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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #6)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 12:12 PM

48. More about Lord Ashcroft - a combo of Rove and Koch


He is as devious as they come and has used AstroTurf campaigns in the past to put the right wing in power and huge profits in his pocket, part of which he then uses to keep the right wing in power.



http://www.newstatesman.com/uk-politics/2009/10/oxford-universitywealth-school

Lord Ashcroft, 62
Conservative Party deputy chairman
Education Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Mid-Essex Technical College
Wealth £1.1bn
Lord Ashcroft, the Tories' fairy godmother, has donated millions to the Conservative Party since the 1980s, personally guaranteeing its overdraft when it was reportedly £3m in the red. He makes a habit of political donation, and has been accused of wielding undue political influence in Belize, where he has extensive business interests. He does not say whether he pays tax in the UK, and the Electoral Commission is investigating whether his company fits strict rules on overseas donations.



http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/7904212.stm

The UK-born 63-year-old's fortune has enabled him to pay millions of pounds in donations to the Tories since the early 1980s.

He has been credited with helping to rescue the party's finances in the past, once stepping in to personally guarantee its overdraft when it was reportedly £3m in the red.

~~~
Lord Ashcroft's dealings in Belize have also generated controversy in the past, with some politicians in the central American country having suggested an influence that has been far from healthy.
The tycoon made large donations - rumoured to total about $1m - to the right-wing People's United Party (PUP) when it was in opposition.
In 1998 the PUP came to power after defeating the centre-left United Democratic Party (UDP), and subsequently introduced several pieces of legislation financially advantageous to Lord Ashcroft.


http://www.vice.com/read/lord-ashcroft-the-man-behind-call-me-dave-001

Who really did something really outrageous in the back in 1980s? Dave with a pig? My vote goes for Lord Ashcroft. Back then his main business, Hawley Group, was heavily into contract cleaning. Behind the scenes, Ashcroft funded a political lobby to privatize the cleaning of schools and NHS hospitals—until that point were run by the public sector. The lobby group he funded, called PULSE (the "Public and Local Service Efficiency" Campaign) was set up in 1985 to persuade the public sector to contract out services like cleaning and catering. Ashcroft gave PULSE around £500,000 [$759,000]. The campaign's advisory council included a handful of right-wing Tory MPs including Gerald Howarth, Neil Hamilton, and Michael Portillo, as well as former Westminster Council leader Lady Shirley Porter. It was very successful.

Peter Clarke, the man who ran the privatize-cleaning campaign told the Scotsman newspaper "nothing unlawful nor improper took place," but "this was very successful political engineering," because "Mr. Ashcroft's Hawley Services Group prospered in the new market created by PULSE's lobbying. PULSE appeared to be a popular campaign but in truth it was a money-making venture for Mr. Ashcroft."

Ashcroft's firm, Hawley Group, got a round a third of the new NHS contracts in 1983-1988. After privatization the number of hospital cleaners dropped massively. Their wages and conditions were also cut. Thanks to this privatization, we were left with dirty hospitals and MRSA—trade union Unison estimated the number of hospital cleaners dropped from over 100,000 in 1984 to around 55,000 in 2005, because of the privatization drive. Even the moderate Royal College of Nursing called for an end to the privatization that made Ashcroft rich, asking that cleaning should be brought back in-house to help stop the hundreds of deaths from MRSA and other infections every year.

Ashcroft's companies also moved into hospital catering, which was also privatized thanks to the political campaign he funded: the poor state of hospital food is one of his legacies.

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