Tag Archives: donation

Boris Johnson’s law change on sanctions is too little, too late – because he’s a Russian stooge?

Boris Johnson and Evgeny Lebedev: Johnson put this son of a Russian KGB officer into the UK’s House of Lords – because, it is widely believed – Lebedev’s Evening Standard helped Johnson’s rise to power.

Boris Johnson has been shamed into changing the law so it is easier to sanction Russians with assets in the UK, stung by criticism that the UK is acting too slowly.

Ministers are tabling amendments to the Economic Crime Bill in order to help the UK align with penalties imposed by allies in the EU and US.

The change will be fast-tracked through Parliament on Monday, meaning allies of Vladimir Putin with money and property in the UK will have another three days’ grace in which to stash their assets elsewhere.

Public opinion is that the Tories have been slow to act because they have taken a fortune in donations from Russians – and they want to know what these UK politicians were asked to do in return for that – as they understand it – dirty money.

Rather than respond to that question, the government seems to have chosen to leave it hanging in the air – trying to divert attention to what it is doing now:

Apparently a minister (was it Hinds?) said that Unexplained Wealth Orders were introduced years ago to allow the government to confiscate assets from people suspected of wrongdoing – and it is widely believed that much of the Russian cash flowing around the UK – and British politics – is ill-gotten. But this just provoked another hard question – and embarrassing answer:

So, Unexplained Wealth Orders have been an unqualified failure – were they mentioned merely to provide an appearance of activity when none has taken place?

Meanwhile:

It was Boris Johnson’s old friend Lubov Chernukhin. She donated £13,750 in October and £66,500 in December, just months before Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine. In total she has handed £2 million to the Tories.

And what do you think of this?

The analysis – which includes many legitimate companies – suggests that thousands of firms listed on the UK’s business register are controlled by Russian nationals who live in the country, with some linked to Putin’s allies.

The final example of Russian influence in the UK, that I’ll include in this article, is something I heard on Radio 4’s Today programme on March 3:

The presenter – I think it was Evan Davis – said it had been suggested that properties like Sutton Place could be seized and used to house displaced Ukrainians. He expressed deep scepticism that the Tory government would ever have the courage to make such a move.

And this is the problem – one that won’t go away when Johnson introduces a “too little, too late” law change on Monday:

We simply don’t believe prime minister can effectively sanction Russians in the UK when he was compromised and corrupted with dirty Russian money long before he got anywhere near Downing Street.

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‘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.

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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#CPC21 : Sunak’s speech endorses – and offers to reward – tax avoidance by billionaire Tory donors


Let us be clear about this.

On the day most of us learned that billionaire Conservative donors have been squirrelling away trillions of pounds in tax havens rather than paying their fair share…

… Conservative Chancellor Rishi Sunak has apologetically told them he cannot cut taxes for rich people like them…

… until poor people like This Writer (and, no doubt, yourself) have paid off the costs racked up by his government in coping with Covid-19…

… nonexistent costs, let’s not forget (the money was created by the government, not borrowed)…

… most of which went to Conservative donors who, after avoiding the tendering process by using a fast-track system for friends of the Tories, then provided absolutely nothing in return.

So, after the billionaires have kept public tax money for themselves and taken public cash under false pretences, they now say they’re paying too much tax and want the poor to cover any costs they have incurred. And Sunak is apologising to them for not doing this.

This looks like misappropriation of funds on a global scale.

And Sunak’s offer to cut taxes after the nonexistent bill is paid makes no sense at all, for an obvious reason:

Sunak and his forerunners should have closed all tax avoidance loopholes in the 11 years since they have been in office but they haven’t. Is that because they have benefited from millions of pounds in donations from the people we now see have avoided paying trillions of pounds in tax?

That looks like a “yes” to This Writer!

He tried to cover it up by focusing on Brexit, saying that we’ll see the mythical benefits of leaving the European Union in the long term.

I think we all know what Brexit was really about – don’t we?

Weirdly, the same Chancellor who has immorally handed billions to Tory donors via failed Covid schemes, and trillions to them by allowing tax avoidance, thinks such actions are perfectly reasonable.

To him, it would be immoral to take cash from them – that they want to lend – in order to fund, say, an anti-poverty strategy:

No – he thinks poorly-paid workers should simply get better jobs, as though that is the easiest thing in the world. Clearly he has never had to try to do it himself. And he conveniently forgets an enormous hole in his own logic:

Oh but – he said – the UK economy is recovering faster than anywhere else in the world!

But there’s a reason for that, isn’t there?

Sunak’s speech was not that of a man putting forward a sensible policy – because it isn’t sensible.

So what was he doing? I think Clare Hepworth has it right:

Sunak wasn’t discussing serious plans to deal with current economic issues – he was auditioning to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister.

