Sunday, February 27, 2011

Another List of Tory Donors (Ones That Exploit Loopholes)

The Tories really Are All In It Together!

I've concentrated on the Midlands but "rogue" elements will appear. I have researched and brought the MIC subject up again now because Cameron is right about one thing "Lobbying is the next big scandal waiting to happen" (and he should know! Apologies it is a long read, but impossible to get it all in otherwise and there is much that I was forced to leave out. I think as you read you will see a clear pattern emerging now that we have the benefit of hindsight!

David Cameron - British Prime Minister - Found guilty of Cash for Access row by sleaze watchdog
Sir Philip Mawer, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner has ruled that David Cameron and his MPs are guilty of widespread abuse by using House of Commons and Lord's dining rooms to raise cash for party funds to fight marginal seats.
Parliamentary dinners with Cameron and other MPs were offered in exchange for hefty donations to Tory Party funds - clearly against anti-sleaze rules.
As well as ruling that Cameron and other Tories flouted Palace of Westminster rules over 'cash for access' dinners, the Parliamentary watch-dog also rebuked them for producing leaflets which advertised regular meetings in Cameron’s Commons office in exchange for a political donation of £50,000 a year.

The Commons Committee on Standards and Privileges ruled that the Tory leader had been "ill-advised" in entertaining members of £50,000 a year Tory donors' clubs.

Mr Cameron apologised "unreservedly" for breaking the MPs' code of conduct. He confirmed that he had hosted seven meetings of the Conservative "Leaders' Group" in his office suite in the House of Commons, and pledged that the lunches "will not happen again".
The dinners for wealthy donors sparked a "cash for access" row, amid claims that Mr Cameron was offering the perk of lunches at the Commons in return for major donations.

Days after Cameron became Tory leader, his constituency association in Witney received a £5,500 cheque from MIC. (Midlands Industrial Club)

Register of Members Interests June 2009
David Cameron listed as receiving  helicopter and private plane travel from the following:
  • JCB Research
  • Harris Ventures Ltd
  • IPGL Ltd
  • Henfield Lodge Aviation Ltd, London
  • William Cook Holdings, Sheffield (Andrew Cook who named himself as the largest donor to the Tories in Yorkshire, was the businessman who successfully lobbied Conservative Ministers to pull back on their promise of a Government loan to Sheffield Forgemasters, a company that Mr Cook has tried to buy several times) The Deputy PM, Nick Clegg, has since been found to have deliberately mislead the House in his explanations of why the Government chose not to go ahead with the loan, but it is still unclear what (if any) action has been taken against him.
(The details of the travel provided have been provided to the office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.)

19 May 2008, a helicopter from Crewe to London provided by Bearwood Corporate Services Ltd, (Lord Ashcroft) Southampton. (Registered 16 June 2008)
In the last ten years, Bearwood Corporate Services has donated over £5 million to the Conservative Party. The Commission had to consider three issues: whether Bearwood was a permissible donor, whether Bearwood was acting as an agent for Lord Ashcroft, and whether the Conservative Party has fulfilled its duty to ensure compliance with the party funding laws. The unsurprising ruling came when the Electoral Commission ruled that the donations were legal. Yet again this commission has ruled in favour of the Tory party under dubious circumstances. If they had ruled against, it would have caused an unprecedented storm in the 2010 general election. The Commission took almost a year to rule!
16 August 2008, private plane from Farnborough to Istanbul for my wife and two children. Then from Istanbul to Santorini, and return to Dalaman, for myself, my wife and two children; provided by Matthew Freud, of London. (Registered 15 September 2008)

13 October 2008, a helicopter from London to West Yorkshire and return, provided by Mr David Ross, of London. (Registered 29 October 2008)

7 November 2008, private plane from Glasgow to Gatwick, provided by Malcolm Scott, of Kirknewton, West Lothian. (Registered 2 December 2008

In my capacity as Leader of the Conservative Party, I have accepted Honorary Membership for life of the Carlton Club.

My wife and I received tickets for the Conservative Party's 'Black and White Party' on 4 February 2009, paid for by Prince Rupert Loewenstein. (Registered 3 March 2009)

Overseas visits
  • 28-31 January 2009, to Davos, Switzerland, to attend and participate in the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. The World Economic Forum provided my conference pass, occasional car use in Davos (including airport transfers) and some hospitality. The return part of my journey was made by private plane from Altenrhein, Switzerland, to RAF Northolt, provided by IPGL Limited, London. (My outward journey was paid for by the Conservative Party.) UBS also provided occasional car use in Davos. (Registered 13 February 2009)
  • I have been given a decorative sterling silver casket by Lord and Lady Harris. (Registered 9 March 2009)
Overseas benefits and gifts
  • Gift of a sterling silver tray from President George W Bush, President of the United States, (Registered 16 June 2008)
  • Following my official visit to Pakistan in September 2008, I have been given a rug by former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mian Muhammad Nazaz Sharif, of the Pakistan Muslim League. (Registered 19 November 2008)
  • Gift of a Harrods hamper from the Sultan of Brunei. (Registered 18 December 2008)
  • Gift of a fountain pen and half-suite cufflinks and studs, provided by His Majesty Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain. (Registered 6 May 2009)
JCB Research
Address of donor: Rochester, Staffordshire, ST14 5JP
Amount of donation or nature and value if donation in kind: £5,875 for a helicopter flight from Rhyl to London
Date of receipt of donation: 6 November 2009

