Tag Archives: corruption

Corruption Rules UK

Yesterday, Radio 4’s Today programme told its listeners that David Cameron was going to urge the leaders at the G7 beano summit that they must do more to stamp out corruption. The FIFA corruption scandal seems to have acted as a spur for him to cast himself as the world’s anti-corruption champion. As we all know, this is all an act with Dave, the flim-flam man. Look, the guy wants to abolish the Human Rights Act and replace it with a cheap imitation. Doesn’t that seem like an excuse to further legitimize other forms of corruption?

It’s tempting to think that corruption is the sort of thing that only happens in other countries like Egypt, Zimbabwe and Guatemala, where human rights abuses are an everyday occurrence. Corruption goes against the British ‘sense of fair play’. It simply isn’t cricket.  After all, we’re told by mainstream politicians and our [less than] free press that Britain, unlike some other countries, has something called ‘the rule of law’. And that makes everything just peachy and kopesetic. I mean, so what if free speech isn’t enshrined in statute or The Daily Mail traduces your name on its pages? You can always sue them for libel. Can’t you? Well, the best you can hope for is some mealy-mouthed apology buried on page 45. That’s it. Only those with substantial sums of money can sue someone for defamation in this country. That’s how satirists in this country are silenced. Not through violence and intimidation but through the courts. It’s the rule of law. It’s so terribly English. No one cracked George Cruikshank’s skull for painting immoral caricatures of the George VI, he was given a hundred nicker and told never to do it again. So civilized.

People will often say that politicians are corrupt. I wouldn’t go that far. However I would say that some politicians are certainly corrupt and that Tory governments, in particular, tend to abuse their power. Remember, this is the party that abolished the metropolitan county councils and the Greater London Council because the people didn’t vote the way they wanted them to. Now apparently unrestrained by the Liberal Democrats, the Toerags want to impose a 50% turnout threshold on strike ballots with 40% of eligible members supporting strike action. This is from a party, when it was in coalition, that allowed many Police and Crime Commissioners to be elected to office on an overall national turnout of 15.1%. Dude, where’s your mandate?

The present Tory regime intends to redraw the electoral boundaries because it claims that it’s fair (sic). Their chief complaint is that the electoral boundaries “work against” them. Yet, they managed to win in the 1980s with more or less the same electoral boundaries, albeit with some modifications. There were no complaints back then. So what’s changed? Nothing. They want all the power. They will not stop until they have created a one-party state modelled along the lines of Pinochet-era Chile. Any change in the electoral boundaries will be categorically unfair, since such changes will effectively ensure the Tories hold power indefinitely. Redrawing electoral boundaries without including the necessary reform to the antiquated voting system amounts to little more than gerrymandering. But the Tóraís also want to reduce the number of Commons seats from 650 to 600. Guess which constituencies won’t disappear? Uh huh. Not many Tory seats. Remember this is the party that benefited from the Rotten Boroughs. Therefore the very idea of playing fairly and according the rules (as opposed to the rules they’ve rigged or reinterpreted) is alien to them. It’s like a foreign lingo.

Consider also the change in the voting rules the took place under the Coalition regime: around one million voters (many of them students) were simply erased from the electoral registers, ostensibly in a move to prevent voting fraud. This had the intended or unintended effect (depending upon your perspective) of helping to provide the Tories with an admittedly slender majority. It was a victory that apparently had surprised them as much as those of us hoping for something better than five more years of cuts and wanton cruelty. Would you like another shit sandwich, sir/madam?

Corruption in Britain isn’t confined to governments and political parties. Consider the close relationship between the state and private capital. Britain’s privatized railways are an instructive example of a form of licensed corporate corruption, and the government will bend over backwards to keep them sweet. According to Channel 4’s Dispatches, the train operating companies are legally permitted to bend the rules of time (and possibly physics) to avoid claims for compensation. There are apparently two different timetables: one is called the public timetable to which the public has access, and there’s the working timetables that the train companies use. If this sounds confusing, then you should have look at the fares: it is often more expensive to buy a ticket from a machine than a ticket office and even if you purchase a ticket from a ticket office, you may not get the cheapest deal. Split-ticketing in another peculiarity of the privatized system. Buying singles in stages to your destination is sometimes cheaper than buying a single or a return, but booking offices often keep this secret. The Dispatches documentary is worth watching. Just click on this link. Sadly, you may have to register to watch it (available for 26 days).

