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Johnson, Corruption and Claimants.

Newspaper headlines: Sleaze rules 'torn up' by 'shameless' Tory MPs - BBC  News

Tory Corruption.

You can’t ignore the events in Parliament over the last few days.

On this Blog we talk about the problems we have as claimants, or (in my case, finally, getting Pension Credit). The stand out fact is that people in that position have not much money – even when working we are not going to get well paid jobs – and all the problems that creates. When looking at the kind of cash some people have it’s hard, if not impossible, to get a grip of the kind of income some get. I would not want a town house in Knightsbridge, private jet and helicopter flights, a country mansion, or wih to eat a gold plated steak (£850 to £1,500.) at Salt Bea’s restaurant. But it’s hard to see why people should get that kind of money when others rely on Food Banks.

It’s hard to see how you get this money through ordinary work.

Then there is the political angle.

This case stands out. The gang running this government seem to have got themselves into trouble over how they enrich themselves.

This was in the ‘I’ (strongly recommended as a daily paper) yesterday.

The Owen Paterson scandal shows how corrupt our political class already is.

Patrick Cockburn.

People in the UK often fail to see the seriousness of this deteriorating situation because mealy-mouthed words and phrases such as “lobbying”, “sleaze” and “egregious cases of paid advocacy” are used. But when these activities come together they create a toxic system in which it is only the companies that invest heavily in acquiring the services of powerful politicians and civil servants who will win the big contracts and plug into government subsidies.

In the wake of the Paterson furore, much of the commentary is about Boris Johnson’s misjudgements, and there is a reinforcement of the feeling that his government is full of dodgy people doing dodgy things. Parallels are drawn with the Tory sleaze scandals of the 1990s or the parliamentary expenses scandal of 2008. But these analogies miss the point, because in both cases the amount of money involved was trivial compared to the vast sums that the politically powerful can now hope to gain.

Paterson’s overall earnings were about £100,000 a year as a consultant to two companies, which may not sound enormous, but Randox Laboratories was paying him £8,333 for 16 hours’ work a month, or about £500 an hour according to the Commons standards committee report. Lynn’s Country Foods, a processor, was paying him £2,000 for just four hours work every other month, which is about the same rate of hourly pay.


Honesty and dishonesty are more of a matter of habit than people care to admit. The spread of corruption is turbocharged if the fortunes to be made are large and the risk of punishment low. But the lesson of Russia, Ukraine and a host of other states in the world is that once a political class becomes corrupt, there is no way back because its members will leap to defend their own, in case they should be next in line for detection and punishment. This may not have happened yet in the UK, but, as we saw this week, it is not for lack of trying.

You do not have to look to the former Eastern bloc to see how this can happen. As a French speaker over the years I have seen many affaires involving bent politicians, the most recent involving former President Nicolas Sarkozy: Sarkozy: Former French president sentenced to jail for corruption (May 2021) (he got a suspended sentence).

This is even better known in Spain, “The Gürtel case began with one Madrid mogul. Over the next decade, it grew into the biggest corruption investigation in Spain’s recent history, sweeping up hundreds of corrupt politicians and businessmen – and shattering its political system. (Guardian Sam Edwards 2019). Spanish people got so fed up with this that some (often from the protesters who went on to support the radical left Podemos) called the politicians ‘la casta politica’, the political caste, which ruled, they considered, in its own class interests.

Now we have this: Ex-British PM calls actions of Johnson’s government “politically corrupt”

LONDON, Nov 6 (Reuters) – Former British Prime Minister John Major on Saturday attacked fellow Conservative Boris Johnson’s handling of a corruption row, saying the government’s behaviour was arrogant, broke the law and was “politically corrupt”.

Johnson was forced to make a U-turn after he abandoned plans pushed through parliament to protect a lawmaker found to have broken lobbying rules.



This sums up the government’s policies more broadly:

Written by Andrew Coates

November 7, 2021 at 12:23 pm

Posted in DWP, Tories

Tagged with ,

59 Responses

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  1. And yet further corruption /”Chumocracy”

    Sunak gives huge Tax break to Bank owned by Tory donor



    November 7, 2021 at 12:36 pm

  2. And remember that curious case of the ferry company that owned no ferries and didn’t previously exist prior to being awarded a lucrative contract, whose dead non-functional website had been copied from a Chinese restaurant?


