Tag Archives: Cameron

‘Chinese agent’ dead cat falls flat for Tories as it turns out she has donated to them

Political influence: Christine Lee has been donating money to the Conservatives for many years, and has been seen with David Cameron (pictured), Theresa May and Boris Johnson.

Remember this sideshow from last week?

The claim was that Christine Lee had been influencing Labour MP Barry Gardiner with donations, while her son was working in his office – but Mr Gardiner swiftly and efficiently killed the allegation:

So all the donations were legitimate, MI5 knew about Lee and was kept informed about her by Mr Gardiner’s office, and there is no evidence to suggest that her son had anything to do with the matter.

MI5 appears to have confirmed this:

More concerning is Ms Lee’s connection with another political organisation… The Conservative Party.

Here she is in close contact with former prime minister David Cameron:

And now here’s a tweet that proved prophetic:

This is the reason:

Apparently she has been backing the Tories for quite a while too. That’s probably the reason the amount she has handed them seems to fluctuate.

Yes indeed:

Possibly the funniest observation of all (although not from the Tory point of view) is this:

And, in the name of political balance, the sharpest comment is this:

So we see that a tactic intended to smear the Labour Party with allegations of corruption and possible treason, to distract from the Downing Street parties scandal, has backfired in Boris Johnson’s face – and now it is his Tories who must face the same claims.

I look forward to seeing them explain their way out of this one.

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#Eton under pressure after #RickyGervais rant about the politicians it produces

Eton: has this school done more to ruin the UK than any other organisation.

When are we going to stop taking ‘went to Eton’ as a qualification for running the country?”

With those words, embedded in a sweary rant, Ricky Gervais once again struck a chord with the people of the UK:

He was attacking Boris Johnson, of course – and rightly so.

But the criticism rings true of so many more politicians, especially in recent years.

So the social media erupted:

It would be fair to say that Eton produces high-flyers who are both arrogant and ignorant, and only ever gain positions of power because of the Old Boy Network.

Maybe once it educated genuinely great and good people. But even that is debatable. And those days – if they ever existed – are long gone.

As a private school, providing education to those who can pay its exorbitant fees, Eton does not take the most intelligent people; it takes those whose parents have the most money.

Teachers there may do their best to implant an education into this stony ground but the evidence suggests that the best way Eton equips its alumni for success is by allowing them to say they were “Eton-educated”, even though (in some cases), it would have been more rewarding to educate a brick. It would do less damage, even if it were used only to break windows.

Former Eton pupils help each other into the plum jobs and deny those jobs to more deserving people who went to other schools.

And that’s why the United Kingdom has flushed itself down the toilet.

The quality of the education provided may be excellent. I don’t think anybody is denying it.

But if Eton’s current owners and staff really want to maintain their school’s reputation, that is being trashed by former pupils including Boris Johnson, David Cameron, Jacob Rees-Mogg and, yes, Justin Welby, there’s something they need potential pupils to do before they take any money:

An intelligence test.

Of course, it’s possible that Eton does actually get potential pupils to take such a test.

If so, then it needs to be changed.

To one that works.

Brexit ‘red tape’ slashes UK trading revenue with EU by £17 BILLION in just three months

Prophetic: I made this infographic in December 2020 – almost a year ago.

Remember when David Cameron – the architect of the EU membership referendum – said his Conservative-led government would ‘slash red tape’?

It’s almost funny, with hindsight.

Today we learned that the departure from the European Union that his referendum triggered has resulted in a loss of £17 billion in revenue to UK businesses, while they have been swamped in a quagmire of red tape that Brexit has created.

According to The London Economic:

Despite promises from the Leave campaign that red tape would fade after Britain quit the EU, UK companies have had to fill in an astonishing 48 million customs declarations and 140,000 export health certificates in the eight months since the UK quit the single market and customs union , according to the National Audit Office (NAO).

The NAO blamed Brexit for a sharp decline in trade between the UK and EU this year. “Total trade in goods between the UK and EU was 15 per cent (£17bn) less in Quarter 2 when compared with the equivalent quarter in 2018,” the watchdog’s report said.

An additional £600 million in costs has hit British importers since January according to HMRC data seen by The Guardian. The cause has been identified as Brexit, because the taxes were not required for EU imports when the Britain was in the single market.

But isn’t that the exact opposite of what Boris Johnson promised? Didn’t he say there would be no barriers to trade after Brexit?

Why, yes – yes he did:

In fairness, Cameron did cut a lot of “red tape”.

