Monday, March 01, 2010

It's Alan Johnson Who is Unpatriotic

Disgusting. Alan Johnson belied his 'nice man' reputation today by saying that Michael Ashcroft is "basically unpatriotic because he has remained a non dom." I'm sure loyal Labour donors Paul, Cohen and Mittal will like being called "unpatriotic" by a man they are donating money to re-elect.

But that's not my main point. I'll take note of Alan Johnson's comments when he has proved his own patriotism. I'm not even going to mention the ways in which his own government sells British interests at every available opportunity. That would be like kicking a kitten.

No, Mr Johnson.

When you've raised millions of pounds for CrimeStoppers, when you've donated your collection of VCs to the nation, when you've given huge amounts of money to Help for Heroes, and countless other charities then I'll listen to you talk about patriotism.

Michael Ashcroft has done all those things. To label him 'unpatriotic' is a sick joke by a man who ought to know better.


BrianSJ said...

There will be no depths labour will not sink to in this campaign. The truth is not in them. The third way meant that there is no such thing as morality. It is going to be very dirty indeed. Aided and abetted by toenails and his taxpayer-funded chums.

john in cheshire said...

Iain, I think you will find it's not a kitten you would be kicking; it's a hot steaming turd. Now, I don't want you to dirty your shoes by kicking it, but surely you can see the justice in edging it into the sewer, where it belongs. Maybe use peter hain, to keep your hands and feet clean.

londonmuslim said...

agree unpatriotic is a bit strong so is disgusting for that matter.

However, Iain how would you label a non Dom?

Roger Thornhill said...

I tweeted that very point as soon as I heard it.

You are spot on about Johnson, Iain. He is a hypocritical, disingenuous swine.

Wish I could say the reverse about Dave, but we all know we cannot and any hope for the future is slim ( see problems re "repatriation of sovereignty")

justacountryfella said...

I saw his attack on the BBC felt sick about it. About time this rancid Govt: looked in the mirror.

skynine said...

Alan Johnson is best ignored, he doesn't understand the word patriotism

Colin Frankland said...

Good on you, Iain - well said!

tory boys never grow up said...

Perhaps it's because Ashcroft spreads his patriotism around - he has supported right wingers in Turks and Caicos, Belize, Australia, New Zealand and the UK -and probably elsewhere. An true international patriot!

Weygand said...

And this [enemies will say sycophantic]rant has improved the situation by...?

Get a grip, there is absolutely no good to be found in this issue.

It is a moment when it is best just to take the (well-deserved) bucket of ordure over the head - and wait for the crowd to move on.

Laurie said...

Iain, he loaned his collection of VC crosses to the nation. I am of the opinion that they should be kept by the families of those who won them, or be returned to the nation. They shouldn't be collected like butterflies.

DespairingLiberal said...

I think you should detail some of the ways in which New Labour are unpatriotic Iain, it would make an interesting article.

To be fair to Ashcroft, he has done some really good things, including (you didn't mention it Iain - hope you agree with it) spending large sums to persuade various countries to oppose Japanese attempts to resume whaling.

This argument should be about the policies surrounding tax avoidance and party funding, not about the individuals, unless there is clear evidence of corruption.

That said, it is also relevant that he was made a Lord and one of the well-known aspects of the individualistic methods of fund raising is promoting leading fund raisers to the Lords. I don't regard that as wholly uncorrupt.

Conand said...

I agree Iain.

We also have Labour Lord Paul seemingly unsure that he'd stay in the Lords if he was forced to pay more tax. That doesn't strike me as very patriotic.

I don't think being a Minister of The Crown and demonstrating that you're a lying hypocrite is very patriotic either.

Moriarty said...


That one didn't quite land did it? I can understand why your heart may not be in it. You are clearly of average intelligence and therefore able to discern Johnson's hypocrisy.

I notice that he was interviewed in a room full of police officers. Gordon in a bad mood today?

Just Wonderful said...

There is nothing that this lot will say or do to keep the story away from their massive failings and constant mishandling of this country over the past 13 years. I stopped being shocked by them long ago.

Pogo said...

@ondonmuslim: However, Iain how would you label a non Dom?

