Bought Politicians 274


Between just 28 May and 10 June Boris Johnson received £235,500 in “private” donations, to himself personally, as he prepares to become the UK’s unelected Prime Minister.



The blatant corruption of the UK’s political system is part of the reason for popular alienation from the ruling classes. It was Blair who elevated British politics to US levels of shamelessness in the matter of politicians’ self enrichment, and Johnson looks set to follow the Blair example. While some may pretend to do so, I do not accept that there is anybody who is naive enough genuinely to believe that such donations do not influence politicians’ policy decisions.

Straight donations aside, the slightly disguised corruption of our political system should also be taken into account. The banks put politicians in their pockets not through direct payments, but through massive, often six figure, fees they pay them for “speaking at dinners”. That is how Hillary Clinton garnered much of her Wall Street funding. In the case of Boris Johnson, it is interesting that in the House of Commons Register of Members’ Interests, he frequently lists the name of the speaking agency who paid him, but not who the client was.

Another way to pay less obvious bribes – and one particularly pursued by New Labour – was the book deal, where publishers pay massive six figure advances to politicians which are, routinely, up to ten times the actual royalties earned for which they are an “advance”. This only makes sense when you realise that every single one of the major publishers is owned by a much bigger multinational – for example until recently Murdoch owned HarperCollins.

James Reuben, who gave two donations totaling £50,000 to Johnson, is the scion of the UK’s second wealthiest family, worth £18 billion. The Reubens made their money, like Roman Abramovich and Alisher Usmanov, in the pillaging of Russia’s massive metal producing assets, which were physically seized by gangsters, in the chaotic US organised Yeltsin privatisation process. The entire basis of their vast fortune was the exploitation of assets effectively stolen from the Russian state and people.

There is a fascinating link here to New Labour corruption that shows how entirely rotten Westminster is. Many will recall Peter Mandelson’s famous meeting with Oleg Deripaska and Nat Rothschild on the yacht in Corfu, at a house party where George Osborne was also around. The full story has never appeared in mainstream media, so far as I can judge.

Deripaska had been involved with the Reubens in Russia’s “privatised” aluminum market, and in 2008 was also involved in business with Nat Rothschild. Putin was determined to try to claw back some control of precious commodity markets from the oligarchs who had plundered them, and he started to lean on Deripaska, in ways which were quite threatening, to make some hefty repayment. Nat Rothschild had obligations to Deripaska which the oligarch was trying urgently to call in, and this process required the sale of shares in (if I remember correctly) Canadian or US aluminium companies. The big obstacle to this raising the needed money to get back to Putin was the high EU tariff on aluminium.

By one of those wonderful coincidences which make life so joyous, happily Peter Mandelson was, absolutely independent of the meeting on the yacht or his own relationship with Nat Rothschild, persuaded of the need for the EU to reduce aluminium tariffs and as UK Trade Minister and then EU Trade Commissioner was able to secure very large reductions in EU aluminium tariffs indeed. So they all lived happily ever after.

Isn’t that nice? And even nicer, Mandelson is now a paid adviser to Deripaska on climate change.

So Boris Johnson’s donations and Mandelson’s dealings all link in to the pillaging of Russia’s formerly state run metals industry, which legalised theft accounts for a dozen of the world’s wealthiest billionaires and a high proportion of its political corruption.

I want Scottish Independence to try to set up a smaller, more manageable national entity in which corruption can be better reduced, (and sadly it will never be eliminated). I find the insider knowledge I have from my days as a British Ambassador and from the connections I then made, weighs horribly heavy upon me. If I knew less, I guess I would be less sad and less cynical.

It has become my firm belief that the destruction of the UK state by the SNP and Plaid Cymru, and the purging of the financial cesspit that is London by Jeremy Corbyn, are both essential to human progress.

——————————————

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274 thoughts on “Bought Politicians

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  • Carmel Townsend

    Nobody who forks out these sums of money, does it for the good of their health. They expect a lot in return, and interfere in our so-called democracy. I’ve never been an ambassador Craig, but understand all the machinations of those in power. Thanks for keeping us informed.

  • Mary Pau!

    Agree with sadness at level of “influence ” peddled by the financial and business sectors over UK politicians . You also omit to mention the background of many SPADs eg Shriti Vadera from Warburgs and Gordon Brown just one example. And didn’t Gordon Brown put in place some sort of PAC equivalent for wealthy donors to underwrite private offices for senior MPs to help with election expenses.

    Nat Rothschild is a notorious fixer and there are reports that his friend George Osborne is bidding to run the IMF. How handy would that be for his chums. At the same time, the EU nomenklatura is busy populating its senior ranks with more of the EU trusted inner circle. “Welcome to the new boss, same as the old boss.”

