Tory Prime Minister Heath – It’s Scotland’s Oil – So The Money Is Theirs – Westminster – We Can’t Allow That They Will Seek Independence

 

 

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1972. The discovery of oil in the North Sea revealed Prime Minister, Edward Heath concerns about Nationalist opinion and the poor state of the Scottish economy. Alert to opportunities for change he initiated a policy review.

The Senior, Downing Street civil servant, Robert Armstrong wrote to members of the Cabinet;

“As you know, the point has recently been put to the Prime Minister that the benefits of oil production brought ashore in Scotland should accrue, and be seen to accrue, to the Scottish economy. The Prime Minister sees considerable force in the arguments believing it would be difficult to stress too highly the psychological gains which would come from the revival of the Scottish economy being seen to be something from which Scotland was achieving from its own resources, not just by the grace and favour of the Government at Westminster or of English industry.” He added: “The Prime Minister understands that novel arrangements may be required to achieve this result.”

 

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Heath’s stance created alarm at Westminster and led to many “on and off the record” meetings between various factions within and outwith government and the civil service resulting in an outpouring of confidential minutes and memos. Primary contributors being:  the Scottish Office, the Exchequer, and the then Department of Trade and Industry led by the Scottish Secretary of State, Gordon Campbell, (later Baron Campbell of Croy) and the, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Anthony Barber.

 

by Walter Bird, bromide print, October 1959

Baron Campbell of Croy

 

In stating their opposition to Heath’s proposals the Westminster establishment voiced concerns about taking oil revenues away from the Treasury. A senior official at the Scottish Office, in London said in a memo to Downing Street on 25 January:

“The oil discoveries have raised speculation in Scotland on the financial aspects and will continue to do so. But, the official added: “the Secretary of State for Scotland, Mr Campbell would not wish to see direct payments from the oil revenues, as these would be too late to be really useful and would raise a new principal causing difficulties if applied in other contexts. On the general question of the financial relationship of central Government with Scotland, the present has been evolved over many years and the types and amounts of grants, for example to local authorities for housing and education…follow formulae which recognise special circumstances and needs where they exist. “Mr Campbell considers that to dismantle this system, besides being a Herculean task, would resurrect innumerable issues now mercifully dormant.” (Independence)

 

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In a memo on 7 February, 1972, Treasury officials said they too were looking at “aspects” of the Prime Minister’s request.  The Treasury argued more strongly and said “…Scotland takes a markedly bigger share of public spending than she contributes to public revenue. We are looking at the latest expenditure figures to confirm that they will tell the same story.”

Those in opposition to Heath’s proposals presented a uniform front and unanimously suggested that aims could be better met by investment in infrastructure and the fostering of fabrication yards and supply companies. Treasury officials later said there was “no question of hypothecation” of oil revenue to finance Scottish expenditure.

Their strident opposition to the suggestion gathered support, and submission of an alternative proposal, transferring all revenue gathered from the oil bonanza to the treasury in Westminster. The consensus was that, “any change in the financial relationship between Westminster and Scotland would resurrect innumerable issues, (A veiled reference to Scottish Independence) now mercifully dormant”. Edward Heath, blindsided, and out-voted in cabinet accepted their proposal. Scotland was then systematically ripped off for the next 43 year’s.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) argues, (correctly) that Scotland has been and continues to be cheated out of its oil revenue by Westminster.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/2617525.stm

 

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17 April 2002: Oil firms attack ‘give and take’ budget
North Sea platformThe North Sea Oil tax structure deters development.

The North Sea oil industry has reacted with alarm to Chancellor Gordon Brown’s decision to slap a 10% surcharge on profits.

This supplement, which will take some £500m out of the North Sea industry in a full year, will be a serious threat to jobs

Alex Salmond, SNP

In his budget speech earlier on Wednesday, Mr Brown said he would abolish the “royalty” payment on North Sea Oil.He also announced plans to improve capital allowances for oil companies.

But he spoiled the party for oil producers by slapping an extra 10% tax on UK oil production, taking it to 40% to “raise revenue”.

The net result of these changes to the complex North Sea tax regime is likely be a greater share of oil income going to the government.

 

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‘Investor confidence’

The UK Offshore Operators Association, which represents more than 30 offshore organisations and companies, said the Budget was one of “give and take”. A spokeswoman said: “While the UK offshore industry welcomes the chancellor’s provision to increase capital allowances in first-year investment in the North Sea, it is disappointed at the decision to introduce a 10% supplementary charge on profits. “We believe this could undermine investor confidence in the long-term viability of the UK Continental Shelf.”

 

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Labyrinthine

The industry has a labyrinthine tax structure, with different developments supplying varying levels of revenue to the chancellor depending on their age. Some fields going back 20 years or more can pay as much as 70% in various levies, while modern developments are taxed at a lower rate. UKOOA said it was too early to ascertain the impact of proposals to possibly scrap royalties on North Sea oil which are levied on older fields. The spokesman said: “His proposal to consult the industry on the abolition of royalties applies to mature fields developed before the end of March 1982. “It will take some time to analyse the impact of the full tax package on the industry.”

 

 

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Urgent consultation

Alex Salmond, the leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party at Westminster, said the tax supplement on profits was a threat to offshore jobs in Scotland, which was at the centre of the UK’s industry. “This supplement, which will take some £500m out of the North Sea industry in a full year, will be a serious threat to jobs. “Because Scotland is deprived of the North Sea tax, Gordon Brown will get the revenue while Scotland will lose the jobs.” Mr Salmond said he would be consulting urgently with the industry to assess the impact of the new tax.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/1936279.stm

 

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27 September 2002: SNP Argue for full independence

Andrew Wilson told the party’s conference in Inverness that Labour had mismanaged the economy and the time has come for the Nationalists to assume responsibility. Mr Wilson said: “There is an economic imperative for independence like never before.” Accusing Labour of a lack of ambition, he said: “Labour have had their chance, now it’s Scotland’s turn. Let’s show some ambition for our country.”  He also said that “Scotland would not need to rely on oil revenues to ensure economic success after independence.”

 

_38280832_wilsonposter300Andrew Wilson

 

Alex NeilAlex Neil

 

 

Those comments came after fellow MSP Alex Neil received a warm reception when asserting that it was time Scotland received all the cash raised from North Sea oil. Mr Neil said there was enough oil under the North Sea to last for 30 years and raise £150bn.

He told activists that when oil was first discovered he had argued for all revenues raised to be evenly split between Scotland and the rest of the UK.  Amid loud applause, he said: “Thirty years later I’m still arguing for an oil sharing policy, but it’s an oil sharing policy with a difference.  “They’ve had their share, now it’s time that we got our share.”

 

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‘No pot of gold’

However, Mr Wilson said Scotland could prosper without relying on oil revenues. He said: “The reality is that we can do it without natural resources. We’re not going to win independence by promising it’s a free lunch. “There is no pot of gold – black or otherwise – at the foot of the independence rainbow.” Mr Wilson told the conference that Scotland needed the powers of an independent nation to realise its potential.

Party treasurer Jim Mather said: “We are stuck with perennially low growth that in turn creates a wealth gap and a health gap with the rest of the UK. “The solution is clear, we must tackle Scotland’s core problem, Scotland’s lack of full financial Independence.”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/2285065.stm

 

 

Scotland_marine-borderTheft of Scotland borders

 

 

 

27 September 2002: Nationalists ‘ready to govern’
The Scottish National Party has evolved from a party of protest to one capable of taking power, John Swinney has told activists.The party leader spoke of the prospects of a Nationalist-led government in a keynote address to the SNP conference in Inverness.

Mr Swinney said he accepts that the SNP has attracted protest votes in the past, but he told delegates that his party was now ready to govern.

Our new approach will be to present independence, not as a land of milk and honey but as a land of opportunity

John Swinney, SNP leader

The SNP leader promised a reformed Scotland and issued warnings about life under Labour.He said that the SNP would ensure shorter hospital waits, safer streets and better schools if the party gains power at May’s Scottish parliamentary elections.

Boosting business was another key theme.

Mr Swinney promised to end the use of private cash in the public sector but warned that there was no “pot of gold” with which to ensure a smooth transition to independence.

The SNP leader said that Scotland needs the powers of independence to make a radical difference and “release its potential” – the party’s new slogan.

He directed his fire at the Scottish Parliament, telling delegates that criticism over his move for a debate on Iraq showed the limitations of the legislature.

John Swinney

John Swinney: “Release our potential”

He said: “They try to shout me down when I stray from the devolved agenda.”Well I have a message for the unionists. Scotland is not a devolved administration, Scotland is a nation and a nation’s voice must be heard.”

At the centre of Mr Swinney’s 40-minute speech was a promise that independence would create a passport out of poverty for many Scots.

Mr Swinney warned that the SNP would not use Holyrood’s tax-varying powers to raise revenue if it won power but added that it would use a Labour “slush fund” of £370m held in reserve by his opponents.

 

Scotland’s Future
Mr Swinney said: “Our new approach will be to present independence, not as a land of milk and honey but as a land of opportunity. An opportunity to compete. An opportunity to put our people back in control. An opportunity to release our potential, our potential as a talented and innovative people.  An opportunity to wave goodbye forever to those who stamp down on Scotland’s ambitions. That’s the opportunity of independence”.  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/2284141.stm

 

 

 

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Tax Havens And The Tory’s – Will they Honour Their manifesto? – Give Up Their Secret Nest Eggs To The Taxman – Pigs Will Fly First

 

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The overall amount of finance held in tax havens, Panama, Caymans, Jersey etc. attributable to members of the Tory Party employed as MP’s, Baron’s etc in the House of Lords, Venture Capitalists, Hedge Funds, Charitable Funds, Corporations, other Organisations, other Financial supporters in or around the City of London, their wives, other family members, their heirs and successors is around £50trillion. (A guestimante but who can say otherwise with confidence)

A one off 20% levy on the profits deriving from these funds would be sufficient to clear the UK National Debt and provide a working surplus allowing completion of much needed capital developments. Austerity could be discontinued bringing much relief to the hard pressed British public

The major difficulty is the “ merchants of the City of London“, the square mile of the worlds financial intrigue. They will not give up their control of the British Protectorate Tax Havens, preferring to launder through them loads of funny money around the world. All to the detriment of the British public.

Another difficulty is identifying just who has what tucked away where. The “Registration of Financial Interests” in Westminster specifically excludes the need for politicians to reveal any financial information pertaining to such holdings. Paragraph 58 states:

“Holdings in a collective investment vehicle (including unit trusts, investment companies with variable capital (ICVCs) and investment trusts) are not generally registrable.”

 

25 May 2015: Tory Election Win Good for Offshore Umbrella Companies

The return of a Tory government was much welcomed by the Tory party and their supporters in the City of London who were at risk of losing some of the financial perks extended to them since 1979, at the time Thatcher removed Capital restrictions from financial institutions. The site listed below provides explanatory information about the sharp practices being foisted upon the British electorate. http://www.offshoreumbrellacompanies.com/

 

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If the Tory government is serious in it’s manifesto pledge to close down Tax Haven loopholes they should make a start by introducing measures requiring MP’s, Lord’ etc. to declare all relevant information to the treasury and in the “Register of member’s Interest’s”.

Adding to the debate is information pertaining to David Cameron whose fortunes are mirrored throughout the “British Upper Class”

Continuing failure by (Westminster and the City of London Financiers) to address the multitude of financial “scams” will surely bring about calls for Scotland to break away from a system of governance that punishes rather than protects the electorate.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmcode/1885/188504.htm
April 2015: The Code of Conduct and Guide to Rules – http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmcode.htm
April 2015: The Register of Members’ Financial Interests – http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmregmem.htm

 

30 Aug 2013: An explanation, (by use of analogy) addressing the impact of unfettered political doctrine on the UK population http://syzygysue.com/2013/08/03/politics-and-parasites/

 

 

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27 April 2012: David Cameron and the offshore connection

Questions about links between Britain’s rulers and the obscure world of offshore finance signal a need for transparency. Last weekend, the Guardian reported that the British prime minister’s father, Ian Cameron, held directorships in companies registered in tax havens. These companies were created soon after then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher relaxed capital controls in 1979. They were the foundation of a fortune estimated at around £10m ($16m) in 2009.

That Cameron comes from a wealthy background hardly qualifies as front-page news. But his family’s links to the offshore sector have not, until now, been widely publicised. In its obituary of Ian Cameron, (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/politics-obituaries/7990368/Ian-Cameron.html) for example, the Telegraph mentioned his work as a stockbroker and described him as an “old school” City man. But it made no reference to his being the chairman of Close International Asset Management (Jersey), and a director of both Blairmore Holdings (Panama City) and Blairmore Asset Management (Geneva).

There is no hint of any offshore connection in David Cameron’s recent entries in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests published by parliament. In the past year he has listed benefits such as “honorary membership for life of the Carlton Club” and “discounted personal training”. He also notes “residential property in London, from which rental income is received”. When he was on the board of Urbium, a company that very successfully promotes the consumption of alcohol, he disclosed the fact. Doubtless he is scrupulous in his observance of the current rules concerning outside interests. (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmregmem/contents.htm)

 

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But it is time to ask if the British prime minister has a beneficial interest in an entity or entities registered offshore. Indeed, it is time to ask if any of our politicians benefit from facilities provided by companies, trusts and other institutions located in tax havens. The main purpose of the Register of Members’ Financial Interests (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmcode/1885/188504.htm) is “to provide information of any pecuniary interest or other material benefit which a member receives which might reasonably be thought by others to influence his or her actions, speeches or votes in parliament, or actions taken in the capacity of a member of parliament”.

If an elected politician uses offshore facilities, for the purposes of long-term tax planning, for example, or to hold wealth in trust for his or her heirs, surely this would qualify as a “material benefit”? And isn’t it reasonable to think that such an arrangement could have some bearing on his or her actions “taken in the capacity of a member of parliament”?  After all, states such as Britain have a decisive role in determining the size and scope of offshore. The UK government suddenly removed capital controls in 1979. It could, just as suddenly, reinstate them. It could also change its attitude towards wealth held overseas by UK citizens and residents. Politicians can make tax avoidance more or less easy through changes in legislation.

 

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There is another sense in which offshore assets are not like other forms of property. The  costs of creating investment vehicles and other structures in tax havens ensure that only a tiny minority can afford to take advantage of them: “A change in the interest rate affects savers and borrowers in a clear and obvious way. But politicians can quietly change the rules governing offshore and deliver huge benefits to a handful of very wealthy individuals.”

