Tag Archives: donor

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).

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Don’t fund Tories: Worried about Covid spike from Wetherspoons overcrowding? Don’t go to that Tory pub!

The Guardian is reporting that Wetherspoon pubs are failing to prevent overcrowding, and this may cause a spike in Covid-19 cases.

The answer is simple: Don’t go into a Wetherspoon pub.

I’ll even give you a good reason not to go:

Every item you buy in a Wetherspoon pub increases Conservative Party funds.

So if you have been harmed by Boris Johnson’s failures on flooding, Covid-19, the economy, school exams or any of the other ways he has harmed the UK, it would be the height of stupidity to cross the threshold of a Wetherspoon pub.

The company is on This Site’s list of Tory donors you should boycott.

And the message is simple:

Don’t fund Tories – they’ll only hurt you again.

Source: Fears overcrowding in Wetherspoon pubs may lead to Covid spike | Business | The Guardian

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The list of Tory donors to boycott is growing. If you really want to beat them, starve them of cash

It’s all about money: if Boris Johnson didn’t have any, he couldn’t harm anyone. So why are we supporting the people who support him?

[Update: if you want to see the eye-watering amounts that Boris Johnson has received in donations – and the names of the private companies providing the cash – visit this article.]

[Update October 25, 2020: New additions added today. They are listed in this colour.]

The response to my article calling for people to stop buying products provided by firms that donate to the Conservative Party had a great response.

Originally I intended to update that article with new additions to the list of Tory donor firms, but it occurs to me that this may not attract as many readers as regular (or semi-regular) updates, so I’m taking the latter route.

I am aware that some respondents have expressed scepticism about the idea. It won’t produce results overnight, that’s for sure – but then, we’re stuck with Boris Johnson and his cabal of incompetents until 2024, thanks to the 2019 general election. Do you have anything better to do?

This Site can’t change the situation on its own, either, so don’t expect me to. It is the individual responsibility of everybody in the UK to obtain the best government possible – and to change that government by any legal means if a wrong decision is made; you can’t expect the rest of us to do it for you.

That means changing your behaviour to cut out the Tory businesses, and finding new suppliers of goods and services you need.

It also means pestering your friends and colleagues to do the same. Expect resistance because people are naturally lazy. Use the exam results fiasco to persuade parents, and the Covid-19 disaster on others. As the Tories perpetrate more cock-ups – and they will – add those to the list you can use.

And here’s the list of Tory donor firms to shun:

Addison Lee (via founder John Griffin)

Airbus Group Ltd

Airport Park & Ride Ltd

Alfred Dunhill Ltd

Allinson’s (bread – owned by Associated British Foods)

Amey Group Services Ltd

Annabel’s (Berkeley Square) Ltd

Asda Property Holdings

ASDA Stores Ltd

Askey’s (ice cream – owned by Associated British Foods)

Associated British Foods

AXA Trading Limited

BAA Airports Ltd

Balfour Beatty

Beds and Bars Ltd

Bell Pottinger Communications Ltd

Bestway (cash and carry)

Betfair Ltd

Bicester Shopping Village

Billington’s (sugar – owned by Associated British Foods)

Birmingham Airport Ltd

Boden

Cameron Mackintosh (theatre company: Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, Mary Poppins, Oliver!, Miss Saigon, Cats and Hamilton)

Caxton Associates (via boss Andrew Law)

Country House Weddings Ltd

Crusha (milkshakes – owned by Associated British Foods)

CVC Capital Partners (via co-founder Bruce Hardy McLain)

Delamere Dairy

Dorset Cereals (owned by Associated British Foods)

Dunelm (owner Bill Adderly donated £500,000 to the Tory 2019 election campaign)

Dyson (household appliance manufacturer)

E.On (gas and electricity supplier)

Express Newspapers

Flamingo Land (Yorkshire theme park)

Gatwick Airport

Genix Healthcare (NHS and private dental clinics)

Ginsters (pasty and pie manufacturer, owned by Tory donors Samworth Brothers)

Golden Wonder (crisps)

Hooch (drink, owned by Tory donor Global Brands Ltd)

Iceland (supermarket)

Imperial London Hotels Ltd

Jacksons of Piccadilly (tea – owned by Associated British Foods)

JCB (construction, but has also licenced hundreds of other products)

Jordans (cereals – owned by Associated British Foods)

JP Morgan Cazenove (via former chairman David Mayhew)

Kingsmill (bread – owned by Associated British Foods)

LNT Group (boss Lawrence Tomlinson donated £40,500 to 13 Tory candidates in 2019 election)

The London Cabaret Club

Lycamobile (SIM card company)

Melton Mowbray pies (owned by Tory donors Samworth Brothers)

Microsoft Ltd (UK branch of the US corporation. This could be tricky as I expect we all have Microsoft products!)