Financially astute? :-)

jon dee said...

As the BBC gorges itself on Lord Ashcroft, the hysteria in their reporting is reminiscent of Osborne's boat-trip.

Labour are well supported by their little helper - not so the electorate.

John Moss said...

Quite agree with Despairing Liberal - which is a first I think.

So, should it be legal to make money in one country and pay that country's tax on it. Then, either keep it there or invest it in a business or a bank in another country, where you pay tax on whatever you make from it in that country, even while "living" somewhere else?

And, then when you settle that question, there is the trickier one still of whether there should be different rules applied our legislators as are applied to the rest of us?

After all, would not the whole "expenses" farago have been avoided had MPs been paid a single fee out of which they paid all their expenses like a small business and which the Revenue decided what was fair, based on the same rules as would apply to all businesses?

Colin said...

Well said, Iain!

I've never had Johnson down as a nice guy.

An open goal here. somebody at CCHQ should burst the net with this one.

Craig Ranapia said...

Mr. Johnson might also want to be a little careful about demeaning as "unpatriotic" thousands of British citizens living overseas who qualify to vote.

trevorsden said...

I confess I thought you has run out of labour MPs whom had betrayed your 'nice view of them.

"Alan Johnson belied his 'nice man' reputation today" "a sick joke by a man who ought to know better"

There surely cannot be any left now can there?

Johnston's remarks are typically bigoted and are a load of dissembling pig shit. They come from a typical nasty unprincipled lying partisan opportunist socialist - of the type that have spent the last 13 years ruining Britain in order to preserve their own self serving bastard reputations and self aggrandising pernicious positions of power.

'Ruining' Britain is of course putting it mildly, but I am trying to be polite.

Irene said...

Didn't he save a football club from going under? I can't think of the name.

Craig Ranapia said...

tory boys never grow up:
Perhaps it's because Ashcroft spreads his patriotism around - he has supported right wingers in Turks and Caicos, Belize, Australia, New Zealand and the UK -and probably elsewhere. An true international patriot!

If you have any evidence that Lord Ashcroft broke New Zealand's campaign finance laws, I'd be very interested to see it. Or are you just making it up, as usual?

Twig said...

If you want to talk about unpatriotic shall we discuss the closure of Corus' Teesside plant with the loss of 1700 jobs which allowed two of Labours favourite donors to walk away with a billion pounds worth of carbon credits which were given to them for free.

I wonder if the profiteers will be making a donation to New Labour (Ecclestone style).

So patriotic!

1. Barroso urges Pachouri to sue UKIP MEP over Teesside closure question

2. Nigel Farage's Letter

How can the Unions stand by and watch passively watch this happen? If the Tories had done it there would have been rioting in the streets.

The Labour movement don't seem too bothered about the workers nowadays, they're too busy lining their own pockets.

If the Tories weren't so wet they'd be all over this like a rash.

Neil James said...

With luck he will after the election be back to his old job delivering my mail. Dont be late Johnson.

strapworld said...

Iain, I am with you 100% on this BUT wouldn't it have been better coming from David Cameron?

Wouldn't it be good if back bench Tory MP's put down a motion condemning Alan Johnson pointing out the good works of Lord Ashcroft and stating that Alan Johnson has not started any charity nor donated anything to any museum!

trevorsden said...

Dizzy has a great post which destroys the latest labour slogan

He also points top more labour internet dirty tricks.

yep labour are the true nasty party.

Ann said...

Spot on Iain. However, you've missed out the £5 million Michael Ashcroft has donated to the Imperial War Museum to create a gallery for the VC. It is also interesting that that juvenile poster 'Tory Boys never Grow up' Mentions New Zeland. Michael Ashcroft was thanked by the Labour new Zealand government for first offering a reward of $NZ300000 for the return of the VC of Charles Upham (the only fighting soldier to win the VC twice)- which were returned. And then a further $NZ200000 for information leading to the capture of the lowlife scum who stole them.
Michael Ashcroft is a patriot and a gentleman unlike Labour donors like Lord Paul who allegedly rips off the pension funds of companies he takes over.
The ghost of Robert maxwell is alive and well and living in NuLab.

