Tag Archives: donor

#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.

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If Tory donors don’t influence government policy, why would they pay such huge amounts?

Grant Shapps: he 

Reality check: the super-rich never pay money for nothing.

So Grant Shapps’s claim on the Thursday morning (August 5) media round that Tory donors have “no influence” on Tory government policy already looks dodgy, before we even go into it in any depth.

Now consider the fact that the people he was discussing have been giving at least £50,000 to join a so-called ‘Leader’s Group’ and have access to the Tory leader/prime minister – and more than five times as much (a quarter of a million pounds per year – to be in the so-called ‘Advisory Board’ (unless they were friends of Ben Elliot, allegedly).

Leader’s Group. Advisory Board. Those are not the names of clubs whose members have ” no influence”. Quite the opposite.

It is true that political parties rely on funding for their existence – from party members and from donors. They don’t manufacture anything that is sellable, after all.

But they do provide a particular service – or at least they say they do – which is to run the affairs of the United Kingdom according to a clearly-defined policy platform.

Most of us – including rank and file party members – get very little say in how those policies are shaped.

But now we come back to that issue of very rich people paying astronomical sums of money purely to be told the policies they are supporting at occasional events – as Shapps wants us to believe.

It simply isn’t plausible.

There needs to be an investigation into these schemes. How are donors enticed into contributing, what are they told they get in return, and what do they actually get?

If Shapps says his party adheres to Electoral Commission rules, then he should not object to an investigation.

In fact, the Electoral Commission should be empowered to run undercover investigations.

It seems to This Writer that the best way to make sure the sleazy Tories stick to the straight-and-narrow is to make them fear prosecution and punishment if they don’t.

Shapps himself was once called “Britain’s most perennially caught-out serial liar” and a glance at his career makes the reason clear.

At least we haven’t heard anything about his aliases Sebastian Fox and Michael Green for a while.

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Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds rent out £1.2m home – because the funding stream from Tory donors is drying up?

“Can I hide in your fridge”? At the rate he’s going, Boris Johnson (who once, infamously, did hide in a fridge to avoid scrutiny) will soon be living in one.

It’s a valid question.

In the midst of a huge controversy over the way Boris Johnson has funded changes to the Downing Street flat, he suddenly announces this:

Boris Johnson is preparing to rent out his £1.2 million townhouse to raise cash following his second divorce and the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat, it is reported.

Property experts told the Times that Mr Johnson, 56, and Ms Symonds, 33, could let the house for up to £4,000 a month.

The Prime Minister recently put his £1.2 million house near Thame in Oxfordshire up for rent. It was listed at £4,250 a month in April, and a lease was agreed this week, it was reported.

Johnson insists that he paid for the Downing Street renovations himself – but won’t say whether the money was given to him by one or more donors before.

The Electoral Commission has launched an inquiry into whether any loans or donations made in connection with the refurbishment work had been properly declared.

And it is with officials examining his finances that Johnson has started renting out not one but two buildings he owns.

I think it’s reasonable to conclude that he has suddenly run into cashflow problems – and we may reasonably question the reasons for them.

Source: Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds rent out £1.2m home – and they could make £4,000 a month – Mirror Online

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#PoorBoris part II: now he’s complaining that he *can* pay for his kids!

Money, money, money: but how much of it was donated by Boris Johnson’s Tory cronies, did it pay for the Downing Street wallpaper, and did Johnson want even more, so his donors paid for his children instead of him?

Don’t you wish Boris Johnson would make his mind up?

The reporters at The Times and The Sunday Times probably do.

Back in September, The Times reported that Johnson was complaining that he was hard-up as a result of achieving his lifetime ambition of becoming prime minister.

It had cut his income in half, the paper claimed, while he was still paying for four of the six children he accepts responsibility for.

Now it seems he is complaining that he is perfectly capable of covering his costs, after the Sunday Times suggested he had asked Tory donors to pay for a nanny.

(For one of his kids or for Johnson himself? Couldn’t Jacob Rees-Mogg have provided a decent reference? He knows nannies.)

Apparently,

Asked about the same issue during the Downing Street press briefing, Mr Johnson’s official spokesman said: “The prime minister has covered the costs of all childcare.”

And here’s the serious part – because it puts this story on the same level as the Downing Street refurbishment.

Johnson said he had covered the cost of that as well – but he couldn’t tell us whether he asked (for example) Lord Brownlow to put up £60 grand for it first.

And this story was prompted, it seems, by

one Conservative Party backer saying they “resented” being asked to help foot the bill for Wilfred’s childcare.

(I’m presuming Wilfred is one of the four he actually pays for.)

So now Johnson’s childcare costs are on the same level of corruption as the Downing Street wallpaper – which I understand the Electoral Commission is probing.

Let’s hope it probes Johnson’s nanny as well.

My only problem with this whole corruption angle is the obvious one that has been raised by many people on the social media:

This is a man whose decisions have led to the Covid-19 deaths of more than 150,000 people. It seems wrong that he should be brought down for sponging off of his cronies.

But then, as other people on the social media have pointed out, Al Capone was brought to book (literally) over tax avoidance.

Source: Boris Johnson paid for all son’s childcare costs, says Downing Street – BBC News

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BBC documentary asks: Who cashed in on Covid?

Don’t expect too much from this: it’s a Panorama documentary from the BBC and, judging by Is Labour Antisemitic that was produced under the same banner, is likely to be biased towards the Tories and full of falsehoods.

However, even the fact that an attempt is being made to bring this to public attention means it has to be worth watching. Right?

According to the BBC’s publicity,

As the government faces mounting criticism that well-connected people made millions out of Britain’s PPE crisis, Panorama investigates who won out.

