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London and Jersey: still planning to fleece developing countries for money they should not be paying

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 07/09/2020 - 7:22pm in

Time was when I spent much of my time looking at shady finance in developing countries. Now I do so closer to home. But that does not mean that the issues in developing countries have gone away: far from it, in fact. As the Tax Justice Network has reported they are alive and well, aided and abetted by London, of course, plus its friends in Jersey. As the Tax Justice Network reported last week (and which I think worth sharing in full to show just how pernicious finance can plan to be at cost to people in developing countries):

From Ghana Business News:

On the last days before Ghana’s Parliament went on recess the government laid before it for approval some agreements
. . .
Parliament hastily went through those bills, ‘debated’ and approved them on Friday August 14, 2020.

The bill, which is not law yet, is a strange, murky, and exceptionally unpopular arrangement. Ghana’s Attorney-General described the deal as “unconscionable.” A group of civil society organisations has said it “lacks the basic minimum of transparency.” A think tank calls it “broad daylight robbery.”

Essentially, a mysterious company based in the UK tax haven of Jersey, Agyapa Royalties, has inserted itself into the middle of what looks like a highly unwise financing arrangement. In exchange for an up-front payment from ‘investors’, variously forecast between $500 million and $1 billion, Ghana will be signing away over three-quarters of its future gold royalties to Agyapa — forever.

We have obtained a little information about Agyapa from Jersey, which, combined with some leaked documents from Ghana outlined below, paint a pretty shocking picture.

Mortgaging the future

This is far from the first time an African country has exchanged future mineral revenues for an up-front cash injection. Angola has since the 1980s set up a series of oil “prefinancing” arrangements where it has taken often large loans from consortia of western banks in exchange for future oil cargoes secured by its state oil company Sonangol. During the war, these loans were used to secure urgent weapons deliveries – with plenty of money going missing along the way. However, while those Angolan loans have for years rightly been criticised for their opacity, this Ghana deal seems to have added a further element: the insertion of this mysterious private party into the middle of the financing streams, under opaque terms. Even Angola rarely went that far (with one spectacularly murky exception involving Russian debts, for true connoisseurs of shady dealing.)

Shadow Banking and the Wall Street Consensus

The Ghanaian financing arrangements are consistent with, and are a twisted version of, what the shadow banking expert Daniela Gabor calls the “Wall Street Development Consensus” (a close relative of the Wall Street Climate Consensus that we’ve written about recently.) Under the overarching Wall Street Consensus (which is supported by the World Bank, development banks and others,) the solution to “development” issues in Africa and elsewhere (and the solution to funding the climate transition) is to maximise the amount of finance flowing in to countries and projects by tapping into the vast pools of liquidity in the hardly-regulated shadow banking sector. Getting “investment” money into poor countries may sound like a great idea: but what matters is the terms and conditions under which money will subsequently flow out via repayments, interest and other channels.

Agyapa would seem to be an example of this: an apparently large injection of up-front money to Ghana’s budget, in exchange for likely vastly larger sums flowing out at a later date.

Unfortunately, this broad consensus has a growing chorus of allies and cheerleaders: even in supposedly pro-African bodies such as the African Union and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA.) The latter has lobbied hard for African countries to create an “enabling environment” for private equity, public-private partnerships, and other ‘innovative’ shadow-banking practices which have appallingly predatory records in countries at all income levels. This is all the more strange, given that the same document strenuously highlights the risks of illicit financial flows.

This Wall Street Consensus involves pushing domestic financial market reforms to make countries more hospitable to securitisation and other shadow-banking practices; and for states and taxpayers to underwrite risks and costs, while maximising rewards for investors. As one analysis puts it:

such reforms would involve a wholesale reorganization of the financial sectors and the creation of new financial markets in developing countries in order to accommodate the investment practices of global institutional investors.

In other words, making “development” serve the interests of financial players, rather than the other way around.

Put crudely, a large part of shadow banking essentially involves creating ever cleverer tools for providers of capital to maximise rewards for themselves, while shifting risks, costs and losses onto the shoulders of others. This kind of financial ‘inward investment’ can be likened to a crowbar: a tool for providers of capital to jimmy open the national safe and make off with the proceeds. African countries are generally recipients of capital, not providers of capital: there is no discernible net ‘development’ benefit to this formula — while there are a large number of risks.

