A Regime of Crime

“London’s banks and trading houses defend the interests of the wealthy around the world against the claims of democracy. The place is, in important respects, the capital of global capitalism. As we have seen in recent years this means it is also the capital of organized crime. The apparent solidity and timelessness of the unreformed settlement are central to London’s status. As the Citibank executive Walter Wriston once observed, the trade in dollars outside the US ‘exists in London because people believe that the British government is not about to close it down. That’s the basic reason and it took you a thousand years of history’.

A republican movement for constitutional reform will draw attention to the hidden wiring that connects London to global capital flows and their enabling circuits of information and untruth. To the extent that our current economic arrangements frustrate popular sovereignty in Britain, they must be changed. And so renovated republicanism here threatens the cause of financial oligarchy around the world.”

From the introduction to The Magic Kingdom, in case anyone has read today’s Independent article on money laundering in the London property market, or the recent pieces about HSBC’s private banking operations, or …

Amazingly, the book hasn’t received blanket coverage in the UK press, or indeed anywhere. Which leads me to suspect that I ought to concentrate on cultivating my own garden at this point.


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