Butler to the World. How Britain Became a Servant of Tycoons, Tax Dodgers, Kleptocrats and Criminals

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Butler to the World. How Britain Became a Servant of Tycoons, Tax Dodgers, Kleptocrats and Criminals

29th June 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

The Suez Crisis of 1956 was Britain’s twentieth-century nadir, the moment when the once superpower was bullied into retreat. In the immortal words of former US Secretary of State Dean Acheson, ‘Britain has lost an empire and not yet found a role.’ But the funny thing was, Britain had already found a role. It even had the costume. The leaders of the world just hadn’t noticed it yet.

‘Butler to the World’ reveals how the UK took up its position at the elbow of the worst people on Earth: the oligarchs, kleptocrats and gangsters. We pride ourselves on values of fair play and the rule of law, but its author Oliver Bullough believes that few countries do more to frustrate global anti-corruption efforts and thinks that we are now a nation of Jeeveses, snobbish enablers for rich halfwits of considerably less charm than Bertie Wooster!

Is he correct? To discover more, The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to welcome you to this timely discussion with the author of the ‘Butler to the World’, Oliver Bullough, who will explain his thesis of why and how he believes Britain has become the servant of the world’s most powerful and corrupt people.


Photo credit: Sam Peat


Oliver Bullough is an award-winning author and journalist, specialising in financial skulduggery. He is a regular contributor to the BBC and C4 News and writes for the GuardianObserverSunday TimesNew York TimesGQ and Prospect. His third book, the financial exposé Moneyland (2018), was a Sunday Times business bestseller, a Waterstones Book of the Month, Wales Book of the Year and was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize. His new book, Butler to the World was published in March 2022 and is a Sunday Times bestseller.



Dr Stepan Stepanenko received his BA (Hons) and MA by research from the University of York and went on to complete a PhD at Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes of Paris Sciences et Lettres with a focus on Ukraine. In his academic career Stepan presented at a multitude of academic conferences and authored publications in peer reviewed journals, individually and in collaboration. He is also currently an Associate Member of the CNRS UMR 8167.

In British politics, Stepan has worked with the Conservative Party, running for election in the London Borough of Barnet in 2014 and co-founding the Conservative Friends of Ukraine in 2021. He continues to work on cross party humanitarian projects with a focus on Ukraine.






The Henry Jackson Society was pleased to hold a discussion on Britain’s role in supporting illegal financial flows. Dr Stepan Stepanenko began the conversation by introducing the speaker and his book “Butler to the World.” Oliver Bullough explained the historical establishment of London as a global financial centre and discussed the role the capital plays in supporting authoritarian and kleptocrats systems. He spoke about Britain’s responsibility in protecting Russian oligarchs, highlighting the inefficiency of current governmental responses and the need for a well-resourced financial enforcement apparatus. Oliver Bullough then answered questions on Ukraine and Russia, policy recommendations and their funding, the role of other countries, and the evolution of illegal financial flows.




Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London, England, SW1P 4QP
21-24 Millbank
Westminster, SW1P 4QP United Kingdom


Oliver Bullough


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