Tag Archives: money

Aircraft owner Grant Shapps lobbies against his own government’s plan to built on private runways

Grant Shapps: he’s not stranger to controversy. Check out the businesses he ran under his pseudonyms Michael Green, Sebastian Fox and Corinne Stockheath.

The Transport Secretary of Boris Johnson’s Conservative government is spending public money paying private lobbyists to argue against his own government’s plans to build on aircraft runways that are privately-owned, it has been alleged.

The reason? The government minister concerned – Grant Shapps – is the owner of a private aircraft, and also of a private runway.

The allegations are made in a Times article hidden behind a paywall:

So that’s all the information we have. Alok Sharma was certainly being cagey about it when Andrew Marr interviewed him:

The issue is clear: government policy is to build houses on land currently occupied by the runways used by owners of private planes.

Shapps is paying private lobbyists to try to get the government – of which he is Transport Secretary – to change this policy. He is using public – government – money to fund this activity.

So the government is paying your money to fund opposition to its own policy.

It has been said before but could it ever be more clear?

These Tories really do think it’s one rule for them and another for the rest of us.

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Why did the Tory government use public money for polls about Opposition politicians?

Dominic Cummings (left): when he was chums with Boris Johnson (right), he ordered civil servants to spend public money on party political polling that should have been funded by the Conservatives, not the nation.

More Tory crony contracts: Ex-Vote Leave boss Dominic Cummings and ex-Vote Leave Downing Street colleague Ben Warner pressurised civil servants to give more than £1.3 million in contracts to polling firm Hanbury Strategy, run by ex-Vote Leave comms chief Paul Stephenson.

Your money was frittered away on Cummings’s Vote Leave friends. And for what?

For party political polling on Labour leader Keir Starmer and London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

And emails show Cummings pressuring officials by saying anybody who would “whine” about it should be told the order came from prime minister Boris Johnson.

The emails, published by the Good Law Project (GLP), show civil servants were uncomfortable about the polling, with one saying in May 2020: “Hanbury measure attitudes towards political figures, which they shouldn’t do using government money, but they’ve been asked to and it’s a battle that I think is hard to fight.”

Mr Cummings wrote: “Pls sign off immediately so Paul S can get our large scale polls into field TODAY. Anybody in [the Cabinet Office] whines tell them I ordered it from PM.”

A civil servant wrote: “This all makes me really uncomfortable. Ben Warner wants us to spend £110k of public money per month with the agency who were behind Vote Leave who have no mainstream polling experience.

“And he wants to be in on the call/talking to Hanbury directly. Q is what do we do?”

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner is no angel, as we’ve all discovered, but This Writer thinks she was right when she said, “This has the hallmarks of a racket, not a government acting in the national interest during a pandemic.

“Taxpayers’ money that has been abused in this way should be paid back by the Conservative Party.

“Taxpayers’ money is not the personal cashpoint of Conservative Ministers to dish out to their mates.”

Source: Government used public money for polls about Keir Starmer and Sadiq Khan – Mirror Online

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Tories plan to hit people over 60 with prescription charges

Prescription: if you’re over 60 and you need one of these – especially if it’s on a regular basis – then the price is set to skyrocket under a new Tory plan to make money for private healthcare firms.

Is this some of the government policy Lord Bethell has been discussing on his private email account, to keep it away from pesky Freedom of Information requests?

The Conservatives are planning to raise the age at which people may receive free prescriptions in England from 60 to 66, in line with the state pension age.

That’s the wrong yardstick, of course.

Firstly, prescriptions should be free to everybody because we all pay into the National Health Service via our taxes. If you are in England and you pay for prescriptions, you are literally paying twice for your medicine.

Secondly, if free prescriptions must be rationed, then in a country where many people are extremely poor, it makes sense to provide them to those who are most likely to need them – meaning, if they must be pegged to age, that they should become available at the age when most people start to suffer the illnesses associated with age.

The problem is that this is not a matter of medical need; it is about giving more money to the private companies that the Tory government has allowed to flood into the health service in order to make a profit from your pain.

That’s around £300 million per year, according to Lord Bethell – around £46.75 for an average person without need for regular medication – or £130.90 for people who need more than 12 prescriptions a year. And that’s at current prices which are sure to increase.

It’s a typical Tory back-of-a-fag-packet idea, based on a desire to rake in cash for people who don’t need it, from people who desperately do – but aren’t being given a choice about whether to give it up.

In other words: extortion.

