Prince Andrew Turns on The Charm .....

#1
Prince Andrew launched a scathing attack on British anti-corruption investigators, journalists and the French during an "astonishingly candid" performance at an official engagement that shocked a US diplomat.

Tatiana Gfoeller, Washington's ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, recorded in a secret cable that Andrew spoke "cockily" at the brunch with British and Canadian business people, leading a discussion that "verged on the rude".

During the two-hour engagement in 2008 at a hotel in the capital, Bishkek, Andrew, who travels the globe as a special UK trade representative, attacked Britain's corruption investigators in the Serious Fraud Office for what he called "idiocy".

He went on to denounce Guardian reporters investigating bribery as "those [expletive] journalists … who poke their noses everywhere".

In the cable from the US embassy to Washington in October 2008, Gfoeller wrote: "Rude language a la British … [Andrew] turned to the general issue of promoting British economic interests abroad. He railed at British anti-corruption investigators, who had had the 'idiocy' of almost scuttling the Al-Yamama deal with Saudi Arabia."

The prince, she explained, "was referencing an investigation, subsequently closed, into alleged kickbacks a senior Saudi royal had received in exchange for the multi-year, lucrative BAE Systems contract to provide equipment and training to Saudi security forces."

The dispatch continued: "His mother's subjects seated around the table roared their approval. He then went on to 'these (expletive) journalists, especially from the National [sic] Guardian, who poke their noses everywhere' and (presumably) make it harder for British businessmen to do business. The crowd practically clapped."

She said the talk turned at another point to allegations of corruption in the post-Soviet state: "While claiming that all of them never participated in it and never gave out bribes, one representative of a middle-sized company stated that 'it is sometimes an awful temptation'.

"In an astonishing display of candour in a public hotel where the brunch was taking place, all of the businessmen then chorused that nothing gets done in Kyrgyzstan if President [Kurmanbek] Bakiyev's son Maxim does not get 'his cut'.

"Prince Andrew took up the topic with gusto, saying that he keeps hearing Maxim's name 'over and over again' whenever he discusses doing business in this country.

"Emboldened, one businessman said that doing business here is 'like doing business in the Yukon' in the 19th century, ie only those willing to participate in local corrupt practices are able to make any money … At this point the Duke of York laughed uproariously, saying that: 'All of this sounds exactly like France.'"

The US ambassador, a veteran career diplomat who speaks six languages, did not appear to have great regard for Andrew's intellect. Her dispatch included some passages noticeably tinged with sarcasm.

In a section headed: "You have to cure yourself of anorexia", she wrote: "Again turning thoughtful, the prince mused that outsiders could do little to change the culture of corruption here. They themselves have to have a change of heart. Just like you have to cure yourself of anorexia. No one else can do it for you."

She added: "He reacted with almost neuralgic patriotism whenever any comparison between the US and UK came up. For example, one British businessman noted that despite the 'overwhelming might of the American economy compared to ours' the amount of American and British investment in Kyrgyzstan was similar. Snapped the duke: 'No surprise there. The Americans don't understand geography. Never have. In the UK, we have the best geography teachers in the world!'"

Maxim Bakiyev, whose behaviour Andrew found so amusing, is currently exiled in the UK. He flew into Farnborough airport in a private jet in June this year after his father was ousted, and has now hired the London law firm Carter-Ruck to claim political asylum for him. Asked about the claims that he took a cut from local enterprises, they told us: "Mr Bakiyev absolutely denies the allegation".

Andrew's other forays into central Asia, where he is reported to have a good relationship with President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, have also proved controversial.

Ambassador Richard Hoagland cabled in April 2009 his view of political life in Kazakhstan: "Corruption is endemic among Kazakhstani officialdom … Most senior officials live lifestyles that require much higher incomes. In many instances, they receive profits from businesses registered in the names of their spouses or other relatives. In other cases, they're stealing directly from the public trough."

Earlier this year, it was revealed that the president's billionaire son-in-law Timur Kulibayev paid Andrew's representatives £15m – £3m over the asking price – via offshore companies, for the prince's Surrey mansion, Sunninghill Park, which he was apparently having difficulty selling.

The name of Andrew's connection frequently appears in US dispatches as one of the men who has accumulated millions in gas-rich Kazakhstan. Diplomats recorded that at Kulibayev's 41st birthday in 2007: "The headliner … was Elton John, to whom he reportedly paid £1m for this one-time appearance … There have been separate reports that [singer] Nelly Furtado performed at the August 2007 birthday bash for Kulibayev's wife …

"According to Turkish diplomat Isik, when the Kempinski group recently built luxury villas in Bodrum, Turkey, Kulibayev bought up a number of them – at a cost of $4m-5m each – and doled them out as gifts to friends and family."
Courtesy of the Guardian

I imagine that Brenda is not amused....
 
#2
Courtesy of the Guardian

I imagine that Brenda is not amused....
As with all media reports, there are other sides to the issues.

Apart from Prince Andrews personal demeanour and tact, or lack of, there is a bit of cultural gap between him (and that British business community) and the US commentator.

