Tag Archives: corruption

Conservative Covid-19 contracts cronyism: professionals suffer as cash goes to Tory chums

One more time: we can hope the PPE provided by Platform 14 was better than what we see here – but the fact that this Tory-run company beat firms that may be considered better-qualified remains a scandal.

This is an outrage.

A Merseyside company specialising in medical wear from its establishment half a century ago was ignored and passed over by the Tory government’s “emergency” tendering process for PPE contracts.

Meanwhile a former Tory councillor was given £276 million worth of PPE contracts for a company that was dissolved in April 2019 after making a loss of around half a million pounds.

The Merseyside firm – Florence Roby – is having to lay off staff – while the owner of the revived Platform 14 has apparently skimmed £1.5 million off the top of his contract and used it to buy a 17th-century Cotswolds mansion with 100 acres of land.

This is Tory cronyism – and profiteering – at its worst.

If Florence Roby – which has five decades of experience – had won some of these valuable contracts, it would have produced excellent PPE. Moreover, the investment in this well-established firm would have provided employment and security to experts in their field.

You can draw your own conclusions about Platform 14 (est. 2012) from the fact that it managed to run up huge losses in seven years, and from what its owner has done with your money.

These are the decisions the Tories have been making regularly since they started using the so-called “emergency” system to avoid going through a proper tendering process for Covid-19-related contracts.

As a result, the effort to control the disease has been hampered by substandard products – where they have been supplied at all – and amateur manufacturers.

And Boris Johnson has run up a borrowing bill that is expected to total more than 316 billion more than this year’s national deficit, when the financial year ends in April 2021.

He’ll expect you to pay for Steve Dechan’s £1.5 million mansion. How do you feel about it?

Source: Mersey company forced to lay off staff as PPE contracts go to Tory connected firms buying from abroad – Liverpool Echo

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/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

After his supporters bleated over Corbyn, how can Starmer avoid corruption claims?

Keir Starmer: he’s not looking so smug now (image for illustrative purposes only, before anybody points out it’s old).

Keir Starmer dug a deep hole for himself when he allowed Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour membership to be suspended.

This Site has already discussed the fact that it led other party members to protest and they, in turn, were suspended for talking about it – even though Starmer and other members of his party elite had been doing the same.

It has been said that these suspendees were not allowed to vote in the NEC elections that took place while Corbyn’s suspension was ongoing – or rather their votes weren’t counted – so there is already a smell of corruption about the business.

To this may now be added the possibility that it was unlikely Labour would ever have suspended Corbyn because he may have taken the case to court. Corbyn has hundreds of thousands of pounds in a fund that was raised when it seemed he may be sued over the Panorama documentary Is Labour Antisemitic? – and he has the facts on his side; he was well within his rights to say the words that led to his suspension.

And now Starmer’s own supporters have undermined him by complaining. This Writer has engaged with one of them as follows:

Hodge’s response is, I’m told, mild in comparison with some of the others.

I tend to agree with Skwawkbox‘s interpretation of this:

After weeks of bleating about political interference by party leader Jeremy Corbyn (even though his office only intervened to tell heel-dragging right-wing staff to get on with it), they are now demanding political interference by party leader Keir Starmer – and threatening to flounce out unless he does interfere – even though the reinstatement was decided by a right-dominated NEC panel.

These are the same people who have been loudly demanding that the party implement the full conclusions of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report – which bans political interference. Yet as soon as a disciplinary process ends in a result they don’t like, they come over all ‘To hell with that!’, which makes you wonder what kind of ‘independent’ process they’d accept. Of course, the ‘mainstream’ media is pointing out precisely none of this shameless hypocrisy.

You’d almost think the ‘moderates’ weren’t serious about wanting impartial and just outcomes to disciplinary complaints and had just been cynically exploiting an opportunity in a way that can only be described as, well… political.

