Saturday, July 11, 2009

Independent: Vulture Capitalist Ashcroft to be Nobbled by Straw?

The Independent reported today that Lord Ashcroft - who donated lots of money to the Conservatives he should really have been paying in UK taxes after his "gentleman's agreement" to become resident and domiciled in the UK for tax purposes, in exchange for getting a Baronetcy instead of the three-strikes-and-your-out bum's rush he deserved - that Ashcroft is to be banned from such bankrolling.

His apparently personal donations were channeled through an agent company - Bearwood Securities - which appears to do little else than passport through Belize dollars to CCHQ and/or target constituency associations. And he also abused the exemption for "travel" donations through his offshore Flying Lion operation. And what's more it is the Ignoble Lord who invests in Iain Dale's "politically neutral" Total Politics and the like.

HERE YOU GO. This needs to be made retrospective people. If Ashcroft cannot donate going forward this indicates that he's been taking the piss looking backward. Let the Conservatives pay every penny over to the Treasury. And let's have the ermine off his back.


Anonymous said...


Can you think of anyone who has given large amounts of money to any political party who would stand much scrutiny over their motives?

I certainly can't.

At the root of the problem is the insatiable appetite that the political machine in this country has for money. It's a system that has become bloated and open to corruption by anyone with a big enough chequebook.

tory boys never grow up said...

Needs to be remembered that Ashcroft has also made donations to the Tory equivalents in Australia and New Zealand. He is also a citizen in Belize and in the Turks and Caicos - we do not know what donations he has made to political parties in those locations, be we do know that he and his companies made substantial personal loans (c£7m+) to the disgraced former Prime Minister of Turks and Caicos Michael Misick.

The Auld Commission report into corruption in Turks and Caicos continues to be delayed - one can only speculate as to the reasons. The FCO has already said that an important part of the recommendations made by the recent Commission of Inquiry is that criminal investigations should be set in motion against former Premier Michael Misick and four of his then cabinet Ministers.

jailhouselawyer said...

I thought Lord Ascroft had already been enobbled by the Tories?

Chris Paul said...

In reverse order:

Ennobled yes, but ennobbled no. Two sides of the same coin perhaps. Heads you win, tails you lose.

And he was ennobled by Labour I believe, based on solemn promises that he would be paying his taxes in the UK. Whereas in fact he's been keeping his money and giving some to the wretched Tories.

We have to come back to this stuff now that it's not "is it within the rules" that counts but instead "how does it look?"

Chris Paul said...


Thanks for the T&C link which clicks through HERE.

Also some interesting connections of geographical coincidence there to that Alan Stanford.

And it's not so far to go from there to Los Honduras where some interfering in democracy of a very much more proactive style has been going on.

Did Cameron meet Stanford at Lords last summer? is a question I'd like to see answered.

Chris Paul said...


I think we can safely say that people's motives for any behaviour are quite hard to get at.

We can generalise and say that people tend to do things that make them feel good.

If they are interested in social goods then that could be through helping things happen in a social way.

If they are interested in their own economic interests - including by a coincidence with social interests whatever their political mantra - they could be interested in that.

For example a Vulture Capitalist could be very interested in seeing laissez faire governments everywhere, letting companies go bump and feeding them to the wolves and vultures.

But Michael Ashcroft's behaviour, and that of the Tories who conspire with him, goes above and beyond this.

There are frameworks to manage and regulate and track donations. And there is the idea of representation being linked to taxation and vice versa.

The main allegation is that at best Ashcroft and Co have gamed the rules to within an inch of their lives so that even if "within the rules" his donations look like an atrocious interference.

This should be reassessed now vs the new "clean" analysis.

A subsidiary allegation is that Michael Ashcroft and William Hague, faced with a potential third bum's rush on the honours for cash front, made some solemn promises of stopping taking the piss by donating from overseas. And that they have not honoured those promises.

And a further allegation of course is that Ashcroft and leading Tories have also gamed the rules when it cmes to the exception to eligible donors re travel expenses.

The true costs of all the diverse travel Ashcroft has provided have been hidden and were of course often not declared in a proper timely way.

But also it is a fact that the purpose of the exception on travel is to allow overseas interests to facilitate visits to their countries or factories or fact-finding missions or whatever.

NOT to put jets at the disposal of politicians for trips that are entirely unrelated to the plane owner's direct interests.

Ashcroft's dark heart and his self interest may be of interest to some people. But for me the major issue is that he and the Tories are conspiring to buy power by riding a coach and horses, or a dassault jet, through the rules.

tory boys never grow up said...

Someone needs to tell me how to embed links in posts!

benchilltory said...

during the last 12 years of this disgraceful government, we have seen that through the vanity of one labour prime minister , this country has involved itself in 2 wars that are unwinnable. at least with the Falklands you could define the wuinning position, ( turf the argys out).
so many of your labour types were demonstrating in favour of the Malvinas and for British defeat.
Largely silent now.

how many more british young lives will be lost before you lot and your yellow belly approach look for a quick exit.
still you involve yourselve in nonsense about Ashcroft, given the greed that has sprung up under your government any criticism from your lot is pointless. you will lose the next election and be out of goverment for a generation( ps leech will hold Withington)

Chris Paul said...

Look Benchilltory ... your party supported and still support both these wars. And Ashcroft is an offshore foreigner interfering in our politics, and those of Australia and New Zealand and Belize and Turks and Caicos, and who know perhaps Honduras, Nicaragua and so on too.

Ashcroft is an arse.

PS Why would you want Mr Leech to hold Withington? It used to be a pretty strong Tory seat, so why aren't you lot trying to get it back? To which end you would have to destroy Leech this time - after all 70% of his vote may well be Tories being tactical - and then hope to beat Powell the time after.

Chris Paul said...

Embedding links in comments:

Where you want to place a link you must copy this string of "code":

[a href=""]

followed immediately by the text you want highlighted as the name of the link, and followed immediately by [/a]

i.e. [a href="link"]name[/a]

In all cases square brackets [] must be replaced by angle brackets <>. You can also use [b]bold[/b] and [i]italic[/i] tags in a similar way.

Dick the Prick said...

Sour grapes Chris? Now that the unions are jumping ship you really are up the creek sans paddle.