Oleg Deripaska and Conservative hypocrisy

Remember Oleg Deripaska? The Russian oligarch who Peter Mandelson met? With the result that many leading Conservatives went on record criticising Mandelson for meeting him, painting him as a rather unsavoury character?

For example, this is what Conservative MP Hugo Swire said:

You will be aware of the continuing press reports surrounding the relationship between the current Secretary of State for Business when he was EU Trade Commissioner and Mr Oleg Deripaska, who I understand is banned from the US following an FBI inquiry into his past business activities. (Telegraph)

Mite unfortunate really then isn’t it that George Osborne and Andrew Feldman (Conservative Chief Executive) both went for dinner with Oleg Deripaska on his yacht then, isn’t it?

Criticising Mandelson for not coming clean on his links with Deripaska, and questioning whether there was any conflict of interest, all seems to me quite reasonable. But if – as some Conservatives did – you’re going to go further and also to criticise the meetings on the basis that Deripaska has been banned from the US, and is an unsavoury character who shouldn’t be met, that line of criticism should apply just as much to George Osborne.

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  • Kee floundering about in the kiddies pool LibDums, you’re considerably more useless than even the other two parties!

  • Only a fool would actually trust a politician (referendum on the EU constitution anyone?).

    People just vote for the shysters who will do them least damage.

  • But Mark, surely the point is that Mandelson IS a rather unsavoury character? What could Oleg Deripaska, a sipmle and humble Russian oligarch, have been thinking of?

  • The Lib Dems would know all about donations from people not registered to vote in the UK, chanelling funds through private companies…

  • Hmm, hypocrisy lecture from the Lib Dems! – where were you when the Lisbon Treaty (AKA European Constitution) vote was taking place? despite your Manifesto commitment you were supporting Labour by not voting at all. Fat lot of good us sending Lib Dems to parliament then – vote Lib Dem get Labour.

  • No Stephen – vote Lib Dem and get the Lisbon Treaty. Perfectly reasonable outcome for the UK. Certainly better than the alternative.

  • Passing browser 21st Oct '08 - 11:25am

    No Stephen – vote Lib Dem and get the Lisbon Treaty. Perfectly reasonable outcome for the UK. Certainly better than the alternative.

    But I thought you were going to ask that we had a referendum on it – and said so in your election manifesto. Or am I just a typical gullible voter who is stupid enough to believe what you tell us – not realising that the patronising cynicism of the Lib Dems is even worse than that of the alternatives?

  • Mark Williams 21st Oct '08 - 11:51am

    Correct me if I am wrong, but Swire’s statement appears to have been made after Osborne met Deripaska. One can surmise that Swire’s comment was made after due diligence on Deripaska after the meeting, and that the letter from Rothschild to the Times may be as a result of a hissy fit after Rothschild’s client’s donation was declined.

    Deripaska owns a British company that is engaged in business and has been for many years. You might have heard of it. It is called Leyland Daf, and it is quite entitled to make a donationto any political party if it so chooses. According to the Conservatives, they declined to accept a donation from Mr Deriapska or Leyland Daf.

    It is a shame the Lib dems have never shown such judgement in their dealings with non-resident millionaires.

  • Perhaps Mr Osbourne would like to come and visit me twice – Oh, silly me, I’m not a Billionaire banned from the USA because of my possible links with organised crime in Russia.

    Even the Times describes Osbourne as “flustered-looking”

    asked whether he or Mr Feldman had ever discussed with Mr Deripaska the possibility of a donation – either directly or channelled through one of his companies – Mr Osborne replied: “People make suggestions on behalf of other people about donations to the Conservative Party, like all political parties. “But we have very rigorous checks and make it absolutely clear that any donations must be legal.”

    As they say in the USA, what part of the word YES does he not understand?

    Thanks George for making a failure to answer straight forwardly part of the issue.

  • George was faced with criminal allegations – he answered them.

    If people want to keep legs on this story by leading it into a general funding discussion they are wasting their time.

  • David Allen 21st Oct '08 - 3:17pm

    “If people want to keep legs on this story … they are wasting their time.”

    It’s the fact that you’ve made this post which suggests to me that they aren’t!

  • Sir
    If you believe these allegations against Osbourne then you believe in faries at the bottom of the garden. Mandelson is back and Campbell and within days we are back to the spin and slime. It will be us next just you wait …

    Focus on the real issue which is the destruction of this country mandelson and his contacts

  • Mark Pack – who is he?
    Sounds like an ex-Sun writer, isn’t it?

