18 June 2013 

Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo and my birthday – and the day in 1976 of my commissioning as a Gordon Highlander from Sandhurst (and why you might ask was a New Zealander doing that!)

As a consequence I look for something significant to mark the day.

How about this beginning to an article in today’s  New York Times –  relevant for its Napoleonic connection but only tangentially with  Waterloo and today’s date.

“David Green, the director of Britain’s Serious Fraud Office, is in a combative mood. On his desk at his office, a stone’s throw from Trafalgar Square in London, sits a souvenir plaque commemorating the signal that Admiral Horatio Nelson sent to his fleet on the eve of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. It says, “England expects that every man will do his duty.”

The column that follows explains how the SFO director will do his duty by undoing those involved in rigging the London interbank offered rate (Libor ) through criminal prosecutions.  The intention is to bite, not bark as predecessor SFO directors are alleged to have done.

Earlier this month he said that “…I am in the business of doing justice and restoring public confidence in the rule of law. The public need to have confidence that white-collar criminals are dealt with as criminals, that they are not given some special rosy path with a cop-out sentence at the end of the day…”

Doing his duty apparently is “…to revive confidence in his office as a top-tier prosecutor of serious fraud and corruption.”  The Libor case will be the biggest ever attempted by Britain’s SFO.

And to complete the cycle, my spouse’s birthday is on the anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.