Rona Fairhead’s record should disqualify her from public office, but the Tories have found her two. Why?

Rona Fairhead was well-known to be a Conservative when she was appointed as chair of the BBC Trust. I commented on her political persuasion here and here. It turns out she was also chair of HSBC’s audit committee when the bank was mired in tax avoidance and money laundering scandals. It also transpires that George Osborne, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, warned the US government not to press criminal charges against HSBC for allowing terrorists and drug dealers to launder millions of dollars. One has to question whether Mr Osborne…

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Cameron and Osborne have fleeced us all – and are talking about it on the after-dinner circuit

This Writer agrees with Jeremy Corbyn: “The Tories have spent 6 years lining the pockets of their friends & as soon as they can they line their own pockets.” Also, isn’t it interesting that George Osborne’s speech is at an event by HSBC – the bank of tax avoidance – while David Cameron’s is at an event by PwC – the accountants of tax avoidance? David Cameron and George Osborne are being paid tens of thousands of pounds each to make speeches for leading financial institutions at the World Economic…

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Five things you should know about the Autumn Statement

This is self-explanatory. I’ve included only the headings of the ‘five things’ but you can read the details over at Real Media. But you should be aware of the last point, so let’s make it the first: “draft legislation to tackle aggressive tax avoidance has been pushed back due to ‘complexity’, and won’t feature in the Autumn Statement”. Well, what a surprise! Yet again the Conservative Government avoids tackling tax avoidance. You’d think ministers had a vested interest in letting it continue. Wouldn’t you? On Wednesday George Osborne will unveil…

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Corbyn forces Cameron to ‘clarify’ EU in-out negotiations

When David Cameron woke up this morning (Tuesday), it may have been to the realisation that he said too much in response to a grilling by Jeremy Corbyn over Europe yesterday. Cameron had been to a meeting of the Council of Europe, the regional intergovernmental organisation with 47 member states best know for its operation of the European Court of Human Rights. One of the subjects he discussed there was the UK’s attempts to renegotiate the conditions of its membership in the European Union. He said: “On the UK’s renegotiation,…

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A simple plan to get Labour back on track

If the Labour Party is to regain the confidence it has lost, it needs to re-state its identity with a core message of purpose – one that not only encapsulates what Labour is about, but also what it opposes. That is what was missing from Labour’s general election campaign, and is as much a reason for Ed Miliband’s defeat as the Conservative campaign, which was not based on objective facts but on political spin. In a nutshell, it is time to remind the voters and the public that Labour is…

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‘Dear George…’ A letter from Ed Balls about tax avoidance

Labour really isn’t going to let the Tories off the hook about tax avoidance. Ed Balls wrote a letter to George Osborne today, outlining what he considers to be the main issues. Here’s the text of that letter in full. Feel free to compare and contrast with the interpretations in the mass media. Dear George, It has now been over a week since the full story about tax evasion and HSBC became public. There are a number of questions which you have failed to answer over the last eight days…

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David Cameron has no answer to tax-dodging allegations

The circus that is Prime Minister’s Questions gave us some illuminating information today. Ed Miliband kicked off his questioning strongly with the following facts: “An hour ago, we learned that linked to the HSBC tax avoidance scandal are seven Tory donors, including a former treasurer of the Tory party, who between them have given the party nearly £5 million. How can the Prime Minister explain the revolving door between Tory party HQ and the Swiss branch of HSBC? Cameron didn’t have an answer, so relied on diversion instead: “I saw…

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Cameron’s smear attempt on Labour is laughed off the page

David Cameron is to be congratulated. Just as the furore over his ‘Road to Tory Ruin’ election poster might be expected to die down, he has thrown more fuel on the fire of public discontent with a series of false claims prior to a TV appearance. He told The Guardian that the Labour Party’s plans, if it wins the election in May, would cost £13.5 billion in extra interest payments on the country’s debts. The report also quoted his interview in The Sunday Times, in which he stated: “Money that…

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Don’t believe the critics – Labour’s plans are good for Britain

What do you think of the Labour Party conference this year? It’s a loaded question and one that is bound to elicit loaded answers. The propaganda machines of the other parties have been working overtime to discredit Her Majesty’s Opposition, with Scottish people who wanted independence (the minority, let’s remember) claiming Labour lied to them, UKIP supporters adamant that the party is full of child abusers (based on a BNP propaganda website, which should tell anyone with a brain all they need to know), and of course the Tories doing…

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Rachel Reeves’ weak speech has little to offer but social insecurity

Was anyone else underwhelmed by Rachel Reeves’ speech in this years Labour conference? Not by the promise to take the Bedroom Tax off the statute books, obviously. That has been a settled part of Labour policy since, well, since it landed on the statute books back in 2012. We should not take it for granted, though – and we must always remember that the Bedroom Tax won’t be going anywhere if the Blue Meanies manage to hang on to control after May next year. But is anybody really convinced by her…

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