MP Expense Claims Exceed £120 Million Each Year – Up by 25% – Many Fall Foul of the Rules Yet the Largess Continues – Despairing Times For Taxpayers Hit Hard by Austerity Measures

 

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2 Days ago: Hundreds of MPs’ have their parliamentary credit cards suspended for breaking expenses rules

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), was set up in the wake of the disgraceful expenses scandal 10 years ago.

Parliamentary credit cards were introduced for MPs’ following the scandal, to ensure spending could be closely monitored.

Westminster authorities, ruled that information should not be released to the public because it could hinder the safe operation of the system.

But a former high court judge reversed the ruling and ordered that the information be released to the public saying that the risk of “embarrassing” MPs’ was not sufficient reason to keep the information secret.

True to form those elected to serve the electorate soon found ways in which they could circumvent the rules.

Scots who vote to maintain the rotten and corrupt political system that is Westminster need their heads examined.

 

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The folderol that is Westminster and the Fiddle-de-dee behavior of MPs’

Information recently released under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that since the 2015 General Election 377,  MPs’,  (1,114 suspensions in total) have had their gold credit cards suspended for claiming for disallowed items, failing to pay back ineligible expenses or failure to provide receipts.

Many are repeat offenders, including Tory, Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd, (card suspended 5 times).

Claire Perry, energy minister, admitted wrongly used her parliamentary credit card to pay for her Amazon Prime subscription.

Ian Paisley, DUP MP, ran up debts of £1,193 and had his credit card suspended.

Damian Collins, Tory MP and chair of the Commons media committee, Chloe Smith, Tory government constitution minister and 7 other MP’s have had their card suspended more than ten times over the past three years.

Stephen Barclay, Greg Clark, Chris Grayling, Robert Buckland, Claire Perry, Rory Stewart, Jeremy Wright, David Mundell and Boris Johnson, all ministers of cabinet status are among the MPs penalised.

In the Labour camp, party leader Jeremy Corbyn was revealed to have had his card suspended twice, while Shadow Cabinet ministers Rebecca Long-Bailey, Richard Burgon, Diane Abbott and deputy leader Tom Watson were found to have also fallen foul of expenses rules.

Sir Alistair Graham, former chairman of the committee on standards in public life, said:

“It shows there is either something fundamentally wrong with the system, or we’ve got a bunch of highly incompetent slovenly MPs’ who can’t keep to the rules.  MPs’ have become lax and casual in their approach to meeting the rules. If MPs can’t deal with this rather narrow sphere of finances, why should we trust them in dealing with the nation’s finances?”

The amount taxpayers were charged for MPs’ allowances increased by 22 per cent since 2009.

In 2018 the expenses bill was £117.4million – equivalent to £180,000 per MP. This includes accommodation, travel, hotels, subsistence and staffing costs.

 

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Westminster Officials Personal Expenditure On Their Taxpayer Funded Gold Cards Exceeds £1.5 Billion – When Will the Largesse End?

 

 

 

 

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August 2011: Voter fury over Gold Card abuse cover-up

Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell has been blamed by key members of the Government for blocking moves to reveal the true extent of spending on the cards, which are given to officials to pay for their ‘expenses’.

A cloak of secrecy is being used to conceal widespread abuse of public money spent on the cards every year.

Some officials have already been caught using them for personal items such as hamburgers or supermarket shopping trips – but the real number of culprits is suspected to be far higher.

About 140,000 Government Procurement Cards (GPC) are in circulation, and any bills lower than £1,000 a month are not routinely audited.

Responding to growing public anger over the revelations, Whitehall finance mandarins issued secret advice warning Ministers against publishing information that exposes exactly how much has been spent using the cards

But estimates place the figure at £1.5bn from 1997.

The Downing Street Cabinet Office is opposed to the release of backdated information, including the identity of cardholders, as it would be a ‘poor use of resources’.

Claiming the backing of Downing Street in opposing wider publication, the guidance declares that £235,000-a-year Sir Gus is personally resistant to the idea.

The row coincides with the release of bank statements revealing how officials at the Commons racked up a £1.5m bill on taxpayer-funded credit cards over the past three years.

A list of nearly 4,000 purchases, released under Freedom of Information rules following pressure from open-government campaigners, included £3,700 spent in The Claridges hotel in New Delhi.

A compromise deal has been agreed under which Government departments will publish a list of items purchased using the cards.

But to the anger of some the list will cover only items costing more than £500  and it will not identify cardholders.

A senior politician who lobbied behind the scenes for full disclosure said: “For too long officials have treated this perk like a Gold Card on the taxpayer. We have been banging our heads against a brick wall trying to get all this information out there and we are convinced there has been an abuse of this perk on the scale of the MPs’ expenses scandal, but the Cabinet Office has resisted at every turn and it has been made clear that Sir Gus is not on our side.”

In recent months newspapers have revealed a series of eye-catching and exotic purchases made by civil servants and local government officials on taxpayer-funded cards, including £25m spent on first-class flights, exclusive restaurants and shopping sprees.

Yet another newspaper disclosure highlighted how officials working for a Government policing quango had used the cards to buy items including exotic lingerie and beehive hairdo’s, racking up bills of more than £3m a year.

Parliament’s “Men in Tights” racked up a £1.5m bill on official credit cards in settlement for stays at luxury hotels, long-haul flights, food and drink charges at top restaurants.

A recently released (redacted) list of “procurement card” spending revealed senior Commons officials also used the cards to pay for:

* £3,700 for room hire in the exclusive Claridges hotel in New Delhi.

* £1,705 Settlement of an account at the Ritz-Carlton hotel.

* £2,000 on car hire from the Bermuda Motor Car Renting company.

* £1,280 to the Cotswold Water Park.

* £190 for French lessons at London’s French Institute. .

* £393 hire of a Moss Bros suit and top hat. (to attend Royal Ascot)

* £200 on purchase of food from Tesco.

* £77 purchase of a “Decanter” magazine subscriptoion.

* £885 for the purchase of a food blender!!!!

* £450 purchase of alcohol from Majestic Wines.

* £11 at a Giraffe family restaurant.

* £7 at Nando’s.

* £5 at Snappy Snaps.

* £3 At Burger King.

* £8 For the purchase of a spare set of keys.

 

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Commons officials, who wear elaborate 19th Century court dress on formal occasions, lived up to their nickname by flashing the taxpayer-funded cards buying tights.

There was also evidence that staff had used them to withdraw in excess of £500 in cash, which is forbidden for procurement cards used by Government departments.

A Commons spokesman said the system allowed staff to pay for relatively low-value items in a cheap, secure, and quick way reducing the Common’s processing costs enabling suppliers to be paid more quickly.

Cards had an individual transaction and a monthly transaction limit and the bulk of the £1.5m spend was on behalf of MPs on official business either in the UK or abroad. But Commons authorities accepted they faced challenges to justify a great deal of the purchases.

Staff are advised that the cards are only to be used only for official business purposes and never for personal expenditure, other than in exceptional circumstances where private expenditure is incidental to official business. Expenditure in the latter category should be reimbursed by the card user, but even though Commons auditors are supposed to exercise strict control over August 2011; Voter fury over taxpayer Gold Card cover-up – Ministers blame the head of the Civil Service for blocking exposure of abuse transactions details of the bills still brought surprise.