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Deb O’Nair July 7, 2019 at 21:51
        And his namesake, obviously the same family, was busy arranging the Boar Wars (and theft of the gold and diamond mines), WWI and the planning of the creation of Israel, among other things.

  • Dave M

    Corbyn won’t do anything. He’s more of a ditherer than Major ever was. And the SNP is now in hock to identity politicians, and has perhaps become too used to hegemony in devolution such that it has become a tartan New Labour. Or maybe I’m even more cynical than you, Craig!

    • Dungroanin

      I’m going to call you out on that calumny, with the words of another JC (no, not that one) :

      “There is a conspiracy at work here, though it is not of the kind lampooned by critics: a small cabal of the rich secretly pullng the strings of our societies. The conspiracy operates at an institutional level, one that has evolved over time to create structures and refine and entrench values that keep power and wealth in the hands of the few. In that sense we are all part of the conspiracy. It is a conspiracy that embraces us every time we unquestioningly accept the “consensual” narratives laid out for us by our education systems, politicians and media. Our minds have been occupied with myths, fears and narratives that turned us into the turkeys that keep voting for Christmas.”
      https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2019-07-03/plot-corbyn-out-power/

      Jonathan clinically lays out the ‘gauntlet’ that Corbyn endures, just like another JC on e did (yes, that one).

  • Sharp Ears

    When I posted before about these massive sums of money ‘donated’ to Johnson, I included a comment that the Reuben brothers (one of whom is the father of James) had benefited during Johnson’s tenure as London Mayor in their property business. I mentioned Cruddas too.

    ‘Meanwhile a Brexit no deal could be blocked by Chancellor Philip Hammond, who is plotting chaos from the backbenches if Mr Johnson and Mr Hunt attempt to quit the EU without a deal. Mr Johnson has registered £235,000 in the last two weeks, taking the total amount he has received in the last year to £502,000, according to new figures released by Parliament. The most recent donations include £50,000 from Peter Cruddas, one of the City of London’s most prominent Brexiteers, and £50,000 from James Reuben, a financier.’
    https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1148391/tory-leadership-boris-johnson-jeremy-hunt-brexit-no-deal-tory-hustings-latest-news
    3rd July 2019

    Brexit has certainly contaminated the politcal landscape even more than before.

    They Work For You! Ha!

          • Republicofscotland

            Britain is still clinging to the Great game one which will intensify once Johnson becomes PM. Westminster can’t abide RT, mainly due to its airing of British hypocrisy, and in my opinion RT’s propaganda is put across much better than the BBC’s.

            I’m surprised you’ve bought into the whole media “freedom” thing. It doesn’t exist.

          • Tatyana

            well, actually, I’m just wondering, Mr.Hunt is taking the Saudi money, and Mr.Hunt has to say something about brutal murder of the Saudi critic. How do you think, will Mr.Hunt scratch his nose or will he have an eye twitch?

          • Republicofscotland

            I’d imagine that Hunt has ran the Khashoggi affair past MBS, telling him he’ll need to say something about it in a concerned tone.

            However there’s far too much money at stake for Hunt to lead a witch hunt against the Saudi crown prince.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            Tatanya;
            How do you get it to link to a specific comment?


            [ Mod: Right-click the comment date – e.g. July 7, 2019 at 10:59 – under the username. You can then paste the URL into your text, or insert it as a link. ]

      • Sharp Ears

        The Register of Interests for one Jeremy Richard Streynsham Hunt.

        https://www.theyworkforyou.com/regmem/?p=11859 Multiple tens of £thousands.
        He has a house in London from which we used to see him emerging to get on his bike. There is a large family estate in Shere, in the Surrey Hills, in which his elderly mother,Meriel, resides. He will inherit it presumably.

        His disastrous record in the disintegrating NHS when Health and Social Care Secretary for six years until July 208 is never mentioned these days, especially not by him. He always pipes up to tell us that he was ‘an entrepreneur and businessman’. Ask some doctors what they think of him, especially the juniors.

        His brother Charlie runs an importing duvet and bedlinen business out of Guildford and Sunderland.
        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/yourbusiness/business-thinking/8493021/HSBC-Business-Thinking-Duvet-and-Pillow-Warehouse-has-sweet-dreams-of-global-profit.html

        As in the case of the election for Trump or Shillary, there is no choice between Johnson and Trump for us. Both as bad as each othe insofar as the future of this country is concerned and the wellbeing of its citizens.

        General Election Now.

        • Sharp Ears

          I meant that there is no choice between Johnson and Hunt. A pair of rich privately educated neoliberal types aspiring for high office in Downing Street*.

          * ‘The street was built in the 1680s by Sir George Downing, 1st Baronet, on the site of a mansion, Hampden House. It is not known what was on the site before the mansion, but there is evidence of a brewhouse called ‘The Axe’, owned by the Abbey of Abingdon. Downing was a soldier and diplomat who served under Oliver Cromwell and King Charles II, and who invested in properties and acquired considerable wealth.’ Nothing changes.

