Search Results for : jowell


Lord Taylor and Tessa Jowell, Long Term Crooks

So for offering to change legislation for cash, and then for lying to the committee investigating it with a story they called “Wholly implausible”, Lord Scumbag Taylor of Blackburn has been suspended for a whole six months – for 50% of which the Lords is on holdiay anyway!!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8060003.stm

It is another symptom of the failure of the Establishment to understand that the public really are furous at their easy tolerance of corruption among their number.

Taylor has been doing this for years, making millions of pounds as a “Consultant” and “Director” for numerous companies which depend on government contracts, particularly in the defence industry, but he also has a major financial interest in the government’s crazed authoritarian ID card scheme.

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2007/08/more_lord_scumb.html

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2007/08/theres_good_mon.html

So in the autumn Taylor will be back in the Lords, peddling Jack Straw’s influence again.

It has been a comparatively good couple of days. While there is little justice, at least there is exposure of some of the criminals that this blog has been pursuing for years. Tessa Jowell paid off her mortgage – three times – with money given to her husband by Blair’s friend Berlusconi, as a reward for lying for him in court.

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2006/02/normality_and_t.html

That is undoubtedly true, and has been again confirmed by Italian judges.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8058206.stm

The fact that Jowell is still a minister is quite astonishing, and again says a great deal about New Labour’s toleration of corruption. She still maintains a pretence of having separated from Mills. Berlusconi is no doubt engaged in his normal bribery and threats of the Italian judiciary to keep Mills from having to serve his sentence. I do hope that he fails, and that the Jowells are genuinely separated, for the four and a half year jail term at least.

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Tessa Jowell Should Be Charged With Money Laundering

David Mills has been given a jail sentence in Italy for corruption, though sadly he will probably escape jail as the rich and well connected normally do.

Tessa Jowell actively participated in the laundering of the corrupt payments from Silvio Berlusconi, given to her husband David Mills in return for false testimony in court to cover up some of Berlusconi’s endless crooked dealings. Tessa Jowell participated as a full partner in the three time remortgaging of her home, paying off the mortgage with cash and then remortgaging. She has stated that there was “Nothing unusual” in this.

Most people would think it was very unusual to be able to pay off a large mortgage with cash at all. To do it twice and remortgage again each time would strike most of us as very weird indeed.

Which illustrates the gap between the hierarchy of “New Labour” and the “Hard working families” who are Gordon Brown’s favourite soundbite. This is illustrated by Mills’ description of £500,000 as “not very much”.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/feb/17/david-mills-berlusconi-trial-letter

This is of a piece with Jacqui Smith’s ripping off the taxpayer of £150,000 by pretending her sister’s home is her main residence, then wondering what the fuss is about. That would be ten year’s salary for the British soldier killed today in Afghanistan.

Nobody who reads Mills’ letter to his accountant (above link) can doubt that he is a crook. This particular Berlusconi deal was just one part of his bent practice, which included the financial arrangements for organised crime in Italy to sell on infected and condemned human blood from the USA into transfusion services in Europe. Tessa Jowell lived off these criminal earnings for decades and actively participated in laundering the cash.

Either Jowell did not notice she was living with a major criminal – in which case she is far too stupid to be a minister – or she was complicit – in which case she is far too corrupt to be a minister.

No ifs or buts are possible.

Only when Mills was exposed to the media did Jowell abandon her husband – sacrificing her marriage for her political career. If she had remained loyal to him it would have at least been some slight saving grace. In fact the woman is a total disgrace.

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Tessa Jowell’s husband may be put on trial with Berlusconi

From BBC Online

Italian prosecutors have asked a judge to let David Mills, the husband of Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, be put on trial on corruption charges. Judicial sources said prosecutors had also asked for Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to be indicted.

They claim Mr Berlusconi paid Mr Mills $600,000 (‘344,000) for giving helpful testimony in two court cases.

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Normality and the Jowells

Tessa Jowell tells us she did nothing wrong. She merely signed documents to remortgage her home. She strongly asserted today that this was ‘a very normal thing to do, and certainly not illegal.’

It is indeed not unusual to remortgage, though it was unusual that she remortgaged with an offshore bank. It is also unusual to remortgage for as much as ‘400,000. But it is very unusual indeed to remortgage for ‘400,000, then pay off the full loan, within a month, with spare cash.

What sort of people do such a thing? Well, money launderers. If you have ‘400,000 of cash not easily explained, you now have remortgage papers available to show where you got it.

Now, where did the money actually come from? Well, on two occasions, David Mills has said in writing that it came from Silvio Berlusconi. He said so in a signed confession to the Italian police, which he now says was extracted under duress. And he said so in a letter to his own accountant, where he explained that it was not in fact a bribe from Berlusconi for the evidence he had just given in an Italian court to keep Berlusconi out of jail. It was rather a personal gift. Mills now says that this second occasion when he wrote that the money came from Berlusconi was in fact a lie to protect another client. One can believe him or not ‘ he is claiming to be a liar already. What we do know for certain is that, shortly after giving evidence on behalf of Berlusconi, evidence which Italian authorities now allege was perjured, David Mills received a lot of money from an Italian source, which he has difficulty accounting for and claims he needed to disguise. His wife then took out a mortgage for about the same sum, which they almost immediately then paid off again.

It stinks to heaven.