The corruption issue is a real debate: do you want your country to sell billions of dollars worth of equipment (Saudi), or not? Do you want to win export and construction contracts (Kazakhstan, Krygistan) or not? With the catastrophic decline of western democratic influence globally, its a fact of life that - just as Prince Andrew states - you cannot win business in many countries without paying the going rate. Those countries are not going to engage in honest or transparent business, whatever anyone says. US anti-racketeering laws are killing US companies' business in many locations, except where political pressure is directly applied; UK companies have to tread a fine line, and generally win fairly small business. French, German, Italian, Chinese, Turkish companies do very well - wonder why?!
 

the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
Forget to compliment her tits did he?
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#5
You always have to think about the audience these diplomatic cables are written for. They aren't going to say 'Prince Andrew rightly dismissed the quality of US geography teachers...'. Yup, US diplomatic cables are written to - ultimately - help promote US policy interests; yup, Prince Andrew is an idiot; what are we expecting to see?

This whole Wikileaks saga is bizarre. Most of what has been released seems to be relatively trivial, yet cumulatively what it does is throw sand into the gearbox of international relations by 'revealing' all sorts of things that everyone knows but which are, quite simply, best left unsaid in public.
 
#9
Sometimes the truth hurts,but however hard you try to bury it,it will surface.If the U,S.don't like it then tough and if the lefties here are trying as usual to wreck things ,hard luck on them,we need the business,simple.What's a few quid here or there if we get the business and jobs.
 
#10
Whats to investigate? We all know it happens and it is the price of doing business in some parts of the world.
So if we allow our businessmen to do this abroad, why not here? Why not allow manufacturers to offer bribes to VSOs, civil servants in MoD and MPs? They do it in other countries, it would be just an extension of doing business.
 
#11
So if we allow our businessmen to do this abroad, why not here? Why not allow manufacturers to offer bribes to VSOs, civil servants in MoD and MPs? They do it in other countries, it would be just an extension of doing business.
What in the name of capitalism would you know about doing business of any sort, anywhere?
 
#12
So if we allow our businessmen to do this abroad, why not here? Why not allow manufacturers to offer bribes to VSOs, civil servants in MoD and MPs? They do it in other countries, it would be just an extension of doing business.
You think they don't?
 
#14
...that's it?

I thought we'd be getting something like mass electoral fraud, or a covered-up murder, or a Satanist ring. But Prince Andrew ruffles a few feathers on a business trip?

Come on, Assange. You always were a ratbag, but at least you had the guise of an enemy agent. All this tittle-tattle is just pathetic.
 
#15
...that's it?

I thought we'd be getting something like mass electoral fraud, or a covered-up murder, or a Satanist ring. But Prince Andrew ruffles a few feathers on a business trip?

Come on, Assange. You always were a ratbag, but at least you had the guise of an enemy agent. All this tittle-tattle is just pathetic.
Is that what its about, or about someone backing illegal practices and deriding those who investigate them?
 
#16
Oh, sorry. Didn't know this was all about me and nothing to do with the police investigating crimes.
Define crime? If you (not that this will likely ever be of concern) are trying to make a living through the medium of business in a totalitarian country, it would quickly become clear that you play by their rules or you don't play. That means lost revenue, lost jobs, lost tax to the exchequer, lost (gasp) benefit money for know nothing, pontificating arse wipes like yourself with zero grasp of the world outside Dunny-On-The-Wold, or whatever rat hole you hail from.

Probably, but you are without question the most cretinous tube on the world wide web. No mean feat in my opinion.
 
#17
Define crime? If you (not that this will likely ever be of concern) are trying to make a living through the medium of business in a totalitarian country, it would quickly become clear that you play by their rules or you don't play. That means lost revenue, lost jobs, lost tax to the exchequer, lost (gasp) benefit money for know nothing, pontificating arse wipes like yourself with zero grasp of the world outside Dunny-On-The-Wold, or whatever rat hole you hail from.



Probably, but you are without question the most cretinous tube on the world wide web. No mean feat in my opinion.
Well, Knobber.

This is where principles, morals and ethics come in - not that you evidently are too bothered with those. Does this mean you wouldn't be too bothered if the MoD took money and supplied the troops with, say, the 5.56 equivilent of the rounds we got from the Indian sub continent in the 70s, or uniforms that fell apart after being worn a couple of times - just because MoD bods took kickbacks from dodgy companies.

Of course you wouldn't. You may be a knobber but not that much of one. So, why over there but not over here?
 
#18
As anyone who had the 'privilege' of serving alongside young Andrew on HMS invincible will confirm, intellect and tact are not exactly his forté.

Having said that, the people we do business with in dusty and sandy places with strange and exotic sounding names expect a large kickback in return for business, that's just the way it is.
 
#19
So, why over there but not over here?
Well, here are three reasons off the top of my head: we don't appoint the officials, make the laws or rule over there. Don't get me wrong, in the face of such graft I'm all for mounting a punitive expedition to restore principled and good governance, but sadly that sort of policy doesn't seem terribly fashionable nowadays.
 
#20
Whet, perhaps if you had, or you where trying to run a business you would be better placed to comment.Perhaps if you had a job that depended on sales you would be better placed to comment,however,as you donot,it is a bit rich for you to critisise those who do,and the means they are forced to use to keep them.You sit in a glasshouse,remember not to throw stones.Those people pay for your upkeep!
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top