An Agyapa-related “Indemnity Letter” that has come to our attention contains pages and pages of such risk-shifting language — and its header contains this:

What fees would such players earn? At this stage, we cannot know.

More and more questions

The Agyapa deal raises clouds of more specific questions, of which this article can only cover a few.

Question 1: Is this good value for money? An internal Ghana government document from last month outlining the details of what it calls “Project Kingdom” justifies it like this:

There is no way for us to know if it is will be good value for money, or what the future royalty payment projections are, which would be needed as an initial basis for calculating appropriate financing costs, and we don’t know what the actual financing costs will be either. We have no idea. An opposition statement describes this as an agreement in perpetuity: an unverified but credible document we have seen essentially supports this: the agreement ends when the gold runs out.

Even that crazy Angola-Russia deal never went quite that far. What is more, the document says that under the agreement,

“Royalty rates in Ghana are 5% for some mines and 3 to 5% for others depending on the gold price.”

Ghana is a stable, long-term, low-risk gold producer: why are these rates so low?

What about tax? Well, look at this astonishing set of carve-outs, as outlined in an August 2020 Finance Committee report (to aid understanding, ARG Royalties Ghana is a wholly owned local subsidiary of Agyapa):

The sheer brazenness of all this is breathtaking.

In addition, it is worth noting that

London’s courts and tribunals, in the discreet pursuit of what some call “competitiveness,” have since the age of imperialism proved highly favourable to the interests of mobile global capital, especially when it is pitted against sovereign governments like Ghana’s. And one of London’s several advantages is, as a law firm put it:

arbitration in London is chosen by many parties because of the confidentiality advantages that are provided.

What is more, Agyapa’s location in Jersey could place important parts of Ghana’s future before the courts of Jersey, which has just as much, if not more, of a pro-capital, anti-sovereign bias than London’s, and on past records may be prone to “unusual rulings” in this respect – as we have noted before (see e.g. p5 here, under “Jeffrey Verdon”).

There are many other reasons why Agyapa appears likely to be an exceptionally bad deal for Ghana.

  • The stunning absence of transparency, over project terms, and project ownership: the information we have is based on leaks, not on official publication. Indeed, an opposition statement said that the government’s decision to withhold documents is “in clear violation of Article 181(5) of the Constitution.”
  • It is election year in Ghana — so incumbents are likely keen to maximise personal rewards up front before they may perhaps lose power.
  • A statement by Ghanaian Civil Society Organisations estimates that these future royalties are being sold off at 30% of their true value. This is admittedly speculative, in the absence of transparency, but still.
  • An opposition party statement slammed “the indecent haste with which these high-stakes agreements were being rushed through the parliamentary approval process” — they had four hours to scrutinise a deal which was two years in the making.
  • more generally, the astonishing potential for mischief in international financial arrangements, especially those run through tax havens, with lenders typically holding large information advantages over borrowers, and the ease with which conflicts of interest can be hidden.
  • A range of other criticisms is available here.

And all that is even before we get into the next question.

Question 2: What is Agyapa and who owns it?

Good Question. The above document calls it a “Gold Royalty Company.” The Jersey Financial Services Commission provides this data:

We note, in passing, the role of Ogier, an “offshore magic circle” law firm, in the transaction. (We sent them a detailed list of questions with follow-up: nothing has come back so far.)

The underlying Annual Return (under a previous name, Asaase Royalties Limited) registered on February 28th 2020 provides helpful information on who the directors are:

It does, however, provide details of an “authorised signatory” as company secretary:

And this, apparently, is he . . .

The annual return says, slightly more helpfully, that it is a company made up of 5,000,000 shares of which just one share has been issued, worth £0.01, under this ownership structure:

The Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF,) according to the Project Kingdom document, was

“established from the passing of the MIIF Act December 2018 to hold and manage the equity interests of the Government of Ghana (“GoG”) in mining companies, to receive mineral royalties due to the GoG from mining operations, provide for the management and investment of the assets of the Fund, finance further developments in the mining sector and monitor and improve flows into the mining sector.”

So that is alright then. Or is it? Well, the same document says:

“Government of Ghana through MIIF will be the majority shareholder with at least 51% of the shareholding.”

(Other documents and media reports say “49 percent” instead of “at least 49 percent.”) So somebody else will retain the remaining 49 percent. But who?

