More on Swire’s business pal Lord Barker

“… The lifting of sanctions [by Donald Trump yesterday, on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska – see post below] comes after a lobbying campaign led by Lord Gregory Barker, a former UK energy minister and now chairman of En+.

Lord Barker reportedly used lobbyists with ties to the Trump administration, law firms and public relations experts to make the argument Mr Deripaska was committed to giving up control of his companies.

Mr Deripaska is one of Russia’s wealthiest men. He amassed his fortune under Mr Putin and has bought assets abroad in ways widely perceived to benefit the Kremlin’s interests.

US diplomatic cables from 2006 described him as “among the two or three oligarchs Putin turns to on a regular basis” and “a more-or-less permanent fixture on Putin’s trips abroad”.

The 50-year-old achieved a deal of fame in the UK in 2008 when the then-business secretary, Lord Mandelson, and shadow chancellor George Osborne found themselves aboard his yacht off the coast of Corfu last summer.”

3 thoughts on “More on Swire’s business pal Lord Barker

  1. Of course, as you report above, Oleg Deripaska has not only courted Conservative parliamentarians: he famously wined and dined Peter Mandelson on his yacht (together with George Osbourne): and
    That was over a decade ago – but the lobbying continues:
    Last October, the UK’s security minister turned down a request to meet up with Lord Barker, “requesting government assistance for Russian associates”:
    And in July last year, looked at ‘In Whose Interest’ this lobbying is conducted – as “corrupt and repressive regimes seek influence and legitimacy through engagement with UK Parliamentarians.”
    Now, I’m not of course suggesting that Hugo Swire is involved in any such lobbying – but what is disturbing is how the ‘networking’ by Russian oligarchs and others with very close connections to the Kremlin is not being questioned more readily here in the UK.
    Not only is this very creepy, but it undermines (the vestiges of) our democratic system.
    Well done the EDW for continuing to poke at this.


    • Democracy? What democracy?

      Democracy requires votes to be based on the truth, not perverted by lies, requires a level playing field unsullied by illegalities or interference by foreign powers (you know who I mean), it needs politicians to deliver what they promised in their campaigning and not to hijack the vote and deliver something else, nor to deliver major policies that were kept secret and not declared. And it needs accountability and that needs transparency, and it needs an independent press who will investigate the activities of politicians without fear or favour in order to hold them to account.

      Perhaps even more fundamentally it requires the politicians to understand that THEY WORK FOR US and not for either the people who donate large sums to the party or pay for access to ministers or spend the most on lobbying or for the large corporations.

      As far as I can tell, democracy now suffers from all of the above – what currently purports to be democracy seems to have more in common with George Orwell’s 1984 or Animal Farm (can you even see any difference?) than genuine democracy.

      Democracy? What democracy?


    • P.S. The press also needs to be unbiased (rather than supporting a particular party or ideology themselves), be fact / analysis based (rather than using jingoistic emotional triggers) and act to support democracy rather than to trash it.


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