Hell Hath No Fury like an Etonian Scorned

By Varadarajan, Tunku | Newsweek, July 30, 2012 | Go to article overview

Hell Hath No Fury like an Etonian Scorned


Varadarajan, Tunku, Newsweek


Byline: Tunku Varadarajan

'Get Out Of Jail' Card

Evidence that the Iraq War is receding into the history books came with the release from prison of Mahmoud Diab al-Ahmed, Saddam Hussein's interior minister, who had been locked up (deservedly) in 2004 for his role in the "eco-cidal" draining of Iraq's southern marshlands in the early 1990s--a reprisal against the Shiite Marsh Arabs who'd risen up in revolt against Saddam's regime. Under the gaudy propaganda methods deployed by the U.S. in the first flush of the war in 2003, Diab was dubbed "Seven of Spades" in the deck of cards that identified the Most Wanted Iraqi Ba'athists. (Saddam, of course, was the Ace of Spades.) "We asked the criminal and the federal courts if they have anything else against him and they said no, so we let him go," said Busho Ibrahim, the spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Justice.

Gulliver's Travails

HSBC, a bank that has been more scandal-free than most in an industry that has turned bright scarlet with turpitude, has finally earned the right to be disparaged like all the rest. In a self-flagellatory memo to HSBC's employees, Stuart Gulliver, the CEO, wrote that "our anti-money-laundering controls should have been stronger and more effective, and we failed to spot and deal with unacceptable behavior." The infractions in question--prolonged failures to crack down on laundering linked to terrorism and drug deals--occurred not on Gulliver's watch, but between 2004 and 2010. The man in charge at the time was Stephen Green--Baron Green of Hurstpierpoint--who has laundered himself as minister of state for trade in the present British cabinet.

Eton Hairdryer

Jesse Norman is a Conservative member of the House of Commons who was once so close to David Cameron that he wrote a whole book on the British prime minister's woolly and grandiose pet idea, "the Big Society." But Norman blotted his escutcheon by leading a revolt of conservative Conservative M.P.s that tried to torpedo Cameron's bill to reform the House of Lords. This bill is a favorite of the Liberal-Democrats, who are in coalition with Cameron.

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