Posts Tagged ‘banker’
In January I took my website offline because it was being used to focus destructive attacks against CLEAR.
That was a mistake. I should have kept it up. The haters and hypocrites continue with their lies and smears irrespective of truth or anything that I do. I am proud of my writing here. That is not to say that my views don’t develop and change over time but I hold true to fundamental principles of justice and against prejudice and discrimination. It is ironic that those are the charges that have been levelled against me.
Here you will find strong opinions, powerfully expressed. My views are essentially libertarian and I repudiate hate against anyone, despite the spite and abuse that has been levelled at me. There is evil in the world though and I make no apology for my condemnation of the Israeli state, of the wicked extremes of Islam, the crimes of all organised religions and the corrupt oligarchy of politicians, media and bankers that run the Western world. These evils must be fought against.
Let me be very clear about CLEAR and my role in it. It is a single issue party and I will work with anyone, whatever their political allegiance, race, religion or philosophy in order to end the prohibition of cannabis. I was elected leader in February 2011. I won a vote of confidence with a 70% majority in April 2012. Under my leadership CLEAR will continue its evidence based campaign for responsible reform of the cannabis laws.
I am back. And I will have my say.
DS Evans delivered Clive’s firearms certificate personally and at the same time he returned his father’s rifle. Clive had installed a steel firearms cabinet with two massive locks and the detective waited until he saw the gun locked away before he said his goodbyes and left. Clive wasn’t at all sure now why he had wanted to keep it. He’d told the firearms officer who had interviewed him that it was a family heirloom and that he was keeping it as a collector. There was no ammunition on the certificate which meant that if Clive ever wanted to use the gun he would have to apply for a variation. Then he would also have to explain where and when he wanted to use it and prove that he had permission to do so from the landowner concerned.
He hadn’t forgotten the cartridges which Mr Thomas had found and which were still in the glove box of his car. He hadn’t mentioned them to anybody.
The initial euphoria at getting the building work underway had now worn off. There really wasn’t very much for him to do on the site anymore. Max was well in control. Even Simon Bristow had taken a back seat as all the construction work was finished. Now there was a small army working on the finishing. The decorators had started in some areas and Clive was trying to focus on marketing. He’d had a series of meetings with estate agents, all of whom were eager for his business, all of whom had sent along their most attractive female negotiators in their smartest business suits to try and convince him. He was none the wiser and really couldn’t decide between a local agent and the sort of prestige international outfit that also sold country estates and private Caribbean islands.
This morning then, with DS Evans gone and the rifle safely locked away, he was rattling around in his own modest, rather grubby little flat near Battersea Park. He was bored.
Life was no longer a struggle. His new bank had taken an entirely different view of his circumstances. Once they’d seen the cash deposit of £150,000, a manager had been sent to visit him at the development and had then updated his file and credit status. Although Clive didn’t know it, the bank now saw him as a high net worth individual and he had a notional limit of £50,000 against his name. He could ask for any type of borrowing up to that level and it would be granted immediately without any further question. In fact, on paper he was probably now worth around £5 million so he didn’t need to worry about paying his bills anymore.
What the hell! He was going to enjoy this morning. It was a beautiful day. Strong sunlight was dappled through the leafy trees in the park. It was half-term so there were kids and their scantily clad mothers everywhere. He sauntered along the Albert Bridge Road enjoying the sunshine and wondering whether perhaps he should invite Mark for lunch at Vermont – or somewhere else. His money was good anywhere.
Next thing there he was on Albert Bridge – again. How long ago was it now since that evening before he’d first met Mark? It was just a matter of weeks. How things had changed since then.
Another morning at the library was over and Sir Damian was enjoying the very much more relaxed lifestyle of a worker. After being let back onto the wing he was free to wander around and chat until lunch was served. Then he was expected to go back to his cell and push his own door shut for the lunchtime lockdown.
