‘Even the President of the United States has to stand naked’: Trump Strips America’s Corrupt Democracy

‘How Corrupt is Britain?’ edited by David Whyte is a collection of powerful and punchy essays that shine a light on the corruption embedded in UK politics, policing and finance. In this article,  David Whyte extends his study of corruption to the U.S., turning his eye to President – Elect Trump’s recent appointments and the continued love affair between the U.S. government and private interests.

Donald Trump’s pitch to the people on the eve of the election in November was that only he could overturn the “years of sordid corruption” in the Washington establishment.   But his earliest appointments are beginning to line up like a familiar identification parade of establishment crooks.

His nominee as Secretary of State is Rex Tillerson the chief executive of Exxon Mobil, a company currently embroiled in a major Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation for publishing false reports about its assets.  The ‘white nationalist’ Steve Bannon, appointed as White House chief strategist has been exposed for channeling millionaire donor funds through a ‘charity’ to fund his work for the extreme right-wing Breitbart News. nude-trump-1  And Trump’s newly crowned head of manufacturing, is Andrew Leveris, the CEO of Dow Chemicals who was also investigated by the SEC for fraud, although the case has apparently now been concluded.  Perhaps the icing on the cake is the appointment of the climate change-denying corporate lawyer Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

But the alleged frauds that tie those appointments together is really not the headline story.  The headline story is that, perhaps unsurprisingly, they all have a long track record of rabidly opposing any regulation that gets in the way of business.

Continue reading

Arm-twisters and Stormtroopers

Open any British newspaper, from the Guardian to the Mail, and be confronted with anti-Corbyn smears. Attacks that have included criticism of poor local election results, weak media management or “woeful” Prime Minister’s Questions performances are now fixated on linking Corbyn with a supposedly ‘endemic’ anti-semitism in Labour’s rank and file. 

In this article, David Rosenberg, author of Rebel Footprints, highlights the hypocrisy of the media’s anti-Corbyn bias. 

‘Those of us who have welcomed and enthusiastically supported the reincarnation of the Labour Party as an unashamedly socialist, anti-austerity party under corbynthe leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, knew that the right wing of the Labour Party would stop at nothing to smear and undermine this leadership. The most distasteful smears have tried to link Corbyn and his supporters with antisemites and antisemitism.

Big hitters in the Jewish community – the President of the Board of Deputies, the Chief Rabbi, the editor of the Jewish Chronicle, the Community Security Trust, and a self-styled body called Campaign Against Antisemitism – threw some of these smears themselves, or provided an echo chamber for them. They present themselves as leaders of that community, without ever asking ordinary Jewish people like myself or my Jewish acquaintances, who have never elected or appointed them. Their interventions were lapped up not just by the right wing press, but also by the liberal press who knew better. Jonathan Freedland, who combines his role at the Guardian with writing several pieces for the Jewish Chronicle, has played a particularly insidious role in the anti-Corbyn crusade.

Continue reading