There is plenty of speculation in the Ghanaian media about who will benefit from this, which we won’t indulge. But we will note that the annual return above states that under Jersey law any members who hold one percent or more of the vehicle should be disclosed. However, the documents also state that the 49 percent of shares not held by the Ghana government will ultimately be listed on the London and Ghana Stock Exchanges.

That way, it would be easy for shareholders of Agyapa to hide their identities. For example, imagine that one powerful Ghanaian somehow obtains all that 49 percent equity. He or she sets up 50 companies, each in an opaque tax haven, all of which she owns, and each shell company then owns a slightly less than one percent share of Agyapa – and therefore squeezes under that Jersey threshhold of one percent.

There are several other features of Jersey law that enable secrecy to be assured for Agyapa. We won’t get into details here, but this document provides an overview of some loopholes that Agyapa may be taking advantage of. Jersey certainly isn’t unique in this respect: this is how offshore business so often works.

We will also note, in passing, the presence of a couple of Ghanaian names in the documents registered at the Jersey FSC. For example, in the incorporation documents, we find this:

These people are unlikely to be the real players: a source familiar with Ghanaian politics, shown these names, told TJN:

These are fairly prominent party hacks, but it’s the people behind the people that is probably more interesting.

Illicit Financial Flows: the Jersey Connection

Jersey ranks 16th out of 133 jurisdictions on the 2020 Financial Secrecy Index (for comparison, Ghana ranks 117th). Jersey also ranks 7th on the most recent Corporate Tax Haven Index (Ghana is 60th). Between them, the two indexes capture the global risk of illicit financial flows posed by each place.

Think of a list of the risks that are posed by financial secrecy, for a country with major natural resource wealth. Now imagine that the government of that country, working with a major international law firm in a leading secrecy jurisdiction, has come up with a scheme that appears to tick every item on the list.

That’s where Ghana now finds itself – facing the threat of a deal that could strip the country of revenue and, through powerful contractual terms enforceable in London and Jersey, taking away from future governments the possibility to democratically reverse the decision.

The law firm Ogier advertises itself as ‘the only firm’ to advise on the law of five particular jurisdictions: BVI, Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Jersey and Luxembourg. Aside from Jersey, the jurisdictions rank 9th, 1st, 11th and 6th respectively on the Financial Secrecy Index; and 1st, 3rd, 6th and 15th respectively on the Corporate Tax Haven Index.

A country like Ghana with natural resource wealth faces a range of risks of illicit financial flows (IFF). Together, these can result in major losses of tax revenue, and also do significant damage to the standards of governance and effective political representation. Financial secrecy is at the heart of each IFF risk.

A lack of transparency about the value of a country’s natural resources, or of the resulting profits, creates the risk that fair values are not achieved; that fair revenues are not received; and that private interests may gain unfairly.

A lack of transparency about the ownership of assets and income streams related to a country’s natural resources create the additional risks that contracts may be entered into opaquely, in which public resources are transferred to private hands without appropriate scrutiny; and that political decisions over resources may be taken with parliamentary oversight.

In Ghana’s case, the existing sovereign wealth fund provides the mechanism, and the necessary transparency and parliamentary scrutiny, to minimise all such risks. This makes it especially strange to see the government invest so much time, effort and political capital in creating a new structure that appears to raise the risks of illicit flows in each dimension.

We have seen a number of other documents surfacing, related to this deal, but this is enough to highlight the problems. Nothing about this deal makes any sense to us, except under certain logics which we shall not allude to here.


First, the Government of Ghana should urgently cancel and repudiate this entire deal — and investigate all the parties involved for possible corruption and self-dealing. Given the Attorney-General’s silence on this affair, after having initially raised serious concerns, we won’t hold our breath, until at least after the election. However, there is positive news here.

We hear that this deal is politically wobbly, and vulnerable. As a sign of that, yesterday, a senior Ghanaian official announced that the deal had been suspended pending further consultation – but within hours the Finance Minister overruled him, saying it had not been suspended.   It is therefore essential that maximum domestic and international pressure is now exerted, to ensure the deal is cancelled and repudiated.

Second, there is good evidence that one should treat the “transnational network of plunder” as a unit of analysis, including from a legal and criminal perspective. Is Agyapa such a unit? We don’t know, because we don’t have all the details. International legal bodies where Agyapa touches down — and this includes London and Jersey – should open investigations into Agyapa, and if wrongdoing is found, prosecute accordingly.

