Clever

Army major tricked foreign governments into sending him tanks
Michael Whatley told German, Swedish and Belgian officials the vehicles were for a museum display – but he sold them for up to £105,000 each

Old military kit does get sold off. Collectors sometimes buy. Museums though get first dibs and often don’t have to pay. You can see the attraction of being one of the two, museum or collector, one one side of the process, moving to t’other side on t’other.

Actually, this is true of a lot of kit out there. Old computers can have a value, being a charity that collects them for the kiddies can be – and I’m sure is – done. RNLI pricing on old boats is likely to vary.

Of course, none of this is as bad as setting up a 99/1 partnership in order to gain grants from charities that don’t fund individuals.

8 thoughts on “Clever”

  1. “Of course, none of this is as bad as setting up a 99/1 partnership in order to gain grants from charities that don’t fund individuals.”

    Nor resurrecting a long dormant LLP (‘Finance for the Future LLP’ had been dormant since 2012) in order to get a grant which it immediately paid almost in full to one of its members as a ‘fee’ for something or other).

    Perhaps the LLP could be renamed ‘Finance for Colin Hines’ Future LLP’?

  2. Old computers can have a value, being a charity that collects them for the kiddies can be – and I’m sure is – done.

    That sort of thing stopped years ago – Elf n Safety. Too much risk of the littluns frying themselves on old power bricks. Can’t even give them to Africa.

    In Ye Olde Dayes, there was a big market in the former Eastern Bloc for old mainframes and desktops.

    Nowadays even the Taliban aren’t in need of second hand tanks, they have lots of nice new ones now.

  3. “In Ye Olde Dayes, there was a big market in the former Eastern Bloc for old mainframes and desktops.”

    Fun bit. For a time there there was a significant market in taking the old Eastern Bloc computers (for the gold values) and replacing them with modern desktop and networks. Pricing actually worked that “We’ll take your old, underpowered and slow and horrible old box and given you a completely new server and box on every desk system absolutely free!”. And as to replacing the old telecom switching equipment. Sheesh, new digital exchange slotted in and take away the scrap mechanical in exchange.

  4. “That sort of thing stopped years ago – Elf n Safety. Too much risk of the littluns frying themselves on old power bricks.”

    Eh? I’ve been buying ex-lease laptops for years. And some guys started one up in Wiltshire to help kiddies during Covid.

    That said, in general, this is why the informal networks on Facebook were so successful in the early years of Covid. No-one bothered with any bureaucracy. Someone wanted shopping collected there was no anti-pedo certificates, no safeguarding training BS. They just did it. By the time the councils had spun up their alternative, this was all motoring.

    It’s why things like eBay and Amazon Marketplace are so wonderful. Everything is so small, you get a very free market.

  5. “He was handed a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years, after pleading guilty to three counts of misconduct in a public office.”

    For this guy at least, crime has paid.

    Is he giving any of the money back? Doesn’t sound like it. So, he’s had a nice living selling some tanks for free. Sounds like he made about half a million quid and has suffered no punishment.

    “”In sentencing comments, Judge Andrew Barnett said: “You stand there for the first time in this dock and you should be bitterly ashamed of your conduct.

    “If you misbehave to the extent that you have, you not only damage the reputation of the Army but also a very distinguished cavalry regiment.”

    I mean, so fucking what? The guy is 65 years old. How is this going to hurt him now? Is he looking for high trust jobs?

    The reputation of the Army? People who give soldiers rifles that jam or troop transporters that are useless against an IED?

    What’s the moral difference between nicking a few tanks and working on HS2 or the F-35? You talk to people who do government projects, a lot of them know it’s a waste of money, will never be finished etc. They’re just there to get their mortgages paid.

    And what was anyone doing with these tanks? Is this like the massive archive of art that the government holds? Warehouses full of paintings that never see the light of day? The bureaucrats clearly didn’t care much or they’d have done a bit of due diligence.

  6. BoM4

    Charities and schools told us that they were no longer allowed. We tried several times in the 90s and 00s.
    Guess it is different if you start your own one…

  7. There was a business that took away old fridges for free then refurbished them and sold them to third world for medicine storage typically.
    As a result of changes to EU regulations on recycling they had to shut down, resulting in less recycling and no supply of cheap fridges for third world charities and people out of work

  8. Large numbers of people need to start ignoring tyrannical legal bullshit. Already there with con-vid but time to start walking all over those who think they can walk all over us.

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