Saturday, November 11, 2006

BBC to reveal Tory MP's ties with secretive Midlands Industrial Council

Looks like I’ll have a shedload of new information for my dossier on the secretive Midlands Industrial Council following a BBC investigation to be aired this weekend.

The BBC Politics Show has discovered that a Midlands Tory MP is an “ex-officio” member of the controversial organisation, said to be run from a house in a village near Lincoln.

Ahead of tomorrow’s programme, the BBC website reports that Julie Kirkbride MP has admitted to previously undisclosed links with the controversial Midlands Industrial Council.

There is no published record of Ms Kirkbride's connections to the organisation, even though she has now confirmed she is the "link person" between the MIC and the Conservative party in parliament.

She has apparently confirmed that other MPs have attended meetings - she had been a guest speaker at previous events - but she said that she has neither given nor received any money from the MIC, which is why her involvement is not listed.

MIC's secretary, David Wall told BBC West Midlands:
"If you're asking me would we make public announcements when we have a new member then no we wouldn't,"
The conversation with the Politics Show in the West Midlands took place at the HQ of Coleshill Campaigning Services, a call centre operation based at Coleshill Manor in Warwickshire.

The Coleshill operation targets voters in key marginal constituencies on behalf of the Tories and has received £1.1m from the MIC in the last two years.

The Manor is owned by MIC member Robert Edmiston. But even though this web of business links leads back to the Conservatives at every turn, Mr Wall denies that the MIC has an overt influence in candidate selection for the party.

During the programme Mr Wall confesses there is a Euro-sceptic element to the group and they are not keen on what they call "Brussels bureaucracy." Five of its members also supported the "Vote No" campaign against the European Constitution.

They are also not keen on some of the health and safety laws introduced in recent years. They also want lower taxation and they want the minimum wage set at a level "which the market can afford".

Eight members of the MIC were also signatories to a letter to the Daily Telegraph, from a group called the TaxPayers Alliance, which describes itself as "an independent grassroots campaign for lower taxes".

9 comments:

Michael Oakeshott said...

This beyond hilarious. So a group of business have been giving money to a group which supports low and taxes and isn't keen of Europe. They have talked to MP's and even used a house in Lincoln. They even have links to the bandits organisation the Taxpayers Alliance, the militants(!).

What a lot of noise about nothing Phil. Which law have they broken? Or indeed what at all have they done wrong? Have they been buying peerages? No but we know who has...

Anonymous said...

Michael - exactly and well put.So a group of businessmen are lobbying for lower taxes and better environment for business when there is a conservative government.No point lobbying this government - we all know the average tax take has gone up on all sectors in the UK.Labour has crushed the life out of some business sectors in the UK.So MPs go and speak to businessmen & women - big deal.I thought MPs were supposed to speak to all sectors of society and respond to them.As long as there are no payments to MPs etc then there are no issues as far as im concerned.You are right - it is Mr Blair who is about to be questioned under caution by the old bill and no doubt someone will be charged.After all the time and money for it not to end with this would be a travesty.The Prime Minister has already said that he was in charge of raising loans so we are at the point where a sitting PM could be charged by the Police.No doubt Phil will have some serious spinning to do then.....

Geoffrey Brooking said...

Well said folks.

Save your excuses up for when the "Cash for Peerages" reaches its conclusion Phil.

fairdealphil said...

michael:

Who's been buying peerages, you ask...

Well, we know that the businessman behind this secretive organisation made a huge donation to the Tories and was then nominated for a peerage by the Tories.

Anonymous said...

Phil - Its not just peerages that Labour have been dishing out.How can Labour never get one government computer system to work - billions spent,nothing works.I think we need close examination of all these companies and what projects they have funded since contracts were awarded to see what former or current bigwigs in your party are involved.
Something stinks in Government and you know it.You spent hours critisising the Conservatives at LCC but you never accept your partys own failings which are there for all to see.
Labour is in Government,not the tories.It was Blair who promised whiter than white in politics.Quite honestly in Blairs world its like swimming in ink.

fairdealphil said...

anonymous:

Yes, I suppose the hours criticising the Tories at Lincs county council would get up your nose - specially as the Tories attempted to rule by bullying and fear and unlawful payments under Jim Speechley.

And what did the Tories do when he was publicly named and shamed -they backed him with a vote of confidence.

And what was the Tory reaction when he'd gone to jail for abuse of power.

The Tories forced out the whistle-blower.

On party funding and donations, it was ALL secretive and inky before 1997, with the Tories funded through foreign donations.

That's all been stopped, and of course, the tories don't like it.

Again, I would remind you that the Tories took more in loans than Labour in the runup to the last General Election - and nominated big donors for peerages.

I believe both parties believed they were acting within the law - and it's right that there's now a proper investigation into the activities of both parties.

Michael Howard has already been helping the police with their enquiries.

Michael Oakeshott said...