There was loads of noise coming from the servery but they clearly weren’t ready to start yet so he went back to his cell. There was one letter and a slip of paper that had been pushed under the door. He knew straightaway that the letter was from Barnaby Evans.
He ripped it open and scanned the contents quickly. His appeal against sentence was to be heard in two weeks time. The slip of paper told him that he was to be transferred to Ford prison in a week.
He was elated and angry, surprised and shocked, relieved and frustrated. He almost shouted out aloud.
He barely noticed lunch although he ate it hungrily. He didn’t want to leave Brixton now. Why would they move him just when his appeal was coming up? He was just a few miles from the Court here. In Ford he would be half a day’s travelling away. He started to write an application requesting that his transfer be cancelled. Everything in prison is accomplished by “app”. He’d learned that very quickly and it helped to be literate although it was best to word everything in very simple and direct language. The officers themselves weren’t the most highly educated of people.
As he was drafting he realised that the prison probably didn’t even know about his appeal. Even if the governor’s office had been informed he recognised that usually one hand didn’t know what the other was doing. Everything happens behind closed doors in prison. The administrative and management methods were like something out of the 19th century with an unhealthy dollop of union demarcation rules thrown in. He decided to mention his job in the library as another reason he should not be moved.
The spectre of Andrew de Boer fluttered briefly across his mind but he dismissed it. He knew now that he could cope with a couple of years. He’d be out and rebuilding his life sooner than he’d expected. The last thing he needed to get involved in was any sort of escape plan. That was an absurd idea.
Across London the street lights were coming on, burning orange to begin with as they warmed up. The western sky was also orange as the early spring day came to an end and cooled down. From Docklands in the east to Hammersmith in the west, the traffic surged to its evening crescendo and then began to fade away as the commuters reached home or dispersed from the main roads onto the M25 and various motorways heading for the home counties and more distant destinations.
The river continued its endless and timeless meander through the capital. The setting sun reflecting off small wavelets, the spring tide running fast, creating hard work for the dozens of small boats plying up and down, carrying passengers, moving cargo or just messing about. The lights on Albert Bridge burned brightly as a solitary figure strolled along the pavement and paused to lean over the side and watch the water.
Clive was worrying. He had hoped that a walk through Battersea Park and along the river would calm him down and prepare him for the meeting. Staring at the water he told himself that he had done everything that he possibly could. In his younger days that had been the recipe for a worry free existence. If you’ve done everything you can then worrying isn’t going to achieve anything more.
That philosophy, or perhaps it was just a mind game, didn’t seem to work anymore though. Not since the long and painful break up from Kim. That experience had wounded him deeply, perhaps more than any other. He had tried to – no, he had – acted with integrity throughout. He had been ready to break away himself but her tears and her pitiful begging had reeled him back in and he had re-committed to her more deeply and profoundly than ever before. Her betrayals had hit him hard and it had taken too long for him to see the truth that was actually staring him in the face. She had pleaded to move back in with him and he had found a delightful cottage in Sussex that she had enthused about and seemed to be the perfect solution. Within days of moving in though she had disappeared. She went straight back to her former ways. She’d go out to the shops and three or four days later would surface “at her sister’s” or “visiting her mum and dad”. Clive had to come to terms with the fact that the woman he was doing his best to love was a liar and a cheat. It hurt.
He’d spent a year looking at the bottom of a bottle. At first it had been to dull the pain and the worry, a way to sleep. Later it had become a problem. He’d stopped working and would go to the pub for a couple of pints at lunchtime then spend the afternoon and evening getting through a bottle of scotch and watching old black and white movies. Along the way, he had to deal with his father’s death and with three or four passionate reunions with Kim, each occasion causing him more pain and demonstrating the depth of her insincerity.
Tonight was to be the end of all this. No, he’d already put all that behind him. Tonight was the start of his new life. He’d done everything he could. There was no point in worrying.