Mills is, beyond dispute, a confidante and adviser of the odious Berlusconi. Mills’ job as an international corporate lawyer is to help the cosmopolitan super rich move their money about and avoid tax, and to disguise their cash flows if necessary. Mills is a long term shyster whose activities and profession should appal Labour supporters. Everything Mills stands for is what Keir Hardie and Clement Atlee were against. So it should be of no surprise that he is close to Blair and a member of his personal circle. The day I decided Blair was calculating and self-seeking, rather than honest and misguided, was the day that Blair first chose to spend family holidays with the Berlusconis, at some of their palaces. But Blair’s friendship with the likes of Mills should have warned all of us sooner.

Now for something else you won’t find in the mainstream media. Mills was under long term surveillance by the Serious Fraud Office for numerous dubious financial transactions. Approximately nine years ago, his office was actually raided by the SFO. As the investigation drew to a close, New Labour came to power. An inside source tells me that SFO staff believed they had a good case, and wondered whether his friendship with the new Prime Minister Blair had any bearing on it not coming to court. A Sunday Times Insight investigation into Mills was spiked by the editors.

So these current peculiar financial dealings do not drop out of a clear blue sky. A lot of taxpayers’ money has been spent investigating Mills before. He is well dodgy.

What will it take for the eyes of the very many decent people still left in the Labour Party to be opened to the appalling people who now lead their party? How many of the current cabinet are not, themselves or their partners, personally millionaires? Blair has a ‘3 million house. Straw has a Cotswold mansion as one of his homes. We recall Blunkett’s dodgy directorships, and Mandelson’s loan from Robinson. Who do these people represent, except a self-serving, cosmopolitan elite? Is it any wonder they are so keen on privatising health and education, when they and all their friends can afford the best? And what does any of this have to do with the aims and origins of the Labour Party, or the hopes of those who elected them?

When you have sold your soul to Mammon, you end up doing things like launching illegal wars that kill over a hundred thousand and cost the taxpayer billions, but bring massive profits to your friends who own shares in oil companies or arms manufacturers. I have no doubt that some of those who have made a killing out of the Iraq War will have paid for Mills’ useful professional advice on offshore money transactions.

Mills and Blair will be close to those making a killing, but not those suffering the killing. It is hard to see that far from the marble terrace overlooking one of Mr Berlusconi’s private beaches.

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When They Decide to Get You

Alex Salmond’s jeopardy has caused me a dreadful shudder of recognition and empathy. I too was accused of hideous offences under a civil service disciplinary code and barred from taking any action to defend myself. I was not allowed to speak to anybody at all about the charges, and particularly not allowed to know the identity of my accusers, or to organise witnesses in my defence – which appears the exact procedure which Alex Salmond now, with absolute justice, complains of. These Civil Service disciplinary investigations are contrary to all rules of natural justice, and designed to facilitate executive stitch-ups, not to uncover the truth.

As with Alex Salmond, some of the accusations against me were hideous – offering visas in exchange for sex, for example. They were so hideous that the mental anguish of not being permitted to take any normal steps to defend myself caused me a mental breakdown. I know what Salmond must be feeling. I received psychiatric treatment in St Thomas’ Hospital for a condition called “learnt helplessness” – meaning it was the dreadful experience of having things done to me which I was not permitted to take any normal steps to counter, which caused my clinical depression.

The charges against me were entirely fake and entirely vexatious, even malicious, issued after I had objected to British complicity in torture in the “War on Terror”, which the government denied at the time, calling me a liar, though now admits. The charges were designed to destroy my reputation. You can read the full story in my book “Murder in Samarkand”, widely available in libraries. I believe it conveys the anguish that “learnt helplessness” can cause.

To be plain, I was told not to reveal the existence of the charges to anybody at all and specifically forbidden from contacting witnesses. Nevertheless the charges were such obvious nonsense they eventually collapsed and I was found not guilty of all eighteen charges – but found guilty of breaking the order to keep the charges secret, in organising my defence. Not keeping the charges secret is the only disciplinary offence of which I was ever convicted.

The extreme Kafkaesque nature of this is only increased by the fact that the government themselves had revealed the charges in the widest possible manner, by leaking them to the Daily Mail, in the effort to permanently ruin my reputation. A number of the charges were sexual, such as having a secret flat to entertain prostitutes – again, totally untrue, but great for the tabloids. The use of false sexual allegations to destroy threats to the political elite is routinely deployed – Alex Salmond joins Julian Assange, Tommy Sheridan (whose recent court victories against the Murdoch press went totally unreported), Scott Ritter and myself among recent victims of this tactic.

There is one important difference between Alex Salmond’s case and my own – I requested several times that my case be referred for police investigation but the FCO refused, whereas the Salmond allegations have been referred. The case of Michelle Thomson, the entirely innocent former MP whose career was deliberately destroyed by Police Scotland keeping an investigation open for years into simple matters that could have been cleared up in a week, makes this a limited comfort. I don’t doubt we will see years of this nonsense against Salmond before it is finally dismissed.

“Safe” members of the establishment elite can conduct the most blatant of crimes and never get prosecuted at all. The late Tessa Jowell engaged repeatedly and personally in blatant money laundering of crooked Berlusconi funds that would have had anyone but a senior politician locked up. Amber Rudd was a Director of a share ramping scheme that ripped off hundreds of investors. Michelle Mone is currently engaged in a Ponzi scheme badly disguised as a crypto-currency. None of those will be prosecuted.

