Run of the Mill 11

It is a sign of our appalling times, and the arrogance of New Labour, that Blair clings on to his loyal muppet Jowell, while Sir Gus O’Donnell, Cabinet Secretary, earnestly enquires whether there is anything in the Code of Conduct for Ministers that specifically precludes multiple acts of money laundering. (link)

Well, Sir Gus, there is certainly this; the Code precludes acceptance of gifts. That is what Mills claims this money was. As this “Gift” (note the use of a capital ‘G’) went to pay off a mortgage which was 50% in Jowell’s name and which she had signed, she also accepted it. She should be out. But doubtless the Cabinet Office are working overtime on how to Hutton their way around this one.

In the meantime, the Blairite cheerleaders in the media bravely try to save her. In particular Britain’s worst journalist, the wholly odious Michael White (Political editor of the Guardian), argues against all the evidence that Jowell and Mills’ finances are separate. (link)

That man White is so far up Jack Straw’s rectum that for years he hasn’t had any daylight to report by. He also seems not to know that the ministerial code specifically covers gifts to family members.

Two more shockers…

1. Jowell had remortgaged her home to launder money not just once, but five times. (link)

Does she still claim this is “Normal”? On one occasion she had paid it off again in just 19 days.

2. Finally, yesterday I reported a fact that the mainstream media still does not dare to print; that Mills was under Serious Fraud Office investigation (and his office was raided as a result) at around the same time that New Labour came to power. I also reported that some of the SFO staff on the case were confused and concerned that no prosecution arose.

The mainstream press are too scared of this story to tackle it properly, but I’m sure you’ll excuse my own caution as I state this next bit very, very carefully:

I have seen no evidence to suggest to me that it was a particular handicap to Mr Mills at around that time that his sister-in-law, Barbara Mills, was the Director of Public Prosecutions and a former Head of the Serious Fraud Office.

I mean no more than appears on the face of that sentence.

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11 thoughts on “Run of the Mill

  • Chuck Unsworth

    It'd be useful if a timeline of events (similar to that in the Telegraph) could be drawn up, showing actions before, during and post 'discovery' of these events.

    Also it might be informative if one could map out a) who is related to or a 'friend of' whom, and b) who is coming out in support of the Mills/Jowell combo.

    I know these people are appallingly (-advisedly!) wealthy but does anyone seriously believe the proposition that the simpering and self-effacing Ms Jowell really had not the faintest idea as to what was actually going on? Did she not even question this? How many people repeatedly take out – and pay off – mortgages of this size?

    'By the way Tess, if you could just sign this paperwork here – it's nothing to worry your pretty little head about – I'm just re-organising the finance on our house' Oh yeah?

  • Manic

    Yes, that would be a useful thing… wouldn't it be grand if we had just one journalist willing to make it so working under one editor willing to print it?

  • Michael

    Dear Craig,

    While I appreciate your stand against wrongdoing in the establishment, I feel that descending into the vernacular and labelling Mrs. Jowell as a "loyal muppet", or that "That man White is so far up Jack Straw's rectum…" does nothing to increase the authority of your commentary.

    As a serious voice of protest you should consider using language as effective yet emollient as one Sir Humphrey Appleby.



  • Paul Linford

    In common with the above poster I am an admirer of yours and think you have fought a very brave campaign against the shortcomings of British foreign policy. But your comment about Michael White does you no favours and is a serious injustice against one of the fairest and most liberal-minded journalists in the UK. I worked with Michael for nearly 10 years in the Parliamentary Press Gallery and if you'd ever heard him at Lobby briefings you would not say he was up anyone's rectum. If he has a good relationship with Jack Straw that's because it's his job to have good relationships with senior ministers. I am quite sure it would absolutely not colour his reporting of any British foreign policy decision.

    If you want to be taken seriously, you should choose your targets a bit more carefully.

  • Chuck Unsworth

    Maybe the Guardian – perhaps even the blessed Michael White himself – would be prepared to draw up a 'map of relationships' and publish it. Of course that map might just possibly include some of our more celebrated journalists as well, perish the thought!

    I'm not convinced that fair, moderated or reasonable comment is entirely in keeping with democratic speech. After all, opinion is what makes the facts interesting. So I'll accept Craig's views as to the exact location of Mr White, who is a big boy now…..

  • richard

    Paul, Michael,

    Tessa Jowell is married to a serial fraudster and money launderer in whose nefarious activities she herself has been implicated. She works for a Prime Minister who is guilty of war crimes, complicity in war crimes and, arguably, treason (sending British troops to their deaths on fraudulent grounds), and yet has managed so badly to corrupt and manipulate the institutions of the state that there is little or no hope of any action being taken to hold him to account.

    What right does this woman have to ask for our "respect"?

    Where does it stop? How much longer now before evidence starts to emerge that Blair and his coterie have personally profited, corruptly, from the corporate feeding frenzy which Iraq represents, and/or that the Americans simply bribed our politicians directly for their "services" during 2002 and 2003?

    Perhaps if our journalists showed a little more of the Craig Murray spirit, and a little less of the toadying "Sir Humphrey", then some of this nonsense might have been exposed rather earlier.

  • Craig

    I don't apologise for the tone of the post, which is a piece of polemic. it is intended as an antidote to the bromide reporting of the BBC, the Guardian, etc.

    I think a more important question is whether my allegations of fact are correct.

    As for Michael White, I should be completely honest and say that my attitude to him has been affected by his personal hostility towards me. If he is the good, fair, journalist you claim then he would have made some attempt to contact me rather than simply accept things which his friend Jack Straw told him about me.

    For example, he said on BBC Breakfast TV that it was a "Mistake" of them to allow me on television to give my views. Hardly liberal or fair.

    But he is also a prime example of the purblind New Labour supporting section of the Guardian, who still support Blair despite his taking us into a disastrous illegal war and his continued erosion of civil liberties. The Guardian's coverage of the Jowell affair has been a disgrace. And who did BBC Breakfast have on this morning to repeat his nonsense about Jowell and Mills having separate finances? Michael White.

    I don't think his closeness to Straw is just a question of professional cultivation, any more than the Rusbridgers relationship to the Jowells.

  • Rowntree

    Try this one Craig:

    Explain this: Jowell-Mills have 2 homes – one in Warwickshire I think. So we assume this is the primary residence – yet Mills could remortgage this in his own name without her.

    The house in London is the second house – the one she needs as an MP in London and for which she claims almost ?20.000 in Parliamentary Expenses. Presumably to get these Expenses she has to have her name on the mortgage (which she says her husband pays) – then again she also gets Council Tax paid by Parliamentary Expenses, TV, fridge etc all provided.

    So she is busy remortgaging a house on a regular basis which is paid in part by the taxpayer who gives her c. ?1700/month towards the mortgage which covers a ?300.000 loan.

    So it looks as if the parliamentary expenses cover the mortgage

  • Craig

    In fact, we are deprived of that final irony. the taxpayer does not cover the Jowells' mortgage because she has a London constituency, and is thus deemed not to need to buy a second home in the capital.


  • Rowntree

    So Private Eye reports Alan Rusbridger is a close friend of David Mills; they have holiday homes near each other; and Mrs Rusbridger is a university friend of Tessa Jowell…………………..I suppose that helps The Guardian see things in even more perspective !

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