Category Archives: Corruption

Tory government bid to put their man in charge of Ofcom fails

Paul Dacre: the government destroyed any pretence of impartiality to shoehorn him into Ofcom, but he has given up on it anyway.

Oh dear. How sad (for the Tories). Never mind!

Here’s the story:

The article makes it clear that the Tory government had tried to rig the appointment system after Dacre was rejected first time around:

After failing in his first attempt when an interview panel decided the former editor of the Daily Mail did not fulfil the required criteria, ministers then cleared the way for him to be given another shot.

The panel had deemed him “not appointable”. Now let’s find out how he described his rejection:

He said he had been judged inappropriate to head Ofcom the first time because his “strong convictions” were not compatible with the role.

That would be true enough – Ofcom needs to be impartial so any bias should indeed rule any candidate out of taking the chair.

Dacre – formerly the editor of the Daily Mail – couldn’t resist taking a swipe at the civil service as he announced his withdrawal in The Times:

Dacre described the process of civil service recruitment as an “infelicitous dalliance with the blob”, and suggested it was Whitehall workers rather than politicians “who really run this country”.

No, it’s definitely Tory politicians who have corrupted public life. Ofcom is a prime example; they corrupted the selection process in Dacre’s favour – but you notice he didn’t have anything to say about that!

“The civil service will control (and leak) everything; the process could take a year in which your life will be put on hold; and if you are possessed of an independent mind and are unassociated with the liberal/left, you will have more chance of winning the lottery than getting the job.”

In a final attack on the civil service, Dacre said he was taking up “an exciting new job” in the private sector that “struggles to create the wealth to pay for all those senior civil servants working from home so they can spend more time exercising on their Peloton bikes and polishing their political correctness”.

And good riddance to him. It will be interesting to find out who ends up employing him, and to look up their tax details to ensure they aren’t operating from a tax haven and cheating the Treasury.

The government will now face the task of cleaning up the appointment process that it shamelessly compromised in its bid to shoehorn Dacre in. According to The Guardian,

Concerns were raised about the transparency of the recruitment process.

When the Guardian revealed a lobbyist at a company with close connections to the Conservative party was picked to help select which candidates should be approved, Dacre announced he would not proceed with an application again despite being urged to “by many senior members of the government”.

The government had spent more than a year trying to ease Dacre’s application for the job. After he failed the first interview process the government spent the summer trying to find people willing to sit on a fresh interview panel for the job, with many individuals reluctant to put their name to the process. The job description was also rewritten to favour a more confrontational candidate, in another move seen as favouring Dacre.

The government now has just 10 days to find another preferred candidate, with applications due by 29 November.

Do any of you fancy it?

Strangely, the Guardian article doesn’t provide a link to an online application form, and all the gov.uk web pages concerning Ofcom chairmanship applications are out of date.

It’s as if they only want to take applications from the people they choose, don’t you think?

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Private health owns Sajid Javid. You can’t trust him with the NHS

Crook: Sajid Javid used his position as Health Secretary to sign government contracts with a US healthcare firm, in which he himself owns shares. He was diverting public funds to his own wallet in the form of dividends.

Sajid Javid has been using his job as Health Secretary to give government contracts to the US healthcare business specialising in artificial intelligence, of which he is a shareholder.

Here‘s the UK government press release in which we were all told artificial intelligence is the way forward. Javid himself is not quoted in support of it – a simple bit of sleight-of-hand to divert attention away from the fact that he is owned by a US healthcare firm specialising in AI.

The press release states:

GP surgeries are using artificial intelligence to help prioritise patients most in need and identify the right level of care and support needed for patients on waiting lists.

Now this:

It is a clear conflict of interest.

Even if artificial intelligence – applied to health care – is a good idea, we have no reason to believe the systems booked in by Javid to provide himself with a fat dividend are any good at all.

Like so many of his colleagues, he stands exposed as another filthy, corrupt political crook.

This Writer awaits his resignation. But knowing crooked UK politics, I won’t hold my breath waiting.

ADDITIONAL: It is worth remembering that Parliament is chock-full of MPs and Lords who have shares in private healthcare or have received cash from those companies:

This list is now seven years old. Some of those on it have gone; new names should be added to it. But it gives an idea of the extent to which private healthcare has sunk its claws into the heart of our government.

Do you honestly think you can trust anybody in Parliament to make the right decisions for the nation’s health?

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How others see us: Papua New Guinea shreds Johnson’s government

Incredible sulk: how Boris Johnson would probably look if he read this article from Papua New Guinea.

This humiliating summary of Boris Johnson’s government comes from Papua New Guinea, once partly a British protectorate.

What a takedown for Johnson that a country the UK used to rule is now ridiculing his rule of his own land:

For those who have trouble reading text in images, here it is:

So once more to the UK, where the court of despot Johnson is arrayed by the kind of sycophants and shills who would have made Caligula blush. And that’s just the journalists.

