• The Tories and their blatant cronyism. It disgusts me.

    Hey Conservative Party, how about I do something for you – you know, in the name of elitist, right-wing party politics, and you, you know, scratch my back in return. I wouldn’t mind one of those titles. You know, a Sir or something.

    Grunge british flag

    Yup, it’s that time of year when the New Years Honours List comes out and we find out who the Queen will be honouring for service to the country.

    “For Britain!”

    Or, more accurately, “For the Tories!” because nothing says nationalism and doing your bit for the WHOLE nation like being employed, as a foreigner, for £500,000 for a few months by a particular political party and then receiving a knighthood for services to politics!

    Yup, that’s Lynton Crosby for you, the Australian drafted in to strategise the Tory election campaign, and because they won (well, because 30 odd percent of people voted for them), the man gets a knighthood.

    As the Independent reports:

    The row over the honours system being used to reward Conservative Party ‘cronies’ is set to be reignited with the revelation that almost 30 Tory Party members or supporters have received awards.

    Publication of the New Year’s Honours List confirms that the Australian political strategist, Lynton Crosby, is to be knighted for services to politics. It follows his short stint working for the Conservative Party earlier this year – for which he was paid £500,000 – during which he successfully directed their General Election strategy, resulting in an unexpected overall majority for David Cameron.

    But analysis of the list shows that the future Sir Lynton is just one of many who have been honoured not for what they had done for the country, but for their services to the Conservative Party.

    It seems to me rather a blatant example of insidious cronyism and Tory abuse of power. As the Indie continues:

    Another Tory to receive a knighthood is Henry Bellingham, an old Etonian who has been MP for Norfolk North West for 32 years, and was a junior foreign minister for two years. Two officials working for the Scottish Conservatives received the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) – the highest award on offer below being made a knight or a dame. They are Mark McInnes, director of the Scottish Conservatives since 2003, and James Stewart, who was a director of a London-based equity firm when he took over as treasurer of the Scottish Tories in 2012.

    The so-called ‘queen of the sex shop’ Jacqueline Gold, chief executive of Ann Summers, who is credited with changing the lingerie and sex toys retail chain’s brand image to make it more women-friendly, has also been made a CBE. Ms Gold and her father, David Gold, who made a fortune selling pornography, are prominent donors to the Conservative Party. She appeared alongside George Osborne at a pre-election Conservative press conference.

    Two Conservative activists have received the next most prestigious order, the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire). Marion Little is a long serving party organiser, based at head office, with the title ‘campaign specialist’, and Dr Spencer Pitfield, who ran against Nick Clegg in Sheffield Hallam in 2005, was director of the Conservative National Policy Forum in the run up to this year’s election.

    Lyndon Jones, for years leading figure in the Welsh Conservative Party, and its current deputy chairman, has been awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire). So has Christopher Fenwick, a member of the family that owns the chain of department stores. His award for “political service” probably refers to his former role as Deputy Chairman of the secretive United and Cecil Club, which raises hundreds of thousands of pounds a year for the Conservatives.

    The older I get, the more I really have an issue with the Tories.

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    Article by: Jonathan MS Pearce

    • epicurus

      In Canada we finally gave our Conservative Party the boot, both the federal and some at the provincial level. Good Riddance!

    • Graham Martin-Royle

      The whole honours system is outdated and discredited, it should be abolished.

    • Geoff Benson

      Couldn’t agree more.

      I was a law student at North Staffs Polytechnic in the 1970s with Eric Pickles who used to be Communities Secretary. He wasn’t the brightest of guys (though even then he was amongst the fattest!), and he failed his first year. Although I got to know him quite well (I am ashamed to confess to having flirted with Toryism at the time), I never heard from him again, until I discovered he’d gone into politics, where he clawed his way up to a position of prominence, never having had any job other than politics.

      So highly was he valued by David Cameron that he was sacked from the cabinet after the last election and, guess what?…he got a knighthood! To cap it all he’s recently tweeted his congratulations to his ‘good friends’ Lynton Crosby and Henry Bellingham.

      • You’re shitting me? Pickles is up for honours?

        Holy crap.

        • Geoff Benson

          I know, you couldn’t make it up! He’s now got a job something to do with post Holocaust? I see from his biography that he was once Minister of Faith…holy smoke. He also, somewhat notably I think, fails to mention his year at North Staffs.

          https://www.gov.uk/government/people/eric-pickles