George Osborne
British Conservative Party Chancellor
Pay Your Taxes
George (Gideon) Osborne - British Conservative Chancellor
George Osborne employs a firm of accountants to help him wriggle out of paying £1.6 million in tax to the UK Treasury, which he himself runs.
Below are firms of accountants that George Osborne has had dealings with, they do not necessarily donate cash to him, but what they do is provide free of charge teams of top accountants which would run into the many thousands to hire.
Amount of donation or nature and value if donation in kind: in my capacity as shadow chancellor I and another Conservative Party MP receive support from Deloitte LLP in the form of services and advice provided in connection with the Eggar Report.
Deloitte LLP has provided these services and advice as part of a larger donation in kind to the Conservative Party. Deloitte LLP's work has an estimated value of £60,000 for the period October 2009-January 2010, which will be reported to the Electoral Commission by the Conservative Party.
(George Campion listed below MIC member, was once a senior partner in Deloitte LLP)
The Conservatives have received hundreds of thousands of pounds of free accounting advice as they prepare for government, raising accusations that they are too close to contacts in the City of London.
Britain’s biggest consultancy firms — which include PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, Ernst & Young and KPMG — have seconded some of their staff to Tory MPs.

David Mowat At NHS Awards
Accenture, Technology and Consulting Firm - David T Mowat - Elected as Conservative MP for Warrington South on May 6 2010. Born and raised in the Midlands.

Won by 1,553 votes. It is the first time in 23 years a Tory has won this seat.

Heroine - "Margaret Thatcher, due to the fact she got things done"

Companies: Accenture, the technology and consulting Firm -Finally became Global Managing Partner.

David Mowat pictured right with Catherine Beardshaw outgoing Chief Executive of Warrington & Halton NHS Trust, at the NHS awards - Wonder if he Approves of the full-scale privatisation of the NHS, better still do his constituents?
David Mowat has spoken out against the "Labour" Government's proposed polyclinics which he said would result in closing small GP practices. Then what does Mr Mowat have to say about his government's GP Consortia, which for sure will close small GP practices and may end up putting whole practices out of businesses?
Mr Mowat said the main priority of his as MP is to increase NHS funding for Warrington which currently receives a lower-than-average amount, I think his constituents are entitled to know if he is going to back the Government's NHS Reforms and help vote it through parliament? It is doubtful his constituents would back the privatisation of the NHS, they should keep an eye on what he is voting for.
Mr Mowat describes his tenure at Accenture as a success, was he still there when Accenture was the company that gave up two failing NHS contracts and then tried to paper over the cracks and claimed it had all been a roaring success? Mr Mowat retired in 2006 and in 2006 after months of negotiations, Accenture handed contracts worth £2bn over to rival Computer Sciences Corporation after getting paid just £110m for spending a third of the allotted 10 years on the job. Its hand had been forced by losses of $450m it was set to make on the deal this year.
Accenture delivered nearly 800 systems of varying styles and complexity to NHS trusts in the two English regions it was accountable to under the Local Service Provider (LSP) contracts it held with Connecting for Health (CfH), the NHS IT agency. And here is a little piece (snipped from the main source) I found quite interesting: Accenture had concentrated primarily on implementing GP systems! Mmm, very handy, considering how the Conservative government are now concentrating on GP Commissioning and Consortia!

  • Where does Accenture fit in with David Cameron making political mileage out of the NHS IT system?
  • Where did David Cameron get his brief on the NHS IT problems from?
  • Is Accenture a company that stands to benefit in the future from the Tory NHS reforms?
  • Does Mr Mowat know John Glenn Conservative MP for Salisbury? Accenture/Analyst/Consultant/Senior Manager at Accenture

 Cash Donations To Warrington South, Conservative Party
  • 7-7-2010 -  £40.000 
  • 1-4-2010 - £1.500
Source: The Electoral Commission. Entered in the register as David T Mowat donated to Warrington South Presumably it is the same person, although on Mr Mowat's website he is entered as just plain David Mowat. Wonder why this is? If David Mowat is the person as David T Mowat who donated this large amount of cash to Mr Mowat's Warrington South seat, then surely to aid the new politics and transparency Cameron bangs on about, he should at the very least use the same name?  Would £40.000  would buy Mr Mowat some influence at his leader's luncheon table after PMQs? Or would a tally of all donations do that?

John Randall
Conservative Dep Chief Whip
Uxbridge Portcullis Club (Private Business Club) - Alexander John Randall MP (known as John Randall) Conservative MP Uxbridge and South Ruislip Conservative Deputy Chief Whip received a £15.250 cash donation from the Uxbridge Portcullis Club in 2006. Mr Randall is financially sponsored by the Portcullis Club to be a member of parliament. The Portcullis Club is a 'private business club'. So is John Randall somehow paid twice for being an MP?
Nothing that I can see links them with the MIC, however as the "club" is private this information is not in the public domain, only the fact that the Portcullis Club and Tory MP MR Randall appear to be exploiting the same loophole in order to remain out of public scrutiny is the only link that I can find.
Mr Randall appears in Register of Members Interests:
 Registrable shareholdings *Randalls of Uxbridge Ltd. Aquila Termeszetvedelmi Es Idegenforgalmi KFT (Aquila Nature Conservation and Tourist Ltd.); Hungarian eco-tourism company.
Voted YES to selling off our forests!

Midlands Industrial Council -  The Yews, 3 High Street, Bassingham Village, Lincolnshire - Looks pretty inconspicuous, but out of it flows considerable financial support for the Conservative party.
The Midlands Industrial Council  was formed in 1946, its goal is to lobby the Government on behalf of Midlands business interests
When Conservative Central Office needs a new computer system or the Conservative association in a crucial marginal needs campaign funds, it is to the yews they go, or more accurately Midlands Industrial Council (MIC)  Helicopters are available, or money for a building survey. MIC is made up of more than 30 businessmen who make up the council, their total worth is estimated at well over £4 billion. The council members are rich, want results in return for their generosity and they like their privacy. However, it stands accused of being little more than a front organisation for rich businessmen looking to funnel large amounts of cash into the Conservative Party, without the inconvenience of their names becoming public or having to endure the attached scrutiny. *Some* of the names of the MIC have been revealed, however, the amounts they donate and where the money went and to whom and what it was used for is still shrouded in Conservative mystery.

