From Colonialism To Corruption: The UK’s Rolling Grift | Oliver Bullough | TMR

Emma hosts Oliver Bullough, author of the Coda Story newsletter, to discuss his recent book Butler to the World: How Britain Became The Servant of Tycoons, Tax Dodgers, Kleptocrats, and Criminals. Oliver Bullough joins as he first situates his relationship to Russia, having studied its politics closely since the start of Putin’s reign, and how this provided an intimate perspective on the development of Russia’s extractive regime, bringing him to his realization that behind every oligarch (even beyond Russia) were British-supported offshore locations where their wealth could be protected from the people they took it from. After a discussion on how Russia’s extraction economy came to be after the fall of the Berlin Wall, with the west pushing shock doctrine capitalism and an immediate turn to privatization, Emma and Oliver explore how London’s “democracy” offered Russian oligarchs a way to short circuit the system of needing Russian democracy to protect their wealth, with a similar dynamic also appearing in post-colonial regimes where elites sought to maintain London as their economic center, from India to Nigeria and more. Diving deeper into the lingering tentacles of the British empire, Emma and Oliver explore how former British colonies served each other (and regimes from Russia to China) as offshore tax havens for wealth extraction, tackling the US’ role in it as well, before taking on globalization as a way to circumvent the sovereignty of the “third world.” They wrap up the interview by diving into the state of Britain’s global kleptocracy today, and how it supports oligarchy across the globe.