Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Official: Westminster Full of Crooks

The expenses crisis, lobbying shame and six Labour MPs being investigated by the police has caused the UK to plummet in the rankings of the most corrupt countries in the world, dropping to a humiliating 20th place. Guido has been highlighting the problem for years without fancy weightings, equations, interactive maps and graphs but Transparency International have really put the boot in. The UK is sandwiched between those two beacons of democracy Chile and Qatar.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Guess Who’s Back

When Philip Hammond tried to sell the cuts package to the people of the north-east on Question Time last night he mentioned a deal with Hitachi to build high speed trains in the area. Jobs were promised, but Guido couldn’t help ponder why the business park in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, that will be at the heart of new project, sounded so familiar.

The penny dropped this afternoon – the Durham Green development project that built the park was caught up with an blast from the past. Two directors of the company were used by David Abrahams to channel money to the Labour Party, around £77,000, in 2005. Mysteriously planning objections to the project disappeared shortly after. Abrahams has been spotted back on the Westminster scene a lot in recent months and what a lovely coincidence that his little project has done so well…

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Criminal Ruling Classes

Such are their number it is getting difficult for Guido to keep track of all the politicians who are either under investigation, currently facing charges or are  actually in the dock as defendants.

It is worth bearing in mind that 52% of MPs in the last parliament were found to be guilty of over-claiming – the vast majority of whom paid-up quietly in an admission of guilt.

Some of the worst cases have finally made it to the courts, former Labour MPs Jim Devine (reported to the police incidentally by the Sunlight Centre), Elliot Morley and David Chaytor are trying to avoid criminal trials and are currently in the Supreme Court arguing that they are above common criminals and should be tried by MPs. Don’t think so…

Sitting Labour MP Eric Isslley is facing charges. Labour MPs confirmed to be under police investigation include Denis MacShane and the former MP Margaret Moran.

Reported to the police we have Sadiq Khan, who has been reported on the exactly the same expense-fiddling grounds as Margaret Moran. Ironically he is a Shadow Justice Minister.

Tory Lord Hanningfield is facing trial but Lords Paul and Bhaita as well as Baroness Uddin have escaped prosecution by promising repayment.

LibDem MP David Laws is awaiting the report of the Committee on Standards and Privileges with regard to him having the taxpayer pay rent to his boyfriend. The Committee has ordered former Labour MP Shahid Malik to repay his claim for the cost of insuring his wife’s diamond ring. No, really.

Bill “Piggy” Wiggin was ordered to apologise and repay £4,009 of expenses for which he claimed but did not actually incur. Shamefully the Old Etonian has been allowed by David Cameron to keep his Whip’s job despite a pre-election promise live on TV to sack Wiggin if he was found to be “claiming money that he wasn’t entitled to”. Change we can believe in… not.

Has Guido missed any politicians under investigation or in the Courts?

UPDATE : Forgot Tory Lord Taylor of Warwick is pleading not guilty to six charges of dodgy accounting. His bother is over claiming overnight expenses in relation to properties which he didn’t live in.   He claimed to the Sunday Times he had lived at his mother’s home in the West Midlands. This turned out to be false as his mother’s house was sold in 2001 when she died.  His former wife confirmed that he lived in London, and nowhere else, until their separation in 2003.

See also: Labour’s Dirty Dozen

Monday, October 18, 2010

Has Hancock Perjured Himself?

The Sunday Times would have made uncomfortable reading for pervy LibDem MP Mike Hancock. Having triggered an investigation by Hampshire Police  Hancock’s alleged victim, a mentally ill constituent, has apparently seen a deterioration in her condition since the alleged assault. On Friday Guido exclusively regaled some of the text messages that Hancock has admitted sending the woman to “cheer her up”. During the election when Hancock was seeking an injunction about other allegations that an election opponent had printed in a leaflet he signed an affidavit saying:

‘I am a good family man and these allegations about me having numerous extra-marital affairs are completely untrue and Mr. Cummings knows that.’

How does begging another woman with messages like “please give me a chance princess” weigh up with the who “good family man” thing?

Should perjury be added to the long list of allegations concerning “Handy-cock”?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Exclusive: Handycock’s Sexy Texts

Humiliated LibDem MP Mike Hancock was arrested last week for indecent assault after he pursued a mentally ill constituent with a barrage of dinners, presents and late night text messages.  He’s been bailed until January.

The police got involved after the young, yet unnamed, lady’s care staff raised the alarm. Hancock has not denied he was contacting the girl, but claims that he was only trying to cheer her up. Guido has had a glance over the text messages he was sending her, and he’ll let you decide if this was merely an attempt to make someone feel better or something more:

  • “You are and believe me i know what i am talking about u r very and i miss you sexy XXX” (15.01 June 14, 2010) With this record, Guido is sure he does…
  • “Please give me a chance you never know my princess XXX” (23.33 April 18, 2010) Just trying to cheer her up!
  • “Thankyou as long its not a wet one XXX” (23.27 May 27, 2010)

    Guido hates to think what that last one is referring to, but given the time of night he has a couple of ideas…

    10% of Anglo Irish Bank’s Profits Came from Defrauding Customers


    Guido has been given documents coming from inside Anglo Irish Bank’s Treasury Department dating back to 1997 which strongly suggest there was a board level approved conspiracy to over-charge corporate customers. The scale of the fraud was massive and it may have contributed up to 10% of the now nationalised bank’s profits.

    The Anglo-Irish Bank’s fraud comes from overstating the DIBOR base rate on which customer’s loans were calculated. DIBOR is the Dublin Interbank Offered Rate, calculated and published daily like LIBOR, it was set in stone and used by all Irish banks as the basis for settlement of trades and financial transactions before they joined the Euro.