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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Tory corruption: they’ll change the law, just to keep receiving this man’s donations

Britain’s greediest man? Boris Johnson is changing electoral law so an ex-pat Tory millionaire can continue funnelling cash to the Conservatives beyond the current 15-year restriction on him being able to.

Greedy Boris Johnson is planning to scrap a law that stops ex-pats from voting and donating to political parties – purely so the Tories can continue receiving millions from one donor who lives abroad.

According to the Mirror,

John Gore, has given almost £4.2 million to the Conservative Party, making him the Tories’ number one donor despite having spent “more than a decade away” from the UK.

Currently donors can only fund parties from abroad for 15 years – but this will be abolished under the Elections Bill.

This is the same Bill that will deprive 3.5 million people – mostly the poor – from being able to vote because they won’t have the photo ID that Johnson will demand in future elections.

So we see that this corrupt Bill will not only steal your vote, but will give it to wealthy Tory donors who don’t even live here any more.

Source: Tory law change would let donors bankroll party from tax havens for life – Mirror Online

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As Riley libel trial approaches, Mike needs your help more than ever

It has been hard work, but This Writer’s amended defence against Rachel Riley’s ever-ridiculous accusation that I libelled her has been completed and I am ready to take the matter to court for trial.

I don’t think it will be giving away much if I tell you that I’m saying my article is on the following matters of public interest:

  • Online bullying and harassment including death threats.
  • The  power of an adult celebrity compared to the relative powerlessness of a vulnerable child suffering anxiety.
  • Mental health.
  • Anti-Semitism.
  • The public conduct  of  Rachel Riley, a prominent public figure and, in particular, statements she had made or caused to be made publicly in national print and     broadcast media and on Twitter.

I don’t think there is any doubt that the article did focus on these issues. Riley’s advocates will try to argue that I did not have reason to say what I did, with regard to them.

And now we begin the run-up to the trial itself, which is likely to take several days, when it happens, and will therefore cost tens of thousands of pounds. I don’t know how much yet because it depends on the amount of fuss Riley is likely to kick up beforehand.

Let’s all bear in mind the fact that this matter was delayed by a year because Riley decided she wanted to try to strike out all my defences – and failed.

She’ll still want to find ways of delaying a trial because, as far as I can tell, she still thinks her best (only?) chance to win is by depriving me of the funds I need to pay for my defence.

So far, she has been proved entirely mistaken in that belief, too.

But now the pressure is really on and I must rely on you to give as much as you can, as often as you can, until the case is finally closed:

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Please, please, please tell as many people as you can about this case, and encourage them to contribute too.

I’ll endeavour to post at least one update per week – more if event warrant them.

The current situation is that I have submitted my amended defence to Riley’s legal team, who may object if they so wish. If they do, I’ll take action to handle it.

Then… well, we’ll see what happens then, won’t we?

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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Electoral Commission ‘wrongly recorded donations to Conservatives’. Oh, so is that all right, then?

Backhander? Or tax evasion? What was really going on with the donations to the Tory Party by companies that had long since gone out of business?

The Electoral Commission has admitted that it mistakenly recorded a donation to the Conservatives from an active company as being from a defunct firm, because they shared the same address.

It has asked for another mistake in recording a donation to the Tories to be taken into account as well.

Does that let the Tories off the hook, then?

No. No, it doesn’t.

There remains one more donation (of which we’re aware) to be explained.

It was apparently made by a firm called Unionist Buildings Limited, in June 2017. Records show the firm was dissolved six months early, in January that year.

The Conservatives have admitted incorrectly reporting donations from that firm but have given no further details.

Why not? Guilty conscience?

These discrepancies only came to light after the Labour Party discovered them and raised them with the Electoral Commission.

How can we be sure they are the only examples of false reporting of donations? We can’t, can we?

HM Revenue and Customs will be interested in donations from dissolved companies, particular if there are monies owing to HMRC or other creditors, because if you can pay donations, then you can pay your creditors.

Also, if this money came from the company, then was it profit generated by the company? If it was, then Corporation Tax and VAT is very likely to be due upon it.

In other words, has Labour uncovered tax evasion by Tory donors?

If so, we need to find out if this is an isolated incident or if it is more widespread. And we need to know now.

I wonder how the Tories will try to squirm out of this.

Source: Elections watchdog admits errors in reporting Tory donations – BBC News

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Tory time travel: now we find the Corruption Party has taken donations from dead firms

Backhander: is this how the Tories take their donations nowadays? In secret, so the donors can hide their identities in increasingly bizarre ways?

I can’t wait to hear the explanation for this, from whichever Tory anti-corruption tsar, ministerial standards watchdog or donations supremo will be ordered to whitewash it.

Will it bear any resemblance to the finding of the Electoral Commission, which is investigating?

Here’s the issue:

Two donations allegedly made to the Conservative Party from companies which had ceased to exist.