  • Republicofscotland

    “I want Scottish Independence to try to set up a smaller, more manageable national entity in which corruption can be better reduced, (and sadly it will never be eliminated).”

    As I’ve said before, and I’m sure many others would agree, you’d be a fantastic asset at Holyrood. With your wealth of knowledge and understanding of how the Westminster machine operates, I’m sure they’ll be a place for you somewhere in the Scottish political system post independence, even if you need to run as an independent.

    • nevermind

      Seconded, RoS, and much thanks to Craig for pointing to the position we have advanced to visa vis US practises of political money donations.

      We are now securely ankered just off Boston harbour, with a load of pirated Iranian crude.

  • Tatyana

    Mrs. May once said that she will investigate into the origin of the russian money in the UK, if it originates from the legal sources. Mrs. May is leaving her position already and still no news on the investigation.
    Where’s the money, Lebowski Mrs. May?
    You had Berezovsky behind Litvinenko, and who is standing behind Skripal?

  • pete

    Re “private” donations

    Craig, thanks for the link to the donations document and for reminding us again about how shameless and corrupt the ruling class have become, as it’s not usually focused on in the mainstream press.
    I guess the cost of administering the accounts for all this MP cash floating about is paid for by employing accountants and in turn the cost for them comes out of expenses paid for by us all.

  • Tom Welsh

    “By one of those wonderful coincidences which make life so joyous…”

    Or, as Nigel Hawthorne so marvellously used to put it,

    “On an entirely unconnected subject, Minister…”

  • Tom Welsh

    “…Mandelson is now a paid adviser to Deripaska on climate change…”

    As Craig informs us, I believe that the climate is becoming still more favourable to institutionalised corruption.

    • N_

      Notice that few radicals would have the guts to use a phrase such as “let’s change the climate”, but that’s exactly what we need.

      A lot is slipped through under the table with the enforcement of “stop climate change” as the boss class’s ideology, proclaimed as it is throughout its hierarchical and opinion systems.

      • pretzelattack

        we can, n, by getting off fossil fuels. the problem wih enforcement of “let’s stop climate change” is there is very little enforcement, due to politicians being bought by the fossil fuel industry, which has immense amounts of money.

  • Tom Welsh

    “It has become my firm belief that the destruction of the UK state by the SNP and Plaid Cymru, and the purging of the financial cesspit that is London by Jeremy Corbyn, are both essential to human progress”.

    But how much good can that do, as long as the USA and its current establishment are allowed to persist? It’s like chasing rats in your own back yard while dinosaurs rampage in the streets.

    The USA was founded, and continues to this day, as a framework for institutional corruption. It’s a state in which those who have the gold actually do make the rules.

  • Sharp Ears

    The Reuben brothers, David and Simon, now aged 79 and 77, even have their own website where they boast of their endless list of acquisitions. They seem to own most of central London.
    https://www.reubenbrothers.com/timeline/

    The Sunday Times place them at No 2 in their last Rich List. The Hinduja Brothers were placed 1st.

    ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt’…it goes. We all end up dead.

  • Paul

    Craig,

    Are you not supported by donations, most (if not all) of which are anonymous?

    Do you have some size at which you regard a donation as unacceptable or inherently corrupt?

    Or is your argument that you can accept donations because you are not in a position of influence? In this case, how much notice would people in power need to take of your views before you came to be in such a position? And would you then stop accepting any donations?

    If your argument is that no elected politician (or anyone running for election) should accept any donations whatsoever, then doesn’t that rather entrench the rich in power?

    I’d like to understand better the reasoning behind your position.

    Paul

    • pete

      Re donations.
      Is is not blindly obvious that an independent and unaffiliated person like Craig, operating outside of the mainstream power structure can only attract donations so long as he maintains that position. As soon as that ceased to be the case the donations would dry up.
      It is a world away from being a privileged person in an elevated position with direct influence in decision making receiving largess, in what looks like excessive amounts, that could only be interpreted as inducements.
      Elected politicians need to be transparent in their transactions, they should not receive incomes from sources that suggest a conflict of interests or at odds with independent objective decision making, they should only receive the salary for the job.

    • Tom Welsh

      Craig accepts donations, obviously, in order to exercise influence. But there is influence and there is influence.

      Craig’s kind of influence involves informing people (and a certain amount of mild rhetoric), in the hope that they will understand certain things better than if they continued to be misled by the MSM.

      Boris’s kind of influence involves buying political clout and doing quid pro quo deals behind the scenes.

