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When It Comes to Corruption, Britain Is Catching Up with Middle East
There are six staging posts on the road to a kleptocracy – Britain is further down it than you might imagine
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I used to meet businessmen in the Middle East who were in a state of high anxiety about their chances of winning a government contract. They were naturally reluctant to spell out the details, but they hinted that their chief worry was whether or not the official they had bribed to get them a contract would, in the event, be willing or able to do so. They took it for granted that I knew that nobody successfully did business with the governments in question without paying off somebody inside it.

I was in Iraq and Afghanistan when the government system in both countries was saturated with corruption. Britain may not yet be at the same place, but it is much further down the road to kleptocracy than most people imagine. For all the finger wagging about the current scandals, the words and phrases used to describe them – chumocracy, revolving doors, cronyism, conflicts of interest, sleaze – all understate the seriousness and corrosiveness of what has been going on.

In reality, individuals and companies only employ politicians and civil servants, paying them a lot of money, because they expect to make very much larger sums themselves. There is “hard” corruption, aimed at winning a particular contract, and “soft”, generally legal, corruption aimed at winning the support of those at the top to further the general ends of those paying them.

The mechanics of corruption have much in common the world over, though the sophistication of the means used to conceal it or explain it away differs widely. In this, as in so many other things, British exceptionalism is less than is often taken for granted – indeed a presumption of honesty makes life easier for the seriously dishonest.

My knowledge of corruption is mostly drawn from the Middle East, but a list of what I see as the six main staging posts on the road to kleptocracy has increasingly strong parallels in Britain.

1. Corruption is turbocharged when companies become convinced that they cannot successfully do business with the government without having facilitators at the decision-making level inside it. If they do not not find their own insiders, they cannot hope to compete. The quickest way of acquiring such influence is to pay for it. This is likely to be cash down in Baghdad or Kabul. In Britain, the reward may be in the shape of a future high-paying job, share options or some such benefit.

An ominous example of how things are increasingly done in Britain – though there is no suggestion of illegality – was outlined by the National Audit Office report last year into the government’s PPE procurement. It revealed that there had been a semi-secret VIP fast lane for those in touch with “government officials, ministers’ offices, MPs and members of the House of Lords, senior NHS staff and other health professionals”. The report said that companies in the VIP lane stood a one-in-ten chance of winning a contract as compared to less than one in 100 for those outside it.

The reality of this “insider” fast lane had little to do with professional expertise and was much closer to the way of doing business in the Middle East. The New York Times analysed a large segment of roughly 1,200 UK central government contracts relating to the Covid-19 epidemic worth $22bn (£16bn) that had been made public. It found that about half, worth $11bn (£8bn), “went to companies either run by friends and associates of politicians in the Conservative Party, or with no prior experience or a history of controversy. Meanwhile, smaller firms without political clout got nowhere.”

2. The amount of money involved is a very important factor in the spread of corruption. Reportage on the present scandal in Britain fails to make this point sufficiently clear. This is not small-time sleaze like parliamentary expenses. People inside and outside of government may be playing for tens or hundreds of millions of pounds, which leads them to take risks that they would otherwise avoid. It is when such “life-changing” money is on offer that corruption seeps upwards. I remember a minister in Baghdad who had been happy in London if he could borrow £50 from his friends, but after a few years in office owned a mansion with three swimming pools in Amman.

3. Crises produce great opportunities for corruption whether they come in the shape of a war or a pandemic. Special fast lanes, that would otherwise look deeply dodgy, can be justified as a sort of patriotic measure to meet a national emergency. Normal checks and safeguards can be put to one side as “bureaucratic red tape” strangling the national effort – and when vast sums of money are spent and nothing is delivered this is explained away as regrettable but inevitable in the circumstances. Unfortunately, precedents set in times of crisis tend to stick around and determine future behaviour.