 

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About Sir Gus O’Donnell

Sir Gus – known by his staff as ‘GOD’, after his initials – is a long-serving high-flyer who has been head of the Civil Service for nearly six years.

The 58-year-old joined the Treasury as an economist in 1979, serving as Press secretary to Chancellor Nigel Lawson and later to Prime Minister John Major.

He was Permanent Secretary at the Treasury when Gordon Brown was Chancellor, before being promoted to serve Tony Blair, Brown then David Cameron as Cabinet Secretary.

He is planning to leave his post before the end of the current Parliament.

 

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A spokesman for the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:

“When a House of Commons official get their company credit card out they need to think about whether they could justify the expenditure to an ordinary taxpayer.

Only the very rich on their holidays stay in the sort of hotel MPs used in India, so it is absolutely unjustified that officials should do so when they go on work trips. (The Mail)

 

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The Smith Commission Committed Westminster to Devolving Powers To the Scottish Government – But Failed to Deliver the Package

 

 

 

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November 2014: Devolution deal for Scotland

Lord Smith of Kelvin, praised Scottish political leaders for coming together after a “bruising” referendum, with a reminder that:

A cross-party commission had been set up after the unionist parties promised greater powers for Scotland in the event of a no vote in the independence referendum, in a pledge known as “The Vow”.

The deal was promoted by Unionist “no” campaigners as the greatest transfer of powers to Scotland since the Scottish Parliament was set up 15 before.

Drawn up in little over two months it included the transfer to the Scottish Parliament of the following powers:

 

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Powers

Scotland to be able to set the rates and thresholds of income tax, but the personal allowance is to remain set in Westminster. All revenue raised is to remain in Scotland. But it will be administered by HMRC, with any extra costs to be charged to Scotland.

Scotland to take the first 10 percentage points (i.e. half) of VAT receipts.

Scotland to have have the power to borrow on the international markets, within a “prudential borrowing regime consistent with a sustainable overall UK framework.”

Scotland to have control on air passenger duty from Scottish airports, and can scrap it. (A red herring since climate change will rule out introduction of the tax)

Power over the running of Scottish Parliament elections, including spending and the age of the franchise and the number of MSPs.

Consultation and a greater role for Scottish ministers on negotiations with the European Union, allowing Scottish Government ministers to speak on behalf of all of the UK at the Council of Ministers in Europe.

The Crown Estate i.e. Government land to transfer to the Scottish Parliament. This includes the seabed, rural estates, stretches of coast line and mineral and fishing rights. But it will not cover “critical national infrastructure” covering defence, oil and gas.

The Scottish Government is to have a role in reviewing the BBC’s charter and the BBC – vilified in the referendum campaign by nationalists – will have to answer to the Scottish Parliament’s committees.

Scotland to have a greater say over running the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the Northern Lighthouse Board, Ofcom and Ofgem.

The ability to top-up benefits payments to cancel out the so-called Bedroom Tax.

Benefits for carers, the disabled and the ill

Cold weather, funeral payments, maternity grants and winter fuel payments.

The right to create new benefit payments.

The running of back-to-work schemes for the unemployed.

The report called for “serious consideration” to devolving control over abortion and call for immediate consideration.

It called for a discussion around the devolution of medical rules on embryology, surrogates and medicines.

Tribunals to be transferred to Scotland, except the Special Immigration Appeals Commission and the Proscribed Organisations Appeals Commission.

Transport to be devolved, including the power to set speed limits, and allowing the state to bid for rail franchises.

The level of so-called Green Levies on fuel bills to remain in Westminster, but how they are raised will be devolved.

Scotland to take control of onshore oil and gas licencing, but off-shore is to remain a UK-wide issue.

Scottish ministers enabled to request competition authorities to investigate issues in Scotland.

Scotland to take control of consumer advocacy, and to have the power to prevent the spread of payday loan shops and fixed odds betting terminals.

Powers explicitly to remain with Westminster:

The Barnett Formula, setting the block grant from Westminster.

The state pension, including the pension age.

National Insurance, Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Corporation tax, fuel duty, oil and gas receipts.

Universal Credit, the new DWP system for delivering working age benefits, including the rates and sanctions regime- Housing benefit, maternity pay, statutory sick pay, bereavement allowance and child benefit.

the National Minimum Wage.

The Equality Act, but Scotland will be able to set new rules such as gender quotas.

Overall responsibility to manage risks and shocks to the economy, including a power to levy UK-wide taxes if required.

He concluded urging Scots to be patient since:

“The delivery of new powers of this magnitude could be rushed through. Inter-governmental working needed to be improved and as a first measure, David Cameron, Nicola Sturgeon, the Speakers of the Commons and the Scottish parliament were scheduled to meet to discuss outcomes, in late January 2015.”

report available here: https://www.smith-commission.scot/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/The_Smith_Commission_Report-1.pdf

 

 

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John Swinney:

The Scottish finance minister and Deputy First Minister, said the proposals lacked the job creation powers, welfare powers, control over personal allowance or national insurance that would allow Scotland to succeed. The Scottish Government recognised the Smith Commission could not grant independence but they had hoped it would allow Scotland to succeed economically.He added:

“We regret these powers have not been delivered. We welcome the new powers – as we support all progress for Scotland – and pledge to use them when they are in place in the best interests of the Scottish people. We also welcome the acknowledgement of the ‘sovereign right’ of the people of Scotland, and our ability to proceed to independence if we so choose. But the proposals clearly do not reflect the full wishes of the people of Scotland, and also fall far short of the rhetoric from the “No” campaign during the referendum.

In an illegal and late intervention, only days before the referendum and well within the purgatory period Gordon Brown promised nothing less than a modern form of Scottish Home Rule and as close to a federal state as the UK could be. That was the context for the extensive new powers promised in the Vow. Author’s comment:(Brown’s illegal and heavily promoted by the BBC, game changing intervention was apparently condoned by the Electoral Commission)

Regrettably, the Westminster government and other political Unionist supporters failed to deliver the powerhouse parliament the people of Scotland had been promised. Under the proposals, less than 30 per cent of Scottish taxes is to be set in Scotland and less than 20 per cent of welfare spending is to be devolved to Scotland.

This is not Home Rule – It is a continuation of Westminster rule.

Most significantly, the proposals do not include the job-creating powers that Scotland so badly needs to get more people into work and grow the economy, or welfare powers to tackle in-work poverty.

A claim based on two spcific sentences in the report:

a. Reflecting the sovereign right of the people of Scotland to determine the form of government best suited to their needs, as expressed in the referendum on 18 September 2014, and in the context of Scotland remaining within the UK, an enhanced devolution settlement for Scotland will be durable, responsive and democratic.

b. It is agreed that nothing in this report prevents Scotland becoming an independent country in the future should the people of Scotland so choose.

 

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Gordon Brown:

Was unhappy with tax changes, saying:

“The devolution of income tax is a “trap” because it will force Scottish MPs to surrender significant voting rights in Westminster over budgets, putting the Union itself at risk.”