He turned away from the river and started back towards the park. He had an hour now to get home, get changed, into his car, back up through Chelsea, Kensington and Holland Park to the restaurant. The walk had done him good. He felt calmer and stronger. Howard would be introducing a new man to Mark de Boer this evening.
The early evening rush for Mo was well underway. His business phone was ringing almost constantly and he was making an endless and impossible series of promises to be at various different locations in west London“in 10 minutes”.
Mo knew the Range Rover was far too conspicuous but it was the one thing he was unable to resist. He lived his life in a constant state of fear, always watching over his shoulder, checking every car behind him, trusting to his instinct, avoiding any situation that felt dangerous. He was always ready to cut and run. Once, outside a chicken shop on the Harrow Road, he’d been spooked by a van that he was sure he’d seen following him earlier that day. He was serving a new customer. He’d seen him before but never on his own, always with a girl that he’d known for some time. The van had suddenly appeared in the side street. Mo had turned, walked calmly but briskly away and dropped several hundred pounds worth of gear into the waste bin. He hadn’t been pulled so on the face of it, it was a false alarm. Several hours later he’d sent one of his soldiers to check the bin. Amongst the empty boxes and the greasy bones and skin, he’d recovered more than half of what he’d dumped.
In this constant game of cat and mouse, Mo excused the Range Rover on the basis that the police knew who he was anyway. If today was to be his day, it wouldn’t make any difference what he was driving. He gunned the big black beast up to the top of Ladbroke Grove and past the Sainsbury’s roundabout. Everything was quiet now. The store had reopened but rumours were rife about exactly what had happened earlier. He swung right immediately after the roundabout and headed down the back road to Trellech Tower. There he stopped twice on two corners before completing the loop back down Golborne Roadand onto the Grove again. He waited opposite the tube station until one of his regulars showed up, jumped in the passenger seat and then he cruised round to Portobello while they negotiated the price of a quarter-ounce in good humour. “Give ‘em both one for me!”, Mo grinned. “You’re too greedy for your own good!”. He barely let the customer out of the car before flooring the throttle again and then, just as quickly, screeching to a halt as he saw Beanie bumbling down the road. “C’mon, get in. I need your help”.
Beanie was strung out now but he had the latest news about the stabbing at Sainsbury’s. “It was that squaddie girl. Susan something. She went nuts. There was a cash van collecting and she tried to jump them but that big fat security guard jumped her. Y’know the one what nicked Jimmy’s missus. She shanked him good and proper. He’s dead”.
The dark wood-panelled courtroom was quiet and serene. After weeks of intense argument and dramatic revelations the moment of denouement was just minutes away. For now, for just a moment more, James Macpherson, the court usher, enjoyed the peace, the heavily pregnant peace that was about to give way to even greater drama as the jury returned to deliver its verdict.
A side door clicked open and Sam, the jury usher, gave James a quick nod before turning back to attend to his charges. James drew a last deep breath of serenity and turned to his duties: recalling the lawyers, the defendant and the public. As soon as he opened the main court doors there was a rush of fresh and expectant air and a growing hubub as the throng returned to its seats.
The elegant figure of Sir Damian Fremantle moved reluctantly away from the reassuring cluster of silk surrounding him and climbed the few steps back into the dock. Perhaps there was just the slightest humility showing now, a little uncertainty perhaps, possibly even fear…but no, it was a fleeting moment. The chin went up, the lofty nose was looked down and the supreme arrogance of Britain’s wealthiest banker was restored. It was as if he were waiting for the Judge to return and offer an apology for the great inconvenience that Sir Damian had suffered over the last five weeks.
“Rat-a-tat-tat!” The loudest, most peremptory sound allowed in the Court was the warning of the Judge’s entry. “All rise!” came next and as defendant, lawyers, jury and public rose to their feet, Mr Justice Weatherspoon assumed his seat, all sat, a few routine nods were exchanged and James rose to perform his final duty.
