The collapse of common sense Invitation to Become the Change

Our younger generation of voters has an incredible opportunity today to help Malaysia move towards the right direction. Firmly believing that these trends can shape a bMtter future for Malaysia’s tomorrow,Getting the opportunity to express ones ideas, shares ones expertise or even identify the issues that they young people in the existing system will open up communication and create channels of access with our political leaders for the next generation.Democracy is flawed. How else would you explain the perverted incentive system that plagues democracies? We call this plague corruption.The tensions throughout the world are a consequence of the exclusion of our generation from having a political voice. The student’s movement started in Iran in the mid-2000s as young people grew increasingly discontent with their limited political voice. A similar unrest emerged in the pre-Obama election phase in the United States, except the administration took advantage of young peoples’ energies and channeled it effectively in to their election campaign. The Middle East had failed to capture a similar energy and unrest has emerged in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen. When will we recognize that we too are being blocked from having a political voice and choose to act?

Okay, Shangri-La Hotel said Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak paid for the bill, not the Prime Minister’s Office. Can the hotel now produce the official receipt issued to Najib for the payment?

Can the hotel produce its statement of account from the bank to show that the cheque for the payment was issued by Najib?

Can the bank also produce a copy of the cheque issued by Najib for the said payment? And can Najib produce his statement of account issued by his bank to show the amount was paid by his cheque from his said account with his bank?

Caripasal: The salary paid to him by the government is the only source of income of our PM. He is not allowed to run any business as a minister, a post that he has held since young. His wife has denied she has any businesses in Malaysia.

How can he afford such an expensive lifestyle, a whopping RM400,000 just for one engagement party? Bearing in mind his wife’s luxurious Hermes handbags, we dare the PM to declare his assets.

Gunner: Almost half a million ringgit, can the PM afford to pay the amount? How much is PM’s salary per month?

Even his salary is RM50,000 a month, it is very unlikely he can afford to settle the amount. There is a load of questions to be asked.

Malaysiasakit: The event order with an undertaking letter from the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) is sufficient proof that it was intended to be paid for by the government.

If it is a private function, Najib should have engaged a event planner to organise the function under his name and not use the resources of the PMO.

Even if Najib paid for the bill, the whole affair still reeks of abuse of power. Najib must be clear that the PMO is to serve the rakyat and not his private needs.

My professor once told a group of budding public accountants that when serving the interests of the investing public, we need to be upright and more importantly, appear to be upright.

2cts Worth: Why is it such a hassle to produce the cheque for payment as proof? Why has everyone come forward, except the PM himself?

Show the cheque or bank account and be done with it. When one’s words carry no weight anymore, a mere denial doesn’t convince anyone.

Free & Fair Election: Shangri-La, it’s best you do not drag yourself into this mess. While Shangri-La is owned by a Malaysian, it has businesses all over the world. You do not need to depend on businesses in Malaysia alone.

When you step in to make such a bold claim that the payment made by the PM himself, it’s best you also produce evidence, like copies of documents produced by PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli with Shangri-La’s letterhead.

Maiin2ka: Rafizi is a chartered accountant by profession and I am sure he knows what to ask next from Shangri-La.

The hotel’s denial is not conclusive and it should produce a photocopy of the cheque (front and back portion) and official receipt for this payment, and of course, the accounting entries of this particular transaction.

This will complete the audit trail and it would reveal the true nature of payment.

GoneBananas: The engagement dinner cost ‘only’ RM409,767… but how much did it cost to fly 260 guests to Kazakhstan for the wedding celebration? Did Najib and Rosmah pay for all the costs too?

If so, isn’t it fair to ask; how can a public servant – albeit the highest paid one – afford to spend like an emperor, unless he has siphoned off billions over the years?

Lim Chong Leong: And next question is whether the lobster bisque had real lobster or wagyu beef had real beef or that if they used Kedai 1Malaysia products like oyster sauce without oyster.

The PM is telling us to ‘jimat cermat’ (save prudently) but he himself spends lavishly.

Changeagent: Lim Chong Leong, I can assure you Najib’s lobster bisque had real lobster, wagyu beef had real beef, and oyster sauce had real oyster because they are definitely not from Kedai 1Malaysia. People like you and I eat Kedai 1Malaysia food at our own expense.