Third, Jersey should open up further to scrutiny. It should:

  • urgently publish its beneficial ownership registry, and not just in 2023;
  • demand beneficial ownership definitions should include any individual who directly or indirectly owns or controls at least one share, regardless if listed or unlisted;
  • publish all legal owners online even if they own less than 1% of shares immediately, and not only once a year;
  • publish annual financial statements of all companies incorporated in Jersey.
  • Publish details of the directors of all companies

Russell Howard Stops Show Because of Audience Filming, But Alex Bellfield Blames Dawn Butler

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 15/08/2020 - 7:04pm in

This is in itself an inconsequential story, but I’m putting it up here because it shows how desperate the Tory media and their baying public are to smear Dawn Butler. Alex Bellfield is the host of some kind of small, independent radio show, ‘Celebrity Radio’, and puts videos of some of them and his rants up on YouTube. It’s bog-standard, Tory right-wing stuff – disabled people are scrounging off the state, Cressida Dick and Sadiq Khan are personally responsible for the crime wave in London because they’re too soft on Blacks because of fears of racism, Labour did nothing about the Asian sweatshops in Bradford and the rest. The other day he took it upon himself to post up a 2-3 minute long opinion piece linking Russell Howard stopping a show with Dawn Butler filming the police as she was stopped while driving.

I can’t say that Russell Howard is one of my favourite TV comedians, despite the fact that he comes from Keynsham. It’s a small town between Bristol and Bath, just down the road from me in south Bristol. Some of its simply because I don’t find some of the jokes funny, and some of its because, as someone from Bristol, I’m not so keen on some of jokes about people from my fair city. But I don’t hate him or his show. It’s just not something I’m particularly keen on.

According to Bellfield, Howard had stopped one of his gigs that week and walked off stage after an audience member stood up and started filming him on their mobile or whatever. Bellfield didn’t blame Howard for doing this, and went after millennials instead. More Tory rubbish – they hate millennials because they’re all left-wing, entitled, SJW ‘snowflakes’. But this time it was because, he decided, millennials can’t simply enjoy actually being present in the moment at a gig or an event. They have to film it to show they were there. And so the audience member showed their ignorance, and Howard walked out.

This is actually fair comment on the attitude of a number of people, but it began long before the millennials. At the Cheltenham Literary Festival back in the 1990s I remember the organisers telling the audience that they were not allowed to film. I think some venues actually check your bags to make sure that you aren’t carrying filming or recording equipment. This was slightly before mobile phones, when it was digital cameras. I think it’s not just a case of bad manners, but there are also copyright issues involved.

Bellfield didn’t blame Howard for stopping his show, because, as he went on, it was somehow Dawn Butler’s fault. She was encouraging and enabling all these rude millennials filming where they shouldn’t, because she had filmed the cops as they stopped her on a ‘stop and search’. And it’s a good job she did, because the Tory lies about her have been coming thick and fast. You only have to look at some of the rumours Zelo Street has dispatched in his articles debunking them. Like she had a White passenger with her – she didn’t – or she deliberately flipped the video to make the police look bad, which she didn’t either.

Dawn Butler is another politico about whom I have strong reservations. She’s intelligent, passionate and a good speaker. I saw her at the hustings for the Labour party deputy leadership. As a woman of colour, she’s obviously very keen on stamping out racism. My problem was that she might be too keen. We’ve already had a witch hunt in the Labour party using anti-Semitism as a purge against the left and critics of Israel. There was Rebecca Long-Bailey demanding similar action against critics of the radical Trans movement. And I remember some of the antics of Bernie Grant down at Brent council in the 1980s. Grant had a rigidly inflexible attitude to racism, which he found everywhere. Decent people, who weren’t racist at all were accused, and books purged from schools and libraries which he and coterie considered racist, but which it could be argued were no such thing. This angered other members of the left, and Martin Barks made a sharp attack on this censorship in his book Comics: Ideology, Power and the Critics, which takes a sharp aim at the way critics of the funny papers have attacked them from both the left and right. I was afraid Butler would start something similar in the Labour party.

Now it’s clear that she’s right about the rampant racism. It’s by the Blairites, who were bullying Black MPs and activists, including – no surprise! – Diane Abbott. And they’re determined not to go the way they treated those they’ve falsely smeared, because they’re being vilely smeared themselves and have expensive lawyers. As Mike and the others have said, if they’re so sure they’re being misquoted, then they should release the full text of what they said to show otherwise. And definitely not try to have any investigation into them suppressed.