Membership is exclusive, being invitation only. Members meet about five times a year, go to Westminster to lobby and each year discuss with Mr Wall the amount they want to give to the Tories. The fund varies with the political cycle but is usually in six figures.

Mr Wall confesses there is a Euro-sceptic element to the MIC group and they are not keen on what they call "Brussels bureaucracy." They are also not keen on some of the health and safety laws introduced in recent years. They also want lower taxes and they want the minimum wage set at a level "which the market can afford".

So the MIC Doesn't influence policy? - In June 2010 Prime Minister David Cameron has appointed Lord Young to review Health and Safety law David Cameron spoke of the rise in the so-called “compensation culture” and said "We need a sensible new approach that makes clear these laws are intended to protect people, not overwhelm businesses with red tape. I look forward to receiving Lord Young's recommendations on how we can best achieve that."
His comments were made despite the fact that the previous government commissioned independent research into this issue of whether a “compensation culture” has developed and found that one does not exist. 

So the MIC doesn't try to influence policy? Most members of MIC are also members of the Tax Payers Alliance who "coincidentally" think along with the Tory-led government that public sector pensions need reforming. Question is why are these *private sector* companies poking their nose into *public sector pensions*? Why are they trying to "influence" government policy on public sector pay? One of the many slogans to emerge from the Taxpayers Alliance is that "Better Government, Better Services through Better Policy NOT Bigger Budgets" Now where have I heard this before? Sounds suspiciously like Cameron's "Big Society" where he wants to sack local authority workers, send them to the Job Centre, then have them sent back to the job they have been sacked from, to carry out their old job for approximately £1.60 per hour (Job Seekers Allowance) if they refuse then their JSA is stopped. I wonder if any of MIC members would consider working for less than the minimum wage? And talking about the minimum wage MIC members want it set lower. Tax Payers Alliance AKA MIC members really do have a bee in their bonnets about council executives leaving one job taking their pension and starting another! A bit like they all do in the private sector with all their "golden hellos, golden goodbyes; golden handshakes; gold-plated pensions; golden bonuses etc on top of their extremely sold gold annual salaries. A bit like "don't do as we do, do as we tell you, you plebs". Another little gem from the Taxpayers Alliance is the way they really like this government's intention to privatise ALL of our public services and try to make out like it is in the public's interest all those MIC members (and others) will get to get their hands on NHS contracts, police, fire services, education etc. What is not to like for them? This Tory-led government intend to use outsourcing companies in their rush to privatise Britain and many MIC members and taxpayers Alliance members are (yes you guessed) *outsourcing companies*. Who said that MIC members do not want to influence government policy?
The Taxpayers' Alliance, a campaign group that calls for tax and spending cuts and claims to represent the interests of taxpayers, has admitted one of its directors does not pay British tax.
Alexander Heath, a director of the increasingly influential free market, right-wing lobby group, lives in a farmhouse in the Loire and has not paid British tax for years.

Who said that MIC members do not want to influence government policy? At the 2009 Conservative party conference in Manchester, the TPA's influence was underlined when David Cameron and George Osborne followed its recommendations for freezing public sector pay and capping civil servants' salaries at the level of the prime minister unless approved by the chancellor. Brilliant we are being dictated to by people who do not even pay British Tax, one represents the TPA's and the other the British Conservative chancellor George Osborne who hires a firm of accountants to get him out of paying British tax!

The TPA's links to the Conservatives include monthly meetings where speakers have included Eric Pickles, the Conservative party chairman, Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, and Daniel Hannan, the Tory Eurosceptic MEP who recently claimed the NHS was "a 60-year mistake".

MIC - Coleshill connection
Coleshill Manor
Coleshill has financially benefitted from MIC donations

The exclusive conversation with the Politics Show in the West Midlands took place at the HQ of Coleshill Campaigning Services, a call centre operation based at Coleshill Manor in Warwickshire.

The Coleshill operation targets voters in key marginal constituencies on behalf of the Tories and has received £1.1m from the MIC in the last two years.
The Manor is owned by MIC member Robert Edmiston.
But even though this web of business links leads back to the Conservatives at every turn, Mr Wall denies that the MIC has an overt influence in candidate selection for the party.
MIC helps to fund the Conservative Party's national election nerve centre at Coleshill, Warwickshire, to the tune of about £1 million a year (which is owned by Bob Edmiston.

Political parties have been legally required since 2001 to reveal the identities of all backers who contribute more than £5,000.

The loophole the Conservatives have exploited: As an unincorporated association, the MIC does not have to publish accounts or disclose the names of its members.
MIC is an “unincorporated association” which means unlike companies or charities, it does not have to publish accounts or disclose its backers.

Businessmen who join MIC become ‘members for life’.
When in opposition most shadow ministers have attended MIC meetings and George Bridges, Cameron’s head of campaigns, is in regular contact with MIC.
 MIC meets up to five times a year in hotels or at the office of Edmiston. Members are charged a subscription and many choose to make far larger donations
So who are the members of the MIC?

David Wall
MIC Secretary
MIC's secretary - David Wall is the Secretary of the Midlands Industrial Council. Mr Wall is a director within the IM Group, which is owned by Bob Edmiston.
David Wall said: "We like to have to have the voice of business heard so that MPs and candidates have a full appreciation of what impact their decisions have on the business community."