“Guilty”. The verdict resounded around the Court. Sir Damian looked disbelieving, outraged as his legal team slumped in their chairs, the youngest, female junior, her head in her hands, realising those flirtatious promises her client had made really would now come to nothing.
Sir Damian appeared to rally, a touch of cockiness returning to his posture but then slowly he slumped, his shoulders dropped, his world seemed to spin and he fell insensible to the floor. Now the collective gasp that had been building since the jury foreman spoke reached a crescendo. There were muted cheers. The doors slammed as journalists left, mobiles already at their ears. There was a general sense of relief and excitement as the Judge banged his gavel just once and said “Sentencing will take place in the morning. I need no reports. Bail is denied”.
Within seconds the Court was empty. Outside the “Bash The Bankers” demo had become a party. There was literally dancing in the streets. Pandemonium erupted. Strangers embraced each other. London had seen nothing like it since VE day when the last great threat to civilisation was finally defeated.
This was the final chapter in bringing to heel the avarice that had been allowed to run wild in the City. A year ago the first chill winds of reality had swept through boardrooms when Sir Jim Malouse had been extradited from Scotland to the US. Within a few weeks he had to stand in a tiny Alabama courtroom in a prison boiler suit, manacled at hands and feet, to hear his sentence described as 160 years without possibility of parole. Of course the appeals were in hand but meanwhile Sir Jim languished in a maximum security state prison, his massive lifetime pension of no comfort at all. His only friends the cockroaches that crawled in from the stinking mangrove swamp on which the prison was built.
A few senior civil servants had followed both in Europe and US but then the politicians had started to fall. Any British MP who had had any connection with the City, the Treasury or the financial system was ruined. From former Chancellors to junior ministers of state, more than 20 MPs, 12 senators and fifteen congressmen were convicted on criminal charges ranging from false accounting and conspiracy to straightforward theft. Ultimately Silvio Berlusconi was at last kicked out of office, not with his trousers round his ankles but with his secret dividend income statements from a raft of European banks.
Now with the conviction of Sir Damian, the night of the long knives was fast approaching dawn. In Britainthe destruction of the old financial system had created a massive new industry. Out of the very disaster itself had come the creation of thousands of new jobs in local financial councils, co-operative banks and the Regulator, the nationwide authority, part of the International Finance Treaty of 2011. A new optimism was in force throughout the country. People were back in work. A new culture of transparency and fairness had swept aside the old institutions.
Fremantle’s world was in ruins. As the unthinkable reality pulsed through his body he regained some sort of consciousness and found himself in a cold, slightly damp cell, a massive steel door being the only feature of note.
Before the horror of imprisonment could overwhelm him the door opened and there stood Bart James, his QC, despondency written all over him, his juniors almost hiding behind him.
“I’m so sorry Damian. We’ll start working on the appeal immediately. Believe me, whatever tomorrow brings you can count on us putting together the best possible arguments”
Fremantle looked directly at James, his face bemused, dull, incomprehending. Then, without the slightest acknowledgement, he turned away and lay down on the concrete shelf that served for a bed, his face to the wall.
It concerns an Afghanistan veteran suffering from combat stress, a disgraced ex-banker sent to jail amidst scandal and public outrage, a cocaine dealer with customers at the very top and the very bottom of society, a property developer on the cusp of making his fortune and a restauranteur starting to make his name as a celebrity chef. The story culminates as the games open at the Olympic stadium.
Please go to Amazon to buy it, enjoy and let me know what you think!
We need radical surgery. The corrupt and avaricious arrogance of the bankers is beyond belief. Project Merlin (see here) is a confidence trick and our weak, pathetic government is knowingly complicit in it.
