George Osborne the influence peddler

Posted by The Skibbereen Eagle | March 18, 2017 0

Ah, the “independent” Media of the UK, now there is a thing, with the astonishing news one George Osborne is now Editor of the London Evening Standard. 

George Osborne who is an MP, earns £750k + per annum from “speeches”, £650k for 4 days a month at Blackrock, a vulture fund, is an heir to an Irish Baronetcy and a beneficiary of a multi-million family trust is now a Newspaper Editor for a “free” paper run by a Russian Oligarch and former KGB operative who has used his unaccountable millions to buy influence and patronage in the UK. Prior to his serving in government his political office was funded by Serena Rothschild, wife of Lord (Jacob) Rothschild. His RIT Capital Partners plc has extensive energy interests in Russia as well as, through Genie Energy, exploration concession in the occupied Golan Heights, illegally occupied by Israel since 1967 which it has de-facto annexed.

This “free” London newspaper which is distributed under a commercial arrangement with Transport for London previously gave extensive editorial and support to Conservatives Boris Johnson and Zac Goldsmith as candidates for Mayor of London including banner ads on the Evening Standard’s website. None of this £100k + support was declared on election expenses by these candidates nor did TfL observe the purdah electoral rules under electoral law or its legal duty not to support a political campaign, covertly or overtly, under the Local Government Act 1998. Donald Trump is not the first to have dodgy Russian money and support in an election in a Western Democracy. 

Alexander Lebedev — the KGB-man turned banking oligarch, aka ‘the spy who came in for the gold’ he owns the Independent newspapers, the London Evening Standard and the television channel London Live. His extravagant 35 year old son Evgeny Lebedev fronts for his father in London where his father was a KGB spy based at the Russian Embassy in the 80’s and Evgeny went to Holland Park Comprehensive. Nowadays he flits in his jets between Russia, two palaces in Italy and his yacht, as you do when you have worked hard to share your father’s dodgy money at such a young age. When not flitting Evgeny loves to be the social butterfly in London entertaining with extravagant parties and garnering publicity and celebs at sponsored extravaganzas such as the Evening Standard Theatre Awards.

The Daily Telegraph, which pays the Tory Brexit campaign poster boy Boris Johnson to fill column inches, said Osborne, whose Tatton seat faces the axe at the next general election, may have been “thinking of his own future first”. Boris is paid £750k a year by the Daily Torygraph’s tax dodging expat owners for 50 rambling columns a year in what is a very thinly disguised payment for influence. Rupert Murdoch’s The Times Newspaper, which is a sometime employer of Osborne’s former cabinet colleague, Michael Gove, said he should “be aware … of the potential for conflicts of interest”. It said that while he edits the Standard in the morning Osborne will have to “think like a ruthless scrutineer, seeking the story those in government most want to hide”, and by afternoon “be the prime minister’s supplicant, falling into line with her whips”.

So Osborne, at the age of 45 and without having been approved by the watchdog on former ministerial appointments through the power of patronage finds himself as a proper journalist for the first time, having been rejected by The Times and The Economist when he left university and having freelanced on the Daily Telegraph’s “Peterborough” column for under a year before landing a researcher job at Conservative Party HQ. 

In the United States George Osborne, an elected lawmaker, would be obliged to register as an “Agent of a Foreign Power” which undoubtedly he is.

The Skibbereen Eagle

In 1898, to widespread bemusement, a small Provincial Newspaper in an equally small town in the South West corner of Ireland sonorously warned the Czar of Russia that it knew what he was up to and he should be careful how he proceeded for “The Skibbereen Eagle” was wise to his game and in future would be keeping its eye on him! It is doubtful that Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias, even noticed the Eagle’s admonitions but as history soon proved he should have paid closer attention to the Eagle’s insightful opinions!

Today, powered by its readers and contributors, from its cyber eyries in Ireland and the centres of the Irish Diaspora The Eagle casts its Cold Eye on Life and Death and much in between.
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