4. Those promoting corruption will, if they are sensible, want to spread the money around within the political elite. This means that lots of people feel vulnerable and unenthusiastic about far-reaching investigations with strong legal powers that might focus on them. Pay-offs to political parties are also a good method of evading pursuit and blocking reform.

5. The limited chance of being caught and punished is another significant driver of corruption. The best way of doing this is to ensure that what you do is technically legal, rather than dodgy or criminal, though it might appear so to the public. If such corruption is unpunished, others will soon be saying to themselves: “everybody is doing it, so why not me?”

6. Contracts handed to companies and individuals who have themselves no means of providing the goods and services paid for by the government have a special role in the decline of standards. Those receiving them become brokers and hand on the contract for a fee; this may happen multiple times. Shady sub-contracting is a trouble-free way of turning strong political connections into unearned profits.


There is one factor that makes life in Britain easier for the corrupt than in Kabul or Baghdad. Here people are still shocked when senior politicians and civil servants line their pockets. In much of the Middle East, ordinary citizens would be surprised if they did not and act on that assumption.

Naive trust in the probity of British institutions opens the door to corruption particularly wide. In the 1960s and early 1970s, the Metropolitan Police in London was not only corrupt, but parts of it operated like a criminal enterprise. For a long time its victims were disbelieved and the perpetrators given a free pass until brought down by repeated scandals. The reforming Metropolitan Police commissioner, Sir Robert Mark, famously said that “a good police force is one that catches more crooks than it employs”.

With some adaption, this would be a good motto for anybody seeking to reform the top reaches of public life in Britain.

(Republished from The Independent by permission of author or representative)
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  1. What is stunning is that people in the UK see blatant examples, like Mr. Cameron or Mr. Hancock, and accept the public acquittals that are routinely issued.

    The City of London always was the preëminent epicentre of financial fraud; nice to see Westminster learned a thing or two.

    The only problem with the system is that petty fraud is still illegal, so you and I still go to jail.

  2. Nodwink says:

    All this started well before COVID, and is one reason why the Deep State and the media were absolutely desperate to destroy Corbyn. Remember when the Tories gave a ferry contract to a company with no boats? The British taxpayer has been soaked for billions for a decade, not to mention the multi-billion-dollar weapons contracts in the Middle East.

  3. orionyx says:

    The British establishment has always been deeply corrupt, based as it is on the concept of the Great and the Good, those who are quite beyond scrutiny, and snap up all the plum appointments and sinecures for themselves while the peasants smile and tug their forelocks.
    It all became entrenched with the despicable Thatcher, her spouse and their twins. Privatization bled Britain dry, putting the NHS, the railways and the public housing stock into private hands.
    The British and American economies are alike in that both need new frauds all the time to keep them going. This is much worse than the petty corruption of countries where you pay off the traffic cop or the tax clerk, to your mutual benefit rather than that of the pious thieves who run the system.

    • Agree: Alfred
  4. KA says:

    Out defense experts, ex military personnel, and the columnist at the print media are clear typical enduring examples of the corruptions that keeps trillion dollars pentagon budget afloat and unquestioned and keeps running the eternal war machine. From this behemoth of corruptions spread out other destabilizing corruptions to the rest of them world.

  5. The British state is becoming more and more “Mediterraneanized” this is due to a multitude of factors, one being that meritocracy is no longer as big a thing as it used to be in the post war years, this could be because the ruling classes have the freedom to discriminate on class and hire people who went to posh schools and there seems to be less solidarity among different classes than during the post war years, could be because back in the 50s many upper class Brits would have served in the war alongside commoners. There is also the issue of our ruling class also being descended from Normans, the Mediterranean element came over and is often found in many members of the ruling classes now but heavily mixed with Nordic types, finally there is the issue of Asians and Jews entering our top jobs, you only have to look at the government with Rishi Sunak etc or Biden’s cabinet, again the people of the Med-Semitic race have elbowed the Nordics out of the top jobs(except in less corrupt countries like Denmark and Norway)

    • Agree: Irish Savant
  6. A123 says:

    I am not sure why the author is calling out UK corruption when France and Germany are *MUCH* worse.