Starmer has promised to implement all the recommendations of the EHRC report mentioned above – including the ban on political interference. He may not have done it yet but, by demanding it, they are at least breaking the spirit of the new rules Starmer plans to bring in.

And there are all the complaints that have already been made about those of Starmer’s lieutenants who have passed anti-Semitic comments without fear of suspension.

Put it together and Starmer faces corruption accusations from all sides.

By suspending Corbyn supporters, he may be accused of corrupting the NEC elections.

By not suspending his own supporters, he may also be accused of corruption.

Either way, it seems clear he sits at the head of a corrupted Labour Party machine – with himself as the cause of the corruption.

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/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

#LevellingUp or #ToryCorruption ? Serco-employed test and trace managers take £1.5m per year

Not the NHS: Boris Johnson privatised the Covid-19 test and trace system, believing it would be a great advert for privatisation. Instead, it has become a millstone around his neck – so he refers to it constantly as “NHS test and trace” in the hope that people will blame the nationalised health service that has nothing to do with it.

The Serco Test and Trace scandal gets worse and worse; it has just been revealed that some employees receive £7,360 per day to pretend to find people with Covid-19 and trace their contacts.

That’s the equivalent of £1.5 million a year. These are people from companies with strong connections to the Conservative government, that won their contracts via an emergency system which avoids the normal tendering process.

And it has already been established that most contact tracing personnel spend their time playing computer games because they are not being given work to do.

City AM says,

Sky, citing leaked documents, reported that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has paid BCG around £10m. That was for a team of 40 consultants to work for four months on test and trace.

BCG’s “day rates” for public sector work – which determine the cost of its service – range from £2,400 to £7,360 for its most senior employees.

The report said BCG is giving the government a 10 to 15 per cent discount. Although this would still equate to day rates equivalent to around £1.5m a year.

BCG declined to comment.

Sky also said that 165 more consultants had been hired to work on test and trace. They include 84 from Deloitte, 31 from EY and 50 from KPMG.

So much for Boris Johnson’s claim that he was “levelling up” the UK. Tory friends are being paid millions in public money while those who desperately need it are being starved.

While ministerial salaries are being frozen, all MPs are getting a pay rise of £3,300 per year – equivalent to around two-thirds of the current annual rate of Universal Credit for an adult aged over 25.

The lowest MP salary will be £85,291 per year. Compare that with nurses on £24,000. Who does the more important job?

What about care workers, who receive an excruciatingly-low £18,553 per year. Who does the more important job?

The Durham-based family of Boris Johnson’s adviser Dominic Cummings have been excused from paying £30,000 in backdated council tax on houses they built without planning permission 18 years ago – while child poverty in the Durham North constituency has rocketed by nine per cent – to total one-third of all children living there – in the last four years… after housing costs were taken into account,

The social media are seething with discontent:

I think the following three tweets put the current situation in a nutshell, using the current northern lockdown as an example of Tory corruption at its worst. First, let’s set the scene:

Now we can go into details with this excellent speech by Labour MP Dan Carden:

Lastly, let’s remember that there was an alternative – but people were steered away from it by liars in the mainstream media who shilled for the corrupt Tories instead. Now what, do you think, encouraged them to do that?

Source: Government paying test and trace consultants equivalent of £1.5m salary : CityAM

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/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Did Boris Johnson delay social gathering clampdown so that St Leger horse races can take place?

Dido Harding: Corrupt?

Is it really a coincidence that Boris Johnson’s new clampdown on social gatherings involving more than six people is to be imposed on Monday, allowing the St Leger horse racing festival to take place first?

Is it a coincidence that the St Leger is organised by the Jockey Club, which counts among its directors Dido Harding – who also happens to be in charge of the Serco (not NHS) Test and Trace fiasco?

Would it be more accurate to say that Ms Harding’s priority is the racing track, rather than Track and Trace?

People on Twitter certainly have their opinions about this:

While we’re discussing Test/Track/Trace, let’s remind ourselves that UK citizens have been forced to traipse around the country trying to get tests, as the Serco-run system for which Ms Harding is responsible has been unable to provide enough – even though (I hear on PMQs) 75,000 test kits are wasted every day.

