Thursday, October 1, 2009

BAE Prosecution Will Be Political Decision

cash_planeThe Serious Fraud Office has announced plans to prosecute BAE Systems, for bribing its way into contracts from Romania to South Africa. For years, BAE Systems has been cashing in on massive trans-national arms deals on dodgy terms but it’s managed to slip away from investigation, not least with the help of government collaboration and a legal team that has strung out negotiations with the SFO over years.

In 2006, Blair slapped down the SFO for investigating a series of BAE deals with Saudi Arabia worth £40billion. Blair claimed it would endanger “national security” – and throw an inconvenient spotlight on defence just a year after the invasion of Iraq.

BAE has spent a long time cosying up to politicians of all stripes to earn its place as  the number two defence contractor worldwide. Along with other British arms mainstays Rolls-Royce and AugustaWestland, BAE funds the Parliamentary Armed Forces Scheme, a summer holidays jolly for MPs who want to “gain a broad view of military life” and “make official visits to Service establishments [where] they are normally treated as VIPs of at least two star or Rear Admiral level.” Sir Neil Thorne, ex-Tory MP and the founder of this “educational” programme, was a defence-junket goer himself back in the day and seems to have free run of Portcullis House nowadays.

So who’s making the decision as to whether to go after the weapons behemoth? Step up, Attorney General Baroness Patricia Scotland. Good thing we’ll all trust the Baroness to make the right judgment…

Sunday, September 27, 2009

UKBA Want to Know the Truth About the Missing Passport

Tongan PassportGuido has established that the passport found in the UK Border Agency raid on Lolo’s flat was expired long before Lolo got her job with Baroness Scotland.  There is quite simply no way that she could have used that passport to prove anything to the Baroness.  The UKBA raid found the documents as described in Lolo’s interview in the Mail on Sunday.

What does this mean?  It means that so far no evidence has been uncovered to support Patricia Scotland’s claim that she saw a valid passport – obviously if the passport existed and she had taken a copy of it she would  have been in the clear. Noticeably in the earliest comments briefed to the press there was no mention of a passport, “She hired Ms Tapui in good faith and saw documents which led her to believe that Ms Tapui was entitled to work in this country”. Later in the week when investigators from the UKBA interviewed the Attorney General informally, not under caution, she claimed to have seen a passport. That is her line with the press now.

The Sunday papers have all been spun the same line

A spokeswoman for Scotland said she had given the same details to the UK Border Agency when they interviewed her, adding: “They completely accepted our version of events.”

Privately UKBA investigators don’t entirely accept Lady Scotland’s version of events without reservation, which is why they have been trying, without success so far, to establish with the Tongan High Commission in London whether or not a second subsequent passport for Lolo had been issued.  As yet they have been unable to establish conclusively the truth of Lolo’s claim that she has never applied for a second passport.

Consider the implications: if, as Lolo claims, she did not have a second passport it would mean that for the Baroness to be telling the truth, Lolo would have had to presented her with a false forged passport.  Forged passports do not come cheap, demand from drug traffickers, terrorists and other criminals ensures that the black market in passports commands high prices.  How would a cleaner applying for a £6 per hour job afford to obtain a forged passport? If Lolo is telling the truth than the Baroness has possibly lied to investigators from the UK Border Agency.

target-baronessThe only alternative explanation which would support Lady Scotland’s story is that Lolo did in fact obtain a second passport from the Tongan High Commission in London or from the issuing authority in Tonga.  She could then feasibly have faked a permission to stay stamp in the passport.  The UKBA investigation is going to find out the truth this week.  If there is in fact no second passport (the raid of course did not find one) we will be expected to believe the assertions of the Attorney General, despite there being no evidence to support her assertions.  We will be expected to believe that Lolo had the ability, finances and motivation to obtain a forged passport merely to get a minimum wage cleaning job.  Does that make more sense than the reason the Baroness did not make a copy of the passport is that there simply wasn’t a passport to copy?

The Baroness better hope the Tongan authorities uncover a second passport application…

UPDATE : In the comments the question is posed as to why the UKBA determined and issued a fine so fast.  The simple answer is they were under tremendous political pressure.  The fine was half the maximum £10,000 because the Baroness had “cooperated”Summary justice in 36 hours is amazing.

The Magical Disappearing Tongan Passport

Guido is off for a picnic and possibly a post-picnic snooze. When Guido gets back he’ll be blogging information which will give the Baroness a sleepless night…

Sunday Sleaze Repeat

Sunday SleazeFiddler

This Sunday the central sleaze story is still Patricia Scotland…

Sunday Times on how the Cabinet Office turned a fiddle into a farce.

Mail on Sunday with Lolo’s own story.

Guido will have more after he has his breakfast…

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Max Clifford Takes Tongan to Tabloids

Max Tongan

target-baronessDodgy Serbian non-solicitors, Tongans tricking Attorney-Generals and much, much more to come. Is it any wonder that Max Clifford has arrived on the scene? All this just in time for Labour Conference.  Gordon has expressed his full confidence in the Baroness.

