Daily Archives: May 31, 2017


Amber Rudd Really Is that Horrible

A multi-millionairess like all the Tory elite, Amber Rudd truly is every bit as horrible as the persona she exhibited on the BBC Leaders’ Debate this evening. A former banker with J P Morgan, she was also a director of two offshore tax avoidance asset management firms in the Bahamas. She never declared this and the information came out in a leak.

The refined journalists of the Financial Times are of course much more her choice for public engagement than having to stoop to discuss policy in front of the great unwashed, for whom she has a profound contempt. This is what she thinks of her constituents in Hastings:

“You get people who are on benefits, who prefer to be on benefits by the seaside. They’re not moving down here to get a job, they’re moving down here to have easier access to friends and drugs and drink.”

So why did she go to Hastings to represent such awful plebs? She explained that to her friends at the Financial Times as well:

“I wanted to be within two hours of London and I could see we were going to win it.”

According to the normally reliable CompanyCheck, as an MP Amber Rudd has constituted herself as a company, presumably for purposes of tax avoidance. That would of course give her a personal interest in low levels of corporation tax. But strangely Companies House itself has no company with the registration number given by CompanyCheck.

What Company House does have, however, are the records of Monticello PLC, a short lived company of which Rudd was a Director. It attracted many hundreds of investors who put money in, despite never appearing actually to do anything except pay its directors – presumably including Rudd. Trawling through its documents at Companies House, I find it difficult to conclude that it was ever anything other than a share ramping scheme designed to rip off its investors. After just over a year of existence it went bankrupt with over £1.2 million of debts and no important assets. I should be very interested if anybody can go through those records and come up with any different conclusion to mine.

Interestingly Amber Rudd’s father Tony, who died this week, had been debarred as a company director after being found to have asset stripped another investor vehicle, Greenbank Trust, and misused its assets to personal benefit. As with Emma Barnett, we again come across a wealthy Tory whose privileged upbringing was financed by the criminal behaviour of the wealthy.

It is a bit of a stretch to imagine that, nationally, Labour will get the 4.7% swing that would be needed to oust Rudd from Hastings. But perhaps it is not too much to hope that there may be a local revolt from the people she despises.

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A Dream of Irony

The sectarian nature of the extreme attack by Tory politicians and mainstream media journalists (and it is genuinely difficult to tell which is which) on Jeremy Corbyn over alleged IRA links is extremely troubling. Not one MSM journalist or Tory has even acknowledged the existence of loyalist terrorists or British government atrocities, either by secret agents or in events like Bloody Sunday or the murders of Pat Finucane or Peter McBride. Yes, IRA atrocities were appalling. But they were by no means the only ones, and the Troubles arose from centuries of colonial injustice.

One reason this Tory attack does not have great traction is that everyone under 40 is more likely to have learnt a great deal of truth from the excellent film In the Name of the Father, than to have experienced the violence on both sides. The failure of the media in this election, while constantly raising the Troubles, to mention the Birmingham Six or the Guildford Four – for both of which Corbyn campaigned – does not stop people knowing those terrible abuses of state power happened. I speak as someone whose office windows were shattered by an IRA mortar.

So after all this truly dreadful Tory attempt to slit open old wounds to hold power, would it not be the most delicious irony, in the event of a hung parliament, if Sinn Fein finally took up their Westminster seats, in order to make up the numbers to support Jeremy Corbyn into Number 10?

We could have the most wonderful Labour/Nationalist coalition of the working class and the oppressed peoples of the islands – Labour/SNP/Sinn Fein/Plaid Cymru. And Caroline Lucas.

I do not in the least expect this to happen. But I am rather hopeful this post has severely annoyed some old Tories.

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24 Hours in Politics

This post, and particularly the last paragraph, was not predicated on the YouGove poll predicting a hung parliament – I continue to have no faith in the integrity of that company. I started writing this yesterday based on my own feeling that we could be heading into hung parliament territory. I was however motivated to return to and update this draft by the YouGove poll.

I yesterday watched Michael Gove shouting (literally) about Jeremy Corbyn supporting the IRA and Hamas on The Daily Politics, looking like an agitated tomato in spectacles. Because the mainstream media and political class live in the same utterly unrepresentative bubble, they do not realise that the large majority of ordinary people do not share their detestation of the Palestinians.

Subsequently we had Theresa May spouting utter rubbish about Corbyn going “alone and naked into the negotiating chamber”. 99% of the actual negotiating is done by teams of civil servants. Neither May nor Corbyn would be alone, they would have the same civil servants. Plus Corbyn would of course have Keir Starmer QC.

May’s jibe was supposed to echo Aneurin Bevan but it failed entirely, as the possession or otherwise of a nuclear weapon is irrelevant to the EU negotiations. The entirely spurious “alone” was not in Bevan’s quote and I can find no rational explanation of what it was supposed to mean. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the whole irrelevant jibe was designed just to set up the titter at the image of Jeremy Corbyn naked. This really has been the most appalling Tory campaign imaginable, aimed at nobody but the nastiest kind of UKIP voter.

For the BBC to lead all its news bulletins on Corbyn’s inability instantly to recall the figure on childcare costs was puerile bias. Anyone can forget a figure. Politics is not a memory test. The attempt to reduce it to such is of course made heinous by differential application. When Tories have the same, perfectly natural problem of instant recall – as when the Chancellor was £20 billion out on the cost of HS2 – it gets nothing like the media coverage given to Corbyn and Abbott.

On which point, my last posting was about the SNP’s excellent manifesto. It was perfectly possible to sit here in Edinburgh yesterday, paying a great deal of attention to the BBC, and have no idea whatsoever of the SNP manifesto’s actual contents. Equally mystifying was the Daily Politics’ attack line against the SNP. How dare they have policies for the UK when they cannot form a government at Westminster? Angus Robertson replied politely that these were the policies their MPs would advocate at Westminster, and potentially support the implementation of, depending on the electoral arithmetic. The BBC reporter flared at this and seemed outraged that the SNP have the temerity to stand for election at all. It was truly bizarre television.

We are seeing more truly bizarre television every day as the mainstream media are puzzled and disconcerted that the plebs are simply refusing to ignore their obviously correct preference for the Tory party, instead having this mad desire to think for themselves. The media remind me of the puzzled look on Ceaucescu’s face as the crowd started chanting against him. The utterly talentless Tory hack Anne McElvoy was on BBC Breakfast today oozing contempt for Corbyn and explaining why his forgetting a number on Radio 4 proved he could not govern. She appeared completely divorced from reality.

And finally, it is remarkable that the Mays’ appearance on the One programme last week was featured again and again on BBC Breakfast and even on Sky News the next morning, with BBC vox pops “showing how impressed the public were with her” and Tory commentators speaking about how lovely and ordinary she was. Last night Jeremy Corbyn was on the One Show, and by the starkest of contrasts I have found no coverage of it at all this morning.

As the polls continue to shift, there is one distinct possibility for the result of this General Election looming. The Tories might be the largest party but with no overall majority. In which case they would form either a formal or a de facto alliance with their friends in the Northern Irish unionist parties. This would either force the unionists to take ownership of hard Brexit and the consequent imposition of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, or force Theresa May to abandon hard Brexit and outrage her supporters. I suspect the former is more likely, and the consequences of unionist enabled hard Brexit for Northern Ireland would be immense.

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