Uk News Be outraged about Qatar money makers, but widespread greed reaches far and deep in the UK United Kingdom news
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Phil Robinson, an i reader, writes this in a letter to the editor: “[Qatar] is all money, money, money.” He is absolutely right. But widespread greed reaches further and deeper than he imagines. In the 21st century, rapacity and big bucks have dirtied almost every institution and activity and distorted human nature itself.Incidentally, where were the shrill voices now raised against Fifa and the host nation when successive British governments allowed vast swathes of prime land and luxurious properties to be sold to Qataris, now the 10th-largest landowners in Britain. What do they say about arms to that regime and dictatorships, too?Largely uncommented on is the scandalous involvement of wealthy football pundits like Harry Redknapp promoting World Cup bets for the gambling industry, worth an estimated £14.3bn.Oh, many will say, it has been thus since the industrial revolution or even earlier, the age of global commerce, including the slave trade. (Here is an extraordinary fact – the UK Government finally paid off its debts to slave-owning families in 2015).Yes, immensely rich folk have always been with us. But religions, moral codes, laws, societal standards of discretion, good taste and accountability kept them more civilised than they are now. The Rowntree and Cadbury families, for example, were Quakers who put some of their vast profits into good works and the upliftment of the poor.Among our most famed money makers is David Beckham (net worth £301m), paid £10m by the Qataris to be their World Cup ambassador and paid untold amounts by advertisers. One of those is for a watch with this strapline: “Without it there is no story, no legend and no victory. This is the spirit that drives David Beckham everyday.”So inspiring, no?Reports emerge claiming of a secret, luxury trip made by Prince Andrew to Bahrain (where human rights are daily violated). He was apparently effusively welcomed by the ruler and thinks he can be a roving ambassador in Arabia. King Charles accepted £1.5m for his charities from a Saudi millionaire and then, abetted by his favourite manservant Michael Fawcett, awarded the donor a CBE at a very private ceremony. Arab and British royals are members of the same tribe. The public turns a blind eye.Smug arts and science establishments have got into the game, too. Our hallowed British Museum has accepted donations from BP for years. Last year, Sir David King, the UK’s former chief scientific adviser, called out the Science Museum for taking money from big oil corporations without stipulations: “One of those conditions should be a commitment to no further investment in oil discovery and no further investment in [oil and gas] infrastructure.
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. The University of Oxford has, for years, gratefully received millions from oil companies.More from OpinionThe beautiful game has an ugly side too21 November, 2022Keir Starmer's plans to abolish the House of Lords may well backfire21 November, 2022The Tories are alienating working people and Eurosceptics. So who are they appealing to?21 November, 2022My Oxford college, named after Thomas Linacre, a distinguished Renaissance physician, will reportedly soon be called Thao College. A Vietnamese billionairess, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, plans to give the college £155m because it is the “right place to make [her] long-time desire to contribute to humanity through education, training and research”. I will never again go to my alma mater. This is prestige shopping. And it cannot be stopped or controlled. The Saïd Business School in Oxford was paid for by the billionaire Syrian arms dealer Wafic Saïd.In 2020, the Financial Times reported on a brand new Oxford college being paid for by “the UK’s richest and most secretive businessmen, David and Simon Reuben”, whose fortune was made partly from metals trading in the former Soviet Union in the 1990s. I am sure these generous men believe they are contributing to humanity. We should remain sceptical.The art market is, arguably, most sullied by big money. That’s because – like Swiss banks – the transactions and names of buyers and sellers are commonly kept secret. Sometimes we get to peep into the squalid dens where greed steadily pollutes great art. But nothing changes.Now here comes Jeff Bezos (net worth $114.8bn), telling CNN he wants to give away most of his wealth and is using $100m to encourage “courage and civility”. How civil is he in his own life? How much tax does he pay? How much does he pay his exhausted workers? No matter. He will join a pantheon of ultra-wealthy saviours because honour is now just a traded commodity.It’s all about money. Beckham, Knapp et al will not become pariahs; Qatar, Fifa, the Royal Family, Oxford University, our museums and big business will survive and revive their reputations. But I believe that the sordid dealings around the World Cup have made many patriots ashamed of the country we have become. That gives me hope.
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