Ministers are consulting on raising the age when people become eligible for free prescriptions in England to 66-years-old – but pharmacists branded the plan ‘unacceptable’

Source: People over 60 could be hit by prescription charges under new Government plans – Mirror Online

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Who gave Boris Johnson the money to pay for Downing Street renovation?

Cheese Queen Liz Truss made a very interesting revelation to Andrew Marr about the renovation of Boris Johnson’s Downing Street flat.

But it wasn’t in what she said – it was in what she didn’t.

Referring to a claim by former prime ministerial advisor Dominic Cummings that Johnson encouraged Tory donors to help pay for the redecoration, she said he had funded the changes himself.

This is entirely in line with what Cummings stated. He said Johnson had planned “to have donors secretly pay for the renovation”. What better way for them to do so than by giving money to Johnson, which he could then pay towards the changes as if the cash had come from him?

You see, when This Site reported on the funding of the redecoration job last month, the issue was why Johnson had not declared the money that had been spent on it. I wrote:

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.

I went on to say it seemed clear that Johnson had knowingly breached the Code in failing to declare the sources of funding for the flat.

That in itself, for MPs, is a resignation-level offence.

If donors had provided the money for this purpose, that would also have put Johnson in breach of the Ministerial Code because it isn’t allowed.

But how would Johnson have been able to afford it, otherwise?

It isn’t very long since we heard Johnson was complaining that his prime ministerial salary wasn’t enough to pay for all his outgoings:

And he suddenly had enough in his back pocket to fork out (allegedly) £60,000 to wallpaper a government-owned flat?

Don’t mock my intelligence, Cheesy Liz.

Source: Boris Johnson covered Downing Street flat renovation from his own pocket, says Liz Truss – BBC News

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For once, it IS important for us to know that Boris Johnson had affair with Jennifer Arcuri

Johnson and Arcuri: I know there’s no real justification for the image of her in that costume, but if anybody is appalled that she put it on, how do you feel, knowing that HE probably took it off?

Of course I’m not interested in the sex revelations. The thought of bloated Boris Johnson bouncing around on some debutante can only inspire concern for her health (both mental and physical).

But the fact is that between 2012 and 2016 Johnson had the affair with a woman who then received benefits from him, as Mayor of London and later as Prime Minister, that she may not otherwise have had.

The Mirror makes this clear in its “world exclusive”:

Boris Johnson faces an inquiry by the Greater London Authority – responsible for the mayor’s office – over claims his failure to declare his relationship with Arcuri may have been a breach of the Nolan Principles of Public Life, which are contained in the Mayor of London’s code of conduct.

Arcuri was granted access to events at three top level trade missions, despite her businesses not meeting the criteria for the trips.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct said there was no evidence he’d committed the criminal offence of misconduct in public office but he may have breached the Nolan Principles.

Not only that, but he also handed her £126,000 of public money:

Jennifer… went on to receive £126,000 of taxpayer money in event sponsorships and grants. The bulk, £100,000, came in a government grant in 2019.

Johnson was cleared of impropriety in public office by the Independent Office of Police Conduct, which is tasked with ensuring that the London Mayor’s office does not fall prey to corruption.

The police investigation said that Johnson did not influence decisions to let her go on the three trade junkets or to give her the public money.

But there were serious faults in the inquiry, as This Site pointed out last year:

Why were records relating to this case deleted – what did they cover and when were the deletions made? We may never know, but the questions should be enough to raise suspicion.

Why were some records never made? The report by the Independent Office for Police Conduct remarks on them so it is reasonable to believe that they were necessary. Who was responsible for making these records? What information would they have provided?

Why did the third parties mentioned in the report delay providing their information? What influenced them to inconvenience the investigation and would their information have been different, had they not done so? What was the subject of the information they had been asked to provide?

Possibly most damning is the statement that officers working for Johnson and making decisions about sponsorship monies and attendance on trade missions “thought that there was a close relationship between Mr Johnson and Ms Arcuri, and this influenced their decision-making”.

It seems those officers were right. As it influenced their decision-making to put Arcuri on trade missions, it seems to This Writer that Johnson had a case to answer after all.

Ah, but the police don’t prosecute senior politicians. Like all fascist dictators, Johnson is above the law.

It’s not good enough. We deserve better answers than we’ve had so far – and Johnson should resign (of course). He never does because he’s an unaccountable fascist, but it is always worth reminding ourselves that he should. Here’s a tweet about it:

The BBC, under its Tory Director-General, has been hiding the story:

Still, there is an upside to it all. At least the satirists are having fun:

Amazingly, Twitter is also filling up with apologists who are still moaning, “But Corbyn..!”