    November 7, 2021 at 12:39 pm

  3. Huddersfield foodbank boss on human misery behind referrals as she says winter will be worse than 1980s

    The Welcome Centre chief executive has had almost 150 referrals in just two weeks



    November 7, 2021 at 12:48 pm

  4. trev

    November 7, 2021 at 12:52 pm

  5. Tory ‘chumocracy’ could extend to Covid-testing contracts, campaigners reveal



    November 7, 2021 at 12:54 pm

  6. Timeline: Covid contracts and accusations of ‘chumocracy’



    November 7, 2021 at 12:55 pm

  7. ‘Chumocracy’: how Covid revealed the new shape of the Tory establishment



    November 7, 2021 at 12:57 pm

  8. The Conservatives and the whiff of chumocracy

    “A shadowy club of elite political donors increases perceptions of cronyism”



    November 7, 2021 at 12:59 pm

  9. Boris Johnson hides cost of free holiday given to him by a friend whom he gave a peerage


    MPs call for inquiry over Boris Johnson’s Spanish holiday



    November 7, 2021 at 1:04 pm

  10. Andrew Coates

    November 7, 2021 at 2:10 pm

  11. Thérèse Coffey claimed £200,000 on expenses while cutting your benefits

    “The work and pensions secretary suggested that those set to lose out from the UC cut should work more hours.”



    November 7, 2021 at 2:12 pm

  12. Rees-Mogg firm accused of cashing in on coronavirus crisis

    Sarah Butler

    the Guardian

    Investors in Somerset Capital Management told they could make ‘super normal returns’



    November 7, 2021 at 2:20 pm

  13. ‘A corruption of Conservatism’: how a cartel of Tory MPs broke British politics


    In an extract from his new book, Peter Geoghegan shows how the European Research Group became a tightly organised ‘party within a party’ that set the UK on course for a no-deal Brexit.



    November 7, 2021 at 2:26 pm

  14. Oil and gas firms have given £1m to Boris Johnson’s Conservatives

    Exclusive: Tories accused of being ‘worryingly close to fossil fuel’ industry as oil and gas companies line up for Conservative Party conference



    November 7, 2021 at 2:27 pm

  15. From Dec. 2020

    Jacob Rees Mogg Makes Billions From No Deal Brexit


    “Jacob Rees-Mogg will make £Billions for himself and his friends while British people suffer the hardship of a No Deal Brexit. He is the Leader of the House of Commons, in control of the law making body that is negotiating Brexit and astoundingly, he will directly profit from a #NoDealBrexit.”

    “More than that, I will show you with evidence beyond reasonable doubt that Jacob Rees-Mogg and Conservative donors have lied to us in order to engineer a No Deal Brexit to drive the UK into poverty for the sole purpose of making private profits. This is a price that Great Britain should not have to pay. We absolutely need a Free Trade Deal with the EU.

    “Although some of the abhorrent things that Jacob Rees-Mogg has done may be technically legal, they drive a horse and carriage through the spirit of the law and they are, without a doubt, wholly unethical and unbecoming of a British lawmaker. Jacob Rees-Mogg should be removed from office immediately.”



    November 7, 2021 at 2:51 pm

  16. Boris Johnson is a man without any principles or respect for the truth; everybody knows, or should have known, what a rotter he was based on continual disgraceful and dishonourable conduct throughout his life. He is exactly the louche and unscrupulous prime minister that his lack of character indicated he would be in that office. I’m not surprised and don’t think that anybody else should be either. Johnson is a man totally unfit and unsuitable to hold high office.

    Paul T.

    November 7, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    • Well said, I agree.


      November 7, 2021 at 5:01 pm

  17. Despite his best efforts Keir Starmer doesn’t seem to be cutting through. What about Andy Burnham for Labour leader? Although Burnham has a chequered history with New Labour he does seem to have been competent and effective as Mayor of Greater Manchester, fought his corner well, done a lot of good and comes across as a nice, fluent and down to earth kind of guy. The learned and technically minded Starmer would make a terrific Home Secretary but doesn’t seem to have the warmth, likeability and charisma needed to appeal across the board. Personally I reckon Burnham, despite his previous New Labour affiliation, could be a good candidate as Labour leader at some point in the future for the party.


    November 7, 2021 at 3:44 pm

    • Richard Burgon ?


      November 7, 2021 at 4:52 pm

      • A decent WYSIWYG kind of bloke but lacking the mass appeal to be successful as Labour leader I reckon.


