Sunday, November 13, 2011

Blair Mixing Business and Charity
Risks Conflict of Interests with JP Morgan’s African Investments

The Blair Foundation is undeniably doing a lot of good work, however Blair’s mixing of private consultancy and publicly funded charity is bound to raise conflicts of interest questions. The Jimmy Carter Center doesn’t do for-profit work, Henry Kissinger Associates doesn’t do charity. Blair is trying to have it both ways.

JP Morgan has controversial investments in Africa, was fined $88 million by the US government for sanctions busting, including in war torn South Sudan and pays Tony £2 million-a-year for advice. When the same person and the same office facilities are running two very different operations in the same place it is bound to make people uneasy about cross subsidy and mingling of objectives. At the very least…

Blair tried to dismiss it on Marr this morning as “the usual stuff” coming from the Mail on Sunday. That isn’t really good enough and DfID needs to make sure there is transparency and clear separation of Blair’s interests before public money is handed over. If he doesn’t want to reveal his contracts he shouldn’t get taxpayer funding.

See also: Blair Bids for Slice of DfID’s £8 Billion in Foreign Aid

Baroness Uddin: Paying Fiddle Back With Our Own Money

Sunday Sleaze

The Sunday Times reports this morning that after fiddling £125,000 from the taxpayer Baroness Uddin plans to return after her 18-month suspension to the House of Lords to claim expenses, which she will use to pay back what she fiddled over three years. The Lords authorities claim they are powerless to force her to pay back the money before she sits on the red benches again. Ridiculous.

Allegedly she has the right to sit in House of Lords regardless of her outstanding debts. Allow Guido to explain to the authorities how this situation can be resolved. Send her a statutory demand for repayment, if she doesn’t sell one of her many properties to repay the £125,000, apply to bankrupt her, then apply for a restriction order. She will as a result be disbarred from sitting in the House of Lords. It isn’t rocket science.


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