Hiscox insurance boss Bronek Masojada was elected to the post of Billingsgate alderman with a grand total of 52 votes on 31 January 2019, after controversial hard-right City of London councillor Matthew Richardson stood down. 108 votes were split between five nominally independent candidates; a sixth candidate, Social Democratic Party representative Jonathan Bergdahl, got no votes. Since Billingsgate ward has three councillors to represent an electorate of just a couple of hundred business voters, 108 votes represents a respectable 46% turn out. Influence is easily wielded when there is such a ridiculous small electorate and this is something that raises suspicions that the entire City of London council is not only completely undemocratic, but possibly also deeply corrupt.
While tax rates are mainly set at national level, Brussels tries to restrict how far governments can go in lowering VAT rates to lure business, while allowing countries to introduce specific carve-outs. Brussels opened “infringement proceedings” against the UK on the issue last year, following talks between EU and UK officials dating back to 2015. The UK government declined to comment but officials have previously said the VAT treatment was “vital” to ensure the City remained a world-leading hub for commodities trading.Read more "City of London VAT loophole will go to the European Court of Justice"
Earlier this month the City of London publicised the extremely deceptive claim that the finance sector made a massive tax contribution to the UK economy; this was then picked up from their press department and uncritically run as a story by various tame media outlets. We’d planned to write a blog countering the blatant manipulation of statistics involved if no one else did. However, Prem Sikka stepped forward and did the work for us, so all we need to do here is reproduce his piece from Left Foot Forward.Read more "The City of London Lie Machine In Action"
It is rather rich of Charles Bowman to speak about the ‘democratic process’ in Nigeria when he and most of his colleagues in the City of London are ‘elected’ on undemocratic business votes and treat the actual residents of the local authority they administer with complete disdain; all the while gallivanting around the world promoting the interests of the finance industry and ultra-high net worth individuals at the expense of local people in the City of London and billions more around the globe. We’ve already made it clear we don’t trust Charles Bowman and we think anyone who does must be deluded. Shortly before Bowman headed off to Nigeria even the Financial Times was pouring cold water on his Business of Trust agenda.Read more "Trust: The Foreign Office Hums It & Charles Bowman Fakes It"
The sparse low-key local and financial media coverage for this year’s City of London sheriff elections was utterly uncritical of this office. No one was even questioning why this feudal institution continues to exist in what is supposedly a modern democracy, let alone suggesting this office should be abolished. The very existence of the anachronistic City of London sheriffs, who are provided with space in the Central Criminal Court, tends to lead to those members of the public who are aware of them having their faith in the justice system undermined.Read more "Sack The City of London Sheriffs!"
The ‘culture’ corporate funders like the City of London back impoverishes us and the world. Rather than understanding culture as a living and evolving part of our community, the City and its friends want to impose their vapid tastes on us. The aim is to displace living cultures with a dead one based on consumption, where the bottom line is coldly calculated in cash. For us what must always come first are the social relations that create cultures; in stark contrast the ‘City of Culture’ model is based on the commodification and reification of human activity. City of London artwashing is both an attempt to throw a cloak of respectability over the money-grabbing activities of the rich, and a continuation of these activities by transforming what were truly human activities and relations into economic calculations in which objects and balance sheets are valued over what really matters – the people!Read more "Boycott City of London Artwashing"