Then, reflecting on the agreement, he went on:

“But, the Vow to deliver a stronger Scottish Parliament within the UK has been kept, as promised, and the timetable for draft laws to be published in January will now be honoured, as promised. The Smith Commission has ruled that income tax is a “shared UK tax” and that a reserve power to levy a UK-wide income tax has been retained. The Commission has rightly Rejected the Conservative proposal ​from the day after the referendum for excluding Scottish MPs from voting on Budget income tax decisions. It has rightly ​recommended that the whole of the House of Commons, including Scottish representatives, will ​always ​vote on​ every aspect of UK Budget tax decisions.”

 

 

 

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Jim Murphy:

The designate Leader of Scottish Labour, said:

The devolution of income tax exceeded what Labour intended. But, under the agreed deal,it is expected Scottish MPs will retain votes over budget votes at Westminster.
We listened to the people of Scotland and changed our minds reflecting on the wishes of the people of Scotland. I think this morning very many Yes voters who are not dyed-in-the-wool SNP people, will be pretty satisfied with this deal. But the second thing is that important parts of pooling and sharing of resources within the UK remain, the Barnett formula will remain, issues about the state pension will remain, and the ability to deal with a downturn in the economy will remain by Universal Credit and things like that remaining part of the UK. So I think it’s a remarkable deal and a best of both worlds deal: really strong devolution but Scotland remaining part of the UK.”

 

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Lord Forsyth:

Formerly John Major’s Scottish Secretary, he attacked the reforms, stating:

“The income tax changes are “piecemeal” and easily avoided. The wealthy can take their income as dividends. This is why it’s mad to rely on income tax as your main source of revenue. If the proposals are that dividends in income should be not taxed, they can change to have most of their income in dividends and avoid the Scottish rate of tax. I think we could end up if people think more powers to the Scottish parliament means more money… this has not been thought through. The Labour party’s idea that we should have a constitutional convention for the whole of the United Kingdom, and not do this piecemeal reform as a panic measure to the rise of the nationalists and the result of the referendum.”

Boris Johnson & many other local government appointee’s in England:

Submitted a letter to the Westminster government cabinet titled “What is Good Enough for Scotland.” Its content stated:

“We leaders and supporters of local government in England of all parties and types of local government congratulate Scotland on the measure of devolution they have worked for and that is now proposed by the Smith Commission. We now call upon central Government and party leaders to recognise that local government should be the vehicle for devolution in England and to now negotiate with us using a similar non-party Commission to agree a comparable package of measures for local government in England.”

 

 

Commission members commented:

Iain Gray for Labour: the vow has been kept stating: “This is a good day for Scotland.”

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Annabel Goldie, ex-Scottish Tory leader: “the Scottish Parliament will have to look people in the eye over how taxpayers’ money is spent.”

 

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Michael Moore, Lib/Dem: “the deal is home rule for Scotland and a transformation of the United Kingdom.”

 

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John Redwood, Tory MP:

The standard bearer for the Tory right, warned Scottish MPs voting on English income tax would be “unjust”.

He wanted a new settlement where the Speaker would declare which issues are English only.

“I’m here to speak for England, and what we need is the ability to make a decision on behalf of England, just based on the votes of the English MPs at Westminster.

Or in some cases we may be doing it with Wales and Northern Ireland if the issues are not devolved there, but not with Scotland, because the issues have been devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

“Now that Scotland is going to get this mighty power to choose the tax rates and the bands for income tax, it’s important that Scottish MPs don’t come to Westminster and then impose an income tax rate or income tax band on England that we don’t want.

It would be quite unjust if Scottish MPs were still able to vote on our income tax when they could not vote on their own income tax, and when Scotland had her right to choose her own income tax without us.”

 

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Nick Clegg:

The former leader of the Lib/Dem Party said the parties had over-delivered on The Vow.

“Call it Vow Max, Vow Plus Plus,” he told his weekly radio show audience on LBC. “Because what you have got in the Smith Commission, which I think is truly remarkable, is the devolution over money so that Scotland now will be responsible for the majority of the money that it spends which is a good thing.

This is not asking more of English tax-payers. It is saying that if the Scottish people and the Scottish politicians they elect want to do more things, on welfare for instance, they have got the freedom to raise it for them themselves and they will have, basically, a new welfare system for them to manage themselves in Scotland.

They will have to fund it but they will be allowed to take responsibility for it.

That is basically Home Rule and that is something that Liberals down the ages have argued for over a long period of time.

We also need Home Rule for Sheffield for Liverpool for Newcastle… we need devolution, decentralization across the country.”

 

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David Cameron:

The Prime Minister welcomed the Smith Commission report, and said the case for English votes for English laws is now “unanswerable”. He intends to unveil proposals before Christmas. “I’m delighted with what’s been announced. We are keeping our promises and we’re keeping our United Kingdom together. I always said that a ‘no’ vote didn’t mean no change. Indeed, we made a vow of further devolution to Scotland. And today we show how we’re keeping that vow and we’ll continue to keep that promise. The Scottish Parliament is going to have much more responsibility in terms of spending money. But it will also have to be accountable for how it raises taxes to fund that spending. And I think that’s a good thing. I think the report today also makes the case for English votes for English laws unanswerable and we’ll be taking action on that shortly. And I think, taken together, this extra devolution for Scotland and dealing with the all the issues in our United Kingdom will make our United Kingdom stronger. So it’s a good day for the UK.”

 

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MP’S discussed the Smith Commission report in the Commons:

Alistair Carmichael, the Scottish Secretary, said:

“The measures will be implemented without hesitation, without reservation and without equivocation. Work to convert the recommendations into draft legislation will be completed by Burns Night in January 2015. For the first time over 50 percent of the money spent by the Scottish Government will be raised by the Scottish Government.”

 

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Former Chancellor, Alistair Darling, said devolution should do nothing that would undermine the integrity of the United Kingdom.

 

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SNP Deputy leader Stewart Hosie said the SNP “would not seek to delay the implementation of the package but it has not turned the Scottish Parliament into a “powerhouse. Scottish voters had been betrayed.”

Carmichael chided Stewart Hosie saying: “He predictably and depressingly seeks to claim the Vow has not been delivered.” Waving a copy of the Daily Record, which declared: “The Vow Delivered.” He demanded that the SNP respect the outcome of the referendum for a generation. He went on to say, “Britain needs federalism,” but held back from saying that’s what the report achieved.

Tory right winger John Redwood demanded English MPs have control over English taxes.

Carmichael avoided commenting directly confining his reply to the comment that: “the Smith Commission ruled income tax to be a UK-wide tax. English MPs shouted, “Rubbish!”

Carmichael was asked if the UK Treasury would have to undewrite Scotland’s extra borrowing. In response he said, “Scotland will be liable for any debts it incurs under its new borrowing powers”. (How that works in theory and practice is not clear since the UK retains responsiblity for overall fiscal framework.)

Carmichael was asked whether Scottish control of income tax could trigger a low-tax race between England and Scotland. His response, “That is indeed one of the possible consequences.”

 

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Pete Wishart (SNP, Perth) said the package was very disappointing.