    Insurmountable German corruption is one of the charges against Netanyahu. When doing business with shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp, “payola” seems inevitable.

    PEACE 😇

  7. Malla says:

    The difference in between the West (and some other developed societies in the Far East and Gulf) and the Third World is that while in the First world only the elites are corrupt, in the Third world nearly everybody, top to bottom are corrupt.

    • Agree: oliver elkington
  8. Anonymous[712] • Disclaimer says:

    Is it any wonder why Britain is as corrupt or nearly as corrupt as the Middle East? Look at the present cabinet of Britain, hardly a truly British person in it. Boris Johnson’s an American, Rishi Sunak is a Hindu, Dominick Raab is an Israeli, Priti Patel is a Hindu, Kwasi Kwarteng, African , Alok Sharma Hindu. You put the third-world in positions of power in your country and you will get all the problems of the third-world including corruption, incompetence and cronyism.

  9. anon[245] • Disclaimer says:

    Tony Blair was the whitest man with the whitest Britishers in his in cabinet but full of corrupt thugs .
    Any question! What about Margaret thug Thatcher! No better . Both sold the country to the Jews also.

    These 3rd world (your fate here in UK and USA) figures are not the causes but the results of the corruption.

    • Agree: animalogic
    • Replies: @animalogic
  10. Malla says:

    Disagree, third worlders will make it even more corrupt and corruption will increase and go down even among the mix melti civil society. i live in the Third World, I know what I write. Low trust incoming cunning hustler populations + racial mixing/Brazilification/ Balkanisation will increase tragedy of the commons in the future West. The difference in between the rich and poor will increase further eventually leading to slums full of slimeball thaggards and rich mafiaso mansions living next to each other like Rio or Mumbai.

    Very interesting video

    Why India cannot become developed country?
    From a movie, check out the English subtitles at the bottom.

    That is why I always say that on this account at least the colonial officers of the later British Raj were sooooo much better than the criminal slimeballs and thaggards we have in power. And it is getting worse, more we move away from the Raj in time.

    • Agree: Miro23
    • Replies: @Miro23
  11. anon[212] • Disclaimer says:

    If these people were effective,they would have prevented pull out from Afghanistan . ( Here it is dicey and needs more explanation. By and large American – Indian on Biden administration are anti war and some of them anti BJP- Modi . But not on the GOP nor the UK conservatives) . They would have secured vaccine ,masks, PEP. The way Mossad did -facilitated -at least in Germany and US (The Lobby- 5 th columnists ) . They could have pushed UK to punish China the way The Lobby did punish Syria ,Iran, and Sudan. These Indians will push for some self serving nepotistic changes here and there in UK and within Englad’s overall lay of the lands,within same tapestry and will not introduce fundamental changes in direction. They will never beable to dislodge pro Kashmiri Corbyn. For that you need The Lobby .For changes – mortal corrupting overwhelming changes ,you need to look at the Lobby.
    By the way,its The Lobby that empowered the Indian 1% . The Lobby has done same to the Evangelic and we have seen the impact .

  12. Gordo says:

    When It Comes to Corruption, Britain Is Catching Up with Middle East

    Anything to do with demographics?

  13. Miro23 says:

    Low trust incoming cunning hustler populations + racial mixing/Brazilification/ Balkanisation will increase tragedy of the commons in the future West. The difference in between the rich and poor will increase further eventually leading to slums full of slimeball thaggards and rich mafiaso mansions living next to each other like Rio or Mumbai.

    Thanks for the video, and I agree that that’s the outcome. It’s a question of who holds the power and how they use it.

    The default option is what you describe – and it’s the reason why the US and the UK are on their way to becoming the new Ukraines (slum white slimeball thaggards and a rich mafioso elite) with added crowds of race hustlers.