        November 7, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    • On the Paterson scandal…

      “Starmer claimed the episode was illustrative of Johnson’s approach to probity. The Labour leader told the BBC’s Andrew Marr: “Boris Johnson is the prime minister who is leading his troops through the sewer – he’s up to his neck in this.

      “I don’t think you or anybody else could with a straight face say this prime minister is the man to clean up politics and to have the highest standards in public life because he is in the sewer with his troops.”

      “Starmer suggested Johnson wanted to weaken the Commons standards regime because he was worried his own conduct would be criticised again.”



      November 7, 2021 at 8:16 pm

    • At least Starmer is saying it as it is on this one:

      Boris Johnson’s actions corrupt – Starmer



      November 7, 2021 at 10:29 pm

  18. Andrew Coates

    November 7, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    • Rees-Mogg, in his top hat, would probably say that the return of scurvy is due to parents not budgeting correctly and spending all their money in the Gin houses instead of adequately feeding their offspring.


      November 7, 2021 at 5:00 pm

      • Rees-Mogg is quite possibly the most aloof and coldest member of the government in a cabinet sporting smirking reptilian creatures like Priti Patel. A man who thinks that using a word like “floccinaucinihilipilification” in parliament is the height of Wildean wit and erudition, naming his children after saints and popes and saddling them with monikers like Thomas Wentworth Somerset Dunstan, Thomas Wentworth Somerset Dunstan, Alfred Wulfric Leyson Pius and Sixtus Dominic Boniface Christopher has to be one of the archest, fakest and most pretentious bastards ever.


        November 7, 2021 at 5:34 pm

      • Narcissistic I would add, and probably either Sociopathic or Psychopathic too.


        November 7, 2021 at 5:38 pm

      • @trev- He is an absolute caricature of the Eton-bred twit, and seems to find it amusing to act and dress as he does.

        Jeff Smith

        November 7, 2021 at 5:54 pm

      • He’s a real life Beano character, a cross between Lord Snooty and Walter the softy!


        November 7, 2021 at 7:47 pm

      • trev

        November 7, 2021 at 10:17 pm

  19. Andrew Coates

    November 7, 2021 at 6:48 pm

  20. And of course the American Pole Dancing Affair. Yee Ha !!

    Jeff Smith

    November 7, 2021 at 8:47 pm

  21. The Metropolitan Police has been urged to launch an investigation into the Tory ‘cash for honours’ scandal after multi-millionaire donors were offered peerages https://t.co/fJa3VN5piT

    — Peter Stefanovic (@PeterStefanovi2) November 7, 2021


    November 8, 2021 at 12:52 am

  22. Ask yourself ?

    What money would need to be in your possession for you not to notice a single solitary penny missing. Then do it again for 10p, then £1.

    Lets face it that there is a fine line between noticing and caring so its not impossible to navigate money away from the tax payers without them noticing. What is probably most criminal though is in how the thief/thieves will concoct a reason should it blow up in their face/s down the road.

    The fundamental flaw in politics is how we breed these politicians rather than select them from our deserving working class public. People who earn less than 50’000 a year with parties filled equally with representatives of each class of earning (£40’000.30’000/20’000).


    November 8, 2021 at 8:48 am

  23. NHS claim 14 times more coronavirus patients than this time last year

    Where are they getting this figure from, why isn’t it explained for fact checking purposes, why until it is, isn’t stamped with a yet to be verified notice ?

    Now im not calling the NHS liars but as it does not appear in the overall figures from what i can see am liable to believe this is only representative of certain hospitals.

    ALSO: What about this supposed wonder drug that demonstrated 89% effectiveness in trials at reducing hospitalization and or death. Wouldn’t it stand to reason now the cats out of the bag that factions of people may just wait rather than have a booster that’s viewed by many as a ball and chain every 6 months.


    November 8, 2021 at 9:02 am

  24. Andrew Coates

    November 8, 2021 at 9:11 am

    • The so-called “Voice of Reason” never stops speaking. Alex Belfield is a Rightwinger, pro-Brexit Leave, xenophobic, Nationalist, probably a Tory voter, hates the Left, is a Covid denier, anti-vax, climate change denier, Trump fan. A nasty piece of work.


      November 8, 2021 at 10:37 am

      • Cloverleaf

        November 8, 2021 at 12:52 pm

      • Oh by the way Alex has had the jabberooni so he can’t be an ‘anti vaxxer’.


        November 8, 2021 at 1:21 pm

      • I can’t abide the man.


