Socialist Worker

Uncovering the week's news

Issue No. 2425

Donors who have £22 billion have a dinner with ministers

A doorstep lender, property moguls and  bankers were among guests worth £22 billion at the Tories most important fundraising event this year.

The list of 570 guests at the Tories’ Black and White party in February was leaked to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. 

Seats with senior Tories came at a cost—“premier” tickets were charged at £1,000 compared with £450 for an ordinary ticket.

  • Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith dined with directors of a doorstep lending company
  • The then housing minister Kris Hopkins sat with London’s largest residential landlord
  • Michael Fallon, who was energy minister at the time, joined a table hosted by the directors of a firm that builds components for oil and gas platforms.
  • Peter de Putron, an offshore financier who is brother-in-law of financial services minister Andrea Leadsom, was seated with health secretary Jeremy Hunt and Jersey’s Treasury minister, Philip Ouzouf.
  • The then culture secretary Maria Miller’s table included several people from the luxury yachting world including a yacht architect, the managing director of a shipyard and an interior designer for boats.
  • Development secretary Justine Greening was listed as sitting with with two executives from Salamanca Group. Salamanca was training diplomatic protection officers in Libya under a contract with DFID at the time of the event.
  • Philip Hammond, who was defence secretary at the time of the event, sat with Kevin Lomax, who is chairman of two companies, one of which sells surveillance technology and the other, voice recognition-based security software.
  • The then planning minister 
  • Nick Boles was listed at the same table as a property developer Mike Slade. 

going up


The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is in the business of job creation.

So it is currently seeking “two highly motivated, strategic and news savvy and politically astute” spin doctors.

That’s £56,000 each to make Lib Dem business secretary Vince Cable sound good.

Broke brokers can’t afford to get merry

Daniel Stewart Securities seems to be keen to downgrade this year’s “Champagne Odyssey” Christmas party while its shares are suspended over a “shortfall in regulatory capital”.

Boss Peter Shea claimed that—despite the name of the celebration—“there definitely won’t be any champagne. It is a very low-key affair. 

“In fact, you’ll be lucky to get Prosecco.”

Browns restaurant near the Bank of England, where the “smart 

casual” soirée will be held on 11 December costs £20,000.

You get exclusive use of the 

two-floor venue plus drinks and canapés.

Perhaps unwisely —since the company is in “discussions” to secure sufficient cash to cover “risk associated with the company’s business”—a casino is provided for the evening.

Mind your manners with Her Majesty

The Daily Express helpfully provided a guide to the essential modern manners. Here are some brief extracts.

  • Tiaras should for the most part be avoided. If a lady is to wear one she must be aware that it can convey a rather grande dame impression and it must be a family heirloom. No one with any claims to good breeding would ever buy a new tiara.
  • Money is always an unacceptably vulgar topic of conversation
  • On being introduced to royalty a man should bow from the neck rather than the waist and a woman should bob a slight curtsey. 
  • The queen should be addressed in the first instance as “Your Majesty” and then, should the conversation continue, as “Ma’am” pronounced “mam” not “marm”.
  • At a state banquet no guest is allowed to leave before Her Majesty does.

And it’s apparently impossible to turn down an invitation from Her Majesty

Fat cat pay on the rise, shock

Fatcat pay pay has soared by 20 percent in a year—with one hedge fund boss alone scooping £38 million.

Chief executives at some companies earned 120 times more than a worker. 

The average pay packet of a FTSE 100 director has leapt to £2.4 million, a survey has shown. And for chief executives of the largest companies the haul is higher at £3.3 million, according to the poll by Incomes Data Services.

Who says crime doesn’t pay?

Former Labour minister Denis MacShane was sent to prison after he pleaded guilty to expenses fraud while an MP.

After publishing his diaries about his time inside, he has now started working for Prison Consultants, a business which helps coach people on how to survive jail.

“There are so many top-rank bankers, accountants, City whizz kids, even lawyers and police officers now being sent to overcrowded prisons,” says MacShane. 

“Survival in prison requires preparation and coaching. We’re not talking hedge fund fees, maybe £50 an hour. People take you more seriously if you charge a fee.”

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Article information

The Troublemaker
Tue 14 Oct 2014, 17:19 BST
Issue No. 2425
Share this article

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.