    Look at his piece –
    1. Second sentence is a beauty.
    2. Many Conservatives? any ideas apart from the one?
    3. “..criticise the meetings on the basis that Deripaska has been banned from the US” No, actually Pack quotes Swire as saying “Mr Oleg Deripaska, who I understand is banned from the US” That’s a bit different.

    This is Tabloid rubbish and is only suited to readers of Tabloid Rubbish. If you’re going to write something to enhance the LibDem’s standing, this is not the way.

  • Shame that your hands aren’t exactly spotless when it comes to money from less-than-100% kosher sources…

  • You know, it is really SAD that Peston and Robinson can be so gullible as to be sent off like faithful bloodhounds following a trail laid for them by Campbell and Mandelson, rather than reporting real news.

    Let’s see – the economics editor might want to report the CPS paper released today highlighting the real state of UK Government debt at something like 150% of GDP when all pension, PFI, Notwork Rail, Northern Wreck etc etc liabilities are brought on-balance sheet?

    The political editor might want to report how Harperson is guilotining debate on pro-choice amendments to the HFE Bill and not calling those amendments to the vote? Or, the rebellion brewing over the un-compensated 10p tax losers or the non-implimentation of family friendly flexible working?

    It really is just very, very, poor journalism.

  • [email protected] – thank you for reminding us how very smug and patronising many Lib Dems are. “Really Stephen, the EU is a jolly good thing and we just can’t understand how SO MANY people dislike the creeping fascist imposition of the EU superstate in defiance of those silly outdated ideas like honesty, freedom, democracy and opposition.”

    John [email protected], you are right on the money – so very little point in me repeating your points!

  • Thomas Hemsley 21st Oct '08 - 7:38pm

    “But I thought you were going to ask that we had a referendum on it – and said so in your election manifesto. Or am I just a typical gullible voter who is stupid enough to believe what you tell us – not realising that the patronising cynicism of the Lib Dems is even worse than that of the alternatives?”

    A referendum on the Lisbon Treaty was never promised because it didn’t exist.

    This would be much simpler if we had state funding. Independently awarded in a block grant as well as getting 28p (or whatever it is) back when you get membership subscriptions from members, thus encouraging parties to make a greater attempt to gain members.

  • No to state funding of political parties.

    It is funny to suggest that getting a few pence per member would encourage parties to get members.

    Membership fees are currently many times that figure — so how would *reducing* that amount make parties work harder to recruit members?

    If political parties want me to pay them to do whatever it is they do, then they will have to explain why they won’t pay for me to do what it is that I do.

  • Thomas Hemsley 21st Oct '08 - 8:06pm

    Because it wouldn’t reduce the membership fees…if the party gets 28p for every £1.00 you give in subscriptions back, it adds up pretty quickly – if you give a subscription of £10, that’s already £2.80 on top of that. (Charities already get this benefit).

  • It is such a relief to know that I don’t have to worry about the LibDems having any chance of implementing anything they say.

    Although there is (of course) no reason to beleive that they would implement anything they say (vis. EU referendum) — so who can guess what they would actually do!

    Anyway – only drifted through here today cos of a link on another blog…

    May read you again if something interesting comes up – otherwise ttfn.

  • Thomas Hemsley 21st Oct '08 - 8:31pm

    Oh, I see. When I confront you with the truth, you back away. Fair enough, it is your democratic right.

  • I am not going to be dragged in to a pointless discussion – if you want to fund political parites that is fine by me – but do it with your own money not mine – if you think the use of the resources of this country are for the use of individuals, that is fine — send me a check to cover your use of anything you don’t think yours…

    I don’t see anything in your posting that could be described as ‘truth’ in the sense you use it, and I have no idea why you are suggesting that ‘democratic rights’ need to be invoked to end a discussion – I think you are bonkers, and probably from a different planet to mine.

  • Thomas Hemsley 21st Oct '08 - 9:42pm

    Why have you chosen to resort to insults? You got the wrong end of the stick of my idea, and I explained it. That was the truth of my idea.

    All I said was I couldn’t understand why you didn’t engage in constructive discussion about party financing, and that I didn’t think that you should have left, but you did, and I said it was your democratic right. I’m not sure why that makes me bonkers, and why you decided to call me bonkers.

  • Grammar Police 22nd Oct '08 - 3:09pm

    Dalesman – hilarious.

  • David Allen 22nd Oct '08 - 5:17pm

    I see that Mr Deripaska’s company is called LDV.

    So that’s how all these Tories found this website!

  • Well , what hypocrisy ! I was always told a Liberal vote was a wasted vote, and if they carry on with this sort of rubbish , always knocking everyone else, but never doing anything , then it is proved right.

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