The 'Pin-Striped Scargill' Who Stole Millions for Lib-Dems

During the chancellor’s debate last night Vince Cable attacked the “pin-striped Scargills” of banking, adding for good measure that the LibDems didn’t rely on friends in the City for funding. No, not any more.

The biggest donor in the history of the Liberal Democrat Party was one pin-striped Michael Brown, a financial trader who gave them £2.4 million for a front-row seat sipping champagne next to Charlie Kennedy.  He turned out to be a pin-striped thief and was charged with money laundering, fraud and theft before he went on the run.  Remember that next time the LibDems get on their high horse about the financial probity of political donors…

Simpson's Socialist Shenanigans

When he’s not frequenting sex bars in Bangkok or organising crippling strikes closer to home, Derek Simpson has been harassing candidates about their support for his socialist dream state Cuba:

Derek Simpson
Joint General Secretary
Unite
35 King Street
London WC2E 8JG

29th March 2010

Dear ███████████████,

███████████████████

As the Joint General Secretary of Unite, a trade union with almost 2 million members I am contacting Prospective Parliamentary Candidates to hear their views on Cuba.

If elected as an MP would you support better relations between the UK and Cuba?

As you will be aware the United Nations voted last year, for the 18th consecutive time, to condemn the United States blockade of Cuba. The United Nations voted by 187-3, with the UK Government voting to end the blockade. It has been estimated that the blockade has cost the Cuban economy at least $98 billion over 50 years.

In the 2008/09 Parliamentary session 248 MPs signed Early Day Motion – 1171 calling for better relations with Cuba. The signatories to this Motion came from the Labour Party, Conservative Party, Liberal Democrats, Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru, SDLP, DUP, Respect and independents.

The UK has much to gain from better relations with Cuba. Not least in terms of trade which will benefit the UK economy, but also in sporting and cultural links. My members, who are voters in every constituency in the UK, would like to hear your views on Cuba. Specifically I would like to ask you this one question.

If elected as an MP would you support better relations between the UK and Cuba?

Kind regards,

Derek Simpson

Joint General Secretary – Unite

Whenever you hear Unite suggest they are not a radical or dangerous left-wing organisation just remember who their bedfellows are.

Hewitt No Longer Searching for Moral Compass

Alas it seems that following the publicity Guido gave the “Right Honourable” Patsy Hewitt yesterday, she has according to a source not a million miles away from the International Corporate Governance Network, decided to pull out of her talk.

A small win for the blog, a great loss to satire. Now about that Privy Councillorship…

NATO Does It's Hoonwork

Reuters is reporting that Geoff Hoon has been asked to stand down from his prestigious role on the NATO steering committee:

“It was the British government that nominated Mr Hoon to be one of the group of 12 experts and he has served there with distinction. However, given that it is clear the British government no longer supports Mr Hoon’s participation, the secretary-general has decided to ask Mr Hoon to end his participation in the group of 12,” the spokesman said.”

Next stop, stripping these disgraced parasites of their Right Honourable titles.

Answers on a Postcard to Patsy Hewitt

Patricia Hewitt is speaking at the International Corporate Governance Network tomorrow morning.  According to the programme notes she will try to answer questions like “Who holds the moral compass determining the balance between just deserts and too much?”  Wonder if she is charging them £3,000?

If Byers Has "Brought the Labour Party into Disrepute" He's Surely Disgraced the Privy Council 4000 Call for Him to Resign

The petition to the Queen asking her to strip the “Right Honourable” status off Stephen Byers by removing him from the Privy Council is now approaching 4,000 signatures of support in less than 24 hours.

It seems to Guido that if he has been suspended from the Labour Party for bringing it into disrepute then his position is impossible and he should have the decency to resign from the Privy Council.  Byers swore an Oath when he became a member of the Privy Council that “by Almighty God to be a true and faithful Servant unto The Queen’s Majesty as one of Her Majesty’s Privy Council … And generally in all things you will do as a faithful and true Servant ought to do to Her Majesty.“ He has broken that Oath and brought dishonour to his office.  He should no longer be able to call himself “Right Honourable”, sign the petition:

“We, the undersigned, call on Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, to strip Stephen Byers MP of his membership of the Privy Council due to his involvement in offering to sell access to Her Majesty’s Government for personal profit.”

Click here to sign the petition.


Flashback : The Hounding of Elizabeth Filkin

Peter Oborne’s The Triumph of the Political Class analysed the hounding of Elizabeth Filkin.  She was the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards who was forced out of her job by the Labour whips in connivance with Downing Street.  They undermined her because she attempted to tackle the prevailing culture of corruption in politics. Excerpt here.

