Saturday, July 1, 2017

Riding High in June, Shot Down in June

"Mr Lowy's knighthood citation highlights his 'contribution to the UK economy' through British investments, particularly Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City. He has been active in philanthropy in both Australia and Britain, including founding the Lowy Medical Research Institute and the Sydney-based Lowy Institute for International Policy. In Britain he has supported the Cabinet Office War rooms, the Imperial War Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. His community profile here was raised with his role as chairman of Football Federation Australia for more than a decade until 2015, and he personally spearheaded Australia's bid to host the World Cup in 2022. That ended in a rare devastating defeat for the businessman. Mr Lowy said he was 'humbled' and grateful for the knighthood, and the credit 'should be shared with the thousands of Westfield staff who helped contribute to the company's success in the United Kingdom'." ('Humbled' Lowy honoured by Queen for Britain's Westfields, Deborah Snow, Sydney Morning Herald, 17/6/17)*

"Swiss prosecutors have examined [$46 million worth of] Australian taxpayer-funded payments to controversial lobbyists hired at the behest of billionaire Frank Lowy to help Australia win the 2002 World Cup... While the Garcia report does not accuse Mr Lowy... of corruption, it does raise serious questions about [his] oversight of Australia's taxpayer-funded World Cup bid." (Swiss probe into cup bid, Nick McKenzie, Sydney Morning Herald, 29/6/17)

As another Frank (Sinatra) would say: That's Life!

[*"As Frank Lowy tells it, his journey to a British knighthood began with his love of the BBC, acquired as a young teen hiding from the Nazis after the invasion of Hungary. He and his fellow ghetto-dwellers would 'huddle around a radio in a bunker' in Budapest, waiting eagerly for the chimes of big Ben to introduce the World Service. 'It always gave us hope that help was on the way and that the war would end in our favour,' the 86-year old said on Saturday, after the overnight announcement in London that he had been made a Knight Bachelor in the Queen's Birthday Honours List." (ibid) Funny that. Sir Frank's biographer, Jill Margo, tells us that he was living in a "protected house," one of 25, while all the other Jews in Budapest "were forced into a ghetto." Moreover, she quotes him, in the final phase of the war, as waiting for the Russians to save him. Of the BBC there is no mention whatever. (Frank Lowy: Pushing the Limits, 2000, pp 28-29)]

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