Stepney said...

Would love to comment but I'm stuck well deep into Rawsley's book.

Verdict so far?

Ban politicians and let the Civil Service run the country.

You may as well get a random 650 people off the street and cross your fingers.

We are not served by democracy, we are penalised by it.

New Labour? New Incompetency.

Favourite quote so far?

"I think we going to have to do Afghanistan"
A. Blair.

Do? Do?!

Like it's a f*cking fight outside the Crown and Anchor down Deptford High Street?

Jesus. Only up to page 50. May need counselling after another 750 pages.

Barnacle Bill said...

You're on the backfoot again Iain, defending Ashcroft, instead you should be out digging up & dishing the dirt on NuLabor non-Dom donors.
Do the Conservatives really want to win the next election?
It's not going to be handed to them on a silver platter because "they're not NuLabor"!
They are going to have to fight tooth & nail to win this next general election, if it means getting their hands dirty - so be it!
There is only so much we can do in the blogsphere exposing NuLabor's corruption and deceit, Cameron has got to take the fight to NuLabor.

Old Holborn said...

£1 each – just 10,000 of you – let’s see if the blogosphere can do more than merely rant in unison.

well? a pound?

pete-s said...

Johnson together with Harman, called Hodge, under pressure by the BNP, a racist when she talked about the allocation of housing to immigrants. Hodge has done the same again, quite recently near an election, not a murmur from Johnson. The guy is a turd of the first order.

M said...

Thankfully Labour were caught on the backfoot today by Lord Ashcrofts swift public announcement in advance of Labour's intent to splash their freedom on information "find" on Ashcroft to the media.

I sure hope that the Tory Party is fully prepared on how to deal with this kind of negative campaigning.

Don't assume that the voters are turned off by this for we have seen Labour do just this in Scotland at the two most recent Westminster by-elections and it worked against the SNP.

It appears now that what happened in Scotland may have been a dry run for how Labour is going to conduct its campaign for the Westminster general election.

rob's uncle said...

You seem distinctly rattled and out of sorts this evening! I recommend cocoa, slippers and an early night to make you fit for tomorrow's fray. We have many more days of this kind of thing to come. At least the disreputable truth about Lord A of Belize is out in the open at last - congratulations to whoever put the freedom of Information request.

"Hard pounding, gentlemen" said the Duke at Waterloo, "let us see who can stand it the longest."

tory boys never grow up said...

Craig Ranapia

I never said Ashcroft had broken the NZ campaign finance laws. Support takes many forms - and AShcroft's contacts with the NZ National Party are well documented.

Peter said...

The obvious thing is to hit back at Labour and engage in unseemly mudslinging but this would be a big mistake.
The media have already denounced the Tories as the austerity party, resulting in a dip in the opinion poles.
This election will only be won well by staying positive. Get the Conservative vote out and insipre the floating voters.
Labour won't get their vote out, the more negative they get the more votes they will loose.
Cameron has to win this election by inspiring the electorate, just like Obama did.

Johnny Norfolk said...

If a person earns money in Britain he should pay tax in britain. If a person earns money in france the should pay tax to france.

This is exactly what Lord Ashcroft does. What is all the fuss about.

I earned in germany and paid tax to Germany, its just no big deal.

Q said...

Interesting to be lectured on patriotism by Labour, the party whose anti-democratic United Ireland policy called for the destruction of the United Kingdom and who had to be forced by court action to allow British citizens in Northern Ireland to join the party.

Labour is not just unpatriotic. It is and always has been a home for those who are actively hostile to this country. At its worst, it has been a nest of traitors who have actively conspired with our nation's enemies; at its best, it has been passively hostile to this country and its values and has done its best to undermine the nation from within.

Mrs Rigby said...

@ Laurie
"Iain, he loaned his collection of VC crosses to the nation. I am of the opinion that they should be kept by the families of those who won them, or be returned to the nation. They shouldn't be collected like butterflies."

And why do you think the families decided to sell the precious VCs in the first place? Perhaps it was because they were broke and had nothing else of any value. Some people really do have almost nothing you know, except pride and a single medal that can be sold. Can't you imagine the wrench, the hard decision to sell the one precious thing your family has?

