2020: The Explosion Of Conservative Corruption And Cronyism

Hello Council Estate Voices readers, it’s good to be back. Can I start by wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2021.

2020 will be remembered for many years to come. The tragic loss of life. A nation in mourning. Our day-to-day lives have been turned on their heads. The devastation, the destitution, the broken families, the sudden ending of a job that you thought was for life. 

It has been a miserable year for millions of the people we share our peculiar little island with. 

What started as a pandemic where your friends would say, "Well I don’t know anyone who has had Coronavirus", is now at a stage where you will be hard-pushed to find anyone who doesn’t know someone who has caught the deadly virus. 

Like most of you, I genuinely wanted the government to succeed on this one. 

The implications of failure were unthinkable. 

Unlike Labour’s deeply insensitive and offensive Shadow Education Minister, Kate Green, I didn’t think urging activists to not "let a good crisis go to waste" was the right way of doing things. There is nothing "good" about the loss and devastation whatsoever. 

Remarkably, her predecessor, Rebecca Long-Bailey, was sacked by Keir Starmer for calling an actress "a diamond," which really meant it was a factional firing for the crime of being a prominent left-winger in a shadow cabinet packed full of hard-right warmongering career politicians who are disciples of social conservatism. 

As we now know, this was just the start of the civil war currently tearing its way through the Labour Party. But anyway, this isn’t about the Labour Party, or it’s not intended to be. 

2020 hasn’t been a bad year for everyone, in fact, if you’re Jeff Bezos, it’s been a fantastic year.

It has also been a very good year to be a friend of the Conservative Party.

Whether you are Matt Hancock’s old neighbour, a former employee of the Vote Leave campaign, or just a plain and simple Conservative MP that just so happens to work on an advisory basis for a company being handed hundreds of millions of your pounds for faulty, entirely useless PPE, the cronyism and corruption has been prolific. 

Please allow me to give you some examples...

Topham Geurin

They were the political communications company behind the Conservative party’s controversial 2019 digital campaign strategy, and specialise in working for right-wing parties. They orchestrated two Tory election campaign stunts - remember "factCheckUK"? - that was when they renamed the official Conservative party Twitter account during the televised leaders debate, and they also set up a website presented as Labour’s manifesto, which was fake. Both stunts received widespread criticism, and rightfully so. This was clear deception and took campaigning standards to a new low.

So Topham Guerin received a £3m government contract to work on "Covid-19 messaging," without a competitive tender, and they’re currently negotiating with the Cabinet Office for another slice of the pie.

P14 Medical

P14 were awarded contracts to supply face shields worth £120 million. Steve Dechan, the director of P14 Medical, is a Conservative councillor on Stroud Town Council and campaigned for the local MP Siobhan Baillie at the 2019 election.

The company, a specialist in pain management technologies, was handed the contracts despite recording significant losses in 2019. The company has £5,234 of tangible assets, £145 cash and eight employees. 

RANDOX 

£133 million worth has gone their way. They have employed Owen Patterson, a former Conservative cabinet minister, as a consultant (lobbyist) since 2015. He is currently paid £100,000 a year at the rate of £500 an hour. Under its contract, Randox has been paid to carry out tests, both posted to individuals at home and administered at testing centres, as part of Matt Hancock’s failed pledge to reach the target of 100,000 tests a day.

Care homes and members of the public were told to "quarantine and return" as many as 741,000 Randox test kits after they failed to provide the necessary safety documentation. 

Randox have also made numerous donations to the Conservative Party, such as...

2010: £18,000

2011: £37,200

2012: £22,000

2013: £13,900

2014: £13,500

2015: £20,000

2016: £18,000

2017: £8,000

2018: £10,000

The £133 million contract was awarded without any other firms getting the chance to bid. 

Despite their previous failures, the Tories awarded Randox a new £347m Covid-19 testing contract. That’s nearly half-a-billion of your Pounds gifted to a firm whose Covid testing kits had to be recalled over the summer because of concerns about contamination.

Honestly, if this isn’t concerning you I’m not entirely sure you’ve been paying attention.

Unispace Global Health

The Tories handed £240 million to a firm run by leading members of a secretive, hardline, conservative religious sect known as the Exclusive Brethren. They view the outside world as morally corrupting and don’t have things like a TV in their homes. 

What they point their furniture at is anyone’s guess. 

Any hope of this contract going out to tender, so the taxpayer gets the best value for money? Not a fucking chance.