Anthony Bamford and David Cameron In India
Coming Up Roses For Tory Donors?
Sir Anthony Bamford - President MIC
Sir Anthony is the Chairman of the world famous digger company JCB, which has its headquarters at Rochester in Staffordshire. He is President of the Midlands Industrial Council. In September David Cameron was garlanded with flowers as he joined Sir Anthony to open a new £25m JCB factory in India. The links between JCB and the Conservative party go back many years. He is also a supporter of the Tax Payers Alliance. He was knighted in 1990. He was also part of George Osborne's round Robin letter condemning Labour's proposed National Insurance Contribution increase. Since Cameron assumed power, the Tories halted the NICs rise for employers, while raising national insurance contributions for employees, again reneging on yet another election promise.
According to The Guardian, JCB Group pays the shadow foreign secretary, William Hague, £50,000 a year as its parliamentary adviser. David Cameron and Francis Maude, the Tory chairman, have used its helicopters.
Sir Anthony also took part in the more recent trade delegation to India in July 2010 headed by David Cameron, where Cameron caused controversy with Pakistan when Cameron decided to infer that the Pakistanis "looked both ways" and virtually accused them all of being terrorists, completely forgetting (if he ever knew) that the Pakistani presidents wife was herself murdered by a terrorist attack, by terrorists aggrieved at the way their government allows Allied Forces to use the Pakistani Border with Afghanistan!
Incidentally, in 2008, David Cameron also found time in a busy schedule of photo-opportunities to open a JCB factory in India for Sir Anthony Bamford senior member of MIC! Anthony Bamford has donated over £1 million to the Conservative party.
MIC Chairman
Bob Edmiston Gets His Peerage At last!
 Bob Edmiston - MIC Member is the founder of the hugely successful IM Group which is based in West Bromwich and imports cars from the Far East. IM also has a large property portfolio which includes Coleshill Manor, the base for Coleshill Campaigning Services. Mr Edmiston is the Chairman of the MIC. He also finances Christian Vision, a non-profit charitable company. Mr Edmiston has also given £4m to city academy schools projects in Solihull and Coventry. Personal wealth said to be around £400 million. 'Spose he won't have to worry about buying a carton of milk for his kids then?

Steve Hollis
and Tory Donor
Steve Hollis - KPMG - MIC Member
Mr Hollis is head of UK and Europe, Middle East and Africa markets at the accountancy firm KPMG and is a member of the firm's UK board. Accountancy Age describes him as "one of 22 senior figures who advise chief executive John Griffith-Jones on the firm's strategy".
Mr Hollis became the new senior partner and Midlands chairman when he replaced incumbent Mel Egglenton, who is set to retire from the firm in June.
KPMG is the giant outsourcing company linked to Tory donations and being granted a huge contract to oversee GP pathfinder commissioning in London, it is widely expected that if the Tory-led government's NHS reforms go ahead, that KPMG will get the contract to roll out nationwide!
KPMG gave £62,250 worth of advice to the Tories Shadow Cabinet Treasury team, of which he was entitled to a share. The advice was given between April 1 and June 30 2009.

George Campion (right)
MIC Member.
When he worked for Deloitte
Currently Employed By Lodders
 George Campion - MIC Member 
George Campion was a senior tax partner in Deloitte's Birmingham office. According to the company website, he worked "extensively in the area of real estate transactions analysing both the corporation tax and commercial implications. His clients included large multinational groups".  
George Campion retired as a partner at global accountants Deloitte in Birmingham in 2009 and started as non-executive chairman of  Lodders in 2010. Lodders is a firm of solicitors based in Stratford-Upon -Avon, Warwickshire. Mr Campion said: "The lawyers and bankers have had a hard time over the last three years"!. (redacted) Mm, they are not the only ones still they have such big bonuses to help them now, while we the taxpayer struggle and pay for them with our businesses, jobs and homes and benefits.
If you look at the "News and Events" Section HERE you will see how profoundly linked Lodders is to the workings of national and local Governments.

J Brian Pettifer - MIC Member (Mr Pettifer is camera shy - no images of him in public domain)

J Brian Pettifer is Chairman and Chief Executive of the Pettifer Group. This organisation was formed in 1955 and, still in private ownership, is a major force in property development, construction, consultancy and web-based applications. It employs in the region of 300 staff, operating throughout the UK. Subsidiary companies operate from London (Mayfair and Clerkenwell), Solihull, Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow. Pettifer Group is a Warwickshire based property development company with an office in Mayfair and develops edge of town retail parks.
Pettifer's company ran into trouble over a Welsh Sign which translated to "gibberish""The safety notice by developers Pettifer Construction was put up outside a new store being built near Morrisons in the Anglesey port town.
It is meant to warn passersby about the dangers on the site, in order to protect the public from accidents. In English, the sign’s overriding message: “You are now entering a safety zone”, in fact, reads in Welsh: “Act hourly noting a comfortable belt.”
Mr Pettifer is a supporter of the Tax Payers Alliance.

Tony Gallagher - MIC Member

Tony Gallagher
Tony Gallagher is Chairman of Gallagher UK. Gallagher Developments is the group's commercial property development and investment arm. Gallagher Estates is the residential arm. Gallagher is a private company with substantial cash-reserves and no borrowings, according to the company's website. "This, together with an extensive development programme and land bank, places Gallagher in a relatively unique position in the Development Industry". April 2010 Gallagher Developments pulled the sale of its Junction 9 retail park in the West Midlands after raising £150m in "off market" transactions. The plan to sell was a rare one for Gallagher, a long-term investor and developer.

