If ever there was an example of ‘security’ factors being used as a pretext for political vetting, it is at the BBC. When their security procedures were revealed in 1985, the corporation said that vetting was restricted to a relatively small number of people who had access to ‘sensitive information’. But in reality a large number of BBC employees – ranging from Graduate Trainees and journalists to arts producers and drama directors – were vetted by MI5 via the Personnel Department.
Trump had long experience benefitting from ill-gotten Russian largesse, selling luxury condos to many oligarchs and their minions. A decade earlier, Trump had bought a Palm Beach monstrosity called the Maison de l’Amitie, a 66,000-square-foot architectural nightmare built by a terrible-taste tycoon who moved to Florida from Massachusetts to become a philanthropist and socialite only to declare bankruptcy
6.56 p.m., Wednesday 3 March 2004. A brand new white six-seater £1.5 million Agusta A109E helicopter lands under an overcast sky at Battersea heliport in south-west London. Waiting impatiently on the tarmac and clutching his two unregistered Vodafones is a broad-shouldered forty-five-year-old British lawyer named Stephen Curtis. He is not in the best of moods.
"Mark Thatcher was trying to cash in on the Al-Yamamah deal . . . In the arms business we met many people, royal hangers on. We called them ‘Black Princes’ and sometimes they had to be bought off . . . Thatcher was acting in the same way, as a kind of British Black Prince, but it was surely not the proper role for a British prime minister’s son"
The MI6 career of Boris Johnson's father, Stanley, was short-lived but his memoirs did reveal one insight into the secret world that has long been believed - that MI6 officers were given legal immunity to commit crimes.
“Follow the money” was the whispered comment by Deep Throat in an underground car park to the Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward in 1973 during the Watergate investigation. Today this famous phrase remains as important as ever as billions of pounds are increasingly being stolen, laundered and hidden by dictators, oligarchs and fraudsters.
While she was Home Secretary Theresa May was briefed very discreetly by a senior former MI6 officer who had been stationed in Moscow during the turbulent 1990s when corruption and contract killing was rampant. The spy delivered a chilling message: Russian organised crime was active in the UK and London was a haven for Russian oligarchs to hide and protect their ill-gotten gains.
When Hillary Clinton accused Donald Trump of being a serial tax dodger and not paying income tax for decades during the 2016 Presidential election campaign, he brazenly replied: “That makes me smart”. The former President openly brags about using aggressive tax avoidance schemes. “I fight like hell to pay as little as possible”, he said last year. And his then campaign manager Corey Lewandowski confirmed his boss’ approach to tax: “Every deduction possible – he fights for every single dollar”.
‘You steal our wealth and oil at paltry prices because of your international influence and military threats. This theft is indeed the biggest theft ever witnessed by mankind in the history of the world.’