Blighted | High-class corruption

22 05 2010

Like my peers always told me, if you have to do something unlawful, make sure it is worth the consequence.  £500,000,000 sounds like an awful lot so no surprise that this little beauty of a scam had more than a few members of our esteemed economic rulers.

Secretive money-man Nathaniel Rothschild, his pals Peter Mangledbum and some russian oligarch profiting from the misery of poor old Blighty.  Once again.

Mandelson, an oligarch and a £500m deal over dinner that cost 300 British jobs

By Richard Pendlebury, Daily Mail.  Last updated at 10:50 AM on 22nd May 2010

Damning questions about Lord Mandelson’s role in a controversial Russian oligarch’s £500million deal which undermined British manufacturing jobs are raised today.

The former Business Secretary was a ‘valuable extra’ as a dinner guest as billionaire Oleg Deripaska entertained American aluminium executives in Moscow.

The meeting, also attended by British-born financier Nat Rothschild, resulted in a deal to sell two of Deripaska’s giant Russian-based RUSAL factories to a U.S. firm, Alcoa.

But the 2005 agreement had grave consequences for hundreds of British jobs.

Mandelson – who was the EU Trade Commissioner – was in a position to allay ‘concerns’ over tariffs on imports from Eastern Europe.

Indeed, over the following three years, they were slashed.

This prompted the dumping of cheap aluminium on the European market, forcing at least four British factories to the wall.

Within a year of the Russian deal, Alcoa closed its South Wales aluminium rolling plant with the loss of 300 jobs.

Another Welsh plant at Rogerstone, which used to be the third largest in Europe, shut two years ago with another 400 jobs lost. Plants at Falkirk and Glasgow were also casualties.

Questions were being asked last night about what exactly Mandelson told the Americans and Russians about EU tariffs.

In the past, he has denied ever talking to Deripaska about aluminium or even meeting Deripaska before 2006. His presence at the private dinner has been confirmed to the Mail by eyewitness sources linked to both Alcoa and Rusal.

Russian sources said he had been flown from Switzerland to Moscow in a private jet belonging to Deripaska’s close adviser. Rothschild and Mandelson have been friends for years.

The trip was ‘unplanned’ and made in such haste that Mandelson had no valid visa.

A source close to Rusal said that it needed the intervention of the company’s head of security, a former senior KGB officer, to secure his entry into Russia.

‘It was a big headache,’ said the source last night. ‘But Peter Mandelson’s presence at that dinner was a very valuable extra for Deripaska.’

A source close to Alcoa said: ‘We certainly didn’t expect Mandelson at the dinner, and assumed it would just be folks from Rusal and Alcoa.

‘Nat has known Oleg a long time, and he played match-maker.’

Mandelson was reported to be back in Switzerland, as a guest of Nat Rothschild, last night.

A spokesman for Lord Mandelson declined to comment on the circumstances of his attendance at the dinner.

But he stated: ‘There was no personal intervention by Lord Mandelson in his capacity as Trade Commissioner in favor of Russian aluminum company Rusal.’

Last night a senior spokesman for the EU said: ‘All (tariff) decisions are taken in full transparency.’

But he added: ‘I am totally unaware of this meeting. I suggest your first port of call should be Lord Mandelson himself.’

The article continues with a handy little special investigation containing the following titbit:

The Rothschild family’s holiday villa is on the island, and Deripaska’s super-yacht was moored offshore. That August, Mandelson and the then Shadow Chancellor George Osborne enjoyed the hospitality of both.

The luxury jaunt had a nasty aftermath, however. Osborne and Mandelson – who had just left Brussels to become Gordon Brown’s Business Secretary – began briefing against each other about what had been said or done during the vacation.

Amid the claim and counter-claim, it became clear that the Mandelson-Deripaska association predated Corfu by several years.

But Mandelson did not want the world to know.

I’ve come to the conclusion that we haven’t elected protectors but selected our auctioneers.  Instead of Lord Mandy overseeing the sale the baton has been passed onto young Osborne, although I’m in little doubt that Oleg’s investment capabilities will be protected.

Woe’e me.

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