Carmichael said Wishart simply wanted independence, adding, “He lost and it is about time he and his party came to terms with it. For him and his party to try and get independence by the back door does not respect the views of the Scottish people as expressed in the referendum. He has a duty to speak for his own constituents who rejected independence.”

Asked about English votes for English laws, he said: “I am confident that England will get what England wants, when England decides what it is it wants.

 

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David Cameron – reported to the Fiscal Committee

He advised that borrowing would be capped at £2.2 billion and the UK would be the lender of last resort.

The government intends to clarify what English votes for English laws really means – and whether MPs from north of the border will be barred from voting on income tax bands and rates in the rest of the UK.

An government spokesman said that the principle would be that the differentiation would apply to “all financial matters. Some elements of income tax would remain UK-wide, such as the allowance thresholds and how income was defined – and there would continue to be a UK Budget.”

Asked specifically if MPs from north of the border would be excluded from voting, for example, on a change to income tax bands or rates in the rest of the UK, he declined to provide detail of specific plans but added, “Where you see significant areas of devolution, there is an important principle there in terms of English votes for English laws.

The Prime Minister was pretty clear when he was in front of the select committee that he is going to bring forward proposals which are going to reflect that because that is the fair thing to do.”

 

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Ed Miliband:

Insisted the settlement meant Scottish MPs Would vote on English budgets, stating. “The system of tax reliefs remains at a UK level, other aspects of the income tax system remain at the UK level. I think it’s part of the integrity of the UK that it continues to be the place that Scottish MPs vote on the budget. The Smith Commission itself recognizes that in their report.”

 

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Tried and Tested and Successful Secret Services Tactics Designed to Damage Credibility of Scottish Independence

 

 

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The AUOB march in Glasgow last weekend was a tremendous success, in spite of disruptive efforts designed to reduce the impact on the Scottish public by Glasgow District Council the BBC and nearly all of the Scottish media outlets.

Another Scottish Independence referendum is scheduled to be held before the next Scottish Government election referendum and the well practiced and successful tactics of the British secret services and the Unionists will be used against the Yes movement with the intention to neuter Scots.

The undernoted posts are as relevant today as they were when I compiled them. Worth a read

 

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https://caltonjock.com/2018/08/03/plausible-paranoia-how-westminster-hoodwinked-the-scots-in-1707-and-2014-and-their-preparedness-to-do-so-again-part1-secret-intelligence-services/

https://caltonjock.com/2018/08/04/plausible-paranoia-how-westminster-hoodwinked-the-scots-in-1707-and-2014-and-their-preparedness-to-do-so-again-part2-defoe-strikes-again/

https://caltonjock.com/2018/08/04/plausible-paranoia-how-westminster-hoodwinked-the-scots-in-1707-and-2014-and-their-preparedness-to-do-so-again-part-3-tories-and-labour-in-disarray/

https://caltonjock.com/2018/08/05/plausible-paranoia-how-westminster-hoodwinked-the-scots-in-1707-and-2014-and-their-preparedness-to-do-so-again-part-4-tories-in-complete-meltdown/

https://caltonjock.com/2018/08/05/plausible-paranoia-how-westminster-hoodwinked-the-scots-in-1707-and-2014-and-their-preparedness-to-do-so-again-part-5-davidson-and-tomkins-surface/

https://caltonjock.com/2018/08/07/plausible-paranoia-how-westminster-hoodwinked-the-scots-in-1707-and-2014-and-their-preparedness-to-do-so-again-part-6-the-secret-service-implements-its-denial-strategy/

https://caltonjock.com/2018/08/08/plausible-paranoia-how-westminster-hoodwinked-the-scots-in-1707-and-2014-and-their-preparedness-to-do-so-again-part-7-conduct-of-the-referendum/

https://caltonjock.com/2018/08/09/plausible-paranoia-how-westminster-hoodwinked-the-scots-in-1707-and-2014-and-their-preparedness-to-do-so-again-part-8-the-aftermath-of-the-referendum/

https://caltonjock.com/2018/08/12/plausible-paranoia-how-westminster-hoodwinked-the-scots-in-1707-and-2014-and-their-preparedness-to-do-so-again-part-9-the-uk-parliament-is-sovereign-the-scottish-parliament-is-not/

https://caltonjock.com/2016/05/01/unmasked-thetory-lord-what-won-the-referendum-for-westminster-we-didnt-stand-a-chance/

https://caltonjock.com/2016/02/28/the-bbc-the-secret-service-and-the-westminster-government-a-corrupting-and-controlling-influence-nothing-will-change/

https://caltonjock.com/2017/04/10/ruth-davidson-boasts-no-love-of-scots-and-is-concealing-the-post-brexit-tory-party-centralising-agenda-holyrood-powers-to-be-returned-to-london-wake-up-scotland/

https://caltonjock.com/2018/10/12/british-spymasters-revealed/

https://caltonjock.com/2018/05/24/scottish-press-the-labour-party-in-scotland-and-bbc-scotland-conspiracy-pact-exposed/

 

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A Bunch of Political Ba-Heids Aim to Manipulate Gullible Scots by Deception – Political Armageddon the Agenda for Scotland

 

 

Baroness Smith, David Mundell, Catherine Smith, Michael Gove and Lord McCluskey at the launch of the centre

 

 

The Glasgow University supported John Smith Centre is an insidious development that will adversely impact upon Scottish politics.

This warning might possibly fall upon many deaf ears but it is my intention to post/repost articles that amplify and support of my concerns.

For information: amid many differences between “Old Labour” and “New Labour” is that “New Labour” is Fabian. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are Fabians.

The ultimate objective of the Fabians is to create a One World (‘Third Way’) government. This links to the “New World Order” project financed and controlled by the USA.

Fabian New Labour has developed and implemented the secretive “educational charity”, “Common Purpose”, which controls many aspects of local and mainstream politics and the media (BBC).

More on “Common Purpose” here: http://www.stopcp.com and here: http://www.cpexposed.com .

In Blair then Brown the NWO/Bilderberg movement enjoyed the guarantee that the UK government would manipulate the electorate and parliament to support their efforts without question. War and War and yet more War. All unjustified.

John Smith was a Bilderberger!!

The SNP should be alerted to the dangers of unwarranted and mischevious statements from persons with an interest in the Centre, designed to cause political instability.

 

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John Smith centre for public policy

The John Smith Centre Board oversees the conduct, leadership and management of the Centre and includes members of the Smith family, University of Glasgow alumni, public service practitioners and academic staff.

The Board sets the priorities; benchmarks best practice; and reviews performance to enable the Centre to achieve its aim to promote trust in politics and public service and to empower and attract more people to contribute to public life.

 

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The Board

Catherine Smith (Chair): Catherine is John Smith’s youngest daughter.

Professor Anne Anderson OBE: multi disciplinary educational activist.

Rt Hon Ed Balls: Was on Strictly Come Dancing. Hard right “new Labour” politician

Dr Matt Carter: Right wing “New Labour” political strategist. Tony Blair’s man.

Rt Hon Ruth Davidson MSP: Leader of the Tory party Branch Office in Scotland. What the hell drove her to join this lot??

David Muir: Ultra right wing “New Labour” strategist. Gordom Brown’s man.