Corruption, far from being something that happens in other countries, is alive and well in the United Kingdom. Sustained and protected by the law and the institutions of the state, corruption perverts democracy and impedes justice. Corruption is what allowed Jimmy Savile and his gang groom and rape children with impunity. Corruption is what allows privatized companies to slip out of their obligations to provide a service. Corruption is the glue that holds the union together and keeps the people subjugated.

So Dave, before you lecture others on the subject of corruption, how about you deal with it closer to home?

You can visit Transparency International UK’s website for more information.

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Corruption UK

I just had to share this video. People tend to assume corruption only happens in banana republics. Not so. Our institutions are deeply corrupted and presiding over this corruption is the monarchy and those who support them. Politicians like David Cameron are fond of telling the world that Britain is “open for business”. But what does that really mean?

Here’s David Whyte talking about his forthcoming book on British corruption.

The article that accompanies the video can be found at this link.

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Aidan Burley, Nazi Uniforms and the French Prosecutor’s Report: the silence is deafening

Nearly two years ago, Aidan Burley, the Tory MP for Cannock Chase was recorded on video at a stag night in which his mates are caught on camera wearing Nazi uniforms. In one scene, his chum toasts the Third Reich. We know the uniforms were hired by Burley (has anyone checked his expenses record to see if he used public money to hire these costumes?).

We were told that the French prosecutor’s report would be released for public viewing. Nearly two years later and there’s no sign of it.

The Huffington Post carried this story in February of this year.

The results of a Conservative Party disciplinary inquiry into an MP who attended a Nazi-themed stag party will not be published until French prosecutors have completed their own criminal investigation into the incident, the party said.

However the probe by senior officials is not believed to have concluded that Aidan Burley, who represents Cannock Chase, should have the Tory whip withdrawn.

A party spokesman said the in-house inquiry into Mr Burley’s role, ordered by Prime Minister David Cameron, had been completed but that its report, originally scheduled for publication this month, had been postponed.

“It would be inappropriate to release the report’s findings while French police are continuing their own investigations,” he said.

Does it really take this long for the French police to investigate the matter? This doesn’t sound right. Does David Cameron have something to hide? I would say he does.

Burley will stand again for the Tories in the 2015 election.

UPDATE 9/9/13 @ 1231

Burley may have been reselected as his constituency’s candidate but his tendency to cock things up will probably be his undoing. I found this in The Independent from last October:

He chairs the Trade Union Reform Campaign (TURC), which has a list of things they want to stop unions from being able to do. TURC invited Halfon, a serious and thoughtful character, to speak at one of their meetings, and were a little taken aback when he told them that their campaign was “ethically and politically wrong”. They should recognise unions as valuable community institutions and encourage Conservatives to get involved, he suggested.

My bold. Yes, a Tory… Rob Halfon said that. It would seem that even some of his fellow Tories find his ideas a little nutty.

Burley also appears to have a lack of understanding when it comes to Kurdistan. The leader of the Kurdistan Regional Government commented on yet another Burley faux pas:

Aidan Burley’s reported remarks about the Kurdish genocide illustrate the need to amplify understanding of what happened to the Iraqi Kurds for so many years. Britain did so much to protect the Kurds in 1991 and in 2003 and is perfectly placed to help lead the way in recognising the brutal realities of genocide. This does so much to help the Kurds to continue to overcome the past and build a prosperous peaceful and pluralist Iraq with the help of deeper and broader political commercial and cultural links with the UK. Mr Burley would be wise to apologise for making light of a genocidal campaign waged by a fascist regime. He could also show contrition by committing himself to supporting the cross party campaign spearheaded by his colleagues Nadhim Zahawi and Robert Halfon.

Zahawi is an Iraqi Kurd. A fact that went seemingly unnoticed by Burley.

His Trade Union Reform Campaign has been quiet for a couple of months too. The last blog entry was 14 July, 2013. Their last event was on 24 January, 2012.

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Met accused of orchestrating smear campaign against Lawrence family

Nick Griffin articulated smears from the beginning

Nick Griffin articulated smears from the beginning

Britain’s police have plenty of previous when it comes to corruption. One thing at which they’re expert is covering their arses. Yesterday, we learned from former undercover policeman, Peter Francis, who was involved in the Stephen Lawrence murder investigation that cops were instructed to find any dirt on the Lawrence family in an attempt to discredit them and, more importantly, to cover their backsides.

From The Guardian:

Francis said he had come under “huge and constant pressure” from superiors to “hunt for disinformation” that might be used to undermine those arguing for a better investigation into the murder. He posed as an anti-racist activist in the mid-1990s in his search for intelligence.

