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It’s a bit rich for France to castigate Britain for sheltering oligarchs

23 July 2014

23 July 2014

There’s a big to-do between France and Britain at the moment, with France accusing Britain of protecting oligarchs’ money in London.

President Francois Hollande’s Socialist Party said that before lecturing France on halting its £1 billion sale of aircraft carriers to Russia, ‘David Cameron should start by cleaning up his own back yard’ and stop cosying up to Russian billionaires resident in London.

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The French can talk. Our man in Cannes, Taki, often describes how France has let the Cote d’Azur become the ‘the resort that has replaced the Crimea’ – it’s been taken over by oligarchs:

‘Courchevel, the French Riviera, even St Moritz have been Dresdened by the Russians, their obnoxious spending and lack of basic manners amounting to a grotesque deformity.’

St Tropez was ‘once upon a time sleepy fishing village, now the focal point for Russian oligarch excess, outrageously ugly super-yachts, and what is commonly known as the scum of the earth, the nouveaux-riches of the 21st century.’

So take it from someone who, grudgingly, moves in similar circles to Russian oligarchs: for every ounce of English hypocrisy there have been 28.3 grams of French hypocrisé.


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  • beenzrgud

    The French economy is on its knees. They’re just pissed that they can’t get a bit more of the pie for themselves.

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  • swatnan

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  • Mynydd

    President Francois Hollande’s comments were directed at Mr Cameron personally and the Conservative party in general, not to Britain. Is it not about time ordinary members of the Conservative party started questioning as to where funds are coming from. It is not good enough to say the letter of the law has not been broken, what about the spirit of the law, or doesn’t that count any more in Conservative circles.

  • zanzamander

    Must say, this whole business of going after Russians living in London, Paris or New York for the perceived ills of their government back home is making for a very uncomfortable reading. What next, internment?

  • Roger Hudson

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  • dado_trunking

    This is some serious bull halfwittery – “StTropez – once this, now that”
    Jeez, you could have written that in the Eighties and you would have been 20 years behind the times. What happened there did not happen because of Ruskies, m’kay?

    What happened in Rimini, Ibiza Town and Larnaca did. Bottom line is this, m’kay: you EU haters better get your act together soon, not that Coventry would ever have to fear of getting Dresdened again, in London-Stadt however it will simply soon be Schicht im Schacht.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …where’s the goat, lad?

      • dado_trunking

        Treasure beach Jamaica – no eejjits there.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …we need that goat here. Your sockpuppet menagerie is incomplete without the goat, lad.

  • RobertC

    It’s a bit rich of the EU to carry on with the Russian sanctions when so few questions have been answered satisfactorily, with the EU guilty of ‘messing about’ in the Ukraine and US Security saying there is no direct link from Putin to the MH17.

    These pro-Russian rebels in the Ukraine have always been pro-Russian. Most of them speak Russian and work in communities where a great deal of their produce ends up in Russia and where many can still remember one of their own being the President, in Moscow!

    What has changed is that they are now also anti-EU. Not an unknown position within the EU itself!

  • Jambo25

    Why? Our disgusting PM and his pals have been lying, it appears, to the UK public by not fully ending weapon sales to Russia. There has been no apparent action taken against Russian financial interests in London. Has he and BoJo given back the £160,000 they were given to play tennis against the wife of one of Putin’s ministers?
    The French were quick to spot Cameron’s hypocrisy and said so. We were castigating them for selling weapons to Russia. They pointed out that they were simply selling a bit more than us.

    • Tony_E

      Firstly, there is absolutely no point in beggaring British companies if the EU as a while is not going to impose and arms embargo on Russia. We stop selling when the rest of the EU do, or the slimy sods across the channel will simply fill the gap.

      As for the tennis match, why should they give back the money, it’s not like it’s bought the ruskie with the wallet any real favours, as it looks like sanctions and travel bans will be imposed on those close to Putin anyway.