I would suggest that the financial affairs of the vast majority of the wealthy and powerful would not stand up to close investigation and scrutiny. But in the normal course of events the powerful are shielded from such scrutiny. Paul Manafort’s financial dealings would have been actionable at any time in the last few decades. It is only when caught in the mass fishing expedition of the Mueller “Russiagate” investigation that he gets convicted – for matters nothing to do with the ostensible reason for the investigation. Which is not to say the convictions are a bad thing, just that if you scratch below the surface of any multi-millionaire or any friend of the powerful, you will be able to convict them. They should all be scratched, not just those whom other wealthy individuals regard as a threat to the political order.

Prosecution is not happening in the Manafort case from motives of preventing financial impropriety of the rich – 99.9% of that is overlooked, all the time. It is happening because for some reason the neo-conservative Establishment in the United States continue to see Donald Trump as a threat. What I do not understand is why they see Trump as a threat to Establishment interests, as he has given no indication he means to follow through on any of his anti-establishment or non-interventionist campaign rhetoric. The Establishment are not those who should feel threatened by Trump.

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UPDATE Labour Are Still a Bunch of Crooks

UPDATE

36,000 people voted for swizzler Tessa Jowell to be Labour candidate for London’s mayor. If you consider the facts below, that says something very scarey about a substantial portion of Labour Party membership, even if she didn’t win.

The fact that it is still a serious possibility that a substantial number of Labour members will vote for Tessa Jowell to be the party’s candidate for London Mayor – which Labour electorate includes the new membership – should be a serious jolt to anybody who believes the Labour Party is transformed. The Labour Party is still full of crooks, and Tessa Jowell is one of the biggest crooks.

As I wrote in 2009
:

Tessa Jowell actively participated in the laundering of the corrupt payments from Silvio Berlusconi, given to her husband David Mills in return for false testimony in court to cover up some of Berlusconi’s endless crooked dealings. Tessa Jowell participated as a full partner in the three time remortgaging of her home, paying off the mortgage with cash and then remortgaging. She has stated that there was “Nothing unusual” in this.

Most people would think it was very unusual to be able to pay off a large mortgage with cash at all. To do it twice and remortgage again each time would strike most of us as very weird indeed.

Tessa Jowell claimed she did not read the mortgage documents before signing them or know where the money was coming from. David Mills was eventually acquitted on a technicality by the Italian legal system, but it is not in dispute that the money came from Berlusconi or that he lied in court. Jowell claimed she did not read the documents and had no idea where the money came from or what her husband was doing. She then “left” him and went through a sham “separation” which the whole London establishment knew was a fake, (but the media obligingly did not publish), until the heat died down and the couple could get together again.

Revelations about Labour crookedness constantly make you gasp, such as the meetings Cherie Blair set up with Hillary Clinton on behalf of the Qatari royal family. Blair’s free holidays on Berlusconi are well remembered. Labour can claim that the Corbyn election is a defeat for Blairism and a new leaf. But if today Jowell gets more than a derisory vote, we will all know Labour are still a bunch of crooks at heart.

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The UK Hits Moral Rock Bottom

I return from summer break with a shock as the UK hits moral rock bottom. On the day that it is revealed that 2,380 people in three years died within 14 days of being declared fit to work by an ATOS assessment and having benefit stopped, we also have 45 of the most appalling members of the political class elevated to trough it for life in the House of Lords, at a possible cost to the taxpayer of 67,500 pounds per week in attendance allowances alone.

It is worth remembering that it was the Red Tories who brought in ATOS, and Yvette Cooper, to be precise, who ordered the extreme tightening of the unfit to work assessment which has resulted in death for thousands and dreadful stress and misery for hundreds of thousands. Ian Duncan Smith may have also gleefully implemented it, but this particular horror was entirely inherited from the Guardian’s favourite leadership candidate.

The House of Lords appointments are so horrible it is difficult to comment. The most utterly objectionable of all is one of the least known to the public. Stuart Polak becomes a Lord for services to the Conservative Friends of Israel. That you can, unelected, become a legislator of the UK based on your loyalty and service to another state is appalling.

Others are more obviously dreadful. Lord Hogg now has a title that befits the moat of his home, which he had cleaned by the taxpayer prompting much rage in the expenses scandal. Tessa Jowell benefited from hundreds of thousands of pounds of corrupt money from the sordid Berlusconi, claiming she did not read the mortgage documents in which his cash paid off her house, before she signed them, and going through an entirely risible pretence of temporary separation from her husband, David Mills, who escaped a corrupt Italian justice system. David Willetts was rejected by his constituents because of extreme expenses scamming, and walks grinning back into the Lords.

Michelle Mone is rewarded for her opposition to Scottish independence. The woman sold out the workforce who made her fortune by expensively covering her crotch and now comes out as a Tory knicker saleswoman. Darling also is ennobled for services to the union, after being too cowardly to face the electorate in May. The Lib Dems get more legislators today than they could manage at the general election. That is simply astonishing.

The conduct of the political class is utterly shameless. Meantime they indulge their fantasies of stripping workers of all protection and of stopping aid to the needy, and while the politicians gorge and gorge, the poor are quietly being slipped away to die.

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A World Without Celts

The Guardian reflects the metropolitan London world of New Labour, and nothing else. Its coverage of the referendum, particularly by Severin Carrell, achieved the remarkable feat of being even less fair and containing even more lies than the Scotsman. But if you want really to get inside the mind of Labour, the Guardian remains the place to go to know what the Labour elite – London’s Balls, Cooper, Miliband, Harman, Umunna, Jowell etc. are thinking.

