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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Lord Ashcroft Files

Mr Ashcroft made large donations - rumoured to total about $1m - to the right-wing People's United Party (PUP) when it was in opposition.

In 1998 the PUP came to power after defeating the centre-left United Democratic Party (UDP) and subsequently introduced several pieces of legislation financially advantageous to Mr Ashcroft.

They included a law giving tax-exempt status to some companies including Mr Ashcroft's offshore holding company Belize Holding Inc (BHI).

In the UK, he was a major donor to and Treasurer of the Conservative Party from 1998 to 2001, under William Hague. His tenure was marked by a number of controversies: he was seen to pay little UK income tax due to his domicile in Belize; and he was at the centre of a debate about openness and accountability of political funding.

Unsubstantiated speculation about his business affairs was concluded when he pursued a libel action against The Times. This was settled on 9 December 1999, when The Times issued a statement that "[...] Litigation between the parties has been settled to mutual satisfaction, with each side bearing its own costs."[8]

In 2004 he clashed with Conservative leader Michael Howard when he offered a £2m donation on the condition that it should go to his specified candidates, rather than into general Conservative Central Office funds.

In December 2005, he was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party.[9]

On 12th October 2007 he was accused by Labour MP's for being allowed to heavily fund the local Conservative organisations in marginal seats of his choosing. The Electoral Commission is investigating and changes to the rules are predicted.

During the "Cash for Peerages" controversy, on 31 March 2006 he was named by the Conservative Party as having loaned it £3.6m.

Lord Ashcroft has become a significant figure in Australian politics having been identified as the single largest individual donor to any Australian political party during the Financial Year 2004/2005. The Australian Electoral Commission reported in February 2006 that Ashcroft (who gave his address as "House of Lords, Westminster, London") had donated $1,000,000 to the Liberal Party in September 2004 just before the 2004 Federal election.

New Zealand:
"No," says Key, "But I don't discuss donations anyway. But it wouldn't be possible for him to give anyway - he's an offshore entity."

Whatever the purpose of Lord Ashcroft's visit, he was not very keen to be filmed by 3 News as he left yesterday.

So what was the white Obama and Lord Ashcroft talking about again? John said he met Lord Ashcroft for "inspiration". Personally I'm thankful that John Key finally came out and compared himself to Obama because I am always confusing the two.


At 2/9/08 10:13 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But it wouldn't be possible for him to give anyway - he's an offshore entity."

What would a currency trader and the proprietor of numerous offshore tax haven companies know about concealing money transfers?

At 2/9/08 10:18 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Key was initially evasive when 3 News asked if anyone in his party had met with Lord Ashcroft.

"Yes, I think they have."


At 2/9/08 10:41 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Key is a credit to his race.

At 2/9/08 2:01 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They must have been discussing an Order of Merit and an Honorary Consul-general appointment to Monaco.

Do you think 600K will buy it?

At 2/9/08 5:34 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suspect LegoEx types will start to spew as the PakehaObama winds himself up in the coming election frenzy and,...well, whatever ludicrassness comes out of his ticker tape logic will defeat fiction....shifty re: Lord CashToff- u betcha, polically ignorant regarding cutting out possible coalition partners, it gets better and better......

At 2/9/08 8:08 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seajay I think I've asked you before not to comment here when you're drunk.

You just look a fool.

At 2/9/08 9:19 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Key's comparing himself with Obama is a huge joke topped only by his evasiveness when questioned about Ashcroft.
Consider his career with Merrill Lynch, a culture in which he was obviously comfortable.

A search on "Merrill Lynch Fraud" turns up nearly a million items - many proven cases such as
"SEC Charges Four Merrill Lynch Executives with Aiding and Abetting Enron Accounting Fraud"

So while Obama was practicing as a civil rights lawyer and teaching constitutional law, Key was a highly placed executive in a banking/brokerage firm that engaged in corrupt practices as a matter of policy.

Key's reaction to the Ashcroft visit creates the impression that he is a neophyte when it comes to campaign funding. I find this difficult to swallow. In 2004, the CEO of Merrill Lynch ordered his executives to contribute to the Bush/Cheney campaign. They stumped up to the tune of almost half a million.

Key's assertion "I am not institutionalised in Wellington" contains an element of deceit for it emanates from one who is very well versed in the institutionalised political corruption that has brought America to it's current parlous state.

At 3/9/08 6:58 pm, Blogger Brewerstroupe said...

Inspired by the above I have done a little digging. Merrill Lynch is indeed a very grubby outfit. Interestingly enough, around 1998/9 when Enron and Merrill Lynch set up the entities that were to defraud millions, 97 M/L executives put up 16.6 million to buy in and profit from them.

This, as I understand it, was when JK was working for them in New York. I wonder if some of his fabled 50m came out of that deal??


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