The Baroness Smith of Gilmorehill: Created a peer in 1995. Long career in the secret services. Widow of Labour Party Leader the late John Smith

Andrew Wilson: A banker:From 2003 he held a number of posts at the RBS Group, including Deputy Chief Economist and through the banking crisis as Head of Group Communications.  Founder of political media company, Charlotte Street Partners.

Kezia Dugdale: Former leader of the Labour Party in Scotland has been appointed Director of the Centre.

 

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Tony Blair’s brutal epitaph to the career of John Smith

Blair predicted to his wife that John Smith would die prematurely and he would win the race to become the next Labour leader, not Gordon Brown.

He made the “strange” statement during a stay in a French hotel with his family in April 2004, the month before Smith suffered a fatal heart attack.

Blair woke his wife, Cherie, one morning and told her: “If John dies, I will be leader, not Gordon. And somehow, I think this will happen. I just think it will.”

Smith had suffered a previous serious heart attack in 1988 and Blair argued this was thanks to his lifestyle and, in particular, his heavy drinking.

Branding Smith a “stupendous toper”, Blair wrote: “He could drink in a way I have never seen before or since. If there was an Olympic medal for drinking, John would have contended with such superiority that after a few rounds the rest of the field would have simply shaken their heads and banished themselves from the track.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/tony-blair/7976017/Tony-Blair-predicted-John-Smiths-early-death.html

 

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The Maladroit Performance of the Unionist Politicians in Scotland is Disgraceful- Scots Should Reject Them

 

 

 

 

The imposition of Welfare cuts by Westminster politicians

In the period 2002, to date, the UK welfare benefits system was subject to significant reforms.

First introduced by “New Labour”, under the auspices of Blair and Brown, the cuts were followed up by rampant Tory’s who didn’t hang about when they took up office, greatly enhancing the range, level and speed of introduction of welfare cuts regardless of the adverse impact on the health and well being of individuals most in need.

The 10 year period of austerity (2008-2018) heralded as a great triumph for British democracy, by New Labour and the Tory’s resulted in an unprecedented number of individuals having their benefit entitlement reviewed and brutally stopped resulting in them being forced to rely on charity to survive.

Much of the change disproportionately affects vulnerable individuals suffering recurring ill health and/or disability and who by result rely on welfare benefits as their main source of financial income.

It is estimated that welfare expenditure in Scotland has been reduced by a recurring annual sum in excess of £1.0 billion.

The changes impact 100,000 sickness benefit claimants, including 50,000 in receipt of disability support and approximately 85,000 households punished by the “bedroom tax” reductions.

The recent introduction of the appallingly named “rape tax” welfare restriction is yet another example of the hard line pursuit of the needy by Westminster politicians.

 

 

 

Post 2014 Independence Referendum Welfare Changes

The right wing Unionist supporting Scottish press, BBC (Scotland), other media outlets and Unionist politicians of the Labour, Tory and the Liberal Democratic Party’s continue to “turn their faces away” from the Scottish electorate “beating the “Lambeg drum” in support of Westminster.

Their recurring ranting includes highlighting the very limited devolved welfare powers and finance, given over to the Scottish government, by Westminster after the referendum.

Their view is that finance should be directed away from some areas of governance and given over to welfare.

But when asked to participate in discussions with government, designed to achieve the outcome they desire they refuse to get involved.

The snide behaviour of the Unionists is reprehensible but “par for the course”.

The Scottish government does provide welfare assistance, enhanced over that available to claimants in England.

But in doing so it runs the risk of being punished by the “Barnett Formula” which automatically adjusts the amounts of public expenditure allocated to Scotland reflecting changes in spending levels allocated to public services in England.

And the bloody unionist politicians in Scotland are well aware of what they are asking.

Their loyalty is not to the Scottish electorate. It is to their controllers in Westminster.

What is to be done?

The answer!! Achieve independence!!!!!

 

 

My Attempt to Unravel Just a Little Bit of the Tangled Web of Deceit Spun By the BBC – £300M Plus Scottish Licence Fee Money Routinely Handed Over to Commercial Concerns Controlled By Tax Avoiding Bermuda Based Conglomerates

 

 

 

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1981: Peter Salmon takes up employment with the BBC

Peter Salmon started at the BBC as a General Trainee in 1981.

A programme maker, he eventually became BBC Bristol’s, Head of Factual output. He also worked on Blue Peter, Newsnight, BBC  Radio 1’s Newsbeat and Manchester’s, File On Four current affairs series.

Left the BBC for the commercial sector in the early Nineties. Successful Director of Programmes at Granada in Manchester.

 

Peter Salmon

 

 

Jan 1997: Salmon returned to the BBC

Appointed Controller of BBC1. A rocky 3 years culminated in a speedy transfer to BBC Sport.

 

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Peter Salmon and his partner

 

 

Sep 2000: Salmon Transferred sideways within the BBC

Appointed to head all of the BBC’s sports coverage across television, radio and online services. Negotiated a much increased budget with Director-General Greg Dyke.

 

 

 

Dec 2001: Television production company forced to open branch office in Glasgow

Television Corporation PLC,  the company behind Mentorn,  contracted to produce the BBC programme, Question Time, has been forced to open an office in Glasgow following a transfer of commissioning and production from London to Scotland.

The branch office will be run by managing director Charles Thompson and head of programming Jane Rogerson, a former award-winning executive
with the BBC.

 

 

 

Feb 2005: Tinopolis Gains Access to the London Stock market (AIM) through the back door

To expand its horizons beyond Wales, Tinopolis required large amounts of new finance. To achieve this it needed immediate access to the London Stock market (AIM), a process which would normally take up to a year to achieve.

But there was a back door and Tinopolis exercised that option. In February, it took control of the remains of a quoted investment business that had decamped to Bermuda.

Tinopolis knew next to nothing about what its target, Acquisitor, used to do. What mattered was that it was now a £1 million shell listed on AIM.

At first sight, it might have appeared that Tinopolis was acquiring Acquisitor.

In fact, it was a reverse takeover. Under the AIM rules, this occurs when a smaller AIM entity (in this case Acquisitor) buys a target larger than itself.

Acquisitor was open to taking this approach, even though its original business was far removed from TV production.

For their pot of £1 million, Acquisitor shareholders took ten per cent of the enlarged company, which was listed on AIM as Tinopolis.

After the deal, all of Acquisitor’s former shareholders remained involved, giving Tinopolis an immediate institutional base.

The share price of the new company increased markedly providing a significant increased return on investment for shareholders.

Tinopolis, whose ultimate parent company was now registered in the Channel Islands, is one of the UK’s largest television producers, but it also has interests in animation and e-learning.

Just before Christmas it was chosen as one of the lead suppliers to the BBC’s Digital Curriculum, the largest e-learning project in the UK. It also provides creative and technical interactive services for many government and public authorities in the UK.

Its largest customer is S4C (which provides around half of its £10m turnover), where it specializes in providing live programmes as well as producing drama, documentaries and sport.