Excellent news, remember how Max Clifford was around for the scandals at the end of the Major regime.  He is the politico-media equivalent of the undertaker.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Just Go

Lord Mandelson — who knows a thing or two about being sacked from the cabinet in the middle of a front page scandal — says of the Baroness “You have to inform yourself properly before rushing to judgment. That’s what the Prime Minister has done…”

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Baroness Scotland Accused of £170,000 Expense Fiddle

Sunday Sleaze

Fiddler

Patricia Scotland, who was at the Home Office before becoming Attorney-General, has wrongly claimed some £170,000 since 2004.  The £38,280 a year over-claim is only for ministers who have a primary residence outside the capital.  Patricia has a £2 million home in Chiswick, West London.

Labour MP Graham Stringer told The Mail on Sunday that if Lady Scotland did not make a ‘principled resignation’, she should be fired by Gordon Brown.

‘It is extraordinary that after four days she is still in the post… The whole Government is tarnished. People feel the Government is passing laws it is not applying to itself.’

Despite giving her his full backing, if Brown thinks Patricia Scotland can remain as Attorney General, he is stark raving mad.

Monday, September 7, 2009

McBride’s First Day Back to School :
“Greetings from Nadine Dorries”

McBride-Multiburst-Shot-lower-res

FHSBToday was the first day back at school for the boys of Finchley Catholic High School.  Guido popped along early this morning to see one old boy and hardly recognised the middle-aged man strolling slowly across the school playground, stooping occasionally to pick up litter from the ground.  As Guido strode purposefully towards him he turned away entering a building where the staff were assembled for a first day briefing from the headmaster.  For a moment Guido thought the baseball cap disguise had been seen through.

“Damian!” Guido shouted at him, he turned in the doorway startled, “Greetings from Nadine Dorries”.  With a bemused look on his face he accepted the official Court papers, served by yours truly, on behalf of Nadine Dorries> Dorries, you will recall, is the MP he falsely accused of sleeping with another Tory MP in emails to Derek Draper, Kevin Maguire and Charlie Whelan.   Realising suddenly what had just happened he disappeared into the building as teachers and other bemused staff glimpsed across.  Damian never should have spilt that Guinness

UPDATE : Mrs Draper took the papers on behalf of Dolly from Tory Bear.

Monday, July 20, 2009

McBride : I’ll Get Guido

Damian McPoisonAs Guido begins a month at Chateau Fawkes, Damian McBride surfaces to give his first interview. Speaking to the Guardian from a pub, they report

McBride has some unfinished business with “that bloke Fawkes”. “He sent me a text on the day I resigned saying: ‘You started it, I finished it’, he reveals. McBride, however, may not be finished yet.

Charming as ever.

You know Guido can’t be bothered to point to all the self-serving spin in the article. Suffice to say Smeargate wasn’t something put together in a few minutes as he claims, they had many planning meetings, including some at Unite’s HQ with Charlie Whelan in attendance. Lying again, that will be five Hail Marys Damian, what kind of example are you to the boys at Finchley Catholic High School?

Anyway, if Guido was in Damian’s shoes, he’d be more worried about the wrath of Nadine than getting revenge. Now Damian has a job her lawyers will be able to serve her writ at his place of work. They had been unable to locate him, until now…

UPDATE : Interesting that in the Radio 5 interview, Damian refers to the emails to Derek about off colour comments on this blog. When Guido made a Freedom of Information request for those very emails they came back with very little – certainly not the relevant emails.  Guido might have to return to this issue…

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Margaret Moran Lobbied Against Rival Companies

Over at the FT they have discovered that Margaret Moran not only lobbied for EQN, the company run out of her office, she lobbied against the company’s rivals. Malfeasance in public office anyone?


Seen Elsewhere

Sack David Ward | LibDem Voice
David Ward Condemned for Rocket Support | BBC
LibDem MP Backs Rocket Attacks | Indy
LibDem MP: I Would Bomb Israel | ITV
A Bold Plan to Reform Welfare | Ruth Porter
Clinton’s Busty Mistress Nicknamed ‘Energizer’ | Mail
Photo Analysis of Miliband’s Obama Visit | Buzzfeed
Dave Shouldn’t Have Moved Gove | Michael Howard
Bercow’s Nightmare | Alex Wickham
Miliband Abandons Britain to Meet Obama | Sun
Tequila-Quaffing Chat Show Plonker Clegg | Quentin Letts


new-advert
Westbourne-Change-Opinion Guido-hot-button (1)


Owen Paterson lifts the lid on the Green Blob:

“I received more death threats in a few months at Defra than I ever did as secretary of state for Northern Ireland.”



Flight Watch says:

Russia Today is a cauldron of bullsh*t. The only people that take it seriously are deluded conspiracy theorists. Other RT journos have resigned citing the same reasons.

It’s about as believable as Press TV, KCNA of North Korea or the Daily Mirror.


Tip off Guido
Web Guido's Archives

Subscribe me to:






RSS


AddThis Feed Button
Archive


Labels
Guido Reads