Shangri-La’s clarification just doesn’t add up. Why would they bill another party unless they have received specific assurances that the payment would be settled by the PMO?

It’s not as if anyone can just book an event and then ask them to bill it to the PMO, even if their names are Muhyiddin, Hishammuddin or Mahathir.

The reason being – there is no implicit agreement by the PMO that they would pay for anyone else. However, there was an undertaking that they would pay for Najib, indicating that they had every intention to settle the bill on his behalf.

How else can we explain why the bill wasn’t made out to him in his own personal capacity?

HYL: Of course Najib paid, but the real question is, who funded it? In the corporate world, a manager can pay on behalf of the company for food or gifts from his pocket and then later submit his entertainment expense claims to the company for reimbursement.

The PM could do the same, claim it under “entertainment” expenses, which is of course, an entertainment event for the who’s who of Malaysia.

Vijay47: Sorry, Shangri-La, but since it involves the prime minister and Najib Razak, I have to split hairs here. If the bill was paid by the prime minister, it would mean it was paid by him in his official capacity.

But if it was paid by the father of the girl getting engaged, it would have been paid by one Najib Razak. So which is which?

Malaysia ABU: How can the payee (Shangri-La Hotel) confirm who actually paid the bill? The auditor-general and PAC should investigate and confirm, not the payer nor the payee, whoever they are.

Joker: A statement made that discloses too little, too late. If I was the hotel operator, I would have jumped in immediately to clear the PM’s name when the allegation first surfaced.

Why wait so many days before clearing the name of one of your biggest and most influential customers?

Will the IRB (Inland Revenue Board) now come out with a statement that Najib can afford to pay RM400,000 for a reception party because he has paid lots of taxes in the past?

Or will the daughter come out to clarify that it was actually her husband who gave her the money as part of her dowry and she gave it to Papa Najib to settle the bill?

Quigonbond: There are worse things that this government has done and I have no qualms bashing them, but in this case, just because someone sends a bill to you does not definitely mean you paid for it right?

I can’t help notice that perhaps the critique is somewhat off-tangent. If there is to be a criticism, it must be – why is the PMO used to organise the dinner in the first place?

Even if there is no monetary loss as in the use of taxpayers’ money, except perhaps the cost of the government officers at PMO organising this instead of doing things that are government related, there is surely an ethical question.

Abasir: The more interesting question that emerges from what appears to be another NFC-like slow-reveal teaser is: why is it so many ordinary folks don’t believe the statements from the Prime Minister’s Office and Shangri-La?

Is this all the doing of a rabid opposition or is there something more fundamental – like a total distrust of a politician with an infinitely questionable past (a murdered Mongolian, deleted immigration records, late night ‘scholarship discussion’ with a dropout, Datuk Trio porn tape release, Perkasa, Scorpene commissions, the NFC ‘soft’ loan, I help you, you help me …).

* Kim Quek 

It appears that the charge of NFC chairman Mohamed Salleh Ismail in court is a tactical move to get away from the scorching NFC scandal – the same way Barisan Nasional has got away with the RM12.5 billion PKFZ ghost town scandal and the Khir Toyo corruption scandal.

This move is known as the “decoy and silence” tactic, which has been BN’s time-tested strategy to slip away from a high corruption scandal entrapment. It is simply to initiate a peripheral charge to divert attention from the real issue and use the court action as shield to fence-off further attacks on ground of “sub judice”.

This is vividly illustrated in Parliament on March 13, a day after Mohamed Salleh was charged, when Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia absurdly cited the current court case as reason to reject an emergency motion on the NFC project debacle tabled by MP Zuraida Kamaruddin, despite the latter explaining that her issue was with the ministries which approved the project, and not with Mohamed Salleh’s misconduct, which is the subject matter of the current court case.

And on the same day, Agriculture Minister Noh Omar, under whose jurisdiction the NFC project falls, deflected all questions on the scandal on the equally ridiculous suggestion of sub judice; while Barisan Nasional MP Abdul Rahman Dahlan falsely claimed that the court is now the best platform to thrash out the issues, adding that the party that should answer questions is NFC, and not the ministries.

Apparently, BN hopes that with Mohamed Salleh in the dock, the BN government would be left in peace.

A decoy

But what is Mohamed Salleh charged for? He is charged for misusing part of the soft loan meant to spearhead the beef production industry.