That’s right; they didn’t cease trading after giving the donations. They had already ceased to exist when the donations – worth £16,000 – were made.

It’s impossible. Logically, these were donations by people who wanted to hide the fact that they were donating to the Tories.

Now, why would anybody want to do that?

The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, parties may only accept donations from a UK-registered company if it “carries on business in the United Kingdom”.

So a logical possibility is that these were donations from foreign concerns who had an interest – possibly financial – in the Conservatives.

For clarity, these are the donations concerned:

One was for a sum of £10,000 made in November 2019 by a company called Stridewell Estates. Government records indicate that the firm had been dissolved three years previously.

The second donation was made in June 2017 by a company called Unionist Buildings Limited which had apparently been dissolved in January of that year.

I wonder also if this is something to do with Brexit. I’ll say no more than that, for now.

Another question is why it took Labour this long to query these donations. Too busy accusing innocent party members of anti-Semitism?

Source: Labour demands probe into donations to Tories from defunct firms – BBC News

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Anyone who knowingly misleads Parliament should resign. So why hasn’t Johnson gone?

The double-standards in this story are atrocious.

On one side, we see Nicola Sturgeon. The First Minister of Scotland has been found to have misled Parliament by giving an inaccurate account of meetings with Alex Salmond in 2018.

If an inquiry finds that she knowingly uttered falsehoods, then that is a resignation offence for an elected minister of any government, according to the Ministerial Code, and she should go – without question.

On the other side, we see Boris Johnson. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has been accused of having misled Parliament by failing to provide details of funding for renovations to his official Downing Street flat.

The allegation is that private donations to the Conservative Party totalling £60,000 have been used as part of £200,000 worth of refurbishments to the flat.

If so, it should have been reported to the Electoral Commission, because the Ministerial Code demands that “a statement covering relevant Ministers’ interests will be published twice yearly”. The last such statement appeared last July, eight months ago.

It seems clear that Johnson has knowingly breached the Code in failing to declare the sources of funding for the flat.

So he should resign – right?

But within Parliament there has been no pressure for him to do so, while Tory calls for Sturgeon to take a hike have been punitive in their decibel level.

Labour’s Keir Starmer, despite being a lawyer, has claimed Sturgeon should go whether she knowingly misled Parliament or not – which is another indication that he should not be in politics, let alone running a political party.

10 Downing Street says all appropriate codes were followed, but this rings hollow. What does Allegra Stratton, Johnson’s press secretary, mean by “appropriate”? Something different from the dictionary definition, one would guess.

That’s how Downing Street has explained the other ways Johnson has recently misled Parliament, as I mentioned in a previous article:

After he said there would be no funding cut for the body tasked with improving transport in the north (he’s taking away 40 per cent of its funding), Downing Street tried to suggest he had been talking about transport generally for the north of England.

And after he claimed all Covid-19 contracts had been published and were “on the record” – only to be contradicted by the High Court – a minister said all CANs – Contract Award Notices – had been published. They are not the same thing.

Today’s howler was his claim, in Prime Minister’s Questions, that Keir Starmer had voted against a promise of a 2.1 per cent pay rise for nurses – that his own government is breaking.

The plan was in the NHS Funding Bill last year – which passed without a formal vote because all the main parties supported it. Starmer didn’t need to vote, but if he had, he would have supported the Bill.

Johnson (or rather, Stratton – he’d done his usual runner) eventually came out with a claim that he had been saying Starmer voted against the Queen’s Speech – but the plan wasn’t mentioned in it.

The document Starmer had been waving around at PMQs – and to which he had been referring – was the NHS long-term plan, which was a policy document and not a piece of legislation on which he could have voted.

So it seems clear that Johnson had knowingly misled Parliament but the issue also seems to have gone away because nobody is calling for his resignation over it.

If you’re wondering who did fund the renovation, here‘s openDemocracy:

The Daily Mail has reported that Downing Street allegedly sought to plug the gap in the six-figure refurbishment of the prime ministerial flat using Conservative Party funds. After the party initially paid for part of the refurb, the Mail reports, Conservative Party donor Lord Brownlow gave it £60,000 last autumn to make up the difference.

The Mail also claims that party officials have since been looking for ways to keep the donation anonymous by returning it, and then repeating it through a new ‘Downing Street Trust’ that would conceal the original source.

Lord Brownlow, who served as vice-chairman of the Tory party in 2017-20 and was made a peer in 2019 by Theresa May, is expected to head up this new non-charitable trust.

So the person who allegedly provided this dodgy donation is set to head the organisation dedicated to hushing it up. More corrupt cronyism?

Let’s face it: nobody involved in this is going to come out smelling of roses.

It’s just that Boris Johnson, more than anybody else, is going to be smelling of faeces.

And it will take more than a Union Flag to wipe them away.

Source: Election watchdog quizzes Tory party over funding of PM’s flat makeover – 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.