It turned out that these rules and regulations were necessary to keep us safe and secure in our workplaces and financial transactions. I’m sure you can think of your own examples.

Their loss has endangered us.

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#ConcreteMike : interviewer tells #InsulateBritain spokesman you can grow concrete

This is what happens when a right-wing radio presenter thinks he’s smarter than a simple man with a simple message:

“You can’t grow concrete,” said Cameron.

“You can…” responded Mike Graham – and then had to eat silence while Cameron let the enormity of his mistake sink in.

This Talk Radio presenter actually suggested that people could grow concrete – a synthetic substance.

And then he went on to suggest that being a carpenter – making items out of a renewable substance like wood – is bad. It’s one of the oldest and most useful professions in any human culture!

No wonder Mr Graham said he didn’t want to talk to Cameron – or anybody else from Insulate Britain – ever again. As it is, he will undoubtedly receive a strong shaming over this.

If you really want to know what Insulate Britain is about – there’s a reason behind their road-blocking protests, you see – then enjoy This Writer’s interview with another member of the organisation, here.

The quick summary is that if you agree with Insulate Britain, then you want warmer homes, a solution to the dangers of climate change, and decent jobs for local craftspeople.

If you don’t, then you side with somebody who thinks carpentry is a bad idea.

And if we’d listened to people like Mike Graham back when humanity was first starting its ascent, we’d all still be living in caves, wearing animal skins and afraid of the dark.

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Dementia patient deported by Patel; Labour councillor wants ‘anti-migrant militia’ [Also in the news]

Border Force: while a Labour councillor calls for the creation of migrant vigilante groups, Priti Patel has deported a dementia patient.

Lots to get through tonight and no time for commentary:

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Will Starmer’s latest relaunch be undermined – by Jeremy Corbyn? [Also in the news]

Keir Starmer and Jeremy Corbyn: in this image, Starmer was preparing to stab Corbyn in the back (metaphorically). Now it seems grassroots Labour members have found a way to do the same to Starmer.

Keir Starmer’s bid to “reinvigorate” his leadership of the Labour Party at this autumn’s conference could be torpedoed by grassroots members – and Jeremy Corbyn.

The party rank-and-files that Starmer has spent the last year trying to marginalise are circulating a motion to give final say on disciplinary action against MPs to the membership at large.

It’s a terrific idea because it would ensure that the leadership couldn’t influence decisions in favour of its favoured (right-wing) members… if ever that should seem attractive to Starmer and his cronies.

But more crippling for Starmer will be the fact that his decision to exclude Corbyn from the Parliamentary Labour Party could be reversed – by the members he hates, ruining his “reinvigoration”:

Also in the news today:

1. Dido Harding will stand down as NHS Improvement boss in October.

It means the organisation’s title may finally stop being a contradiction in terms.

But what part of the national infrastructure will Harding try to blight with her presence next?

2. Thousands of ESA claimants are to receive thousands of pounds in back payments

A four-year review of ESA claims has ended, with thousands of people receiving thousands of pounds.

And the families of many more who have died will receive a £3,000 payout.

But here’s the problem: if they had received that money when they were alive, would they still have died?

3. David Cameron allegedly made millions by cashing in his shares in Greensill before it collapsed.

He had tried to get his former colleagues in the Tory government to invest in the company’s loans, before it collapsed when its insurer refused to renew cover for the same loans.

By that time, we’re told, Cameron had cashed in his own shares in the company, making £7.2 million.

It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good, eh?

4. NHS hospital wards may have been filled with toxins because the government ignored SAGE

Several NHS hospitals have trialled air purification products that could produce dangerous levels of toxins after the government ignored advice from its Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) to implement new guidelines for air purification systems.

Sage’s environmental modelling group in November urged the Government to draw up “impartial guidance” on air purifiers following a spike in sales during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sage’s advice was repeatedly ignored. Business minister Paul Scully told MPs eight months later, in July, that current trading regulations are adequate to keep consumers safe.

Industry figures raised concerns after several NHS hospitals trialled air purification systems made by decontamination technology firm Airora that could generate potentially dangerous levels of formaldehyde and ozone.

5. The government’s new disability strategy is to carry on pushing people off benefits

“The Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) Shaping Future Support: the health and disability green paper, released a week before the NDS, confirmed that it has no intention of easing up on its attempts to push disabled people off benefits.”

This is embarrassing for the Tories as it undermines anything in the NDS – or it would, if there was anything to undermine.

The strategy itself seems to be to award empty “accessibility promotion” job titles to non-disabled people.