There are one or two indications that British politicians are aware of offshore. The most recent Register of Members’ Interests notes visits to Liechtenstein by four MPs: Daniel Kawczynski,  Angus Macneil,  Mark Menzies and Andrew Rosindell. One of the four,  Daniel Kawczynski,  also visited Jersey at the invitation of the island’s first minister. Two others, Brian Donohue and Graham Brady, visited Grand Cayman in the same period. (http://www.allparty.org/all-party-groups/liechtenstein)

I hope that MPs who visit tax havens make a point of highlighting their concerns about offshore’s role in facilitating tax avoidance, tax evasion, money laundering and corruption. Doubtless the bankers of Liechtenstein tremble a little at the prospect of another grilling from Andrew Rosindell and the rest of the “British-Liechtenstein All-Party Parliamentary Group”.

 

 

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But presumably there is more to the relationship between offshore and the British political class than occasional parliamentary visits. After all, a lot of politicians used to work in banking and associated trades. Many more look forward to doing so later in their careers. Only full disclosure can dispel the growing sense that politicians have become detached from the country they are supposed to serve, and are loyal instead to the imperial empire of offshore finance.

The Register of Members’ Financial Interests “is not intended to be an indicator of a member’s personal wealth”. Perhaps that’s reasonable, although it is worth noting that the salary of £65,738  puts MPs in the top five per cent of UK wage earners; by most people’s standards, all MPs are rich. But the use of offshore resources to minimise tax is different in kind from the mere fact of wealth. It is a benefit that depends on very particular policies. It is a fact that the British government is “committed to a G20 plan to put an end to banking secrecy, yet we have no idea if our leaders have a stake in keeping effective regulation at bay. Any register of financial interests must include information about any interest at all politicians have in tax havens. The current situation manages to be both sinister and farcical. We would be happy to help parliament draft sensible guidelines”.

Critics of the government are right. Arguments can be made in favour of the current arrangements. But if those defending the status quo derive material benefits from it, then these benefits cannot remain effectively secret. Without transparency there can be no accountability, as the register itself acknowledges. Only full disclosure can dispel the growing sense that politicians have become detached from the country they are supposed to serve, and are loyal instead to the immaterial empire of offshore. If the prime minister and other politicians want to keep one foot in Panama City then that is their business. But it is something the rest of us are entitled to know. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/04/201242611931801956.html

 

 

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April 18 2012: Osborne wants London to take the lead in off-shore yuan trade

“Britain wants London to become a leading centre for off-shore trading in Chinese renminbi to help boost the economy”, Chancellor George Osborne said. Speaking after HSBC launched the first-ever renminbi(or yuan) denominated bond in London, Osborne said “the city’s pre-eminence in foreign exchange and bond issuance means it is well placed to serve as a hub for Chinese banks that want to do business in the west”. “It is the ambition of the British government to make London a western hub for the sector – with all the benefits that this will bring to our own economy,” Osborne said in a speech.

Osborne’s comments came after HSBC Holdings Plc said it planned to launch a 3-year renminbi (RMB) bond. “This is a significant moment,” Osborne said. “This builds on the progress London has already made toward becoming the western hub for RMB,” he added.

 

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A report by the City of London Corporation published overnight showed that customer and interbank yuan, or renminbi deposits in London total 109 billion yuan. The city is working with major banks to boost London as an off-shore yuan trading centre, building on an initiative by Britain and Hong Kong to co-operate on off-shore yuan trading.

London represents 26 percent of the global offshore spot foreign exchange market in renminbi. London and other financial centres such as Singapore are seeking to capitalise on the rapid growth of the off-shore yuan bond market in Hong Kong since its launch less than two years ago, as investors aim to put their yuan deposits to work by buying high-yielding yuan bonds. Borrowers have included international companies such as  Tesco and McDonalds as well as international banks. http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/04/18/uk-britain-china-renminbi-idUKBRE83H09520120418

 

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20 April 2012: David Cameron’s family fortune – Blairmore Holdings Inc – the Jersey, Panama and Geneva tax haven connection Offshore venture

At the heart of a stunning 50-acre estate by the banks of the river Deveron in Aberdeenshire sits the granite-clad Victorian mansion Blairmore House, home to four generations of the prime minister’s family. Built in the 1880s by Alex Geddes, a Scotsman who became known as the Chicago grain king, the estate holds decades of David Cameron’s family history. The union of the Geddes and Cameron families was celebrated in the grounds in 1905, and the nearby chapel remembers forebears killed in the first world war. David’s father, Ian Donald Cameron, was born in 1932 at Blairmore House. But soon after that, the old place was sold.

So it was perhaps for sentimental reasons that the offshore fund Ian Cameron helped to establish in the tax haven of Panama shares the name. Blairmore Holdings Inc, just like Blairmore House, is a monument to wealth obtained overseas. The family’s banking history goes back even further, to the 1860s, when Sir Ewen Cameron joined the industry. He later helped the Rothschild banking dynasty sell war bonds during the Russo-Japanese war. While at Panmure Gordon, Ian was a bond specialist too, showing determination to overcome his physical disability – he was born with deformed legs – and make partner at the firm by the age of 30.

 

 

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David Cameron’s father ran a network of offshore investment funds to help build the family fortune that paid for the prime minister’s inheritance, the Guardian can reveal. Though entirely legal, the funds were set up in tax havens such as Panama City and Geneva, and explicitly boasted of their ability to remain outside UK tax jurisdiction. At the time of his death in late 2010, Ian Cameron left a fortune of £2.74m in his will, from which David Cameron received the sum of £300,000.

Cameron and other cabinet members have recently suggested that they would be willing to disclose their personal tax filings amid growing scrutiny following the budget, but this would only shed light on annual sources of income rather than accumulated wealth or inheritance. Blairmore Holdings, meanwhile, continues to go from strength to strength. According to the company’s own listing with the Financial Times, the value of the fund’s investments has increased by 8.5% in the last three years.

 

 

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The structure employed by Cameron senior is now commonplace among modern hedge funds, which argue that offshore status can help attract international investors. UK residents would ordinarily have to pay tax on any profits they repatriated, and there is nothing to suggest the Camerons did not. Nevertheless, the dramatic growth of such offshore financial activity has raised concerns that national tax authorities are struggling to pin down the world’s super-rich.

Ian Cameron took advantage of a new climate of investment after all capital controls were abolished in 1979, making it legal to take any sum of money out of the country without it being taxed or controlled by the UK government. Not long after the change, brought in by Margaret Thatcher after her first month in power, Ian Cameron began setting up and directing investment funds in tax havens around the world. Leaving his full-time role as a City stockbroker, Ian Cameron went on to act as chairman of Close International Asset management, a multimillion-pound investment fund based in Jersey; as a senior director of Blairmore Holdings Inc, registered in Panama City and currently worth £25m; and he was also a shareholder in Blairmore Asset Management based in Geneva.

 

 

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However, the family will – a public document seen by the Guardian – only details the assets of Ian Cameron’s estate in England and Wales. Offshore investments would only be listed in submissions to HMRC for inheritance tax purposes. It is unclear what those assets – if any – are worth and which family member owns them. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/interactive/2012/apr/20/ian-cameron-will

 

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In 2009 the compilers of the Sunday Times Rich List estimated Ian Cameron’s wealth at £10m. He was survived by his wife, Mary Fleur Cameron, who as his spouse would not have had to pay inheritance tax on sums transferred between them. In 2006 Ian’s eldest son, Alexander, became the sole owner of the family’s £2.5m house in Newbury, Berkshire, where David had been brought up. Another family home in Kensington, London, worth £1m, passed to his two daughters in equal share. Cameron’s father was “instrumental” in setting up the Panamanian company, Blairmore Holdings, in 1982, which was exempt from UK tax, when David was a pupil at Eton aged 16. The fund shares its name with the family’s ancestral home in Aberdeenshire, Blairmore House, in which Ian Cameron was born in 1932 but which the family no longer owns.

A lengthy prospectus for Blairmore Holdings written in 2006 and meant to attract high net worth “sophisticated” investors, with at least $100,000 to buy shares, is explicit about how the fund sought to avoid UK tax. At the time more than half of the fund’s 11 directors were UK nationals. http://globaldocuments.morningstar.com/documentlibrary/Document/ec3dcb9ffb02c630042fa1ac2c7d56de.msdoc/original

 

 

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Under Panamanian law the fund was excluded from taxation derived from other parts of the world. “The fund is not liable to taxation on its income or capital gains as long as such income or capital gains are not derived from sources allocated within the territory of the Republic of Panama,” the 2006 prospectus reads. “The Directors intend that the affairs on the Fund should be managed and conducted so that it does not become resident in the United Kingdom for UK taxation purposes. Accordingly … the Fund will not be subject to United Kingdom corporation tax or income tax on its profits,” the prospectus continues.

 

 

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The investor document also credits Ian Cameron as a founder member of Blairmore Holdings and states that as an adviser he would be paid $20,000 a year – the highest paid director – whatever profits were realised. In fact, the long-term Panamanian investment fund performed above market rate over many years averaging a 116% return from 2002-2007. Today many of the fund’s largest holdings are in blue-chip stocks such as Apple, Unilever and Coca Cola.

Before his death, aged 77, Ian Cameron was also chairman and shareholder of Close International Equity Growth Fund Ltd, registered in Jersey and worth £9m according to papers filed in 2005. In that year just under half of the fund’s holdings were in UK listed stocks. A third fund set up in Geneva, Switzerland, had a shorter life span and finally dissolved in 2007 but had many of the same registered shareholders as the Panamanian outfit. These included a number of former employees of Panmure Gordon, the stockbroking firm where Ian Cameron spent much of his career and those from Smith and Williamson investment management where Cameron senior was a consultant.

One notable investor into the Panama fund was a charity established by Tory peer Lord Vinson. Accounts from 2009 show that a charitable trust set up under his own name invested £82,000 into the fund – almost one quarter of its investments in shares. Vinson’s trust that year went on to donate tens of thousands of pounds to right-wing think tanks including the Institute of Economic Affairs and Civitas. Both Close International and Blairmore Holdings are also listed in accounts of a clutch of Church of England charities and family trusts whose funds are managed by Smith & Williamson

 

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David Cameron has recently remarked on companies who have taken advantage of offshoring to legally avoid tax. Speaking at the start of the year to small business leaders in Maidenhead, he said: “With the large companies, that have the fancy corporate lawyers and the rest of it, I think we need a tougher approach. “One of the things that we are going to be looking at this year is whether there should be a general anti-avoidance power that HMRC can use, particularly with very wealthy individuals and with the bigger companies, to make sure they pay their fair share.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-16422437

The row also comes as the top rate of tax was lowered in last month’s budget from 50p to 45p and the rate of corporation tax continue to drop to achieve the chancellor’s ambition of giving the UK one of the lowest rates of corporation tax in the G7. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12834127

 

 

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Responding to opposition criticisms over the lowering of the top tax rate, Cameron said: “The cut in the 50p tax rate is going to be paid five times over by the richest people in our country.” Downing Street said it did not want to comment on what was a private matter for the Cameron family. A spokesperson added: “The government’s tax reforms are about making sure that some of the richest people in the country pay a decent share of income tax.” The investment managers Smith and Williamson, for whom Ian Cameron worked, chose not to comment. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/interactive/2012/apr/20/ian-cameron-will

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/apr/20/cameron-family-tax-havens
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/apr/20/david-cameron-jersey-panama-geneva?newsfeed=true
See also my earlier post about the Liberal Democratic Party funding

https://caltonjock.com/2015/06/06/liberal-democratic-party-steeped-in-financial-backing-from-venture-capitalists-based-in-jersey-tax-haven/

 

 

www.usnews.com

 

Anna (Shoots herself In the Foot) Soubry – Another Tory Minister Who Needs to Engage Her Brain Just A Bit More Before Speaking

 

Anna Soubry, BennettAnna Mary (look at me) Soubry Tory MP

 

 

Anna Mary (don’t you just luv me) Soubry Tory MP  – Media, Media, Media, I love it

Anna Mary Soubry is a British Conservative Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Broxtowe since the 2010 general election and Minister for Small Business since the 2015 general election. Born, in Lincolnshire, she studied law at the University of Birmingham in the 1970s and was involved in student politics, becoming the only Conservative member of the National Union of Students’ executive committee. She graduated in law from the University of Birmingham in 1979. She left the Conservatives and joined the SDP soon after its formation in 1981.

She was a journalist from 1981 until 1995 and also reported on and presented several regional and networked TV programmes, including Grampian Television’s North Tonight in the North of Scotland and the East Midlands regional news programme, Central News East. She also presented and reported Granada Television’s This Morning in the late 1980s. She returned to Liverpool’s Albert Dock in October 2013 for the This Morning 25-year anniversary party. She was called to the bar in 1995 and is a member of the Criminal Bar Association.

She was the Conservative Party candidate for the Gedling constituency in the United Kingdom general election of 2005. During the campaign, she said she was “ashamed” of living in Nottingham as it had a bad reputation for crime. She said she wasn’t ashamed of the people of Nottingham, but, instead, was ashamed of what had happened to the city. She was chosen as an “A-List candidate” and in 2006 was selected for the nearby Broxtowe Parliamentary seat. In a debate in front of sixth formers in 2006, she said an honest debate was needed to stop people taking Class A drugs and she supported the legalisation of cannabis. Soubry was one of the 49% of Conservative MPs who entered parliament in 2010, she is regarded as “one of the most formidable communicators of the new intake” but is not a ‘Thatcherite.’ It is said of her that: “she has a record of unusually free speech”.

 

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23 February 2012: NHS Reforms – Soubry at it again

As PPS to Health Minister Simon Burns, Soubry appeared on the Daily Politics show to discuss the controversial NHS reforms with the chair of the Royal College of GPs, Dr Clare Gerada. Burns had previously claimed that Gerada’s opposition to reforms did not represent the views of GPs.Gerada rejected this saying that despite 18 months of “endless consultations” in a recent survey 90% of the 44,000 GPs had asked for the Bill to be withdrawn. Parts of it were good, putting GPs in charge of finance, putting patients first, addressing health inequality but in its totality the Bill was a mess and would not achieve its objectives.