The UK is ‘world beating’ in that it is the first country voluntarily to impose economic sanctions on itself, and the first to suffer the labour shortages and stagnating wage growth that nobody but those who predicted it could have predicted.

Eagle Annual nostalgia has begat a reckoning with which Johnson’s poltroons are ill-equipped to deal. In recent weeks several pillaging lawmakers have been lacerated by the self-same media that only months ago turned a blind eye to the slaughter through negligence of tens of thousands. And they’re getting twitchy.

WhatsApp messages are deleted quicker than you can say “Kathryn Stone should consider her position”. Taxes of minimum wage carers that ended up as PPE contracts in the silken pockets of Savile Row suits are being laundered in the usual way: through real estate and favours further down the road.

The Tories are a superstitious tribe, but the magical incantations of ‘Oven Ready’, ‘Leave Means Leave’, and ‘Get Brexit Done’ that once made half the nation dance in ecstasy are now inducing a danse macabre, as the women of child-bearing age fire boltguns into the temples of screaming pigs and the men contemplate imminent planetary systems collapse by driving their SUVs at the new ascetics: smug [smug? Shurely shome mishtake?] pensioners who block motorways.

Everyone knows the reckoning is coming. Westminster is buzzing with the sound of shredders working overtime and Tories squabbling over scraps from the pharma, gambling, and petrochemical firms with whom they’ve spend a decade screwing their constituents.

But Boris doesn’t mind. The caste system left behind by the empire means there’s no shortage of Home Counties talent willing to lick the brogues of a proven liar. The price Britain has paid for painting two thirds of the atlas red is a ruling order so damaged that its members would rather sell their souls to a corporation before admitting that a single mother on eighty quid a week is their equal.

The “shredding” part is particularly relevant now, as demands for Lord Bethell to produce evidence of his meetings with Randox build in volume. What happened to his emails and text messages? Where are the minutes of his meetings?

Has the paperwork already been through one of those buzzing shredders?

And what punishment will Bethell face if he refuses point-blank to co-operate and cough up the juice?

Are we so corrupt – as a country – that we’re just going to let him get away with it?

No wonder we’re such a laughing stock around the world.

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Aircraft owner Grant Shapps lobbies against his own government’s plan to built on private runways

Grant Shapps: he’s not stranger to controversy. Check out the businesses he ran under his pseudonyms Michael Green, Sebastian Fox and Corinne Stockheath.

The Transport Secretary of Boris Johnson’s Conservative government is spending public money paying private lobbyists to argue against his own government’s plans to build on aircraft runways that are privately-owned, it has been alleged.

The reason? The government minister concerned – Grant Shapps – is the owner of a private aircraft, and also of a private runway.

The allegations are made in a Times article hidden behind a paywall:

So that’s all the information we have. Alok Sharma was certainly being cagey about it when Andrew Marr interviewed him:

The issue is clear: government policy is to build houses on land currently occupied by the runways used by owners of private planes.

Shapps is paying private lobbyists to try to get the government – of which he is Transport Secretary – to change this policy. He is using public – government – money to fund this activity.

So the government is paying your money to fund opposition to its own policy.

It has been said before but could it ever be more clear?

These Tories really do think it’s one rule for them and another for the rest of us.

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High Court showdown for Johnson over his claim that Priti Patel is not a bully

Priti Patel and Boris Johnson: allies against the civil service?

At a time when Boris Johnson is mired in accusations of corruption, he is being forced to defend, in court, his corrupt support for a bullying cabinet minister.

Priti Patel was found to have bullied civil servants in three government departments by the then-government adviser on ministerial standards, Alex Allan, last year.

But Johnson, as Prime Minister, had the final say on whether she could be said to have breached the ministerial code and – despite clear evidence that she had – cleared her.

If he had found against her, she would have had to resign as Home Secretary. But he said any impression of bullying felt by civil servants was unintential, and Patel supported the assertion.

This was not good enough for the FDA – the union representing senior civil servants – and the High Court will hold a judicial review of the matter on Wednesday and Thursday next week (November 17 and 18).

The FDA’s claim is that the assertion that Patel’s actions were unintentional could allow other ministers “to avoid the consequences of their behaviour in future by pleading that it should be the intent of their actions which is important, not the consequences”.

And there could be wider constitutional implications, with the government arguing that the ministerial code should remain separate from the courts and overseen by an elected politician.

It is an untenable position. By corruptly abusing his position of oversight, Johnson has brought the application of the ministerial code into disrepute; he is unfit to manage it.

That’s what This Writer expects the High Court to say.

Johnson will reject the ruling and then he’ll have precipitated another constitutional crisis.