And what is the public furious about?  They are angry at the alleged high corruption going on at the highest hierarchy of the Barisan Nasional leadership that has led to this fiasco that saw not only huge public funds – RM250 million and grant RM13 million – going down the drain but also a key food production scheme thwarted.

So who is the bigger culprit – the guardian of public funds or the recipient of these funds? The elected leaders who have betrayed public trust to honestly and prudently manage the country’s resources or the private project developer who has failed?

Obviously the main focus of investigation should be on the former.

The public wants to know why and how a manifestly incompetent party was awarded the contract. And since the appointee is the family of a Cabinet minister, the public also wants to know whether there are elements of corruption?

In this connection, why weren’t the two key decision-makers in this fiasco investigated, namely, then agriculture minster Muhyiddin Yassin and then chairman of committee for high impact projects Najib Razak, who had jointly approved the award?

Will the MACC please answer this question now?

Will the MACC also brief us on the status of its investigation since its start almost four months ago?

The simple answer of “case still under investigation, can’t disclose details to avoid jeopardizing investigation” wouldn’t do, as four months is too long a time to give this lame excuse. In fact, such answer has long been recognised as MACC’s standard ploy to stonewall public inquisitiveness over a high profile BN scandal. If MACC insists on giving such an answer, it will be taken as: “Sorry, we can’t oblige”.

Will BN be off the hook again?

As for the current court case, do not expect that anything meaningful will come out of it, judging from similar cases against BN elite in the past.

Mohamed Salleh is accused of improperly transferring funds from National Feedlot Corporation to another company, National Meat and Livestock Corporation, where improper purchases of assets unrelated to the project were made. As both companies are owned by minister Shahrizat’s family, with the exception that the government has a golden share in the former but not the latter company, such improper transfer of fund cannot be considered a serious fraud. The more serious contention is over the propriety of the asset purchases, which is apparently a violation of the loan agreement. But Salleh is not charged for such violation.

It is not difficult to see that the present drama is a carefully crafted stratagem involving the concerted effort of MACC, police and the Attorney-General, to extricate BN from a potentially crippling predicament on the eve of an impending election.

Will BN succeed again this time under the nose of a resurgent opposition alliance and an activated civil society?

Remove the A-G and Reform

by Din Merican

GE 13 is just around the corner. Everyone can feel it. If not, why  would PM Najib Tun Razak go around the country making apologies for the past sins of Barisan Nasional. Why would he scrap the Public Service New Remuneration Scheme (SBPA) which had caused much anger to most civil servants except those who would benefit from it like the mediocre Ketua Setiausaha Negara (KSN-Chief Secretary) Tan Sri Sidek Hassan who mooted that stupid scheme.

It is worrisome that the “UMNO Culture” to reap personal benefits has permeated into the once respected Malaysian Civil Service in such brazen manner that top civil servants would dare to create compensation schemes to benefit themselves instead of the lowly paid civil servants who they are supposed to care for.

Fortunately, Prime Minister Najib has now seen the light and scrapped the SBPA. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister did so only after this issue had been strongly highlighted for months by the Opposition. Sidek Hassan’s contract of service should be immediately terminated for making the government look so bad in this flip-flop policy. He must be held fully accountable for this gaffe.

GE 13 is also the reason why Shahrizat Jalil had to finally step down as Minister. But it is laughable that Wanita UMNO should hail that as her noble act of being a “sacrificial cow’’ over the NFC scandal. It is ridiculous that the rest of the UMNO top leadership should try to make her resignation look like a heroic act to the extent that yesterday TV3 carried interviews showing support for her.

Let’s get our facts right. Shahrizat’s ministerial post depended on her term as a Senator. She was made a senator because she had lost in GE12 in 2008. So, the then PM, Abdullah Badawi, smuggled her into the Senate (Dewan Negara) in order to make her qualify to be a minister. That explained her smugness in shrugging off the NFC scandal as nothing to do with her despite the fact that the shareholders and directors are her children and husband. She must have felt that she owed her office not to the electorate but solely to the Prime Minister. That is what happens when you cheat in elections and appoint losers as cabinet ministers when they feel they are not  accountable to the electorate.