Right now they are thinking of how to take power after they lose the election. And the Guardian’s article on this subject indicates exactly how they are thinking in the illustrating picture. The Labour Party’s ideal political world is a world without Celts.

nocelts

Not just no SNP and no Plaid, but not even the SDLP. There has been a remarkable silence from the SDLP while the party whose whip they follow has wrapped itself in the Union Jack, declared that nationalism is totally incompatible with Labour, and refused even to speak to Plaid Cymru and the SNP. What does the SDLP make of this renunciation of nationalism? Do they go along with it?

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Part of the Union

Labour voters are switching straight to Tory as second preference and Tory straight to Labour in Scottish local government by-elections held under the STV system. These are not opinion polls, they are real elections.

I was shown results and transfer sheets yesterday in the margin of the SNP vetting assessment of potential candidates which I was attending. Unfortunately I did not have a chance to copy down the figures, but the pattern was clear.

For those unfamiliar with single transferable vote, you mark the ballot paper 1,2,3 in the order you prefer the candidates. What is now becoming clear is that Labour voters tend to put the Tories at 2, and Tories put Labour as 2. I have been arguing for years that there are no significant policy differences between Labour and Tory – it is a fake choice. I will never forget at the count in Clackmannan the Labour and Tory councillors and their wives all celebrating together, all looking well-heeled and arrogant and entitled, impossible to tell apart.

That the few remaining Labour voters put the Tories as second preference, instead of the Greens, SNP or Liberal Democrat, shows that the core Labour support base is largely Blairite. Which explains why the ultra-Blairite Jim Murphy, scion of the far right Henry Jackson Society, is set to become Labour Party leader in Scotland. It is also interesting that Tory voters are happy to give second preferences to Labour, recognising that Ed Balls, Yvette Cooper, Tess Jowell and Harriet Harman – every one a millionaire – are doughty protectors of the rich and the established order.

I haven’t been able to find a website that records local byelection results including the transfers – some results are listed on politicalbetting.com but only give the final result after all transfers. If anyone can find the data online I would be grateful. I should love to see an analysis from James Kelly on this one.

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Neo-Cons on Welfare Benefits

Our three neo-con major political parties have come up with a jolly cunning plan to lift money direct from the taxpayer, in addtion to being paid by big business to promote the interests of big business against the people.

A government inquiry is recommending that £20 million a year in public funding be given to the three neo-con parties. Is there no end to their greed? I suppose the logic is perfect – it will finally cement into our political system the monopoly of power by parties that are arrogantly unrepresentative of the will of the people, knowing that their system, above all by control of the media, locks out any alternative from competing for political power.

I write with certainty that all our three political parties are now neo-conservative, but with great sadness. The Tories became fully neo-con around 1979, New Labour around 1996 and the Lib Dems around 2010. All the parties contain still a minority of resisters, the fewer the longer they have been neo-con. So Ken Clarke is an almost entirely isolated resister in the Tory party, Jeremy Corbyn one of very few left in New Labour, while the Lib Dems still have a few Norman Bakers who have not yet been entirely corrupted by power and money, but you can see the process working on the Lib Dems like acid and their integrity will have been completely eaten through in another 18 months.

Meanwhile, there are some who don’t get it, like poor deluded old bat Polly Toynbee, who still has not worked out that New Labour went neo-con. Yesterday’s Toynbee article has the headline: “Executive pay soars while the young poor face freefall. Where is Labour?” You are a fool, Toynbee. The ex-ministers of the last New Labour government are in the boardroom picking up those massive remunerations and perks you are rightly complaining about. Did you really not know that, or do you just refuse to see?

New Labour is now neo-con, Toynbee. It is fifteen years since Peter Mandelson said that “New Labour is intensely relaxed about the filty rich.” Mandelson and Blair and Hewitt and Jowell and Milburn and Burnham and Reid and Blunkett and the whole lot of them are now filthy rich. Somebody explain this to Toynbee.

But it is an extremely important point that I did not see a single mainstream politician yesterday questioning the obscenity of directors’ earnings rising over 49% last year – from a huge base – when average real incomes were falling. The media was packed with apologists explaining trickledown theory to us. I also noted that the Occupy movement needs to beware of the media appearing to give them coverage, when in fact the media are deliberately picking on people whose hearts, instincts and minds are all in the right place, but who lack media experience and formal education in the ground on which the media places them. The media can then give the impression of debate with the cards severely stacked, to make the view that in fact the large majority of those at home will hold, that executive salaries are obscene and untenable, appear amateur and ill-informed.

The parties do not represent us and their collective membership is falling, as they are now a vehicle for career rather than belief. No wonder they want to pick our pockets to keep up the pretence of democracy.

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How Did You Get Here?

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The Really Nasty Party

nastytories.bmp

As unemployment hits 2.5 million, the Tories are blaming the unemployed on benefit for our economic woes, rather than the bankers at Goldman Sachs who have an average salary of £520,000 per year. The Tories are going back to their nastiest base instincts to try to pull off an election win.

The sad thing, of course, is that you could replace Cameron in that photo with James Purnell, Hazell Blears or Tessa Jowell without having to change the slogan.

The benefit system already is onerous and humiliating to those who want to work and feel, wrongly, ashamed to be unemployed. Many entitled and unemployed, normally hard working, people drop out of benefits, and into terrible trouble, because of the routine degradation heaped on them by the New Labour “New Deal” system, which Cameron seeks to reinforce.

