Theresa Villiers: she says her failure to declare £70,000 worth of shares in Shell was an “oversight”. Was it really, though? What else has she failed to share?
This is shocking: when she was the government member charged with caring for our environment, Theresa Villiers had £70,000 worth of shares in mass-polluter Shell oil.
She is the MP for Chipping Barnet, where constituents should be outraged that she has been working for the enrichment of that firm (and therefore increased profits for herself) rather than in their interests.
That firm recently announced profits of $5 billion (US), which is admittedly down from the £7.7 billion (UK) it made in the first quarter of 2023. Of that, £6 billion found its way into the bank accounts of shareholders like Ms Villiers.
Shell stock is currently worth around £24 – higher than the £19.41 when Ms Villiers left office as Environment Secretary, so she’s making a bit of a killing.
She says her failure to declare this enormous conflict of interest was an oversight that won’t happen again:
Anna Jones – Theresa Villiers(Tory MP) owned £70k worth of shares in Shell when she was environment secretary, that wasn't declared for 5 years… what do you make of that?
The only reason it won’t happen again is that she has been caught red-handed and knows she can’t hide this any more.
What else has she been hiding, though?
It seems clear that there is only one way to keep this woman from lying – call it what it is – about business interests that create conflicts with her duty to the nation.
That is to ensure that she cannot have a job in which such conflicts arise.
If Ms Villiers is more interested in making money for herself than in safeguarding the interests and well-being of the United Kingdom as a whole, then she should be forced back into the private sector.
No doubt she’ll quickly find work with a firm that has profited from UK government policy.
She might do well by sending her CV to Shell.
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The emergency services, newspapers and the government seem to have been colluding with each other to hide the deaths – by self-immolation – of benefit claimants who have been persecuted as a matter of government policy – to prevent the kind of social change triggered when Thích Quảng Đức set himself on fire in Saigon in June, 1963?
Why have the news media been playing down these incidents, that – if they happened abroad – would have sparked huge and justified civil unrest?
Where is their sense of responsibility – not only to the dead but to the living victims of Conservative government persecution?
And would any of them care to explain the disparity between the way foreign events have been reported and those here in the UK – is it really all down to the lack of a photograph of somebody in flames?
Yesterday (August 19) we learned that a woman aged in her 50s apparently tried to take her own life by setting herself alight in a housing office run by Conservative-controlled Barnet Council.
The last report we have is that this woman – who has not been named by the authorities – remains in critical condition.
Today we discover that this lady was lucky in comparison with retired builder Peter Sherwood, who set himself alight on the pavement of London Road North, Lowestoft, at around 5pm on September 4, 2015.
That’s right – nearly three years ago a man burned himself to death on a busy shopping street in a British town during rush hour, and nobody thought it was worth mentioning.
The only information we have is from an inquest report in the Lowestoft Journal, published on April 28, 2017 – more than a year and a half after the incident took place.
Inquests don’t usually take so long. Why was this one dragged out?
The Lowestoft Journal report states that Mr Sherwood had been visited at home by his local community mental health team, who heard him express plans to end his own life and made an urgent appointment for him to see a psychiatrist the following week.
The fact that they did not take him to get help immediately is where the report seems to be suggesting any fault for the death lies. What about the reason he felt that way?
Here they are:
In a statement read during the hearing, Mr Sherwood’s niece Sarah Wilby said… Mr Sherwood was on Disability Living Allowance but he had received a letter informing him he needed to reapply for Personal Independence Payment, which she believed contributed to his heightened anger at that time.
Now consider this:
Coroner Peter Dean read statements from witnesses, who described seeing Mr Sherwood spraying something on the pavement starting with the letter ‘h’ with an aerosol can.
Mr Sherwood then set himself on fire. Members of the public tried to douse the flames by throwing their jackets onto Mr Sherwood, and using a fire extinguisher from a nearby shop.
Police at the scene reported Mr Sherwood had muttered the word “humanity” to them a couple of times after the incident.
So he was pleading for humanity from the authorities, or complaining about the lack of humanity being shown to him. Would it be unreasonable to suggest such a thing?
… Especially in light of the fact that we have evidence showing that huge numbers of disability benefit claimants have complained about the Conservative government’s inhuman treatment of them.
Mr Sherwood, of High Street, Lowestoft, had a long history of recurrent depressive disorder and psychosis and had attempted suicide several times in the past.
This is all-too-familiar.