    It’s interesting that the Singapore built by Lee Kuan Yew was the polar opposite – and that he drew his inspiration from the remarkable British colonial administrators of S.E. Asia (career civil servants of high intelligence and integrity educated in special schools – classical – many Scots).

    Like he said, “When the PAP government took office in 1959, we set out to have a clean administration. We were sickened by the greed, corruption and decadence of many Asian leaders.”

    “The most effective change we made in 1960 was to allow the courts to treat proof that an accused was living beyond his or her means or had property his or her income could not explain as corroborating evidence that the accused had obtained or accepted a bribe. With a keen nose to the ground and the power to investigate every officer and every minister, the director of the CPIB (Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau- set up by the British 1952), working from the Prime Minister’s office, developed a justly formidable reputation for sniffing out those betraying the public trust.”


    “A precondition for an honest government is that candidates must not need large sums of money to get elected, or it must trigger off the cycle of corruption.”

    “But Singapore will remain clean and honest only if honest and able men are willing to fight elections and assume office. They must be paid a wage commensurate with what men of their ability and integrity are earning for managing a big corporation or a successful legal or other professional practice.”

    Lee Kuan Yew, “From Third World to First: Singapore and the Asian Economic Boom” Harper Collins New York, 2000.

    • Replies: @Malla
  14. A major part of the explanation can be attributed to the fact that the traditional Protestant Brit is now but one of many in the rancid multicultural stew that is today’s Britain. Every decision-making level in the public sector is infested by people from corrupt tribal Third World cultures acting in the only way they understand. I’m not saying native Brits are blameless but once Third World standards of corruption take hold they metastasise like cancer.

  15. @A123

    Maybe so but I know from my own direct experience of bidding for contracts in the Third World that if you’re not prepared to make pay-offs you may as well not bother competing. .

  16. @Anonymous

    Exactly. I commented on this below but wouldn’t have had I read your comment first!

  17. @A123

    I’m old enough to remember when paying a bribe to win offshore projects was tax deductible in Germany.

  18. @Irish Savant

    This is of course the real answer, but you can hardly expect it from one of the Boomers who hastened the demise of Britain through immigration.

    • Agree: Irish Savant
  19. When Britain is no longer ethnically British you can hardly expect British standards of decency.

    Although in Cameron’s case, his behaviour is pure Eton. He will be absolutely incapable of seeing that he is in any way in the wrong and would have behaved that way no matter what the circumstances.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  20. Sirius says:

    Utter nonsense. It was Britain (governing “elites” of course, not ordinary people) that corrupted the Middle East on a scale never imagined before. Almost all the governing establishments there are the result of British (or French) interference, followed by American interference, which took over the management of corruption, after 1945. There is virtually no government today in the Middle East not dependent on outside support, save perhaps Iran.

    If the Middle East is any guide, it was Britain that corrupted the world, not the other way around. Now it’s just blowing back.

    Whoever said that the threat to freedom (or justice or democracy) anywhere is a threat to freedom everywhere could well have replaced “freedom” with “clean government”.

    • LOL: Irish Savant
    • Replies: @Malla
    , @anon
  21. @anon

    Cause & effect.
    Thatcher’s neoliberalism with its destruction of manufacturing in favour of services & massive financialisation was the original mutation of the UK’s DNA. Neoliberalism is the font of corruption — b/c it has no values other than power/money. Corruption is a mere tactic amongst a million & 1 tactics for acquiring money without production.

  22. @Irish Savant

    “Rancid multicultural stew” Perfect description. Even red chinee knows a single rat dropping spoils the pot of rice.

