Thursday, February 10, 2011

City financing of the Conservative Party doubles under Cameron

Journalism is publishing a story the rich and powerful want kept under wraps. Anything else is just advertising.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism put the sleazy fleet street canaille to shame by uncovering the depth of city financing of the Tory Party. On the same day the tabloids headlined a celebrity divorce and what was happening in Neighbours.

Last year City money made up over half of all Conservative Party donations, a leap from a quarter five years previously, when Cameron and Osborne took over the helm.

The City has donated a total of £42.76m since 2005. Last year City money accounted for £11.4m, compared with £2.75m when Cameron took over.

The revelation comes as the Chancellor’s move to increase a levy on banks was criticised for being inadequate.

A spokesman for the Conservative Party quoted on Radio 2 said that it was "ridiculous" to say that the donations affected the government's policy. It is hardly ridiculous to say that the policy elicited the donations though!

If you have ever come across a greedy banker who handed out massive wads of cash with no prospect of a return, I haven't.

The "Leader's group" are a group of rich individuals who buy the right to bend the PM's ear on any issue of their choice.

Bureau research shows that 57 individuals from the financial services sector made a donation of more than £50,000 each last year.

This level of funding would entitle them to membership of the Leader’s Group. According to Conservative Party donor literature published on the party’s website members of this group are given numerous opportunities to meet “David Cameron and other senior figures from the Conservative Party at dinners, post-PMQ lunches, drinks receptions, election result events and important campaign launches”

And he who pays the piper calls the tune.

City financing of the Conservative Party doubles under Cameron

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Law and Hugh Orde - brute force and ignorance

Hugh Orde, the head of the Association of Chief Police
Officers, criticised the "lack of willingness of new protest
groups" that have sprung up around the internet to engage
with police before protests. In fact police have
"co-operated" by "kettling" protestors.

Orde is determined to go back to the days of the miners'
strike when the boys in blue were regarded as Maggie
Thatcher's private army.

Orde admitted that kettling was a violation of human rights.
Then he gave a shrug. So what? It's "for the greater good,
and that's the really complex part of policing."

He said if protestors continued to refuse to co-operate,
then police tactics would have to become "more extreme."

The police themselves face the same problem as have arisen
in the health service and education - unqualified and
underpaid staff replacing qualified officers as a way of
cutting costs. Community Support Officers bringing in
policing on the cheap. What next? Sherlock Holmes being
replaced by Inspector Clouseau? He may be crap but he is
dead cheap.

And the sons and daughters of police officers are having
their future taken away by this government. The introduction
of sky high fees will affect them as much as anyone else.

Hugh Orde's policy of brute force and ignorance is hardly
likely to address these issues.