London, United Kingdom (Sputnik) – In what sounds like it must surely be an Onion article title, the British Prime Minister calls together world leaders to talk about cracking down the use of offshore tax havens and other corrupt practices.
Cameron’s political demise began in April when the International Consortium of International Journalists (ICIJ) and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) began distributing documents, in cooperation with German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, released the the Panama Papers, exposing a only sliver of the world of offshore tax havens used by billionaires and world leaders to mask their wealth.
The intentions of ICIJ and OCCRP, two organizations funded directly by notorious currency manipulator George Soros and his Open Society Foundation, in releasing the documents was to attack Russian leaders, despite a lack of evidence to corroborate their claims.
Once the dust settled, the leading name implicated by the disclosure was not Putin but rather a supposed scion of the moral West, Britain’s David Cameron.
The British Prime Minister faced immediate calls to resign after admitting that he profited from his father’s offshore fund, the Panamanian Blairmore Holdings Inc. offshore investment fund, valued at some $20 million in 1988 and which has never been held liable for taxation on income or capital gains.
In the wake of the findings, thousands of British protesters assembled in London, demanding that he resign and pointing to the Prime Minister’s hypocrisy in blocking several laws to crack down on offshore tax havens, to his own benefit.
On Wednesday, Loud & Clear’s Brian Becker sat down with John Hilary, the executive director of the British nonprofit War on Want, to discuss the fallout for the British Prime Minister of the Panama Papers leak and just what in the world he thinks he is doing by calling for a summit to crack down on corruption.
What is David Cameron hoping to accomplish with this summit?
“This is David Cameron trying to talk tough on corruption by bringing in leaders from around the world to root out corruption and to clean away the slate to pretend that he is leading the fight,” started Hilary. “The terrible problem is that David Cameron himself is being posed very serious questions in the wake of the Panama Papers as to why he personally intervened to prevent greater transparency of offshore trusts when his own family had one.”
The anti-poverty activist claimed that if the leader of an African, Asian, or Latin American country engaged in the same acts as Cameron it would certainly be called corruption, “but when it comes to British politicians we’re not allowed to call them corrupt.”
Was this summit organized after the Panama Papers leaks? What is Cameron doing?
“It was before the leak, it is something that they had in the works for a long-term and in part it is the government wanting to be seen taking action when it knows that there is a real problem about Britain’s role in corruption worldwide,” said Hilary.
“Even before the Panama Papers came out, the role of Britain in promoting tax havens has always been a national scandal, and the city of London, the financial corner that acts like a hub for tax-dodging around the world that has come under increased scrutiny in the past few years,” explained Hilary. “So this is something that has been building up to the summit today — the problem that the British establishment has because we are one of the biggest tax havens.”
The Prime Minister called Nigeria and Afghanistan ‘fantastically’ corrupt – Is this fair?
“There is no justification whatsoever for David Cameron to call other country’s leaders fantastically corrupt,” said Hilary. “What the Panama Papers did is shine a light onto the secret world of tax-dodging and the use of tax havens across the world and this is something that really does lead back to Britain.”
Hilary explained that Britain sits at the crossroads of the world’s tax havens, providing legal and banking services to British-affiliated protectorate territories like the Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, the Isle of Jersey, and the Isle of Man, that host some of the world’s most blatant tax avoidance havens.
“Britain has a huge role to play in cracking down on the lack of transparency in these tax havens and the fact that they are used to squirrel away all of these ill-gotten gains on behalf of big business,” said Hillary. “The problem is that David Cameron himself has avoided putting pressure on those British overseas territories to come clean about the tax dodging because he is using them himself.”
How is the public responding to Cameron’s corruption summit?
“We found out through the Panama Papers that Cameron’s father had offshore trusts and it looks like there is a direct connection between David Cameron the politician who made decisions to prevent transparency of offshore trusts and David Cameron the family man who is ensuring that his own family’s business is not touched by transparency measures, and that is the hallmark of corruption,” said Hilary.
“Social media is going berserk pointing out the hypocrisy of the summit,” said Hilary. Unfortunately, the country’s well-respected media, including the prominent BBC, “refuses to lay bare the hypocrisy that we are seeing here.”
This report prepared by Sputnik.