Soubry said Gerada was wrong. She had talked to GP constituents who had formed a consortium before the election and they were already putting into operation what the Bill was trying to achieve (one local GP is a Conservative Councillor). Another GP constituent had “actually begged her” to get the bill through so he could deliver the treatment that he wanted to give his patients.

However she agreed with the presenter Andrew Neil that this was anecdotal evidence whilst Gerada’s evidence came from surveys and conferences. Gerada said the experience of Soubry’s local GPs wasn’t reflected in what she was hearing through the Royal College.

Neil then questioned Gerada saying her opposition to competition and further choice appeared to be based on ideological grounds and she appeared to be suggesting the Bill was an attempt to privatise the NHS along American lines. Gerada agreed the bill did seem to be an attempt to privatise the NHS, turning it into a mixed funding system.

GPs were not against competition where it added value to patients, but they were against full fettered competition where any qualified provider could compete to treat the same hip.

In March 2012, a group of 240 doctors, including 30 professors wrote to The Independent describing the Bill as an “embarrassment to democracy” which had no support from professional healthcare organisations. They blamed the Bill’s supporters for putting the Coalition survival “above professional opinion, patient safety and the will of the citizens of this country”.

They pledged to stand as candidates against MPs who backed it and Soubry was mentioned as a likely target both because of her tiny majority and because she told her constituents the bill’s opponents were exploiting people’s heartfelt support for the NHS.

In response to a local newspaper article which referenced the Independent article, Soubry reiterated that there had been no complaints from her local GP consortium and claimed that many local GPs couldn’t wait for the Bill to be passed.

The Bill received Royal Assent on 27 March 2012.

In April 2012, an independent poll carried out on behalf of the BBC by ComRes showed that the number of GPs believing the NHS reforms would noticeably improve patient had fallen from 23% in September 2010 to 12% in March 2012 though there were still around 33% “Don’t knows.” The chairman of British Medical Association’s GPs’ committee said GPs were unconvinced by the changes and were worried about being blamed for the consequences of meeting the £20 billion Government savings target.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17144005

 

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8 September 2012: The Dept of Health and the Ministry of Justice distance themselves from Anna Soubry’s comments on the right to die.

Newly-appointed health minister Anna Soubry has delivered an outspoken attack on the laws governing assisted suicide. She told The Times: “I think it’s ridiculous and appalling that people have to go abroad to end their life instead of being able to end their life at home.” Her intervention coincides with legal appeals for new guidelines, following the death of locked-in syndrome sufferer Tony Nicklinson. Ms Soubry admits she is unsure about that particular case, conceding: “You can’t say to a doctor or a nurse you can kill this person.”

Nonetheless, the high court judges referred to the “terrible predicament” of Mr Nicklinson, and described the case as “deeply moving and tragic”. And Mr Nicklinson’s solicitor has said it should be referred to the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court. A former keen sportsman, Mr Nicklinson was paralysed by a stroke in 2005. He subsequently described his existence as “pure torture” and sobbed in front of cameras when the court ruled he could not end his life. In the event, he died naturally, and, according to his wife, “heartbroken”. His funeral was held last week.

However, both the Department of Health and the Ministry of Justice have distanced themselves from Ms Soubry’s protests. They said in statements she was expressing a personal view, and that any new legislation would be a matter for parliament, not government http://news.sky.com/story/982607/govt-distances-itself-from-soubry-comments

 

 

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10 September 2012: The high-heeled, foul-mouthed Minister for Death

Suddenly, a new ministerial shooting-star is born. Or should that be rather a new ministerial shooting-herself-in-the-foot-star, aka David Cameron’s latest self-imposed headache? Until a few days ago, the most likely reaction to the name Anna Soubry would have been: ‘Who?’

Ms Soubry is the Tory MP for Broxtowe in Nottinghamshire. Brought up in the county where her father ran petrol stations until he went bust, Ms Soubry, a former TV presenter and union shop steward, has been divorced twice and brought up her two daughters as a single mother.

In last week’s government reshuffle she was appointed a junior health minister, and is said to be tipped for the Cabinet.

Almost instantly, however, she started making waves. First it was noted that, as a prospective Conservative parliamentary candidate back in 2006, she had told a group of sixth-formers that she thought cannabis should be legalised because ‘certain types of cannabis were less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco’. Even back then, this was an ignorant and irresponsible statement.

There were already mountains of evidence of the devastating effects of cannabis on the brain, including provoking the onset of psychosis. Since then, a slew of further research has demonstrated the grave dangers of cannabis beyond any doubt.

If selecting a person with such callow and dangerous views to be a prospective Tory MP was enough to raise an eyebrow, appointing her as a health minister suggested that the Prime Minister hadn’t done his homework. Maybe in order to find out whether her views on cannabis had now changed, the Times sought out Ms Soubry for an interview — and doubtless got more than it had expected.

With a knowing smirk at the camera, she came out with a stream of raunchy, swaggering attitudes and one provocative and outrageous statement after another — all liberally laced with distinctly laddish language. So she was keen to tell us gleefully how she drank too much when celebrating her promotion, and how she likes gin, champagne and especially beer.

Presenting herself as an incorrigible rebel, she described sitting on the ‘naughty bench’ in the Commons, heckling the opposition and yet blowing kisses at the Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls.

We also learned that she loves shoes and owns ‘beautiful ones covered in sequins’ and five-inch heeled boots. Well indeed — what else can one wear, after all, in Whitehall’s corridors of power? But excuse me — this attention-seeking creature is a health minister? Maybe she mistook the Commons for the set of Absolutely Fabulous?

As for the foul language, this was apparently adopted as a defence mechanism for little middle-class Anna against the local oiks at school. Well, isn’t it about time that Ms Soubry, 55, finally grew up? But wait — our besequinned, stilettoed, ex-cannabis advocating, foul-mouthed, flirty provocatrice is driven, she tells us, by a social conscience.

For she gave up the media to become a barrister — ‘a social worker with a wig on’ — defending the most disadvantaged. Indeed, with her declared fury at communal powerlessness, her passion to ‘make stuff better for the poorest’ and her rage over the ‘s****y lives of the unemployed’, you are left wondering why on earth Ms Soubry didn’t join the Labour Party. Read more: http://www.melaniephillips.com/the-high-heeled-foul-mouthed-minister-for-death

 

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14 September 2012: Anna Soubry, a health minister, has said that the Coalition “screwed up” over its controversial reforms of the NHS, the Daily Telegraph can reveal.

Miss Soubry, a junior health minister, made the frank remark in a private discussion with health service managers about reforms that will give GPs control of £80 billion of health spending. It is the second outspoken statement Miss Soubry has made since her appointment ten days ago.

Last weekend, she angered some Conservative MPs by suggesting that euthanasia laws are “ridiculous” and should be changed to make it easier for the sick to end their own lives.

David Cameron surprised some MPs last week when he made Miss Soubry, a former television presenter and barrister, a parliamentary under-secretary at the Department of Health.

Days after her appointment, Miss Soubry spoke at a conference held by the NHS Leadership Academy, which trains senior health service managers and medical professionals.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9544095/We-screwed-up-health-minister-on-NHS-reforms.html

 

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27 January 2013: Public health minister Anna Soubry: ‘They [the poor people] just sit in front of the telly and eat.

It’s a funny thing, but when you turn on your radio or television and hear someone say something breathtakingly ill-researched and insulting, you can almost tell straight away that the speaker is a Tory politician. Obviously, not everybody responsible for obtuse and patronising nonsense comes from that kind of background but that is where the propensity lies.

Who should we blame for this? In my experience, which includes many hours listening to Radio 4 in the kitchen, the people most likely to deliver unfounded claims or accusations backed by comically incomplete evidence, almost always come from families where it was considered quite normal to sit round a table for a meal they call “kitchen supper”, apparently a 25-course banquet served by bewigged footmen and consumed by flickering candlelight, at which it is customary for the participants to compete to see who can say the most preposterously offensive thing.

The tragic result is that at least one in three, if not more, Tory politicians is now at risk of making a complete arse of themselves on a regular basis, with the obvious risk that even their most abject pronouncements may influence public policy.

Although this idiocy epidemic is, admittedly, a growing problem afflicting all political parties, there is no doubting its alarming prevalence in the Tory cabinet.

It is becoming routine, in fact, to see a Tory minister rush out and, instead of constructing a conventional argument, backed by at least some research, emit a succession of outlandish assertions and anecdotes whose authority, if any, is most likely to rest on the speaker’s conviction of his or her superior understanding.

Thus, in her already celebrated speech to the food and drink industry, the public health minister, Anna Soubry, began with some remarks about fat people she had seen when out and about. “When I walk around my constituency, you can almost tell somebody’s background by their weight,” she said. “Obviously not everybody who is overweight comes from a deprived background but that is where the propensity lies.”

 

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Leave aside the catastrophic condescension, and the thought of Ms Soubry roaming round Broxtowe with a pair of mental calipers, the better to establish social class by BMI (compared with which hobby Gladstone’s prostitute-rescuing missions sound almost normal) and what is most remarkable about this observation is the speaker’s conviction that it would advance her argument.

Of much less importance, it appears, were numbers, or authorities even greater than herself, to make the case that “primary responsibility lies with the individual”. Anyone serious about public health, you gathered, would be satisfied with such insights into proletarian life as have, during her career as a barrister and MP, been granted to Ms Soubry. “What they don’t do is actually sit down and share a meal around the table,” she disclosed to stunned food and drink operatives, convinced until that moment that every Quaver is eaten with a knife and fork. “There are houses where they don’t have dining tables,” the minister persisted. “They will sit in front of the telly and eat.”

Before dismissing outright Ms Soubry’s considered response to this depravity, we cannot, of course, rule out the possibility that, taking on the mantle of Henry Mayhew, the minister has indeed followed the fatties, or “them”, to use the technical term, back to table-less tenements that have never seen a John Lewis linen-feel napkin, or to offices where slovenly workers indulge in the “disgusting” – she finds – habit of eating at their desks. But in the intellectual climate of the current Tory cabinet she could be excused for thinking such investigations a complete waste of effort.

Given current trends in ministerial evidence, Soubry’s allusions to living people she has definitely heard about may soon come to look, along with Osborne’s analysis of lowered festoon blinds, positively scholarly. Before long, it may be enough for a minister to validate a policy that it came highly recommended in a vision, in the bottom of a teacup or, like the mayor of London last week, via an epiphany in his back garden. Noting the thick snow on a flowerpot, the putative Tory leader wondered if we have entered a “mini ice age”.

True, standing on giants’ shoulders, Boris Johnson’s snub to the scientific establishment owes much to an earlier challenge from the Daily Mail columnist Tom Utley, who famously deduced the impossibility of rising sea levels from the way ice behaves in his gin and tonic. But most columnists can only dream of the freedom to create mischief, some of it lasting, that is still enjoyed by the bolder Conservative politician, unshackled by readers’ editors, corrections columns or vestigial social conditioning.

 

 

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There has been, for example, neither correction nor explanation from Maria Miller, who last autumn insisted that the abortion law needed changing, “to reflect the way science has moved on”. Though she was immediately challenged, media attention soon wandered to Jeremy Hunt’s claim that “the evidence” actually indicated a limit of 12 weeks, and by the time a new BMJ study had formally undermined Miller’s version, there were fresh errata to correct, from waffle about elite sport and gay marriage to more specific claims, such as Eric Pickles’s definition of all library campaigners as “luvvies”, or Nadine Dorries’s (erroneous) belief that her abortion debates had featured in broadcasts of I’m a Celebrity… Get me Out of Here.

That online fact-checking outfits, invaluable as they are, can barely keep up with the misspeaking, was confirmed last week, when Ms Soubry’s speech coincided with a rival outburst from Cameron’s adviser on childhood, the MP Claire Perry, previously a financier. She urged parents to spy on their children’s mobiles as a guard against sexualisation, a long-favoured pretext for political alarmism since nobody can prove that our seven-year-olds are not being groomed for the white slave trade by trends in advertising, toys, airbrushing, sexting, videos and skimpy tops featuring vile slogans unfamiliar to all but members of the Mothers’ Union.

It is not even clear that enhanced internet filters, occasionally promised by Cameron, would be any more effective than Ms Perry’s pleas to parents she presumably knows to be deficient in this respect, to “sit down with their kids and say, ‘Are you aware of what’s out there?'” For homes with no chairs as well as no tables, the advice, apparently, is to have the conversation standing up.

But what, in turn, can be done for the ministers? The first step is to keep them away from places, like government, where the temptation to mislead is just too great. Failing that, one can only hope for vigilance from Dame Sally Davies, the impressive chief medical officer.

Last week, she managed, in a single appearance before the science and technology committee, to rubbish homeopathy and assure politicians that, on drug decriminalisation, with which she sympathises: “I will make sure that the truth – the scientific evidence, peer reviewed – is published… even if it is uncomfortable for me.” Before that, however, Broxtowe could use a visit.
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jan/27/anna-soubry-obesity-and-poverty

 

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17 March 2013: MP Anna Soubry told off by Speaker Bercow for sniping from the sidelines at other MP’s.

Anna Soubry had been loudly heckling other MP’s in the chamber when she was pulled up short by the Speaker of The House, John Bercow.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXUfGC4U0PQ

Comment: I’ve seen this woman on television a few times, and I’m convinced she’s absolutely mad …she mutters and mumbles …she must never be put in a position of power.

 

 

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13 July 2013: Letter to Anna Soubry MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health

I am writing to urge you to halt the acquirement of Plasma Resources UK by Bain Capital or, at the very least, to put in place strict restrictions on the way the company buys and uses blood products in order to safeguard the health of people in the UK.

There have already been many documented examples of serious damage to public health from an insufficiently regulated trade in blood products. As I am sure you will be aware, the 2009 Archer Report into the widespread contamination of blood supplies given to those affected by haemophilia noted that profit-driven companies have an incentive to keep their costs down by being insufficiently discriminatory about donor selection.

In Canada, social unrest was triggered when an estimated 30,000 patients caught hepatitis C and 1,000 contracted HIV from transfusions and blood products, thanks to an unregulated, profit-driven market. How can citizens trust a Government they see putting private profit before their own safety?

