Does Foundation X Want to Buy Britain?

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November 1, 2010; Source: Hansard | A late night House of Lords speech given by a Tory peer is causing some major head scratching around the blogosphere—but very little mainstream media attention.

On November 1, Lord James of Blackheath indicated that he had been contacted by a shadowy foundation that was offering to pay off Britain’s multi-billion pound debt. “For the past 20 weeks I have been engaged in a very strange dialogue with the two noble Lords, in the course of which I have been trying to bring to their attention the willing availability of a strange organisation which wishes to make a great deal of money available to assist the recovery of the economy in this country. For want of a better name, I shall call it foundation X.”

The story gets stranger. When challenged by another peer as to why he, rather than someone more important, was the one to be approached, Lord James claimed that his experience of “laundering of terrorist money and funny money” made him eminently qualified to negotiate high finance. Some commentators have suggested this is a Nigerian scam on a grand scale. If so, it has reached the highest levels of British government.—Timothy Lyster

Editor’s Note: This story is not connected in any way—as far as we know —with Foundation X, a technology firm (not a foundation) in Salt Lake City, Utah, some 4,552 miles from the Houses of Parliament.