      Moreover, Craig’s need for donations arises purely from the scale of our modern society. In a hunter-gatherer group, or a traditional village, or even a town small enough to hold old-style town meetings, Craig could mount the podium and address everyone who wished to hear him. That’s how things worked even in classical Athens and Rome, with potentially tens of thousands of listeners.

      Today, with a potential audience of tens or hundreds of millions, the amplifying power of the Web is indispensable. (Radio, TV, newspapers, magazines and social media cost even more to use). But to run even a fairly simple blog requires plenty of computing power, memory, bandwidth, etc. – plus expertise.

    • Jo1

      @Paul

      I can’t believe you’re comparing Craig’s donations to help fund this blog with private donations to elected representatives. They are very different situations. I’m dismayed that you don’t see just how different.

      There is a serious problem in our system when it’s permissible for elected politicians to be bought. It’s not just Johnson…. it’s right across the board. Checking out Tom Watson’s donations a while back was an eye opener too.

      It really is time political funding went under a microscope but, then, with a media as corrupt as our politics it’s difficult to see how that can happen.

      • Paul

        Just to be clear here: are you all suggesting that no elected politican should be able to accept any donations? Starting right from local councillor?

        Because if so it seems to me that this simply entrenches the rich as the governing class.

        Conceptually, surely much better would be for anyone to be able to receive any amount of donations BUT somehow to be unable to know who made the donation? (Tricky to manage in practice I accept)

        • Tatyana

          I suggest that the elected politicians do the job for salary. I would be glad if they don’t use their positions for personal enrichment. Donations should only be made to the party’s fund where the expenditure is controlled and reported publicly.
          In this case, the position of the politician will cease to be the feeder. So, not too attractive for a greedy poor ar a greedy rich.
          The reward for the good work should not be money, but the recognition of the people, like winning the elections for a new term.

        • AliB

          I can assure you that as a local Councillor I would never accept a “donation”. I am in any case required by law to identify any gift or hospitality worth more than £25 – a slightly different league from Boris and other politicians.
          Really- are you some sort of idiot or a troll or just taking the micky?

        • Deb O'Nair

          “Just to be clear here: are you all suggesting that no elected politican should be able to accept any donations? Starting right from local councillor?”

          You think that such an idea is shocking?

          “Because if so it seems to me that this simply entrenches the rich as the governing class.”

          How does that ‘logic’ work?

          • Paul

            Quite simple – if you want to run an election campaign you need money. Lots of it in some cases. If you’re not allowed to take donations then only people who are otherwise rich can spend significant money on campaigns. And, sadly, it is clear (see Trump, Brexit, etc) that when people spend lots of money on their “marketing”, enough people will fall for it, even if most of it is complete bullshit, and however good the arguments of the un(der)funded opponents.

          • Hmmm

            Party vs personal donations for a start… transparency next. Comparing elected (or wannabes) to Craig just muddied the waters. Focus only on politicians. A special “guest speakers tax” of 80% would go a long way to settle my qualms…

          • Deb O'Nair

            “if you want to run an election campaign you need money.”

            If you want to run a media campaign you need lots of money, which is not the same as running a campaign with, for example, party members who are willing to put in the leg work and knock on peoples doors.

  • Goose

    The most obvious corruption comes in the form of the paid speeches by former leaders; made before those post-election patrons- usually the banks and/or big finance. I mean, why would a bank want to pay some ex-leader $250,000 for some barely reported, dull, half hour speech in some far-flung corner of the world and after said politician has left office? it’s not even as if said politician is an expert in the subject at hand. Only the idiots get caught taking money while in office these days.

  • Ian

    Craig, you really should be following the work on Open Democracy, who have been investigating the Johnson/Leave dark money financing for a considerable time. Johnson is run by Crosby, with IEA backers including various US ultra right billionaire and trust funds, all with links to Trump and Pompeo, and of course that man-of-the-people schoolboy fascist (as described by his schoolteachers), Farage. This has been going on since the referendum and they are in sight of completing their agenda with an unelected UK government overseen by Johnson. As a small example, why do you think he brought up the sugar tax out of nowhere? Crosby, who like the IEA, has been funded by climate science deniers and tobacco companies as well as the sugar lobby. By trying to be even handed here, with your aside about Mandelson, you are missing the big picture. Labour are small fry in this nexus of ultra right finance, social media manipulation and corruption.
    https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/whos-paying-make-boris-prime-minister/
    Wake up.

    • glenn_nl

      Good post, but did you have to spoil it by insulting us all (including the blog host) with a patronising conclusion of “wake up”?

      See, pissing everyone off like that – telling us that you (probably alone here) are conversant with the real truth, while the rest of us are, well, asleep – is not a good way to win people around or even make them particularly predisposed to listening to you.

