From Husky Hugging to Coal Mining

Greg Barker, now m’Lord Barker of Battle, Cameron’s husky hugging companion and former swivel-eyed Energy & Climate Change minister, has found a use for his experience gained in Government. Long a fan of Russian billionaires, Barker is the newly-appointed chairman of EN+, a Russian energy and aluminium conglomerate controlled by oligarch Oleg Deripaska. Barker’s first job is to bring a veneer of respectability to the energy company as it floats on the LSE. He’ll have his work cut out…

EN+’s owner is certainly close to the Kremlin: wikileaked US diplomatic cables described Deripaska as one of “the two or three oligarchs Putin turns to on a regular basis”, while the US still refuses to give him a visa due to his links to organised crimeDeripaska’s dealings with Manafort won’t help his cause…

More troubling are EN+’s ties to VTB Bank, the Russian lender that has been sanctioned by the US and EU since the Russian invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea in 2014. As the Spectator pointed out:

EN+ says it intends to use the ‘primary proceeds’ of the share offering ‘to repay a portion of its debt’ – which is owed largely to Russian banks such as VTB (also an EN+ shareholder) that helped bail out Deripaska’s businesses with Kremlin support after the 2008 crash, and are currently subject to US and EU sanctions. So London investors’ money will be flowing back into Putin’s other-wise ostracised banking system. 

With sanctions still in place on VTB and Russia, Barker has to convince investors that this deal does not violate sanctions. He’ll have an even harder time explaining to Cameron why he’s working around sanctions his own government helped put in place…

Aside from all that, take a moment to reflect on the sheer cynicism of a husky hugging Climate Change hyping minister becoming Chairman of a coal-mining to aluminum smelting conglomerate. One Tory grandee told Guido that Barker “must be short of cash.” 

Who You Calling Swivel-Eyed?

In a Telegraph interview the drippingly wet Greg Barker when asked about the need for a change of direction following a poll giving UKIP 11% support and surveys showing 10% of Tory voters from 2010 have switched to UKIP retorted:

“We don’t need to follow UKIP into swivel-eyed rhetoric.”

As ConservativeHome notes, that is hardly the way to win back lost supporters. What struck Guido most was that Greg Barker, a screaming climate change racket fanatic, is really on dodgy ground with that line. Look into his eyes…

UPDATE: Within a minute of publishing Greg Barker sportingly tweets:



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

John Curtice on fiscal policy:

“Attitudes to taxation and spending are basically counter-cyclical. If a government comes in and tries to reduce spending and taxation, after a while people will get worried about the state of public services. If a government increases taxation and public spending, after a while they’ll get concerned about increasing taxation…. In as much as there are lots of ideologues out there who think the state should be this proportion of GDP, they’re all wrong. Because the public’s view is counter-cyclical to the recent experience. It’s basically impossible to satisfy the public.”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.
Sun and Mail Launch Worboys Judicial Review Sun and Mail Launch Worboys Judicial Review
Onions and #Megabantz: Truss’s Twitter Makeover Onions and #Megabantz: Truss’s Twitter Makeover
Did Heywood Have Permission to Defend Remain Ally Robbins? Did Heywood Have Permission to Defend Remain Ally Robbins?
Day 2: UKIP Resignations Rolling Live Blog Day 2: UKIP Resignations Rolling Live Blog
Galloway Backs Evolve Blog ‘Editor’ for Parliament Galloway Backs Evolve Blog ‘Editor’ for Parliament
New Tory PPS List In Full New Tory PPS List In Full
Oxfam Go Full Corbynista Oxfam Go Full Corbynista
UKIP NEC Votes No Confidence In Bolton UKIP NEC Votes No Confidence In Bolton
Greenpeace Still Making Fake Wind Claims Greenpeace Still Making Fake Wind Claims
Sunday Show Highlights Sunday Show Highlights
Local Labour Members Want Jared Deselected Local Labour Members Want Jared Deselected
Last Days at BuzzFeed Last Days at BuzzFeed
Bolton: She Came Round But I Didn’t Sleep With Her Bolton: She Came Round But I Didn’t Sleep With Her
Jared Victim: He Shouldn’t Be Back in Westminster Jared Victim: He Shouldn’t Be Back in Westminster
Sick Jared Back to Work Sick Jared Back to Work
Ann Black Purged by Red Terror Ann Black Purged by Red Terror
Parole Board Admit Processes Breached Parole Board Admit Processes Breached
Paul Mason: Aggressive and Intimidating Paul Mason: Aggressive and Intimidating
James O’Brien’s Carillion Fake News Goes Viral James O’Brien’s Carillion Fake News Goes Viral
O’Mara Hasn’t Helped a Single Constituent in Months O’Mara Hasn’t Helped a Single Constituent in Months