Some unverifiable bollocks about Lincoln. Though I believe only Lord Levy of the Labour Party has been interviewed under caution. And the statistics are damning for Nulab, which is why the police inquiry is focused on THEIR activities, since they GAVE peerages. As has already been said, this Government is the most corrupt and incompetent in our history, and they will be punished accordingly.

liz said...

To correct some information - 48 people have been intervewed by the police - 13 under caution and not all those interviewed under caution are members of the labour party. Anyone who is responsible for fund raising - Lord Levy in this instance would automatically be interviewed although I think that the caution says more about Mr Yates. Either way, all parties involved would have sought legal advice and so the information provided would have been the same. It is interesting that no political party is accusing the other of "dirty" business. That is because they all obtained loans using the same system with the Tories raising more money than Labour and spending more at the last election. And yes, they all put forward individuals for peerages. I can remember a few years ago the media were in uproar over Lord Ashcroft's peerage. He has donated huge sums to the Tories and of course his business interests were abroad (Cayman Islands I believe) - taxation liability to the exchequer was of most concern. Not only was he making his money, not paying other than the minimum UK Tax but was residing out of the country and made a peer of the realm! A donor to the Lib Dems (£2m)has just been sent to prison for fraud too. I think it is wonderful that after ten years of Labour Government that the House of Lords is now at least balanced politically.

You are right - IT is a nightmare for governments - always has been even in the 1980's and I can remember those failings as well as I was directly involved. Of course all governments make mistakes. I am not sure I can agree with "anonymous" over business sectors being crushed. If you look at the CBI site as well as the House of Commons Library papers (the joys of retirement gives me time to read) you will see that business start ups have increased. Your argument does appear to be flawed given the low levels of unemployment and the necessity to encourage employees from Europe to maintain many of our industries - agriculture in this county is an example. If business sectors do go under it is often because of the changing nature of globalisation and nothing to do with government policy. I too have seen small business fold in my area but generally due to poor acumen - one does not open a vegetable shop a few hundred yards from a Tesco store and sell the same products at a higher cost.

Yes we do pay more tax. However, more money has been invested in public services, and those who have traditionally been paid poor wages are better off (nurses teachers etc). Tax credits have also helped those who have always worked in necessary jobs on a low income. Regrettably memories are very short as I can remember under the last government, the cutbacks in public services - medical/dental student places dramatically reduced, nurses, police etc. I can also remember poor public buildings, negative equity, dodgy arms deals, ministers lying under oath, etc etc. I also knew that those with wealth benefitted - tax relief on private health care, share/land dealing etc. So I admit mistakes but I also acknowledge how much wealthier we are as a nation (look at the huge tax receipts because of our economic well being), better educated - record numbers of students, excellent employment levels, healthier nation with lower deaths from cancer and heart disease, better education. If this country is so bad why do so many people want to work here?

I agree with Phil regarding the "corrupt" leadership of Lincs County Council and the vast amounts of taxpayers money used to support Mr Speechley and Mr Croft. I resented the number of senior staff (not just the CEO) that were removed at vast additional expense because they did not fit in with the political leadership. the huge cost of legal bills as outlined on the Orchard News site is an affront to residents of this county. All of this is documented in the report by the Standards Board. As Phil says democracy brings things we do not like. I too was appalled at the vote of confidence given to Mr Speechley and Mr Croft being re elected at a time when he too was under a cloud. Some contributors to this blog obviously dislike democracy as they resent a Labour Government being in power. I acknowedge the mistakes made but for one am delighted that the Labour Party has been in government even though some of the policies leave me personally much poorer. I believe in democracy, fairness and social justice and believe that is what the Labour Party represents and how it has governed.

Michael Oakeshott said...

So it's the fault of Yates that Levy was cautioned. Oh really? Time will tell, but all indications are that he is as guilty as sin. Of course everybody is interviewed, the police want the appearance of neutrality. But it was a Labour insider who blew the lid on this. The Tories only nominate people for peerages. It is Labour that has broken the law. Quite where Ashcroft's business located itself hardly seems relevant. If he went overseas to avoid tax, then I credit him. I did the same last year. High taxes drive earners away, the greatest flaw of socialism.

Money is not "invested" in services, it is spent. Try and not fool us with the phoney language. The British people have seen through these lies. The Tories did not "cut" public services. They spent more on the service every single year(unfortunately). Better educated? More like barely educated. Try and employ a few graduates from British universities. Full of GCSE's, which are evidently not worth the paper they are written on. Schools are worse. No standards and most know it. Hospitals are filthy death traps, and most know it. Alas the victims of MRSA are unable to testify. Why do so many people want to come here? Because they come from piss poor countries. Many of them no doubt fancy a bit of our welfare system.

The bit about Lincoln. You have your view. The people of Lincoln have expressed theirs in the elections. You lost. Get used to it, it'll be going nationwide in three years.

I won't mourn the passing of this corrupt lot. History will be kept busy documenting the hundreds of incidents of their corruption and criminality.