Monday, March 20, 2006

"Worse than Halliburton"Capita Boss Secretly Gave Labour £1 Million

If your firm’s turnover was up 11%, profits up 18% and dividends up 20%, you would be feeling pretty good about things. Wouldn’t you just be feeling so very good if you owned £50 million worth of shares in Capita, the government’s favourite outsourcer?

Now if Lord Levy, Tony Blair’s special envoy and tennis buddy, reminds you of all the good things the Labour party has done; public-private partnerships, outsourcing, privatising the collection of the TV licence, privatising the keeping of criminal records, congestion charging, bringing in management consultancies to government departments and councils. Well, if he asked you to do a good turn, you would want to, wouldn’t you?

If you had £3.4 billion of business in the pipeline, wouldn’t it be a good idea to be helpful? Could it be anything but good for business?

No one would know, it would be secret, this thing would be a little secret. Only you, Lord Levy and a few people in Downing Street would know. Tony Blair would know. That could only be good, couldn’t it? They might do another good thing for you. Yes. “Lord Aldridge”, that would be good…

Balancing the Books

Although a young Guido did fail to become an accountant (well, failed to complete the course due to a surplus of imagination) he learnt how to read balance sheets and yet still can’t figure out Labour’s balance sheet. From the Labour Party’s 2004 Annual Report :

“The Labour Party at the year-end had agreed overdraft and long term loan facilities with the Co-operative Bank and Unity Trust Bank totalling £11.5 million. “ (Secured against property.)

They paid £640,000 interest on “Bank loans” implying a commercially competitive rate of 5.56% from the Co-Op and trade union backed Unity bank. Note 17 of the Financial Statement shows the loan repayment schedule, it also has under the heading “Other Loans” nothing listed for 2004. So presumably the £14 million of Loans for Lordships was all raised in 2005, at a rate of more than a million a month? Page 14 of the report lists the individuals and organisations who gave over £5,000. Notable is pint-sized Derek Tullett (in for, we now know, £400,000). Tullet is a City moneybroker and bitter rival of Michael Spencer, the Tory moneybags backer. Derek’s management practises include forcing underperfoming Jewish staff to dress up in Nazi uniforms – which resulted in a hefty six-figure compensation payout at an industrial tribune.

Guido notices that Labour also raised £6 million from dinners – another shakedown that can be charged by corporations to expenses, lobbyists love this dodge. It gets round making tiresome corporate governance declarations.

We will have to wait until September to see an account for 2005, it will certainly make interesting reading. The interest bill for the Loans for Lordships should, at commercial rates, be at least £775,000. It is too late now to cook the books retrospectively. Either the interest has been paid or it hasn’t. Any attempt to cover it up at this stage will involve falsifying accounts, something the Labour party NEC will not, presumably, be in any mood to countenance. No interest payments will mean the whole “it’s a loan” thing will be proven to be a lie – but we know that already. They told us only yesterday they could not reveal the names because it was confidential. Today they broke that confidence. Things are unravelling.

How Much is that Gong in the Window?

Alan B’stard’s return as a Labour MP and the Downing Street adviser on “Prices for Peerages” is of course fiction, in reality that job is done by Ruth Turner in the PM’s office. (Guido supects that Shaun Woodward won’t be in the front row of the B’stard play’s first night. )

Labour has released the names of the “lenders” after saying only yesterday that they could not possibly break their confidences.

Funding Facts:

  • 80% of Labour’s election funding came from the covert Loans for Lordship program.
  • Every donor who has given the party more than £1 million has been given a knighthood or a peerage.
  • Three quarters of those individuals who have given more than £50,000 to the Labour Party since 2001 have received an honour.

www.zopa.comRod Aldridge – £1m
Richard Caring – £2m
Gordon Crawford – £500,000
Professor Sir Christopher Evans – £1m
Sir David Garrard – £2.3m
Nigel Morris – £1m
Sir Gulan Noon – £250,000
Dr Chai Patel – £1.5m
Andrew Rosenfeld – £1m
Lord David Sainsbury – £2m
Barry Townsley – £1m
Derek Tullett – £400,000

Guido hears mutterings that Sir Gulan Noon is thinking of calling in his loan – he’s that pissed off about it.

Why Reform Now?


Hansard 26 Jan 2006 : Column 2271W

PRIME MINISTER


Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act

Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister whether he plans to (a) review and (b) reform the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925. [45974]

The Prime Minister: No.

So just over a month ago there was no problem, then Blair gets caught with his fingerprints all over the till and his personal Downing Street advisers allegedly lying to the Appointments Commission whilst running a covert funding operation. Today he and all the parties are like repentant psycho-serial-borrowers “Stop me before I anonymously borrow again”.

This recent EDM from Gordon Prentice takes on an amusing dimension today:
EDM 1604 ABUSES OF HONOURS 08.02.2006

That this House notes that since the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925 was put on the Statute Book there has been only one prosecution, in 1933; and believes with the passage of such a long time without prosecutions, organisations such as the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust should be reminded of its existence.

What most sickens Guido is the defence the whole political class is adopting – “everyone does it.” That is not a defence, it is an admission of guilt.

Seen Elsewhere

Cam Cannot Stem EU Immigration | David Keighley
9 Mansion Tax Questions for Ed Balls | TPA
Politicians are Lying to You About Immigration | Alex Wickham
Give Journalists Public Interest Defence in Law | Guardian
Cameron is Going to Have to Deal With UKIP | Dan Hodges
Opinions on Key Issues By Constituency | Red Box
Britain Irrelevant Inside EU | Dan Hannan
Cameron Heading for Fall on Europe | Rachel Sylvester
Lords Speaker Spends £350 on Two Mile Limo Ride | Sun
Shapps Slaps Down Barroso “Propaganda” | City AM
Bookies v Pollsters: What We Learned From IndyRef | Paddy Power


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Chris Bryant talks to the Times Diary about a famous gay actor:

“I don’t think I’ve had sex with him. He says we had sex in Clapham. I’m fairly certain I’ve never had sex south of the river”



Progressive Inclusion Champion says:

Great to hear Carswell call for inclusive policies and that UKIP must stand for first and second generation immigrants as much as the English.


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