The purpose of Plasma Resources UK is to provide a safe, reliable source of plasma for UK residents, not to make a profit for a private American company with an abysmal track record, at the potential cost of the health and lives of UK citizens. My constituents are concerned about its potential sale and I hope your Department will be willing to reconsider. Read more: http://www.carolinelucas.com/caroline/parliament/letter/letter-to-anna-soubry-mp-parliamentary-under-secretary-of-state-for-0#_ftn3

 

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17 July 2013: Anna Soubry Ignores Select Committee providing support to a EU directive Westminster had not agreed to

Junior Health Minister Anna Soubry and her civil servant the Head of Tobacco Policy, sniffy Andrew Black, were appearing before the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee (ESC). The Chair is Bill Cash and the committee’s role is to “..scrutinise draft EU legislation on behalf of the House of Commons and assesses which proposals are of particular political or legal importance.” What transpired was a reckless and distasteful undermining of British democracy.

Cock up or conspiracy? We saw Ms. Soubry and Mr. Black fidgeting as if their underwear had been ignited by napalm. Their gurning, discomfiture was equivalent to a battleship run aground on the Goodwin Sands with two torpedoes heading amidships. Ms. Soubry is the UK’s representative as Health Minister to the European Union for the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). The move, much discussed in the British media as of late, is set to introduce a wide range of controls on tobacco and electronic cigarettes.

Ms. Soubry, with advice from her civil servants had negotiated the TPD without any reference to Parliament and especially not the ESC. Between January and June 2013 she had not written or communicated with the ESC and Bill Cash did not mince his words. “The reason for our scrutiny process… is to ensure that no decision is taken in the Council of Ministers until that debate has taken place… What you did was effectively to prevent any such debate taking place at the time.” It seems the European democratic deficit is transmittable and approaching pandemic proportions.

Ms. Soubry also shows her ignorance on electronic cigarettes, whether they were part of the Directive or not. It still is, despite some valiant lobbying from e-cig users known as ‘vapers’, who have persuaded many MEPs to support their cause with much of the intellectual input from former Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Director Clive Bates.

There’s also a planned ban on flavourings for cigarettes such as menthol and “slim” cigarettes as they “appeal to women.” Never mind that this study found menthol smokers had over 30 percent reductions in lung cancer compared to non menthol smokers.

Other outstanding pearls of wisdom including the banning of packets of ten, and smaller pouches of tobacco. Ireland did so with ten packs in 2007 and this coincided with an increase in smoking of 27 percent to its current 29 percent of the population. Finally, more graphic images covering 65 percent of the packet. Scare tactics which ignores the fact that most (97 percent) of smokers can already name at least one fatal disease associated with smoking.

This isn’t for education’s sake. Help is at hand though. Fresh from her victory heading up the Hands Off Our Packs campaign, Angela Harbutt is in charge of No Thank EU, a new group which will be fighting for consumer rights and persuading people to write to their Member of the European Parliament, asking them to oppose the legislation.

When you bear in mind the apparent contempt for Parliament and the electorate by junior ministers, without a shadow of shame from the European Union, this is a campaign that deserves God’s speed. What vestiges of accountability the EU has to us should be prosecuted with vigour. Scandalous beyond imagining! She admitted that the directive would not have gone forward without UK support and so it would not have gone through in this presidency, and it was because of this that she overrode Parliament’s supremacy. Incredible!

http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/0984efa0-38f8-4378-9563-602538f18575
http://taking-liberties.squarespace.com/blog/2013/7/18/minister-denies-mps-opportunity-to-scrutinise-eus-tobacco-pr.html
http://velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/anna-soubry-must-go.html
http://velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/anna-soubry-should-be-sacked.html
http://www.ukipdaily.com/liblabcon-on-tobacco-regulation-you-couldnt-fit-a-cigarette-paper-between-them/
http://www.trendingcentral.com/british-minister-slammed-for-assisting-eu-directive-without-parliamentary-scrutiny/

 

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11 November 2013: Royal Navy Support Ships Built in South Korea As Jobs Lost In Portsmouth

The £425m order for four 37,000-tonne military tankers that will allow the Royal Navy to refuel at sea has been placed with Korean shipbuilder Daewoo. Hearing this from Nigel Farage the other day on the BBC’s Question Time (Video below) was to say the least shocking, especially when you consider the recent loss of 940 jobs at Portsmouth. Anna Soubry MP, the government’s Under-Secretary of State for Defence, was an absolutely shocking example of how poorly staffed the Coalition government is. Ms Soubry admitted on-air that she did not know that Daewoo in South Korea is building tankers for the Royal Navy.

Reacting in astonishment, UKIP’s Leader on Hampshire County Council Ray Finch said: “For a government minister to show such a basic lack of knowledge of her brief is thoroughly shocking and both Ms Soubry and Mr. Cameron must surely now consider her position as a Minister.

“The truth of the matter is the UK Government last year refused to allow a rival bid to build the tankers, with one of them built in this country, in favour of the Daewoo bid on cost alone, after BAE refused to bid for the contract. “The entire story of the tanker order leaves question marks over BAEs near monopoly position as a UK navval shipbuilder and its too-cosy relationship with the MOD.

“This mixture of incompetency and penny pinching by this administration that knows the price of everything and the value of nothing has caused the tragic potential loss of a 500 year tradition of shipbuilding in Portsmouth and the end of large scale naval shipbuilding in England. “ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5PIfvvnXjk   http://www.ukipeastbourne.com/tag/anna-soubry/

This woman should be forced to work on minimum wage for 12 months whilst raising a family. Only then will she see the harm immigration is doing to the UK. She has previously employed those who advocate the return of slavery. She is a nasty snob.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lZPvFkk6Vw

It creases me up each time I see Anna Soubry when she tries to act as if she has a serious brain with brows all furrowed up. I suppose it comes of trying to compete with men.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4K-XFpNZVa0

Taxpayer funded career offence seaker Trevor Phillips versus Conservative MP Anna Soubry versus UKIP party leader Nigel Farage on “racism” and immigration.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ti7bBORQ25Q

 

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22 December 2013: Anna Soubry apologises to Ukip leader for ‘finger up bottom’ remark

The Conservative defence minister, Anna Soubry, has apologised to the Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, after suggesting that his facial expressions made him look like someone who enjoyed a person putting their finger up his bottom.

Soubry made her remarks on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show while sitting alongside the impressionist Rory Bremner, Lord Mandelson, and the business secretary, Vince Cable. Both politicians looked on astonished as presenter Andrew Marr tried to stop her.

After Bremner had impersonated Farage, Soubry – who has clashed with the Ukip leader before – said: “I always think he looks like somebody has put their finger up his bottom and he really rather likes it.” Bremner asked: “Are you allowed to say that?”, at which point Marr said: “It’s too late. She has said it.” Lord Mandelson commented: “Anna, please, it’s too early.”

The comment provoked an immediate reaction on Twitter, not least from Farage himself. “Perhaps [Anna Soubry] should spend less time investigating digital rectal insertion and more on her brief?” he tweeted.

Farage added: “She is rude and incompetent. I would expect an apology – but I won’t be holding my breath.”

In a statement, he said: “This is a woman who was proven to not even have a grip on her portfolio back in November when on Question Time she showed she had absolutely no idea about the Royal Navy support ships being built in South Korea.

“She also launched a vile attack on me then, claiming I was ‘putting fear into people’s hearts’ by raising concerns over unrestricted immigration. The same concerns that today her party are so desperate to try to address.

“But this latest, remarkable foul-mouthed attack is utterly incredulous. Soubry has stooped to the levels of crudity that any politician would spend a lifetime apologising for.

“This is supposed to be a professional woman representing her political party on a national television programme on a Sunday morning. Well, I am astonished, and I would imagine the rest of her party is too, as well as deeply embarrassed.”

With Downing Street unimpressed by the language and insults, Soubry later apologised. “If he is in any way offended, I apologise unreservedly. It was a lighthearted remark,” she said.

The pair’s previous run-in came last month, when Soubry said on BBC Question Time that Ukip had published a leaflet in her constituency suggesting that 29 million people would be coming to the UK from Romania and Bulgaria, The joint population of the countries is only 28 million.

Soubry told Farage: “I do not like your tone. You don’t talk facts, you talk prejudice, you scaremonger, you put fear in people’s hearts.” She said Farage was trying to turn foreigners into a menace, adding, with reference to the 1930s, that history had taught Britain the danger of such an approach.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyRjyHLwKTo  http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/dec/22/soubry-nigel-farage-finger-bottom

 

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4 March 2014: Same Sex marriage Debate – Anna Soubry treats Christian concerns with “supercilious disdain”

This debate is interesting for the way that the Ministry of Defence Minister Anna Soubry treats those of a Christian conscience, in this case Sir Edward Leigh (Roman Catholic) and Sir Gerald Howarth (Church of England), with utter contempt and rudeness. Those who witnessed the exchange were shocked and appalled at the Minister’s arrogance. His Grace reproduces the whole exchange because context and primary reasoning are important.

The transcript is a typical Hansard version of the truth – the words are correct, but they cannot show the disdain and sheer nastiness of the Minister. For that, you need to watch the video above. Like them or not, both Gerald Howarth and Edward Leigh make sense of the world through the lens of Christianity: the Church is woven into their lives, and Christ provides their moral compass. While many may believe that compass to be skewed – or, rather, that it does not point in a ‘progressive’ direction – at least they have a moral sense. Ms Soubry is a relativist and a modernist, and in this her third career (after TV presenter, and criminal barrister) as a politician, she is being used by others to do their dirty work – in both the House and on TV. She is personally quite charming, but with a majority of just 389, she is fighting for every vote, and if that means trimming her ‘conscience’ to the secularising zeitgeist and slapping aside a few pesky Christians, that’s exactly what she’ll do.

But it may, of course, be more than that. Perhaps, as with so many of her ilk, she simply does not recognise for a second that someone who disagrees with her might be right. And certainly not a Christian. http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/anna-soubry-treats-christian-concerns.html (includes video)

 

 

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30 April 2014: Anna Soubry, Government minister slams Armed Forces culture of ‘drinking to oblivion

Anna Soubry made the comments as she faced calls to scrap subsidised alcohol in military bars. She said her deep concerns about the impact of booze had been heightened by the suicide of one serving member. She told MPs she was not a “killjoy” and recognised from her time as a barrister that people with stressful jobs needed to let their hair down.

But she said the “vast amounts” consumed by the armed forces were unacceptable and must be scaled back. “I am not convinced that we couldn’t do more about the culture of drinking in our armed forces,” she said during a hearing of the defence select committee. “I’m not some killjoy. But sometimes there has been an attitude in the past that it was acceptable, as part of that de-stressing process, to all go out and consume vast amounts of alcohol as part of that camaraderie and that letting down of the hair. “There is nothing wrong with some of that, but the levels of drinking to the point of oblivion and all the rest of it is a culture which I don’t welcome in any workforce. “The incidence of binge drinking, the quantities of alcohol, across society are beginning to diminish. I would hope that would be the same in the armed forces.”

She suggested that her determination to act had been strengthened by the death of a serving member of the armed forces. “I read the coroner’s report recently into a very sad suicide case of a serving person. There were many things in that report that concerned me. “One of them, quite clearly, the culture of heavy drinking,” she said.

Pressed on what specific action she would take, she said a senior commander’s guide to alcohol was to be refreshed in the light of research into alcohol abuse in the armed forces which was due to be published soon. But she acknowledged that a cultural shift could not be encouraged purely by rules and regulations. “You can’t just put out edicts to change a culture,” she said. “You can have all the most wonderful guides and manuals in the world but what’s most important is the implementation of them and that is something that I am looking at, I can assure you of that.”

Labour MP Madeleine Moon said ending the “high level of subsidy” enjoyed at military bars would contribute to curbing consumption. She said she got the “fright of my life” when she was charged only £1 for a triple gin and tonic while visiting forces in the Falkland Islands two years ago. “One thing that could be done about alcohol problems in the armed forces is tackling the high level of subsidy in bars in military units – perhaps so they were the same price you would pay in town.”

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Government-minister-slams-Armed-Forces-culture/story-21033470-detail/story.html#ixzz3cEdWCGGv

Comments:

Labour MP wants to end a “culture of drinking to oblivion”, but sees nothing wrong in ordering herself a triple gin… Perhaps it’s not just charity which begins at home?

Judging the behaviour of MP’s and Lords’ if the MP’s really wish to stop cheap subsidised boozing perhaps they should set a good example to the troops and start with the bars in the House of Commons.

 

 

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2 June 2014: Another own goal for Tories: The minister who says her constituents are racist

A senior Tory sparked a fresh row about immigration yesterday after branding some of her own constituents ‘racist’ for raising concerns about it. Defence minister Anna Soubry, who is tipped for promotion to the Cabinet, said many voters were ignorant about its ‘hugely important’ benefits – while others were ‘frankly racist’. UKIP last night seized on the remarks as evidence that senior Tories still fail to understand public anger over the issue.

Miss Soubry’s comments came as Chancellor George Osborne suggested David Cameron would fail to keep his pledge to cut net immigration to the ‘tens of thousands’ because of the difficulty of controlling the numbers arriving from Europe. She added to doubts about whether the target would be hit – but called on the Tory leadership to be more positive about the benefits of immigration, claiming migrants come to Britain ‘overwhelmingly to work – they do not come here to scrounge’.

Miss Soubry, who is defending a majority of just 389 in her hyper-marginal constituency in Broxtowe, Nottinghamshire, told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show: ‘When you make the case with people who come and see me in my constituency surgery who say, “I’m really worried about immigration” you say really, why? ‘This is Broxtowe.

We don’t have a problem with immigrants. When you explain that to them, they get it. Not all of them – some people have prejudices, some people are frankly racist, but there are many who just don’t know the argument.’ Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2645720/Another-goal-Tories-The-minister-says-constituents-racist.html

 

 

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4 June 2015: Tory Minister Anna Soubry takes umbrage over ‘Behave Yourself, Woman’ remarks by Alex Salmond

Conservative minister Anna Soubry has hit back at Alex Salmond, accusing him of sexism after he told her to “behave yourself, woman” during a debate in the House of Commons.

The former SNP leader and Scottish first minister, who was elected as MP for Gordon in May, was speaking during a parliamentary debate on devolution on Wednesday evening.

Salmond, arguing about how many Scottish and English MPs should sit on the Scottish affairs committee, accused Conservative Party of trying to “stuff the Scottish select committee with English Conservative MPs”.

During the debate, Salmond appeared distracted by Soubry, the small businesses minister. He told her across the chamber: “The Treasury bench should behave better in these debates, she should be setting an example to your new members not cavorting about like some demented junior minister – behave yourself, woman.”

