BY PAUL NEWALL
This month began with a seismic shock and I’m not talking about the LA earthquakes. Jeffrey Epstein, billionaire financier and convicted child abuser, was arrested for crimes that he had already been convicted of in 2008. At that time some people suggested that he had received a sweetheart deal having only pled guilty to one charge of child prostitution – receiving 18 months of 16-hour day release from prison. That penalty was imposed by the Southern District of Florida under the leadership of US Attorney Alexander Acosta. These new proceedings have been initiated by Manhattan’s Federal Attorney and the legal action avoids the double jeopardy rule because many of the girls that Epstein abused originated in New York – it is alleged that crimes we’re committed there too.
Epstein has spent over a decade fighting and settling civil lawsuits but one he fought and won in 2015 gives pause for thought. It alleged that Epstein lent out girls for the attention of powerful politicians, industrialists and other VIPs – the list allegedly included Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton and Tony Blair. Now of course that lawsuit was dismissed, however being as Epstein could face ten years per count, which currently is believed to exceed 20, then it might be in his interest to cooperate with a second plea bargain that might allow him to actually get out of jail alive. I wonder how many powerful men are worrying right now.
I suspect that there has been a push on this case by the revitalised Trump DOJ, and this will be the first in a swathe of corruption prosecutions. It’s easy to envisage a revisiting of the Mueller report, the Clinton Foundation and perhaps Hillary Clinton’s emails too. But think for a moment about the effects on this side of the pond if a Prince of the realm or a former prime minister are embroiled in a sex scandal. Imagine the outcry if US attorneys issue extradition papers for such people.
Those who are not part of the elites have often thought that the legal system works on two tiers but the God Emperor Trump’s promise to ”drain the swamp” might just visit our shores and the effects could indeed be seismic.
In this country we need a similar clear out of swamp creatures. The dominoes that fall in the US will topple right across the globe.
Could Boris somehow hook into the zeitgeist and become the feared cleaner the UK needs? A 15-year deep audit of DFiD may have a few characters from British political life scampering around like cats on a hot tin roof. An examination of DFiD’s relationship with the Clinton Foundation and failed AIDS drugs? What do you think Claire Short? Hilary Benn? Andrew Mitchell?
Similarly, an investigation into Labour’s co-opting of charities would make for a fascinating exposé. What about those Labour cronies who got enriched by the selling off of nursing colleges and lined their pockets through those PFI initiatives under Blair and Brown? While we’re at it, why not an audit of the corrupt local councils which so blight the lives of so many across the UK? Torbay, Portsmouth, Sandwell – you know who you are.
Times are fast changing. These clean-up initiatives all stem from the orange-haired occupant of the White House. Love him or loathe him, without such radical people, radical change for the better will never come.