      • Iain Stewart

        I suspect that winning people round is less enticing than simply being the only one who is right when everyone else is wrong, a bit like John Knox (or his latter day manifestations like Loony) hoping that nobody really will repent.

    • nevermind

      gosh thanks Ian, what a revelation.
      What did you think when the orange one called Johnson his favourable ‘guy to deal with’ on his controlled visit here? that he thinks Johnson is a capable candidate? a well funded astute candidate?
      Or could he be just another puppet in the theatre of machinations, ignored laws and lies? pushed by status quo merchants.

  • Xavi

    The Tory party is quite openly bankrolled by and in hock to various financial sector plutocrats, foreign oligarchs, etc. Their corruption could not be more blatant. It is something that is rarely commented on, however, and never represented as scandalous because the media sees no conflict with Tory claims to be representing the interests of ordinary people.

  • Mist001

    The SNP has many ‘owners’, the most obvious one to me being Jim Ratcliffe, owner of the Ineos Chemical Group. When industrial action was threatened at Grangemouth, Ratcliffe simply threatened to close the plant and it took the intervention of Alex Salmond to prevent that and the loss of thousands of jobs which of course, the SNP would be blamed for.

    So Ratcliffe now has leverage over the SNP because if they don’t go along with him, for example, their refusal to ban fracking in Scotland, he simply threatens to close the plant. I’d bet the owner of Tunnocks Tea Cakes has a similar ‘arrangement’ and there’ll be many others dotted around Scotland too.

    Corruption doesn’t just come in the form of cold hard cash.

    • DiggerUK

      “Corruption doesn’t just come in the form of cold hard cash”
      Be nicer if it was in cold dead hands…_

    • Republicofscotland

      All governments around the globe sometimes relent to save jobs as in this occasion. Also I am under the impression that the Scottish government could spend years in court if it outright banned fracking, but putting a moratorium on fracking it could negate that lengthy and costly process.

      • Mist001

        The SNP are being held to ransom by Trident too. If that went, how many job losses would that cause? These again would be laid firmly on the doorstep of the SNP. This is all leverage against independence.

        • Republicofscotland

          Actually this was a much talked about topic prior to the 2014 indyref. From what I recall most of the jobs were transient.

          I think around 500 jobs was the Better Together touted amount, of course since 2014 Better Together has its lies firmly countered.

          Faslane, I think is on the agenda to become a Scottish naval base, creating many jobs in the process.

          As for Trident it too has had many discussions on its future post independence. Such as renting it out until the British government can find somewhere to relocate Trident to, Wales is the most likely candidate I think.

          • michael norton

            Prosecutors are looking into whether Deutsche Bank staff helped clients set up offshore accounts to “transfer money from criminal activities”.

            The investigation, which began in August, focuses on activities between 2013 and the start of 2018.

            In 2016 alone, more than 900 customers were served by a Deutsche Bank subsidiary registered in the British Virgin Islands, generating a volume of €311m, the prosecutors allege.

            Now 20,000 jobs to go in Deutsche Bank
            but will any German politicians be taken to court?

          • michael norton

            Deutsche Bank is widely recognized as being the largest creditor to real-estate-mogul-turned-politician Donald Trump!

          • Kempe

            An FoI request by an anti-nuclear group revealed that about 500 civilian jobs depend on Trident alone but the base as a whole directly employs 6,500 service and civilian personnel.

          • Republicofscotland

            Kempe.

            That old chestnut has well and truly been disproven.

            “Of those 520 jobs, 159 are employed by the MoD and 361 by contractors Babcock Marine and Lockheed Martin. The remaining jobs cited by the No campaign are based on the military and security personnel present on the base for standard duties, but even here it’s estimated that 85% of base personnel do not live locally but travel south when not on duty, thereby contributing little to the local economy.”

            https://wingsoverscotland.com/the-chocolate-teapot/

          • Sharp Ears

            Sajid Javid who has given his backing to Johnson (angling for a job no doubt) was a MD at Deutsche Bank prior to standing for parliament.

            He is also a strong supporter of the little democracy in the Middle East and said he would like to go there to live. Perhaps he should go now. His record as Home Secretary is disastrous.

    • Jo1

      Mist

      Dearie me. You really need to better understand the difference between devolved and reserved issues before you post nonsense like this.

      The Scottish Government, currently under the SNP, does not have the power to ban fracking! It was the UK government which granted Ratcliffe his licence. The workaround adopted in Scotland to prevent fracking is to use Planning Departments in Local Authority areas to refuse Applications.

      • Mist001

        Woosh!! There goes my point flying right over the patronising Jo1s head. I’m talking about post independence, DUH!

        Suppose Jim Ratcliffe or someone like him has said privately to wee Nicola and her hubby that he doesn’t want independence and if you continue to pursue it, then I shall close Grangemouth? That would explain her reticence and why she’s more interested in overturning the democratic result of a UK referendum, rather than being more interested in overturning the democratic result of a Scottish referendum.