Why isn’t Ms Harding doing the rounds of the studios explaining why we should not attribute the delay of the social gathering lockdown to her own corruption?

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/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Gavin Williamson’s bigotry has endangered the futures of thousands of people – and the UK as a whole

Promoted beyond his abilities: Gavin Williamson was fired as Defence Secretary last year after… someone… leaked information about Chinese firm Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s 5G system (and look how that story has developed). Now he has messed up the hopes of thousands of ‘A’ level students.

What a fiasco – and all to create an artificial impression that privately-educated school pupils are better than those in the state system.

We all knew that school pupils taken their GCSE and ‘A’ level exams have been seriously disrupted this year, with schools being closed from late March.

This meant it was impossible for their exams to go ahead in the normal way, with knock-on effects for the future of candidates as they apply to move into a career or further education.

There are ways to make fairly accurate predictions of each pupils’ likely achievements, based on their mock examination results and their term work.

But Education Secretary Gavin Williamson couldn’t be bothered with all of that, so this year’s results are estimates – figures plucked from some apparatchik’s rear end.

The results he has produced show a clear bias in favour of privately-educated pupils that is unlikely to stand up to scrutiny; it seems Williamson has simply promoted the children of rich Tory voters above everybody else.

Picture the scene if you can: Williamson in his office, looking at students’ details.

WILLIAMSON: “Julian Huntley Farquar – studying at Harrowton*. Predicted grades are C, C and… C. We’ll give you an A, A* and, oh, I think another A. Well done, Julian for going to the right school!

“Now, who’s this? Billy Tozer. Factorytown Comprehensive. Predicted A, A and A*! That’ll never do. You can have a D, U and D, Billy – and that’ll teach you not to be born to poor, working-class parents next time!”

(Who’s the real DUD in this vignette, by the way?)

Result: Bedlam.

People are right to be outraged. These seems to be another clear example of the Tories using the Covid-19 crisis to hammer anybody who doesn’t have a million quid in the bank.

Look at these examples of deliberate downgrading:

And how has the Education Secretary responded?

Not only has he said (through Ofqual) that appealing against these false, imposed grades would harm other pupils in the appellant’s school…

But changing the grades would promote pupils “beyond their abilities”:

https://twitter.com/Independent/status/1293870590642851841

I think I speak for the entire United Kingdom when I say that this fiasco has certainly shown how one person has been promoted beyond his abilities – that person being Gavin Williamson.

Williamson should resign – or be sacked again. By downgrading pupils who didn’t go to posh, expensive schools he is harming the future of the whole of the United Kingdom.

Given the right opportunities, those students could go on to become captains of business, industry, science and the arts, leading the nation forward into a brighter future.

But now those opportunities will go to dim Julian who hasn’t got a clue – just because he went to the right school.

It is a crime against the nation.

Oh… the official leader of the Opposition, Keir Starmer, has said something about this, but it isn’t even worth repeating.

I will repeat some of the responses to him, though:

From Rachael Swindon: “Why aren’t you calling for Gavin Williamson to go immediately? STOP HELPING THE TORIES FFS.”

And from Raphael Dogg: “Criticise. The. Fucking. Government.”

If either of those tweeters is a Labour Party member, I have no doubt that Mr Starmer will be having them expelled as soon as possible.

*Feeble attempt to concoct a fictional public school name.

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/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Tory corruption? Party supporters get £180m of OUR money to supply PPE. But will they?

Michael Gove: this minister (who once got caught making a joke about rape on the radio, by the way) is in charge of handing out procurement contracts for PPE. They seem to be going to his friends but we’re being told it’s all perfectly fair and above-board.

You’d think the Tories would have learned their lesson after Liz Truss was caught handing £150 million to a Board of Trade crony for face masks that don’t work.