On Thursday morning Soubry responded on Twitter. “Salmond can dish it out but he can’t take it,” she said. “Alex Salmond seems to think women should be seen not heard. His attitude belongs firmly in the 19th century.”

It is not the first time Salmond and Soubry have locked horns. During the election campaign, the pair had a feisty debate on the BBC’s Sunday morning Andrew Marr programme. Soubry, who was then a defence minister, branded the prospect of a Labour government supported by the SNP “terrifying”.

Soubry, who is known for her combative manner, also once had to apologise after saying Nigel Farage “looks like somebody has put their finger up his bottom”. Salmond isn’t the only parliamentarian to have faced questions over comments made to a female MP in the Commons. David Cameron was blasted for telling then Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Angela Eagle to “calm down dear” during a heated debate in 2011. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/06/04/anna-soubry-alex-salmond_n_7510164.html

 

Comment: I’m not a fan of Alex Salmond or the SNP but to accuse him of sexism…definitely not! Salmond was the man who supported, nurtured and mentored the inexperienced Nicola Sturgeon throughout her rise in Scottish politics. When he resigned as Scotland’s First Minister following the ‘NO’ Vote last November he immediately threw his considerable ‘weight’ behind Sturgeon, endorsing her as his replacement! Had Soubry been a male I’m absolutely certain that Salmond would have said, “behave yourself, man.”

 

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The Liberal Democratic Party – Financial Backing From Venture Capitalists based in Tax Havens – Bunch of Lying Charlatans Ripping Off the Electorate

 

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27 September 2012: UK’s Liberal Democrats, steeped in money from the Septic Isle

Interesting stories have emerged in the past few days about Britain’s Liberal Democrats, the once self-styled party of business is now evidently the party of finance.

Let’s start with this extract from a speech by Lib-Dem Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury:

“Firms will be banned from getting public money if they are based in tax havens rather than mainland Britain.”  The telegraph

 

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Liberal Democrat conference

 

UK Business Secretary, Vince Cable, had a similar message for those who used secretive, low tax jurisdictions:

“No one keeps their cash in tax havens for the quality of investment advice; these are sunny places for shady people.”  The Guardian

 

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But Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg defending the islands tax haven industry said:

“The financial services industry in the Channel Islands is a hugely important gateway for the wider financial sector and indeed the economy in the United Kingdom.”

Comment: Jersey is a feeder of vast gobs of global finance into the City of London and yes the Channel Islands tax havens are indeed hugely important to the City of London – but this is absolutely not the same thing as saying that this is a good thing.   BBCNews

 

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Then there is this:

“Brompton Capital, is the biggest corporate backer of the Lib-Dem party, donating £777,000 since the General Election in 2010. . . . Shares in the firm are owned by an offshore firm called Integro Nominees (Jersey) Ltd, which is based in the Channel Island tax haven.”   The Daily Mail

 

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And there’s more:

“Alpha Healthcare and its sister company C & C Alpha Group, part of a venture capital group in the private health sector, have together donated £970,000 to the Lib Dems since 2004. Alpha’s parent company, Harberry Investments, is based in a small office in Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.”  The Guardian

 

Comment:  Exposes the Lib-Dem party as a bunch of political charlatans unworthy of election to any office. Professing to detest tax haven tax avoidance but secretly benefiting from substantial financial support from the self same sources

 

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Infected Blood Products Scandal – Theresa May Has Ordered An Inquiry (Westminster Does Them So Well) – I Explained All In A Blog Two Years Ago and Lessons Have Not Been Learned

 

 

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Mitt Romney – The Mormon’s and Bain capital

The seeds of Romney’s unique brand of conservatism, often regarded with intense suspicion by most non-Mormon conservatives, were sown in the secretive, acquisitive, patriarchal, authoritarian religious empire run by ‘quorums’ of men under an umbrella consortium called the General Authorities.

A creed unlike any other in the United States, from its inception Mormonism encouraged material prosperity and abundance as a measure of holy worth, and its strict system of tithing 10% of individual wealth has made the Church one of the world’s richest institutions.

A multibillion-dollar business empire that includes agribusiness, mining, insurance, electronic and print media, manufacturing, movie production, commercial real estate, defence contracting, retail stores and banking, the Mormon church has unprecedented economic and political power.

Despite a solemn stricture against any act or tolerance of gambling, Mormons have been heavily invested and exceptionally influential in the Nevada gaming industry since the great expansion of modern Las Vegas in the 1950s.

Valued for their unquestioning loyalty to authority as well as general sobriety–they are prohibited from imbibing in alcohol, tobacco or coffee–Mormons have long been recruited into top positions in government agencies and multi-national corporations.

They are prominent in such institutions as the CIA, FBI and the national nuclear weapons laboratories, giving the Church a sphere of influence unlike any other American religion in the top echelons of government.

“Romney, like his father before him who voluntarily tithed an unparalleled 19% of his personal fortune, is among the Church’s wealthiest members.

And like his father, grandfather and great-grandfathers before him, Mitt Romney was groomed for a prominent position in the Church, which he manifested first as a missionary, then as a bishop, and then as a stake president, becoming the highest-ranking Mormon leader in Boston — the equivalent of a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.

http://exmormon.org/d6/drupal/Are-Mormon-Romney-LDS-Chickens-Finally-Coming-Home-to-Roost

 

 

Horror Stories – Mitt Romney’s Shameful Record With Mormon Women

A candidate for leadership of the Republican Party in 2012 he knew it was important that he be portrayed as a moderate politician but troubling stories from career as a Mormon leader surfaced during the campaign exposing the true nature of his character when he served as a bishop and State president in the Church of Jesus Christ of the latter day Saints in Massachusetts. Full report:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/geoffrey-dunn/mitt-romney-mormon-women_b_1956568.html

   

 

Bain Capital

The government recently sold UK plasma NHS supplier PRUK  to US private equity firm Bain Capital.

The sale was processed against the advice of many knowledgable people and politicians and it is to be hoped there will be no repercussions for UK residents. History doesn’t lend itself to this view however.

Background information about Bain Capital makes interesting reading – There is a live connection between the UK and Bain through the Cayman and Channel Islands Tax havens.

Should the UK government sign off contracts with a company so blatantly avoiding UK taxes?

 

 

 

Mitt Romney Connection

For all Mitt Romney’s touting of his business record, when it comes to his own money the Republican nominee is remarkably shy about disclosing numbers and investments.

The world of offshore finance is murky, and rife with loopholes that allow the very wealthy to skirt tax laws, and much of Mitt Romney’s fortune (with $30 million in Bain Capital funds in the Cayman Islands alone?)  which seems strange for a presidential candidate. Read More:

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/politics/2012/08/investigating-mitt-romney-offshore-accounts

 

 

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Should I put my money in Caribbean Tax Havens Like Mitt Romney Does?

Mitt Romney has millions of dollars spread around at least a dozen investment funds run by Bain Capital out of the Cayman Islands, a notorious tax haven, as ABC News reported. 
This raises some tricky questions, including but not limited to:
 Isn’t this awfully suspicious? No!
How does a tax haven work?  It’s complicated!
Should I get one?  Probably not!
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/romney-parks-millions-offshore-tax-haven/story?id=15378566#.TxmgUWNAYs1  

 

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Is Mitt Romney hiding his money illegally? 

No. Moving your money to an obscure tax-haven sounds suspicious, but as far as anybody knows, Romney’s investments are above board.

If he was trying to hide his money, he’d be doing a pretty terrible job, considering all this information was discovered through public documents.

Before we get into why some of Romney’s money is on vacay in the Caribbean, we should talk about who actually controls his investments.
Technically, Romney isn’t supposed to have a say in where his fortune goes.
To avoid potential conflicts of interest when he became governor of Massachusetts, Romney put his wealth in a “blind trust,” which he supposedly has no hand in managing.

 

 

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Romney doesn’t control his own money? So, who does?
The trust is run by Romney’s long-time lawyer, Bradford Malt. Back in 2007, when the issue of Romney’s offshore investments first came to light, Malt told the Los Angeles Times that he had invested in a number of foreign funds, including one located in the Caymans. As he put it:

“I don’t care whether it’s the Cayman’s or Mars, if it’s organized in the Netherlands Antilles or the Jersey Islands,” he said. “That means nothing to me.

All I care about is whether it’s a good fund or a bad fund. It doesn’t affect his taxes.”

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-na-mittoffshore17dec17-story.html#page=1

 

 

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Wait, if he’s Romney’s lawyer, how “blind” is this trust, really?Good question!

After all, Malt even invested $1 million of Romney’s money in a fund run by the candidate’s own son, Tagg.

As ABC has reported, Romney’s blind trust probably wouldn’t be up to snuff for a federal elected official.

His campaign has acknowledged so much.

But since it was organized in Massachusetts, he got to meet a lower bar.

To the best of anyone’s knowledge, though, Romney isn’t calling the shots on his investment portfolio.

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/mitt-romneys-blind-trust-blind/story?id=15188063#.Txmk42NAYs1

 

 

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What is a tax haven for, exactly? And why would Romney need one?
Remember, Romney’s Cayman investments are in private equity funds run by his old employer, Bain Capital.
So you need to start by asking why Bain Capital wants to be somewhere like the Caymans.
For a private equity firm like Bain, an offshore tax haven is like a very expensive resort where American money can easily meet foreign money, then mingle.
They’re appealing for foreigners, who get to profit off American assets while avoiding the IRS entirely.
And they’re appealing for Americans, who get to pay lower taxes on certain types of investments.
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That’s sounds really simple! 
Oh lord, no it isn’t. If you really want to understand how a tax haven works for an American, stay with me for a few paragraphs.
Some of the biggest investors in the United States are tax-exempt organizations, like college endowments and public pension funds.
But when it comes to putting their money with private equity, they have a problem.
That’s because tax-exempt organizations aren’t allowed to use borrowed money to make financial investments, or run a for-profit business on the side.
Otherwise, they’re subject to a special “unrelated business income tax,” which maxes out at 35%.
This is where the Caymans and other tax havens come into play, as Rebecca Wilkins, senior counsel of Citizens for Tax Justice, explained.
To help pensions and their ilk avoid the unrelated business income tax, firms like Bain set up feeder corporations in the U.S. that exist entirely to funnel money to an offshore fund.
The American client invests in the feeder corporation, which then sends their money to the Caymans.
The profits come back through the same route. Presto chango, their money is no longer subject to high corporate taxes, since they’re not directly buying a company, or taking on debt.
This (completely legal) trick is one of the reasons public pension funds are among the largest investors in private equity firms.

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Sounds great. I want to invest in a Caribbean tax haven!  You can’t.  Why not?
Because there’s no way you’re going to stuff a hundred million dollars inside a tax-free account.
As the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday, Mitt Romney keeps between $20.7 million and $101 million in a tax-exempt IRA account.
It’s pretty unusual for an IRA to grow that large.
But part of Romney’s is invested in high-return Bain funds.
Those private equity profits would ordinarily be subject to unrelated business income taxes.
According to the paper, “Tax experts say that might explain why Mr. Romney’s IRA includes holdings in Bain entities based in offshore locations,” including a Cayman Islands fund worth up to $25 million.
Essentially, he could be using the same tricks as a pension to save on his IRS bill.
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So Romney is saving a ton of money this way?
Hi isn’t doing it for the benefit of taxpayers. Romney doesn’t have to pay annual taxes on his IRA returns.
But when he does eventually withdraw the money, he’ll have to pay taxes, on any profit as if it were ordinary income, instead of the low, low 15% capital gains rate he would otherwise owe on investment returns. So he gets to build up his money tax free.

 

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OCTOBER 2005: CLINTON BLOOD SCANDAL ERUPTS IN SCOTLAND

Daily Record, Scotland – Former US President Bill Clinton may be forced to appear in court over a medical scandal which claimed the lives of innocent Scots.

Many haemophiliacs were infected with hepatitis C after tainted blood from American prisoners was imported into the UK. Glasgow firm Thomson’s are representing the families of Scots sufferers who died after contracting the disease.

They allege inmates in an Arkansas jail were paid to donate blood despite the authorities knowing they had AIDS and hepatitis.

They are threatening to call the ex-president, who was state governor at the time, to the witness stand.

The infected blood was used to make clotting agents for haemophiliacs who require regular blood transfusions.

Frank Maguire, of Thomson’s, said “These allegations are extremely serious and I am now more sure than ever that there should be a full public inquiry into why so many Scots contracted hepatitis C from infected blood products.

 

 

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October 2005: Documentary Examines Blood Scandal

A major new documentary that uncovers fresh evidence about how thousands of Scots contracted Aids and hepatitis through infected blood is to be given its world premiere at a prestigious US film festival.

The film, Factor 8: The Arkansas Prison Blood Scandal, made by the US film-maker Kelly Duda, will reveal new details about how inmates at a US jail were paid to donate blood despite the authorities knowing they had Aids and hepatitis.

It shows how the US state of Arkansas, under former president and then-governor Bill Clinton, allowed contaminated blood from Aids and hepatitis-infected prisoners to be exported around the world during the 1980s and 1990s to be used in the manufacture of clotting agents for haemophiliacs.

The documentary also reveals for the first time how senior figures in the prison system doctored prisoners’ medical records to make it look like they were not carrying the deadly diseases.

Even after it was known there was a problem, the film reveals, blood products were allowed to be supplied to Europe, including to the UK, where thousands of patients were infected with HIV and the potentially fatal liver virus, hepatitis.

Last night, the revelations caused outrage among haemophiliacs who contracted Aids and other diseases through the blood products.

They branded the findings unbelievable” and “shocking”, and demanded that the government launch a judicial inquiry into the so-called “tainted blood scandal”.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3034412/1-800-Britons-murdered-tainted-NHS-blood-denied-justice-scandal-age.html

 

 

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13 July 2013: Letter to Anna Soubry MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health

I am writing to urge you to halt the acquirement of Plasma Resources UK by Bain Capital or, at the very least, to put in place strict restrictions on the way the company buys and uses blood products in order to safeguard the health of people in the UK.

There have already been many documented examples of serious damage to public health from an insufficiently regulated trade in blood products.

As I am sure you will be aware, the 2009 Archer Report into the widespread contamination of blood supplies given to those affected by haemophilia noted that profit-driven companies have an incentive to keep their costs down by being insufficiently discriminatory about donor selection.