 Estimated personal wealth put at around £500 million.

Roy Richardson- MIC Member 
Roy Richardson, with his late twin brother Don, is the man behind the highly successful Richardson Developments real estate company. Proud of their Black Country roots they developed the Merry Hill hopping centre in the 1980s and Birmingham's Star City leisure complex. His brother and he have made no secret of making loans, and in April told the BBC he made donations to Labour and the Conservatives "to give the region a stronger voice with those in power".
The Sunday Times reports: ‘(Roy) Richardson has also been linked to Labour. In 1997, the Richardson twins, worth £350m, met Lord Levy, Tony Blair’s chief fundraiser, at the House of Lords. The pair discussed donating £1m to Labour and are alleged to have asked for help with planning decisions, according to senior Labour sources. Levy is understood to have stopped the meeting immediately. The brothers deny raising the issue.

Keith Bradshaw
Formerly Takare Sold To BUPA
Keith Bradshaw - MIC Member 
Keith Bradshaw is an accountant and non-executive chairman of the Wolverhampton-based property group Nurton Developments. Established a number of private companies, the foremost of which, BP Nursing Homes Ltd, became Takare PLC/Care First Group PLC, which was sold to BUPA in January 1998 for approximately £300m. Other business interests include Listers of Coventry and Urbancube.
Personal wealth estimated £150 million
1997 - Mr Bradshaw, has had a turbulent history. Mr Bradshaw was criticised for growing the company, initially called Takare before it merged with Mr Patel's Court Cavendish company last year, too quickly.
The company has also been criticised for overspending on building low- quality homes, without, for example, ensuite toilets. Care First's overexpansion hit occupancy levels at the homes when funding pressures on local authorities increased in the mid-1990s, forcing the company to reverse its strategy.

R.E.L Smith - MIC Member (Another shy one, no photo available)
Richard Smith is the Managing Director of H.R.Smith Group, which is based at Leominster in Herefordshire. The group includes the company Techtest. Products include a range of hi-tech radio and electrical equipment used in search and rescue. Is below the kind of business that HRSmith group will be bidding for?
Member of the Taxpayers Alliance.

October 2010 - David Cameron is to sell off Britain's search and rescue operations.
The sell-off comes after the October defence review which will see 17,000 servicemen and women lose their jobs.
At a time when we are making thousands of our armed forces redundant, it is ludicrous to waste billions of pounds of taxpayers' money in this way. Critics also fear the changes could put lives at risk amid warnings that few civilian pilots have the world-class flying experience of RAF pilots.

February 2011- In a hugely embarrassing climbdown in the government's privatisation of our public services, they were forced to backtrack after Soteria, the preferred bidder, voluntarily came forward to tell the government of irregularities in the conduct of its bid team. He added: "The irregularities included access by one of the consortium members, CHC Helicopter, to commercially sensitive information regarding the joint MoD-DfT [Department for Transport] project team's evaluations of industry bids and evidence that a former member of that project team had assisted the consortium in its bid preparation, contrary to explicit assurances given to the project team."

Chris Kelly With David Cameron
Chris Kelly - Vice-Chairmen of the MIC
Chris Kelly is based in West Bromwich. He formed Scania Keltruck Limited in 1983. The company employs around 500 people. He is one of three Vice-Chairmen of the MIC. He is also open about his political views. He is on the list of business supporters of Open Europe and is on the Business Council of the TaxPayers Alliance. Mr Kelly was a member of the Conservative Party's Midlands Regional Finance Board, the West Midlands Council of Business for Sterling
David Cameron is being accused of rewarding Tory donors with free publicity. The charge came after he went to the training centre for trucking firm Scania to publicise an announcement on new apprenticeships.
Scania’s UK distributor is businessman Chris Kelly, the deputy chairman of a donors group called the Midlands Industrial Council, which has given £561,780 to the Conservatives since Mr Cameron became the leader. (This amount may have increased since this was reported) Who said that MIC members do not want to influence government policy?
Chris Kelly With
Margaret Thatcher
 On the Business Council of the TaxPayers Alliance.

Leavesley Group  MIC Members (no picture available)
James and John Leavesley, are based at Alrewas in Staffordshire. The family-run Leavesley Group dates back to 1919. The group has grown and diversified into a number of sectors. These include property and agricultural activities, surplus equipment, machinery and vehicle sales, shipping containers, petrol retailing and farm quality assurance and inspection. John Leavesley is also a supporter of the TaxPayers Alliance, which lobbies the Government to reduce taxes.
The Leavesley empire – broke up of HMS Intrepid, a Royal Navy ship which played a major role in the Falklands conflict. It’s the first Royal Navy vessel to be broken up under DEFRA’s new guidelines on recycling. Some 95 per cent of the ship is to be recycled.
Tories plan to scrap Tornado jets HERE
Tories plan to sell HM Invincible for scrap on eBay HERE
Tories urged to U-turn on scrapping of Ark Royal & Harrier   HERE
Who is going to get all these scrappage contracts?
John Leavesley is a supporter of the TaxPayers Alliance

Lowe & Fletcher Ltd - Corporate member of the MIC 

Lowe & Fletcher Ltd is a corporate member of the MIC. From a small locksmith's shop founded in Willenhall, in the Black Country in 1889, the Lowe and Fletcher and Euro-locks Group has grown into a world-leading specialist in the design and manufacture of locking, says the company website. Now based in Wednesbury it also has factories in Europe and the United States.

