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Archive for the ‘sleaze’ Category

Courtesy: Department of International Development (the irony)

I can’t say much about this hideous thing because I’m sort of still trying to process what I’ve just seen. But I will say this.

I find it utterly soul-destroying that these people, all of them Labour ministers either interviewed in the sting or fingering ministers still in power in one position or another (including that sickening, unblinking crook Mandelson yet again), are so much worse as people than so many people I’ve met in my lifetime and career so far. I simply cannot imagine what my father thinks of it all.

The point is that these people are so corrupt, they would sooner burn this country to the ground than be forced into a position where they must confront the twin characteristics that define them all, to a man and to a woman: vanity and greed. Vanity and greed is what defines this entire government, and this government’s vanity and greed is what has brought this country to the brink of ruin. We were safer in the Cold War than we are with these.

Just remember, prior to this devastating Blair/Brown era, governments were brought down for far, far less than this, and rightly so.

I can’t think of anything else to say just now. I’m just too depressed by the level of venality and decay this country has been brought to thanks to a desperately serious, though perhaps innocent in the case of a fair few million voters, false step that we took in 1997.

A lot of people were conned by Labour, but all are punished.

To me, though, there is some kind of hope. The Conservative Party, under Cameron, I believe has genuinely sensed the mood of the people (the people that count, that is – the vast majority of people – and not that small minority of dumb, insolent, loudmouth Labour activists who just don’t care because their obsessive political prejudices always take precedence over truth, justice and common decency).

The Conservative Party, under Cameron, really will mend our broken politics, mainly because they had bloody well better! So thank God for that, because, as this terrifying Dispatches programme shows, our politics is just about as broken as it could possibly be.

And Labour broke it.

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Loving the National Express as Stephen Byers clearly does – after all, he saved that company £300million by putting the fix in with “Lord” Andreas Adonis, who obligingly let it off the hook precisely in the way Byers describes he’d arranged with him in the undercover Channel 4 tapes, by nationalising the rail franchise they were contracted to run, but had comprehensively ruined (at a cost to you and me of, you guessed it, £300million) – I thought he might appreciate this bit of Divine Comedy brilliance (sort of). The video is set, appropriately, in a nuthouse.

What’s emerging here is the sheer scale of these crooked, Labourist, overpromoted socioeconomic demolition experts’ blatant, abject, systematic, chronic corruption. You would be forgiven for receiving this information with a sense of total disbelief. Well, if you are tempted to do that, don’t. It’s all true, and, what’s more, all we’re really glimpsing now is the tip of a very big iceberg.

Ever wondered where all the money went? Well, now you have some idea.

Jail really is too good for them.

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In tomorrow’s Mail on Sunday and Sunday Times, two stories reveal just how venal former Labour ministers are. It simply beggars belief that these four, Geoff Hoon, Patricia Hewitt, Margaret Moron (sic) and Stephen Byers will almost certainly escape at the very least some form of criminal investigation for corruption.

One other thing is certain, unless the Tories get tough on this issue and threaten to seek prosecutions for what amounts to the worst sleaze probably in modern British history, we, the long-suffering public, will simply never know to what extent we have been comprehensively fleeced by the most corrupt and disastrous regime we’ve ever experienced in Britain.

Cameron, if and when he wins, had better be genuinely ‘whiter than white’ or I guarantee that this time around there will be bloody hell to pay. He needs to be concentrating on making sure any government he leads is unimpeachable by reviving the principles of collective and ministerial responsibility which have withered and died under Blair/Brown; that any future parliament is beyond reproach by making sure any pocket-lining MPs forfeit their office; and that the sins of the past, especially by these Labour criminals, are not simply forgotten, by resisting any pressure for an amnesty. I’m sure Gordon Brown would be pleased to return the favour given half the chance – but that’s not the point.

This should be one of the major focuses of a new Cameron government, and definitely not woolly headed, watermelon carbon taxes that will severely damage the economy, justified on the basis of a now pretty thoroughly discredited scientific theory, itself a trojan horse for a socialist agenda.

Nothing less will do.

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Excellent piece from the Renegade Economist today which traces some of Tony Blair’s labyrinthine collection of funds, holding companies and legal entities that he’s started since handing over his mandate to Gordon Brown. According to the Renegade, he’s created a “complex web of structures involving 12 different legal entities handling the unprecedented millions he is receiving since he stepped down from office in 2007.”