 

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In Canada, social unrest was triggered when an estimated 30,000 patients caught hepatitis C and 1,000 contracted HIV from transfusions and blood products, thanks to an unregulated, profit-driven market.

How can citizens trust a Government they see putting private profit before their own safety?

The purpose of Plasma Resources UK is to provide a safe, reliable source of plasma for UK residents, not to make a profit for a private American company with an abysmal track record, at the potential cost of the health and lives of UK citizens.

My constituents are concerned about its potential sale and I hope your Department will be willing to reconsider.

Read more: http://www.carolinelucas.com/caroline/parliament/letter/letter-to-anna-soubry-mp-parliamentary-under-secretary-of-state-for-0#_ftn3

 

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18 July 2013: Is there no limit to what this Government will privatise?’: UK plasma supplier sold to US private equity firm Bain Capital

The Government was tonight accused of gambling with the UK’s blood supply by selling the state-owned NHS plasma supplier to a US private equity firm.

The Department of Health overlooked several healthcare or pharmaceutical firms and at least one blood plasma specialist before choosing to sell an 80 per cent stake in Plasma Resources UK to Bain Capital, the company co-founded by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, in a £230m deal.

The Government will retain a 20 per stake and a share of potential future profits.

PRUK has annual sales of around £110m and consists of two companies: it employs 200 people at Bio Products Laboratory (BPL) in Elstree, Hertfordshire, and more than 1,000 at DCI Biologicals Inc in the US.

DCI collects plasma from American donors and sends it to BPL where it is separated into blood proteins, clotting factors and albumin for supply to NHS hospitals in the treatment of immune deficiencies, neurological diseases, and haemophilia.

British jobs are being safeguarded in the deal and Bain, which has invested in dozens of private and state-owned health companies worldwide, is prepared to spend £50m in capital investment on the Elstree laboratories.

However, critics of the deal warned the Government that Bain Capital was the wrong company to own the NHS plasma supply line.

 

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Lord Owen, the former Health Minister, wrote to David Cameron earlier this year asking the Prime Minister to intervene and halt the sale. He wrote:

“In 1975, against some resistance from those guarding the finances of the DHSS budget, I decided as Minister of Health to invest in self-sufficiency in the UK for blood and blood products, I now believe this country is on the point of making exactly the same mistake again.

The world plasma supply line has been in the past contaminated and I fear it will almost certainly continue to be contaminated.”

After hearing of the sale Lord Owen told The Independent: “It’s hard to conceive of a worse outcome for a sale of this particularly sensitive national health asset than a private equity company with none of the safeguards in terms of governance of a publicly quoted company and being answerable to shareholders. “Private equity has a useful function, as I saw in years past on the advisory board of Terra Firma, but Bain Capital should not have been chosen for this sale.

Is there no limit to what and how this coalition government will privatise?”

Blood from UK donors, typically collected in vans and centres by NHS Blood and Transplant, is not supplied to PRUK, a separate organisation.

Plasma donors at DCI centres in the US receive cash for each donation, typically around $25 for the first visit and $20 for any subsequent visit. People can donate up to twice a week.

 

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Due to safety concerns following the emergence of ‘mad cow disease’, or vCJD, NHS hospitals only use plasma from around 20 per cent of blood collected from donors in the UK with the remainder used for diagnostic and research purposes.

As the UK was unable to secure a long-term ‘safe’ blood supply for the NHS following the vCJD outbreak, the Government spent £50m in 2002 on the US firm that provided all of BPL’s plasma.

The majority of NHS hospital plasma supplies come from PRUK, which sources all its plasma from low contamination risk groups in the United States across DCI’s network of 32 donor centres.

Lucy Reynolds from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine wrote an academic paper earlier this year strongly arguing against the sale of PRUK.

 

 

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She said the Coalition deal undervalued the company adding:

“Plasma supplies have a long record of being operated on a not for profit basis, using voluntary donors where all the necessary checks take place.

The difference with a commercial firm is that they will want to have as many donors as possible and be looking to secure large profits first and foremost.

This amounts to the government abandoning UK blood products users to the tender mercies of the cheapest supplier.”

The PRUK deal is the latest move from Bain Capital into the expanding privatised UK health market.

The Independent reported last month that the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), co-owned by the assets management firm, already caters for around half of all private patients in London and runs three joint NHS ventures, renting building space from public hospitals for exclusively private treatment.

HCA is also a large buyer of plasma-derived products.

 

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Devin O’Reilly, managing director of Bain Capital in London, said: “We have completed over 50 healthcare investments in companies such as HCA and we will ensure that all of this experience and expertise is applied to building PRUK into a true global leader.”

Health Minister Dan Poulter said: “This deal will ensure that patients will have access to high quality plasma products for years to come and it is good news that Bain are investing in medicine and the life science industry in the UK.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/is-there-no-limit-to-what-this-government-will-privatise-uk-plasma-supplier-sold-to-us-private-equity-firm-bain-capital-8718029.html

 

 

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Mark Andrew Menzies – Tory Party MP For Fylde – Attacks Alex Salmond In Westminster – My Goodness He’s A Scot!!

 

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http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/00871386-3032-4bda-bfe5-7af41437696e  – Alex Salmond in Westminster from 19.34

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02mjj9d   Anna Soubry and Alex Salmond with Andrew Marr. Goodness she rabbits on.

 
Mark Andrew Menzies is a British Conservative Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Fylde in Lancashire since 2010.

He was formerly PPS to Charles Hendry MP, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change before both moved in the 2012 Cabinet Reshuffle. He resigned as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Mark Prisk MP, Minister of State for Housing and Local Government in March 2014.

He was educated at Keil School and graduated from the University of Glasgow, where he was President of the Conservative Association, in 1994 with an honours degree in economic and social history.

Menzies stood as a Conservative candidate for the safe Labour seat of Glasgow Govan in the 2001 general election, where he came fourth. In 2005 he stood in Selby in Yorkshire, a Labour marginal, and came in second. In 2006 he was added to David Cameron’s “A-List” and was selected for Fylde in November 2008 he was elected at the 2010 general election, when he gained 22,826 votes, 52.2% of the total.

Menzies’ professional career before becoming an MP was spent in the retail sector. He joined Marks & Spencer as a graduate trainee in 1994 and has since worked in marketing for two large UK supermarkets.

Menzies campaigned for the liberalisation of Sunday Trading legislation. He brought forward a Bill which sought to allow local authorities to vary Sunday trading restrictions in their jurisdiction contemporaneously to large national events. More specifically, he argued that the retail sector should be able to take advantage of any extra revenues generated by the Olympics in London 2012.

BAE Warton is located in his constituency and he takes a keen interest in defence. He is a member of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme.

Menzies was a member of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee for a time in 2010 before his appointment as a PPS. He lives in St Annes.

He was re-elected to the Fylde constituency in the 2015 GE, with a majority 0f 13,185 votes. One of the safest Tory seats in England.

 

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29 March 2014: Top Tory MP resigns as Ministerial aide following claims he paid male escort for sex and drugs

Mark Menzies, 42, quit his post as a Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) over allegations made by a Brazilian male escort. He resigned as a Ministerial aide tonight after a Sunday Mirror investigation into claims he paid a teenage rent boy for sex and drugs. Rogerio Santos claimed Mr Menzies, 42, paid for his services 18 months ago, before showing him around Parliament. The 19-year-old then claims the MP asked him to supply him with illegal methedrone. His allegations led to Mr Menzies ­dramatically quitting last night as a ­ Parliamentary Private Secretary with the Department for International ­ Development. He said: “I have decided to resign as a PPS after a series of allegations were made against me in a Sunday newspaper.” We were contacted by Santos in a series of emails last week in which he openly admitted being a rent boy. He told us: “I have been having sex with a Conservative MP for money. “Mark also asked me to buy methedrone. “I have personal messages of him talking to me about drugs.”

Santos claimed he overstayed his student visa, was in the country illegally and made other claims about Mr Menzies – although it is understood the MP was unaware of Santos’s immigration status. The unmarried MP, who was ­ parliamentary private secretary to ­ International Development Minister Alan Duncan until 7pm tonight, has repeatedly asked Commons questions about the Government’s work on rehabilitation for drugs offenders. But texts on Santos’ phone, which he showed to the Sunday Mirror, reveal messages asking the teenager for full details about the quality of methedrone available and how much it would cost. Methedrone was banned in the UK in 2010 and is a Class B drug dubbed “poor man’s cocaine”.

 

Rogerio Santos2

 

 

Street slang often confuses methedrone with mephedrone – another illegal amphetamine-based drug. A series of messages seen by the Sunday Mirror show the 42-year-old MP asking for the price of the drug. Santos, who lives in a squalid apartment block in Sao Paulo, told how he was taken around Parliament by Mr Menzies – although there is no suggestion that Mr Menzies broke any rules in taking him to Westminster Palace.

He emailed us on Tuesday last week making his series of allegations, saying: “We met very regularly over the last 18 months. “He took me to the Houses of Parliament. “Recently, he has been asking me to buy drugs. “I have SMS messages and photographic evidence. “When we went to his office in ­ Westminster I was not introduced to anyone but I still have the visitor’s permit.”

 

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A series of pictures on Santos’ phone and seen by the Sunday Mirror show the MP – elected to ­Parliament four years ago as one of David Cameron’s “A-List” of young candidates – next to a plate of white powder at his luxury London home. Santos showed off a Parliamentary visitor’s pass issued at 2.35pm on June 26 last year as he went to Mr Menzies’ Westminster office. He said: “Mark got me the security pass to visit Westminster and I was interviewed by police at the gates before.” He added in an email: “I have a photo of Mark and a photo he took of me inside Westminster where he is visible in the reflection.” Describing pictures he took on his mobile, Santos claimed: “There is a plate of methedrone. “He asked me if I could buy methedrone. “He have many drugs, a lot of drugs.”

Former Marks & Spencer graduate trainee Mr Menzies has repeatedly raised the issue of rehabilitation for drugs offenders since being elected as MP for Fylde in Lancashire in 2010. In February this year, he tabled a Commons question asking the Ministry of Justice to “take steps to introduce the HM Prison Kirkham Drug and ­ Rehabilitation programme nationally”. Mr Menzies’ website features a June 2011 article telling readers about his support for drug rehabilitation programmes after a visit to the Pierpoint Addiction Treatment Centre in St Annes, Lancashire.

He is quoted as saying: “It was truly fascinating to visit with Pierpoint. “I feel supporting full recovery-led programmes can be of tremendous benefit to society.” Mr Menzies has also spoken passionately about issues of conscience in Commons debates. He backed gay marriage – which came into force yesterday – telling MPs in February 2013: “I am a Catholic and religious freedoms are very important to me, as is my religion, but so too are equality and tolerance.”

 

 

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Scotsman Mr Menzies rose from humble beginnings in the small town of Ardrossan on the North Ayrshire coast. He was raised by his mother after his merchant navy father died a month before his birth. He became an active member of the Tory Party in 1982, and began a career in retail after leaving Glasgow University in 1994 with an honours degree in economic and social history. He joined Marks & Spencer later that year and went on to become an Asda executive.

He has served as PPS to former Energy Minister Charles Hendry and ex-Housing Minister Mark Prisk before taking up his current role as aide to Tory MP Alan Duncan. He spent yesterday at his £144,000 constituency ­ apartment in St Annes, near the beach.

The Sunday Mirror yesterday presented Mr Menzies with a series of claims and questions. At 7pm, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman issued a statement from the MP confirming that he was standing down from his unpaid role as PPS. Mr Menzies said: “A number of these allegations are not true and I look forward to setting the record straight in due course.” It is believed he will continue to represent his constituency, which he holds with a majority of 13,000.  http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/tory-mp-mark-menzies-resigns-3300512

 

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2 April 2014: Top Tory MP Mark Menzies’s fate hangs in balance after claims he paid male escort for sex and drugs

The fate of a Tory MP will be decided on Friday amid claims he hired a Brazilian rent boy and asked him to buy drugs. Party members will meet to discuss if Mark Menzies, 42, should stand in the next election after the MP quit as a Parliamentary Private ­ Secretary.

Martin ­Chatfield, head of the local Conservative association, tonight hinted that the MP for Fylde, Lancs, was safe. He said: “While what has been alleged in the papers is not good, Mark has been very contrite. “I don’t think his current position as an MP is in jeopardy.” Meanwhile, Mr Menzies yesterday admitted it had been a “extremely difficult period” but vowed to keep working. Writing for his local paper, he thanked well – wishers for their support and added: “I now need a period of stability to rebuild my private life and continue to focus on helping constituents.”

Our sister paper the Sunday Mirror alleged Mr Menzies paid escort Rogerio Santos, 19, for sex and asked for illegal methedrone. In response, the MP insisted several of the claims were “not true”. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/top-tory-mp-mark-menziess-3342216

 

 

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5 April 2014: Tory MP’s rent boy lover was in Britain illegally after being refused entry Three Times

The Brazilian rent boy lover of shamed Tory MP Mark Menzies was refused entry into the UK three times. But Rogerio Santos, 19, slipped back into the country to be paid for sex by Menzies, 42, and supply him with illegal drugs. Tonight there were calls for him to explain or quit as an MP. Disgraced Menzies is now under pressure to tell exactly what he knew about the immigration status of Santos. The Tory MP, who has not been seen since we broke the story last week, has claimed he was unaware his lover was ever in the UK unlawfully.

But Santos has insisted that the MP knew about his visa problems. The rent boy was turned away by UK border officials three times during his involvement with the Tory. But on other occasions he got in past border checks to continue having paid sex with him. Speaking at his lawyer’s office, Santos, 19, claimed: “I have personal messages from Mark with him talking to me about my visa. I know how many problems I had in London and he helped me with things. Brazilians have these problems. I had this three times.”

The claim comes a week after Mr Menzies, 42, quit as a ministerial aide in the wake of our story about his 18-month drug-fuelled sex romps with the teenager which ended just weeks ago. Santos claimed the former Private ­Parliamentary Secretary got him to buy illegal Class B amphetamine-based mephedrone for him as well as Class C GHB – known as liquid ecstasy. Last night a House of Commons source said: “It would be astonishing if Mark Menzies did not know the immigration status of a man he had been in a ­relationship with for months. “MPs deal with these cases on a daily basis. At very best he’s been utterly naive.”