Ashcroft bought the VCs using his own money - not yours, not mine. He made sure the medals were kept in this country and he also gave £5 million to the Imperial War Museum for a display gallery.

He didn't have to do it, nobody twisted his arm. Don't forget he also spent his own money setting up Crimestoppers. Look up how else he's spent his money, it hasn't all gone on champagne.

He was awarded his peerage in 2000, not under a Tory government - so nobody could claim it was nepotism.

As for "returning the medals to the nation". What are you talking about?

Men did incredibly brave things - almost all of them died trying to make sure other people survived. They didn't know they'd won a medal, but their families did and that was all they had left, along with empty hearts. Why should they give the medal 'back' to the nation, when the nation couldn't even ensure they didn't need to sell it in the first place - why didn't 'the nation' buy them when they were put up for sale?

Oh, and collecting butterflies isn't a good idea. Many are protected species. Disturb any part of their life cycle, or attempt to collect them from the wild, and you could go to gaol. You could look that up too!

Newmania said...

The more I hear about Michael Ashcrofy , the more I like him.

DespairingLiberal said...

Johnny Norfolk, he doesn't pay tax somewhere respectable like France. He pays it in a pocket banana republic (Belize) that he virtually owns and controls. There is quite a big difference.

It's ironic to think that if Belize were suddenly under military threat, Lord Ashcroft would no doubt be clamouring for British intervention (supported by a grateful Tory government?), using those forces that he himself is so very reluctant to help pay for.

The thing about billionaire tax exiles of any nationality or patriotism is that by offshoring themselves they effectively break their link with the society that they come from, thumbing their noses at their fellow man and like medieval warlords hiding in their castles, refuse to come down to the gate and hobnob with the peasantry. The word "taxpayer" to them means "stupid peasant".

Kiki said...


This whole episode makes me very angry.

Labour have had 13 years to address this matter if they so desired but presumably because of donations received they chose to do nothing.

In an immediate show of patriosism labour should:

1. Refuse and repay all money given to them by non-doms
2. Refuse funding from Unions as it is unfair (esp any money that originated from the taxpayer).

Labour should also confirm whether or not Tony Blair is a non dom and whether Gordon Brown wishes to become a non dom when he leaves office.

Further, in response to 'tory boys never grow up' I have no idea or interest in Lord Ashcroft's Turks and caicos connection but if it is so much significance to him can he please explain why Lord mandleson was staying at the exclusive parrot cay reort years ago in T and C? Business or pleasure? Either way not the sort of place I would expect a man of the people to be

Jeremy Collins said...

He may be a tax-dodging scumbag but he does an awful lot for charidee!!!

Gallimaufry said...

Why doesn't little Alan attack people who live here, work here, but remit some money abroad when they ought to spend all their earnings here to "patriotically" get the economy out of the slump?

Jack Jones was a Spanish Civil War Commissar and KGB agent. Would Alan Johnson call him unpatriotic?

p smith said...

Thanks for keeping the story alive Iain. Keep up the good work.

If I had saved hundreds of millions of pounds in tax by fiddling my tax arrangements, I'm sure I would find the largesse to donate a fraction of that money to good causes of my liking (including bankrolling the Tory party for 10 years). It's hardly charity.

The point is not that Ashcroft took advantage of the tax laws (many people of all political persuasions have done so). What is egregious is that for 10 years from Hague through IDS to Dave, the Tories have deliberately misled the British public with their obfuscatory pretence that Ashcroft had "complied with assurances" given to them as to his tax status. Only now 10 years later do we discover that those assurances had NOTHING to do with his tax status at all. He may as well have given assurances as to the colour of his underpants.

It is precisely this dishonest use of weasel words (employed equally to great effect by Dave in relation to his cast iron promise of a referendum on the Lisbon treaty) that has left the British public unsold on the Tory project.

Your only argument now appears to be "but Labour are just as bad". It hardly bodes well for the next 5years as win, you surely will, despite this continued wobble.

Richard Gadsden said...

Of course, he's unpatriotic. To be a non-dom, he has to state that he doesn't have a permanent commitment to the UK.