Its chairman Ron Jones said:

“The industry is still comprised of a large number of relatively small companies and most of them are not of investment quality and never will be. Investment activity is therefore focused on a relatively small group of companies. In our case we were able to convince the City that we had the track record, the skills and the management to continue to grow profitably. A key component in putting our case was the way the television production industry is structured in Wales. We have a long-standing relationship with S4C that has over the years given us the ability to invest heavily in our facility in Llanelli, in training staff new to the industry and also to carry the risks in investing in new industry sectors such as animation, drama and e-learning.

Adding:

“the strategy is not to look for a profitable exit, but to continue to grow the business. There is a tendency in Wales for people to sell out early, but we don’t envisage doing that. We are in this for the long term and want to grow as a company that can compete with anyone in the UK.”

Tinopolis, management board member, Angharad Mair: who previously fronted sports and news programmes for the BBC,  is the Executive Director at Agenda Television Ltd.

She is also the presenter of Tinopolis’ nightly live programme, Wedi 7, and the Editor of all Tinopolis daily programming.

She  welcomed the development claiming it would ensure the long term employment of an increasing number of Welsh people.

 

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Jul 2005: Salmon goes commercial

Salmon left the BBC to become the Chief Executive of Television Corporation PLC (TVC).

The company is engaged in the creation, production and distribution of television formats and advertiser-funded programming to broadcasters in the United Kingdom, Europe and globally.

The announcement of his appointment stated:

“It is envisaged that the corporation will expand aggressively under our new chief executive Peter Salmon, as Television Corp seeks to take advantage of renewed investor confidence. We want an international business and a bigger one. We were growing and we hired Peter in recognition of his excellent achievements at Granada, Channel 4 and
BBC 1. We have aspirations for the future and need the breadth of his experience to compete.”

Headquartered in London, the company  was incorporated in 1967 and is comprised of seven business segments:

a. Mentorn, produces programs across a range of factual and entertainment genres and producer of BBC political show “Question Time”.

b. Sunset+Vine, produces independent sport programs.

c. Venner Television, produces and distributes cycling and badminton events.

d. Hawk-eye, a sports tracking device used in sport events.

e. Music Box, an independent television production producing music and children’s programs.

f. Folio, a supplier of peak time factual programs.

g. In Vision, an independent outside broadcast company.

Subsidiary companies include:

h. The Mentorn Barraclough Carey Productions Limited, a United Kingdom-based company involved as film and television producers.

i. Mentorn International Limited, a private company that provides theatre services.

j. Sunset & Vine North Limited, a United Kingdom-based company engaged as a theatrical producer that provides miscellaneous theatrical services.*

*. Sunset+Vine (Scotland) has been producing all of BBC Scotland’s sport since 2007, including Football (Scottish Cup, Internationals, World Cup qualifiers); Rugby (Melrose Sevens); Shinty (Camanachd Cup, Harvest Marine Festival (Macaulay Cup); Bowls (Scottish Championships); Curling (Scottish Championships) and Athletics (Celtic Cup).

Since 2013, the Sunset+Vine (Scotland) office has been producing all of BT Sport’s Scottish Premiership (SPFL) football output and host broadcast the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, the largest sports broadcast operation ever mounted in Scotland.

 

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July 2006: The Welsh move into a position of power at BBC (Scotland)

Assured of a profitable future with its growth guaranteed through the permanent award of programme commissioning by the Welsh language channel S4C .*  It achieved one of the TV coups of the year in 2006 when it bought the well regarded independent producer, “The Television Corporation,” in a £36m deal.

The acquisition of the company behind “Question Time,” greatly enhanced the profile of Tinopolis’s  at a stroke.  The deal was an example of how fast a company with the right connections was able to gain a foothold in a national broadcaster, (BBC (Scotland)

* S4C funding initially came both from its advertising revenue and a fixed annual grant from the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

It received £90m of state funding in 2011. Additionally, some Welsh-language programming was produced by BBC Wales as part of the BBC’s public service remit, and provided to S4C free of charge.

From 2013, responsibility for funding S4C transferred from the UK treasury to the BBC, providing around £76m.

But an agreement remained in place until 2022 for 10 hours a week of
programming to be provided by the BBC to S4C, which is valued at £19.4m annually.

In 2016, it was agreed that the BBC would provide £74.5m a year funding to S4C from the licence fee until 2022.

A later adjustment provided that the DCMS would provide £6.72m additional funding with the aim of S4C being funded wholly from the licence fee, for 10 year periods, from 2022.

This would see S4C’s funding being decided as part of the licence fee settlement, for 10 year periods.

In addition to public funding, S4C generates around 2% of its income through commercial sources, such as advertising.

S4C is controlled by the S4C Authority, an independent body unconnected to Ofcom, the regulator of all other UK television channels.

The Welsh ask the BBC for more money:

S4C said it needs a major overhaul of its funding and its remit to avoid becoming a “second-class service”.

The Welsh broadcaster published a document “Pushing the Boundaries” setting out its 10-year vision, identifying that an additional £6m was necessary to enable its content to appear on all new platforms. S4C relies heavily on public funding, with £74.5m from the BBC licence fee a year and £6.8m from the DCMS.

The report also provided for the service’s remit in law to be redefined from that of a television channel to become a public service media company and for the future governance of the service, to be devolved, including a proposal to remove BBC appointee’s from the S4C Authority.

The report argued the changes would give it greater freedom to pursue new programme-making and commercial opportunities denied to the service, which currently works to a remit set out in 1982.

It also says it wants to create content that is “more relevant, competitive and diverse,” and to increase the “economic, linguistic and educational benefits” of its work. To do this it needs to ensure programming is available on all new devices and digital platforms.

 

Comment: Annual funding provision for the “new” BBC Scotland at £30m (Scottish taxpayers contribute £355m annual licence fees) is a joke when compared to the £90m plus handed to the Welsh. Which is just about a 100% return on Welsh taxpayers annual licence fee revenue contributions. And they want more. And most of the money is given over to Tinoplois.

 

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Dec 2006: Salmon returns to the BBC

The former Director of The Television Corporation PLC (Question Time producers) (Jul 2005-Jun 2006) and Tinopolis (Jan-Jun 2006) departed the company to take up a contract of employment with the BBC, as Creative Officer of the new “BBC Vision Productions” setting-up, overseeing all creative output from the BBC’s in-house production centres.

 

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May 2008: £8m windfall for Tinopolis management team

The Tinopolis executive management team (owners of Mentorn, the producers of Question Time) saw the value of their shares rocket to around £8m following the acquisition of the company by venture capital firm, Vitruvian Partners.

Peter Jones, who is the third biggest shareholder in the Welsh producer with a 9% stake, is now worth around £4m from the deal.

Recent changes in the economic climate led to the tie-up with Vitruvian Partners who provided the finance for the “next stage” in the Tinopolis’ development.

 

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Dec 2008: Salmon moves within the BBC

Appointed Director of BBC North Group Division. Salary £436K.

Responsible for the Corporation’s new in-house multimedia broadcasting and production centre.

Joined the BBC’s Executive Board in 2010, as the BBC’s new home in Salford Quays neared completion.

Led the development of the new broadcasting centre, which involved the largest move of staff and departments out of London in the history of the BBC.  On completion the centre housed 2,500 staff, with approximately 1,500 jobs moving there from London.