  23. Malla says:

    Thanks, yes true, but Singapore is far more controlled meritocratic society. It is basically Neo Confucianism mixed with Western models of Government. Taking the best elements of Confucius culture (removing the negative elements of Confucianism). That is what worked in Singapore, a disciplined model of hierarchy based on meritocracy. Had LKY not shut down left winged political forces run by Indians and Jew in Singapore and installed his Neo-Confucian system, Singapore would have been very different and very bad.
    Unfortunately his kids are idiots. His daughter is smart, she is a brain surgeon or something but she is a feminist manboy. His son got his brain destroyed in Harvard. Indians are flooding and taking over. And the island may become woke. LKY should have banned Western Jew Cultural Marxist Media and anti-colonialism history propaganda nonsense. Nothing destroys countries like those things.
    Anti-colonialism propaganda keeps poor countries poor and Cultural Marxist Jew media destroys developed countries and takes them back to the jungles.

    • Agree: Miro23
  24. Malla says:

    Africans in Ireland claim Irish people are responsible for the African slave trade
    At a protest in support of criminal George Nkencho who was killed by Gardai after he tried to attack them with a machete, an African speaker claims that Irish people owe them property, money and jobs and also that Irish people are responsible for the transatlantic slave trade.

    This demonstrates gross ignorance on behalf of the speaker as Ireland was occupied by the British during and after the slave trade ended. During that period, the native Irish did not have private property rights therefore could not have owned any slaves.

    Check out the video, they are openly talking about a power-grab in Ireland. Ireland was never a colonizer but colonized. These non European “immigrants” have come to take power, territory etc… they are nothing less than invaders, all with the blessings of the European elites against the people of Europe. Sure, some immigrants including blacks and Muslims are exceptions and do not have similar attitudes but most probably these kinds are a minority. It is a powergrab, it is an invasion.
    And colonialism and slavery are excuses. Ireland (or say Finland) never had colonial Empires outside of Europe. Yet they see outsiders flood their country as per Kalergi plan.

    • Agree: antibeast
    • Replies: @El Dato
    , @Irish Savant
  25. Malla says:

    If the Middle East is any guide, it was Britain that corrupted the world, not the other way around. Now it’s just blowing back.

    India is not in the Middle East but that was definitely not the case in India. And to be honest that was not the case in British Egypt as well (where they streamlined the administration and supported the rights of fellaheen farmers). I cannot speak about the rest.

    The closing words of the Muslim history book, Riyazu-s-Salatin (1788) eulogized the English in India as ‘unrivalled in their laws for the administration of justice, for the safety of their subjects, for extermination of tyranny, and for protection of the weak. . . . And, notwithstanding their difference of creed, they do not interfere with the faith, laws, and religion of Musalmans.’

    However sure the British Empire and French Empire did some bad things too. Maybe in Palestine or interference in Iran (the “British” Merchant who was given privileges over native Iranian merchants in a deal with the British Empire was a German Jew Kassel BTW). And after 1945, the US Government sure interfered, but the US Government also funded anti-colonial movements in many parts of the world including Algeria. Anti-colonial hero, Franz Fannon (who was in Algeria) was taken care of by the CIA during his dying days. Obviously he was an agent.

    • Replies: @Sirius
  26. El Dato says:

    an African speaker claims that Irish people owe them property, money and jobs and also that Irish people are responsible for the transatlantic slave trade

    This is just the usual low-IQ negro hustling and demands for free stuff from whitey. Transplanted wholesale from US TV channels.

    This will get worse.

    Ireland should wake up quickly and make life miserable for anyone performing such activities. You know what to do.

  27. El Dato says:

    It seems the only thing that the UK still manages to export is anti-Russian propaganda of a quite abysmal and clownish sort, and various kinds of cunty english nastiness larded in pseudo-legal ceremony, like for Assange.

    With some adaption, this would be a good motto for anybody seeking to reform the top reaches of public life in Britain.

    The party of “Ropes and Trees” more like.

    Failure of the managerial state:

    COVID-19 and the Failed Post-Political State

    Omishambles of the “best practices” can-do-absolutely-nothing-when-they-need-to brigades. One guy works, 10 are looking on and managing him.

    Although I don’t share the author’s enthusiasm for centralized “command-and-control” schemes. Decentralizaton and flat hierarchies is what you need. And I definitely don’t share the author’s enthusiasm for “Modern Monetary Theory” which is exactly the corruption that brought this all about.


