I have had to wait a couple of days before writing about the BBC appointment of Rona Fairhead as the new Chair of the Board of Trustees because I have been reeling from shock.
Rona Fairhead is Chair of HSBC North America Holdings Inc. According to Andrew Trotman in the Telegraph, at the time HSBC were fined $1.9bn in the US for money laundering, she was chair of the “group risk committee” and was replaced in that role when the bank signed their deferred prosecution agreement. David Cameron approved her appointment (probably insisted on it). Remember it was David Cameron who made Stephen Green a Lord and trade minister, the man who was the Chair of HSBC Group at the time of the Mexican drug money laundering and sanctions busting/terrorist connections.
This is extraordinary arrogance by the establishment – to blatantly appoint people involved in such crimes. Laundering drug/terrorist money is not just about money and the law – it is about large scale murder, torture and human suffering. Rather than holding top positions in the establishment these people should be in prison.
I guess the appointment might help explain why 2 teams from Panorama; Newsnight, Moneybox and Radio5 Live have all looked with at my story and subsequently not reported it. They certainly won’t now.
I assume that Rona Fairhead will relinquish her role at HSBC on taking up the appointment, but given the arrogance of these people I wouldn’t bet on it.
Update – 17 November – Rona Fairhead has not resigned her HSBC directorship. A conflict of interest is not something the BBC considers that we need to worry about.