The article goes on:

So mystifying are the former prime minister’s financial structures – which involve highly specialised limited partnerships and parallel companies – that the Guardian today launches an open invitation to tax specialists and accountants to attempt to explain the motivation behind such structures. We have published the Companies House documents and other legal papers regarding the structure of the partnerships at guardian.co.uk and invite expert comment via our site at guardian.co.uk/politics/series/blair-mystery.

Thereis no suggestion Blair is doing anything illegal. But he refuses to explain the
purpose of the secretive partnerships.

Tax specialists say Blair could use these unusual arrangements at some point in the future to seek to transfer millions tax-free to his four children.
Blair denies, however, that the structures are such an inheritance tax avoidance scheme, known as a “family limited partnership”.

“Family limited partnerships” were being publicized to lawyers and accountants in November 2007 at the time Blair’s lawyers started to set up his structures.

Known in the trade as “Flips”, family limited partnerships are a way of getting round stricter inheritance tax rules in the 2006 budget, imposed by Gordon Brown while Blair was still prime minister.

‘Flips’, eh? Oh, the irony. Now, as yesterday evening’s post on this blog shows, I’m not a little nervous about the Grauniad’s journalistic standards, so I’m very pleased that an independent economics journal and blog has taken up the story. Indeed, the article then goes into far more detail than the Graun would ever dare about Blair’s on-the-face-of-it legal but pretty irregular financial affairs, all designed (so the theory goes) to dodge inheritence tax, so little Leo will inherit all daddy’s estimated, post-PM fortune of 14 million quid (and rising). “There, there. We won’t let the beastly tax man have any of it.” Perhaps Blair will be voting Tory in the next election (if he’s actually registered to vote in the UK, that is).

Whichever way you choose to look at this, and the financial arrangements alone certainly seem worthy of the taxman’s attention, it is worth remembering that Blair’s pocket-lining at the expense of the British taxpayer, his early retirement (a breach of both a manifesto promise and of trust with ‘the nation’ – or 9 million suckers, rather- that gave New Labour under Blair, not Old Labour under Brown, a mandate to govern) and his subsequent ruthless exploitation of his ongoing popularity in the United States (if only they knew him as we do) are just the tip of the iceberg. They were (are?) all at it!

There can be no forgiveness for Blair for so many reasons, and he should be investigated for his dodgy businesses and questionable tax arrangements – just after he’s been arrested over Iraq – but we must never forget that an awful lot more parliamentarians have been doing this under this Labour government for more than a decade and the worst, criminal offenders have been of the Labourist stripe. Now we know why. A management culture begins at the top. If the person at the top is a money-grubbing, ruthless exploiter of tax and expenses loopholes, the entire organisation’s likely to follow suit. They’re just copying the boss. Indeed, for the boss to feel OK about being so venal, he will positively (though quietly) encourage it. And that, folks, is called corruption.

And we’ve had 13 years of it. No wonder we’re bankrupt: the country financially and parliament morally. Thank Brown for the former; Blair for the latter.

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SO the Labourists have decided to go after George “Ozzy” Osborne over his expenses claims. They’ve started by getting unknown constituency loyalist , Laurie Burton, to make a complaint to the standards authority, according to Sky.

The complaint to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner came from the chairman of the Labour Party in Mr Osborne’s Tatton constituency, Laurie Burton.

In a letter to Mr Burton confirming that he will investigate the complaint, John Lyon said: “In essence, your complaint is that between 2001 and 2003 Mr Osborne wrongly identified his main home for the purposes of his claims against the Additional Costs Allowance, and that from 2003 Mr Osborne claimed for mortgage payments that were not necessarily incurred contrary to the rules of the house.”

Mr Lyon said he would write to Mr Osborne and ask for his comments.

There could be one of any number of reasons for the suspicious timing of this complaint: revenge for the Tory’s huge success with the “Brown is a liar” theme, with Mandelson (who’s caused huge problems for Osborne before, lest we forget the Russian yacht incident of 2008) its chief schemer. Or it is the opening salvo of a tit-for-tat exchange which will escalate and could go nuclear, resulting in vast political casualties and further constitutional fallout.