    Government paying test and trace consultants equivalent of £1.5m salary

    Some senior-ranking consultants at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) are being paid around £7,000 a day, Sky News reported. That would amount to around £1.5m a year.

    Those guys must be REALLY HOT actual full-stack developers.

  28. anon[800] • Disclaimer says:

    Corruption is multifaceted phenomenon. Lobbying in America is nothing but bribing. Stupid speaking fees after the departure from presidential or cabinet is nothing but pure corruption.
    Britain did not invent it but it definitely introduced more opportunities for bribing and improved its crude bribery that defined the early days of the company to more sophisticated level by the time it left India.Britain’s corruption while ruling African nations was more crude and simple and carried a facade of honesty and element of pure transactionaity given the primitive nature of the existing civilization.
    Would Indian subcontinent be so corrupt if Britain did not rule the nation? Most likely . Most corrupt nations have history of colonization.Among them those ruled by Britain are most corrupt. Corruption in Canada Australia and USA are simply more complex and multilayered than it meet the eyes.

    There was this interchange between Edward Luttwak and Italian journalist in 1990, Edward saying : we are invading Iraq because Saddam is not like the wine and champaign drinking and prostituting Sheikhs who spend their money in London and Paris .Saddam is building the country .

    Sure Saddam was enjoying both but he was not doing the way Britain and USA would have wanted and loved to see. This mindset gives rise to the tendencies of bribing or conquering or destroying . Not being able to do the first 2 ,it decided to destroy .
    ME has been bribed by USA and EU .The money it spends comes back to USA and UK .In return those countries enjoy protection from popular resistance . In return those countries also engage in foreign interference ,invasion, or bribing foreign leaders to further western interest . Abrahamic c Accord is nothing but a gigantic scheme based on fear of sheikhs ,greed of Israel, and corruption of Kushner clan .

    Just like the concept of usury is much more complex today that it was ever before 1500 so is the concept of the corruption .

    • Thanks: Sirius
  29. @Malla

    Why should this come as a surprise? These people are being fawned upon in Ireland and are fed a non-stop diet of black victimhood and White iniquity. Despite all the affirmative action second generation blacks in Ireland now “endure” the same social pathologies as elsewhere such as low economic achievement, welfare dependency and high incarceration levels. They therefore need an explanation of their failures external to themselves. In any event few Africans distinguish between the Irish and ‘real’ Brits.

  30. Realist says:

    When It Comes to Corruption, Britain Is Catching Up with Middle East

    But it will never catch the US.

  31. Sirius says:

    I cannot speak to the example of India, but the experience with the British in the Levant and the Arabian Peninsula has nearly nothing positive to say about it. The British and their junior partners the French set the stage for a century of pain, instability and unremitting corruption, now going on to two centuries. It has been awful.

    The following article just got published (written by a freelancer in India by the way). It backs completely what I say:

    The concluding paragraph sums it up well:

    Once the history of Saudi Arabia is understood, it can be easily concluded that the monarchs of the kingdom willingly entered into a relationship of geo-political servitude to the West. The kingdom would have had marginal or limited importance in the world if it was not supported wholeheartedly by the British and American empires. Thanks to the significant backing it received by them, Saudi Arabia became an international political player. With the help of their enormous oil wealth, the decadent kings and princes of Saudi Arabia have been perpetrating massacres and wars in various countries, such as the bombing of Yemen, the indirect attacks in Syria and Libya. All this has been allowed to happen by the West, which provides both tacit and explicit support to the House of Saud in its myriad crimes. As Che Guevara said, “The bestiality of imperialism…knows no limits…has no national boundaries”.

    There is no larger case for promotion of corruption on the entire planet, and possibly in the history of the world. Courtesy of Britain, its successor the United States and the Zionist manipulators of both countries.