The truth is now revealed. Shahrizat’s “resignation” on Sunday (March 11) is to avoid the embarrassment ofher from being seen walking hand in hand along the court corridors with her husband, the NFC Executive Chairman Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Salleh Ismail (right), who was charged in court yesterday for Criminal Breach of Trust (CBT) and other offences.

It would be embarrassing for her, as a sitting minister, and for UMNO which had defended her and the NFC Board. They had previously  blasted the Director CCID Dato Wira Syed Ismail Syed Azizan for going public to say that the Police had already recommended that the NFC Directors be charged but the decision to prosecute is the prerogative of A-G Gani Patail.

“UMNO Culture” of Arrogance

That “UMNO Culture” of arrogance can be seen repeatedly in the examples of Dr. Awang Adek (left) and Azalina Othman who shamelessly admitted that they had received money, not less than RM300,000-  in their  private accounts, but made it look as if it was for a noble cause.

It is repulsive that the MACC can accept such explanations without doing anything, whereas Teoh Beng Hock and Ahmad Sarbaini were detained, subjected to intense interrogation and subsequently died in the hands of the MACC over mere allegations of petty change. In the case of Ahmad Sarbaini and others, their assets were frozen pending investigations. Are the assets of Shahrizat’s family, Awang Adek’s and Azalina’s frozen pending investigations? What is apparent to the public is that when UMNO strongmen and strong women openly admit receiving bribes and justify their acts of gratification, the MACC seems powerless to act.

 Gratification Culture ala UMNO

The “UMNO Culture” of gratification can be seen in the Kidex RM2.2 billion project awarded to Emrail Sdn Bhd and Zabima Engineering Sdn Bhd, two companies owned by UMNO lawyer Hafarizam Harun(right) and UMNO former Chief Justice Zaki Azmi, as a reward for their efforts to oust the Pakatan Rakyat state government in Perak.

GE 13 is very near when you see Tun Ling Liong Sik’s defence being called in the trial over the PKFZ scandal. That is a lesson they learned from the Altantuya’s murder by C4 case when they released Razak Baginda without calling for his defence whereas it was Razak who hired the Police UTK boys to help him out of that problem.

In the end, Razak is a free man enjoying himself in London from the Scorpene submarine multi-million ringgit commission while the UTK boys are in prison on death row.  Sadly, that is the Malaysian story where the big and powerful go scot free and the small people become scapegoats and are left to pick the pieces.

The Fate of DSP Baharin, DSP Hong

That was also the fate suffered by DSP Baharin, DSP Hong and those other policemen who were victimised in 2007. For 4 long years they had to suffer being suspended from work and ostracised by the Police Force that they had loyally served. Thus, I was very happy when Dato Ramli Yusuff paid tribute to these fearless rank and file officers during his 60th Birthday on  February 29, 2012.

Many friends asked me why I was not there at that birthday celebration. I told them that I do not mix socially with Dato Ramli even though I may have made him the cause celebre’ of my writings. I have been writing about Dato Ramli and his lawyer Rosli Dahlan, not because they are my friends but because they have become a just cause for us to fight for.

A Witness to MACC’s manipulation of facts

I did not know them when I first started writing about their cases. I came to know them when I attended the many court sessions and saw how the MACC manipulated facts and the MACC DPPs like Kevin Morais, Zulqarnain and even its Director of Prosecution Razak Musa (infamous for strangulating himself in the Teoh Beng Hock Inquest) aided and abetted such manipulations especially when Kevin the Faggot lied in court while giving evidence under solemn oath to tell the truth, nothing but the whole truth.

So, when Dato Ramli called to invite me to his birthday, I told him that he need not invite me just out of gratitude and that we need not socialise or be seen together just because he feels somewhat indebted to me. What happened to him and Rosli Dahlan could happen to anyone of us. Thus, I have to tell their story so that it will never be repeated. It is to prevent this country from descending into a failed state.

It was brave of Dato ‘ Ramli to finally break his 4 years of silence to expose what happened to him, Rosli Dahlan and the other innocent Policemen. And all these point to the abuses of the people helming PDRM, the MACC and the post of the A-G.

In that sense, I agree with Raja Petra Kamaruddin (RPK) that there is no point in making new or additional laws, rules and regulations for better governance if the people we appoint to lead such institutions are unworthy of our trust. What we need to wipe off is the “UMNO Culture” which is not exclusive to UMNO or BN. That culture could also develop in the Pakatan Rakyat government and we, the people, whose votes can put the right people into power, must guard against such abuses.

