Mitt Romney will raise $75,000 a plate tonight as disgraced Barclays former CEO Bob Diamond, his chief lobbyist Patrick Sirkin and other City bankers fete the Republican nominee. Barclays Bank are the main character in the LIBOR rate fixing controversy and his banker pals will attempt to influence and loot the US Treasury even further as well as roll back all banking regulation.
Candidate Romney hit London running today by insulting local Olympic organisers and the US press corps covering him since last year by ignoring questions from all US media and only answering queries posed by the British Press. Itself, a diplomatic faux pas, but when you are a multi-millionaire… you do what you want.
According to AFP:
US presidential hopeful Mitt Romney made some undiplomatic criticism of London’s preparations for the Olympic Games on Wednesday, expressing concern about Britain’s readiness to host the event.
“It’s hard to know just how well it will turn out,” Romney, who is running to unseat President Barack Obama in November’s election, told NBC News from London, where he will attend the opening ceremony of the games on Friday.
“There are a few things that were disconcerting,” he said.
Said Wilbur Webb, organiser of the American meetup group on behalf of Occupy London, “they wanted to do this rearranging of our future economic order in secret. Bob Diamond has backed out, but 16 of his still current employees (and Libor involved people) are still running the event- not open to even the press! We really have come to the point where important, fundamental political events are held in secret like the old Soviet Union or Stalinist China. We need a new special relationship-one which occupy signifies-a special relationship of workers, globally-like with occupy. Bob Diamond and Mitt and their City banker cronies can go to hell.; they represent the old “special relationship” of wealth and privilege.”
This meeting is so reprehensible on its face that 11 members of Parliament last week filed an early day motion (EDM 399) against this event demanding that Barclays stop fundraising for Mitt Romney. Said The Guardian:
“…in a letter to the signatories of the motion, Cyrus Ardalan, a vice-chairman of Barclays and head of the UK and European government relations, said the bank was not a supporter of the presidential hopeful.
“I … would like to clarify that all political activity undertaken by Barclays’ US employees, including personal fundraising for specific candidates, is done so in a personal capacity, and not on behalf of Barclays,” he wrote.
“Barclays is politically non-partisan, makes no political donations nor seeks to influence the political activities of its employees.”
The EDM, whose primary sponsor was Grahame Morris MP, criticised the fact that the recently departed Barclays chief executive, Bob Diamond, and other existing senior Barclays executives have played a prominent role in fundraising efforts for the Romney campaign.
The dinner was due to be co-hosted by Diamond but he pulled out after resigning as chief executive in the wake of the Libor rate-fixing scandal. Diamond has been replaced by Patrick Durkin, the managing director of Barclays Capital, the bank’s “casino banking” investment arm.”
It should come as little surprise that Romney now decries the moral hazard of casinos but yet that did not stop him from placing a big financial bet on their success.
Continued Occupy’s Webb, “It’s Austerity for some… austerity for the poor, and meritocracy for none as this would be Presidential candidate who wants to slash the budget is only too happy to take a $77,000 tax break for the “care and feeding” of his wife’s horse who is competing in this Olympics. That represents 3 American jobs. Even this $75,000 per head meal is being subsidised by US Tax dollars- has this man no shame? We’ll never know- Mitt has only released his 2010 and 2011 tax returns; We have no idea who this guy is. Can’t a multi billionaire pay for his own hobbies? Why must we? THIS is the guy who’s gonna slash the budget on our behalf?”
I’ve spent 14 years abroad and am prohibited from even sending a $100 cheque to any US campaign… as a US citizen… because I live overseas. The DNC plays by the rules. The GOP laughs at them over fois gras and brandy.
So it looks like Mitt is going to get a rousing London welcome. Bet he wishes that VFW foreign policy speech went better in Reno…
Denis G Campbell is the author of 6 books including 'Billionaire Boys Election Freak Show,' 'The Vagina Wars' & 'Egypt Unsh@ckled.' He is the editor of UK Progressive Magazine and provides commentary to the BBC, itv Al Jazeera English, CNN, MSNBC and others. His weekly 'World View with Denis Campbell' segment can be heard every Thursday on the globally syndicated The David Pakman Show. You can follow him on Twitter via @UKProgressive and on Facebook.
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