But no – the UK’s corrupt-to-the-core Tory government won’t learn because it will never face any consequences.

So Tory ministers have handed a further £180 million of our cash to supporters of their political party, on the grounds that it is paying for more PPE (personal protective equipment) that will be used to help treat people with Covid-19.

Will it arrive? I don’t know. If it does, will it work? I doubt it.

Seven contracts – worth £65 million alone – were handed to businessman David Meller’s firm Meller Designs.

Not to be confused with the former Tory minister David Mellor, this Tory donor handed £65,000 to the Tories over the last 10 years, so the contract represents a markup of 1,000 times his outlay.

How did he get his contract to provide gowns, gloves, masks and hand sanitiser? Well, he provided thousands of pounds’ funding for Michael Gove’s failed Tory leadership bid and Gove is now in charge of PPE procurement but perhaps you see no connection there.

According to the government, ministers are not involved in the selection process because there is a “robust” system to ensure that orders are of high quality and meet safety standards.

That’s what they said about Ms Truss’s friend and his face masks, wasn’t it?

Some members of the public are sceptical about the Tories’ protests:

Are the Tories still using emergency powers to avoid scrutiny of these contracts?

If so, I would have thought the emergency was over.

There’s certainly grounds for suspicion of foul play; the firms themselves may say they submitted their tenders in good faith but the Tory decision-making process deserves scrutiny.

But we know what they’ll say:

First it’ll be “now is not the time”, and then it will be “it’s all in the past”. Consequence-free.

Source: Tory backers ‘handed £180m worth of contracts’ to supply the Government with PPE – Mirror Online

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/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Is Keir Starmer re-installing corruption into the Labour Party, with the wealth of private donors?


There is nothing to praise in the way Keir Starmer has managed to replace a small subscriptions by a large amount of people with large donations by a small number of wealthy benefactors.

No matter how The Guardian dresses it up, it signals a return to the bad days of New Labour, when the party’s direction was dictated by a small number of wealthy donors – for their own gain – rather than by its members for the good of the UK as a whole.

Look at this, from the Guardian‘s article:

“I would not give Labour money under Corbyn, but I would now be happy to give money to Labour,” said one significant former donor.

Those are the words of a person who is “for the few, not the many” – an inversion of Labour’s famous slogan.

The article also quotes Michael Levy, “Labour’s leading fundraiser under Tony Blair”, as follows:

Whereas I would say major donors would have had no interest over this last period, I think there is a real possibility now that they will return to the fold. The party needs to be funded by people who believe in the cause.

Whose cause?

Some of us have very clear ideas about that:

Consider this, from a sitting Labour MP:

That is absolutely right. And a return to a situation where private donors have more say than the rank-and-file members is simply unacceptable.

Look at a few other comments and consider the implications:

If Corbyn’s Labour was “crony donor free”, then Starmer’s isn’t – and that is a bad thing.

https://twitter.com/Kayayemela/status/1292163222540361729

Again, “individual wealthy backers” = bad.

“The Labour Party should be about the people. Always.” But the presence of wealthy donors will prevent that.

James Foster is right. As are the others.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour didn’t need “big money”. It had plenty of “small money”, if that’s how some people want to describe it.

The fact that “big money” is coming back to Keir Starmer’s Labour indicates that “small money” is leaving.

It also indicates that “big money” wants to support Starmer’s appeasement of those staffers who are accused of sabotaging the Corbyn project, of racism, misogyny and in some cases anti-Semitism. Because it makes Corbyn look bad without actually proving anything either way?

This is a very bad look for Starmer’s new New Labour.

We already have evidence that indicates around 2,000 people are leaving the party every week.

This may multiply that outward flood into a deluge.

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/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Johnson’s new lords: BLATANT corruption?

Boris Johnson and Evgeny Lebedev: 10 days after saying he saw no evidence that Russians were influencing UK politics, Johnson has elevated a Russian to the House of Lords.