And Butler was right to film the police. Excessively forceful and violent routine searches of Black people, who are guilty of simply driving about in expensive cars, have been going on for years. I found one such example in an old copy of Private Eye from around 20 years ago. And the cops in demonstrations in London have also used dirty tricks to seize and hold members of the protesting crowd in order to disrupt them. I therefore don’t blame anyone for filming the rozzers. They aren’t the Klan, as Sasha Johnson, the leader of the mighty Black Lives Matter LARPer army in Brixton has declared. But, unfortunately, there are some forces that definitely need watching and, if you’re innocent, you do need to have evidence in your defence. Especially if you’re Black.

But this is obviously too much for Bellfield and his Tory cohorts. Unable to smear Butler, he had to fall back on trying to blame her for something, even when she wasn’t responsible and was taking reasonable steps to protect herself against possible falsehood. But she’s a left-wing Black woman, and so has to go.

It was a desperate smear, and shows how low the Tories will go in smearing their opponents. Well, I’m also sorry that Howard stopped his gig. I hope his others are going better, and if it’s a choice between seeing him and Bellfield, you’re far better off laughing with the funny man from Keynsham.

Just as you are believing Butler against the lies of a viciously racist Tory pack and media.

See also:

MP stopped by police in London for ‘driving around whilst black’

Senior Labour staff urged to publish WhatsApp messages IN CONTEXT if they think #LabourLeaks report misrepresented them


Tommy Robinson’s Equipment Seized After Breaking Lockdown Rules

The odious Dominic Cummings wasn’t the only right-winger to be caught breaking the lockdown. So was Stephen Yaxley Lennon, aka Tommy Robinson, the notorious islamophobe. Robinson had been nabbed by the fuzz, which can be extremely painful, in Cumbria when he was trying to get to Barrow-on-Furness. The rozzers seized his equipment – his car, his phone and his camera.

This set the anti-Muslim bully-boy off on a long rant against Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter was caused by the radicalisation of people by Antifa, socialist, communist activists. It’s the product of identity politics imported from the US, and funded by the Americans, communism and Marxism. BLM was also supported by the media and ‘the whole remain movement’. Antifa were a ‘far-left’, Fascist organisation, which is an oxymoron. He also attacked someone called Anthony Joshua, who has apparently called for Blacks not to shop at White businesses. Robinson called him a Black supremacist and claimed he was being funded by Saudi Arabia.

Ominously, Robinson also said that he was coming to London this past weekend for a non-racist, patriotic demonstration. “It’s not an anti-Black Lives Matter protest. Many people were there for the right reasons, but you’ve been hijacked by Antifa, you’re being used … on Saturday, many non-white people will be standing with patriots – here Zelo Street interpolated the right interpretation of this clause – [patriots can clearly only be white, then] cos we cannot rely on the Police”.

But as the events on Saturday showed, it was an anti-BLM demonstration. Thugs and louts from the Democratic Football Lads’ Alliance turned up waving anti-Black Lives Matter placards. They were also seen setting fire to a BLM poster whilst describing the person on it as a ‘Black c***’. They were clearly hoping to start a fight with the BLM protesters, who had planned on demonstrating that day. However, those protesters had moved their event to last Friday. Denied their chosen targets, the Fashy idiots decided to attack the cops instead. One of them spat at and threatened a young woman, who was simply picnicking with her friends, while another was seen urinating next to the memorial for the policeman killed defending parliament from an islamist attack. He wasn’t actually widdling on it, as right-wing rent-a-mouth Julia Hartley-Brewer was keen to point out, as if that somehow exonerated this prize bit of drunken yobbishness. Well, no, but it still was a despicable sacrilege to the memory of a brave man. And as the peeps on Twitter also pointed out, urinating in public is still an offence, as it’s an act of public indecency. They were, in short, a disgraceful, drunken rabble, which, if you read the anti-racism, anti-religious extremism site, Hope Not Hate, is just bog-standard, typical behaviour for the far right.