        Jo1
        Dearie me. You really need to better understand what people are saying before you post nonsense like your patronising post above.

        • Jo1

          Mist

          I read your original post and wouldn’t change a word of my response.

          Still, if totally rewriting your original post and saying something completely different…and then adding that this was what you originally meant….so that means you can ridicule me because I didn’t understand something you didn’t say in the first place….knock yourself out!

  • Enquirer

    “It has become my firm belief that the destruction of the UK state by the SNP and Plaid Cymru, and the purging of the financial cesspit that is London by Jeremy Corbyn, are both essential to human progress. ” without the Welsh and Scottish progressive MPs in Parliament it will be the horror of permanent right wing government in England I would have thought.

  • J

    Excellent post Craig. I agree with your diagnosis for damage limitation.

    On another not there’ve are a lot of people called Dave coming here recently, assuring us that a vote for change is wasted because nothing will change. If it doesn’t matter then it certainly can’t do any harm, besides, for a man who can’t change anything, years of mobilisation, almost surely representing tens of millions worth of effort has been marshalled to make sure Corbyn doesn’t get the chance. Let’s honour that effort by voting for him wherever we can…

      • Iain Stewart

        Kingdoms with an S, until becoming erroneously singular at some point in the nineteenth century, but still plural in the Scotland Act (amongst reserved matters is “the union of the kingdoms”).

  • John LEON

    Thank you for your insightful article. I now understand much more clearly why Johnston is so anti-Russia. I understand it was Deripaska who tried to get one over on Putin by taking his pen in a well publicized attempted power play, only to find out precisely what Vladimir Vladirmirovich’s metal is. As to brutally leaning on people, Putin was horrified by the blatant and completely illegal looting of Russia with the gleeful and totally amoral help from the west and quickly realized that there is no quarter with people of this ilk. I understand that Oleg, extremely upset that he was sanctioned by those oh so ‘honest ‘ people of ‘integrity ‘, who form the most corrupt govt. of so called, western democracies, the U.S. is now telling an American journalist John Sullivan about the whole sordid Mueller cover up re the Steele dossier. Sadly true gentillity means nothing to people who steal billions and are driven only by corruption. Putin is well aware of how dirty politics is and has to ‘ play ‘ accordingly. Eventually psychotically greedy specimens of Homo Sapiens will fight amongst themselves, their fragile egos lacking the maturity to behave like human beings.

    • Iain Stewart

      “Eventually psychotically greedy specimens of Homo Sapiens will fight amongst themselves, their fragile egos lacking the maturity to behave like human beings.”
      You can’t have been paying very much attention to how human beings behave. 🙂

      • John LEON

        On the contrary, I learned about Human behavior or lack of, before the age of 10…

        I was just trying to reinforce my opinion that the west makes a polluted cess pool a place of bliss to bathe in compared to the swamp that Westminster has become.

    • michael norton

      There is much trickery with influence seekers of all governments.
      Putin’s judo mate Arkady Rotenberg built the Crimes Bridge, politics, money and cronyism, coalescing.
      Erdogan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak, minister of Finance has his finger’s in many pies and banks.
      Erdogan has just sacked Murat Cetinkaya, governor of the Turkish Central Bank, because he cannot be corrupted to the will of Erdogan.

      It is the same in every country,
      A clean out of the stables, only ever lasts for a short time before the next money grubbers take control

  • Alan Smithee

    Not a good idea saying Johnson will be an unelected PM since Gordon Brown wasn’t and I think also John Major.

    Please expand on what you mean on the future of the UK with regard to the SNP and Plaid Cymru as they are both ineffective.

    • glenn_nl

      AS: “Not a good idea saying Johnson will be an unelected PM since Gordon Brown wasn’t and I think also John Major.

      You’re saying that Johnson will be an elected PM then, since Brown and Major were not?

      • Alex Westlake

        Non Sequitur. We have a parliamentary democracy, the voters elect parliaments and the parliament effectively chooses the PM. None of our PMs have been directly elected, and since WW2 Eden, Macmillan, Home, Callaghan, Major, Brown and May all assumed the office because the ruling party changed leader between elections. There’s nothing unusual about this

        • glenn_nl

          Were you announcing your own non sequitur? Because I was replying to Alan’s rather daft point – surely it doesn’t require further explanation.

    • Iain Stewart

      “Please expand on what you mean on the future of the UK with regard to the SNP and Plaid Cymru as they are both ineffective.”
      Craig is repeating that the future of the UK is NO FUTURE.