National Express

New Cross Nursing Group Ltd (nurse agency)

Next

Nielsen Massey (vanilla and food flavourings – owned by Associated British Foods)

Ocado

Ovaltine (owned by Associated British Foods)

OVO Energy (through managing director Stephen Fitzpatrick)

Palantir

Patak’s (owned by Associated British Foods)

Petrofac (via chairman Ayman Asfari)

Pimlico Plumbers

Radnor Hills Mineral Water

Frederic Robinson Ltd (owns Robinson Breweries and 280 pubs in the North West, producer of bottled and cask beers)

Ryvita (owned by Associated British Foods)

Sainsbury’s (supermarket) (due to donations by Tory Lord John Sainsbury, the company’s president, totalling more than £1 million between 2001 and 2017. There is also a Lord David Sainsbury who donated £8 million to the Liberal Democrats – but his holdings in the firm are now managed as a ‘blind’ trust to prevent any conflict of interest with his political career.)

Scottish Power (although this firm seems confused and has also given to Labour)

Selfridges (department store)

Serco

Silver Spoon (suger manufacturer, owned by Associated British Foods)

Soreen Malt Loaf (owned by Tory donors Samworth Brothers)

The Spectator (magazine, via former owner Sir Henry Keswick)

Speedibake (bakery products – owned by Associated British Foods)

The Sun (newspaper (it says))

Sunblest (bread – owned by Associated British Foods)

Tate & Lyle (sugar manufacturer)

Tempcover (car insurer)

Truvia (sweeteners – owned by Associated British Foods)

Twinings (tea manufacturer, owned by Associated British Foods)

Tyrells (crisps)

VK (alcopop owned by Tory donor Global Brands Ltd)

Warburtons (bread manufacturer)

Westfield

Wetherspoons (pub chain)

Wren Kitchens

It’s still not an exhaustive list. I’m working through the evidence as fast as I can.

And it may be inaccurate in places. Any firm or person listed above who thinks they shouldn’t be is invited to get in touch (politely, please!) and we can talk about it.

I must emphasize that this is not something that can achieve results overnight. It requires a behavioural shift by a large number of people, into awareness of where their money goes after they use it to buy goods/services.

And I must also remind you of one very important fact:

If you – personally – don’t do anything, nothing will change. It really is your choice.

(NOTE August 17: Richer Sounds has been removed from the list as I have been informed that the company is very far from being a Tory donor; it is now largely employee-owned and supports a large number of progressive causes and campaigns, in line with the activities of its founder, Julian Richer. I am delighted to make this correction and hope to run an article about what appears to be an exemplary UK business in the near future.)

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If you want to stop the Tory class war, boycott the businesses that help them

It’s all about money: if Boris Johnson didn’t have any, he couldn’t harm anyone. So why are we supporting the people who support him?

In a previous article I called for anyone harmed by Tory policies – like students whose ‘A’ level results were downgraded at random by the Department of Education, relatives of people who have died of Covid-19 and so on – to do what they can to stop the Johnson government at a grassroots level.

This means starving it of cash.

The way to do that is to boycott businesses that are run by Tories or that donate to the Tory Party; if you run a business, deny employment to graduates of further education institutions that have denied students places because of the Tory ‘A’ level downgrade; and to urge your friends who have been simiilarly affected to do the same.

I think it would be valuable to have lists of such organisations, so everybody knows who to avoid – and already some names are coming in.

The information is unconfirmed, but so far I am told that these firms donate to the Conservatives:

Tate & Lyle (sugar manufacturers)

Warburtons (bread manufacturers)

Wetherspoons (pub chain)

I’d like to add to this list as I go.

Feel free to contribute names of offending organisations – national, international and local. I’ll look up Tory donations soon.

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? 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

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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.

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Tory donor who supported Johnson bets AGAINST UK firms post-Brexit

Crispin Odey: This man supports the Conservatives in the belief that they’ll crash the economy. And they’re still saying they’re the party of financial responsibility.

What a charmer this Crispin Odey is!

After backing Boris Johnson to win the Conservative Party leadership contest, he has gone on to bet against at least 16 UK companies. He reckons their share prices will plummet post-Brexit.