 

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Tony Hall

 

 

Jul 2014: BBC Director General Outlines the future

Tony Hall, BBC Director General, provided a vision of the future for a BBC which continued to embrace the freedom and entrepreneurial spirit that had been its hallmarks in the past.

But making it happen would require the corporation to respond positively to the challenges of change, dismantling monopoly, strengthening diversity, and avoiding the dangers of complacency.

The media market in the UK is now highly competitive and this encouraged the BBC to revive the spirit of the entrepreneur and the pioneer bringing a revived commitment by the corporation, in its mission as a public broadcaster, employing creators, reporters and broadcasters empowered to do the best work of their lives.

The BBC will go much further than ever before, opening the BBC to more competition. This is to be achieved using external benchmarks and comparisons driving up standards and driving down costs. “Compete or Compare” is the new strategy, overturning the current system that is no longer fit for purpose. The BBC will need to become as efficient as any broadcaster in the country.

Competition in programme supply is good for the BBC but this will require the implementation of less regulated systems and a level playing-field ensuring that BBC producers and those of the independent sector have creative freedom promoting and supporting UK content, keeping it competitive in a global market.

In the real world of today, viewers, listeners and users have the opportunity to choose freely from hundreds of television channels, hundreds of radio stations and millions of websites. They have easy access to more news outlets than ever before.

The licence fee represents only around 25% of all TV and radio revenues, in the UK and many competitors are global giants by comparison.

21st Century Fox and Apollo Global Management (two of the largest operators in the UK) are merging with Shine and Endemol.

Discovery and Liberty Global recently acquired All3Media.

Warner are rebranding their recent acquisition, Shed, as Warner Brothers UK.

And global broadcasters are also buying each other. Viacom is acquiring Channel 5 in the UK. BSkyB is considering the acquisition of Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland (a deal worth billions).

Amazon and Netflix are expanding fast in the UK. And in the United States, AT&T is acquiring the pay TV company DirecTV for nearly $50bn.

The outcome is that a small number of super-producers are beginning to dominate the supply of content to UK public service broadcasters and with many new outlets for their products this movement of the tectonic plates of media provision will directly impact on the future of the BBC.

The BBC will need allies, if it is to survive and the number of joint BBC and ITV ventures will increase markedly.

Another major obstacle to change is the existing BBC Charter which notionally allows managed competition (25% of BBC TV production is guaranteed to independent producers; 50% to BBC in- house producers; 25% is left open to both in open competition) but constrains BBC Commissioning in its efforts, limiting the nature of the commercial deals it can contract to with result that the BBC cannot compete globally in the large independent studios market.

 

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Mar 2015: BBC Studios to be created

The BBC has given the green light to proceed with one of the biggest shake-ups in its history, hiving off production of its hit shows into a new separate subsidiary to be called “BBC Studios” operating at arm’s length .

The move is part of the “compete or compare” proposals, designed to help keep programme-making talent at the BBC, allowing it to compete in the digital world against rivals such as Netflix and global production companies.

In phase 1: A new division comprising: drama, entertainment, comedy and factual programme-making and commercial production, will be headed by a senior manager, reporting directly to the BBC Governer General.

Other departments – Children, sport and current affairs – will remain within the BBC to be managed by the BBC centrally.

With about 2,500 staff the changes will be a huge undertaking.

In phase 2: Subject to the agreement of the UK government and the BBC Trust agreeing to a change in the BBC’s charter, BBC Studios will transfer out of the publicly-funded part of the  BBC.

In return, the BBC will open its schedules to the independent production sector, removing the quotas it currently has that guarantee 50% of shows go to in-house producers.

The corporation is working on safeguards to ensure that the new BBC Studios cannot be privatized or bought by other companies, without the approval of the staff.  Likely predators would include Tinopolis
and the Endemol Shine Group.

 

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Jul 2015: Salmon appointed Director of BBC Studios

Appointed Director of BBC Studios, the corporation’s production arm. Salary £388K.

Responsible for establishing and managing BBC Studios, the recently formed new production division created to meet the challenges of Tony Hall’s, plan to deregulate the corporation’s operations.

The “Compete or Compare” strategy, is designed to open up many more production programmes to independent companies, except for core Public Services Broadcasting PSB activities such as global news-gathering which will remain in-house and controlled from London.

Hall, announcing the new strategy said:

“the plan, which will see in-house TV production spun off as a standalone subsidiary being allowed to make shows for rivals for the first time, marks
a stripping-away of regulations enabling an era of unprecedented competition. We are going to go further than we have ever done before in opening the BBC to more competition. I want a less regulated system that ensures that both our own BBC producers and those of the independent sector have creative freedom.”

 

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Apr 2016: Salmon Goes Commercial

Salmon, appointed Chief Creative Officer of  Endemol Shine Group, leading the company’s creative direction globally and overseeing the Group’s UK business.

Claiming his sudden departure from the BBC was not an unexpected blow to the corporations plans to spin off BBC Studios. He said:

“I agreed with Tony Hall I would help get BBC Studios successfully through the first phase, establishing a strong senior team, its direction and remit, so this feels like an appropriate time for a successor to come in and take
up the baton.”

The former BBC1 controller, who has worked on and off at the BBC for almost 35 years, said:

“I’ve already had the privilege of working with many of the production companies under the Endemol Shine umbrella in the UK and I’m a great admirer of shows created by the group globally.”

 

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Ron Jones

 

 

Oct 2017: International TV production and distribution group Tinopolis is buying back the shareholding of private equity investor Vitruvian to retake full ownership of the company.

Vitruvian invested in Tinopolis in 2008 and under the partnership, Tinopolis has grown into one of the largest independent producers in the UK and the US with leading companies in both markets.

Arwel Rees, CEO of the Tinopolis Group, said:

“Vitruvian has been a fantastic partner and together we have grown Tinopolis into a true TV production and distribution powerhouse. Now the time is right for Tinopolis to take back full control to steer the group into its next growth phase. We have a hugely successful business with a strong and diverse portfolio of production companies and programmes, and I am incredibly excited about what we can achieve over the coming years.”

Ron Jones, Executive Chairman at Tinopolis, added:

“Our success has been founded on the talent of our people, their creativity and their leadership. With Vitruvian’s investment and support over the past 9 years, we have made Tinopolis a leading player in our industry. Sunset+Vine has achieved remarkable growth to become, in its own right, a global company. To our original UK base we added two of the finest production companies in the US and with them some of the most creative people in US television. Now, once again, we are a private company owned by its management in both countries, optimistic for the future and determined to provide our people with new challenges and opportunities.”

Ben Johnson, Founding Partner at Vitruvian, said:

“The team at Tinopolis has achieved remarkable success in growing the company during our time together. Turnover has increased over threefold since our investment and the US has become the company’s largest revenue market. The Vitruvian team would like to thank the Tinopolis management for the strong partnership and wish them every success for the next stage as a company entirely owned by the management and founders.”

The Tinopolis Group is now one of the largest television content suppliers in the UK and a producer of programmes for many of the top networks in the US.