      • Bayard

        Since we don’t have the a system of directly elected PMs, either all the PMs in the last century have been unelected or they have all been elected, depending on how you look at it. Despite the efforts of the media to turn every general election into a gladatorial contest between party leaders, the evidence is that overwhelmingly people vote for the party, not the leader. The only voters who elect the PM at a GE are their constituents, the same people who voted for them before they became PM.

        • Alex Westlake

          Quite, and even then they’re electing an MP, not a PM. By the same token Conservative members are voting for a Party leader rather than a PM

      • nevermind

        Shows what an unfair disproportional system FPTP really is, doesn’t it? Politiciaqns should aspire to offer their voters the most modern and fair system there is, otherwise they will just all agree to justify the perpetuation of fraud cheating and utter dis proportionality, as we are facing now.
        You might feel lucky to be one of the 0.03% that has a vote to lord us over the rest of us.
        bully to you, don’t expect anyone to call that a mandated vote.

    • Jimmeh

      No UK PM is elected. We elect the party of government; assuming that their leader will be the PM. But the party of government is always free to dismiss their leader, and appoint a new PM, without reference to the people.

  • N_

    Mandelson is now a paid adviser to Deripaska on climate change.” Haha. Nice work if you can get it!

    Is IPGL Limited a Russian controlled company?

    The BBC and the Telegraph both reported yesterday (Saturday), using exactly the same words, that the Tory party has “hired” an independent body to scrutinise its leadership election. Both omit to name it.

    Funny, that. You’d have thought if it’s good at scrutinising internal party elections it would welcome the publicity so it could win further contracts.

    There’s got to be a reason why they’re not naming it.

    Might the agency be “connected” to interests that are backing one of the candidates in particular? Might it be connected with the Cambridge Analytica nexus or Stephen Bannon? What kind of private agencies have experience in “scrutinising elections”, and why would one of them prefer to act in the shadows?

    Incidentally it’s not only Johnson who is a crook. Hunt made millions on a big British government contract that doubtless the British Council can keep straight faces about when they explain how it was all about extending British soft power in China.

    • N_

      Is IPGL Limited a Russian controlled company?

      Or it may be Saudi money or other Gulf money.

      IPGL owns the DDCAP Group, which describes itself as “connecting the global Islamic financial market responsibly”. DDCAP’s material states that the group “encompasses Sharia’a and business focused operational requirements across treasury, capital markets, asset management, client consumer banking portfolios and takaful. In addition to being approved, regularly reviewed and supported with a Fatwa issued by DDCAP’s own Sharia’a Supervisory Board, the platform has also been endorsed by other internationally recognised Sharia’a Scholars.”

      How do I know IPGL owns DDCAP?

      Well the page https://www.ddcap.com/ipgl may now redirect back to the front page https://www.ddcap.com/, but if you look in the HTML code for https://www.ddcap.com/ you will find the following words

      “Founded in 1998, DDCAP is majority owned and controlled by IPGL.”

      So Boris Johnson is financially backed by sharia money. Don’t tell the Tory blue-rinse brigade!

  • Crispa

    It is difficult to avoid comparing the modest £2,000 asked for Stephen Leelah, which at least was raised fairly quickly with the amount still rising, with the egregious sums donated to support Boris Johnson cited above. Had any one of the people who or organisations that have given so easily to Johnson’s and other’s political campaigns any sense of decency and humanity they would find far more deserving causes.

    In this context, perhaps we should not forget the vast sums pumped in by the Israeli “Lobby” both here and in the USA to ensure the Palestinians are kept in a state of perpetual penury. And there must be many more examples of systemic corruption that keep the ruling classes ruling. As pointed out New Labour did nothing to change the situation, indeed Mandelson, with his “nothing wrong in being filthy rich” comment positively encouraged it.

    The current Tory stupidly elongated leadership campaign is as dispiriting as they come with the media giving masses of air time and printing pages and pages of rubbish about the candidates and their intentions (which we know will come to nothing) from their subsidised frolicking around the country. What the campaign money is doing of course, at least indirectly, is to feed the Tory propaganda machine in anticipation of a general election, without any current need for the media to provide balance in their reporting.

  • John Gilberts

    Here’s one of Canada’s bought politicians…

    ‘Canada Adopts America First Foreign Policy’, US State Dept Boasted in 2017, With Appointment of Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland

    https://thegrayzone.com/2019/07/05/canada-adopts-america-first-foreign-policy-us-state-department-chrystia-freeland/

    “The memo offers the most concrete evidence to date that the US sees Ottawa an an imperial subject and Canada’s foreign policy as subordinate to its own…”

    That Freeland was in charge of ‘free trade’ negotiations with America during the recent USMCA talks and recently hobnobbed with US Ukraine envoy Kurt Volker about even deeper Canadian involvement in that ‘frozen conflict’ should cause Canadians great concern. Unfortunately, few notice, fewer care.