There are other possibilities, for example that this is yet another cynical, desperate Labour ploy (the complaint will most likely not be upheld) to hijack a political news agenda increasingly dominated by further terrible recession data, a growing government funding crisis, the prospect of another bank failure and the dishonesty of Gordon Brown. It will fail because, first, of the suspicion that this is a weak complaint: why, for instance, wasn’t it made sooner. Second, Labour are playing a seriously dangerous game by encouraging an ethical arms race, given the scale of their own misbehaviour. This will just look like hypocrisy (which is most-likely why they’ve hired a mouthpiece form outside parliament to do the dirty work. They really do think we are that stupid).

So, “flat-footed” and “desperate” are the words I would use to describe this latest move from the smearist wing of the Brownite-Mandelsonian tendency. Mexican stand-offs are usually fatal for all involved. I wonder whether someone in Labour has just pulled the trigger that ends-up, when the gunsmoke clears, with 500+ corpses of MPs’ careers scattered around the village. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

In the meantime at the very least someone with some kind of vision and nerve in the Labour party should tell Brown once and for all: this kind of crap doesn’t work any more.

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SO the Labourists have decided to go after George “Ozzy” Osborne over his expenses claims. They’ve started by getting unknown constituency loyalist , Laurie Burton, to make a complaint to the standards authority, according to Sky.

The complaint to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner came from the chairman of the Labour Party in Mr Osborne’s Tatton constituency, Laurie Burton.

In a letter to Mr Burton confirming that he will investigate the complaint, John Lyon said: “In essence, your complaint is that between 2001 and 2003 Mr Osborne wrongly identified his main home for the purposes of his claims against the Additional Costs Allowance, and that from 2003 Mr Osborne claimed for mortgage payments that were not necessarily incurred contrary to the rules of the house.”

Mr Lyon said he would write to Mr Osborne and ask for his comments.

There could be one of any number of reasons for the suspicious timing of this complaint: revenge for the Tory’s huge success with the “Brown is a liar” theme, with Mandelson (who’s caused huge problems for Osborne before, lest we forget the Russian yacht incident of 2008) its chief schemer. Or it is the opening salvo of a tit-for-tat exchange which will escalate and could go nuclear, resulting in vast political casualties and further constitutional fallout.

There are other possibilities, for example that this is yet another cynical, desperate Labour ploy (the complaint will most likely not be upheld) to hijack a political news agenda increasingly dominated by further terrible recession data, a growing government funding crisis, the prospect of another bank failure and the dishonesty of Gordon Brown. It will fail because, first, of the suspicion that this is a weak complaint: why, for instance, wasn’t it made sooner. Second, Labour are playing a seriously dangerous game by encouraging an ethical arms race, given the scale of their own misbehaviour. This will just look like hypocrisy (which is most-likely why they’ve hired a mouthpiece form outside parliament to do the dirty work. They really do think we are that stupid).

So, “flat-footed” and “desperate” are the words I would use to describe this latest move from the smearist wing of the Brownite-Mandelsonian tendency. Mexican stand-offs are usually fatal for all involved. I wonder whether someone in Labour has just pulled the trigger that ends-up, when the gunsmoke clears, with 500+ corpses of MPs’ careers scattered around the village. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

In the meantime at the very least someone with some kind of vision and nerve in the Labour party should tell Brown once and for all: this kind of crap doesn’t work any more.

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Jim Knight is on Question Time tonight. Here’s his BBC publicity shot. Beard looks a bit weird, doesn’t it? This clown is the Labour MP for Dorset South and minister for something-or-other (employment) who’s a serial trougher who said his exorbitant second home and expenses claims were ‘reasonable’. This is how his own local rag, the Dorset Echo, reported it at the time:

Mr Knight claimed £12,541.69 in mortgage interest payments last year for a one-bedroom flat in Vauxhall that he has owned for more than two years. He also claimed £3,395 for food and £2,290.85 for maintenance as well as sums to cover telephone bills, cleaning services and utility and Council Tax payments. His total additional cost allowance claim came to just over £21,363 last year – the maximum allowance being £23,083. Mr Knight said he is in favour of a total overhaul of the way in which MPs’ salaries and expenses are set, adding that members should have no say at all in what they earn. He said: “It’s important to be transparent and I decided, pro-actively, to publish my expenses.

Maybe so, but this asshole’s just said on Question Time that he doesn’t think he should have to pay any of this cash back and that Cameron is an ‘opportunist’ for forcing his MPs to do it. He doesn’t seem to be getting much sympathy from the audience, one of whom, rightly, said that until there are prosecutions, no restoration of trust is possible.

Crooked beard; dodgy bloke: why not start with Jim tosspot Knight?

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