 

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Migration Watch UK vice-chairman Alp Mehmet said : “If you’re one of those who makes the laws for the rest of us then you ought to be intelligent enough to know when something is happening that is wrong. “In this case, it would be difficult for anyone in that position to argue they didn’t really know what was going on.”

Brazil is fifth in the UK’s top 10 of illegal immigrant nationalities because restrictions are lax. Brazilians are allowed to enter Britain without a visa for up to six months as long they prove they have somewhere to stay and enough money to get by. They also have to prove they have a job back in Brazil.

But the Sunday Mirror understands immigration officers have had their eye on Santos and believed he was likely to ­ overstay and become an illegal immigrant. So they put a block on his entry.

 

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The visa revelation will put further ­pressure on Mr Menzies’ future as MP for Fylde in Lancashire. It was already hanging in the balance following a meeting held by his Tory constituency bosses on Thursday night. A source at the Fylde Conservative Association, tasked with deciding his fate, said: “If he has engaged in ­ criminality then we would expect him to step down as an MP.” Constituency members have already called for him to quit after failing to respond to the ­ allegations.

In February, Immigration Minister Mark Harper quit after employing a Colombian cleaner in the country illegally. Last week we revealed the rent boy was shown around Parliament by Mr Menzies last June. Santos told the Sunday Mirror: “He took me to the Houses of Parliament, for “fun” when I was in the country illegally. I have SMS messages and photographic evidence to prove my story.”

 

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We have seen evidence of the MP ordering amounts of methedrone – which was banned in the UK in 2010. Santos claims he met Mr Menzies on a gay escort website and the MP began paying him £250 an hour for sex. Mr Menzies sent texts to Santos asking how much the Class B would cost if he bought it in bulk. The Brazilian says the pair enjoyed drug-fuelled romps at the MP’s taxpayer-funded flat in London where Mr Menzies was photographed naked alongside plates of methedrone. Mr Menzies asked Santos – who has now returned to Sao Paulo – to wear “sexy underwear” during their involvement. The Tory stepped down as PPS to International Development Minister Alan Duncan before our story broke.

Mr Menzies is believed to be staying with friends. He said: “I now need a period of stability to rebuild my private life and continue to focus on helping constituents with the many serious issues they face.” A source close to Mr Menzies said: “He is putting his private life in order, but he feels the way to do that is not through the Press. Mark is determined to carry on as an MP and he has a lot of support.” A spokesman for Mr Menzies told the Sunday Mirror: “As we said last week, many of these allegations are completely false.” Police sources said they would not investigate the drug allegations unless there is a formal complaint. Mr Menzies has been absent from Parliament this week where he was due to take part in a debate.

 

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The MP, who is paid £66,400 a year, has claimed for hotel rooms and first-class train tickets on his Parliamentary expenses – and ran up a £827.48 mobile bill in the first three quarters of the 2013/14 financial year. There was nothing to suggest this was improper.

The Roman Catholic politician, who is single, entered the Commons at the last General Election. He was brought up by his mother on the west coast of Scotland. His father, who was in the Merchant Navy, died before he was born. Mr Menzies won an assisted place at an independent school before studying at Glasgow University, and he joined Marks & Spencer as a trainee in 1994.

Mr Menzies told the Commons last year that he had intended to abstain on the historic vote to legalise same-sex marriages but then voted in favour. “I came here to abstain, but I have listened to the debate like I have listened to no other. It is now my intention not to abstain, but to support the Bill,” he said.

He has repeatedly raised the issue of rehabilitation for drugs offenders since being elected. In February this year, he tabled a Commons question asking the Ministry of Justice to “take steps to ­ introduce the HM Prison Kirkham Drug and ­ Rehabilitation programme nationally”. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/tory-mps-rent-boy-lover-3380331

 

 

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20 February 2015: Tory MP Mark Menzies’ rent boy Rogerio Santos says he has another customer from the Conservative Party

The rent boy who told of drug-fuelled nights with disgraced Tory MP Mark Menzies claims he is ready to name a second Conservative client. Brazilian escort Rogerio Santos has contacted a British publicist this week saying he wanted to reveal fresh details in exchange for a large payment. The new claims are believed also to involve a sexual encounter that involved the consumption of illegal drugs. Any new revelations would leave the Tories facing a fresh sleaze scandal on the eve of the General Election on May 7.

A source said: “Mr Santos is very convincing. He wants to speak out again – but only for the right price.” Mr Santos, 20, claimed the second Tory was “a colleague” of Mr Menzies , 43, who is MP for Fylde in Lancashire.

Mr Menzies, one of David Cameron’s “A-list” candidates at the 2010 election, quit as parliamentary private secretary at the Department for International Development after our sister paper the Sunday Mirror revealed Santos’s claims last year. They included allegations he had paid for sex with the £250-an-hour rent boy, who was then aged 19, and asked him to supply class B party drug methedrone.

 

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Texts on Santos’ phone, which he showed to the Sunday Mirror, revealed messages asking the teenager for full details about the quality of methedrone available and how much it would cost. Santos also said he was in the UK illegally after overstaying a student visa, though it is understood the MP did not know of his immigration status. At the time Santos hinted he had details of a sexual encounter with a second Tory. The source said the fresh claims would heap new pressure on Menzies, who intends to contest his seat at Flyde, Lancs. After resigning as a ministerial aide last year he said: “I look forward to setting the record straight in due course.”

But the source added: “Menzies has failed to answer questions on his relationship with the rent boy, which he pledged to do. “Santos is a self confessed male prostitute who can obtain drugs – it does not look good for whoever’s name is dragged into this, especially so close to a general election.” http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/tory-mark-menzies-rent-boy-5201002

 

 

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April 11 2015: Frack Free Fylde – Gayzer Frackman – Lytham Resident and Fylde voter speaks out

It has been a bad year for Fylde MP Mark Menzies but even worse for the people of the Fylde, having him carpetbagged in by the Tories. The arrogance of Menzies when it comes to fracking is hugely disappointing. Disgusted Campaigners against Fracking and the bully boy tactics of Lord Browne’s Cuadrilla and Cameron’s Carbon Coated government looked to him for support. But he has not represented constituents close to the sites, living in fear, or supported locals who have been bravely fighting Cuadrilla and their well financed propoganda.

There are also unanswered questions about his promise to put the record straight about allegations made about him and the Brazilian rent boy, and drugs. Featured in The Mirror over a year ago. Our MP is supposed to have our interests at heart so why hasn’t he cleared his name in all that time? Or admitted it and held his hands up and said sorry to the families of the Fylde? Others have cleared their name in less than a year and a half when facing similar accusations The people of the Fylde deserve answers! What is at question here is ‘Character’ and ‘judgment’ both lacking from a Career MP shipped into a Tory safe seat. https://www.facebook.com/events/385818231604431/

 

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Tory Right Wing MP. Votes for everything and anything abhorrent to Scots

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/24804/mark_menzies/fylde/votes#social

 

Fylde MP Mark Menzies
Fylde MP Mark Menzies

 

 

Mark Menzies Refuses to Answers Most of Our Questions on Fracking

Defend Lytham met recently with Mark Menzies MP. As a result of that meeting we put together a list of specific questions to clarify Mr Menzies’ position on fracking which were put to him by email on Thursday 19th September 2013. He has not answered to the committee as requested but he did eventually send a private response on 30 October 2013 to the chairman of Defend Lytham.

In this response, which is reproduced at the end of this page he explains why he is unable to answer more than 5 of our 38 questions, because they “assume that I have a detailed technical knowledge of the engineering requirements behind the shale gas industry or are of such a speculative nature that it would be inappropriate of me to hypothesise on the answers.”

Mark Menzies has been Member of Parliament for our area, which has had PEDL licence 165 on it for the entire duration of his parliamentary career.

Until 2012 Mr Menzies was PPS to Charles Hendry MP, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change.

He is currently Vice Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Unconventional Oil and Gas (AKA Fracking for Shale Oil and Gas) which receives considerable support from the shale gas industry and its associates as revealed in Private Eye earlier this year.

 We would suggest that it is eminently reasonable to expect Mr Menzies to be able to voice opinions of some pretty straightforward and important questions. We are immensely disappointed by his responses which we have collated below, insofar as they exist.

 

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1. General

1.1. Do you know that Cuadrilla claim to be able to extract 25% of the UK’s energy requirement from their licence area (PEDL 165) at peak (1).

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question – We think he should know the answer]

1.2. Do you know that 25% of the UK’s consumption (~3 tcf pa) would equate to approximately 0.75 tcf per annum.

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question – We think he should know the answer]

1.3. Do you know that the IoD have estimated that to extract 0.85 tcf pa would require 4,000 wells on 100 x 40 lateral well pads to be drilled over a period of 17 years (2)

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question – We think he should know the answer]

1.4. Do you accept that it is therefore likely that if Cuadrilla are allowed to go ahead with production that they plan in the region of 100 well pads. (We have written evidence from Daily Telegraph journalist Emily Gosden that Francis Egan told her he envisaged 100 well pads)?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question – We think he should be able to answer]

1.5. Do you stand by your comments made in public in St Annes, and to the Defend Lytham committee in your surgery, that you could not support such a scale of development?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question – Why?]

1.6. If so at what point will you begin to demonstrate that you do not support this level of development in your constituency.

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question]

 

Anti-fracking signs line the road next to a proposed shale gas site in Lancashire.imagesvfhj

 

 

2. Regulation

2.1. What is the “gold standard of regulation” that you refer to – What does it actually mean?

2.2. Why do you not insist that we need it for exploration as well as production?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question]

2.3. You said in parliament (3) “although I welcome the environmental assessment currently being undertaken by the Environment Agency, I call for environmental impact studies to be undertaken on any proposed site, regardless of size”. Do you still support mandatory Environmental Impact Assessments on all development and production wells and why?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question]

2.4. What is your reaction to the fact that Conservative MEPS have stated that they intend to block vote against the EU amendment which would make Environmental Impact Assessments mandatory on all developments?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question]

2.5. What is your reaction to the fact that in spite of your calls for mandatory EIAs the coalition government has released new planning guidelines (4), which make it clear that EIAs will only be required by exception?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question]

2.6. You also asked in parliament (3) “Furthermore, does the Minister have any plans to encourage a health impact assessment in a similar vein” Will you insist on health impact assessments?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question]

2.7. You stated (3) “I do not believe that the regulatory system is robust or transparent enough to instil public confidence should permission be granted to the industry. That is why I am calling for an independent panel of experts to be set up without delay”. We ended up with The Office of Unconventional Gas and Oil (OUGO), a subsidiary of DECC and therefore not independent, whose brief is to promote shale gas and streamline regulation – do you agree that we did not get what you said was needed?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question – It isn’t complicated – We think he should be able to answer it.]

2.8. Will you continue to call for an independent panel of experts to enforce regulation or are you now going to accept OUGO even though you stated (3), when calling for an independent panel that it “is vital that we support the work of current regulatory bodies. In no uncertain terms can we allow the environment or the well-being of our constituents to be compromised”

2.9. David Cameron said “No regulation must get in the way” (5) of shale gas extraction. Do you think he is right to say this? If not when will you comment on this publicly?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question]

2.10. Do you support the European Groundwater Daughter Directive which means that fracking companies must monitor and manage all fracking fluids?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question]

2.11. Will you insist that green tanking / green completion to minimize methane emissions should be made mandatory?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question]

2.12. You stated in parliament (3) that “I would consider the current site at Anna’s road, where exploratory drilling is taking place, to be an unacceptable location for extraction to occur. I would vehemently oppose its development as such”. What are the specific grounds on which you regard Anna’s Road as unacceptable as a location for extraction to occur?

 

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3. Planning

3.1. You said on Radio Lancashire that “a lot of this (responsibility for decision on fracking) now sits in the hands of Lancashire County Council, who as Mineral Rights Authority have got rights over planning”. What is your opinion on the fact that the new planning guidelines take power away from CCs / MRAs and enshrine a presumption that permissions will be granted?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question]

3.2. Are you happy that new planning guidelines propose EIAs only in exceptional circumstances?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question]

3.3. Do you support the proposed “Revised requirements relating to planning applications for onshore oil and gas” (6) that drillers should not have to specify whose land they intend to drill under when applying for planning permission?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question]

3.4. Can you clarify Michael Fallon’s statement (7) “It’s for local communities to decide whether they want to host shale gas exploration. These are planning decisions which will first of all be taken locally and it’s up to the developer to engage early with local communities and explain to everybody what they’re planning to do.” It seems that this runs counter to the opinions being expressed by other members of the government.

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question]

3.5. Do you support the idea expressed above that local communities should be able to veto shale gas wells in the same way that Eric Pickles’ Department suggests that will be able to veto windfarms (8)?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question]

 

 

 

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4. Management

4.1. There is currently no regulation that forces operators to fund Bonds for Abandonment up front. Cuadrilla suggested to John Hayes in December 2012 (9)that they had put in place “additional financial security to address any concerns about well abandonment commitments”. However, when Cuadrilla were asked “Firstly, as this was “additional” what financial security was already in place against well abandonment issues. Secondly, how much money has been set aside in total to “address any concerns about well abandonment commitments”, where is it and how can we be sure it will still be safely available in future (will it be held in escrow somewhere?) their response via their PR agency, PPS Group, was “Cuadrilla has more than adequate funding available to provide for security for wells drilled in the current exploration phase. Should an increase in scale during any extraction phase require additional security, Cuadrilla will agree with the appropriate regulatory authority (in this instance DECC) what security it requires.”

From this rather vague statement it is clear that the claim made by Mr Egan to Mr Hayes is misleading as it suggests that additional financial security has already been put in place? Clearly the implication of Mr Egan’s statement was that Cuadrilla had set aside a sum of money as security against abandonment. This is evidently not the case as you can see from their subsequent response. You were made aware of this issue in March 2013. Can you please tell us what progress you have made in ensuring that operators are made to fund bonds for abandonment before any work, exploratory or otherwise, takes place?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question]

4.2. What level of “community benefit” payment do you regard as adequate for development wells and what % of profit on production wells?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question]

4.3. Are you confident that profit will not simply be funneled to other parts of any operator’s group structures to avoid both tax and community payments – especially if the operators have a significant proportion of offshore investment?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question]

4.4. Who is the “community” to whom any benefit will be paid?

4.5. Do you agree that, as the County Council is also the Minerals Rights Authority responsible for planning decisions on shale gas developments, that there would be a clear conflict of interests if the County Council were allowed to receive financials benefits as a result of granting permission for shale gas projects?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question]

4.6. What steps are in place to ensure that fracking companies are made to pay to rectify damage incurred to highways due to excessive traffic created by their traffic?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question]

 

 

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5. Political Issues

5.1. Do you believe that shale gas extraction in the UK will bring down energy prices?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question]

5.2. Do you believe a significant number of jobs will be created? If so, how many? How many of these would be for local people in the Fylde? For how long will they last?