We may safely (I think) conclude that he is making this prediction on the back of Mr Johnson’s win.

So he thought BoJob would be bad for the UK – and backed him to win in order to make money betting on British businesses crashing as a result.

And the Conservative Party is still taking money from such a person.

How utterly cynical.

Crispin Odey, the pro-Brexit Conservative donor, reportedly waged a £300m bet against some of Britain’s biggest businesses on the implication their share prices will crash after Brexit.

The multimillionaire hedge fund tycoon’s company, Odey Asset Management, is understood to have taken out £299m in “short” positions on at least 16 firms including Royal Mail and Intu, the shopping centre owner.

Shorting involves borrowing currency or shares and selling immediately in the hope of buying them back later for less and pocketing the difference.

Source: Tory donor bets £300 million on losses for UK firms after no-deal Brexit – inews.co.uk

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Donor defections leave Tories struggling to pay the rent on their party HQ

Selective deafness: It doesn’t matter how many people shout at Theresa May to quit. She won’t go until she’s pushed.

Schadenfreude: It’s a German word to describe joy at an enemy’s misfortune – and it is appropriate, considering the Conservative Party’s funding problems are partly due to its Brexit failures.

Those problems aren’t going away, either – because Theresa May isn’t going away.

She’s the leader who messed up Brexit so badly that the deadline for the UK to leave the EU has already had to be pushed back twice.

And there’s no sign that she’s ready to quit – why would she? As far as she is concerned, she’s doing a great job. She’s living in a bubble, you see. Nothing critical registers with her.

But her party’s funding situation won’t improve until she goes, because donors are waiting to see who succeeds her before making any cash commitments.

So it seems the party that sets the individual above the group may be sunk by an individual who set herself above her colleagues.

There is also a certain satisfaction in the fact that the politicians who introduced the hated Bedroom Tax, forcing thousands – possibly millions – of people across the UK into rent arrears and making many homeless, may now – or soon – owe a significant amount in rent itself.

It’s poetic, really.

Funding for the Conservatives has dried up so badly that [it seems] the party is struggling to pay the rent on its headquarters.

Concern among activists and MPs deepened … as James Hosking, a City financier and one of the party’s most prominent donors, defected to Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party.

The failure to secure Brexit is one of the main reasons for the crash in donations, with backers unwilling to provide more cash until the issue is resolved.

Fears are also mounting that Theresa May’s refusal to stand aside is starving the party of much-needed funding as donors are holding back to see who the Prime Minister’s replacement will be.

Source: ‘Dire’ funding situation leaves Tories struggling for party HQ rent

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Now Conservative donors are saying they’ll rebel – but will they? Really?

Sad: Will Theresa May’s Brexit blunders mean her Black and White Ball is a bust?

We’ve had multiple claims from Conservative MPs that they’ll rebel against Theresa May’s government and all – but one – came to nothing because Tory MPs are spineless.

They’ll only act in large numbers because they fear being singled out as traitors (one supposes) by a snubbed leadership that’s still in place.

Now the Telegraph is saying businesspeople who have given millions to Tory funds are planning to boycott the Black and White Ball – the Tory party’s fundraising playtime, due to take place in February.

Here’s what we can see of the story, if we don’t want to service the website paywall:

Major Conservative donors are refusing to give money to the party because of “disgust” at Theresa May’s leadership and her handling of Brexit, The Daily Telegraph can reveal.

The businessmen – who together have given millions of pounds to the party since Mrs May became Prime Minister – do not want to fund a potential snap general election with Mrs May still in post.

Several said they were planning to stay away from next month’s glittering Black and White Ball, one of the party’s biggest annual fundraising events, when access to ministers is auctioned to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Will they have more backbone than the MPs they usually pay to influence at the ball?

I guess we’ll find out next month.

We’ve all seen story after story about firms leaving the UK because of Brexit, and it must certainly be an inconvenience to business leaders, having to find new premises on foreign soil (where, most probably, there’s a lighter tax policy).

Of course the greater inconvenience will be suffered by all the employees who’ll lose their jobs when the big firms move out. But nobody talks about them because they don’t matter. Do they?

Tory donors didn’t care about any of this when they supported David Cameron’s government, that called the EU referendum in the first place, did they?

They didn’t care when they supported Theresa May into her disastrous general election fiasco.

They only say they care now because they’re are being put to inconvenience.

And they think a snap election, to be lost by Mrs May, will cause them even more inconvenience.

But is it really enough hassle for them to actually do anything about it?

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