Monday, 9 January 2017

"Lord" Hain objects to Tory Knighthood.

It seems rather odd that someone who gleefully  received a life long seat in the House of Lords and used it to to push forward something he probably genuinely believers in   should object to someone being awarded  a Knighthood for  “for political service and service to the community”. and  maybe opposing the "Noble Lords" plans
According to the "Wasting Mule"
Former Welsh Secretary Peter Hain has criticised the awarding of a knighthood to a major Tory donor whose influence he believes scuppered the Severn Barrage project.
The proposed barrage from Cardiff to Weston-super-Mare could have seen more than £30bn of private money invested in the renewable energy project, creating an estimated 50,000 jobs and potentially generating up to 7% of the UK’s electricity needs.
But David Ord, the joint owner of Bristol Port who was knighted in the New Year’s Honours List , was one of the most vocal opponents of the scheme, which foundered in 2014 after its failure to secure UK Government backing.
He and his companies have donated a total of £930,000 to the Conservative Party.
Lord Hain said the Government’s attitude to towards the barrage soured after Mr Ord voiced his opposition to it.
There was a very noticeable change in their approach, and George Osborne [who was Chancellor] effectively kicked it into the long grass.
“I have never understood David Ord’s opposition to the barrage. He took the view that it would somehow damage Bristol Port, but I completely disagree with him about that.
“Huge amounts of aggregate would have been transported through the port to Port Talbot during the 10-year construction phase in a project whose scale in Britain is unknown apart from the Channel Tunnel.
“I have no doubt that it would be possible to deal with the concerns of environmentalists about the barrage, which received the backing of some Tory MPs in the South West of England.. 
“I still have hopes that it will go ahead in time, but for that to happen a new consortium would have to be put together to take the project forward.
“The UK Government would also have to support it in principle. If it happened, it would give an enormous boost to the economies of both South Wales and the South West of England.
“Awarding David Ord a knighthood seems a straightforward reward for his donations to the Conservative Party. He is a member of an inner circle of donors whose influence is considerable.”

Of course Labour have never been involved in a Cash for Honours according to Wikipedia

In March 2006, several men nominated for life peerages by then Prime Minister Tony Blair[1] were rejected by the House of Lords Appointments Commission. It was later revealed they had loaned large amounts of money to the governing Labour Party,[2] at the suggestion of Labour fundraiser Lord Levy. Suspicion was aroused by some that the peerages were a quid pro quo for the loans. This resulted in three complaints[3] to the Metropolitan Police by Scottish National Party MP Angus MacNeilElfyn Llwyd (Plaid Cymru parliamentary leader), and a third individual who continues to remain unidentified, as a breach of the law against selling honours.[4] The investigation was headed by Assistant Commissioner John Yates who has since resigned over the News of the World phone hacking scandal. During the investigation various members of the Labour Party (including Tony Blair), the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats were questioned, and Labour's Lord Levy was arrested and later released on bail.[5] The investigation continued to have political impact throughout, as a range of stories continued to leak from the police investigation and damaged the government and Labour Party.[6]Following the unveiling of the scandal the Labour Party had to repay the loans and was said to be in financial difficulty.[7] The police investigation was long and involved. It expanded to encompass potential charges of perverting the course of justice, apparently relating to suspected attempts to present evidence to the police in a particular way. At one point the Attorney GeneralLord Goldsmith, obtained an injunction against the BBC, preventing them from reporting a story they claimed was in the public interest while he argued that the story was sub judice. This raised the possibility of a conflict of interest, the Attorney General being a political appointee. Tony Blair was interviewed three times as Prime Minister, though only as a witness and not under caution.
See more  here 

If Labour were still in Government would this still be happening? 

But what of David  Ord opposition to the Severn Barrage ?

Explaining why it had hired lobbyists to oppose the project, a spokeswoman for Bristol Port said: 
“The Bristol Port Company has been very vocal about its opposition to the Severn Barrage as a massive threat both to the 7,500 jobs that depend on the port and to the environment of the Severn Estuary.
"Faced with having to counter the formidable lobbying access of barrage champion Peter Hain, Bristol Port employed a lobbying company, experts in the ports sector, to provide legitimate advice on how to make its voice heard and ensure that politicians understood the damage that the barrage would do to jobs, wildlife and the environment.”
Right or wrong. Is this not the case that both sides are using lobbyist to argue for or against the barrage?
Even if I was a total enthusiast for the Barrage , and thought that Bristol were mistaken in their objection I could not deny their right to voice it.
If Peter Hain called for a complete end to Cash for Honours and  the ablation of the House of Lords then he would have my complete support.
Is there a taint of Hypocrisy here?

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