5.3. Are you committed to the government’s legally binding emissions limit of 1,950 MtCO2e over the fourth carbon budget period (2023 to 2027)?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question]

5.4. If so, in your opinion how will support for shale gas allow us to meet this target?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question]

5.5 Are you aware that Cuadrilla are obliged to relinquish 50% of their licence are before the end of this year?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question – We think he should know the answer]

 

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6. Risks

6.1. Flood risk – Given the recent floods in Colorado and the associated problems with contamination resulting from flooded and damaged shale gas installations, do you feel that the flood plain of the Fylde (10) is an appropriate location for shale gas extraction?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question]

6.2. If so how do you believe measures can be put in place to protect shale gas installations against potential flood risk?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question]

6.3. Do you believe that the local agriculture and tourism industries would be affected in the event of a development of 100 well pads in the Fylde?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question]

 

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7. Overall

7.1. Are you for or against the development of shale gas extraction at the level proposed in your constituency?

[Mr Menzies declined to answer this question]


Notes:

1. “In our licence alone we can supply a quarter of the UK’s gas demand” Mr Egan said.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/9716558/Cuadrilla-set-to-resume-fracking-as-George-Osborne-backs-UK-shale-gas.html

2. IOD “Getting Shale Gas Working” – P128

3. Adjournment debate – 24th October 2012

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm121024/debtext/121024-0004.htm

 

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4. “An Environmental Impact Assessment is only required if the project is likely to have significant environmental effects.” DCLG – Planning practice guidance for onshore oil and gas

5. “UK Prime Minister David Cameron offered robust support for European exploitation of shale gas, telling journalists: “No regulation must get in the way.” http://euobserver.com/news/120202

 

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6. “The Government is minded to amend the notice requirements for applications for planning permission for under ground oil and gas operations. It would retain the requirement to serve notice on individual owners and tenants of land on the above ground area where works are required (who the applicant knows to be such a person and whose name and address is known to the applicant) but remove this requirement for owners of land beyond this area ie the owners of land where solely underground operations may take place”

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/revised-requirements-relating-to-planning-applications-for-onshore-oil-and-gas

 

 

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7. Eric Pickles statement reported on http://uk.news.yahoo.com/minister-hails-wind-power-potential-104823012.html#pXcDkQh

8. “Current planning decisions on onshore wind are not always reflecting a locally-led planning system. New planning guidance supporting the planning framework from DCLG will make clear that the need for renewable energy does not automatically override environmental protections and the planning concerns of local communities. It will give greater weight to landscape and visual impact concerns”

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/onshore-wind-communities-to-have-a-greater-say-and-increased-benefits

 

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9. Letter to John Hayes MP from Francis Egan of Cuadrilla

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/79201/080213Cuad.pdf

10. No change scenario – Map based on nothing being done to the existing flood defences and it uses the results of an extreme tide; and it takes account of global warming and sea level rise.

 

 

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Mr Menzies Response.

Thank you for your continued correspondence and the list of 38 questions relating to the shale gas industry you recently sent to me.

Over the last two years you have written to me on at least 24 separate occasions about a wide range of issues.

I have always tried to do as you request or answer all the letters you sent with a detailed response covering each and every issue laid out.

However, on this occasion I am sorry to say that I am unable to accurately answer the 38 separate questions you have submitted on behalf of Defend Lytham.

The reason for this is that many of the questions assume that I have a detailed technical knowledge of the engineering requirements behind the shale gas industry or are of such a speculative nature that it would be inappropriate of me to hypothesise on the answers.

I believe that the issue of shale gas extraction is of huge importance and should be treated as such, and therefore I am unwilling to conjecture on the various issues based on press speculation or rumour.

However, I will try to answer the questions which I am able.

 

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As you are aware, I have been championing a gold standard of regulation surrounding shale gas extraction since shortly after I was elected to parliament.

You have asked what that would entail and much of what I mean can be found already at work within our successful offshore oil and gas industry.

These processes include mandatory Environmental Risk Assessments, regular on the ground well inspections, ensuring water requirements can be met sustainably and making sure regulation remains fit for purpose of the industry grows.

In line with that I called an adjournment debate in October 2012 – which can be found at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm121024/debtext/121024-0004.htm#12102465001852 – where I asked for the creation of a body to oversee the industry’s various regulators.

 

 

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This has now been set up in the Office of Unconventional Gas and Oil and one of my focuses from here is to ensure that office fulfills its obligations as set out in its mandate and that existing regulators perform detailed scrutiny of potential shell gas sites in file.

During the debate, I also flagged up concerns over the Anna’s Road site and said I would vehemently oppose any future development on that site.

You asked why I regarded the area as unacceptable and it is because I believe the moss land between Lytham and St Annes and Blackpool should be protected and not be developed. In the past I have opposed the Queensway housing development close to this site because of similar concerns.

Cuadrilla Resources has now discontinued its plans for Anna’s Road and is currently working towards returning the site to its previous condition, something which I’m sure you will join me in welcoming.

In my debate, I also asked for rigourous on-the-ground inspections of any sites and in the last month I have had two meetings with Environment Secretary Owen Paterson MP who gave me his personal assurances that there will indeed be a rigourous regime in place should extraction go ahead.

In July this year, I also called the Westminster Hall debate to discuss the work which has been carried out by government since my previous adjournment debate. Should you wish to be the contents of that for further information can be found at:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm130716/halltext/130716h0001.htm#13071668000001.htm_spnew37

 

 

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With regard to your specific questions around community benefits, I recently met with the Prime Minister to discuss this very issue. While the specific details of how any payments would be made are still being decided, he assured me that the intention was that people living closest to any potential wellsites would be the ones to principally benefit.

You also asked about jobs related to the shale gas industry and I feel we are now moving into an area which is highly speculative at this stage.

However, the Prime Minister recently referred to making Blackpool the shale gas centre for Europe and I feel I should clarify this point as there appear to have been some misunderstandings surrounding what he meant by that.

Rather than indicating the Fylde Coast should have more drill sites than anywhere else, the Prime Minister was in fact referring to the infrastructure attached to the industry.

If there are any jobs in the manufacturing sector, either in research and design or establishing a head office, then I would prefer those employment opportunities were in filed rather than elsewhere in the UK or Europe.

I hope this answers at least some of the questions you had. As ever should you have any specific concerns you wish me to bring to the attention of ministers, as I have done for you on numerous occasions in the past, I will of course be only too happy to do so.

 

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Many thanks for your continued interest in this subject.  Mark Menzies Member of Parliament for Fylde

http://www.defendlytham.com/mark-menzies-refuses-to-answers-most-of-our-questions-on-fracking/

http://www.refracktion.com/index.php/why-be-concerned/regulation-of-shale-gas-extraction/

http://www.refracktion.com/index.php/mark-menzies-mp-regulation-and-cuadrilla/

http://stopfyldefracking.org.uk/latest-news/is-fylde-mp-mark-menzies-cuadrillas-latest-pr-recruit/

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/17/lancashire-fracking-revolution-uk-shale-gas-exploration-cuadrilla-fylde-blackpool

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/21/cuadrilla-lancashire-fracking-should-be-refused

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/13/halliburton-could-join-uk-fracking-third-energy-yorkshire-deepwater-horizon-oil-spill

 

 

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Immigration – An Informed Opinion Is Worth Heeding – Video Reports Covering The Subject

 

 

 

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28 October 2013: Britain’s Mean Streets: The economic migrants looking for a better life who end up in the gutter

The UK is bitterly divided on the EU and immigration. As the opening up of Europe’s borders creates a new wave of poverty on its streets, we witness the deprivation and anger as it reaches crisis point. Walking down London’s most exclusive streets, the smell of improvised toilets clashes with high-class boutiques and luxury car showrooms. “Their take on the world doesn’t chime with ours.” Nik Ward, head of Westminster Council’s Rough Sleepers Department says of the immigrants he’s looking to clean off the streets.

 

 

 

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It’s now estimated that a third of the city’s homeless are now from eastern Europe. Zie Babaks, a Latvian immigrant, says many work but are exploited so that they “are not earning enough money to survive”. Migrants are crammed into unsafe accommodation with the authorities using sophisticated thermal imaging technology to find them. Many like Bob McAuley direct their anger at the EU, “We’re sick to death of being ruled by Europe.” Long a comical fringe party, UKIP’s anti-EU stance is now rattling the establishment and it looks like the full political impact is yet to be felt. http://www.journeyman.tv/?lid=66102

 

 

 

 

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Immigrants queue for food handouts form La Belle Etoile charity near the ferry port in Calais.
9 January 2014: The Truth About Immigration in the UK 2014 – Did Britain need immigrants to keep economy growing?

BBC political editor Nick Robinson examines the public’s anxieties about immigration and reveals the facts of an issue that has transformed British politics. With Britain braced for a new wave of migrants from eastern Europe, a subject once regarded as toxic is now at the forefront of political discussion. The programme dissects the decisions which led to the biggest surge of immigration in modern history and asks whether politicians can control immigration as much as they claim, looking at the potential consequences of their pledges. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHplEJgevqM

 

 

 

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24 February 2014 The Migrant Trap: For thousands of migrants, Tripoli is seen as the gateway to Europe. But for many of them, the Libyan capital is turning into a dead end.

For African migrants Libya used to be a Mecca: a place to find work or get access to Europe. But now the workers who come here are trapped in the political, economic and social chaos engulfing the country. “It will get worse because of the indifference and carelessness of the Libyan authorities, but also the lack of coordination with Europe”, militia leader and immigration officer Abdul Raza tells us. He describes how no efforts are made on the Libyan side to stop the 15,000 migrants a year who attempt the crossing to Europe, which in 2013 resulted in 3,000 deaths.

 

 

 

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Tripoli has always been a centre for migrants and talk of reconstruction has brought a new wave. But these rumours are in stark contrast to the complete mayhem engulfing the country. “We have big problems. This morning we haven’t eaten. Sometimes they hit us. When we are noisy they beat us”, a young migrant being kept in Libya’s notorious Abu Salim prison tells us. He has been brought here along with hundreds of others and will be kept here for an indefinite amount of time waiting to be deported. “It is for them the most important thing to go to Europe, Lampedusa. They would rather die than stay here in Libya”, says a Roman Catholic Nun attempting to offer aid to the increasingly desperate immigrants swelling Libya’s cities. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0vtLspGbmg

 

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15 July 2014: Too Many Immigrants, impact of immigration in UK Episode 1 BBC Documentary 2014 Nick and Margaret
Too Many Immigrants impact of immigration in UK Episode 2 BBC Documentary 2014 Nick and Margaret

Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford explore the impact of immigration in the UK by bringing both sides of the debate together. Pairing five Brits who are opposed to immigration with five immigrants, they look at the issues of jobs, housing and what it means to be British. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5s3bBZEtCw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITnB-ehfFYg

 

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11 August 2014: The Truth About Immigration in the UK 2014 BBC

BBC political editor Nick Robinson examines the public’s anxieties about immigration and reveals the facts of an issue that has transformed British politics. With Britain braced for a new wave of migrants from eastern Europe, a subject once regarded as toxic is now at the forefront of political discussion. The programme dissects the decisions which led to the biggest surge of immigration in modern history and asks whether politicians can control immigration as much as they claim, looking at the potential consequences of their pledges. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJVDguL7cfo

 

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26 September 2014: BBC Panorama HD Immigration UK Threat Part 1
26 September 2014: BBC Panorama HD Immigration UK Threat Part 2

Reporter Paul Kenyon joins British police in a Romanian village where most of the men have left to pursue work in the black market of London.

The Truth About Immigration in the UK 2014 BBC, HD 720p The Truth About Immigration in the UK 2014 BBC, HD 720p Did Britain need immigrants to keep economy growing. Panorama looks at a proposed amnesty for hundreds of thousands of long-standing illegal immigrants, offering them the right to work and full citizenship.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6jMxw-6zCc   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyJqt9MAXuo

 

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29 October 2014: The Italian Solution: Inside the Italian Navy’s desperate mission to save North African immigrants from death in the Med.

The Italian Navy’s Operation Mare Nostrum has rescued record numbers of migrants crossing the sea from North Africa to Italy, but as it now ends the rescue program, experts say thousands are at risk. In a country suffering from recession, the rescue operation is costing around $13 million a month, and causing friction with Italy’s EU partners. Many migrants walk out of Italian processing centres and head for other Euro territories.

EU rules demand those rescued at sea ask for asylum in the country where they come ashore, but job and opportunity-poor Italy drives many migranti to head directly for Northern Europe. “We’re heading to Milan and then find another country maybe. Sweden or Netherlands or Germany.” explains Mohammad, a Syrian refugee rescued by Italian Navy.

The policy is putting pressure on the EU to assist Italy with the rescues, both financially and logistically. But the other member states are reluctant to join in. And now there are growing question marks over how long the Italian government can keep rescuing the migranti lost at sea.

 

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14 December 2014: Dreaming of the UK: Europe’s Migrant Crisis

This report takes us to the French coastal town of Calais, where thousands of migrants, largely from the Middle East and Africa, are desperately trying to board boats or trucks in order to travel to Britain. Calais is a magnet for the migrants from war zones and poor countries who are trying to reach Britain. For years French police have been trying to remove migrant camps in and around Calais; however, the number of arriving migrants have been persistent. Many of the migrants hope to hide in trucks or other vehicles crossing to Britain. We will see what life is like in the camps and find out how they are treated by the police and most local people and if Britain rejects them or not.

 

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28 December 2014: Whats behind an anti-immigrant tide rising in Europe

The European Union is built on the idea of free movement of people and capital, but some factions wish to curb immigration and control their sovereign identity. Documentary on the issue of Immigration to the Italian island of Lampedusa, aimed at sensibilising people to the plight of African immigrants to Europe. The tide of illegal immigrants from Africa to Europe does not seem to be ebbing, with many countries still struggling to return to normal life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srYu0mVWOaw

 

 

 

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