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Ten Days That Redefined PM Johnson

by Oui Sun Nov 14th, 2021 at 11:55:23 AM EST

Tories, Brexit All About Sleaze and Lies ...

Boris Johnson Sleaze Even In Love Affair

Sleaze and Paterson, Johnson overplayed his hand

Johnson refuses to apologise for his handling of the Owen Paterson vote

Finance watchdog TCA

Corporations are constituents too

The only people MPs should be hustling for are their constituents | The Guardian Opinion |

In his recent memoir, the Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell recalls a conversation with Boris Johnson more than 20 years ago that is sharply relevant to the rolling sleaze crisis now engulfing the government. Having made his name as a celebrity journalist, Mr Johnson's ambitions had swivelled to politics. His hungry gaze alighted on getting himself selected as the Conservative candidate for the safe seat of Henley and he sought out Mr Mitchell for advice on being an MP. "What does one get paid?" he asked. Upon hearing the answer, he boggled at an income that to him sounded like a very trivial sum and expostulated: "I can't possibly live on that."

As the public has been learning over recent days, the Tory leader is not the only politician to think that an MP's salary, though nearly triple that of the national average, is a poverty wage. There are a lot with side hustles. While they may tell their constituents that it is a privilege to represent them in the Commons, they will eagerly serve other masters when the price is right.

Lobbyists and Keeping Earnings Secret

Keir Starmer and Labour Polls

Weakening Election Watchdog

The last gasps of Brexit and GB Independence ...

Bonfires In Belfast

Masked gunmen who hijacked bus and set it on fire in Newtownards claimed to be `from Protestant Action Force'

More to come under Tory governance of England 🤡

by Oui on Sun Nov 14th, 2021 at 01:51:19 PM EST
by Oui on Sun Nov 14th, 2021 at 02:58:06 PM EST
Damian Aspinall, the casino owner and socialite, is the son of the charity's founder and its board of trustees includes Ben Goldsmith, the brother of government minister Zac Goldsmith, who is a friend of Carrie Johnson and the prime minister.

It solicits donations directly from the public, employing a team of fundraisers for the purpose, as well as running a fundraising lottery and asking for animals to be sponsored.

The chairman's wife, Victoria Aspinall, had previously been paid £12,500 for interior design services in 2019, but her fees went up by more than tenfold in 2020 to a sum equivalent to 10% of donations taken that year. The charity also has large reserves in cash, property and fine art.

In its accounts, the Aspinall Foundation said the transaction was "at arms length" and added that the fees charged by Victoria Aspinall were "subject to a rigorous benchmarking exercise to ensure the foundation received value for money".

The charity also paid £124,231 for accountancy work undertaken by Alvarium, a company of which another trustee, Charles Filmer, was a director.

In 2020 the foundation's trustees, Damian Aspinall, Filmer, Robin Birley and Ben Goldsmith, secured a coronavirus business interruption loan of £2m, interest free for the first year. This was passed on in the form of a loan to the Howletts Wild Animal Trust.

by Oui on Sun Nov 14th, 2021 at 02:59:02 PM EST
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by Oui on Sun Nov 14th, 2021 at 03:00:20 PM EST
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Zac Goldsmith's luxury Costa del Sol villa - where Boris Johnson holidayed last month - has been linked to a multi-million pound tax evasion probe

According to Spanish court papers, the Torre Tramores estate near Marbella is linked to two of the Goldsmith family's property businesses, which were ordered to pay €24m (£20m) in unpaid taxes and fines.  

The tax authority could now legally seize parts of the family's land - consisting of more than 600 hectares of private woodland in Benahavis, 10 miles from the Marbella coastline - if they don't pay up.  

But a lawyer for the one of the companies told the Guardian that the dispute stems from a land valuation error, dubbing the case as `extremely hard to understand', while Ben Goldsmith, Zac's brother, said the whole affair should serve as a 'warning for Brits thinking of owning a property in Spain.' 

by Oui on Sun Nov 14th, 2021 at 03:01:49 PM EST
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Zac Goldsmith, el 'tory' inglés que se relaja en la sierra malagueña | El Mundo - Mayo 16, 2015 |

    Los que vaticinaban su derrota decían que David Cameron (48) era demasiado pijo para conectar con la clase media británica. Se equivocaron. Pero, para pijo, su compañero de colegio en Eton: Zac Goldsmith (40), guapo, ecologista y conservador, casado en segundas con una Rothschild, hermano de Jemima Khan -íntima de Lady Di, ex de Hugh Grant- e hijo de Lady Annabel, cuyo nombre fue la razón de ser del Annabels, el club más exclusivo de Londres durante décadas y de Jimmy Goldsmith, el financiero judío que quería sacar a Gran Bretaña de Europa con un referéndum. Como pretenden que pase en 2016.