“I had to get any information on what was happening in the Stephen Lawrence campaign,” Francis said. “They wanted the campaign to stop. It was felt it was going to turn into an elephant.

“Throughout my deployment there was almost constant pressure on me personally to find out anything I could that would discredit these campaigns.”

What is interesting about this revelation is how it ties in rather neatly with BNP führer leader, Nick Griffin’s line on Stephen. In this article from the Daily Mirror from 2006, he was quoted as saying:

“Everyone down there knows he was notorious for taxing kids for their dinner money and he was a drug dealer.

“According to many people within the Metropolitan Police, he was killed by another black – not a white racist attack at all.”

He said this in 1993 and has repeated this lie for the last 20 years.

South-east London was once (and probably still is) a BNP stronghold and the party had an office in Welling, but always used an anonymous PO box to receive correspondence. Since their arrival there in 1987, there had been a 200% increase in racially motivated attacks in the borough. They left Welling in 1995 after Bexley Council forced them to close down their office after a series of high profile demonstrations organised by Youth Against Racism in Europe (also the subject of a smear campaign) and the Anti-Nazi League. The BNP is now based in Cumbria.

So was there an arrangement or a compact between the BNP and the local division of the Metropolitan Police? Were some coppers assigned to that division paid-up members of the BNP? I think we need to know.

You can read an interesting article from the Socialist Party about the untold story of the Stephen Lawrence murder from  here.

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Newly elected UKIP councillor in court accused of being a benefit cheat (not satire!)

I just had to reblog this  from Pride’s Purge. It would seem that UKIP’s MEPs aren’t the only members of the party to have a taste for crooked behaviour. Cambridgeshire County Councillor, Peter Lagoda, has been up before the beak for benefit fraud. Now what is it UKIP says about social security benefit claimants? Oh yeah, they’re “parasites” (their words, not mine).

Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s the UKIP!)

Newly elected UKIP Cambridgeshire County Council Councillor Peter Lagoda has appeared in court charged with benefit fraud.

Lagoda pleaded not guilty to dishonestly failing to tell Fenland District Council about income changes that could affect his benefits.

Here’s the full story from the local newspaper:

Newly elected Cambridgeshire UKIP county councillor in court accused of benefits fraud

Bloody feckless, scrounging, lazy UKIP councillors – coming over here taking advantage of hard-working UK taxpayers and abusing our benefits system.

I say send them back to their Tory shires where they belong.

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Related articles by Tom Pride:

The UKIP – under us thousands will lose their jobs and most will pay more tax (not satire)

UKIP candidate – physical exercise prevents homosexuality (no – not satire)

Nigel Farage, the Tea Party Godfather and the man who tried to trash the pound. Twice.

UKIP chairman – every UK city should have 1…

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Remember this? #2

“The simple sword of truth and the trusty shield of British justice”.

Live by the sword. Die by the sword. The best bit is at 1.00.

All those who threaten libel action as a form of censorship, take note.

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Nightmare on King Street (Part 12): a round up

Things just go from bad to worse for the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Their cherished dream of ‘redeveloping’ the West Kensington and Gibbs Green Estates as part of the Earl’s Court regeneration scheme has hit a massive pothole in the road. To add to their misery (Mmm, Schadenfreude, I love it!), the Council’s tax affairs, which have been reported in some detail by both Shepherds Bush blog and The Guardian’s Dave Hill, look set to kick another great big hole in their claim to fiscal responsibility.

Let’s look at Earl’s Court first. It would seem that LBHF has broken the law and tried to sign up tenants to some kind of “VIP list” if they co-operate with the Council’s scheme. We already know that the ruling Tory group, anxious about the huge opposition to its plan, had set up its own astroturf group as a means of claiming that it had complete support for the project. Of course this is a lie and to make matters worse, in January, the director of the pro-demolition group resigned.

Now what about that “VIP List”? Hill tells us,

Last month a document was handed to the Metropolitan Police containing information, which, it said, “substantiates allegations,” that officers of the Conservative flagship West London council of Hammersmith and Fulham promised preferential treatment in the allocation of new council homes to certain residents of two housing estates in the borough in return for their supporting the estates’ demolition as part of controversial proposed redevelopment scheme in the Earls Court area.

The document – entitled The Early Movers List: Homes for Votes? – claims to supply “evidence that may contribute to a police investigation into Misconduct in Public Office, which could lead to criminal charges,” and might additionally lead to civil litigation for a breach of the Housing Act 1996. I understand that Scotland Yard detectives have been making an assessment of the material.