Source: Jennifer Arcuri admits four-year affair with serial love cheat Boris Johnson – Mirror Online

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£2.7m TV studio shows Johnson hasn’t only been wasting cash on Covid-19

Press briefing: Johnson spent millions of pounds of your money on a TV studio he hasn’t used once, despite an apparently endless succession of press briefings and ministerial broadcasts.

Sometimes the news is focused so heavily on the Coronavirus that it’s easy to forget that Boris Johnson’s government is incompetent in every other way, too.

Case in point: he spent £2.7 million on a television studio that has never been used.

Worse, there are doubts that it ever will be, as attitudes have changed since your money was used to pay for it.

I’d say the money could have been spent on personal protective equipment but I am reminded that Johnson’s government has spent £15 billion on PPE – and then lost the lot.

This is incompetence on a historic scale.

The TV studio was part of Johnson’s infatuation with the presidential system in the United States:

The room is believed to have been modelled on the press room in the West Wing at the White House in Washington.

It was intended to be used for on-camera briefings from press secretaries and ministers.

The plans for the briefings had to be delayed due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions preventing journalists from gathering.

But with the plans on hold, it isn’t clear when they may be back on the table.

They may never be revived. This studio – worth a fortune – may remain unused for years to come, until somebody remembers it and finds a better use for the space.

In the meantime it stands as a metaphor for the contents of our prime minister’s skull:

Dark and empty.

Source: Boris Johnson ‘spent £2,700,000 on a TV studio which hasn’t been used’ | Metro News

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How much public money are the Tories wasting on court action to hide their unlawful acts?

Let’s just remind ourselves that Matt Hancock isn’t the only Tory cabinet minister who has wasted our money in the courts, defending the indefensible.

Spotlight has published an article highlighting current and recent court action against the Johnson government, including the following:

CIVIL SERVANTS UNION BRING CASE AGAINST BORIS JOHNSON OVER PRITI PATEL BULLYING INCIDENT

ASYLUM SEEKER BRINGS CASE AGAINST PRITI PATEL OVER 23HR A DAY CURFEW POLICY

GOVT LOSES APPEAL IN CASE WHERE CHILDREN BEING CHARGED £1012 FOR BRITISH CITIZENSHIP

GOVT APPEALS RULING WHERE CHILD REFUGEE DETAINED AS AN ADULT BY IMMIGRATION SERVICES

GOVT APPEAL RULING THAT SHAMIMA BEGUM BE ALLOWED TO RETURN TO FIGHT FOR HER CITIZENSHIP

Details are here: UK government swamped by legal action and costs! | Spotlight News

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Has Boris Johnson manufactured a way to blame poor people for catching Covid-19?

Money: Tories use it to force people into actions they would not otherwise take – like going to work after being told to self-isolate due to a risk that they have Covid-19, because otherwise they could not afford to feed their families.

This is absolutely despicable:

A “perfect storm” of low wages, cramped housing and failures of the £22bn test-and-trace scheme has led to “stubbornly high” coronavirus rates in England’s most deprived communities, an unpublished government report has found.

A classified analysis by the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC), produced last month, concluded that “unmet financial needs” meant people in poorer areas were less likely to be able to self-isolate because they could not afford to lose income.

In two of the UK’s worst-hit areas, Blackburn-with-Darwen and Leicester, the study found that more people seeking financial help to self-isolate had been rejected than accepted. It said: “This could increase the likelihood for individuals to be unable to comply with self-isolation requirements as a result of their unmet needs.”

The report, marked “Official Sensitive”, and seen by the Guardian, will pile pressure on ministers to improve government support for the millions of people who do not currently qualify when they are ordered by law to quarantine at home. Dido Harding, the head of NHS test and trace, has estimated that at least 20,000 people a day are not complying fully with isolation orders, allowing the virus to spread.

So: people are on lower incomes because Tory policies have pushed wages down.

Now, when they desperately need government help to bridge the gap between their earnings (or 80 per cent of them if these people are on the furlough scheme) and their needs, they find the government has turned its collective back.

(It seems it has far too many crony companies to subsidise, in return for no service at all; Dido Harding, mentioned in the Guardian article, knows all about that.)

So they find they can’t comply with orders to self-isolate; in order to feed themselves and their children, they have to keep going to work.

Then they return home, where poverty means they have to live in homes that are too small for the number of people in their families, and – if they’ve contracted the virus – they pass it on very easily.

It is a complication of the Covid crisis that has been created entirely by Conservative governments.

No wonder they haven’t published the damning report.

