Friday, 15 April 2016

10 Ways to Subvert Legality

“I haven’t done anything illegal.” – So runs the riposte of many confronted with evidence of wrongdoing.

Admittedly it would be arbitrary to punish people without reference to any objective code of law, but the law itself would sink into arbitrariness if it could be twisted to serve the interests of a few against the common good.

Slave owners were able to defend their business as legal until abolitionists managed to change the law to put an end to their repugnant enterprise. Exploiters of child labour persisted until statutory restrictions were introduced to stop their callous practice. But alas, laws can be undone. Worse still, they can be constructed, not to curtail unethical deeds, but boost them.

Modern plutocracy has opted to buy the law as one of its key operational assets. Here are ten of its favourite tactics:

1. Donate vast sums to political parties and politicians who are more likely to change the laws to suit the wealthy few at the expense of the majority of people.
2. Buy and maintain control over media outlets and promise support for politicians who will bring in or abolish laws that will favour them.
3. Ensure those who have taken control of government with their financial backing do little to restrict campaign funding from the wealthy elite while clamping down on similar funding from organisations representing ordinary workers.
4. Arrange exclusive meetings with their political stooges to remind them what laws should be changed to enhance their market share and profits.
5. Put forward international trading agreements to enable big corporations to sue governments that are not in their pocket and daring to pass laws that get in the way of their harmful profit-making.
6. Move their senior staff into government positions (on a short-term secondment basis or a ‘permanent’ role before returning to the corporate sector) to ‘advise’ on how various laws are to be changed, and acquire expertise on what loopholes can be exploited when those staff are back with their long term employers.
7. Obtain subsidies, contracts, tax breaks, bailouts etc by threatening to cut jobs or wreck the economy if public funds were not forthcoming.
8. Deploy the best lawyers money can buy to contest any charges based on laws they have not yet been able to change.
9. Hide the benefits they gain, taxes they avoid, and bribes/donations they make by using offshore accounts that will continue to be protected by the politicians they have influence over.
10. Demonstrate the long term returns for politicians who help them by offering those politicians lucrative speaker fees, jobs and non-executive board positions after they have left public office (but have importantly retained useful links with others still in government).

All politicians trying to play the ‘Anti-Establishment’ card by superficially distancing themselves from Westminster or Washington, should be pressed to say what detailed plans they have to tackle the ten devious manoeuvres listed above. If all they can say is that they will make their country ‘great’ again, or they are the champions of ‘traditional’ values, and they have nothing to offer to end the plutocratic subversion of the rule of law, then know them for the charlatans they really are.


Unknown said...

Beautiful piece...succinctly summarises the machinations of the elite & thier cartels.

Woodman59 said...


Woodman59 said...


Henry Benedict Tam said...

And following the Panama Papers revelations, we continue to wait for the many wrongdoers to be brought to justice ...

Thomas Scarborough said...

This is a very useful list. One could do with more of such. Even better, lists which bring counter-measures to the public.