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More gay and bisexual men can give blood – after wait of more than six years (at least!)

It is more than six years since I tore metaphorical shreds off of Michael Fabricant for suggesting the ban on all gay men giving blood should be lifted – and this announcement proves I was right.

At the time, Fabricant reckoned the ban on sexually promiscuous gay men should be lifted as straight men who behave in the same manner do not suffer the same discrimination.

I stated that this was insane – partly because it misrepresented the issue.

The problem, I said, was that the ban did not only affect sexually promiscuous gay men, but any man who had had sex with another man, with or without a condom.

This clearly discriminated against gay men who were in a monogamous relationship in which both partners were free of infection. They should not be covered by the ban, I said.

Fast forward to the new announcement:

Men who have sex with men in a long-term relationship will now be able to donate blood at any time.

The new criteria [focus] on individual behaviours, lifting a blanket ban for any men who have had sex with men in the last three months.

All blood donors who have had one sexual partner and who have been with their sexual partner for more than three months, will now be eligible to donate regardless of their gender, the gender of their partner, or the type of sex they have.

Under previous rules, all men who have sex with men had to abstain from sex for three months in order to donate.

It is as though the authorities had (belatedly) read my article.

There was more to it than is being stated by the BBC, though. Here’s what I wrote, back in 2014:

The ban was put in place – unless the memory cheats – because blood supplies donated by gay men were discovered to be infected with HIV. Anybody can see that a ban on anything that could spread HIV is entirely sensible and should only be lifted if technology has moved on enough for doctors to spot infected blood immediately or screen out the infection in blood that has been donated.

The issue then was that people who had been in a monogamous relationship for a long period of time, and who did not have HIV when they started it, were not going to have it when they applied to give blood either, and it was discriminatory to ban them from doing so.

The new change rectifies that. I welcome it.

Source: Blood donation: Rule change means more gay and bisexual men can give blood – BBC News

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Keir Starmer asked an apparent anti-Semite to fund his Labour Party. Should he send back the cash?

David Abrahams: Labour leader Keir Starmer approached him for donations but may have to hand the cash back after it was revealed he had attacked fellow Jewish people with different political opinions as “self-hating Jews”, which is an anti-Semitic smear.

Mainstream media types are focusing on the Islamophobic aspect of philanthropist (it says here) David Abrahams’s comments.

Why?

Even though he may have been heavily involved with the Jewish Labour Movement and Labour Friends of Israel, it seems very clear to me – and, I think, to anybody with a brain – that he is a raving anti-Semite.

Look at the comments in black that are quoted in Ben’s tweet, below:

“Self-hating Jew” (or Jews), according to the Urban Dictionary, is the derogatory code phrase for Jewish people “who speak out against the actions or policies of the government of Israel, Zionists or other Jewish controlled organizations”.

It is not a description of people who actually hate themselves because they are Jewish.

It is an attack on Jewish people who hold different political views from Jews who do support the actions and policies of the government of Israel, Zionists and other Jewish-controlled organisations (that, I would add for the sake of clarity, also support the Israeli government and the kind of Zionism it professes).

It is also clearly anti-Semitic, because it attacks what these people are, and claims that they are not what they should be.

So this Abrahams character is an anti-Semite, right? Or at the very least it seems he has put forward anti-Semitic views.

The Islamophobic tripe he is said to have come out with is bad enough, but this seems to put the seal on the nature of the man.

What does it say about Keir Starmer that this is the kind of person the new New Labour leader approaches to fund his party, now that the membership is dwindling down to him, Angela Rayner and Luke Akehurst?

Now, after the embarrassing facts have become public, Starmer is being urged to hand back the cash – to give an assurance that he won’t have any truck with the kind of racism that’s being pushed here.

Trouble is, Starmer asked for Abrahams to contribute, knowing full well what kind of man he is – whatever kind of man he really is.

Also, a recent report on shocking levels of Islamophobia within the Labour Party received only a lukewarm reception from Starmer.

And Labour’s record proves it is happy to smear as anti-Semites Jews who don’t support the pro-Israel, aggressive-Zionist pose that Starmer has been pushing.

So will he hand back the cash?

And if he does, how will he keep Labour’s finances from falling apart?

NOTE: This is not the first time donations to the Labour Party by David Abrahams have been controversial. In 2007 he was at the heart of the so-called “donorgate” row that forced former leader Gordon Brown to launch an inquiry into party funding – and prompted the Electoral Commission to call the police.

He had given more than £650,000 to Labour using the names of associates, and told the BBC he had “gifted funds to my friends and colleagues” so they could make donations on his behalf because he was a “very private person who did not seek publicity”.

It was thought to have been a breach of the law on transparent disclosure, but Abrahams was subsequently cleared by the police.

The result of Gordon Brown’s inquiry has yet to be published, it seems.

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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