She who laughs last…

+++ Hoon, Hewitt and Byers Suspended from Labour Party +++

Political Whores Cost £3,000 a Trick

Dispatches shows it really is quite impossible to exaggerate the venality of our political class.

At least we now know the daily basic rate for a politician is £3,000…

UPDATE : Not the first time Byers talking sleaze has got him into trouble. (Via Public Interest.)

Fire the Liar : Strip Byers of "Right Honourable"

Membership of the Privy Council is what entitles one to be addressed as “the Right Honourable”. When Stephen Byers was made a member of the Privy Council he swore “by Almighty God to be a true and faithful Servant unto The Queen’s Majesty as one of Her Majesty’s Privy Council … And generally in all things you will do as a faithful and true Servant ought to do to Her Majesty.” Surely whoring yourself out to change Her Majesty’s Government’s legislation “like a taxi cab for hire” falls outside the terms of this Oath?

Being a member of the Privy Council is a great honour, it is the oldest political institution in the land after the monarchy itself, tracing its history back to the Norman monarchs.  Byers’ continuing presence on the Council sullies the institution, so given he is unlikely to resign himself he will have to be removed.  It is still possible to petition the Queen to have him removed and Guido has set up an online petition to do just that:

“We, the undersigned, call on Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, to strip Stephen Byers MP of his membership of the Privy Council due to his involvement in offering to sell access to the British Government for personal profit.”

Click here to sign the petition.

UPDATE : 318 signatures in less than an hour. 756 in less than two…

Sarah's Discreet Tête à Tête Tweeted

While the village enjoys a day of bun fighting about unions and Sure-Start centres, how better to escape the toil of the frontline than heading north to Marble Arch for a long relaxing lunch at Locanda Locatelli. Over the £30 per plate coniglio arrosto, or the tagliatelle di castagne ai funghi selvatici Sarah Brown lunched with her husband’s very own dodgy, expenses fiddling, pension raiding, non-dom donor, Lord Swraj Paul. Unusually for Sarah, she hasn’t tweeted this.

Labour have tried to distance themselves from Lord Paul, who Gordon made a Privy Counsellor, despite no obvious qualifications beside deep pockets. To have their “secret weapon” Sarah grinning through anecdotes and stories shows just how keen they are to keep their purse-string holder happy. Wonder who picked up the cheque?

Hat-tip: EyeSpyMP (with a little help from Photoshop).

UPDATE : The Eye Spies inform us that the long lunch finished at three thirty. Something tells Guido that Sarah wouldn’t have been so quick to tweet about her outing had she not been busted with Labour’s persona non grata.  Kids? He is the Labour Party’s piggy bank more like…

EXCLUSIVE : Sadiq Khan Caught Lying to Lyon Tells Standards Commissioner He Can't Remember 'Mistaken' Claim

Transport Minister Sadiq Khan is in hot water this afternoon after it has been revealed that he lied to the press and to the Parliamentary authorities. He is paying back £2,500. 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. This fraudulent receipt was then accepted by the Fees Office.

Blatant and deliberate deception by the “Right Honourable” Minister.

Khan has form in this area, he had to pay back another £1,000 in  2007 for a Communications Allowance funded newsletter plastered in Labour roses. In November 2007 he told The Telegraph “I personally pay for the cost of sending out birthday cards to some of my constituents who turn 18.” A blatant “mistruth” given he made two claims, one for Diwali and Eid cards in December 2005 and one for 18th birthday cards in January 2006. A cocktail of lies, deception and dodgy paperwork. Ministers have resigned for less.

Click here to view John Lyon’s full response to the complaint.

Sunday Sleaze

Sunday Sleaze
The Sunday Times has been digging into Labour donor Willie Haughey’s Links to Cocaine City Councillor, which seem unhealthy.  Scottish Labour’s biggest donor does a heck of a lot of profitable business with Labour controlled Glasgow City Council.  It smells.

Co-conspirators have been emailing background and leads on this story which have been difficult for Guido to follow-up, which is a shame because the Scottish press seems timid.  The Scottish press skirted delicately round the issue of Purcell’s cocaine addiction.  Strathclyde police say no official complaint has been received.  Watch this space.

Quote of the Day

Ben Wallace MP, Tory shadow spokesman for Scotland, says

“Scotland’s biggest Labour donor is in receipt of millions of pounds of Labour-controlled government funds. It’s back to the old Labour days: it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

This Is What a Feminist Looks Like

Sticking with the International Women’s Day theme, Guido had to chuckle when he saw that Jo Swinson, the chairman of the Liberal Democrat’s “Real Women” campaign, will be chairing a panel of feminists today. The Campaign for Body Confidence will look into “combating body image pressure felt by women and girls today.” Funny Ms. Swinson doesn’t quite practice what she preaches. Was it body image pressure that led her to claim a £27.94 receipt from Boots, including £5 for eyeliner, a £5 lip liner and £12 for “R&M Eye Kit” on her expenses? Not forgetting the electric toothbrush and hair-dryer. The Fees Office drew the line at the £19.10 tooth flosser.