Bob Diamond of Barclays, Stephen Hester of RBS and Eric Daniels of Lloyds are all rogues, thieves and charlatans. The excuse of “I was only following orders” was thrown out at Nuremberg. These men are even worse than the Nazi war criminals because their motivation is the most base and venal of all. They cannot even claim the excuse of some sort of perverted political philosophy. Their only concern is selfish greed. They are parasites and a scourge on our society. They should be rotting in jail rather than heaving their replusive, corpulent frames into another disgustingly expensive dinner or self-indulgent debauchery.
Banking is one of the greatest evils in our world. It takes over our society with insidious, insistent and poisonous infection. It produces corrupt and distorted growth that is entirely false, only a deception for the immediate and personal gain of the individuals in charge. These people are pirates and their adventures destroy decent people, honest businesses and the whole basis of our economy and society.
We must cut them out and we must cut deeply to ensure that every last vestige of the putrification is gone. It will hurt. It will even endanger our existence but there is no other option. To continue as we are is to buy into their corrupt plan, to feed them even more obscene amounts of money while the poor, vulnerable and needy in our society suffer.
There is no other option. We must inflict this huge damage on ourselves in order to be rid of the cancer. Recovery will be long and difficult but at least it will be honest and healthy.
The only man with any integrity left in parliament was Lord Oakeshott and he has now resigned. Cameron, his poodle, Dr Cable and babyface Georgy Porgy are carcinogenic agents. We must take the knife to them without mercy.
Now On Sale Here.
It is 2012. Britain is slowly emerging from the longest and deepest recession for 100 years. It has been a dark and difficult time. The London Olympics are now just a few months away. The whole country is hoping that the games will provide the inspiration and renewal that it needs.
London Games follows five characters through the spring and summer of 2012, culminating as the games open at the Olympic stadium. It is a gripping tale of relationships and dramatic personal experience. It concerns an Afghanistan veteran suffering from combat stress, a disgraced ex-banker sent to jail amidst scandal and public outrage, a cocaine dealer with customers at the very top and the very bottom of society, a property developer on the cusp of making his fortune and a restauranteur starting to make his name as a celebrity chef. At times it plumbs the depths of London’s sordid underworld yet it also catches an uplifting mood and celebrates the city’s unique history and environment. It examines crime and punishment as well as food and drugs, love and ambition. Ultimately it reveals a bond between the most unlikely of friends, thrown together in an extraordinary and thrilling climax with a redemptive message of hope and optimism.
Sir Damian Fremantle experiences the shock of his first night in Brixton prison while Susan is confused between shoplifting in Sainsbury’s and bomb disposal in Helmand province. Clive Dumonde is still mourning the death of his parents as he struggles to understand what’s involved in developing a multi-million pound property in Notting Hill. His business angel Mark is also an investor in the uber-hip and trendy Vermont restaurant just around the corner. Meanwhile, Mo, or Big M as his customers call him, is living the hectic, stressed-out life of a cocaine dealer, supplying crack to streetwalkers one minute and top grade powder to city bankers the next.
John George is on the brink of becoming London’s top chef. It is a constant struggle to devise new dishes while coping with the relentless pressure for perfection. As the guests become ever more famous, so the financial pressures increase, the staff becomes more difficult and the vanilla vodka bottle in his desk becomes his best friend. Then, without warning, the scales fall from his eyes and the sous chef who he has barely noticed for months is transformed into the love of his life.
The pressure on Mo never lets up. His customers call all day and all night. He is always looking over his shoulder, expecting to see a blue light in his mirror or hear a knock on the door. Then, for no good reason, his principal supplier accuses him of passing counterfeit money and Mo is in a race for his life with both the police and violent gangsters.
Susan finds herself locked up and heavily sedated. She thought she was doing her duty but she has committed a dreadful crime that will have consequences for the rest of her life. What future or hope can there be for someone who has been a hero, trained as a killing machine but now behaves like a homicidal maniac?
Five characters, products of their time, all on an inevitable path as their stories intertwine and we glimpse a post-2012 Britain, rejuvenated, reinvigorated, ever more complicated, challenging and exciting – a Great Britain.