Strangely the brass-necked benefit cheats, who do exist, are the ones who are not discouraged by the endless appointments, interrogations and form filling and continue to thrive on the counter-productive system.

But if anyone doubts the real nastiness of the Tories, or that the Lib Dems are seen as a real threat to the established order by the corporate media and their paymasters, should look at the absolutely vicious anti-Clegg headlines on the front pages of every single Tory newspaper today. I have not seen anything like this concerted a Tory media campaign since the Falklands War. The only parallel at election time was the vilification of Kinnock, but even that did not have every other front page vying with the Sun in extremity.

http://www1.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2010/04/22/tabloids-cover-lib-dems-sensation/

The Mail’s Clegg Nazi front page headline wins first prize for tenedentiousness, The Telegraph “expenses scandal” is not about taxpayers’ money but private and declared donations (and has been saved up for nine months for this moment), the Financial Times warns the City won’t accept anything but a clear Tory win, the Sun is apoplectic at the idea that for once Murdoch may not be able to nominate his Prime Minister, and the Daily Express warns that Clegg will flood the country with black people.

The Tories are truly vicious when rattled. This has become a campaign about who democracy is for – the people or the press barons. Anybody who opposes corporate and City power and its ownership of democracy through the mass media, needs now to fall in line behind the Liberal Democrats to resist this.

UPDATE

I take my hat off to Iain Dale for his excellent article on the subject.

http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2010/04/these-shameful-attacks-on-clegg-will.html

I attack Iain from time to time because it is part of the blogosphere game; but I have always had a high opinion of him. He seems to have wandered into the wrong political party by mistake – if you look at the typical Tory commenter on the political betting first link above, Iain has nothing in common with these vicious people.

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Women MPs Have More Front

The female of the species is more deadly than the male. While several of the worst offending male MPs in sleazegate have announced that they will stand down at the next election, the females all continue to tough it out. While the men caught with their hands in the till have appeared shamefaced, the women have defended themselves shrilly.

Nowhere has this contrast been more sharp than in the case of Andrew Mackay and Julie Kirkbride, who are guilty of the same offence in the most literal sense. Husband and wife, both MPs, they lived together and each claimed a second home allowance.

He has announced he will stand down. She is battling on. What is that about? It is made worse by the additional, though comparatively minor, complication that it is her brother who was living, against the rules, at one of their homes.

Kirkbride is just one example.

The shrill fool Nadine Dorries, after lying about where she mainly lives and deliberately concealing from her constituents that she did not live in the constituency, tells us she feels got at. The horrible Hazel Blears still continues to bounce right into our faces. There is a good argument that Margaret Moran is the most blatant abuser of the rules to get money, and abuser of her position for her lobbying company. She shows no sign of going voluntarily at all.

You have to pinch yourself to believe that Tessa Jowell is still in the Cabinet after laundering, through her joint mortgage, money that has been proven in court to come from crime.

Steen, Mackay, Viggers, Martin, Chapman and others are going. The women so far just will not go. Their behaviour is so hideous, they will be putting back the cause of women in politics for a generation.

I think the phrase brazen hussies, selected with due care and attention, is in fact totally appropriate.

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Prince Philip on MPs

From The Catholic Orangemen of Togo, p. 132, on the Duke of Edinburgh’s visit to the Ghanaian parliament:

“The Prince laughed heartily, and we arrived at the Parliament building in high good spirits.

There he was first shown to a committee room where he was introduced to senior MPs of all parties.

“How many Members of Parliament do you have?” he asked.

“Two hundred,” came the answer.

“That’s about the right number,” opined the Prince, “We have six hundred and fifty MPs, and most of them are a complete bloody waste of time.”

Perhaps Prince Philip had a point.

The striking MP troughing story today is about MP Ben Chapman, who was allowed to continue claiming his mortgage payments despite having paid off his £279,000 mortgage. This still shocks despite eleven solid days of this.

One fascinating thing is just how many MPs appear to have been able to pay off their large mortgages, despite only having a salary of £68,000 per year. That speaks volumes.

Let us pause to remember the biggest criminal in the House of Commons, Tessa Jowell, who not only paid off her mortgage, but did so three times, using Mafia money.

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2006/02/normality_and_t.html

Hopefully we will see what Jpwell’s expenses claims looked like during this fascinating period.

Most of you appear to read this blog at work, as readership drops at the weekend. So please do look at this piece I did on the really appalling hypocrisy of Tory blogger Iain Dale.

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/05/iain_dale_is_a.html#comments

Iain has the number 1 blog on the Wikio rankings. If people want to read blogs that are simply a vehicle for party propaganda, that of course is their right. But I would hate people to be under the illusion they were getting anything more thoughtful or independent just because it is a new media fomat.

Nadine Dorries’ admission that she deliberately concealed from her constituents that she lives neither in London nor in her constituency, is appalling. Dale and Dorries are close – he was recently her escort and guest to the Classical Brit awards at the Royal Albert Hall (another freebie for the tireless trougher Dorries?). But his defence of Dorries, when he viciously attacks non-Tory MPs for the same kind of offence, shows Dale up for what he is.

Dale is in fact a double hypocrite. Having defended Dorries for claiming £22,000 a year for a constituency home when her main home is in the Cotswolds, but attacked Labour’s Margaret Moran for a similar offence, he then lays in to the Telegraph editor for defending his own friends:

The allegation is that the Telegraph went soft on Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper because Telegraph editor Will Lewis is a drinking and Karaoke buddy of Mr Balls.

