With Liz Truss announcing that as PM she would declare China an “acute threat” — whatever that means, Guido has been perusing Tory links to China. Liz might want to consider some of her party’s donors before she can be taken seriously.
Billionaire Tory donor, Hong Kong tai-pan, and former owner of The Spectator, Sir Henry Keswick, is proving himself to be quite the political chameleon — with his political allegiances miraculously changing east of Suez. Guido was amused to see photos out of Hong Kong sent by a co-conspirator that show Hongkong Land, a subsidiary of Sir Henry’s family company, Jardine Matheson, paying for hundreds of Chinese propaganda posters that have been installed across much of central Hong Kong for the 25th anniversary of the handover.
These posters hailed the arrival of “Stability. Prosperity. Opportunity”. This joyous patriotic occasion was marked by a sham rigged election of a new Chief Executive, a visit by Xi Jinping, and the banning of media organisations from attending events. 47 democrats are soon to go on trial for ‘subversion’ after 15 months in custody for holding an election primary — for their own party. Sir Henry clearly hasn’t read his wife’s advice about not “grovelling up to China”.
Back in the UK, Sir Henry has been enjoying his well-earned retirement. When not shooting at his 18,000-acre country pad, Sir Henry has kept up with his hobby of donating to the Conservative party — around £800,000 in the last five years. Guido couldn’t help noticing that some of these donations are often conveniently timed around when Jardine Matheson representatives meet with government ministers. Handy. Others who have enjoyed the fruits of Sir Henry’s hard work include Jacob Rees-Mogg (£2,000), Dominic Raab (£2,000), Nickie Aitken (£2,000). Winner, however, was fellow OE, Danny Kruger (£10,000). Jardine Matheson is now led by Sir Henry’s nephew, Ben. Sir Henry remains chairman-emeritus. Fortunately for Sir Henry, he doesn’t have to worry about recouping his losses — his net worth increased by a cheeky £2.4 billion in 2020.