Tory donors can, and do, control Prime Ministers

“Two former Conservative prime ministers lobbied a Middle Eastern royal family to award a multi-billion dollar oil contract to a company headed by a major Tory donor, the Guardian has established.

In March 2017, while in Downing Street, Theresa May wrote to the Bahraini prime minister to support the oil firm Petrofac while it was bidding to win the contract from the Gulf state.

Two months earlier, and just six months after stepping down as prime minister, David Cameron promoted the company during a two-day visit to Bahrain where he met the state’s crown prince.

Cameron was flown back to Britain on a plane belonging to Ayman Asfari, Petrofac’s co-founder, chief executive and largest shareholder. Petrofac did not ultimately win the contract.

Asfari and his wife, Sawsan, have donated almost £800,000 to the Conservative party since 2009. The donations were made in a personal capacity.

Documents obtained by the Guardian raise questions about how governments should best manage the perceived potential conflicts of interest generated by donations from business figures to political parties.

The government said it was routine for ministers to support British businesses bidding for major foreign contracts. Petrofac said official support had been obtained through entirely proper channels.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has been investigating Petrofac over suspected bribery, corruption and money laundering for at least two years. …”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/oct/15/revealed-cameron-and-may-lobbied-bahrain-royals-for-tory-donors-oil-firm?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Young and old people, poor people, disabled people: Boris Johnson is trying to deprive you of your vote

He wants anyone who votes to produce a driving licence or passport in order to vote.

If you have never had a passport and don’t drive, or if you would like a passport or driving licence but can’t afford it, if you HAD a passport or driving licence in the past but gave them up because you no longer travel or drive due to ill-health

BORIS JOHNSON DOESN’T WANT YOU TO VOTE BECAUSE YOU MIGHT NOT VOTE TORY

That’s the kind of world we are living in now.

“UK refuses to join France, Germany and Netherlands in halting arms sales to Turkey”

What a disgraceful vassal state of the USA we have become.

“The British government has refused to join its allies in halting arms sales to Turkey over the country’s military operation against Kurdish forces in Syria.

EU foreign ministers unanimously agreed on Monday to “condemn” Turkey’s military action, arguing that it “seriously undermines the stability and the security of the whole region” and was harming civilians.

But the bloc stopped short of agreeing to an EU-wide arms embargo against Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government, instead issuing a relatively toothless pledge for “strong” arms export control on a country-by-country basis.

A number of major European powers have unilaterally pledged to halt arms sales to Mr Erdoğan’s government, including Germany, France, and Finland.

But the UK, one of the world’s largest arms exporters, is notably absent from the list, and raised further eyebrows by initially arguing against condemning Turkey during a Monday meeting of foreign ministers to draw up a common EU position. …”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/uk-turkey-arms-sales-syria-kurds-germany-france-netherlands-eu-embargo-a9155536.html

Exmouth developer wants to build private houses before affordable ones …

Yeah, right … and then somehow the houses don’t get sold (maybe because people don’t know where the affordable houses will go if ever they are built) and then the affordables disapear … and then all high-cost housing gets built … and then suddenly they all sell …

Developer behind 36-home Exmouth scheme asks for more time to deliver last affordable dwellings – so it can sell private properties

Broadclyst Parish Council offices aren’t even in Broadclyst (and the rent is £16,000 a year)!

Broadclyst – where the council makes sure hedges don’t scratch your new car! Where bowls club members are heavily subsidised – and where the town council doesn’t even have an office – preferring to rent in Sowton for £16,000 a year!

AND where 4.5 employees share salary and pension costs of £204,000 – meaning if they were all paid the same they would be getting £45,000 plus per year. But they probably AREN’T being paid equally, which means someone – or a couple of someones – is probably being paid substantially more …

“Broadclyst Parish Council currently charges £244.51 for a band D property for its portion of the council tax, compared with the average in Devon of £42.20. …

Since the meeting [when new councillor Karl Straw tried to get the massive precept reduced] we’ve had this excellent cost cutting suggestion from a parishioner about re-locating the council office. The council pays £16,000 a year for office and car parking on the Sowton industrial estate, outside the parish, while the council owned village sports pavilion is a loss-making building, mainly used at weekends. The parishioner has suggested it would make sense to reduce costs and move the offices to the pavilion.

During the meeting one councillor said that we have to pay more because people with new cars would complain if they get scratched on uncut hedges. I don’t know what world they live in, but most ordinary hardworking people don’t have brand new cars, a lot of residents struggle even to have a car.”

Cllr Straw said that parishioners were also very concerned about the high cost of leasing a maintenance truck, at £4,500 a year, plus £3,000 for insurance and other costs.

Parish councillor Liz Straw, who joined the council in May and also voted to reduce the council tax added: “This council dramatically increased the tax now it’s time for a dramatic reduction and time to listen to local people’s concerns. We must behave responsibly and carefully with public money, other thriving Devon parishes charge a sensible council tax. We need to do the same.

“We can’t afford to subsidize the bowling club to the tune of £10,000 – it’s highly irresponsible, especially in a time of austerity. There have been a lot of complaints about the bowling club costs and I hope the club will take over most of the costs and not expect the public purse to fund their hobby.”

Councillors voted by six votes to two to reject the motion though, with the chairman not required to vote.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Massey, the chairman said that they welcomed the Straw’s motion looking to cut the cost and the council tax and that every line in the budget would be looked at, but cutting one third of the budget in one go was not something they felt they could support.

He said: “The council tax in Broadclyst is high, as it is in Cranbrook and Clyst Honiton, our neighbouring parishes. We do provide a lot of services and we have been asked by the community who don’t want to see things lost and we had a request to provide more services and so we have to set the council tax accordingly.”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/bid-reduce-council-tax-parish-3427719

Even the Queen doesn’t trust Boris Johnson!

It seems she insisted in getting the Queen’s Speech (always written by her Prime Minister) delivered to her a week in advance so that he couldn’t spring any last-minute surprises!

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/palace-demands-copy-boris-johnsons-20574086

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1190369/brexit-news-Royal-family-news-Buckingham-Palace-Queen-s-Speech-Boris-Johnson-royal-news