Then you get companies such as:

Pestfix - 

Yes, a pest control firm, with 16 staff and net assets of £19,000, was given a government contract in early April, worth £108 million to secure gowns and face masks for the NHS.

Why would you hand over £108 million to rat catchers?

Ayanda Capital

The London-based family office landed a whopping £252 million contract to supply PPE. They are owned through a Mauritius-based holding company. 

Their website states that they specialise in "currency trading, offshore property, private equity and trade financing." 

Ideal for supplying PPE, wouldn’t you say? Would you go to the hairdressers to buy a screwdriver? Would you go to B&Q to buy some paracetamol? 

They must think we’re stupid. But we’re not. 

Independent media has stepped up to the plate in 2020. A predominantly right-wing media, owned by tax-dodging billionaires, has very little interest in exposing corruption and cronyism that is costing the country billions of pounds. It’s their own people with their fingers in the till. They’ve got each other’s backs.

I mean, why would you be interested in hearing about a government-funded corporation cashpoint lining the pockets of the ruling elite, when you can be told Jeremy Corbyn is plotting to urinate on the £400,000 Thatcher statue, just after stealing the Queen’s favourite Corgi, and Meghan Markle is in fact Satan, sent to earth to drown puppies and ban Christmas? 

Yes, I know I am exaggerating, sort of, but you get the idea. The right-wing press are particularly vicious. There is always someone to blame for our ills. The finger-pointing. It might be refugees, it might be Muslims, but it’s never because we’ve been lumbered with one fucking diabolical government after another. 

They employ people such as Littlejohn, Liddel, Hopkins and Ferrari. They give these poisonous hate goblins a huge platform, way beyond their "talent" merits. 

I want a media that holds the government, and the opposition, to account, and not a media that works hand in hand with a government hellbent on making your life worse.

I don’t think that’s unreasonable, and it’s certainly not radical.

So, we have to build our own media. The foundations are in place. People like The Canary and The Skwawkbox have website traffic that puts some MSM websites to shame. 

Then you’ve got Byline Times. You will struggle to find any media outlet doing as much as they are to expose blatant government corruption and cronyism. 

Independent media needs our support. I’m just a blogger, but some of these guys are working seven days a week, flat out, to lift the lid on the news the Mainstream Media intentionally avoid. Please get behind them. 

While 2020 has been a year of utter devastation, it has also been a year that has seen cronyism and corruption reach unprecedented levels.

I came across this fantastic piece earlier. It’s from the New York Times, blowing apart a British government, exposing them for exactly what they are. Can you imagine the British press allowing something like this to be put out to the masses? 

Not a chance. Huge credit should go to the writers, Jane Bradley, Selam Gebrekidan and Allison McCann. 

2020 is drawing to a close, but I’m afraid it’s all simply numbers. The same problems will exist. There is some hope with the vaccine, but I’m afraid we are going to suffer further heartbreak until the whole country is vaccinated, or at least everybody who wants a vaccine can get one. 

It has been an awful year for most of us, but not for all of us. The rich have got richer, and the poor are simply getting poorer. The pandemic has been the perfect opportunity for the Conservatives to widen the gap between the "haves and have-nots". This is how they roll. Divide and rule. 

I’ll just finish up with this: Millions of people will sit down and watch the Queen tell them it’s been a terrible year, British spirit, pulling together, and all the normal nonsense, sat in one of her many castles, adorned with pieces of art that could be sold off to build some basic accommodation for the thousands of rough sleepers who might not make it through another cold winter. 

Personally, I will turn off the TV/Radio when her speech begins, I will light a candle, and just take a moment to reflect on the events of 2020, the avoidable loss of lives, the heartbreak felt by thousands of families - I wonder how many of them thought Christmas 2019 would be the last Christmas for their loved ones? 

That’s what I will be doing. Remembering, reflecting and continuing to believe the British government are responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of British people, while their friends and donors dipped into the public purse, legitimately, as if it was their own personal piggy bank. 

2020, the year of Coronavirus, Cronyism, and Corruption. While the media tell you it’s a year to forget, I’ll be telling you it is a year to remember, for so many reasons. 

Never, ever, forgive or forget the main players. Johnson. Cummings. Hancock. Harding.


And yes, you, Keir Starmer. Your complicity is on public record. Rather than fight this diabolical government, you picked a fight with the Left. 

A fight I’ve never been so determined to win. 

Take care everyone, have a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful new year x 

Rachael


Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts, if you want to chip in towards improving my ongoing campaign, and it would cause you *no hardship*, you can do so here:

Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Rachael. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas and the New Year is kinder than the last. Jaf.

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