Boris Johnson simply showing gratitude for Brexit ...

by Oui on Sun Nov 14th, 2021 at 03:03:39 PM EST
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by Oui on Mon Nov 15th, 2021 at 11:28:21 AM EST
Too bad there isn't an opposition party
by asdf on Tue Nov 16th, 2021 at 05:24:03 PM EST
The Tories debating team rooted in Eton thrives on internal disputes. This century the opposition party shot themselves more than once in the foot.
by Oui on Tue Nov 16th, 2021 at 05:35:35 PM EST
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Michael Gove backer won £164m in PPE contracts after `VIP lane' referral | The Guardian |

The list of 47 companies awarded contracts via the VIP lane was published by Politico on Tuesday before its official planned release by the DHSC after a freedom of information request by the Good Law Project, which is challenging the propriety of some contracts.

The VIP or "high-priority" route was a fast-track process set up by DHSC procurement teams for offers to supply PPE from companies referred by ministers, MPs, NHS officials or other people with political connections. A report by the National Audit Office last year found that firms referred to the VIP lane had a 10 times greater success rate for securing contracts than companies whose bids were processed via normal channels.

Labour has repeatedly accused the government of favouring people with Tory party connections in the awards of multimillion-pound contracts during the pandemic.

The list of companies includes 18 whose contracts were processed through the fast track after being referred by a Conservative MP, minister or peer. When questions were first asked about the process last year, the government responded that referrals were a way of filtering credible offers that came to MPs and ministers. However, only companies referred by Conservative politicians are on the list of those awarded contracts.

by Oui on Wed Nov 17th, 2021 at 08:13:55 AM EST
by Oui on Wed Nov 17th, 2021 at 08:19:06 AM EST
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What are APPGs? | BBC News |

APPGs are informal committees set up by MPs and peers with a shared interest, ranging from leisure pursuits such as jazz, beer or campsites to serious policy areas like coronavirus, cancer and migration.

They can set up meetings with ministers, publish reports and hold evidence sessions - but they should not be confused with select committees.

Unlike select committees, they have no official status and are not funded by taxpayers.

The number of APPGs has dramatically increased in recent years - there are currently 744 of them, according to the official register, more than three times the number of select committees - and so has the amount of money going in to them.

by Oui on Wed Nov 17th, 2021 at 08:22:21 AM EST
by Oui on Thu Nov 18th, 2021 at 07:58:09 PM EST
by Oui on Thu Nov 18th, 2021 at 07:58:38 PM EST
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by Oui on Thu Nov 18th, 2021 at 07:59:52 PM EST
by Oui on Thu Nov 18th, 2021 at 08:00:35 PM EST
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the screaming need or decent commuting services in the north has been known about for a decade and more. HS2 was never a part of that: In fact it took money away from the investment needed.

But you can't expect long term planning from tories, it's all about the 24 hr news cycle.

Aside from the northern commuter schemes, what the country really needs are solutions for freight paths from Thames Gateway in Essex to the Midlands and the north. No sign that has crossed anybody's desk in whitehall

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 18th, 2021 at 08:31:31 PM EST
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North of England media none too pleased:

by Bernard on Fri Nov 19th, 2021 at 09:00:28 AM EST
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by Oui on Fri Nov 19th, 2021 at 11:07:10 AM EST
European Union: fueling British politics since 1973.
by Bernard on Fri Nov 19th, 2021 at 11:46:25 AM EST
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Taoiseach welcomes improved 'mood music' in UK-EU talks as Frost heads to Brussels

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the UK and EU need to "knuckle down" and resolve the dispute over Northern Ireland's post-Brexit arrangements.

UK Brexit minister Lord Frost will hold further talks with European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic on Friday, with the UK still warning that it could unilaterally suspend parts of the Northern Ireland deal unless major changes are made.

But Mr Martin said he was encouraged that progress is being made and the "mood music" has changed.

by Oui on Fri Nov 19th, 2021 at 02:26:27 PM EST

Michael Gove confident progress can be made on NI Protocol without triggering Article 16

by Oui on Fri Nov 19th, 2021 at 02:26:57 PM EST
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by Oui on Fri Nov 19th, 2021 at 06:22:12 PM EST
I thought his official nickname was 'shopping trolley'? (shopping cart in US-Eng)
by Bernard on Fri Nov 19th, 2021 at 06:55:52 PM EST
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The almost daily sight of migrants jumping out of an inflatable onto a beach below Kent's iconic white cliffs is now, we are told, the government's number one priority.

But why?
Given Home Office plans to use Border Force vessels to push precarious dinghies back into French waters, it seems improbable that it is concern about the safety and welfare of the migrants.
And given that the latest official figures suggest the UK currently has negative net migration - more people leaving than arriving - it is unlikely to be about numbers, especially for a country with more than a million job vacancies for the first time in its history.

Racism not mentioned

by asdf on Mon Nov 22nd, 2021 at 06:12:33 PM EST

Speech Keir Starmer before CBI today ...

The first annual report of the CBI, back in 1965, made a point that still stands today...

"The whole future of Britain" it reported, "rests upon the success of industry ...industry must be dynamic, competitive and profitable to compete in an ever increasingly competitive world."

