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The Troublemaker—Brexit chaos special

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Issue 2631
Tory plotters met as the Pizza Club
Tory plotters met as the ‘Pizza Club’ (Pic: Joe Strupeck/creative commons )

When the plot hits your eye like a big pizza pie you’re a Tory

The mess the Tory party has got into over Brexit was still unfolding as Socialist Worker went to press.

Theresa May suffered seven resignations in just 24 hours in a backlash against her draft withdrawal agreement for Brexit.

But half of those who clung on are still plotting to meet for pizza to discuss her downfall.

Stephen Barclay, the new Brexit secretary, at least has the advantage that no one has heard of him. He spent a gap year at the Sandhurst military academy and in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers before Cambridge.

After leaving Cambridge in 1994 Barclay joined the Conservative Party and began training as a lawyer, working at the insurance company Axa, the Financial Services Authority and Barclays.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove had turned down the post of Brexit secretary.

Gove is an expert self-publicist—dragging out his response to May’s offer of the post for maximum media coverage.

He’s also an Islamophobe obsessed with rooting out “extremism”. Gove wrote a book after the 7/7 bombings calling for an end to “appeasement” of Islamic fundamentalism. His one achievement was to scupper Boris Johnson’s last attempt at the Tory leadership.

Liam Fox is a crook. He was forced to resign as defence secretary in 2011 after allowing his friend Adam Werritty to take on an unofficial and undeclared role as his adviser.

Werritty travelled the world ­bankrolled by a £147,000 slush fund called Pargav. This was paid for by donors including a corporate intelligence company and a property investor. He is another key plotter in the cabinet.

Chris Grayling once accused the Socialist Workers Party of hacking his emails to stop the Tories’ ­workfare plans.

He is for Christians being allowed to bar LGBT+ people from B&Bs. While a long term opponent of public spending, he is happy to get his London flat paid for while living 17 miles from Westminster. Having ground the rail network to a halt he is now trying to do the same to his own government.

Tory MP Geoffrey Cox is one of the few loyal allies of Theresa May. But even he has been tipped to become a Tory leader by the Sun newspaper. Cox is Attorney General and a rather well off lawyer.

In 2016 he received 11 payments totalling about £400,000 for his work as a barrister, which he failed to declare on the Register of Members’ Interest. He was a member of the Standards Committee at the time.

Cox was so engrossed in setting up chambers in Mauritius and Dubai that he did not get around to counting his money. Then “to my dismay, I became fully aware of the scale of my oversight”.

He did find time to submit claims for a 49p bottle of milk, £2 worth of tea bags and £4.99 for “weedkiller for space in front of the constituency office”.

Jacob Rees-Mogg is a complete banker

Jacob Rees-Mogg with some posh pals
Jacob Rees-Mogg with some posh pals (Pic: Cantab12/Wikimedia commons)

Jacob Rees-Mogg is more than just a reactionary bigot. He had a successful career as an investment banker.

After graduating from the University of Oxford in 1991, he worked for the Rothschild investment bank before moving to Hong Kong in 1993 to join Lloyd George Management.

Rees-Mogg left to set up his own fund management firm, Somerset Capital Management.He continues to receive income in his capacity as a partner.

With his wife Helena Anne Beatrix Wentworth Fitzwilliam de Chair, who will inherit a vast sum from her family, Rees-Mogg is worth more than £100 million.

Somerset Capital Management is managed via subsidiaries in the tax havens of the Cayman Islands and Singapore.

The multi-millionaire told the Sydney Morning Herald this week, “Nobody can afford to live in London. I’m not sure I can! I wish I were joking.”

His property portfolio includes a £5 million townhouse in Westminster.

Liar Amber Rudd back to attack poor

Amber Rudd
Amber Rudd (Pic: WorkSkills UK/creative commons)

Desperate Theresa May brought disgraced Amber Rudd back into her Cabinet.

The former home secretary filled the work and pensions role left vacant by quitter Esther McVey.

Rudd quit as home secretary just seven months ago over her handling of the Windrush scandal.

She had lied to parliament saying there were no anti-immigration targets.

Now she’ll be in charge of Universal Credit. Her rehabilitation comes after a report last week coincidently concluded that she had been let down by her officials.

Rudd enjoyed a privileged upbringing and attended Cheltenham Ladies’ College.

She was an investment banker at JP Morgan before moving into venture capital.

Rudd once put in a claim of 27p for a 0.6 mile car journey.

Faulty firm

Odey European Inc fund Hedge fund

Investmentv tycoon Crispin Odey has been betting against the pound and stocks exposed to the British economy.

“I have had a good day. Bad days tend to be good days for us.” Odey said last week

Odey European Inc fund had risen about 50 percent this year, gaining in value by about £200 million

Good riddance to Esther McVey

Esther McVey
Esther McVey (Pic: Gareth Milner/creative commons)

One piece of good news was the departure of Esther McVey.

The former work and pensions secretary should of course be sanctioned for making herself unavaiable for work.

As a welfare minister McVey helped ram through many of the Tories’ nastiest attacks, including the bedroom tax.

As minister for the disabled in 2013 she attacked Disability Living Allowance, arguing that some claimants didn’t really need the benefit because “bodies heal”. In 2013 she said that food bank use was “positive”.

She unfortunately returned to parliament and oversaw lying about Univesal Credit.

Boris Johnson’s scrap cannons

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson (Pic: Estonian presidency/creative commons)

A legacy of his time as mayor shows the genius of Boris Johnson

Three unusable water cannon bought by Johnson when he was mayor of London have been sold for scrap for £11,000—a loss of more than £300,000.

The fee recoups just 3.4 percent of the £322,834.71 spent on the vehicles since 2014.

The 25-year-old vehicles cost £85,022 in 2014, but required expensive modification to make them roadworthy.

This included £32,000 to comply with the city’s low emission zone.

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