    • Replies: @Meena
  32. Meena says:

    “The defeat of the Ottoman Empire by British imperialism in World War One, left three distinct authorities in the Arabian peninsula: Sharif of Hijaz: Hussain bin Ali of Hijaz (in the west), Ibn Rashid of Ha’il (in the north) and Emir Ibn Saud of Najd (in the east) and his religiously fanatical followers, the Wahhabis.

    Ibn Saud had entered the war early in January 1915 on the side of the British, but was quickly defeated and his British handler, William Shakespear was killed by the Ottoman Empire’s ally Ibn Rashid. This defeat greatly hampered Ibn Saud’s utility to the Empire and left him militarily hamstrung for a year.[1] The Sharif contributed the most to the Ottoman Empire’s defeat by switching allegiances and leading the so-called ‘Arab Revolt’ in June 1916 which removed the Turkish presence from Arabia. He was convinced to totally alter his position because the British had strongly led him to believe, via correspondence with Henry McMahon, the British High Commissioner in Egypt, that a unified Arab country from Gaza to the Persian Gulf will be established with the defeat of the Turks. The letters exchanged between Sharif Hussain and Henry McMahon are known as the McMahon-Hussain Correspondence.
    Understandably, the Sharif as soon as the war ended wanted to hold the British to their war time promises, or what he perceived to be their war time promises, as expressed in the aforementioned correspondence. The British, on the other hand, wanted the Sharif to accept the Empire’s new reality which was a division of the Arab world between them and the French (Sykes-Picot agreement) and the implementation of the Balfour Declaration, which guaranteed ‘a national for the Jewish people’ in Palestine by colonisation with European Jews. This new reality was contained in the British written, Anglo-Hijaz Treaty, which the Sharif was profoundly averse to signing.[2] After all, the revolt of 1916 against the Turks was dubbed the ‘Arab Revolt’ not the ‘Hijazi Revolt’.


    Actually, the Sharif let it be known that he will never sell out Palestine to the Empire’s Balfour Declaration; he will never acquiescence to the establishment of Zionism in Palestine or accept the new random borders drawn across Arabia by British and French imperialists. For their part the British began referring to him as an ‘obstructionist’, a ‘nuisance’ and of having a ‘recalcitrant’ attitude.

    The British let it be known to the Sharif that they were prepared to take drastic measures to bring about his approval of the new reality regardless of the service that he had rendered them during the War. After the Cairo Conference in March 1921, where the new Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill met with all the British operatives in the Middle East, T.E. Lawrence (i.e. of Arabia) was dispatched to meet the Sharif to bribe and bully him to accept Britain’s Zionist colonial project in Palestine. Initially, Lawrence and the Empire offered 80,000 rupees.[3] The Sharif rejected it outright. Lawrence then offered him an annual payment of £100,000.[4] The Sharif refused to compromise and sell Palestine to British Zionism.

    When financial bribery failed to persuade the Sharif, Lawrence threatened him with an Ibn Saud takeover. Lawrence claimed that “politically and militarily, the survival of Hijaz as a viable independent Hashemite kingdom was wholly dependent on the political will of Britain, who had the means to protect and maintain his rule in the region.” [5] In between negotiating with the Sharif, Lawrence made the time to visit other leaders in the Arabian peninsula and informed them that they if they don’t tow the British line and avoid entering into an alliance with the Sharif, the Empire will unleash Ibn Saud and his Wahhabis who after all is at Britain’s ‘beck and call’.[6]

    Simultaneously, after the Conference, Churchill travelled to Jerusalem and met with the Sharif’s son, Abdullah, who had been made the ruler, “Emir”, of a new territory called “Transjordan.” Churchill informed Abdullah that he should persuade “his father to accept the Palestine mandate and sign a treaty to such effect,” if not “the British would unleash Ibn Saud against Hijaz.”[7] In the meantime the British were planning to unleash Ibn Saud on the ruler of Ha’il, Ibn Rashid.”