The group’s portfolio of production companies includes global sports producer Sunset+Vine, Mentorn Media, Firecracker, Pioneer, Tinopolis Cymru, the recently launched Thunderclap Media, drama producers Daybreak Pictures and Fiction Factory, as well as A.Smith & Co and Magical Elves in the US. Tinopolis also has its own distribution arm, Passion.

 

 

Nov 2017: BBC – Paradise Papers – Vitruvian Partners and Mentorn International – Question Time Producers and Tax Avoidance

The Canary revealed that BBC Question Time was linked to companies named in the Paradise Papers for offshore tax avoidance.

The programme’s production company, Mentorn Media, created in 2005, is a subsidiary company of the Tinopolis group.

Tinopolis had a majority shareholder called Vitruvian in place until 23 October 2017.

The private equity firm had purchased a 48% stake in Tinopolis in 2008 and was the ultimate controlling company  named in the Paradise Papers – all while having been the ultimate owner of the Question Time producers.

(https://offshoreleaks.icij.org/nodes/80061809) and (https://www.thecanary.co/uk/2017/11/23/question-time-just-linked-paradise-papers-maybe-panel-will-debate-tonight-images)

 

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Commercial Production Company – Tinopolis (PLC) Unravelled

Tinopolis Plc, produces and distributes broadcast and online content. It produces television shows, reality shows, documentaries, unscripted infotainment programming, feature films, dramas, factual entertainment shows, lifestyle shows, comedy and game-shows, and sports programming. The company also offers education, skills, and multi-lingual contents; marketing communication solutions; and video, e-learning, and mobile-learning courses.

In addition, it offers MediaJet platform, a cloud based digital file delivery network for distributing broadcast video and media files to multiple locations. Further, the company provides digital content and cross-platform solutions.

The company serves network operators and broadcasters in the United States, the United Kingdom, and internationally.

Tinopolis Plc was founded in 1990 and is based in Llanelli, United Kingdom.

The Board of Management comprises:

Owen Griffith Ronald Jones: Founder of Tinopolis Plc and its Executive Chairman and Director of The Television Corporation plc since 2005.

His other business commitments:

a. Chairman of Real Radio and a joint venture between Tinopolis and the Guardian Media Group.

b. Non-Executive Director of Enfis, Ltd. serving as a Non-Executive Director of the Enfis Group Plc

c. Director of PhotonStar LED Group PLC until December 32, 2010.

d. Member of the Council and the Court of Governors of the University of Wales, Swansea.

e. Director of UWS Ventures Limited, the university’s commercial arm, advising the college on maximizing its return on its technology knowledge and skills.

f. Member of the Sports Council for Wales and the Welsh Language Board and has held a variety of other posts in the public and private sectors.

 

William Arwel Rees: a qualified accountant.  Currently Chief Executive Officer.  Joined Tinopolis Plc in 2004. Served as Corporate Vice President and President of European operations at Woodhead Industries. Has been an Executive Director of The Television Corporation plc since January 2005 and a Director of Tinopolis Plc since February, 2005.

Sally Miles: Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Passion Distribution (an independent international distribution business) took her company into the Tinopolis Group increasing the company’s business profile absorbing Mentorn International’s catalogue. Began working in programme production at September Films in 1992 taking on roles from production manager to executive producer. Went from production to management becoming General Manager. Set up and launched the distribution arm of September Films September International 2000, forging a trusted
relationships with international broadcasters. In 2002 relocated to the US and launched September USA. Capitalizing on her relationships with American broadcasters she became President and Chief Operating Officer, building an American division for original programme sales overseeing all sales, production and delivery to US broadcasters.

Angharad Mair: Executive Director at Agenda Television Ltd.  Lead presenter of Tinopolis’ nightly live programme, Wedi 7, and the Editor of all Tinopolis daily programming. Previously fronted sports and news programmes for the BBC.

Jennifer Roberts: Chief Financial Officer of the Tinopolis Group and Finance Director at Mentorn Media Limited and Mentorn Group, Ltd.  Also serves as Financial Director for the Tinopolis Group of Companies, including Mentorn, Sunset+Vine, Pioneer Films and Daybreak Pictures. Joined Mentorn Media Limited in 2005. Previously worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers where she qualified as a Chartered Accountant.

Ben Johnson: A partner at Vitruvian Partners LLP. Joined the founding team in 2007. Focuses on the consumer services and media sectors. Served as an Investor Director of OpenBet Technologies Ltd. Principal at Cinven Ltd (worked on consumer, travel technology and media investments) having joined the company in March 2004. Worked on a number of transactions including Amadeus, Dynacast, and McKechnie. Prior to this, he was at The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. where he worked in corporate finance, leveraged finance, and private equity. Director of Trustpilot A/S since May 28, 2015.  Director of OAG, Instinctif Partners Ltd (alternative name College Group Ltd, IMD, Tinopolis Plc and OpenBet. He served as a Director of Inspired Gaming Group Ltd (formerly Inspired Gaming Group PLC). Also on the Boards of United Biscuits and Argent Energy. Graduated from Oxford University with an M.A. in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics.

Toby Wyles:  Managing Partner of Vitruvian Partners Fund L.P. and Vitruvian Partners LLP.  Co-founded Vitruvian Partners Fund in 2006. Over 20 years experience in private equity including numerous successful transactions throughout Europe and the United States. Investments have been in a variety of industries including media, business services, financial services, leisure and retail. Has led a large number of buyouts in his career including Thomson Directories, Global Refund, Yell, and Focus Wickes, where he is a Director. Was a Senior Partner, Co-Head of the European Leveraged Transactions Group, and Global Equity Partner at Apax Partners Worldwide LLP , where he worked for 13 years. Left Apax Partners in May 2003. Head of the Leveraged Transaction Group in London since 1994. Worked briefly in the Mergers and Acquisitions Department at Morgan Stanley International. Started his career as a Consultant at L.E.K. Consulting  where he was involved in projects in the consumer products and financial services industries. Also employed at Hoare Govett. Is a Non-Executive Director of Bowmark Capital LLP. Is on the Board of Tinopolis Plc, College Group Ltd, IMD, and Callcredit Information Group Ltd.  Is a Director of Apax Partners and Merlin Entertainment Group Ltd. He has been a Director of the Leveraged Transaction Group in London since 1994. Was a Director of Global Blue Group and Focus (DIY) Ltd. Graduated with an M.B.A. degree, with distinction, from Harvard Business School and a B.A. degree in History, with honors, from Cambridge University.

 


 

 

 

Comments:

Smoke and mirrors over the Oct 2017 management buy out of Tinopolis from the control of the offshore Bermuda based Vitruvian Partners. Two Vitruvian Partners are still on the management board of Tinopolis.

Many millions of Scottish licence fee revenue is still being transferred to a commercial company, notionally based in Wales, who take it and run without paying UK tax on their profits.

Scottish production companies, wholly registered in Scotland, should be awarded contracts from BBC (Scotland) so that Scottish licence fee payers can be assured their financial contributions are being used to retain and develop Scottish based workers and enterprises.

That was the purpose of the transfer of programme production to Scotland some years ago and Scotland is being defrauded from the franchise commitment entered into by the Westminster government and the BBC Trust.

 

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