such as those contemplated here, and that is opposition.

But opposition is not in Keir Starmer’s vocabulary.

Let’s have a leadership challenge. He has to go.

And if he isn’t ousted this time, let’s have another challenge, and another, until he is. He has turned Labour into a travesty.

Source: MPs back bill to authorise MI5 and police crimes – BBC News

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Police who took selfies next to black women’s dead bodies prove the Met is institutionally racist

Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry: after ignoring reports that they were missing, police who attended when the bodies were found took selfies with them and sent the images to members of the public.

I’m sure you all remember the wave of horror and outrage at the double murder of two black women in Wembley Park, London, earlier this month and the utter indifference of the police who had been told they were missing.

No?

That’s because there wasn’t one – mostly because it wasn’t reported.

Now it has emerged that police officers who were directed to the bodies by the boyfriend of one of the victims – who had gone out to find them himself after the Metropolitan police showed no interest – took selfies of themselves with the bodies and sent the images to members of the public.

Read the end of the above paragraph again.

Instead of carrying out their duty in a reasonable and responsible way, police officers thought it would be a giggle to take photos of themselves with the bodies of murdered black women, and to then send those images to friends – and not just friends in the police, which would have been bad enough, but members of the general public.

There is only one conclusion to be drawn: These were racists who considered Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry to be less than human because of the colour of their skin, and that their dead bodies were therefore playthings to be treated with contempt.

Met police commissioner Cressida Dick has claimed her entire force would condemn this behaviour – but that is not what we see.

We see a police service that is racist to the core.

This is not an isolated incident. It is a symptom of a general pattern of behaviour for which Dick must take responsibility. The organisation she heads is institutionally racist and a figurehead of the systemic racism that plagues the United Kingdom.

For those who aren’t familiar with the details – and I imagine that’s most of you – let’s run over them:

The mother of two sisters murdered in a park said her grief had “been taken to another place” after two officers were suspended amid allegations they took selfies next to their bodies.

Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry were stabbed to death at a park in Wembley earlier this month. Ms Smallman, 27, had been with friends celebrating Ms Henry’s 46th birthday at the park on the evening of 5 June. Detectives believe they were killed by a stranger who repeatedly stabbed them in the early hours of 6 June – their bodies were not found until the following day.

Mina Smallman has complained about the Met’s initial response – saying she had to organise a search for her daughters.

Mrs Smallman said she had coordinated a search operation on weekend her daughters died and it was Nicole’s boyfriend, Adam, who found the sisters’ bodies and the murder weapon.

She says the police were “making assumptions” when they didn’t immediately respond when the sisters were first reported missing.

It’s actually worse than that. Did these women die because police refused to take action?

“I knew instantly why they didn’t care. They didn’t care because they looked at my daughter’s address and thought they knew who she was.

“A black woman who lives on a council estate.”

Speaking to the BBC, Mrs Smallman, the former Archdeacon of Southend, said the pictures “dehumanised” her children.

Mrs Smallman said she was told the photos showed the girls’ faces and she fears the images will appear on the internet.

“This has taken our grief to another place,” she said.

“If ever we needed an example of how toxic it has become, those police officers felt so safe, so untouchable, that they felt they could take photographs of dead black girls and send them on.

“It speaks volumes of the ethos that runs through the Metropolitan Police.”

The Met said two officers had been arrested on suspicion of misconduct in public office and suspended from duty.

No-one has been charged with the murders.

Here‘s what Dick had to say for herself:

Dame Cressida said: “I don’t know all the details but if it is as it appears to be then it is shocking.

“It is disgusting and the whole of the Met would condemn what has happened here.

How has this culture been allowed to fester? I’d suggest it happened in the same way Dick was able to shrug off questions about institutional racism in the BBC’s report:

Asked if she accepted criticism that there may have been an element of institutional racism in the police response to the double murder, Dame Cressida said: “This is a horrible, horrible double murder of two beautiful young women.

“My heart goes out to their family. It is just appalling.

“We have an enormous investigation, very well resourced and using all the expertise not just in London but all across the country and beyond.”

That’s not an answer to the question.

Was she unable to answer it?

We all know that, after she became Met Commissioner in 2017, Dick called for “tougher sentences” to be applied to “teenage thugs” in London who she emphasised as being “black” and “Asian”, although there is no strong racial characteristic to the crimes she was highlighting.

So, if she is trying to claim that there isn’t any racism in the Met, perhaps it’s along the same lines as the subject of this poem:

We need a root and branch reform of the Met. It is no good attacking symptoms – it’s time to rid ourselves of the cause.