  • Tatyana

    Actually, I find it discriminative that politicians are allowed to receive private donations, but judges are not! I mean, some judges would be happy to offer paid consultations. Also, why is it about writing a book? Discriminative! A short notice may sometimes be priced even more! And what about other types of art? Drawing, for instance. A sketched scheme may tell more than a whole book!

  • Graham Else

    Sadly the history of socialist governments is no better than the alternatives. All power corrupts and politicians by the nature of their profession are liars and cheats. Liars and cheats usually aren’t too bothered by niceties like morality and the spirit of the law. All the time you have a system that attracts sociopaths you will get sociopaths in it. I share your distaste and disillusion with politics but merely changing some of the actors doesn’t change the show. No government will ever be honest so get rid of government. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6b70TUbdfs

    • N_

      “politicians by the nature of their profession are liars and cheats”.

      Yes, agreed – of course they are.

      And what these damned middle class chatterers who waffle on about politics and democracy fail to understand, and what they help to obscure, is that what those involved at the top of government actually see government as all about is CONTRACTS. It’s the same in any country. Not payments of a couple of tens of thousands of pounds to this or that scummy politician, but contracts whether written or otherwise on a much larger and more strategic scale.

  • N_

    I want Scottish Independence to try to set up a smaller, more manageable national entity in which corruption can be better reduced

    What do you propose that the SNP minority government and SNP-run councils can do NOW to reduce corruption? Or are foreigners tying its hands?

    (This, my friends, is a window on how the meme of “independence” functions in Scotland.)

    C’mon. Hic Rhodus, hic salta. Propagandise through all the town halls, law firms, masonic lodges, football clubs, and public sector connected construction firms in Scotland: “let’s clean Scotland up”. Do it a lot, and the evil barriers that the Union places in its way, preventing it from making further progress, will become apparent. Voters will be so grateful. They will be so fired up. No? Not a votewinner? Why not?

  • Mary Pau!

    I worked for many years, at different firms, in a senior technical capacity usually as a consultant. I never ceased to be surprised at how many of my male colleagues (and it was nearly always the male ones) , particularly on the sales sides, coveted the gee-gaws with which they were rewarded and used them to compare status

    In particular, where the world of sales is concerned they coveted cars ( a fully loaded beamer or estate) and tickets membership of a golf club, tickets to a charity golf match or first division football match, were much sought after as a measure of success and status. As I had and have, no interest in cars, golf or football, I was pretty much immune from this envy, and as I read books and went to exhibitions, and was female, I was generally regarded as some alien species by most of the senior male management where I worked.

    In the private sector where I worked, expenses were monitored, so MP-type self indulgence was not really possible, instead they jostled for sales rewards and bonuses. I assume the politician’s overpaid lecture, book advance and consultancy is a similar form of conspicuous display to the salesman’s perks: it serves not only to feather the nest and advance their political career but also to show they are more successful than their colleagues. Some New Labour politicians, Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson for example, always seemed particularly dazzled by businessmen.

    I was always more interested in finding elegant solutions to challenging intellectual problems than selling to an unwary client, so my motivations remained a closed book to the sales team. Women at a senior level can be catty, bullying and obsessed with exercising their power.but few I found, had any interest in cars, golf or football or indeed in the materialistic trappings of power as a measure of status. This seems to be largely ( though not exclusively) a male failing, in whatever form it takes. Many men are easily beguiled by these external signs of “success”and by access to wealthy men with power and influence. New Labour under Blair and Mandelson seems to have been particularly vulnerable.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      I worked as a man, like you, probably with similar motivations to you. As I did a lot of mileage, company car was actually valued as I learned you could drive a Beamer 200 miles without getting backache, unlike clapped out cheap cars I had previously driven.

      Other than that, I concur with much of what you say.

      But it was a woman who ousted me from a position I had worked seven years to get, including paying for my own MBA. She jested wanted team leader on her CV before jumping ship to an MBA subsidised for deserving ‘wimmin’, her having successfully knifed a man along the way. She still spouts bullshit globally about wimmin after leading global spying efforts for a leading ICT hardware supplier.

      • Mary Pau!

        I too suffered at the hands of an ambitious woman, who sought to push me aside to make way for her own rise: her motivation was self promotion and ultimate control over her work environment. But it was only about power, She was not interested in the material trappings associated with success which so many men, including politicians, seem to need to acquire to validate their success and self esteem in comparison with other men.

        My brother in law says it is very insidious, particularly when it comes to a company car. He says you start out just asking for a decent car and pretty soon find yourself comparing it with all your colleagues’ cars in the car park and resenting the more recent employees who have “better” cars:and inventing all sorts of justifications to yourself why you deserve better than them.

  • mickc

    Good article…but the Prime Minister is always unelected. The fact that Johnson will not be elected is unexceptional.

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