      • Jambo25

        Take that view if you want but slimeball Cameron and his colleagues cannot then point fingers at the French and Germans saying how awful they are.. Perhaps Cameron could tell the families of the 10 British citizens killed by Putin’s little friends if they were worth the £16,000 per individual that he and BoJo got for that tennis match

        • Tony_E

          So you have Tories, that’s not news. However, you still have the cart before the horse on the arms issue.

          • Jambo25

            Yes, the present one. I could be persuaded to support an honourable centre-right party on the European Christian Democrat model but the present Tory Party is beyond the pale. The only decent minister they had was Gove and Cameron sacked him on the urging of a slimeball like Crosby.

        • Holly

          There’s that mental hatred again.
          The bods playing tennis with Cameron and Boris DID NOT fire the rocket.
          Cameron and Boris DID NOT fire the rocket.
          Rockets are still downing planes, regardless of any sanctions or tennis games, and the day will come when those firing the rockets will ignore anything Putin has to say, because of any sanctions that might/might not be implemented.
          In other words, one side is at WAR with another, and eventually, even Putin will not be able to stop his ‘little friends’.

          • Jambo25

            The bod playing with Cameron and BoJo was the wife of an ex Putin minister and paid £160, 000 for the privilege. That was arranged during a special fundraiser designed to extract money from Russian oligarchs. London and the Tory Party have sold themselves to the Russians (and Chinese, Greeks etc etc. Indeed anyone with the money to pay.). I would suggest that the British: especially British pols keep quiet about most things from now on. We don’t have a moral leg to stand on.

            • Holly

              Maybe this ex Putin bod has told Cameron stuff, and his Mrs pays the Conservative party £160,000 to keep quiet?
              Why is he an ex Putin minister?
              What if he’s carrying an umbrella?
              It is blown out of all proportion.
              Are we meant to tar all Russians with the same brush now, just because we are supposed to hate Cameron for playing tennis?
              Stark staring mental.

              • Jambo25

                If you’re British PM you are not meant to sell yourself to an oligarch’s wife for £160,000. What is it you don’t understand about ‘sleaze’ and ‘basic decency’?

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Re the pic caption. IMHO that boat is far from lurid and is a rather funky bit of kit. And too small for an oligarch if not his cleaner.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    Putin must be falling all over himself laughing at these goofballs.

  • Jacques Strap

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  • Smithersjones2013

    Yeah yeah yeah and of course dear old Cammo’s government weren’t sat in their excrement splattered Ivory Towers sanctimoniously preaching about how other European countries were putting self interest before sanctioning Russia whilst surreptitiously protercting UK Interests.

    The difference which makes our government hypocrites and France not is that the UK started spouting their mouths off first arrogantly lecturing other nations and France is only responding to that criticism pointing to the rather obvious hypocrisy of the British government. Of course in the UK when it comes to the establishment and their political parties, hypocrisy along with dishonesty are the primary characteristics.

    • Count Dooku

      Cameron, Osborne and Hammond have all CLEARLY stated that if sanctions were agreed, they would support asset freezes on Russians in London. Just because you haven’t been paying attention doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

      And I’m not sure how you equate having money in London to supplying two extremely powerful capital ships to the Russians. Ships that they would most certainly use if they ever invaded the Baltics.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Actually, I don’t think they would use them there, as they’d likely wind up at the bottom of the Baltic in short order, in any conflict. But it would be glorious for NATO if they’d station them there, directly in easy missile range or attack aircraft range.

        It’s an interesting question though, as to where they want to station those 2 vessels. I suppose that’s all out there somewhere, but I’m too lazy to look for it.

        • Count Dooku

          They are naming the ships Vladivostok and Sevastopol so I guess we already know where they will be stationed!

          Still, as much as Russia is not the Soviet Union, I don’t think a Nato member should be selling them capital ships.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            Those were the 2 locations I would have chosen, if I were the Russians.

            I wouldn’t call those capital ships, either. They are secondary vessels, for use by those who are able to project power already, and then bring on forces such as those to follow through.

            I have no problem with France selling such as that to Russia, as long as no sensitive technologies go with them.

