WATCH: The Spider’s Web – Britain’s Second Empire

The Spider’s Web: Britain’s Second Empire, is a documentary film that shows how Britain transformed from a colonial power into a global financial power.

At the demise of empire, City of London financial interests created a web of offshore secrecy jurisdictions that captured wealth from across the globe and hid it behind obscure financial structures in a web of offshore islands. Today, up to half of global offshore wealth may be hidden in British offshore jurisdictions and Britain and its offshore jurisdictions are the largest global players in the world of international finance. How did this come about, and what impact does it have on the world today? This is what the Spider’s Web sets out to investigate.

The Spider’s Web was written, directed and produced by Michael Oswald, you can sponsor his future films on Patreon. The film’s official website is here, and you can read about Queue Politely’s other works on their website here.


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Fair dinkum
Reader
Fair dinkum

Cosmic justice always prevails.
Every single psychopath dies.
Sad, ain’t it?

binra
Reader

What are the underlying ideas that are acted out and embodied in this scenario? A major theme is the supporting and defence of the means to keep secret the fruits of what is done in secret so as to gain power through the holding of the fruits of secrets and lies. Systems devised and designed to be unaccountable to any but insiders who effectively recruit or install those who would otherwise regulate or report on dark-power. The phrase dark is often used for partitioned off and kept secret – as in the dark web. Likewise the dark world operates in… Read more »

DunGroanin
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DunGroanin

I said it.

Blew the doors off!

Innit Bro.

You can’t catch up.

Lesgo.

rtj1211
Reader
rtj1211

Every Govt official who ever signed off a PFI contract to contractors financed at 15% interest is in criminal dereliction of basic duties, needing imprisonment, confiscation of every asset of theirs and prevention of their children receiving any form of elite education. Tony Blair, Gordon Brown Alastar Campbell and whichsoever Senior Tories oversaw such criminality must be slaves for life, stripped of every penny and preferably subjected to Extraordinary rendition to extract further facts from them. It is the most criminal activity available to ensure that 15% of all contracts paid go in interest payments, when the State itself could… Read more »

Reg Varney
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Reg Varney

Couldn’t agree more , very well written, and yet the same bastards can walk away from the train franchise they threw in because it didn’t work ( Virgin and Stagecoach) no penalties nothing, capitalism at it’s best, and still they vote for it.

DunGroanin
Reader
DunGroanin

(Third attempt at posting this…Mods????) To fully appreciate the City – a state within a state – one should start at the beginning as the Romans set up the trading post at the upper reaches of the tidal Thames. As it developed through history the names of its lanes and streets are a great clue to the Bankers who took over. These bankers have been instrumental in EVERY war and imperialist conquest ever since making money from every side. They own just about everything now. But they can’t STOP! WHY??? Because THEY are psychopaths. They have systems in place that… Read more »

Paul X
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Paul X

Excellent video, thank you. David Cameron must one day be unmasked as the most deceitful PM we’ve ever had? And all in the interests of hard cash seeking a safe haven.

BigB
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BigB

I dunno, our Tony got elected on a part mandate to clean the Aegean Stable sewer that is the City of London Corporation. When he got in, he was persuaded by the likes of “Lord” Levy (whose title was bought over a game of tennis, no doubt) to let the City “reform ” itself. Which they duly did, by expanding. Recent research has shown that this “finance curse” has cost each and every one of us £67.5K …or £4.5tn total.

Thanks Tone, still he made £25m or so. Who said crime doesn’t pay? It does if you make it legal.

mog
Reader

‘…Here’s the keys to the government, just do want the bankers tell you to’

-from The Hunt For Tony Blair (The Comic Strip Presents)

Paul X
Reader
Paul X

Yes there are many candidates for the title. Maybe Neville Chamberlain should take the Crown as the man who did more than anything to guarantee WW2 was as destructive as it turned out to be. But I guess my suggestion Cameron takes the biscuit is really because he had no principles about it, no ideology just lust for money safely stashed away for family and chums. At least Chamberlain really believed Communism was the work of the devil which meant he couldn’t stomach a Treaty with the Soviet Union and that Hitler was at heart a conservative like him.

Eric Blair
Reader

Excellent documentary. It ought to be required watching for those who think the present clusterfu*k is brought to us by a handful of conniving individuals (Soros, Trump etc.) and that their individual of choice (Putin, Corbyn etc.) can “save” the world. It is certainly true that individuals can amass great power, and that power buys influence, but the world is not a superhero comic and it takes more than a rotating cast of Hollywood inspired cartoon villains and heroes to keep it running (and to change its course). If the left wants to halt the reactionary right-wing steamroller that it… Read more »

DunGroanin
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DunGroanin

Having most of the Blairites off the front bench and leadership is a good start for the Labour party.

Getting them out of parliament and replaced by grassroots selected replacements is the next step.

Letting the membership have the maximum power is the only way forward for democracy everywhere.

By keeping away the bankers, robber barons and their lawyers and lobbyists from the MP’s and civil services and defence departments, the people will finally get a government for the majority of normal people not the psycho minority greedy bastards.

jdseanjd
Reader

Cromwell conspired with, & was funded by “European financiers” who established the Bank of England, 1694. This was the start of both the Brit National debt & National fractional reserve banking.

King William of Orange, a Dutchman, sold the Brit people into servitude to the Banksters in order to shift his personal debt of £1,250,000 onto the shoulders of the Brit population, to be collected by a general taxation.