What then? Fun and games…

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Corruption: Tories employ firm involved in ‘Test and Trace’ fiasco – to rig public inquiry into it?

Tory corruption never ends; now they are trying to rig the findings of the forthcoming public inquiry into the mishandling of Test and Trace.

Government outsourcing firm Deloitte has been hired by the Conservative government to prepare a “strategy” for “evidence generation requirements” of the public inquiry into the fiasco.

But Deloitte was involved in Test and Trace. The firm was awarded huge government contracts worth almost £300 million. Consultants were paid £6,000 per day – apparently to do very little – and the company charged the government £1 million per day in fees.

It therefore has a considerable interest in ensuring that the Test and Trace system brought in by the Tory government receives a clean bill of health – even though it was an unmitigated disaster.

Fortunately, Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner is doing her job (unlike her boss Keir Starmer) and has written to Steve Barclay, Tory Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (who, one presumes, commissioned Deloitte to carry out the inquiry work), demanding answers.

As she points out in her letter, “The mismanagement, waste and failure of Test and Trace is well-documented. Up to £37 billion of taxpayers’ money has been wasted on a system that did not control infections and did not prevent future lockdowns.

“[Deloitte] was at the heart of Test and Trace’s operations, and therefore the failure of Test and Trace. It is clearly a conflict of interest for Deloitte to be awarded this contract.”

Here’s her tweet, publishing the letter to the world:

No matter what Barclay may say about Test and Trace (he’ll probably try to defend it), the central point of the letter is absolutely correct: as a contractor involved in Test and Trace, Deloitte should not have been even considered for a role in the inquiry.

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Join the campaign to keep Tory choice Paul Dacre from running ‘independent’ Ofcom

Paul Dacre: if he’s the Tory choice, then he certainly shouldn’t get the job.

The Conservatives are trying to rig the selection of a new chairman for communications regulator Ofcom.

They want to install former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre, even though he has already been through the selection process and was rejected.

The interview panel deemed him “not appointable” a few months ago – so the Tories have taken time out to appoint a new panel member: Michael Simmonds, a former Conservative Party advisor who is married to Conservative MP Nick Gibb (and therefore brother-in-law to BBC board member Sir Robbie Gibb, himself a former Downing Street comms chief under Theresa May).

In fact, the interview panel’s connections with the Conservatives are multiple (and therefore extremely suspicious). See the Guardian article (link below) for further details.

They have also rewritten the job description.

The intention seems clear – as the Good Law Project states in its article (link below): “When Boris Johnson doesn’t like the outcome of an official process, he tries to rip up the rules and start again.

“Ministers… are now shamelessly pushing to appoint Mr Dacre by adjusting the requirements of the role and re-running the recruitment process with a different interview panel.”

Lawyers acting for the Good Law Project have written to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, who has the ultimate say over the appointment, stating that this “second competition raises very serious concerns, in particular as to whether it has been held, and designed, in order to favour Mr Dacre’s candidacy”. And they have a point.

Ofcom should be independent of both the Government and the services it regulates. The appointment process must follow the rules of the Governance Code for Public Appointments: whoever is hired should be selected on merit, through an open and fair process.

The Governance Code for Public Appointments does allow for Ministers to appoint someone who is not deemed “appointable” by the Assessment Panel. But there are safeguards built into the Governance Code: they must first consult the Commissioner for Public Appointments, and they are required to explain their reasons and justify their decision publicly.

“The reason why Ofcom must remain independent of Government is the same reason the media must remain independent of Government: neither can do their job if they are in the Government’s pocket,” states the GLP in its article.

“We’re asking the Secretary of State to explain why the competition for Chair is being rerun and why Mr Dacre is being allowed to reapply.”

Unfortunately, the Culture Secretary is Nadine Dorries.

The GLP says it wants proper answers but is hardly likely to get any from her.

It is threatening court action if it doesn’t get them.

You can help… try… to change Dorries’s mind – by signing a petition calling on Dorries not to appoint Dacre.

Also the video is worth watching.

In honesty, this will probably end up in court. The Tories want to dismantle the BBC – despite having stuffed it with their own people – and they know Dacre will help them do it.

But this would be blatant government interference in an organisation that should be independent.

And it needs to be fought.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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New MP scandal as they’re claiming rent on expenses while renting out dwellings

Extra cash for MPs who rent: it’s not exactly a backhander because it’s in line with Parliamentary rules – but the practice certainly shouldn’t be.

Do Tory MPs receive a manual on election, entitled Tories On The Take: How To Do It?

Here’s the latest:

In fairness, two of the MPs accused represent Labour – but commentators other than This Writer have called them Red Tories:

The Independent, which lists 16 of the accused MPs, states:

Over the past five years, 16 MPs have claimed over £1.3m in taxpayer-funded rent while collecting thousands rent letting out properties in the capital, according to submissions published by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) and the register of members’ interests.