            • Count Dooku

              They are definitely capital ships. They are the equal to HMS Ocean, which is currently the Royal Navy’s flagship. The only ships (except the Bombers) that are more strategic are carriers.
              If the Ruskies ever invade anywhere with a coastline, these ships will be the fleet flagships performing C&C.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                Precisely, proper aircraft carriers are today the only things that might be considered “capital ships”, and you may be able to add a large missile cruiser into that mix. The rest are utility crafts like this one, made for odd jobs, and necessarily requiring massive support from land or sea, or both, in order to operate.

                No doubt those would be the ships used to disembark troops in any amphibious operation, but let’s be clear, such an operation can’t be considered an “invasion”, as the troop counts delivered would only be miniscule, except on some uninhabited and undefended arctic wasteland somewhere. They’d have to stay near land based air cover, too. The Russians can’t really send out an expeditionary force, as they’re really not equipped for it, not against a determined foe at least. That’s why I challenged your first statement about the Baltic nations.

                • Count Dooku

                  I’m not saying the ships could take the Baltics by themselves, but they can definitely stage smaller scale invasions against less sophisticated enemies of the type we did in Sierra Leone.
                  But I do get your point. Still, they are powerful (when considering their onboard helicopters) and the French shouldn’t sell them.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  I don’t think the Russians are even close to pulling off a Sierra Leone type of operation. Their aircraft carrier forces, such as they are, are completely unreliable, and they really can’t send these new ships anywhere outside land based air forces, as mentioned. It would be suicidal for them to send them out naked, and in the case of the Baltics and Sierra Leone, it involves transits far from friendly ports (and that Russian holding on the Baltic would be quickly neutralized, in any conflict).

                  Those ships really aren’t much of a military threat to any but pipsqueaks, then, and you can make the case that they help everybody else. They are the perfect disaster response platform. They have helicopters, full medical facilities and staffing, plenty of stores, lots of room for staff and supplies, etc. Russia really does need these ships, and so does China. The West has long had this sort of vessel, and they help in tsunamis and things of that nature. They’re a necessity for anybody who considers themselves of weight and needs to serve their own coastline’s needs.

      • Andy Coulson

        Putin must be laughing at those three pipsqueaks.

        Do you not remember the Osborne-Deripaska donations scandal?

        • Holly

          Don’t forget Mandelson.

      • Holly

        They hate it because,
        A) It was a donation to Conservatives
        B) Made by someone richer than they are
        C) It was a donation from someone who plays tennis, let alone understands it.
        F) Labour have no control over how much rich bods can donate to the Conservatives

        G) Labour stopped getting donations from rich bods when Miliband made it clear he’d tax them so they would end up no richer than any of their Champagne Socialists.
        The list of bogus outrage from anti-everything bods is endless.

        They do, however, love it because,
        A)They can call Cameron
        b) They can call Boris
        C) they can call the Conservatives
        D) They still believe they are whiter than white

    • fundamentallyflawed

      “protecting UK Interests.” – That’s his job. That’s what he should be doing. Other EU countries are far more comfortable with idea of putting their own countries interests first even against EU Rules (See Air France government subsidies etc). The hypocrisy from Cameron on this subject is a different matter (some would call it politics :P)

  • Holly

    IF I was the wife of an oligarch I would be angry at being pigeon-holed in the same category as Putin, or his uncontrollable nutjobs.
    She must know of some fancy-pants law firm who can sue someone…anyone for defamation of some sort or other.
    Maybe the bods, who only last week were spouting off about ‘wimmin’ and how dire and unequal their lot in life is, think she should have divorced her oligarch before she made a LEGAL donation to the Conservative party.(NOT Cameron)

    • Smithersjones2013

      And you think such surreal rants promote the cause of women.

      Seriously do you think it is OK to pay £160,000 to the Tory party for access to the Prime Minister and the Mayor of London? Let her play tennis with Grant Shapps (someone not senior in our national or regional government) if she wants to support the Tory Party!