Peter Shirley and Wife
Peter Shirley - MIC Member
Peter Shirley is the owner and Managing Director of Midland Chilled Foods. The company began in 1976 at Willenhall in the Black Country. It now comprises three companies, Midland Chilled Foods Ltd., Midland Pie Products Ltd. and Midland Food Group Ltd, has a turnover well in excess of £35m and employs nearly 200 people. When the Midland Food Group, opened a new chilled foods factory in Basingstoke, Hampshire it was opened by David Cameron, then the leader of the opposition. Peter Shirley said:
'I’m a member of the MIC. I was absolutely amazed that it was David Cameron who came to the (factory) opening... We tell (Tory Ministers) that if they’re
going to have policies, we would like to know what the heck they are.'
Most "shadow ministers" have attended 
MIC meetings and George Bridges,
Cameron’s head of campaigns, is in regular contact with it...
Peter Shirley also supports the TaxPayers Alliance.

R. Robinson - MIC Member
Robert Robinson, founder of the Warwickshire firm of Robinsons

Kambiz Jaberi  - MIC Member
Kambiz Jaberi is chairman and Managing Director of Karins Catering Group of Bilston. They supply food to 14 airports. Clients include British Airways CitiExpress, Flybe, Alpha Catering Services, Gate Gourmet International, Citynet Catering, First Choice Airways & West Midlands Police. Most popular sandwich: Roast Chicken on Poppy bread. Mr Jaberi was involved in the Vote No campaign against the UK signing the European Constitution and supports TaxPayers Alliance.
Kim Jaberi told the Sunday Times: 
“I was invited to join about [five] years ago. We are self-made people who can tell politicians about transport, about climate change, about tax – about what real life is about.”

Tessa Miller & Michael Miller - MIC Members
Michael Miller is Chairman of the Harris & Sheldon Group Ltd which has wide-ranging interests including automotive component manufacturing and fishing tackle manufacturing. The company is based at Packington Park, Meriden, near Coventry. Michael Miller has been involved with both the TaxPayers Alliance and Vote No to the EU Constitution campaigns.
Involved with Taxpayers Alliance

Graham Hampson Silk - MIC Member 
Graham Hampson Silk sold his stake in Wolverhampton and Blackpool airports for £15m. He was previously involved in the film industry and was credited as executive producer of children's fantasy movie Rainbow and British comedies The Sea Change and Shooting Fish. He was named as the "one to watch", in a business industry profile in 2001 which added: "his day job is at Hampson Industries, a group of aerospace engineering businesses with annual turnover approaching £100m". 'Mr Silk said... the organisation was simply a group that existed to lobby for a better deal for Midland businesses.' (He forgot to mention that they are strongly Eurosceptic and nearly all are members of the Taxpayers Alliance, that want our public sector reduced, our National insurance contributions to go up and our taxes to rise, while theirs fall)
He also said: "The council is obviously allied to the Conservative Party, my politics aren't a secret." Not now they aren't "maybe", but this is only because the Tories were forced to name names and let us not forget, that when donors knew their names would be named, they asked for their money to be returned so they s would not be names, why, what have they got to hide?
Member of Taxpayers Alliance
Constantine Folkes

Constantine Folkes
Constantine Folkes is the Chairman and Chief Executive of Folkes Holdings. Folkes Holdings has engineering and real estate interests. His company is one of the largest commercial landlords in the Black Country and also has real estate interests in South Africa. The company's engineering operations are conducted at Somers Forge in Halesowen. Folkes Holdings went private in 2003 and is now 91% owned by Constantine Folkes. The company traces its origins to an 18th Century blacksmith shop in Lye. Mr Folkes supports the TaxPayers Alliance.

In addition, I found three other people as *previous members* of the Midlands Industrial Council.

Sir Eric Pountain
He died at the age of 70 in 2003. He built Tarmac into one of the UK's biggest house builders. Born in Cannock Chase he went to school in Walsall. He is credited with coming up with the idea of the "show home" to sell properties on new estates. In the 1980s Tarmac was a prominent donor to the Conservative party. Was also chairman later of IMI Metals. He was knighted in 1985.
Gareth Davies
Former chairman of Glynwed International, which is most famous for its Aga kitchen products. Mr Davies retired after 40 years service with the company in the late 1990s. Glowing tributes by colleagues described his contribution to the business as "immense".
Gary Allen
Mr Allen succeeded Sir Eric Pountain as the chairman of IMI Metals. He joined the company in 1965, became Chief Exec in 1986 and Chairman in 2001. He was awarded the CBE in 1991. He retired from IMI in 2004.

Disgraced Former Tory MP
Julie Kirkbride
Julie Kirkbride,  The Disgraced Former Midlands Conservative MP, admits to previously undisclosed links with a controversial organisation which has donated millions of pounds to the Conservative party.
The former Bromsgrove MP has been revealed as an "ex-officio" member of the secretive Midlands Industrial Council (MIC) after an investigation by the Politics Show in the West Midlands.
There is no published record of Ms Kirkbride's connections to the organisation, even though she has now confirmed she is the "link person" between the MIC and the Conservative party in parliament.
Ms Kirkbride's name emerged after the MIC said it was going to continue to conceal the identity of its members in future unless there is a change in the law.

Other MPs have gone to prison for a lot less than Julie Kirkbride and her husband have done over their expense claims, yet the shamed former Tory MP  has landed a lucrative job in the lobbying industry days after being forced to quit the Commons because of public anger over her expenses.
Miss Kirkbride, 49, was appointed as a consultant to the Westminster-based lobbying firm Tetra Strategy on a salary rumoured to be approaching £100,000.
Last year her former MP husband Andrew Mackay, who was also embroiled in the expenses scandal, landed a six-figure salary post as ‘international consultant’ to the lobbying giant Burston-Marsteller.