The issues of most importance to people with disabilities – benefits and social care support – are conspicuous by their absence.

6. DWP is handing Universal Credit information to local councils – to undermine the vulnerable?

Consider this:

… and have them evicted?

7. Right-wing think tank loses complaint over radio comments

This is unfortunate – for the Institute of Economic Affairs:

Am I right in thinking we can all now say that the IEA is a politically-biased hard-right lobby group of questionable provenance, with dubious ideas and validity?

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Johnson dubbed ‘Major Corruption’ as one-fifth of UK Covid contracts ‘raised red flags’

Boris Johnson: Major corruption.

People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, as the saying goes, and Boris Johnson is finding that out for himself right now.

After he referred repeatedly to Keir Starmer as “Captain Hindsight”, a commenter on Twitter responded that Johnson himself must be “Major Corruption” – to rapturous applause:

Johnson is in no position to deny the claim that is implicit in his new nickname; today (April 22) new allegations landed, suggesting that 20 per cent – an entire fifth – of Covid-19-related contracts awarded to private organisations were “red-flagged” for possible corruption.

Here’s The Guardian:

Transparency International UK said a “seriously flawed” arrangement, whereby companies bidding for contracts were prioritised if they were referred into a “VIP lane” by their political connections, had “damaged trust in the integrity of the pandemic response”.

The group said it had identified 73 Covid-related contracts with multiple factors that would ordinarily be treated as red flags for possible corruption, such as the company being politically connected. Twenty-seven PPE or testing contracts worth £2.1bn were awarded to firms with connections to the Conservative party, it claimed.

The group said it had also identified £255m of contracts awarded to companies that had only been incorporated within the previous 60 days. The figure is surprising because the short lifespan of the companies suggests they cannot have had any track record of actual business.

The group said Boris Johnson’s government must urgently disclose the identities of companies awarded public money through the VIP lane, which was set up by the Cabinet Office and the Department of Health and Social Care in the early days of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, we have also learned that David Cameron was trying to get his grubby little hands on personal data belonging to NHS staff, while he was lobbying on behalf of Greensill Capital, in which he had a financial interest.

And the Twitter commentariat has been happy to supply multiple other examples of Johnson’s alleged corruption. For example:

One last observation: while it has been great fun calling Johnson “Major Corruption”, at least one observer has suggested that we are ranking him too highly:

As alternatives go, it is appropriate on many different levels – isn’t it?

Source: Fifth of UK Covid contracts ‘raised red flags for possible corruption’ | Coronavirus | The Guardian

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Greensill: Johnson launches government-run review of lobbying. It’ll be another whitewash

David Cameron: he acted very slick in office but it seems he simply refused to do anything right.

Labour has (rightly) attacked Boris Johnson for launching only a government review of lobbying rather than a full independent inquiry in the light of the Greensill scandal.

Revelations about David Cameron’s involvement with the failed finance firm – for which he lobbied Tory ministers after quitting as their prime minister – are coming thick and fast.

The latest is that the government’s former head of procurement, Bill Crothers, was allowed to take a job with Greensill Capital two months before quitting his civil service role.

Having made this decision, the Cabinet Office (run at the time by Matt Hancock) then decided that, because he was already working for the firm before leaving, Mr Crothers would not have to apply to Whitehall’s “revolving door” regulator, the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA).

The former civil servant says he did not promote Greensill for any public sector business for more than two years after leaving – but what did he do during those two months in 2015?

Labour’s Rachel Reeves did the morning media rounds today (April 14), saying that an internal review would not be good enough. Considering the Crothers revelations, she had a point:

Adil Ray on Good Morning Britain tried to torpedo her by pointing out that Tony Blair took a job with JP Morgan – one of the world’s biggest banks – after quitting as the UK’s prime minister in 2007.

She responded: “If anyone has any evidence that former Prime Ministers have been using their status to access special treatment for firms they are working for they should be investigated.

“But there are no accusations.”

Mr Ray might have scored a more palpable hit if he had pointed out that Labour has its own experience of whitewashing a corruption inquiry: the Forde inquiry was originally intended to examine whether party officers had worked to prevent the party from winning the 2017 election with Jeremy Corbyn as its leader – but this was subsequently removed from its remit and the inquiry’s report has been suppressed by the Labour leadership for many months.

There will be a vote on the form any inquiry will take later today (I’m writing this at around 11.30am) – but it won’t succeed because of that 80-seat Conservative majority that means Boris Johnson can impose any corruption he fancies; his backbenchers will vote it through mindlessly, herding through the lobby like the sheep they are.