Oops! On 11 October, Shepherds Bush blog tells us that the High Court has ruled against the Council.

And the Judge gives short shrift to our Council’s expensive lawyers who tried to get the application by the residents thrown out on the grounds it was submitted late. He had this to say:

“The defendants and interested parties [Hammersmith & Fulham Council and the Developers] argue that the claim was not filed properly and that permission should be refused. I am not persuaded that the claimants [the residents] should be denied permission on this basis.

Last week, the Evening Standard carried this story.

A flagship Tory council faces fines and back taxes of almost £1 million after failing to pay its correct tax bill.

Hammersmith and Fulham admitted a “careless” approach to its finances after telling HM Revenue and Customs 59 cases where it had not taken tax off employees at source, out of a total workforce of 4,800.

The council said it had failed to carry out proper checks on whether people were consultants, who are responsible for their own tax, or staff.

So much for economic literacy, eh? The Tories like to tell us that they’re “good with money” but it seems that they’re anything but. By the way, this expensive blunder happened while the Dear Departed Leader was in charge. He’s now Deputy Mayor for Policing. Yeah, breathtaking, isn’t it?

Meanwhile, the iconic Shepherds Bush Market is under threat. A High Court judged had earlier ruled that what the council’s plans were unlawful. Cllr Stephen Cowan writes,

On Monday night, Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s Conservative Administration met to vote through compulsory purchase orders (CPO) for the shops on the Goldhawk Road. They did this against the wishes of the small retailers who have long run those businesses  – many fearing that this will finish them off.

Incidentally, this is the same Monday night that LBHF Tories voted to end council tenancies for life and deny those with incomes of £40,000 a place on the waiting list. Cowan continues,

I asked the Conservative cabinet members why they had placed hundreds of thousand of pounds of tax payers’ money, their officials’ time and other resources at the disposal of their chosen property speculator. They explained they believed it was necessary to push this deal through.

“Necessary”? What’s the rush? Cowan explains what happened next,

Cllr. Mark Loveday (Con) made a somewhat emotional interjection involving shouting personal insults at my colleagues. In part this was his usual technique to try and stop a line of questioning. But, Cllr. Mark Loveday had been responsible for many of the unhappy deals the Conservative administration has made with big property speculators across the Borough. Regular readers will recall how he enjoyed a £12,000.00 tax payer funded jaunt to the French Riviera where he met many property speculators while hawking the Borough’s “contentious development sites.” He was also exposed as having misled the public about dealings with the same property speculator on another site. So Loveday’s ill-considered personal defensiveness is perhaps understandable.

Personal insults are what today’s crop of Tories use whenever they’re asked to provide explanations. They don’t much care for evidence or questions either. For to question them is to question G*d Himself – or so they like to think. Like many of his cohorts, Loveday is involved in the Young Britons Foundation. Speaking of which, Frank Manning,  YBF’s Campaign Co-ordinator recently wrote a defence of the Council’s decision to scrap tenancies for life on HF Tories blog site. Here’s the last paragraph of his article,

The current system is unsustainable. Houses worth more than £1 million are used as social housing, distorting the market and pushing up rents. In August, Policy Exchange released a very interesting report advocating the sell-off of high value council homes, allowing the government to use the funding to build new affordable homes. As usual, the left used emotive language such as ‘social cleansing’, but the real issue is quite simple. In these difficult economic times, there is only a certain amount of investment available for social housing, and it should be aimed primarily at those most in need and most deserving.

Dissembling. Damned dissembling. It’s a congenital disorder with these Tories.

Back to the Earls Court mess, yesterday the Council’s Chief Executive ordered Deloitte to investigate allegations of a “VIP list”. Shepherds Bush blog again,

More tax payers cash is lining the pockets of accountants as our Council has just responded to the legality of its actions over the West Ken Estate being ruled open to question by a High Court Judge not by simply co-operating with the police or answering the allegations in court, but by instructing Deloitte to investigate things independently.

Stupid question: but do you get the feeling that the Council has something to hide?

Finally, the Lib Dems have become involved. Caroline Pidgeon, the leader of the Lib Dems at City Hall has written to the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, expressing her concern over the way in which the Council has circumvented procedure and corrupted the processes. As I have learned from my own personal experience, the Council is arrogant, makes frequent errors that it refuses to acknowledge and rides roughshod over the wishes of residents.

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