The MIC was accused of being a clearinghouse for donations to the Tory party, and possibly open to challenge under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.
Between April 16, 2003, and March 14, 2006, the Conservative Party received 52 donations from the MIC totalling £968,690. This amount has increased massively in recent years leading up to and beyond the May 2010 general election.

This list begs almost as many questions as it answers. How much did each of them give exactly?
Where did that money go? Was it used to buy influence over Conservative policy? Remember Stuart Wheeler the Conservative millionaire donor spread better, now UKIP member? He says it is perfectly reasonable to expect that business leaders donating large sums to the Tory party do so with the view of influencing policy. Mr Wheeler has himself donated over £3 million to the Conservative party.

And what about the people who have given money in the past - or may do so in the future who will still be able to slip quietly behind the veil of anonymity?
Currently despite David Cameron's promise of "new and transparent politics" the laws as it stands, does not require a breakdown of figures from the MIC as it is an unincorporated association - effectively, a private club, or any other association like it. *Just like the Portcullis club* this is how the Conservative party is managing to protect so many of their big financial donors from scrutiny.

Cameron Photo Opportunity
It is not the first time that David Cameron has been accused of returning "favours" for photo opportunities etc and whilst one individual photo op or another incident may seem innocuous, the question here is about the regularity with which such connections exist and the number which he does. During the May 2010 general election campaign, David Cameron was again pictured in front of a row of JCBs, Jewsons; the Tory leader has been seen at B&Q, Warburtons, Bestway, Fuller’s brewery and Jewsons – and has often been ­pictured with the relevant company’s logo clearly visible.
Nothing unusual there. Apart from the fact, the chief executives of all these firms have publicly backed the Tories’ cynical attempt to win votes by promising to halt a scheduled rise in National Insurance.
Shadow Chancellor George Osborne has also got in on the act by visiting the headquarters of easyJet, whose founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou also supports Mr Cameron’s NI policy.
Cameron even mentioned Mothercare in the House of Commons and his wife Sam wore a Marks and Spencer frock during campaigning, but it turned out the frock had been made to measure for her. Sir Stuart Rose was then the MD of Marks and a Cameron supporter, who signed the NICs letter.

"The Conservative party have exploited a loophole in the law that allows unincorporated associations, such as the Midlands Industrial Council and the Uxbridge Portcullis Club,  to give many thousands of pounds to local constituency associations without the latter accounting for that or provide any details about who was behind those shady organisations until it was forced out of them."

Big business is behind this Tory-led government without a shadow of a doubt, just a cursory look through all the information I have provided you will see a clear pattern emerging which has been taking shape since David Cameron became the Conservative leader.
It almost blatant, big business does not donate millions of pounds to a political party without expecting some influence over policy and the information I have provided you can actually see it very clearly. The Tories will point straight away to the unions and the Labour party but one this does not excuse what they are doing and d two, the unions are very regulated bodies made up out of thousands of members, they are not close unregulated unincorporated bodies made up out of secret members donating obscene amounts to the Tory party hoping to change policy and influence policy in favour of their own companies.
In return for their huge financial donations David Cameron has been opening their new companies, both here and abroad and during the 2010 election campaign Cameron managed to have photo opportunities in front of a row of JCBs, in front of trays of Warburton's bread, Jewson trucks in the background, B&Q, Mothercare, Marks and Spencers, it just goes on and on and Cameron even mentions his friends companies during prime minister's question time.

In a speech, in February 2010  David Cameron warned that lobbying was ‘the next big scandal waiting to happen’. Well, he should know!

Lobbying is the next big scandal waiting to happen... an issue that exposes the far-too-cosy relationship between politics, government, business and money... And we all know how it works. The lunches, the hospitality, the quiet word in your ear, the ex-ministers and ex-advisors for hire, helping big business find the right way to get its way…"

He also said: “I believe that secret corporate lobbying, like the expenses scandal, goes to the heart of why people are so fed up with politics.”.
Yet, as the Observer reveals, some of his party’s current crop of prospective MPs aren't being fully transparent with voters about their links to the lobbying industry!

Cameron promised us transparent politics, but all we have had from him is the shadiest dirty corrupt looking behaviour, far worse than anything seen in parliament since the last time the Tories were in power, at least it took those successive Tory governments 18 years to get to the point where they were mired in sleaze, it has taken this Tory government less than 8 months and the lies, broken promises and deliberate misleading of parliament and the British people almost on a daily basis from this Tory government is astonishing!

I have omitted from this post about arms dealers and oil companies, as the post is too long already, as for the links to the lobbying of the NHS for contracts, well that is a book waiting to be written!  However, have no fear these subjects will be covered at some point in the near future.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

On Liberal Democrats

How in all honesty can Liberal Democrat MPs prop up this government who are touring the Gulf selling arms to undemocratic countries, while Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and Libyans are in the fight of their lives, for their democratic lives and for their country's democratic future? Doesn't it go against every single tenet of the Liberal Democrat party?

Perhaps this is why Nick Clegg the Lib Dem leader has "forgotten" he is supposed to be in charge of the country while Cameron is away, so yesterday's PMQs were cancelled as Clegg has gone away on holiday, leaving William Hague to hastily cancel a trip to Washington after questions were asked about who was in charge of the country while Cameron was away with his Tory donor mates flogging arms in the Middle East.

One thing, we were told that this arms selling trip of Cameron's has been arranged for a long time, then how long has the holiday of Nick Clegg been arranged and why wasn't someone rostered to take charge of the country in the absence of Cameron?