        November 8, 2021 at 2:06 pm

      • You dont work for the BBC by any chance Trev

        Anyone is entitled to a view even if it does not line up with your own. Debate the person by all means but to make a post such as you have done in all honesty makes you no less appealing in the eyes of those reading this site.
        Your taking a very cheap shot while providing him no chance to defend himself from your allegations. Your better than that Trev.


        November 9, 2021 at 8:15 am

      • Sorry if I offend your sensibilities Doug but Alex Belfield embodies and represents everything that I am against.


        November 9, 2021 at 8:28 am

  25. It shows how bad things are for Labour, when their best result comes from the Tories shooting themselves in the foot over Paterson. Otherwise its still boredom as usual on the opposition benches.

    Jeff Smith

    November 8, 2021 at 12:28 pm

  26. It’s not right that these MPs have got second jobs . They should be concentrating on what they were fucking elected for. And living just on the £84,000 they get plus expenses.

    George M

    November 8, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    • Well said George!


      November 8, 2021 at 4:21 pm

    • @George M – Very true George, if they were restricted to living on their MPs salary, we wouldn’t need all this declaration of interests stuff. Their only interest would be their parliamentary duties, and those on behalf of their constituents. No lobbying allowed, and no taking these well-paid jobs on company boards, until after they leave parliament.

      Jeff Smith

      November 8, 2021 at 4:21 pm

    • I’ve heard people suggesting that some MPs were also practising doctors, presumably medical doctors. Considering the hours that doctors and supposedly MPs work how the heck could that be possible? Surely anybody trying to run those two horses in harness would have to neglect one in order to give attention to the other. In my opinion being an MP should be a FULL TIME JOB and that voters should command an MP’s attention not consultancies. Owen Paterson, for example, had several extra curricular jobs one of which was as ‘consultant’ to Randox, a medical firm that makes diagnostic equipment and tests, for which he received a handsome salary of £50,000 per year, for eight hours of work per month – around £500 an hour!.

      Nice work if you can get it.


      November 8, 2021 at 7:14 pm

      • They’re not real jobs, and they’re not real salaries, they’re bribes to gain contracts or other favourable conditions.


        November 8, 2021 at 7:19 pm

  27. Hundred people die fighting for terminal illness benefits

    Around 100 people denied fast-tracked disability benefits for terminal illness died challenging the decision.

    Currently, patients can access benefits more quickly if their clinician says they have six months or less to live.



    November 8, 2021 at 3:57 pm

  28. https://bylinetimes.com/2021/11/08/how-political-corruption-works-in-the-uk/

    How Political Corruption Works in the UK
    Sam Bright
    8 November 2021
    In total, Government contracts worth at least £3 billion have been awarded to Conservative friends and donors during the crisis, Byline Times and The Citizens have calculated. Several of Lord Bethell’s meetings during the early stages of the pandemic were also attended by former Conservative Treasurer Lord Andrew Feldman – the party’s former chief fundraiser – who worked as an unpaid advisor to Lord Bethell between March and May last year.

    The Byline Intelligence Team has calculated that a quarter of top Conservative donors – those who have donated more than £100,000 to the party – have received a title or a peerage. Of the Conservative Party’s 20 biggest donors since 2010 – those donating more than £1.5 million – 55% (11) have received an honour or a title. Ten were given these perks in the past decade.

    A more recent trend, and one catalogued extensively by Byline Times, has been a concerted attempt to appoint Conservative-leaning figures to public bodies. One former Government official told the Financial Times that “there has been a lot of placement of political cronies” and that “Number 10 has taken a close interest in it for the past year-and-a-half”.

    Of those who voted for the Conservatives in the 2019 General Election, 37% of those surveyed said that they believed that the Government is corrupt, while 32% disagreed.

    Yet, until the dam broke last week, few in the mainstream press had been willing to expose the corrupting forces that underwrite the Westminster system. This is, perhaps, because the media is owned by these same forces – by right-wing billionaires who meet in private with senior Government ministers.

    The corruption infecting British politics is not the sort that is depicted in Hollywood films. There is no clandestine exchange of brown envelopes for favourable government treatment. The process is more complex, underhand, and arguably more sinister.

    Andrew Coates

    November 8, 2021 at 4:06 pm

  29. The MPs should get their pay on a pre-charged Parliamentary Card, with restrictions on how the money is spent. So no alcohol, drugs, prostitutes or tattoos.

    Jeff Smith

    November 8, 2021 at 6:14 pm

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