And no doubt many members of the public will believe the findings of that inquiry, drinking the whitewash like the sheep they are, even though they know it is poison to their own well-being; government corruption harms the nation.

But it is good to see Labour attacking Tory corruption at long last.

Johnson has had a free pass from Keir Starmer’s right-wingers for far too long. It is many months past time the UK’s main opposition party actually did some opposing and held him to account.

But I fear that it is only happening because Starmer thinks it will look good in the run-up to the local elections – and that it will prove to be the usual half-hearted attempt from his party: too little, too late.

Source: Greensill: Labour’s call to widen lobbying probe rejected by No 10 – BBC News

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Greensill: further evidence of Cameron’s corruption comes to light

David Cameron: does he regret his involvement with Greensill? Doubtful. Who knows what other connections he lined up for himself while he was supposed to be serving the public in 10 Downing Street?

It seems that after ensuring that a financial services firm he had welcomed into Whitehall could continue lobbying the government, David Cameron did his best to profit from it.

That is the heart of the Greensill scandal, although some of the reporting of it seems vague on the subject.

Cameron ensured that his Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act would not stop firms like Greensill from persuading government ministers to give them money.

Then, after he left Parliament, he took a job with Greensill – and lobbied his former colleagues on Greensill’s behalf.

Now it has emerged that he stood to benefit from a £21.8 million employee benefit trust, and the implication is that this is the reason he lobbied hard for the firm during the Covid-19 crisis, when it was about to go bust.

Now that the firm has been dissolved, of course, his shares are worth nothing.

“Good thing too,” you might say. “He’s had his comeuppance and there’s the end of the matter!”

Well, no.

You see, it stinks of corruption.

We have not just a former minister but a former prime minister who paved the way for his future employers to have access to government funding, then took a job at that company in order to enjoy the profits from that arrangement.

He also lobbied the government on behalf of that company – using loopholes he had made in the law while he had been prime minister – in order to safeguard his own future income.

We have no reason to believe that Greensill was a suitable firm to receive government investment. Indeed, the government’s reluctance to award contracts to the firm, and withdrawal of permission for it to access Covid-related financial aid schemes, suggests strongly that it was not.

The social media are abuzz with this – with much of the gossip focusing on a suggestion that Cameron relied on the “old boy network” to have his way – going to former Eton schoolmate Boris Johnson (the current PM) for help:

This supports the claim that the Tories are sinking in their own corruption. Everybody in the UK needs to know about this, so they can make an educated choice on whether they want continued Tory rule.

Remember: the rest of us were struggling to cope with Cameron-imposed austerity while he was (allegedly) planning to rake in the millions with this now-collapsed company.

And while Matt Hancock, Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson are all now enmired in the Greensill allegations alongside Cameron – and Johnson in corruption allegations of his own connected to Jennifer Arcuri, we are still struggling to cope with austerity.

The sheer self-serving greed of these Tories is a blight on every citizen of the United Kingdom.

Source: Cameron ‘lobbied senior Downing St aide and Matt Hancock’ to help Greensill | David Cameron | The Guardian

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Ex-politicians shouldn’t harm public life, says man who’s busy harming public life as a government minister

Robert ‘bent as a nine-bob note’ Jenrick: his own activities as a housing minister suggest that he is the last one to criticise politicians who turn out to have acted corruptly while in office.

Robert Jenrick – he’s a fine one to talk, isn’t he?

He’s been a minister for three years and is already mired in more allegations of corruption than most MPs, yet he has taken it upon himself to criticise David Cameron.

The claim is that Cameron rigged the system, while in office, in order to feather his nest once he had left frontline politics.

While it may well be valid – and it is certainly worth saying that UK politicians should set an example to the world by turning their back on that kind of corruption… well, I shudder to think what we’ll hear about Jenrick after he retires from Parliament.

The simple fact is, our politicians – particularly our elected government – are able to twist the system so it delivers fat profits to them, knowing that they will never be penalised or prosecuted for it because they are above the law.

Repeat until you understand everything that it means: they are above the law.

They will never be arrested because the police never prosecute politicians, particularly those who have been senior members of a government. Never.

So there is absolutely no incentive for them not to corrupt the system to the limits of their imaginations, is there?

Oh, you disagree?

Take a look at history, and the revelations it provides about UK politicians’ behaviour both in and out of office.

Source: Ex-politicians should be very careful – minister – BBC News

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