That brings me to the public revelation made by Dato Ramli (posted by Hafiz Yatim of Malayskini reproduced below) of the abuses of power and of the system by the then IGP Musa Hassan, the MACC and AG Gani Patail to fix Dato Ramli and the other  innocent officers. Click: Hafiz Yatim ‘s Article

With Musa Hassan’s retirement, the new leadership of Tan Sri Ismail Omar has managed the crime index to show great improvement; street crimes are reduced; and the Along menace has subsided. There is also a display of independence by the Police when the current Director CCID Dato Wira Syed Ismail Syed Azizan went public about the  Police recommendation to charge the NFC Directors.

Syed Ismail was for many years Dato Ramli’s direct subordinate and had learned well from the misfortune that befell Dato Ramli  by making his recommendation public. In a way, Syed Ismail checkmated A-G Gani Patail from manipulating the NFC case the way he did with the MAS case.

Readers will remember that in March 2007, Dato Ramli had made a confidential recommendation to then Prime Minister (Tun) Abdullah Badawi that MAS Chairman, Tajuddin Ramli, should be charged. Dato Ramli even suggested that if A-G Gani Patail declined to do so, his CCID prosecution officers are legally qualified to prosecute the case.

This confidential report had angered A-G Gani Patail, but it was also a time bomb for UMNO. That was when A-G Gani Patail refused to prepare affidavits for the CCID leading to the release of the underworld figure, Goh Cheng Poh @ Tengku Goh, and instead charged the rank and file Policemen.

A-G Gani and Musa Hassan also conspired with the MACC, headed then by Ahmad Said Hamdan, to fix up Dato Ramli by false investigations and leaked to the Press to make up a story about the “RM 27 Million Cop”. This RM 27 million story immediately fizzled out once Dato Ramli was charged because all these were just fabrications and lies. I have previously written extensively on that and will not repeat the story again.

The point is that if Dato Ramli’s recommendation on the MAS-Tajuddin Ramli scandal had been made public like how Dato Syed Ismail makes public his recommendations on the NFC scandal, there would be little room for A-G Gani Patail to manipulate the case.

In any event, Dato Ramli’s victimisation arising from the MAS scandal was just another of UMNO’s project as is evidenced now by the settlement ordered by de facto Minister Dato Seri Nazri Aziz in his letter dated  August 8, 2011 that all the GLCs should settle their cases with Tajuddin.

Abu Kassim and the MACC

The MACC is now headed by Dato Seri Abu Kassim. Despite all my criticisms of the MACC, I am told that he is a decent man. Malaysians should be prepared to give Abu Kassim a chance to reform the MACC. If he can do what Ismail Omar is now achieving with the PDRM, then there is still some hope left for the MACC because I am told that there is a covert move to oust Abu Kassim. Obviously, some one there is hungry to succeed Abu Kassim. It would be unfortunate if Abu Kassim’s ouster leads to the resurrection of the “Unholy Trinity” where the PDRM and the MACC merely follow orders from A-G Gani Patail.

As for A-G Gani Patail, I am astounded that the Home Minister Dato Seri  Hishammuddin Hussein Onn has demanded for evidence of A-G Gani Patail’s  abuses. There is already so much evidence in the public domain.  In RPK’s most recent postings “ Reality & Fallacy” and  “ Denial Syndrome”,  there is posted a Statutory Declaration (SD) of Musa Hassan’s former ADC and referred to nine other SDs. It is pathetic that Hishamuddin should answer in that evasive way. As the Home Minister, he has at his disposal the extensive resources of the whole Police force, especially the Special Branch.

We, Malaysians, do not need to teach the Home Minister how to do his job or how to obtain intelligence. In any event, let me help the Home Minister by reproducing  below just two links, photographs and documents that had been previously written of the abuses and suspicious dealings of A-G Gani Patail:

a)   A-G Gani Patail’s Haj trip with Shahidan Shafie –A-G Gani’s Haj Trip with Shahidan Shafie Why is AG Gani Patail consorting with Tajuddin Ramli’s proxy? Is that why the A-G Chambers refused to take action against Tajuddin despite the recommendations by CCID? and

b)  A-G Gani Patail’s involvement in the Ho Hup corporate tussle –Gani Patail and the Ho Hup Connection

Are these not suspicious conduct on the part of A-G Gani Patail that makes him unfit for that august office? Let the Home Minister answer that question.