Bercow Reported to Standards Commissioner

After Guido’s story yesterday about the controversial and murky “Friends of Speaker Bercow” fund-raising group, it seems a member of UKIP in the Speaker’s constituency has put a complaint in to John Lyon about a letter he received. Guido imagines Bercow wouldn’t have been so stupid to have used the Speaker’s stationary to beg for money, but the secretary of the fund has said Bercow was responsible for drawing up and passing on names. If the allegations that potential donors were invited to the Palace of Westminster are investigated then this could be a serious problem for the embattled squeaker…

Minister Resigns Over Expenses

Phil Heatley, a politician in New Zealand immediately tendered his resignation to the Prime Minister when it appeared that a $70 receipt for two bottles of wine at a party conference had been accidently claimed on his expenses. Heatley told the press “I believe I’ve failed to live up my own standard and for that I’m embarrassed and immensely sorry.” He immediately repaid the money.

In other news it is thought that over £100,000 of the £1.2 million set to be repaid by British MPs is still outstanding, three MPs are awaiting trial and some of the worst troughers are still in government.

Labour Billionaire Donor's Pension Steel

Labour’s non-dom donor Lord Paul, who was stripped of his job in government due to fiddling his expenses, personally bankrolled Gordon’s leadership campaign and has promised all the money required to fight an election campaign. And it’s not like he can’t afford it. Paul made his millions through steel conglomerate Caparo. Hardly a man of the people, or indeed cut from the Labour Party cloth, a party he claims to love and support (ever since he stopped donating to the Tories under Thatcher). Just a brief look at how he treated his workers would be enough to send shivers down the spine of any loyal Labour activist.

Back in 1989 the Caparo took control of the cash-rich Armstrong Engineering. The company’s pension fund was just over 30% in surplus. Under Lord Paul’s control Caparo then spent the better part of a decade refusing to top up the fund despite the fact that it was having to pay out over £6 million due to a early retirements and a redundancy program, this was on top of the £8 million it was already paying to retirees. Lord Paul’s ownership created a fourteen million pound hole in the companies pension funds.

By 2000 the pension trustees and accountants recommended that the company inject  £2 million a year into the pension pot to plug the cap. Paul accepted however Caparo never made a single payment and instead announced in 2002 that the final salary pension scheme was to be frozen. The unions slammed this “appalling treatment” by Lord Paul of his workers and inevitably picket lines were formed.  As with Robert Maxwell’s raiding of pension funds, the Mirror, the paper most read by trade unionists, remains silent and hasn’t reported a word about Lord Paul so far.  Kevin Maguire, the Mirror’s political editor is as close to Downing Street as any journalist, has only recently conceded that the Labour Party should not be taking money from Lord Paul.

With Gordon’s own pension raiding activities, it is perhaps no surprise that the Prime Minster is so at ease accepting donations from a man who profits by raiding the pension schemes of his workers. The money that should be in the pockets of loyal steel workers is now propping up the declining bank balance of the Labour Party via Lord Paul’s off shore bank accounts…

Osborne on Sky : What About Lord Paul?

Earlier last week Guido highlighted Lord Swarj Paul and promised he would be returning to the subject. Osborne was on Sky News this morning and was pushed over Lord Ashcroft’s tax status. Osborne eventually retorted that Labour politicians were never questioned about Lord Paul.

Lord Paul provided some 20% of the funding for Gordon’s leadership campaign and the billionaire has promised “that if there is an election and the money is wanted, whatever I can pay I will. I am a believer in Gordon Brown and his leadership..”.  When Labour supporters discover how Lord Paul made his fortune they will be dismayed…

UPDATE : Guido has been needling that friend of the workers, Kevin Maguire, on this issue.*  Our Kev never misses a chance to have a go at Lord Ashcroft, yet has been silent about Lord Paul.   He has just tweeted that “Lab[our] shouldn’t take his dosh”.  Progress. Perhaps he has now had a look into Lord Paul himself…

*Before anyone asks, Guido has long said Ashcroft should come clean.  See herehere and here.

Brown-Bankrolling Non-Dom Peer Considers Quitting Over Tax

Non-domiciled Lord Paul of Marylebone, donated over £355,000 to Labour and £45,000 directly into Gordon’s 2007 leadership campaign. Despite his huge wealth he still found it appropriate to claim £38,000 from the taxpayers in Lord’s accommodation expenses despite, by his own admission, having never spent a night in the property. […] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner:

“We have no plans to write off existing student debt.”

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