We are left with evidence that people across the UK have been self-immolating over a period of years, because of the Tory government’s lack of “humanity” towards them – and that those with the ability to bring this horror to the attention of the public have been deliberately covering it up.
Mohamed Bouazizi set himself alight in Tunisia in December 2010, sparking a series of revolutions in Arab countries. British people were outraged by the event at the time. But what happened when a British woman set herself alight in a British government office? Nothing.
When Mohamed Bouazizi set fire to himself in Tunisia in December 2010, he became the catalyst of the Arab Spring – a series of revolutions against oppressive regimes in the Arab world.
The street vendor was driven to self-immolation by the confiscation of his wares and the harassment and humiliation inflicted on him by a municipal official and her aides.
The event was well-reported, supported by photographs of the event, and sparked such outrage among Tunisians that protests began within hours, building in frequency and intensity over the weeks that followed and becoming widespread after Mr Bouazizi’s death on January 4, 2011 – to the point at which President Ben Ali fled the country, ending 23 years of his rule.
Last Wednesday – four days ago – a woman set fire to herself in a housing office run by Conservative-held Barnet Council. It went unreported by the press and there have been no protests. Why?
On June 11, 1963, a Buddhist monk named Thích Quảng Đức burned himself to death at a busy Saigon road intersection, in protest at South Vietnam’s persecution of Buddhists.
Again, there was photographic evidence.
Thích Quảng Đức set himself on fire in Saigon in June, 1963. His protest was against the persecution of Buddhists by South Vietnamese president Ngô Đình Diệm, who was deposed by that country’s army and assassinated that November.
US President John F Kennedy, who had been a supporter of Ngô Đình Diệm, saw the photograph when he was passed the morning newspapers while on the phone to his brother Robert. He reportedly interrupted their conversation about segregation in Alabama by exclaiming “Jesus Christ!” And he later remarked that “no news picture in history has generated so much emotion around the world as that one”.
There is no photograph of the woman who self-immolated in Barnet Council’s housing office. If there had been, would the newspapers have reported it? Or would they have hushed it up?
Fortunately, we have the following report from Skwawkbox, otherwise we would know nothing about it:
The parent of an eyewitness described the incident:
“My daughter took her mother to an appointment at Barnet Council ( Tory) housing office yesterday afternoon. They were being interviewed in a side room when they heard a commotion. Someone came and told them to leave the building.
“When they left the room they saw flames on front of them in the waiting room. A woman had set fire to herself. Everybody was just turfed out after witnessing this terrible ordeal. She said that those outside were in severe shock but left to their own devices.
“There hasn’t been a word about this in the news or local news. This is Tory Britain . How often is this happening and going unreported? My daughter was still very upset and had to spend the night with her mum.”
Visit Skwawkbox to see video of emergency vehicles outside Barnet House.
When the site’s writer, Steve Walker, contacted police for information, he was told there had been no inquiries about the incident from anybody in the local press.
Eventually, he received the following information: “Police were called by the London Ambulance Service to Barnet House, High Road N20 at around 15:44hrs on Wednesday, 15 August after reports of a female suffering from burns injuries.
“Officers attended with LAS and the London Fire Brigade.
“A female, aged in her 50s, was taken to a London hospital before being transferred to a specialist burns unit in Essex.
“She remains in a critical but stable condition.”
When people set fire to themselves in other countries, the incidents were well-documented by the press, and the governments against which they were protesting fell soon afterwards.
But here in the UK – an allegedly-civilised country – a woman pushed into desperation by government persecution (why else would she do it in a Tory housing office?) can set herself on fire and suffer injuries that put her health in critical condition…
… and nobody bats an eyelid.
Is it really because we haven’t seen a photograph of her burning body?
Are we all really so shallow – so insensitive – that we need to see the horror before we can react to it?
Fortunately, now that Skwawkbox has published its report, word is getting out and people are starting to respond – and they are angry at the lack of response from the press.
It is possible that the local – and national – news media did not know about the incident because it had not been reported to them by any member of the public. But the emergency services have a duty to report major incidents and it is alarming that they did not.
People in positions of power must now account for themselves.
And we need to know, not only who the casualty is, but why she did what she did. Does she have relatives? Friends? What do they have to say about this?
If anybody in Barnet, who has information, is reading this, get in touch.
ADDITIONAL: It turns out the story was reported, by the Times series of newspapers in the area. The manner of the report is – well, see for yourself.