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Racists attack political commentator over innocent image – THEY associated it with Reading stabbings

Ash Sarkar: she posted this innocent image of herself enjoying an orange ice lolly after cycling – and racist loonies claimed it showed her supporting an alleged terror attack in which three people were killed. Is that how it looks to you?

What’s wrong with the picture above?

Nothing, as far as This Writer can see. It’s a shot of a healthy young lady enjoying an ice lolly after exercising on a bicycle – posted on her personal Twitter feed.

It might be considered a little risque as, if she’s wearing shorts, they appear to be very short indeed. But that’s the worst of it.

So why, then, did this happen?

Apparently Ms Sarkar was being accused of using the orange emojis as symbols celebrating the three deaths.

When have orange emojis ever been said to symbolise that?

They don’t. But that’s what the lunatics have been saying.

Is it because the BBC initially associated the killings with a Black Lives Matter protest in Reading and, besides being a political commentator, Ms Sarkar happens to have darker skin than some of us?

If so, it is beyond reason (that’s why I suggest that those saying it are lunatics). And who are the racists in this situation – the young lady posting a summery pic on her timeline, or the foam-at-the-mouth individuals perversely accusing her?

Sane Twitter users have made their choice:

 

Of course the nutcases aren’t backing down – but I’m glad to see that Ms Sarkar isn’t, either.

Can you believe they wanted her to apologise for the offence that they have chosen to take against her?

That’s a good response – sharp, and to the point.

Then it became clear that Ms Sarkar’s critics were, in fact, just another gang of racists. They made it clear themselves.

In the next exchange, Ms Sarkar is replying to that classic racist trope: “go back to where you came from”. The tweeter appears to have deleted their message, which is a clear indication of guilt, and I would appreciated it if anybody who may have taken a screenshot could send me a copy.

Akala’s book Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire has this to say about the “go back to where you came from” trope: “Their assumption is that anyone who is not racialised as white is not really a citizen, echoing the old white-supremacist adage ‘Race and Nation are one’ and the ‘blood and soil’ logic of the Nazis.”

Ms Sarkar, being a citizen of the UK, comes from Enfield.

And of course, I’m giving her the last word because it is far more mature than anything her detractors had to say:

“Three families are grieving… and I feel really angry that there are people out there who are appropriating that grief, that shock, and that horror, and then using that to take down someone on Twitter.

“I don’t know how you live with yourself if you’re doing that.

“Beyond the racism and beyond the threats, I just feel that’s completely immoral.”

Agreed.

Why did the BBC try to associate Reading terror killings with Black Lives Matter?

Distortion: this is how the BBC reported the terror murders in Reading – by linking them with Black Lives Matter protests.

Is this how the Establishment undermines a movement it considers dangerous to its power – by smearing it?

There was no reason for the BBC to link the murder of three people – and the serious injury of three more – in Reading with an entirely peaceful Black Lives Matter protest.

Even immediately after the killings happened, police were saying the stabbings were a random terror attack and nothing to do with the peaceful demonstration.

The BBC has now removed its original article, replacing with one that has a modified headline.

A suspect has been arrested and he has nothing to do with BLM.

Khairi Saadallah is a Libyan national who last year appeared in court charged with punching a Sainsburys security guard in the face and attempting to stab him with a broken wine bottle when he was accused of shoplifting alcohol.

In This Writer’s opinion, he fits the profile of a person of Middle-Eastern/African extraction living the UK who has been radicalised to commit terror acts, rather than anything to do with BLM.

But, according to Skwawkbox at least, “right-wing hate-promoters have continued to spread the fake news.” The BBC only needed to put it out there early and let it catch on.

Indeed, current reports seem confused as to whether the incident was a terror attack or not, with one saying “police … say they are not looking for anyone else over the ‘terrorist incident'” and another that “police are not currently treating the incident as terror-related”.

This Writer cannot help but recall a recent Vox Political article in which I remarked on the stupidity of forcing MPs to queue around the block from the Palace of Westminster in order to vote by passing through lobbies in the traditional way, while still observing the 2m social distancing rule currently in effect; it makes them vulnerable to (for example) terrorists.

Details of those who were murdered are starting to be released. One was James Furlong, 36, head of history and government and politics at The Holt School in Wokingham, who was described by his family as a “wonderful man”, while his school colleagues said he was “talented and inspirational”.

Here is praise for Mr Furlong on Twitter:

The two other deceased have not been named at the time of writing. Two people who were injured have been discharged from treatment, while a third remains in a stable condition under observation.

It seems clear that somebody is trying to turn a homicidal tragedy into a platform for petty political point-scoring.

No doubt the BBC will claim the information it received at the time justified the headline.

And the damage is done.

But This Writer would advise anybody to be extremely wary of any information coming from this news source about BLM in the future.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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