As for Prime Minister Najib, there is no point to just apologise. The Prime Minister talks about good governance. Now is the time to show real political will. Now is the time to remove A-G Gani Patail and reform!

London, United Kingdom
 – The common sense that governed us for a generation has collapsed. We are living in revolutionary times, whether we like it or not.

Common sense is the sum of what we don’t have to demonstrate or prove, of what we can take for granted. Two plus two equals four. Water is wet. The earth orbits the sun. Common sense appears to us as timeless and uncontroversial. Common sense is what we have agreed on; It marks the limits of acceptable controversy. It is where we live.

Although common sense is meant to be timeless, it keeps changing. Everyone knows that the sun is the centre of the solar system and always has been. But only a few centuries ago that idea was dangerously controversial. Proverbs preserve, as if in amber, commonsensical claims that have long vanished from the culture at large. “Spare the rod, spoil the child” was once a self-evident principle in English childcare. An old French saying had it that “as long as a man has good sense, he must confess that there is a God”. There are plenty now who would noisily assert the contrary.

In the second half of the eighteenth century it was still commonsensical to believe that societies without kings would descend into lawless chaos. Tom Paine set out to destroy that notion in February 1776. The success of his pamphlet Common Sense helped prepare the American colonies for the Declaration of Independence in July of the same year. Changes to the constitution of common sense are necessary prequels to changes in the organisation of society. Nothing can be swept away while most consider it inevitable or natural, but nothing can long survive if it is thought absurd.

Every age has acted as though what it happened to believe was a perfect reflection of reality, and every age has believed things that later proved incorrect. We have been no different. Our common sense has been the usual mixture of things that are obviously true and things that look obviously true until they look laughably false. In 2007 the common sense that had governed our understanding of politics and the economy for a generation began to fall apart.

We had been told that financial institutions worked best when they were left to regulate themselves. We had been told that the fabulous rewards enjoyed by a few were a fair reflection of their energy and talent. In the course of a little more than a year we discovered that, in fact, unregulated banks take risks that put the global economy itself in danger, and that the salaries and bonuses of bankers reflected nothing but their recklessness and greed.

By the time disaster stuck the governing establishment was almost comically unprepared. In May 2005, Tim Geithner, the man who would become Obama’s Treasury Secretary, assured us that there was “no sign of a large, macroeconomic shock on the horizon”. In 2007 the current Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, told Congress that the problems in the so-called sub-prime mortgage market weren’t “a broad financial concern or a major factor in assessing the course of the economy”. Only a few months later, bad debts in this precise sector triggered a financial crisis that in turn derailed the wider economy.

We are still trying to come to terms with the scale of the collapse and the damage it did to the credibility of the experts who ran things. Almost everyone in a position of power and prestige was profoundly wrong about almost everything that mattered.

Since then public life has carried on in much the same way. The same people that led us into disaster are still in charge of economic policy. The same people that cheered them on still offer their expertise on television and the radio. Politicians and commentators use their considerable powers of persuasion to assure us that no one could have known. Governments still prop up banks and watch impassively while they pay themselves generous bonuses with public money. Everyone acts though their astonishing failure is nothing of the sort, and hope that we don’t notice.

It is a masterful performance, but it is no more than that. People know that the old common sense has broken down. We are starting to realise that we can’t leave the rich and the powerful to cobble together a new one. The occupations and assemblies of last year were the beginning of an attempt to discover the world after long years of enchantment.

They were only the first skirmish in a much longer struggle to reform our societies. If we are to succeed, we have a great deal to learn from those occupations. Only free speech between equals can discover a common sense worthy of the name. It is the only means by which we can unmask the expert who serves wealth rather than reason, the only way to silence the uproar of money.

In 1776 Paine’s appeal to common sense helped put an end to British rule in the American colonies. He was able to show the Americans what they already knew, that living as the defenceless subjects of a distant king was as intolerable as it was absurd. We already know that finance has become a tyrant and expertise has become a swindle. Perhaps this year we will declare our independence from them both.

Dan Hind is a journalist and publisher.


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