    Essentially Anglo-Irish lied to customers as to what that the real base rate was by adding between 1/4% to 1/3% to the official underlying rate, then they added the usual banker’s spread that they will have agreed contractually with their corporate customers.

    Guido’s source says that inside Anglo-Irish the false rate quoted to borrowers was known internally as “TIBOR” after Tiarnan O’Mahoney, the Director and Chief Operating Officer to whom Des Whyte, the treasury manager who prepared the figures, reported. Sources say that the “TIBOR” version of “DIBOR” was not used with sophisticated money market customers who would have queried the rate.

    Guido has done some back of an envelope calculations based on the bank’s 1999 Annual Report. The customer loan book is reported to have been €5.7 billion (IR£4.4 billion). Assuming that only half the clients were over-charged the average of 30 basis points the bank will have made an extra €8.6 million, (IR£6.6 million) on the bottom line. That was some 10% of the bank’s reported profits.

    According to a source the fiddle continued throughout the late 90s into the early half of the next decade as Anglo-Irish’s loan book grew on the back of the Celtic tiger. Customers could have been ripped off by as much €100 million.

    N.B. Guido has documentation to back up this story – if the Dublin authorities want it…

    UPDATE : There was an error with the graphic illustration above earlier which has now been corrected to show the correct corresponding date.

    Expenses Are Back
    - Piggy Wiggin and Khan’s Moranic Receipts

    With invoices being trawled, coppers called and MPs still insisting they have done nothing wrong, it could be June 2009 all over again. With MacShane being referred to the Yard yesterday it has also emerged that Tory whip Bill Wiggin claimed thousands of pounds for costs he “did not actually incur”. Another way of putting that is “fraudulently”. Back in the day Wiggin defended his over zealous expense claims by saying “I think people need to realise we are but human”. Yes, greedy ones. The mind boggles as to how it wasn’t seen fit to pass on his file along with MacShame…

    With MacShane and Margaret Moran both being looked into by the cops, the total number of Labour MPs under investigation or facing trial is now at six, but there seems to be some discrepancies in those cases that the Met are picking up. One of the key allegations against Margaret Moran is her dodgy receipts. Amongst various housing decorations she also claimed £130 from her communications allowance for Labour Christmas cards. The claim was rejected and so she resubmitted the invoice calling the cards “Constituency Surgery Cards” and Fees office duly coughed up. A trick that sounds very familiar.

    Back in March Guido reported:

    “Having had over a grands worth of greeting card receipts rightly rejected from his Communications Allowance claims, Khan then went back to the printers and had them create a new receipt, for the same amount, but without the birthday cards itemised on them.”

    Khan’s printer “Public Impact” is run by Labour Party affiliates and he told John Lyon he “couldn’t remember the complaint”. Which is convenient. A report was submitted to Scotland Yard who have, as of yet, not ruled concluded the investigation. Perhaps in the light of their look at Moran, they might like to clamp down on other MPs with equally dodgy receipts…

    Thursday, October 14, 2010

    Quote of the Day

    Joan Smith, also known as Mrs Denis MacShane, wrote

    “I am sick of my country and this hysteria over MPs. People have been led to believe that we are governed by a corrupt political class. This is sanctimonious nonsense.”

    MacShame of the Labour Blogosphere

    Three hours after the news about MacShame broke on this blog, how are the Labour blogs dealing with the issue?  LabourList – silent. LeftFootForward has nothing on MacShane. LiberalConspiracy still hasn’t mentioned that the cops are onto the leftie attack-dog. Political Scrapbook is still dealing with yesterday’s PMQs. Compare and contrast how Derek Conway was treated by ConservativeHome. They demanded firm action immediately.

    The Labour leaning blogosphere’s credibility really suffers at times like this from being reluctant to criticise allies. If you are looking for news and comment about Dennis MacShane, or about the sitting Labour MP Eric Illsley’s forthcoming day in court, the ongoing police investigation into Margaret Moran or  the three other former Labour MPs in court on criminal charges there is no point going to left-wing blogs…

    UPDATE : Looks like Guido shamed LabourList into publishing something – the official Labour Party press release – 40 minutes after this post went up. No further comment or analysis…

    MacShane’s £125,000 Constituency Office

    This is what Denis MacShane claimed £125,000 in office costs for:

    ‘Ello ‘ello ‘ello…


    Seen Elsewhere

    Ex-Sun Hack Cleared After 582 Days on Bail | MediaGuido
    11 Times Boris Denied He Would Stand for Parliament | Buzzfeed
    Attacking UKIP’s Posters is Counter-Productive | Guardian
    Sarkozy Tried it on With Hollande’s Ex | Times
    Another Spare Room Subsidy Cut Success | Harry Phibbs
    Rich Now Have Less Leisure Than Poor | Economist
    UKIP’s Immigration Policy Promotes Migrant Entrepreneurs | Breitbart
    Another Feminist Lecture | Laura Perrins
    UKIP Posters Bad Economics But Good Politics | James Delingpole
    Tories Losing to UKIP in Scotland | ConHome
    UKIPers Will Come Home in 2015 | Sun


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    A confused Nick Griffin says Nigel Farage is a shill for the City, forgetting that City banks want to stay in the EU:

    “Farage is a snake oil salesman, but a very good one. His supposed anti-immigration stance is all smoke and mirrors, as is his carefully cultivated image as a ‘man of the people’. The truth is that UKIP is a pro-immigration party that exists to lobby for the interests of the City of London.”



    Alexrod says:

    It’s money innit.


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