Or is the simple truth that once again we have been lied to by the Prime Minister and the Tory party and this trip was hastily arranged so Cameron could take full advantage of the situation in Egypt scoring Brownie points for himself with his cheap and nasty publicity stunts? Whatever it is, a trip to that region now selling arms just stinks of corruption and makes one wonder just what is a cover for who. Maybe Cameron thought with the uprisings in several countries, now was a good time to flog leaders arms in other countries? Who knows, but something is rotten somewhere and Cameron is nowhere near Denmark!

Yet again I point out we are being governed by a dangerous incompetent and totally feckless Tory halfwits and the Liberal Democrats are supporting this?

British Nationals in Libya Need Help - Where Is David Cameron?

The Bald man At The Back may Well raise His Eyebrows!
What on Earth Does The British
Think He Is  PM Doing?
We have to hand it to British prime minister David Cameron, he really has superb timing and such luck! There he was touring the Middle East with his arms dealer buddies, (some who donate to the Tory party) flogging arms to undemocratic and often unstable countries, when suddenly he decided to drop off in Egypt, barely one week after their revolution. Egypt and Cairo in particular is chaotic and confusing at the best of times, so one can safely assume just after their revolution it would be worse if anything, but here comes the most amazing piece of luck. In amongst the total confusion of the PM's unplanned visit to the Egyptian *interim* government, he decided to go on a walk about thorough Tahrir Square, where demonstrators faced down security forces, and amid all that confusion, his public relations people managed to find the one little lad who just happened to have his face painted with face paints just barely a week post-revolution, the PR in Cameron must have surely rejoiced at the sight. Looking totally bewildered the boy was shoved next to Cameron who tried to chat to him and make as much out of the publicity opportunity as he possibly could, but it was obvious that the lad could not understand him, in fact, he looked totally confused most of the time and appeared to be looking about for an escape route!

(Redacted removed reference to colours)

My question to Cameron is this why on earth did he have to include that boy in his cheap and nasty little publicity stunt?  I can't say I am overly impressed with Cameron's team of publicity seekers for thinking it OK to use a young lad for their own purposes in this fashion and I sincerely hope that the little boy was not placed in any danger from extremists. (Maybe those multicultural" ones that Cameron wants to beat up with his "muscular Liberalism"?)

 I'm sure that David Cameron thought it was a good idea to be the first Western leader to visit Egypt since their revolution, but in haste to be the first, did it not occur to Cameron that perhaps the Egyptian *interim* government had seriously better things to do with their time than be forced to drop everything and play host to one of David Cameron's little publicity seeking stunts? (Snow and huskies and push bikes followed by cars spring to mind here.) Yet again the British prime minister's judgement (or total lack of) is called into question, what with his faux pas on the lack of knowledge of his own country's WW2 history, his insulting of the Pakistani people by somehow inferring they were nearly all terrorists, then upsetting Israel by telling them the Gaza Strip is a "prison camp" and more recently his speech on "multiculturalism" to other bemused world leaders, the man is quite clearly an "arse" and what is more he is making the UK look to be a country of "arses".

Last year in the  recession hit UK, which this government are making much worse than it need be, we were hit by an unnecessary swine flu epidemic because of the government's refusal to adhere to expert medical advice and government policy was in tatters. Hospitals up and down the country were struggling to cope and on black alert and all our critical care beds were full of people suffering from swine flu, we lost over 120 people to the H1N1 virus, mainly babies, children and young adults.  Several Tory flagship bills were disintegrating before our eyes; The country was brought to a halt under snow and ice, roads were gridlocked and aeroplanes grounded; The government were being hit by sleaze allegations and Andy Coulson and phone hacking scandal was paralysing the British government. Where was David Cameron? He was nowhere to be seen or heard, however, then the English national cricket team won the Ashes, where was Cameron? Up he pops on Sky news on national TV to gush about the cricket team guys and how he is planning a champagne reception for them and how their success was going to cheer Britian. Honest to God you could not make this stuff up.

This Middle East tour had been organised for some time, but surely in the wake of what happened in Tunisia, Egypt and Bahrain and then Libya, it seriously was not a time to cavort around that region trying to flog arms to undemocratic countries? Especially at a time when leaders and foreign secretaries of other countries were at home frantically working around the clock to get their nationals out of Libya, ours was in the region flogging arms, and our Foreign Secretary of State, William Hague, was making bizarre statements and nothing was being done to bring our people home out of Libya. Every other country managed to have someone at the airport to help their nationals when they arrived, did the UK? No. The Portuguese tried valiantly to help everyone who needed help, what about the UK? Er no. Even little Austria managed to have a completely organised evacuation programme, but the UK? No, our PM is far too busy organising publicity stunts and doing arms deals with his Tory donor arms dealers mates - first things first after all. Foreign Policy?
David Cameron's Tory government is becoming synonymous with failure, 'U' turns, "muck-ups", appalling judgement and a disastrous foreign policy, in fact it looks very much like Britain does not even have any kind of coherent and cohesive foreign policy any longer, which is probably why the PM's mate Dick Olver of BAe, just flogged India (who British Government supports with aid to their internal charities, while cutting funding to our own) 57 jet fighter planes, when the PM was on another arms  "recky" with his Tory donor business leader mates!

Meanwhile, while David Cameron is away on his little Middle Eastern arms soiree, Nick Clegg Britain's deputy PM was asked  if he was in charge while Cameron is away, Clegg answered; "Yeah, I suppose I am. I forgot about that"!

Britain is being governed by power crazy, money grabbing reckless corrupt halfwits - it will all end in tears. How I long for the days when we had grown up people doing grown up jobs in the UK and not these feckless privileged  jumped up ponces we have now.

Come back Labour, "warts 'n all", we miss you and your country and people need you.