Thieves' Imagination

from by Latin Quarter

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about

In the 80’s, Latin Quarter had a song called ‘Corruption’ which we played live a few times but never recorded, and it soon got forgotten. I think one reason for that was that corruption didn’t seem to be such a big deal. At least to me.

How wrong I was. Older, wiser (possibly) and more travelled now, it seems to me now that the world more or less runs on corruption. Often it is an open secret: in many countries, policemen, civil servants etc are paid so little that it is understood that they have to make up their money by extorting the public. But at the top, politicians and businesses conspire to steal billions. In fact, kleptocracy is probably the most common form of government in the world.

The first verse of this song is based on an experience I had in Mexico. The second is referring to an infamous fighter aircraft deal between the UK and Saudi Arabia in which it was alleged a Saudi prince received £1 billion. There was an investigation until, in 2007, Tony Blair ordered it to be stopped.
(Steve Skaith)

lyrics

Thieves’ Imagination
(Skaith)

At the roadblock I just smiled and said
‘Sorry but I don’t have my papers’.
He gave a shrug and a sigh and he said
‘Well, how can we sort this out?’
‘I got a little refresco,’ I said ‘I’ll make a small consideration’,
He said ‘I think my sergeant
Is going to want a little more than that.’

Oh nothing’s what it seems
It’s like we are in the theatre
He’s got his policeman’s costume on
But a thieves’, he’s got a thieves’ imagination.

‘I’m a cousin to the king,
Very pleased to meet you.’
A minister of state
We can help each other out.
You want to sell some planes?
I can be persuaded
But you are going to have to help me
Sort out this bottom line.

Oh nothing’s what it seems
It’s like we are in the theatre
In their sober suits and ties
But a thieves’, he’s got a thieves’ imagination.

Reaching arms around the world
They’re greasing palms of the undeserved
On the bottom rung, you have to survive
But those at the top
They never know when to stop
Those at the top
They never feel rich enough.

Oh nothing’s what it seems
It’s like we are in the theatre
In their sober suits and ties, and uniforms
And their thieves’ imagination.

credits

from You And Me / Thieves' Imagination, released March 3, 2017
Performed and arranged by Latin Quarter, who are:
Steve Jeffries (keyboards and backing vocals); Steve Skaith (acoustic guitar and vocals) Martin Ditcham (drums and percussion); Yo Yo Buys (bass and electric guitar).

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Latin Quarter UK

Latin Quarter first burst onto the scene with their singles "Radio Africa" and "New Millionaires" – songs that stayed for months in the German single charts in the 80s. The band split up in 1998. In 2011 five of the original musicians got together again. Unlike other bands they didn’t rely on previous fame but released two albums with new songs - 'Ocean Head' and 'Tilt'. ... more

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