Of course, without the fairly essential piece of knowledge that wages have been pushed down by the Tories, this story could be damning against the poor victims instead.

I’m sure you can picture the headlines in the yellow press (The Mail, The Express, The Sun): Greedy grafters ignore experts to spread killer Covid or some such twaddle.

The report remains unpublished at the time of writing (to the best of my knowledge) so I don’t think for a moment that Boris Johnson and his ghouls will feel any need to improve government support for people who are told to self-isolate.

It’ll be interesting to see whether they try to condemn the people they have impoverished, though.

Source: England’s poorest areas hit by Covid ‘perfect storm’ – leaked report | World news | The Guardian

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Are the Tories trying to stop poor people having a say in public services because they stopped the low-paid from paying tax?

Some of us saw this coming.

If you’ve seen the video clip in which Richard Murphy explains how money works, you’ll know that people who pay tax are more likely to vote – they feel they have more of an interest in it.

(Of course, tax is about returning money the government has created, in order to avoid catastrophic inflation – and not about giving the government the money it needs in order to provide public services, but let’s not complicate matters by going into that.)

But the Tories have spent the last 11 years raising the earnings threshold at which people pay tax, claiming this as a sign of their generosity.

Oh really? Watch the video and consider the comment by Paul Sweeney.

It seems to This Writer that, through no fault of their own, attempts are being made to deny more than 20 million people the right to say which services the government funds. Presumably the next step is to say, if you don’t pay tax, you don’t get to vote.

We’re on a very slippery slope, here.

And a hypocritical one.

You’ll notice that nobody is saying you shouldn’t have a say if you don’t pay all the tax for which you should be liable – for example, because you engage in tax avoidance.

So super-rich tax avoiders will be able to vote/help decide which public services are funded or whether they get funded at all – despite the fact that most of them don’t need the most expensive of those services. Logically, they’ll say those are the ones to get the axe.

Meanwhile, the super-poor – who are now prevented from paying tax, either because they are on benefits or their wages have been pushed into the dirt by Tory employers – may be denied that right.

It should not even be a subject for discussion.

The qualification for voting – and therefore for helping decide how public money is spent – is UK citizenship because we all live here and we are all affected by the decisions the government makes.

Oh, and of course Income Tax is not the only tax that people pay.

So to rule people out of the process because they have been priced out of paying just one of the UK’s many taxes would be unfair in the extreme – and Emma Barnett was talking out of her rear end.

What a shame that’s such a good description of our current Tory government.

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


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The richest UK citizen doesn’t own any money; it all belongs to the government. Why do some people cheat with it?

This is not a bombshell – it’s (very) simple economics.

As Richard Murphy explains in his video (below), money has no value in and of itself. It used to – when the United States applied the Gold Standard (meaning the Dollar was worth its value in gold) – but when the States had trouble funding the Vietnam War, Richard Nixon put a stop to that.

The Pound was also tied to the Gold Standard, because it had a fixed exchange rate with the Dollar, but that all changed in 1971. The value of our currencies became fluid, attached only to the promise by the Governor of the Bank of England – a government employee – to pay the bearer, on demand, the sum printed on the front of our banknotes and coins.

That promise, in turn, is only worth anything at all because the government refuses to take our taxes in any form other than the Pound. That’s why we do all our trade in the UK using the pound; because if we didn’t, we would have to put our cash through an exchange system – possibly with an adverse exchange rate – before paying our taxes.

And tax is important because it stops our money losing its value. Governments create money (as Mr Murphy explains in the clip). They must also destroy it – otherwise the system fills with too much of it, meaning we have to pay more for the goods it buys, and we get inflation.

It occurs to me that this means certain people are screwing up the system for the rest of us.

I’ll tell you who they are after you see the clip. Skip straight on if you’ve watched it already.

What about people who hoard up their money in tax havens and refuse to pay it back?

I’m referring, of course, to the super-rich.

They seem to think that the cash they have accrued is theirs; it isn’t. It belongs to the government, no matter whose bank account holds it.

And it was created for a purpose. And the government sets tax rates in order to recover it after that purpose is achieved.

So it follows that anybody avoiding tax is deliberately sabotaging the government’s plans.

What can a government do about it?

Well, as we’ve seen with the Tories, the most common choice is to do nothing and let the greedy fatcats keep their ill-gotten gains.

This, in turn, must have an inflationary effect as not as much cash comes back to the government as intended.

And how would a government deal with that?

It would tax the rest of us – those who have no choice but to pay – more.

So it seems to This Writer that you pay taxes for the super-rich who avoid paying theirs.

Do you think that’s fair?

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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Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
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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