Boris Johnson has started packing the House of Lords with his cronies in what seems an example of blatant political corruption.

First, look at the number of new peerages he has announced – 36 – at a time when all the debate has been about reducing numbers in the Upper House of Parliament.

Every lord receives an allowance of £305 per day, simply for attending debates – which is why so much television coverage seems to show decrepit members of the gentry snoring on their red benches rather than doing any actual work.

With the number of peers approaching 830, if they all attended sessions, the public would be spending nearly a quarter of a million pounds subsidising their sleep, every day.

And look at the candidates Johnson has chosen!

At a time when concern over Russian intervention in politics is at a height, he has given a peerage to Russian-born newspaper magnate Evgeny Lebedev, who owns both The Independent and the Evening Standard. Lebedev is a personal friend of the prime minister who threw a party for him after Johnson’s election victory last December.

Other appointments show similar cronyism:

Johnson’s brother Jo, who quit a ministerial role – and then stepped down from the Commons – last year saying he did not believe supporting the then-new prime minister was in the national interest, gets booted up to the Lords.

It means he’ll have access to public cash (the £305 per day) for life, and if he opposes his brother’s policies it won’t matter – because brother Boris’s 80-strong majority in the Commons will reverse any major changes to legislation that the Lords try to impose.

Former Chancellors Kenneth Clarke and Philip Hammond, who both lost the Tory whip last year because they rebelled against Johnson’s threat of a no-deal Brexit, also get booted up to the Lords, where they can rant all they like without doing him any harm.

From the Labour Party, prominent Brexiteers Kate Hoey and Gisela Stuart are rewarded for their betrayal of the nation with seats on the red benches.

And so is former Work and Pensions Committee chair Frank Field, who gave himself a bad name in his own party by joining in with accusations of anti-Semitism, while supporting the Tory government in Brexit votes.

Ruth Davidson will get to take up a peerage after she stands down from the Scottish Parliament next year – but is it in gratitude after she led the Scottish Tories to become the second most popular party north of the border behind the SNP? Or is it to neutralise an influential Tory who had once been tipped as a possible UK party leader, who openly criticised Johnson’s Brexit plans and decision to suspend 21 Tory MPs who didn’t agree with him?

Also getting a peerage in what seems a straight reward for services rendered is Sir Edward Lister, who was Johnson’s chief strategic advisor.

So far I have mentioned only nine of the 36 people Johnson has nominated.

Notable absences from the list include former governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, who was perceived as hostile to Brexit, and former Commons Speaker John Bercow, whose hostility to Johnson’s attempts to corrupt Parliamentary process were plain to everybody. Convention dictated that both should be elevated – but Johnson had no room for them, despite drawing up a much longer list than anybody expected.

Do you honestly believe those he has chosen will use their new positions in the interest of the people of the United Kingdom? I don’t.

I think Johson is baking his corruption into the fabric of the UK’s Parliamentary system – deliberately wrecking our democracy.

Oh, and he’s giving a knighthood to former PM Theresa May’s husband Philip – presumably in gratitude for selling all those missiles that the Saudis have been using to annihilate Yemen and its people. Did I get that right?

Now brace yourself – because it could have been worse.

According to the Daily Telegraph – the Torygraph, for crying out loud – Johnson is now threatening “reform” of the House of Lords after the House of Lords Appointments Commission objected to his plan to reward Tory donors with peerages.

It seems he is absolutely furious at being blocked from stuffing the Upper House with fatcats. Presumably he was planning to let them take back from the national Treasury what they gave to the Tories’ private funds.

But his plan has only been delayed – a new list of peerages for Tory supporters including businessmen Johnny Leavesley and Peter Cruddas, due to be published in the autumn

Nobody can do anything about this scandal apart from comment – and the outrage has come thick and fast on Twitter:

Sadly, the new New Labour Party is too deep in its own hypocrisy to do anything about the situation.