      • Holly

        It was donated to the Conservative party, Tories are a completely different/alien species.
        It was a donation from the wife of a Russian, who is NOT Putin.
        IF you have any proof that the wife, or her spouse has received anything in return from Cameron or Boris, other than a game of tennis, then there are punishments that can be enforced.
        As far as I can gather NO ONE here has done anything wrong, illegal or caused harm or death to another. It is just because her husband happens to be Russian, and even worse than that…filthy rich.

        Personally, if I had her money I’d be having dinner with Bob Dylan or Peter Cook, or James Coburn!
        Right I’m off.

        • Jacques Strap

          Still filthy.

        • Mynydd

          When a Russian emigre pay the Prime Minister and the Mayor of London £160,000 you get anti-Putin propaganda. It is wrong for any party – in this case the Conservative party – to auction off the office of Prime Minister. How low does one have to go to fill the parties coffers?.

          • Holly

            Are you implying that, if this bod’s wife, who just happens to be married to a Russian bod, had been married to someone from somewhere else, we would have got ‘anti-somewhere else’ propaganda?
            Or are you implying that Cameron is only being ‘anti-Russian’ because of a game of tennis donation?
            This Russian bod must have some power eh?
            Either way, I doubt very much that either Cameron, Boris, the wife of the Russian bod, or indeed the Russian bod himself had any idea that a passenger plane was going to be shot down when this game of tennis was arranged.

            • Mynydd

              I am not implying, I am saying, a) when a Russian émigré donates to the Conservative Party they want something in return. What we have had out of No 10 is a steady stream of anti-Putin propaganda, there could well be other considerations, like an expensive public inquiry into the death of a ex-KGB émigré who had a down on Putin. Just put two and two together. b) Mr Cameron has put himself up for auction, in doing so he has not only belittled the office of Prime Minister, but also put it up for sale to the highest bidder.
              With respect to the downing of the passenger plane, Mr Cameron’s first and immediate comment was to blame Mr Putin. Not once has he raised the question as to why the Ukraine government sanctioned international flights over its air space including the warzone in the east of their country. If they thought that the anti-government forces had the capability to shoot down a passenger plane why didn’t they close the air space down before there was a disaster.
              Finally the game of tennis was not the first time Mr Cameron’s Conservative party received money from the Russian’s based in London, its been going on for years.

              • Holly

                Okay you win.
                Cameron agreed to play tennis with some bod for £160,000 in return for anti- Russian propaganda, which co-coincided with a civilian aircraft being downed by a rocket fired by some Russian nutjobs, that was supplied by god knows who.
                Sounds plausible to me.
                As for ‘belittling’ the office of Prime Minister…well unless you’ve been asleep for a decade, Blair & Bozo accomplished that long before Cameron’s game of tennis…..along with every other British tradition.

                • Mynydd

                  No matter how you twist my words you do not change the facts:
                  Mr Cameron sold himself and his office for £160,000
                  Mr Cameron has issued a stream of anti-Putin propaganda well before the aircraft was downed
                  Mr Cameron has increased the stream of anti-Putin propaganda since the aircraft was downed
                  Mr Cameron as not challenged the Ukraine government on the sanctioning of flights over a warzone
                  Mr Cameron has done a U-turn on the public inquiry of the Ex-KGB spy
                  It is clear you can not work out simple statements, especially when your Mr Cameron is being held to account. Of course it’s all Mr Blair/Brown/Miliband’s fault

                • Holly

                  Ah! Now I get it.
                  Cameron has agreed to play tennis with Boris, and some ex Putin minister’s wife for a £160,000 so he can bad mouth Russia, instead of bad mouthing the Ukrainian government for letting passenger planes fly over a war zone, when they should have known the nutjobs had missiles, and would not be able to tell the difference between a passenger aircraft and a Ukrainian military aircraft.
                  Put like that, you win.
                  Are you saying that Cameron should not be sending out a stream of anti-Putin propaganda?
                  Maybe Cameron could arrange a game of tennis with Putin for free eh?
                  Maybe doubles with some ex Russian minister bod?

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