Book: Pawns in the Game, by WWII Canadian naval intelligence officer, William Guy Carr.
Or read for free on http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net
Use the search box.

John Doran.

BigB
Reader
BigB

This film did have an impact: Britain has now officially closed down its Tax Havens. Well, given them till 2020 to produce a public register of investments. On all of its former overseas territories: except Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

The deed was done by a cross party committee led by Andrew Mitchell and Margaret Hodge. That’s right, THAT Margaret Hodge. Who – when not exchanging cordial pleasantries with JC – pays just 0.01% tax on £2.1bn of her families assets. The rest is squirrelled away in (offshore) Lichtenstein.

I smell a rat.

https://www.taxjustice.net/2018/05/04/yes-britain-is-closing-its-tax-havens-but-lets-not-forget-it-created-them-in-the-first-place/

harry stotle
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harry stotle

“2 Londons” is not a bad appetiser.

zach
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zach

Man, that is some deeply corrupt, antisocial sh*t. Throw in the monarchy the house of lords the feral press and you can see why the USSR and the PRC always viewed Britain, even more than the US, as the dark heart of global capitalist reaction. Corbyn would have a job of work just keeping his face above water if he ever reaches Downing Street.

mark
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mark

Britain itself has never been a force for good in the world, whatever the achievements of individual Britons. Most of the crimes and atrocities of the past are just airbrushed out of history or thrown down the memory hole. Ireland is a case in point, 800 years of war, oppression and genocide. People know vaguely about the potato famine and the troubles from the 1960s onwards. But much else is never discussed or written about. From 1641 – 1652, there were a series of wars in Ireland under British rule, culminating in Cromwell’s invasion and massacres. Over this period, the… Read more »

Mulga Mumblebrain
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Mulga Mumblebrain

Don’t forget the series of Great Famines in India under English rule, the last in Bengal in the 1940s. They took off tens of millions more.

BigB
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BigB

For a full list of the crimes of Empire …it’s going to take a while. I normally sum it up as exporting genocide, torture and terrorism since 1095 (the year of the First Crusade). Before that, we focused on domestic terrorism.

axisofoil
Reader

Whatever evil is, it is without conscience. Money is the conduit through which evil most easily passes. As we know, this unholy alliance currently enforces its agenda through social polarization, censorship and military might. It has all the tools it needs to maintain control. We are it’s squealing serfs. For now, a necessary annoyance. The slippery, well known, yet unchecked activities of the Clinton Foundation is examined in.the documentary …..’Clinton Cash.’ It is another good example of money laundering at the highest levels. Also, as has been discussed on this site, the financial activities which were behind banning “The Magnitsky… Read more »

Jerry Alatalo
Reader

“The Spider’s Web: Britain’s Second Empire” is possibly the most important, brilliant documentary film of the year. If ever there were a film deserving of the Academy Award for Best Documentary, this is it. The film and its director Michael Oswald might indeed take home the Oscar, especially after Donald Trump, Theresa May, Emmanuel Macron, Benjamin Netanyahu and so many other “world leaders” have watched it and come out with such strong public praise for the film … NOT.

Jen
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Jen

I’ve seen this documentary twice and can recommend it highly. Much of it is based on Nicholas Shaxson’s excellent book “Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men Who Stole the World” and Shaxson and one of his sources, John Christensen, also appear in the documentary.
http://massivelyinvisibleobjects.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Treasure_Islands.pdf

The only issue I have with the documentary is that it does not mention transfer pricing and profit sharing among subsidiaries of a global company as a method of shifting profits and under-declaring tax. The short article in the link explains how this is done:
https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/knowledge/economics/transfer-pricing/

thorella
Reader

The documentary has omitted one major element that the Establishment has transformed itself further by running organised crime through its agencies. This includes excise and VAT carousel fraud in which billions of taxpayers’ money has been taken offshore.

James Connolly
Reader
James Connolly

Great doc. Very disheartening that British public culture tolerates such off the charts corruption and cheating of the public purse and the common good. Imo, the media is as big a facilitator of this depressing reality as the politicians. Not only by failing to shine a light on the cheating, the revolving door, etc (let alone rail against it), but most crudely by propagating the giant lie about what caused the deficit in 07-8 and who should be forced to pay for it. Much is explained by the prevalence of financial services predators and parasites on the boards of the… Read more »

harry stotle
Reader
harry stotle

What is the point of decimating country after country, enslaving weaker economies or treating workers like battery hens if you are not allowed to funnel ill-gotten gains into an over-shore tax paradise?

But what sort of well dressed, publically educated, softly spoken actor would sign up to preserve such iniquitous arrangements – not those respectable gents in the city of London, surely?

wardropper
Reader

What if the people who sign up to preserve such iniquity are not “people”, as such, but the specimens referred to by Tibetan monks, who apparently believe that there are people walking around amongst us who look human enough, but are not? Sounds like superstition from a backward society, doesn’t it? Until you actually look around you… To be fair, the parents of those currently running the City may well have been quite reasonable, well-brought-up people themselves, but the consequences of untold wealth without any sort of guiding hand can utterly destroy the character of one’s offspring. It takes a… Read more »

thebloodneverdried
Reader

Evil, Evil England!

Moscow Exile
Reader

The rest of the UK exempt from condemnation, then?

wardropper
Reader

But of course.
The rest was acquired by force.

rtj1211
Reader
rtj1211

Come on, some Scots elite sold their crown for a mess of Potage….