More than £12 billion was spent in the first six months of the pandemic on contracts to provide personal protective equipment.

Reporter Richard Bilton meets one man who made £40 million on a deal and speaks to others who felt ignored in favour of less-experienced suppliers.

As the government refuses to reveal the full details of all its so-called VIP deals, the programme reveals the high-profile connections to one lucrative contract.

Wow – £40 million on a single deal.

I suspect the conclusion will be one we know already: success depends not on what you know, but who; the Old School Tie opens doors that would otherwise be closed.

Panorama: Cashing in on Covid is broadcast on BBC1 tonight (March 15) at 7.35pm GMT. It will be on BBC iPlayer soon afterwards.

Source: BBC One – Panorama, Cashing in on Covid

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The Tory gravy train is rolling on with new contracts awarded to party chums

  Spot-on satire from @dayvidart.

There’s a weird kind of communism going on in the Conservative Party during these times of Covid-related hardship.

Members of the Tory government have closed ranks and are working together to ensure that public money is handed out only to organisations and individuals who have close ties with their organisation.

They don’t care that we have noticed. This Site has published several articles pointing out that the Tories have used the emergency system for procuring government services to bypass proper tendering procedures and hand money straight to Tory donors and Cabinet ministers’ spoilt chums –

It has been dubbed “the Chumocracy” –

and I’m not alone. But still they continue:

No wonder satire sites like the brilliant @dayvidart are suggesting that they might branch out beyond Covid-19 procurement.

The image at the top of this article suggests a lucrative new income stream in environmentally-harmful pesticides that kill pollinating insects like bees and poison the ecosystem by getting into the water supply.

Who can deny that the scene it depicts may have happened, considering what we all know about the Conservatives, their government and the so-called prime minister at its head?

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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.

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New three-tier alert system shuts down businesses – unless they’re run by Tories

Beer buddies: it seems pubs in Liverpool will be shut from Wednesday – apart from those owned by Tory donor Tim Martin.

Well, we learned a lot about the UK under the Tories in 2020, didn’t we? Most especially, we learned that they only look after their own.

So, according to the BBC, Liverpool is facing a new kind of lockdown as it stands in the highest tier of Boris Johnson’s new Covid-19 alert system:

The Liverpool City Region will be on the “very high” Covid alert level from Wednesday, Boris Johnson has announced.

Confirming new three-tier restrictions, the PM said pubs, bars and betting shops would close on Merseyside.

… with certain exceptions.

It seems the Wetherspoons chain of pubs is exempt from closure because the Tories have dreamed up the excuse that they are “food-based pubs”. Yes indeed, it’s nothing to do with them being run by a leading Tory donor, Tim Martin!

Or is it? On the social media, people have their own opinions:

Liverpool famously stopped buying The Sun after it ran a headline attacking football fans from the city after the Hillsborough disaster.

I’m wondering if this latest Tory abuse will prompt a similar response…

Meanwhile:

The PM said all retail outlets, schools and universities would remain open.

So his new rules won’t make a scrap of difference and Covid-19 infection rates will continue to rise.

Source: Covid: Boris Johnson confirms new three-tier alert system, with Liverpool ‘very high’ – BBC News

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Starmer runs out of credibility – and cash – and runs to the rich as Labour supporters run away

Another chance missed: Keir Starmer’s Marr Show letdown was the first of two broadcasting balls-ups for the Neoliberal Democrat Labour leader last week. His party is losing members because the people won’t support him – so he’s running to the rich.

It should have been a cakewalk.

Boris Johnson’s Conservatives have screwed up the United Kingdom in the worst possible ways since before the December 2019 election. The leader of the main Opposition party should have had hearts and minds of the public, there for the taking.

But the leader in question was Keir Starmer, currently in charge of the Other Conservative Party, currently masquerading under the misnomer ‘Labour Party’.

When he gave his interview to Andrew Marr, the representative example of the public on Channel 4’s Gogglebox took a look – and the verdict was damning:

One doesn’t have to imagine how Starmer responded to this; in fact, one imagines this parody account has come close to the truth:

Result: well, party membership was haemorrhaging already but that flood hasn’t abated!

As a result, it seems Starmer’s cash is running out. How ironic that, now the party has been re-taken by the wing that reckons it’s better with money than the Left, it has spaffed all the extra cash accrued by the Left-wing leader up the wall.

So, in order to get money, it appears Starmer has copied the Tories again:

Think of the Conservative Party’s annual Black and White Ball fundraiser.

Of course, this information comes from Gabriel Pogrund*, who I wouldn’t normally trust to tell me what the weather’s like, but as there appears to be documentary evidence of this, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Starmer has also sent personalised letters to lapsed party donors:

This Writer hopes Starmer fails to attract the cash.

Firstly, if he does get it, he’ll finish Labour:

Moreover: His version of New Labour is nowhere near as investible as Tony Blair’s; he has made too many public relations blunders (again, he’s like the Tories in that respect). The Andrew Marr/Gogglebox incident is only the latest.

And if the rich donors don’t come back, they won’t be able to give Starmer any more excuses to steer Labour even further into Toryism.

Then who will Starmer ask for help?

That’s why, while This Writer can’t go back there (at least, not at the moment), I tend to agree with the following:

Monitor this situation closely. There may yet be a chance to bring democracy back to the UK.

*Pogrund wrote a story about This Writer in The Sunday Times that was riddled with falsehoods, for which that newspaper was forced to publish a lengthy “correction and clarification” almost a year later (it took me that long to go through the IPSO complaints process).

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

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


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