Black Lives Matter has been imported from America, but I really don’t know if it’s funded from there. The BLM demonstrations seemed to me to be spontaneous and occurred all over the world. They are undoubtedly supported by the left, including socialists and communists, but I doubt very much they are an exclusive socialist or communist movement. For all that the various communist movements and parties would like to believe they are instrumental in mobilising mass protest, the truth is the opposite. The collapse of communism globally took most of the local, national communist parties with it. And they were never very popular anyway. The British Communist party reached its peak of popular support in the mid-’70s. When I was a schoolboy in the 1980s, I noticed that in one set of elections in Bristol – I think it was around ’82 or ‘3’ – the local Communist party got 45 votes, beating the National Front, who only got 40. Hardly anybody voted for them. The Socialist Workers’ Party, now the Socialist Party, has done its level best to infiltrate and colonise other people’s protest movements, but their efforts have always been counterproductive. When they inflitrated ‘Rock Against Racism’ in the early ’80s and tried to turn it into a satellite organisation, the mass of members simply left and the organisation, and their plan for using it to radicalise the masses towards Marxism – collapsed. The people who joined ‘Rock Against Racism’ did so because they were anti-racist, not because they were interested in revolutionary socialism.

I also don’t know how many supporters of anti-racist movements like Black Lives Matter are actually socialists. I got the impression that Jo Cox, the Labour MP murdered by racist fanatic Thomas Mair, was on the anti-socialist, Blairite right of the party. Anti-racism and feminism are liberal movements. They are about expanding democracy, opportunity and social participation to include marginalised groups, in this case, ethnic minorities and women. But that can simply mean improving opportunities for individuals, rather than improving conditions generally for the poor or the working and lower middle classes. Hence Blair could back anti-racism campaigns and the movement to get more women in business, science and parliament, without taking up nationalisation or turning away from the Thatcherite road of privatisation, welfare cuts, the destruction of the unions and selling off the NHS. Socialists have adopted anti-racism and feminism as part of a general concern to emancipate those excluded and exploited by capitalism.

I’ve already blogged about the real reasons for the Black Lives Matter protests, as opposed the stupid conspiracy theories about Marxists spouted by Conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic. It’s primarily a reaction to the disproportionate use of lethal force by the police against Blacks. But it’s also caused by continuing racial inequalities and the grinding poverty of Black communities, as well as everyday anti-Black racism. It’s why the BLM protest in Cheltenham last weekend included a poem by a little girl, Nylah, about why Blacks should take no notice when people tell them they aren’t beautiful. It’s a subject that has haunted many Black people. I came across a similar poem about Black beauty in an issue I was sent at the Empire and Commonwealth Museum of the magazine of the Black and Asian Studies Association. That was 20 years ago, and it is a disgrace that after nearly fifty years of such campaigning, some Black people still somehow feel that they are less attractive than Whites. But it’s also a demonstration that Black pride and anti-racism are humanist movements that go beyond the ideological boundaries of socialism and communism, although both of the latter may and should support them.

Back to Robinson, by his own admission his phone contains footage of his activities. These includes turning up announced on his critics’ doorsteps with a few of his henchmen in order to intimidate them into silence. He also inadvertently doxes them, posting their private information online but telling his followers not to trouble them, and then deleting the information. It all looks suspiciously like incitement, while Robinson himself pretends the opposite. He didn’t want anyone to harass anybody, honest! Look, he’s deleted their information. Robinson did it to the parents of a lad, who persisted in criticising Robinson online and who had pointed out that Robinson’s expensive house showed he was definitely not the poor, working class lad he claimed. He did it to the anti-racist activist Mike Stuchbery, who was forced to leave his teaching job in this country after Robinson falsely claimed, or insinuated, that he was abusing children. And he did it to Tim Felton himself, the man behind Zelo Street. Naturally Tim hopes that the rozzers crack the codes and passwords into Robinson’s phone, and get all the sordid details. Including who is breaking privacy laws by giving Robinson other peoples’ private addresses.

Robinson’s got a series of convictions as long as your arm. These include assault and contempt of court for his repeated violations of the very tight legislation governing trial reportage. That’s legislation intended to make sure the accused get a fair trial. In the case of the Asian grooming gangs and paedophiles, whose trials Robinson has insisted on covering, this means making sure that if they are guilty, their lawyers can’t have the cases dropped because Robinson’s stupid vlogging stops them getting a fair trial.

So far Robinson has had suspended sentences, or those of only a few months. But depending on what the police are able to get out of his phone, that really could change. And it could net some of Robinson’s vile collaborators with him.

See also: