Tag Archives: sanction

Rishi Sunak’s claim to be defending his wife is false; it’s HE who’s under attack

Rishi Sunak: he wants you to think people have been attacking his wife for her connections with Russia. But he’s the member of the government that sanctions such connections; why is he indirectly continuing to benefit from them?

Who does Rishi Sunak think he is, comparing himself to Will Smith, talking about defending his wife?

In case you missed it, Sunak was interviewed by the BBC’s Newscast and tried to equate himself with the Hollywood actor:

“Someone said, ‘Joe Root, Will Smith, and me – not the best of weekends for any of us’. But I feel, on reflection, both Will Smith and me having our wives attacked – at least I didn’t get up and slap anybody, which is good.”

But he’s wrong; nobody was attacking his wife. Akshata Murthy can do whatever she wants.

But as a member of a government that has sanctioned firms that operate in, and profit from, connections with Russia, Sunak shouldn’t have anything to do with such firms.

His wife has shares in one such firm.

Therefore – indirectly – Sunak is profiting from a connection that he should not have.

That is the reason for the criticism.

It is hypocritical of him to say that other people’s connections to Russia should be cut while maintaining such a connection himself, even if it is only through his wife.

And it is disgraceful for him to hide behind her in the way he has.

Source: Rishi Sunak likens himself to Will Smith in defence of his wife | Rishi Sunak | The Guardian

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Sunak’s link to firm operating in Russia raises ‘double-standards’ issues

Sunak: while he’s been in Parliament saying businesses should divest themselves of involvement in Russia, his wife has been accepting share dividends from one that has chosen not to.

Let’s see if we can get this straight: as part of the UK government, Rishi Sunak has supported sanctions against Russian business interests in the UK – but his family has £400m worth of shares in a firm operating in Russia.

And he’s perfectly happy to have that connection?

That’s a bit – no, a lot – hypocritical, isn’t it? Not to say greedy?

As a government, he’s saying he doesn’t want Russian businesses to take money from the UK, but as a person, he’s saying he wants to benefit from his wife’s business interest taking money from Russia.

Downing Street is right to say this is a “personal issue for the Chancellor”; the attitude chosen by the government is right (or would be, if these sanctions had set to bite immediately they were announced, rather than a month later) and this is a matter for his conscience – and that of his wife, who owns the shares.

Apparently a Sunak spokesperson has said all is well because neither his wife nor any members of her family “have any involvement in the operational decisions of the company”. But they’re still taking money, aren’t they?

The firm itself – Infosys – says its presence in Russia is to service global clients locally, has no active business interests with Russian enterprises, and supports peace between Russia and Ukraine.

But that doesn’t matter.

As Labour’s Louise Haigh put it, “The chancellor has explicitly called on business to divest from Russia in order to inflict economic pain and ensure that the sanctions are as deeply felt as possible.”

And now we find that he wants every business to do that – apart from his wife’s.

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Russia-Ukraine: third round of talks begins – but will Johnson try to sabotage them?

Is Boris Johnson Vladimir Putin’s useful idiot? If Johnson announces new sanctions against Russia while that country is holding peace talks with Ukraine, it could provide an excuse for Putin to continue the war.

Russian and Ukrainian diplomats are meeting for a third round of peace talks, amid a wave of propaganda from both sides.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy reckons “there will be judgement” on Russia for its invasion of his country, while Vladimir Putin says Russia would quit Ukraine immediately if Ukraine agrees to demilitarise, and to allow the disputed regions in eastern Ukraine their autonomy.

None of the claims are realistic, and This Writer doubts they will be mentioned when the talks restart at 2pm today (4pm in eastern Europe). The negotiators will be looking for a mutually-acceptable conclusion – not trying to score public relations points.

I don’t think Russia will be prepared to give any ground on the disputed eastern regions that are inhabited by people of Russian ethnicity, who identify with Russia and who have (allegedly?) been persecuted for many years.

Nor will Russia relent on its determination that the Crimea should be acknowledged as a Russian territory. This is not unreasonable as it was only given to Ukraine by Nikita Khrushchev in an act of remorse for what he saw as that country’s poor treatment within the USSR.

But the demand for Ukraine to demilitarise is unreasonable. If that country rid itself of all military forces, there would be nothing to stop Russia from rolling straight back in and taking over completely.

And there’s no reason for Ukraine to do as Russia demands; when an invader finds out he can’t win, you don’t offer to make it easier for him.

Realistically, both sides know this. They’ll be seeking a solution that allows them both to walk away with dignity.

Unfortunately, Boris Johnson has decided to hold talks on further sanctions against Russia, at the same time as the peace negotiations are taking place. He started his meeting with the Canadian and Dutch prime ministers at midday and is planning a press conference at 2.50pm – while the Russia-Ukraine talks are taking place.

Will he make an announcement that could upset the peace process? Probably. Johnson is a fool who acts only in what he sees as his own interest.

But what is Johnson’s interest?

Judging by his behaviour so far, his interests lie in prolonging Russia’s war, protecting that country’s interests in the UK, and preventing Ukrainian refugees from gaining asylum here.

An announcement of further sanctions – to be imposed at an undefined point in the future, as far as the UK is concerned – may be just the inflammatory stimulus Russia needs to call off peace talks again.

Bear in mind: it is the timing of the press conference that is contentious. By making an announcement on sanctions while the peace talks are taking place, Johnson is denying Putin and Zelenskyy a chance to come to an agreement.

If they were to make progress, an announcement on sanctions may be unnecessary in any case.

It seems that, by trying to appear proactive, Boris Johnson is simply trying to get in the way.

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Johnson’s sanctions hesitation lets Russians make $423 million AFTER invasion of Ukraine

Let the money flow, says Johnson: it’s all going into the pockets of his Russian friends – at a time when Western governments are supposed to be cutting off the flow of money into Russia.

File this under: evidence that Boris Johnson is an asset of the Russian government.

Four Russian-born oligarchs have raked in $423 million in dividends on shares in Russian companies on the UK stock exchange, after the UK imposed sanctions on Russian firms.

How were Roman Abramovich, Alexander Abramov, Aleksandr Frolov and Alexander Nesis able to have the payouts from Evraz and Polymetal? Simple.

Those firms weren’t on Boris Johnson’s list of those to be sanctioned.

In total, the four named billionaires have received $4.5billion (£3.4billion) in payouts from the FTSE100-listed Russian commodities giants since the Tory government of the day failed to act decisively on them after Russia annexed the Crimea in 2014.

None of the four billionaires have been sanctioned either.

It seems Boris Johnson – and his government – deliberately pretended to be imposing heavy sanctions while doing nothing of the sort… wouldn’t you agree?

Source: Oligarchs take £3bn in dividends from Britain | This is Money

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50,000 UC claimants sanctioned per month but the Tories haven’t sanctioned a single Russian donor

With friends like these: One of the key figures in forging links with Boris Johnson’s Tories was Sergei Nalobin, a diplomat suspected of being a Russian spy. This Site has loads of photographs of Johnson with suspected Russian spies.

It doesn’t matter whether Boris Johnson and his cronies really are secretly siding with the Russians in an act of treachery against the West; you can still be sure that they aren’t siding with you.

This Site reported that, after face-to-face meetings resumed in March last year, the number of sanctions against Universal Credit claimants multiplied 15-fold, from 960 to 15,929.

Figure to November 2021 show the number of sanctions had risen to 49,944 by November – and this is not the total sanctioned across the whole month but only those under sanction on the day the official figure was taken.

It also excludes UC claimants who are not in “conditionality” groups, like severely disabled people.

So sanctions by the UK government against its own people multiplied more than 50 times in nine months.

Contrast that with sanctions against Russians who have stashed money in the UK – including giving donations to Conservative MPs – since Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine:

That Tory co-chair would be Ben Elliot, who is facing calls for him to resign or be sacked (here are some details).