The UK’s democracy could have been saved from all this if right-wing factionalists in Labour had taken their heads out of their own rectums and supported Jeremy Corbyn’s election campaign in 2017, instead of sabotaging it. They managed to do just enough harm to give Theresa May leadership of a hung Parliament, we’re told.

So it is unsurprising that criticism of Johnson’s nominations by Labour centrists like Chris Bryant has been treated with the contempt it deserves:

Source: Botham and PM’s brother to join House of Lords – BBC News

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/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Is Robert Jenrick safe from the sack because Boris Johnson is implicated in Westferry corruption scandal?

Jenrick and Johnson: both have personal connections with property developer Richard Desmond, so why have they been interfering in the determination of his planning applications?

Here’s an interesting kink on the Westferry planning scandal:

Let’s assume there’s something in what John Stevens – and Henry Mance – are saying and that Richard Desmond, the man behind the Westferry development plan, had a considerable amount of contact with Boris Johnson. That would create cause for concern, and we would certainly be justified in wanting to know the nature of any communications.

Now consider this:

A key player in the controversial Westferry Printworks development can be revealed as an investment firm owned by a super-rich Tory donor and crony of Boris Johnson.

The “development manager” is a company which has donated £200,000 to the Tories.

[The planning application] was made by a company owned by Mr Desmond but the developer was London and Regional Properties, a firm behind £9billion of building projects owned by [Ian] Livingstone and brother Richard. It is unclear if LRP is still involved, but Westferry Printworks is listed as a development on its website.

The company donated nearly £202,000 to the Tories between 2005 and 2012.

It is run by [Mr] Livingstone, who the Prime Minister appointed to the board of his Mayor’s Fund for London.

Mr Johnson approved the original plans for the East London site during his final days as Mayor of the capital.

So now this “cash for favours” row has a strong connection with Boris Johnson and Downing Street.

Also suspicious is the Tories’ apparent desperation to distance themselves from any interest in Mr Desmond and his firm – for example, by banning the BBC from using photographs of Mr Desmond and Robert Jenrick together at a Conservative Party fundraising event:

The Conservatives have banned the BBC from publishing pictures of Robert Jenrick and Richard Desmond at a party fundraising dinner.

The pictures are owned by Conservative Party, with the BBC saying it was prevented from publishing them. A spokeswoman for the corporation told Yahoo News UK on Thursday: “We didn’t use them for legal reasons.”

The same article states that Johnson is standing by his minister:

Downing Street said on Thursday that the prime minister still has “full confidence” in Jenrick, adding Johnson had spoken to the embattled minister in recent days and “considers the matter closed”.

Isn’t that what a prime minister would say if he was unable to fire his underling – for example, because the flunky was only doing what the PM had told him to do?

I ask merely rhetorically.

Meanwhile, it seems Jenrick is now embroiled in another “cash for favours” row:

Labour has called on… Robert Jenrick, to explain a ministerial meeting with a “family friend” who had a financial interest in the future of a rival mining project that Jenrick was overseeing.

The Guardian revealed this week that Jenrick met the Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer while the then exchequer secretary to the Treasury was considering a request for financial support from Sirius Minerals for a mining project that would have rivalled Ofer’s own firm Cleveland Potash.

A spokesperson for Jenrick said on Friday that Ofer was a “family friend” and that the minister had notified officials, who advised him to step back from the decision on Sirius.

But the spokesperson did not say when Jenrick recused himself and the Guardian understands he retained oversight of Sirius’s request for support for at least six months after the meeting.

Put this together with the amount of money that property giants give to the Conservatives…

The Tories have received more than £11m from property developers since Boris Johnson became prime minister, an investigation has found.

Concerns have been raised about the apparent increased influence property developers have over the Conservative government. Their contributions make up nearly a quarter of the £47.5m in donations received by the party from last July to March, up from 7.9 per cent of the total two years ago.