    • Replies: @Sirius
  33. Meena says:

    Simultaneously, after the Conference, Churchill travelled to Jerusalem and met with the Sharif’s son, Abdullah, who had been made the ruler, “Emir”, of a new territory called “Transjordan.” Churchill informed Abdullah that he should persuade “his father to accept the Palestine mandate and sign a treaty to such effect,” if not “the British would unleash Ibn Saud against Hijaz.”[7] In the meantime the British were planning to unleash Ibn Saud on the ruler of Ha’il, Ibn Rashid.

    Ibn Rashid had rejected all overtures from the British Empire made to him via Ibn Saud, to be another of its puppets.[8] More so, Ibn Rashid expanded his territory north to the new mandated Palestinian border as well as to the borders of Iraq in the summer of 1920. The British became concerned that an alliance maybe brewing between Ibn Rashid who controlled the northern part of the peninsula and the Sharif who controlled the western part. More so, the Empire wanted the land routes between the Palestinian ports on the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf under the rule of a friendly party. At the Cairo Conference, Churchill agreed with an imperial officer, Sir Percy Cox that “Ibn Saud should be ‘given the opportunity to occupy Hail.’”[9] By the end of 1920, the British were showering Ibn Saud with “a monthly ‘grant’ of £10,000 in gold, on top of his monthly subsidy. He also received abundant arms supplies, totalling more than 10,000 rifles, in addition to the critical siege and four field guns” with British-Indian instructors.[10] Finally, in September 1921, the British unleashed Ibn Saud on Ha’il which officially surrendered in November 1921. It was after this victory the British bestowed a new title on Ibn Saud. He was no longer to be “Emir of Najd and Chief of its Tribes” but “Sultan of Najd and its Dependencies”. Ha’il had dissolved into a dependency of the Empire’s Sultan of Najd.

    If the Empire thought that the Sharif, with Ibn Saud now on his border and armed to the teeth by the British, would finally become more amenable to the division of Arabia and the British Zionist colonial project in Palestine they were short lived. A new round of talks between Abdulla’s son, acting on behalf of his father in Transjordan and the Empire resulted in a draft treaty accepting Zionism. When it was delivered to the Sharif with an accompanying letter from his son requesting that he “accept reality”, he didn’t even bother to read the treaty and instead composed a draft treaty himself rejecting the new divisions of Arabia as well as the Balfour Declaration and sent it to London to be ratified![11]

  34. Sirius says:

    Thanks. That article you referenced goes into even more detail about how Britain’s rulers set the foundations for the worst corruption in the Middle East, essentially paying for the establishment of “Saudi” Arabia as well as facilitating the establishment of the “Jewish State”. Well worth a read.

    “Saudi” Arabia is the only country in the world with the ruling family’s name embedded in the name of the country itself. What I didn’t know was that even the name of the country was a British invention, not just the country itself:

    Ibn Saud had begun his siege of Jeddah in January 1925 and the city finally surrendered in December 1925 bringing to an end over 1000 years of rule by the Prophet Muhammad’s descendants [the Hashemites]. The British officially recognised Ibn Saud as the new King of Hijaz in February 1926 with other European powers following suit within weeks. The new unified Wahhabi state was rebranded by the Empire in 1932 as the “Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” (KSA). A certain George Rendel, an officer working at the Middle East desk at the Foreign Office in London, claimed credit for the new name.


  35. dfordoom says: • Website

    When Britain is no longer ethnically British you can hardly expect British standards of decency.

    Although in Cameron’s case, his behaviour is pure Eton. He will be absolutely incapable of seeing that he is in any way in the wrong and would have behaved that way no matter what the circumstances.

    So in other words it has little to do with the changes in the ethnic makeup of the country, and a lot more to do with the arrogance and dishonesty of the native-born British ruling class.

  36. Rahan says:

    Mr. Cockburn has started writing good stuff recently.
    He better watch out, or it will turn out that back in 1984 he telepathically raped a woman in an elevator while pretending to read a magazine, and also cracked a Nazi joke at a party in 1997.

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