Tag Archives: handling

Johnson rejects demand for inquiry into handling of coronavirus. Will he ever accept it?

Duper’s delight: This is the smile Boris Johnson wears when he is lying. Was he wearing it in Parliament when he deflected calls for an inquiry into his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic?

This is a classic Tory dodge.

They say “now is not the time” for, say, an inquiry into decisions they’ve made that have hugely harmed the nation. They explain that the issue is ongoing.

So we wait.

When the issue stops going on, we repeat our demand. And you know what they say?

They say: “We think it’s time to move on.”

Boris Johnson has already carried out the first part of this dodge.

Here’s The Independent:

Boris Johnson has rejected demands for an urgent independent inquiry into his government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.

The prime minister was challenged to call an inquiry by Liberal Democrat acting leader Ed Davey, but insisted it would not currently be “a good use of official time”.

Davey told MPs that it was time to “learn the lessons” from the government’s widely-criticised response to the outbreak.

The acting Lib Dem leader called on Mr Johnson to “urgently set up an independent inquiry into the Government’s handling of this pandemic”

But Mr Johnson replied: “I’m sure there will come a moment where lessons need to be learned, we’re learning them indeed the whole time, but I do not consider at the moment, that a full-scale national inquiry is a good use of official time.”

He never will.

Source: Boris Johnson rejects demand for urgent inquiry into government’s handling of coronavirus pandemic | The Independent

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Durham police may face inquiry into handling of Cummings case; is this the reason?

It seems Boris Johnson isn’t the only one who can’t put Dominic Cummings’s Durham trip behind him.

The local constabulary has fallen foul of the general public:

Durham police is facing a possible inquiry into its handling of the Dominic Cummings saga after complaints were passed to its internal investigation team.

The force has received a number of complaints from members of the public angry at the way it dealt with Boris Johnson’s aide over his travels during lockdown.

Durham police said it believed the special adviser probably did break lockdown rules by embarking on a 52-mile round trip to the town of Barnard Castle with his wife and son on her birthday.

Officers might have intervened to send him home had they caught him on the trip on 12 April, or fined him if he refused, the report said.

Its investigation also concluded that Cummings did not break health protection regulations by making the 260-mile trip to Durham with his son and wife, who had coronavirus symptoms, though it made no finding in relation to the “stay at home” government guidance.

The force’s findings have been met with anger in some quarters, prompting several emailed complaints which were then passed on to its professional standards department as is protocol.

The nature of the complaints is not known.

Is it possible that the force has been accused of favouritism – of according Cummings a privilege not provided to others?

I mention this merely because of the following:

Durham police issued fines to two people – from different households – who travelled together from London to County Durham during lockdown.

The two individuals fined by the force travelled to nearby Peterlee.

The BBC is seeking further details from Durham Constabulary about the two individuals who were fined for travelling from London to Peterlee, about 13 miles east of Durham, on 8 April, a week after Mr Cummings made his trip.

So, they fined these two people for travelling a similar distance up from London, after Cummings made his journey – but they decided not to fine Cummings or take any other action against him?

The question is simple: Why?

I fear we know the answer.

Source: Durham police facing possible inquiry into handling of Cummings case | Politics | The Guardian

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What does the man from Del Monte say about this?

He’d probably say that handling stolen goods is a crime for which the penalty is 14 years’ imprisonment.

The Conservative Party here in the UK is continuing the tradition of financial double-standards for which it is becoming – justly – infamous, by refusing to hand back an alleged £440,000 of stolen money that was donated by convicted tycoon Asil Nadir in the 1990s.

The 71-year-old businessman was formerly head of Polly Peck International, a company that at one time owned the Del Monte fruit juice company whose most famous campaign featured the line “The man from Del Monte, he say ‘yes’!” (that’s the connection with our headline).

Polly Peck expanded rapidly in the 1980s to become an FTSE 100 company, but collapsed even more rapidly in 1990, leaving £1.3 billion worth of debts.

Asil Nadir fled the country in 1993, to escape 70 criminal charges of false accounting and the theft of £29 million from Polly Peck. He returned to fight his case in court during 2010 but was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment on August 23.

The connection with the Conservative Party is that, between 1985 and 1990, Asil Nadir donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to Tory funds. The Conservatives have refused to hand it back, insisting that it was received in good faith from a legitimate business.

The problem with that, for the Tories, is we now know enough to believe that it wasn’t.

The Labour Party has called for the money to be returned, and that call has been supported by Lord McAlpine, who was Conservative Party treasurer when the donations were made. He described the money as “tainted”.

A BBC report quoted him as follows: “The money was not Asil Nadir’s to give, although we thought it was at the time.

“Therefore the Tory party has a duty to return it. It will speak volumes about the character of the modern Tory party if they don’t do the right thing.”

Former Tory chairman Norman Fowler made it clear in 2010 that “we will return the money if it was stolen”.

But now the Conservative Party is trying to weasel out of handing back the cash, saying it never received personal donations from Nadir, and has no evidence that the money received via his business interests was stolen.

I don’t think that matters.

The man who was treasurer at the time, and therefore took delivery of the cash, clearly does believe the donation was unlawful.

The Theft Act 1968, section 22, states that a person is guilty of handling stolen goods if, believing them to be stolen, he dishonestly undertakes or assists in their retention, removal or disposal, by or for the benefit of another person, or if he arranges to do so. Penalty: 14 years’ imprisonment on indictment.

Reference to stolen goods includes goods which have been stolen by theft, blackmail or deception. It includes goods, whether in their original state or not, and other goods which represent the stolen goods in the hands of the handler.

Considering the evidence, I reckon we only need to see one of the 17,000+ people, who was formerly employed by Polly Peck or one of its subsidiaries, come forward and make a complaint to the police that the Conservative Party has received stolen goods in the form of this money, and the leaders of the ruling party in the British government will be facing the prospect of 14 years in jail.

Would anybody like to come forward and lay charges?