The classic example of a Russian who could have his assets seized is Roman Abramovich, who is currently hoping to sell Chelsea FC for £3 billion before shifting the money out of the UK, having been warned to do so within 30 days by the Boris Johnson Advice Bureau for Rich Russians:

And details of donations to top Tories from people and organisations with links to Russians – whether sanctioned or not – keep being revealed. For example:

People have been asking what Russian donors to the Tory Party/government have had in return for their money…

It seems possible to answer that question now – at least in part.

What did the Putin-linked Russians get in exchange for their huge Tory donations? Exemption from sanctions until they have taken their money out of harm’s way.

And the contrast between the government’s treatment of Universal Credit claimants and rich Russian donors proves something else:

Tories would rather stamp down hard on their own fellow UK citizens than take meaningful action against enemies of the nation who have given them some dirty money.

Source: DWP Universal Credit sanctions soar to 50,000 a month in ‘extremely worrying’ rise – Mirror Online

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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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DWP blocks study of links between benefit sanctions and death. What are the Tories trying to hide?

‘Bring out your dead’: this satirical image shows public opinion of the limits of DWP concern for people the Tory government department deprives of the money they need to live.

A groundbreaking study of possible links between benefit sanctions and claimant ill-health – including mental illness and suicide – has ground to a halt because Tory ministers are not co-operating.

After making a big show of supporting the Glasgow University research back in 2019, DWP ministers immediately insisted that new security protocols would be required before they released the necessary data.

It took two years for the new protocols to be completed – and when they reached completion last year, the DWP demanded that researchers should apply for the data all over again.

Prof Nick Bailey, who is heading the Glasgow sanctions project, said that had the data been shared as originally agreed with the DWP in 2018, his research would have been in the public domain by early 2020. It is now five years since the research process for the project was supposed to have started and it has yet to get under way.

“The consequence for both policymakers and benefit claimants is we continue to operate an important policy, sanctions, which has potentially substantial consequences for those affected by it but with very little evidence of the impact of the policy, and almost none on the wider impacts,” said Bailey.

A recent Glasgow University paper analysing international studies of sanctions reported “significant associations with increased material hardship and health problems” as well as evidence sanctions “were associated with increased child maltreatment and poorer child wellbeing”.

The DWP has said it is now “actively considering” the data request that was originally made back in 2018 – nearly four years ago.

But what are we – the public – to make of this?

Does the Department for Work and Pensions have something to hide – such as complicity in the deaths of thousands of benefit claimants?

This Writer – and This Site – forced the government to reveal that thousands of people had died of unexplained causes within two weeks of being denied their benefits, all the way back in 2015.

Nothing was done to research the deaths – or to find out what had happened to people who had been denied benefits after the two-week period the DWP monitored.

And that was nearly seven years ago.

It seems to me that the DWP is deliberately concealing information on behalf of its masters in the Conservative government; the demand for extraordinary security procedures is just an excuse.

And it seems to me that there can be only one reason for hiding the information – that there is a link between benefit sanctions and claimant deaths, and DWP bosses have known about it for many years.

I challenge the DWP – and the Conservative government – to prove me wrong.

Source: DWP blocks data for study of whether benefit sanctions linked to suicide | Benefits | The Guardian

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As the world sanctions, Boris Johnson and the Tories are protecting THEIR RUSSIAN DONORS

Bosom buddies: Boris Johnson with Russian industrialist Alexander Temerko. Before the Ukraine crisis, Johnson said he didn’t think there was any reason to investigate Russian influence in UK politics.

After Boris Johnson claimed the UK was the first country in the world to impose financial sanctions on Russia, to force Vladimir Putin to end his war on Ukraine, it turns out that all he did was give Russians in the UK notice to move their money somewhere else.

£100 billion per year of corrupt Russian money washes through the UK (according to Labour’s Debbie Abrahams, in Parliament as I type this) – and this has been known for nearly a decade – as Private Eye points out, and then goes on to mistakenly state that it takes a war to move the government to action.

I say mistakenly because despite all Johnson’s bluster, it seems no action has yet been taken to seize Russian assets or sanction their banks:

These are ill-gotten gains (to a huge extent) – have no doubt about that:

For an example of the UK’s treatment of Russian oligarchs, let’s look at Roman Abramovich

And here’s what’s happening to the Russian banks with money in the UK:

So: no money has been frozen; no money has been seized.

