Posts Tagged ‘Political Funding’

Vox Political on Hidden Payments to MP’s Funding

July 30, 2016

More electoral corruption from the Conservatives, though Mike points out that it appears unconnected to the wider issue of electoral fraud by Tory MPs. Yesterday, Mike reported that the BBC had uncovered that three payments of £10,000 had been made to the fighting fund for the Tory MP for Northampton South, David Mackintosh. Although the payments, comprising £30,000 in total, were made under different names, they appear to be all from the same company, 1st Land Ltd, which is being investigated for the disappearance of millions of taxpayer’s money. Mackintosh says he will fully co-operate with police, and that he had no reason to believe the money didn’t come from the donors claimed.


Corruption is endemic at all levels of politics, and some of the prize examples of electoral fraud and the bribery of MPs and local councillors can be read regularly in the pages of Private Eye. If affects all parties, but Tory funding is particularly murky. About a decade ago Colin Challen, a Labour MP, wrote a series of articles in Lobster about his attempts to trace the funding of the Tory party. It’s unknown, or at least, it was then, where the Tory party got half of its money. It’s clear from this that the Tory party is funded by some very powerful, extremely secretive, and very probably extremely corrupt individuals and companies. Dubious payments like this made to Mr Mackintosh is just the most obvious tip of a very large, nasty iceberg. It’s probably small potatoes, and run of the mill corruption compared to what else is going on in the party.

The Young Turks on the Need for Gun Control in America

December 5, 2015

This is another excellent piece from The Young Turks, which I thought needed reblogging after the latest terrorist outrage in San Bernardino in Los Angeles. This happened a few days ago when Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, went on a rampage killing 14 and wounding at least 14 others at the Inland Regional Centre. It’s been reported in the I today that Malik may have pledged allegiance to ISIS’ leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, on Facebook.

In this video the Turks’ anchor, Cenk Uygur, puts this atrocity into its proper context, as one of the long line of mass shootings in America committed by Muslim and Christian religious extremists, like Dear, who blew away several people at a Planned Parenthood clinic, just plain loonies, and others, including shootings of unarmed suspects by American police. And the stats are shocking. He points out that in the same week that Farook and Malik murdered their co-workers and the cops sent to take them down, there were three other mass shootings in the US. This is according to the FBI’s definition, which considers a mass shooting an incident where four people or more have been shot. So far this year there has been 315 such mass shootings this year. He also quotes the stats from an organisation campaigning for some gun control laws, showing the thousands of people, who have been killed individually by guns.

He makes the point that this provides more than enough evidence for the need for gun control. However, every time someone tries to introduce some form of gun control, like mandatory background checks, this is blocked in congress by politicians, who have been funded by the NRA. Uygur at one point describes Congress as their ‘wholly owned subsidiary’. It’s why, he says, we need to take the money out of politics through initiatives like WOLFPAC. WOLFPAC is a pressure group devoted to passing legislation block companies from funding politicians’ campaigns in order to prevent such corporate corruption and pork-barrel politics.

The situation is so grotesque that when Dianne Feinstein, a Californian senator, attempted to introduce legislation banning those on the FBI’s list of suspected terrorists from buying firearms, it was blocked by the Repugs. The list is of individuals considered so dangerous, that they are legally banned from flying. The Republicans voted against it, arguing that it was unacceptable because the list wasn’t accurate.

This is how insane the pro-gun lobby is in the US. These are people considered too dangerous to fly, but they can legally buy guns, including armour piercing bullets. Way back in the 1980s Robin Williams joked about how ludicrous that decision was in his show at the New York Met.

‘According to the NRA, you have the right to armour piercing bullets. Why? How many bears do you know drive around in tanks?’

And this kind of stupidity isn’t just confined to America. There are parts of the Conservative party, who would like to bring it over here. This shows the kind of carnage that’ll occur if they do.

Here’s the video.

R.I.P. Robin Williams. He had a varied career, but I think he was one of the greatest comedians of the 20th century. And his show at the Met is a classic. If you get a chance to see it on video, or as repeat, do so. You’ll have a great laugh with the man at his prime.

Senator Behind Iran Letter Has Links to Arms Industry

March 12, 2015

This is another video by The Young Turks following up their story about the Republicans’ campaign to damage negotiations between Obama and Iran over the latter’s nuclear programme. A group of 47 Republican senators, led by Tom Cotton, wrote a letter to Iran’s supreme leader, the Ayatollah Khamenei, declaring that they would do everything to make sure that any peace deal made would not have congressional backing. It would thus be merely a presidential agreement, which subsequent administrations could easily modify or disregard.

The Young Turks rightly pointed out that it was tantamount to treason for the Republicans to try to undermine their own, elected president like this, simply in the interests of Binyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of a completely different country.

In this piece, they show also the domestic, economic motives behind Cotton’s and the Repugs’ attempts to increase tension with Iran: defence spending. They point out that the defence industry is one of the top three political sponsors in the US. Cotton himself went off to talk to the National Defense Industries’ Association, a lobbying group for Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Oshkosh, Booz and other defence contractors and arms manufacturers.

It also ain’t any kind of accident that Cotton is a supporter of Israel, and their plans to launch an attack on Iran. Boeing is also negotiating with Israel for purchasing B 52 bombers and bunker-buster bombs.

Cotton is therefore deliberately courting war, just so that he gets lots of campaign dollars and re-elected from the defence industry, and they get to maximise their profits by starting another war in the Middle East.

And hundreds of thousands, if not millions, will die, just so that Cotton and his cronies can make a fast buck.