The latest analysis by the OpenDemocracy website found that the Conservatives’ top 10 property donors have given more than £5.7m to the party since Mr Johnson took the helm in July – up from around £1.5million for the equivalent top 10 in the final 12 months of Theresa May’s premiership, a three-fold increase. In total, around 120 individuals and companies from the sector have donated since July last year.

… and there is certainly enough evidence to ask questions.

Of course, there can be no implication of wrongdoing by Conservative donors whose contributions are made only through support for Tory policies; who have no personal connection with Conservative ministers.

But when there is a connection, as with Idan Ofer and Jenrick, and with Richard Desmond and both Jenrick and Johnson, it is not only right to ask questions – an investigation is positively demanded.

The Westferry matter goes a step beyond even this – because wrongdoing is known to have happened, and because the person who is refusing to take action against the minister responsible for the transgression himself has a connection with the developer – and the development itself.

I mean, who can blame us for questioning Jenrick when it seems he won planning permission for an extension to his Westminster home, against planning officers’ recommentations, from councillors who were his fellow Conservatives?

Conservative councillors on Westminster council gave planning permission for an enlargement of Jenrick’s townhouse despite officers recommending the application be refused because it would harm the appearance of the building and the conservation area.

Planning officers were recommending refusal of this third application but Steve Summers a Tory councillor and a neighbour of Jenrick made an official request that a planning committee take the decision and not officers.

In November 2014 the three Conservative members of the planning committee — Richard Beddoe, Robert Rigby and Paul Church — voted to overturn the officers recommendation and approve the scheme. Ruth Bush, the single Labour member of the committee voted against the application.

In March 2018 Robert Davis who was chair of planning at Westminster council for 17 years resigned after the Guardian revealed he had received hospitality and gifts hundreds of times including from property developers.

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/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Planning corruption: it seems Jenrick isn’t the only Tory accused of breaking the rules

Robert Jenrick: while he was presenting press conferences about Covid-19, he has also been mired in an apparent corruption scandal.

The evidence is mounting against planning minister Robert Jenrick in the scandal over the Westferry development – and interest in the controversy has revealed further potential corruption.

It seems Robert Jenrick was induced to overturn the refusal of the Westferry planning application after property developer Richard Desmond showed him a promotional video for the £1bn development. Here’s The Guardian:

“What I did was I showed him the video,” Desmond told the Sunday Times, adding that Jenrick had watched it for “three or four minutes”, and adding: “It’s quite long, so he got the gist.”

Jenrick subsequently overturned a decision by a local council and the government’s planning inspectorate in order to approve a 500-apartment, 44-storey development at Westferry Printworks, a former printing plan in east London.

Viewing the video would appear to constitute lobbying by Desmond, potentially giving rise to a conflict of interest.

Labour will use the opportunity of a three-hour opposition day debate on Wednesday to discuss the controversy.

That’s today – June 24.

Meanwhile, according to The Mirror

A Tory former planning minister is reportedly under investigation for failing to declare an interest in a hotel development in his constituency.

Sir Bob Neill wrote a letter to his local council in December 2018, urging them to approve the redevelopment of The Royal Bell – a neglected hotel in his Bromley Constituency.

But he failed to mention in his letter that he was on the payroll of the Substantia Group – the firm handling the planning application for the hotel.

Sir Bob has been paid £50,000 by the firm for “strategic consultancy advice” since 2016, according to the register of members’ interests.

But his links to the firm were not explicitly outlined in the letter.

Shadow Housing Minister Mike Amesbury said: “It beggars belief that a former planning minister would not be aware of the obvious conflict of interest in this case.”

And the Telegraph today reported Sir Bob had intervened in another planning application being handled by the same firm – again without mentioning his paid position.

MPs voted in 2018 for investigations by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner to remain secret. Some might suggest that this was an offence against justice, which must be seen to be done.

But it has been reported the Commissioner has launched an investigation into Sir Bob’s involvement in the project after receiving a complaint.

Source: Jenrick under growing pressure after fresh Desmond revelation | Politics | The Guardian

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/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook