With all of the crap that is happening in the world it is good to see that accountability is still ‘alive and reasonably well’. It hasn’t yet managed to be applied in all the areas that it should but I am heartily encouraged to see the recent surge of accountability that has surprised a number of individuals and companies. My highlights include;
“Bunga Bunga” Berlusconi who resigned last night after 17 years in power. On his drive to the Presidential Palace hostile crowds were yelling “buffoon” and “gangster”. After his resignation was accepted he “left by a side exit”. It will be interesting to see how the Italian legal system now accelerate their move against him. He is already involved in several trials for fraud, corruption and having sex with an under-age girl. He should also be charged with having a patently false hairstyle! I would like to wager a bet that as he was driving in the motorcade towards the Palace, listening to the wild ‘encouragement’ of the crowds he sent up a silent prayer of thanks that it was happening in Italy and not Libya.
Speaking of Libya, imagine being able to step back in time one year and having a conversation with Gaddafi. “Shag, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but you are fucked. In 12 months time they are going to drag you out of a drainage ditch looking like complete shit and with a really bad hair day, push you around,throw you on the back of a truck, drive off at great speed and then shoot you through the head, good luck with all of that”. Do you think he would have believed you?
To Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali – “I am not sure how to tell you this, but think very carefully about where you buy your vegetables!”
The Greeks waking up to the fact (extremely reluctantly) that they, like most people in Europe will be required to pay taxes, actually perform a job of work when they go to their government sponsored job, assuming of course they have a job and that lawyers, surgeons etc may have to actually do something without getting an envelope with €1,000 in it when someone wants to engage their services.
Egypt, Algeria, Syria. I have no idea what sort of deluded fantasy Assad has constructed in his head about how this will play out for him but I am prepared to bet a sizeable sum of money that what ever the picture is that he currently has in his head it will be quite divorced from the eventual reality.
The Roman Catholic Church is now accepting that they will be paying compensation to its victims after decades of pretending that their policy of not allowing priests to live like normal human males does have a downside and that the term “any port in a storm” does not extended to young boys puckered arseholes.
Then we move to Rupert Murdoch and the dynasty that he has worked all his life to create. Six months ago he was poised to take over BSkyB, he had unfettered access Number 10 and his key newspaper News of the World was pouring money into the Murdoch cash registers. How things have changed. NoW is closed, many former executives arrested, son dragged back before select committee’s, government investigations on both sides of the Atlantic and litigation lawyers sharpening their knives everywhere. The ignominy of once having people queued up to metaphorically lick your arse and now the same people wouldn’t hesitate to reverse the bus over your head.
I am sure the former chairman of Olympus would gladly give his right testicle for the opportunity to revisit his decision to fire Michael Woodford. That act of hubris resulted in the stock price dropping 80%, Olympus being put on a delisting watch by the Tokyo Stock Exchange, multi-government investigations and KPMG and E&Y being asked “to explain”. All of this within one month.
Lastly, the Israel-Palestine issue. With the UNESCO vote of October 31, 107 countries voted in favour of admitting Palestine into UNESCO and only 14 countries voted against. What is very interesting to understand, but is not widely reported is that the 107 countries represents 77.5% of the world’s population and the 14 countries just 7.3%. There is no doubt left as to where the opinion of “mankind”is headed on the decision grant Palestine a fundamental human right which both the US and Israel have blocked for so long – independence and statehood. Like many spoilt children, America threw its toys out of the pram and immediately cancelled UNESCO funding. That is clearly going to work in its favour particularly as the balance of power and opinion moves away from the US. Well done.