Claims for rent are permitted under Ipsa rules, which state that MPs can receive taxpayer funding for “rental payments and associated costs”. An Ipsa document in 2017 conceded that some arrangements could be controversial – but advised against any change to the rules.

“We recognise that there can be a perception of personal gain if an MP receives rental income from their own property while living in an Ipsa-funded flat,” it said. “However … We do not want to judge an MP’s private arrangements and whether or not they should live in a property they own.”

That may be about to change.

If a member of Parliament is able to carry out their work from their own home, but rent accommodation and charge it to the public purse while taking rent income from their own property – and the rental income means they profit from the arrangement, then they are running an expenses scam and it should stop.

That’s how members of the public are likely to see it.

They may have a good point, I think.

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Now Tories are lining up to justify their second jobs


Aren’t a lot of Tories on the take?

Check out this message showing Tories who can earn up to £400,000 from their second jobs:

Goodness! John Redwood, Damian Green, Andrew Mitchell, Chris Grayling (really? Did somebody really want their business to fail)… Iain Duncan Smith…

Let’s look at Iain Duncan Smith.

Good point, that. He said he could live on £53 a week – talking the talk.

But he’s got a second job worth £25,000 per year. So he doesn’t walk the walk. What a surprise.

And guess what?

That’s probably even more corrupt than Owen Paterson.

So why isn’t the man we call RTU (Return To Unit) being Returned To his family Unit (they always quit saying they’re spending more time with their family), never to return?

Is it because the Tory media have decided that Owen Paterson was the sacrificial lamb and now the Tories have “suffered enough” (another media claim)?

Or is it because his “broader experience” in selling non-alcoholic hand sanitiser to the government of which he has been a member is supposed to benefit the nation – as Sajid Javid’s roles advising banking giant JP Morgan and artificial intelligence firm C3.ai benefited the nation because it gave him broader experience?

But, but, but… Javid only advised these outside organisations on matters in which he already has knowledge and experience (although not very much in the case of banking; he’s allegedly one of the damned fools behind the Great Recession of 2008 or thereabouts).

The nation would be better-off without him getting in the works and stinking them up, wouldn’t it?

All in all, Skwawkbox’s suggestion seems wise:

Will the Tories ever willingly take it up?

No.

And it’s not because of any flannel about helping the government with outside expertise.

It is simply because they are all on the take. They should all be in prison, not on the Green Benches.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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How can Starmer tackle Tories with second jobs when he’s had several himself?

Keir Starmer: he’s been on the Westminster second-job gravy train (albeit not in a big way) so he can’t criticise Tories who’ve done the same.

The public may be furious about Tory MPs who took lucrative second jobs representing big businesses when they should have been representing their constituents – but what help will they get from the Opposition?

None, it seems – because Labour leader Keir Starmer himself has taken second jobs.

In 2016, he worked for law firm Mishcon de Reya, declaring £4,500 in income for advising its academy between June 1 and September 30 that year.

But after joining the shadow cabinet as shadow Brexit Secretary that October, his application to return to work for the firm was vetoed by then-leader Jeremy Corbyn, and there was a good reason he should have done so.

Mishcon de Reya had represented Gina Miller when she challenged the authority of the UK’s Tory government to use delegated powers to invoke Article 50 of the European Union treaty to exit the bloc (she said – rightly – that only Parliament could remove rights that Parliament had granted).

When he became shadow Brexit secretary, Starmer became privy to information that could have created a conflict of interest between his work as a shadow Cabinet member and his second job.

I’m astonished to find myself in agreement with James Cleverly on this:

Starmer has since declared further income from employment outside Parliament.

He clearly not only approves of MPs having second jobs but has actively engaged in the activity himself – so he cannot credibly oppose the practice.

There are other reasons to be concerned about Starmer’s connection with Mishcon de Reya. It’s apparently the apartheid state of Israel’s favourite UK law firm…

… and it represented people involved in the controversy over the way Labour handled allegations of anti-Semitism against its members.

When these people sued Labour, Starmer caved in and paid them six-figure sums, even though he had been advised that Labour would win.

Keir Starmer is currently sitting on the report of the Forde Inquiry, that examined claims made about the behaviour of many of those involved in this controversy.

What a tangled web we weave!

It seems that, not only does the scandal over Tory MPs’ second jobs give us reason to believe Starmer would not pursue the matter with the necessary (forensic?) diligence…

It also suggests a conflict of interest that means Starmer should never have had anything to do with the Forde Inquiry or any part of Labour’s investigations into anti-Semitism.

He never declared it. Who knows how many Labour members have suffered injustice as a result?

Is this apparent corruption enough reason to demand Starmer’s resignation?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
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SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook