“The dogs of war” were words first uttered by Mark Anthony in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. “Cry Havoc,” he said, “and let slip the dogs of war.”
Enter stage right our Prime Minister’s husband, Philip John May. May is a banker and pension fund expert. He is a senior executive at Capital Group, a US investment company that controls $1.4 trillion in assets.
Capital Group’s portfolio includes JP Morgan Chase, ($7bn) Philip Morris International ($9bn), McDonald’s ($5bn) and significant investments in Amazon and Starbucks. Selling books, coffee, burgers and fags is not a crime, although some of these companies’ tax avoidance scams might be.
Since 2009, Capital Group has declared a turnover of £467 million, but declared losses of £125 million. Despite what might be considered a colossal business failure, in the same period Mr May and other Capital Group directors have pocketed £43million in salaries, pensions and other benefits.
Even the Daily Mail has said, ‘It’s very odd a business can pay substantial amounts to directors while not turning a profit.’
Capital Group proudly claim they are significant shareholders in weapons’ manufacturer, Lockheed Martin ($6.6bn), and are the largest shareholders in BAE Systems. Both companies are world leaders when it comes to profiting from death and destruction.
Before there was any evidence of a chemical attack and in a heartbeat, Theresa May hitched herself to Donald Trump’s recent air stike in Syria. It was another Groundhog Day moment, remember Iraq? Predictably, BAE share prices soared.
Meanwhile, in Yemen, the Saudis continue to bomb Yemeni wedding parties into dust with their BAE hardware.
Capital Group has been linked to the Paradise Papers scandal with Private Eye suggesting that the company uses the offshore law firm, Appleby, to arrange investments in tax havens.
Capital Group’s Cayman Island funds and Bermuda investments are channelled through a South American agriculture company. Both are offshore jurisdictions, known for zero rates of tax.
None of this presents a moral or ethical problem for the Mays. “Neither the Prime Minister nor Mr May have any direct offshore investments,” the Prime Minister’s spokesperson said recently. “Their investments have been declared to the Cabinet Office and are held in a blind trust.”
The salient words here are “direct” and “blind”. Their investments are carried out through third-party companies. “Blind” investments are truly unseen. Politicians often place their personal assets in blind trusts to avoid public scrutiny and accusations of conflict of interest. Perhaps Mrs May should have tutored Michael Cohen about this.
Talk about keeping it all in The Family. Theresa May pursues military policies that directly enrich her husband and herself, probably beyond their wildest dreams.
At least Ivanka Trump’s “lifestyle products” empire hasn’t killed anyone, although her father has blood on his tiny orange hands.
The dogs of war have been let loose and it is past time we, the people, drag them back and put them on the leash.