The value of Russian assets in the UK is huge:

So why the delay in action, if the UK could inflict huge damage by imposing sanctions?

There is a possible explanation – as illustrated by Clive Lewis, below:

Russian money, it seems, has been opening the doors of the UK’s Conservative MPs, as demonstrated by the list below:

“Zen & Write” makes a good point. Politicians who have taken money from people from – possibly representing – a country hostile to the UK should lose the right to sit in a UK government. Shouldn’t they?

Andy McDonald makes a hugely important point:

Exactly. What did these Russians want from our MPs – the policymakers of our government – in return for their filthy lucre?

We’re talking about huge amounts of money here. The list of donations and recipients goes on and on:

Fox was on his hind legs during Prime Minister’s Questions today (March 2):

A bit hypocritical?

(That’s Lord Evgeny Lebedev, of course.)

So this is what we’re seeing:

And this:

And this:

“Boris protecting Putin’s pals.” That is the size of it.

And at a time like this, when the UK’s government is screaming at us that it is acting against the aggression of Vladimir Putin and his people, while in fact helping them beat the sanctions imposed on them by moving their money elsewhere, we need to remember that it could have been hugely different:

And that means you can’t trust a single thing said about this by the mainstream media. How does it feel to have been fed lies for years on end?

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#BorisJohnson admits #MisleadingParliament – so it can’t be important

Boris Johnson: either he had just said something wrong, or he burped (too much alcohol at a ‘work meeting’, was it)?

At last the UK’s lying prime minister admits having “inadvertently” misled Parliament in a speech in the House of Commons.

We may draw two conclusions from this: firstly, it’s a genuine mistake, and secondly, it doesn’t have any bearing on Johnson himself.

And of course we’re right:

Boris Johnson has admitted that he “misspoke” after he told MPs that the Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich was “already facing sanctions”.

Downing Street said the prime minister would correct the parliamentary record after he mistakenly included the Chelsea FC owner as one of those hit by the government’s retaliatory measures against Russian interests.

The prime minister said out sanctions against five Russian banks and three wealthy Russian individuals in response to Vladimir Putin’s military incursion into Ukraine, but Mr Abramovich was not on the list.

Challenged by Labour MP Margaret Hodge on why Mr Abramovich and others had not be targeted, Mr Johnson said “Abramovich is already facing sanctions” – sparking claims he had misled the House.

Of course the real question should be – as was put by a friend of This Writer on Facebook earlier: Only five small banks and three individuals? Is this a token act to give all other Russian investors in the UK time to get their money into the Cayman Islands, the Virgin Islands, or some other tax haven?

Source: Boris Johnson admits he misled MPs by claiming Roman Abramovich faces sanctions in humiliating climbdown

Woman tests positive for Covid-19 – and is threatened with sanction if she doesn’t attend Job Centre

Habitual cruelty: if you thought the Tories stopped persecuting people with long-term illnesses and disabilities during the Covid-19 crisis, think again.

This is the UK in 2021, summed up in one series of tweets:

I don’t know where this Job Centre is, but its staff are clearly trying to create another Jodey Whiting.

Jodey had incurable conditions – they could only get worse – and failed to attend a benefit re-assessment interview because she was in hospital with a brain cyst at the time.

All her benefits were cut off – even though the interview can only have been to work out whether her conditions had worsened enough for her to require increased payments.

She took her own life soon afterwards. A coroner ruled that it could not be described as suicide because there is reason to believe her action could have been a cry for help.

This Writer has no doubt that Ms Whiting was pushed towards taking her own life by the Department for Work and Pensions.

If somebody on benefits contracts Covid-19, fails to attend a benefit interview, and the DWP cuts off all her payments – in the full knowledge of what happened with Ms Whiting – doesn’t that indicate, to you, that this government department is hoping for the same end result?

It does to me.

Let’s hope it doesn’t get that far.

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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