Saturday, 22 August 2020

Spivs end up in Prison, Cronies end up on Company Boards or the House of Lords.

It seems that a number of Tory politician and party supporters have done well out of the coranavirus  as they are linked with firms that have been awarded contracts to combat it

The Guardian reports  that 

The political communications company behind the Conservative party’s controversial 2019 digital campaign strategy received a £3m government contract to work on Covid-19 messaging without a competitive tender and is negotiating with the Cabinet Office for more work, the Guardian and openDemocracy can reveal.

Topham Guerin, founded in 2016 by two young New Zealanders, Sean Topham and Ben Guerin, specialises in producing images and videos for social media and has worked for a number of rightwing political parties.

It was behind two Tory election campaign stunts that attracted widespread criticism: renaming the official Conservative party Twitter account “factcheckUK” during the leaders’ debate, and setting up a website presented as Labour’s manifesto.

An investigation by the Guardian and openDemocracy found that on 17 March, shortly before the UK went into lockdown, Topham Guerin was contracted by the Cabinet Office to work on the government’s public communications.

The Mirror reports that  

A Tory-linked firm behind a coronavirus test recalled over "contaminated" swabs will keep its Government testing contract, the Mirror has learned.

Ministers are under pressure to explain why Randox Laboratories is being “rewarded for failure” after care homes and members of the public were told to "quarantine and return" as many as 741,000 test kits.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) this week announced the recall of tests supplied by Randox, which had been sent to care homes and for at-home testing, over concerns swabs included in the kits may not be sterile.

They said the recall is a precautionary measure, the risk to safety is low, and test results from the kits are not affected.

The firm, which has Tory MP and former minister Owen Paterson on the payroll as an advisor, was handed a £133m contract to supply tests to the UK's test and trace programme in May, without any other firm being given the chance to bid for the contract.

There's no suggestion of any wrongdoing in how the contract was awarded.

and The Wasting Mule reports that  


A Welsh Conservative MP is being paid £15,000 a year to advise a company producing coronavirus tests for the UK Government.

Vale of Glamorgan MP and former Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns started a role as a senior advisor at the Crumlin based BBI Group.

To earn his £15,000 a year salary, which is in addition to his salary as an MP, Mr Cairns will have to advise the company for just 70 hours a year (less than six hours a month). That is equivalent to just over £214 an hour.

BBI Group is part of UK-RTC consortium, a group of companies and institutions launched to develop new coronavirus antibody tests. In partnership with Avacta Group, they have worked on UK Government contracts to manufacture Covid-19 tests.

Former ministers are not allowed to lobby the UK government for two years after leaving office. During this time they must seek permission from the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments to accept a job.

I imagine the list is so huge it would fill pages 

Of course there may be  nothing illegal in this Cronyism is not a crime  and under capitalism UK companies and indeed foreign ones have more link with the Tory party especially when they are in government

However  ow contracts are awarded is of concern , I wouldn't' trust Alun airns to advise me on how to make a cup of tea. His only selling point is the fact he's aTory MP with links to the heart  of government.

During any war there will always be , Politicians , Profiteers and Spivs who do well out of it  , the difference is that some Profiteers and Spiv  in prison , whilst Politicians end up on the Boards of Companies , and they and thier paymasters can end up in the House of Lords.

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