The moral and financial bankrupt, Lauren Booth, breaks the news:
Last month, suddenly and without any warning, the National Westminster Bank, Commercial Banking office, froze Press TV Ltd’s business account.
By ‘froze’, I mean it sealed off the main trading account for the production company, in which lies more the 100,000 pounds sterling. This money is now unable to be accessed by the British companies executives for trading purposes.
Was any warning given of this action? No. Executives received a letter saying the account was frozen. Done and dusted. No debate, no argument, no professional meetings, no bad business history, not even a feeble attempt at an excuse for this commercial terrorism. Nada. [Ed: Surely "Neda"?] Indeed, so confident were Nat West executives of a silence from the authorities, that a month on, they have yet to bother offering confounded executives at the channel a reason for such punitive, draconian, theft.
For if you or I couldn’t get to a hundred k of our own money, isn’t that what we’d rightfully call it?
And there’s more, the bank has stated it will close the accounts permanently in February 2011. Potentially leaving British staff unpaid and ending the companies ability to trade completely.
A report by AFP is here.
This is a matter of concern, not so much to Lauren Booth, but to her many creditors, including her half sister, Cherie Blair, from whom she took £15,000 before her bankrupcy. Without the income from Press TV, there is now real doubt whether these debts will be satisfied.
Disgraced Tory MP Derek Conway and the disloyal Labour mayoral candidate, Ken Livingstone will also find their pockets slightly lighter, after this development. Perhaps they will work for free, though: for the greater glory of the cause.
However, it is not surprising that an international bank like Nat West has frozen the accounts of a propaganda station, funded entirely by the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is increasingly subject to international financial and trade sanctions in the European Union and the United States.
There is also the reputational issue. Businesses like Nat West do not generally want to be associated with dodgy companies: for example, the sort of station which prints Holocaust Denial articles, or which broadcasts the “theory” that the video of Neda’s death was a fake, that she collaborated in the plot, and was then murdered by the doctor who tried to save her life. Respectable financial institutions tend to withdraw facilities from peddlers of hard core pornography, or sellers of counterfeit goods, for similar reasons.
Let us hope that the days of Press TV are drawing to a close.