Those words, half a century old, could have been written yesterday. 

Britain is not as dynamic, competitive and profitable as we need to be. 

A long road to travel ... Labour's Canterbury Tales?

by Oui on Mon Nov 22nd, 2021 at 08:46:08 PM EST
by generic on Mon Nov 22nd, 2021 at 08:56:06 PM EST
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Harrow Councillor Fitzpatrick expelled by Labour after suffering 'sustained campaign of harassment'

Stand by Jeremy Corbin

by Oui on Mon Nov 22nd, 2021 at 09:33:25 PM EST
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The sort of thing that causes people to just outright pick up the socialist label
by asdf on Mon Nov 22nd, 2021 at 11:41:15 PM EST
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by Oui on Mon Nov 22nd, 2021 at 10:36:49 PM EST
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The Empire: Britain losing its marbles

by Oui on Tue Nov 23rd, 2021 at 07:10:12 PM EST
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by Oui on Fri Nov 26th, 2021 at 04:28:08 PM EST
[Torygraph Alert] , sort of...

by Bernard on Fri Nov 26th, 2021 at 09:20:19 PM EST
by Oui on Thu Dec 2nd, 2021 at 10:45:41 PM EST

Racing for Profit in Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia ... Syria, Lebanon and Yemen  weeps.

Grenfell Disaster: Criminal Neglect Is Manslaughter

by Oui on Thu Dec 2nd, 2021 at 10:47:08 PM EST
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by Oui on Tue Dec 7th, 2021 at 08:59:56 PM EST
by Oui on Tue Dec 7th, 2021 at 10:56:01 PM EST
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by Oui on Wed Dec 8th, 2021 at 11:10:40 PM EST
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by Oui on Fri Dec 10th, 2021 at 05:34:33 PM EST
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by Oui on Fri Dec 10th, 2021 at 08:26:41 AM EST
As UK economy stalls ...

UK threatens to impose tariffs on more US goods in dispute over steel duties | FT |

 Bloomberg: UK Warns US Not to Conflate Steel Tariffs With Brexit Row

by Oui on Fri Dec 10th, 2021 at 08:27:47 AM EST

U.S. consumer prices jump 6.2% in October, the biggest inflation surge in more than 30 years | CNBC |

by Oui on Fri Dec 10th, 2021 at 08:52:11 AM EST
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Who needs NV Philips Electronics in Eindhoven when one has a spin-off setting chip industry standards in lithography.

by Oui on Fri Dec 10th, 2021 at 08:53:37 AM EST
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... or more?

Boris Johnson accused of misleading ethics adviser over No 10 refurb

Boris Johnson was accused of misleading his own ethics adviser last night, exposing the prime minister to a potential suspension from the House of Commons, as MPs demanded a fresh probe into his personal donors.

With pressure mounting after a disastrous series of mistakes and scandals, Johnson's integrity was once again under the spotlight after an official report suggested he gave differing accounts to investigators looking into the redecoration of his Downing Street flat.

But documents released by the Electoral Commission also revealed Johnson sent a WhatsApp message to the Tory donor Lord Brownlow in November last year seeking more money for the costly makeover.

In an earlier inquiry into the matter, Johnson had assured Lord Geidt, the independent adviser on ministers' interests, that he did not know who had given money for the work until it was revealed by the media in February this year.

by Oui on Fri Dec 10th, 2021 at 10:27:51 AM EST
(May 28, 2021) Mr Johnson himself insisted "I covered the costs" during an angry exchange with the Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer at Prime Minister's Questions this week.

However, Johnson repeatedly refused to answer questions concerning the loans that had been procured to cover the costs prior, and refused to answer if any loans had been given. More importantly, who may have donated or loaned.

Lord Geidt may quit his role as adviser to PM Johnson ... the dominoes start falling. 😂

by Oui on Fri Dec 10th, 2021 at 10:29:06 AM EST
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Boris Johnson rushes in Covid plan B amid Christmas party scandal | The Guardian |

Boris Johnson rushed forward new Covid restrictions amid fears of an exponential rise in the Omicron variant, as his government was engulfed in a crisis of credibility sparked by the Christmas party scandal.

With government experts warning of an estimated 10,000 UK Omicron infections currently, rising to 1m by the end of the month and up to 2,000 hospital admissions a day, Johnson insisted now was the time to act.

Johnson says people should not cancel Christmas parties due to concerns about Omicron

Christmas parties, sleaze and plan B: how Boris Johnson is running out of allies

In a single word for Churchill's look alike ... decadent.

When going gets rough, Boris and Carrie pull another rabbit out of the top hat.

by Oui on Fri Dec 10th, 2021 at 10:54:56 AM EST

The Guardian view on Boris Johnson: odds shorten on a vote of no confidence

by Oui on Sat Dec 11th, 2021 at 12:24:33 PM EST
by Oui on Sat Dec 11th, 2021 at 12:25:28 PM EST
by Oui on Fri Dec 17th, 2021 at 09:14:30 PM EST

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