Nye Bevan News also has a piece, but it’s the comments by the relative of an eyewitness, as quoted above, along with a plea for the facts to be brought to public attention.
At the time of writing, I published this article about an hour ago and it has been read nearly more than 6,000 times. We’re getting there.
Some might say he should have known better than to give the interview at all.
But in fact, Ken Livingstone told Adam Boulton he has been turning down invitations to be interviewed on the subject of Jewish voters and the anti-Semitism claims that led to his suspension as a member of the Labour Party.
And he only spoke the following words on Sky News after Mr Boulton said, “Speaking to some of your former Labour colleagues in Barnet, they were specifically blaming you for the loss.” That’s a tacit reference to the row sparked by Mr Livingstone’s words in 2016.
But he acquitted himself very well:
Ken Livingstone has no regrets over his comments on "Hitler and the Zionists" – which led to him being suspended from the Labour Party pic.twitter.com/H1rAvDYObQ
But it seems certain people did not like it at all.
Chloe Chaplain and Martin Coulter at the Evening Standard disliked it so much, they wrote an article about it and headlined it Ken Livingstone sparks outrage after repeatedly bringing up Hitler in yet another live TV interview.
Did they not realise that he had been asked?
The article featured tweets from people who had been similarly incensed, including Adam Langleben, who was ousted from his Barnet council seat but remains a member of the Jewish Labour Movement’s national executive. He wrote: “Why the hell is Ken Livingstone on @SkyNews trying to explain the Barnet result????
Chuck him out.”
I can answer that very easily: He was on Sky News because that programme’s editors asked him. As for the demand to “chuck him out” – why? What has he said that is inaccurate?
I notice that Mr Langleben said nothing about the content of the interview – or of Mr Livingstone’s previous comments. It would be interesting to know what historical inaccuracy he has uncovered that would justify Mr Livingstone’s expulsion from the Labour Party.
Or doesn’t Labour do accuracy these days, when considering allegations of anti-Semitism? After the verdict on Marc Wadsworth, I could easily believe that!
Tulip Siddiq was also quoted: “Please please get this irrelevant man off my TV screen.” Why is he irrelevant? No reason. Why does she want him silenced? No reason.
Former LabourList editor, now largely irrelevant himself, Mark Ferguson tweeted: “6 (six) years ago I campaigned in Barnet and saw Jews and non-Jews alike turn away from Ken Livingstone because of his behaviour (whilst voting for other Labour candidates).”
Visit his Twitter page and you’ll see someone has asked: “what behaviour of Ken’s was this, specifically?”
And this is the problem with all the censure of Mr Livingstone, in a nutshell. That’s why, to Mr Livingstone’s critics, I say:
It’s no good saying his words are unacceptable if you can’t tell us why.
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These creeps are coming out of the woodwork, it seems.
The latest member of the Conservative Party to reveal his true colours via the social media is Tom Davey. That’s DaVey, not DaLey the Olympic diver – although the world would be a happier place if this guy took a running jump.
Davey has been broadcasting his thoughts on Facebook, spreading messages of hatred towards minorities and women, along with dubious attempts at humour (according to Political Scrapbook) – for at least the past six years.
For example, take a look at this message:
“Benefit claiming scum beware. ps i don’t like paying taxes for you lazy bastards!”
or this one:
“Finding a job would be easier if [I] were a black female wheel chair bound amputee who is sexually attracted to other women.”
or this one:
“More excited than Harold Shipman in a nursing home.”
The messages were posted in 2008, when he was at the London School of Economics. One is led to question whether he was a member of that organisation’s Tory clubs because this man is now a Conservative councillor in Barnet.
The following year he delivered this:
“Smacking [my] bitch up… that’ll teach her for ironing loudly whilst the football is on!”
He later justified this by saying he does not like football and his wife doesn’t do the ironing.
Has he mellowed in the years since? Evidence suggests otherwise.
Last week, as Barnet Council’s lead member for housing, he admitted that he doesn’t care about the lack of affordable housing pushing poor people out; he wants rich people to take their place.
In a debate that was filmed by a member of the public, he said: “If there is such a problem with Barnet, if Barent is such a terrible place to ive and if it is so unaffordable, why are people flocking to Barnet and why are house prices going up? It’s because people want to live here.”
Challenged by an opposition councillor who said the only people coming were those who could afford it, he blurted: “And they’re the people we want!”
Vox Political is not rich enough to live in Barnet.
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