When Dale himself had done precisely that for his friend Dorries! The truth is that both Lewis and Dale are both part of an intricately connected metropolitan clique who lord it over the rest of us.

And Dale then goes on to produce a self-righteous ten point candidates’ pledge of his own, which includes:

I will continue to live in the constituency, among the community I serve

Looks like your pledge would exclude Dorries then Iain, doesn’t it?

http://www.iaindale.blogspot.com/

Another one of Dale’s ten personal pledges reveals the weasel nature of his words.

I will be a full time MP with no jobs outside politics

Note the “No jobs outside politics”. Dale has managed to make a good living from hoovering up various streams of Tory gravy for years. Plainly he intends to maintain these income streams inside politics if elected.

Or he would pledge:

“I will be a full time MP with no other job”, full stop.

The real problem is, that the astounding hypocrisy of Dale’s defence of Dorries while hammering Margaret Moran for essentially the same offence, shows he is completely biased towards a Tory, to the exclusion of thoughts of natural justice. And that must cast into severe doubt another one of his candidates’ pledges:

I will serve all my constituents, regardless of their politics

Only serve the Tories rather better than others, one might suspect from the Dorries case.

For a party hack, Dale is remarkably thin-skinned. He commented on my post:

And all because I linked to a post by Charles Crawford which you didn’t like.

I thought you were bigger than this. But clearly not.

Why do you always have to be so personal. “Stinking hypocrite”. No reasoning. Just insults.

I used to really think you were a person worth reading and engaging with. I no longer do.

How very sad you have reduced your blog to this level.

Actually, this has nothing at all to do with Iain linking to Charles Crawford. I was not in the least upset by that. In fact, I was so not upset by it, I’ll do it myself. Here is Charles’ criticism of me:

http://charlescrawford.biz/N5A207442111

Charles has a different political view to mine. We argue fiercely. But he is logical and consistent, and I rather like him.

I am very straightforward, Iain. When I say that you are acting hypocritically, it is because I believe you are acting hypocritically, not because you linked to Charles Crawford.

I have contempt for your view that it is wrong for political opponents to do something, but OK for your friend Nadine Dorries to do the same thing. I have invited you to expound on your defence of Dorries and explain why what Dorries did was morally better than what you (rightly) condemned Margaret Moran for.

Oh, and of course I don’t mean that you smell by calling you a stinking hypocrite. The use of metaphors from smell to describe particularly evident bad behaviour is ancient. As in Shakespeare’s Claudius:

“Oh, my offence is rank. It smells to Heaven!”

.

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Online Again

We are back online again after the site banned my own IP address from posting for two days! Finally comments are freed up; another bug in the system was giving people a message purporting to come from me, saying rather rudely that I would decide whether to approve comments “at my own convenience”, and that there was no need to follow up to find what had happened to your comment. It then dumped the comments somewhere into the ether.

Hopefully these problems are behind us.

I have received a very curt letter from the Inland Revenue saying that, unless they receive my tax return for 2006/7 by tomorrow, they will start to charge me £60 per day fine. I would love to give them my tax return, but self-assessment returns are now only accepted online. But when I give them my Government gateway number, my Unique Tax Reference number, and my National Insurance number, the system still refuses to accept my existence.

This has been going on ever since I left the FCO. But in previous tax years you had the alternative of filling in a paper form, so I just did that. This option has been withdrawn.

I have called the Inland Revenue helpdesk on many occasions about this over the last four years, and they have told me that it is because I used to work for the FCO. Certain members of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are blocked from online returns for security reasons (I cannot begin to imagine what). I point out it is four years now since I worked for them, but nothing happens.

In the meantime my tax for 2006/7 has been “assessed” – ie guessed – and I have paid the assessment in full. It is no secret that I am now a strugglling writer with, frankly, very little income. I am quite astonished at the effort they put into harassing me, especially when their system won’t let me in to complete the form.

The taxable income I am trying to declare is about £32,000 – which means I will actually be due some money back from the assessed payment. I cannot help but contrast my treatment to that of David Mills, dodgy accountant husband of New Labour Cabinet minister Tessa Jowell, who for over four years did not declare income from Silvio Berlusconi, and from sources representing Italian gangsters, totalling over £1.5 million. That is fifty times my income in question, he was four times later with his returns than I, and unlike me he had not advance paid an assessment. Nor as far as I am aware was he physically blocked from filing.

Yet not only was Mills not fined £60 a day on his outstanding returns, he was allowed to reach a “negotiated settlement” of his tax whereby he paid £220,000 less than the amount due on the face of it. The justification of this was that the Inland Revenue would face legal costs if it went to court for the money.

Talk about one law for the rich….

Interesting fact – Her Majesty’s Adjudicator for Customs and Revenue is Dame Barbara Mills, David Mills’ sister-in-law. She did not hold that position when his deal with the revenue was reached, but she was Director of Public Prosecutions when the Crown Prosecution Service decided to drop a case against him for money-laundering.

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Censorship and Freedom of Speech

This is the key section from my new book which the publisher is unwilling to publish due to legal threats from Schillings libel lawyers, acting on behalf of the mercenary commander Tim Spicer:

” Peter Penfold was back in the UK. He was interviewed separately. Both Penfold and Spicer were interviewed under caution, as suspects for having broken the arms embargo.