That's unpatriotic, by definition.

Jimmy said...

"Either way not the sort of place I would expect a man of the people to be"

Why not? Are only tories allowed to go on holiday now?

Unsworth said...

That's the trouble, londonmuslim, you and your (Muslim?) pals all want to give people labels.


Unsworth said...

@ p smith

Define 'fiddling' - as in your comment on tax.

p smith said...


"Fiddling" in the same sense as commonly applied to the majority of MPs who gamed the system on expenses. Within the letter of the law but contrary to what one expects of a representative of the legislature.

As I said before, it's not so much the act itself as the contemptible and dishonest obfuscation (on the part of successive Tory leaders) that accompanied it.

King Athelstan said...

@ Despairing Liberal, I think You'll find that Belize is already defended by UK forces, I seem to remember serving there myself once. Why doesn't Postman Plod go the whole hog and accuse his opponents of being obsequeous, oily and dripping with smarm?

Craig Ranapia said...

tory boys never grow up said
I never said Ashcroft had broken the NZ campaign finance laws. Support takes many forms - and AShcroft's contacts with the NZ National Party are well documented.

And your point is? Gordon Brown has "contacts" with center-left politicians and political parties across the globe -- including his "good friend of many years" former Prime Minister and leader of the NZ Labour Party Helen Clark. Spooky...

DespairingLiberal said...

Actually I do recall that now you mention it, your Majesty King Athelstan. So in fact, British troops are underwriting the safety of Lord Belize's fortune, whilst he himself sees no reason to contribute to the cost, which is borne by us over here who do not have the option of a gentlemanly word with the HMRC special unit.

What was it like being a soldier over there, did you give proper thought to your defence of Lord A's holdings and the preservation of his life and limb?

Unsworth said...

@ p smith

"Within the letter of the law but contrary to what one expects of a representative of the legislature."

OK, so which legislature are we discussing here? The one where Ashcroft has made no claims or the one where Lord Paul, Lady Uddin (and several other nobles) have claimed hundreds of thousands of our pounds?

I'd venture that there's a considerable difference between careful control on one's cash with a refusal to discuss one's affairs except with the relevant authorities - and satisfying the prurient interests of any Tom Dick or Harry.

As for obfuscation - would you care to name a single member of the Labour party (for that matter, the Lib Dems) who is open and honest - and honourable?

I do not 'expect' any such behaviour from any member. That would be wildly unrealistic. Ashcroft will face the Revenue and deal with them as necessary. At least he has not fraudulently claimed our money like these others.

rob's uncle said...

This story has got legs and will run and run:

' . . Last night Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, called on the HMRC to review Ashcroft's tax status in the UK. "There does seem to be a strong case for HMRC to investigate the potential abuse of non-dom status," he said.

Cable's colleague Chris Huhne said an inquiry was necessary to establish whether Ashcroft had wrongly avoided paying more than £127m in taxes.

Documents seen by the Guardian detail how William Hague, then leader of the Tory party, gave repeated assurances to Downing Street and to Lord Thomson, chair of the peerages scrutiny committee, that Ashcroft would return to the UK and end his status as a tax exile.

The papers also show how concern about Ashcroft's tax status was central to the committee's decision to twice refuse him a peerage in 1999 and 2000 . . '

terry said...

Those who will not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

It's not the first time the party has been dropped in it by an individual members personal greed.

The fact that you, Ian, seem unable to appreciate this suggests we haven't learned.

I know he's a mate and all, but he is acting in an unpatriotic way. the fact that he has handed a buffoon like Alan Johnson an opportunity to assert the moral high ground shows what a liability Ashcroft is.

Ashcroft must go now. No ifs, buts, maybes. We are better than this - and the onus is on Cameron to grow a backbone and prove this.

Jimmy said...

I think Iain's point is he does a lot of work for charidee but doesn't like to talk about it. Too much anyway.

rob's uncle said...

Mar 03: the plot thickens:

'Was Ashcroft's 'binding' pledge to Hague shown to Inland Revenue? Ashcroft may not have been entitled to claim non-dom status he has used in order to avoid 10 years of taxes'