Then, suddenly, Tony Blair intervened. On 11 May 1998, without consulting the FCO, he gave a statement to journalists. Penfold, Blair declared, was “a hero”. A dictatorship had been successfully overthrown and democracy restored. Penfold had “Done a superb job in trying to deal with the consequences of the military coup.” All this stuff about Security Council Resolutions and sanctions was “an overblown hoo-ha”.

I believe this episode is extremely important. In 1998 the country was still starry-eyed about Blair, but with the benefit of hindsight, this intervention points the way towards the disasters of his later years in office. It is extraordinarily wrong for a Prime Minister to declare that a man is a hero, when Customs had questioned him two days earlier under caution over the very matter the Prime Minister is praising. It shows Blair’s belief that his judgement stood above the law of the land, something that was to occur again on a much bigger scale when he halted the Serious Fraud Office investigation into British Aerospace’s foreign bribes. But of course Blair’s contempt for UN security council resolutions on the arms embargo, and the belief that installing democracy by invasion could trump the trivia of international law, prefigures precisely the disaster of Iraq. As with Iraq, Blair was also conveniently ignoring the fact that Sierra Leone was left a mess, with Kabbah in charge of little more than Freetown.

In the FCO we were astonished by Blair’s intervention, and deeply puzzled. Where had it come from? It differed completely from Robin Cook’s views. Who was drafting this stuff for Blair to the effect that the UN and the law were unimportant? For most of us, this was the very first indication we had of how deep a hold neo-con thinking and military interests had on the Blair circle. It was also my first encounter with the phenomenon of foreign policy being dictated by Alistair Campbell, the Prime Inister’s Press Secretary, The military lobby, of course, was working hard to defend Spicer, one of their own.

A few days later Customs and Excise concluded their investigations. A thick dossier, including documentation from the FCO, from the raid on Sandline’s offices, and from elsewhere, was sent to the Crown Prosecution Service. The Customs and Excise team who had interviewed us told me that the recommendation was that both Spicer and Penfold be prosecuted for breach of the embargo. The dossier was returned to Customs and Excise from the Crown Prosecution Service the very same day it was sent. It was marked, in effect, for no further action. There would be no prosecution. A customs officer told me bitterly that, given the time between the dossier leaving their offices and the time it was returned, allowing time for both deliveries, it could not have been in the CPS more than half an hour. It was a thick dossier. They could not even have read it before turning it down.

I felt sick to my stomach at the decision not to prosecute Spicer and Penfold. So were the customs officers investigating the case; at least two of them called me to commiserate. They had believed they had put together an extremely strong case, and they told me that their submission to the Crown Prosecution Service said so.

The decision not to prosecute in the Sandline case was the first major instance of the corruption of the legal process that was to be a hallmark of the Blair years. Customs and Excise were stunned by it. There is no doubt whatsoever that Spicer and Penfold had worked together to ship weapons to Sierra Leone in breach of UK law. Security Council 1132 had been given effect in British law by an Order in Council. I had never found in the least credible their assertions that they did not know about it. I had personally told Spicer that it would be illegal to ship arms to Sierra Leone, to any side in the conflict. Penfold’s claim never to have seen an absolutely key Security Council Resolution about a country to which he was High Commissioner is truly extraordinary.

But even if they did not know, ignorance of the law is famously no defence in England. Who knows what a jury would have made of this sorry tale of greed, hired killers and blood diamonds. But I have no doubt at all ?” and more importantly nor did the customs officers investigating the case ?” that there was enough there for a viable prosecution.

The head of the Crown Prosecution Service when it decided not to prosecute was Barbara Mills. Barbara Mills is a very well-connected woman in New Labour circles. She is married to John Mills, a former Labour councillor in Camden. That makes her sister-in-law to Tessa Jowell, the New Labour cabinet minister with a penchant for taking out repeated mortgages on her home, and then paying them off with cash widely alleged to have come from Silvio Berlusconi, the friend and business colleague of her husband David Mills, who according to a BBC documentary by the estimable John Sweeney has created offshore companies for known Camorra and Mafia interests. Tessa Jowell and David Mills were also both Camden Labour Councillors, and are close to Tony Blair. Blair is also a great friend of Berlusconi, despite the numerous criminal allegations against Berlusconi and his long history of political alliances with open fascists. Just to complete the cosy New Labour picture, another brother-in-law of Barbara Mills and Tessa Jowell is Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian.

Did any of those relationships of Barbara Mills, the Director of Public Prosecutions, affect the Crown Prosecution Service’s decision not to proceed with the case, and to take that decision in less time than it would have taken them to read the dossier Customs and Excise sent them?

Barbara Mills was to resign as Director of Public Prosecutions later that year after being personally criticised in his judgement by a High Court judge who ruled against the Crown Prosecution Service for continually failing to prosecute over deaths in police custody. That has not stopped the extremely well connected Dame Barbara from being appointed to a string of highly paid public positions since then. ”

It is infuriating that, Maxwell style, Spicer (who has made millions form the war in Iraq) is using the prohibitive costs of defending a libel case to intimidate my publisher. The result is that important information I received at first hand, and an account of events to which I am eye-witness, is being repressed, as is an important independent critique of early Blair foreign policy.

I am not currently confident the book will get published at all – I am not prepared to put out anodyne pap, which hides the truth, under my name.

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More Popular Than Gordon Brown Shock

Who isn’t? I hear you ask. Anyway, it’s in the Financial Times, so it must be true:

Gordon Brown enjoyed a respectful audience, but two days later Craig Murray, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, elicited passionate support.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1ef4e9e4-6fde-11dd-986f-0000779fd18c.html

My appearance at the Edinburgh Book Festival was sold out again this year – 570 rather expensive tickets – rather to the bemusement of the organisers, who every year scratch their heads wondering who is this rude interrupter of their genteel event, and why so many people want to see him.

I enjoyed taking the opportunity to point out that some of their headline speakers are war criminals:

The one-time diplomat, who was sacked after speaking out about human rights abuses, used his appearance at the Edinburgh Book Festival to accuse Gordon Brown and John Prescott of war crimes

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article4526007.ece

Incidentally, I don’t get a penny from the thousands of pounds generated in ticket sales, but I greatly enjoy the event. It was a delight having Ruth Wishart as the chairman; I have long had huge respect for her journalism.

I am frequently asked why I don’t speak at the Hay-on-Wye Festival, when authors whose books sell a great deal less than mine are feted. The answer is quite simple: the New Labour loving smurfs at the Guardian, and particularly editor Alan Rusbridger, brother-in-law to Tessa Jowell and David Mills, have vetoed me from the Guardian Hay-on-Wye Festival, to give its full title.

It appears that my publisher may not be prepared to publish key points in The Catholic Orangemen of Togo. The problem is fear of the cost of defending a threatened legal action by Tim Spicer, who has made many millions from taxpayers for running mercenary operations in Iraq and can afford the rich man’s suppression of free speech through libel law.

Any extracts the publisher will not publish will be posted on this website in approximately ten days. I do hope other bloggers will mirror or re-publish to help get the truth out there.

I hope to do a Q & A on Georgia in the next few days. But it gave great amusement to my family that the three international statesmen the Independent chose to comment were John McCain, Mikhail Gorbachev and Craig Murray. You have to see the actual paper, with out photos in a row, to get the full comic effect. Strange thing is, I sound much more sensible than the other two.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/kim-sengupta-first-war-now-anarchy-as-russian-militias-run-riot-894525.html

It is interesting to read through the comments after that article, particularly the number of Americans with extraordinarily ill-informed views on Iraq. Really scarey. Almost as bad as this:

“I am a Zionist,” stated Senator Biden.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAZmO80dLfE

Oh, the Paucity of Hope!

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The Guardian Swells the Tide of Illiberalism

I have posted the Guardian’s reply with my original letter below. I have now gone back as follows:

Elizabeth,

Thank you. I am sure you appreciate that the concern of many natural “Guardian readers” over this article is that it reflects longer-felt anxieties about the direction the Guardian is taking. Michael White’s “Comment is Free” piece is another example of how the Guardian’s senior editorial team appear to have swallowed wholesale the authoritarian “War on Terror” agenda.

Of course a newspaper has the right to take what line it wants, although I am not sure the Murdoch/Daily Express world view really needs reinforcing. But, given the Guardian’s history, you cannot expect many loyal readers to be indifferent to the Guardian assisting the spasm of anti-liberalism which has afflicted our society.

I appreciate Mr Rusbridger is probably too busy hobnobbing with his sister-in-law Tessa Jowell and brother-in-law David Mills to respond to my emails. But if you could get past your numerous guards a sentence he will actually see, to the effect that Craig Murray would be grateful if he would at least read my emails, that would be very kind of you.

Craig

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Out of the woods?

Jowell facing new Mills questions

From the Scotsman

Tessa Jowell is facing renewed questions over her estranged husband’s financial dealings as he awaits a decision over whether he will be tried for corruption in Italy.

The Culture Secretary denied earlier this week that David Mills had ever owned shares in pub chain the Old Monk Company after reports at the weekend that he made ‘67,000 from dealing in them.

But Italian prosecutors looking into Mr Mills’s affairs have released a series of letters suggesting a company owned by Mr Mills did own the shares. In a hand-written letter the beneficial owner of the company said she had transferred the shares to Mr Mills.

Tory opponents say Ms Jowell should have declared that in the register of MPs’ interests. Tory MP Nigel Evans said: “This is a declarable interest that should have been declared in the register of members’ interests. It doesn’t matter at the end of the day that his name wasn’t on the share ownership. If it was on the company that owned the shares and he benefited from the profit then clearly they were declarable.”

Mr Evans has written to the parliamentary commissioner for standards, Sir Philip Mawer, asking him to look into the claims.

Mr Mills, who split from Ms Jowell at the weekend, is expected to learn within days whether he and Italy’s Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, will be put on trial for corruption. Both men deny that lawyer Mr Mills was bribed by Mr Berlusconi to give false evidence in another court case.

Magistrates in Milan are deciding whether to indict them, a move which would put Mr Mills’ financial affairs under renewed scrutiny.

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Sunday morning and still angry

Sky News has a viewers’ vote which shows 88% believe that Tessa Jowell should resign. However they have two guests to discuss the issue with Adam Boulton. One was her friend and former ministerial colleague Baroness Jay and the other her junior minister! They are featuring nobody who thinks she should resign.

The BBC is still worse. The streamer under BBC News 24 regularly tells us that the separation is not a ploy to save her political career. I listened to Radio 4, watched Andrew Marr’s political programme and BBC New 24 from 9.55 to 10.40. Not a single critic of Jowell has appeared on the BBC, even though it is the headline story on all these outlets. They are simply deluging us with pro-Jowell propaganda.

For anyone who ever doubted the existence of the “Establishment”, this is a real lesson. The views of the people can’t get on to the media at all.

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