Tory cronyism a kick in the face for voters

An open letter to Robert Buckland and Justin Tomlinson: I and, I am sure, the many readers of the Adver, would welcome your views on the latest total disregard for the parliamentary rules displayed by Boris Johnson.

A billionaire City tycoon has donated £500,000 to the Conservative Party - just days after Boris Johnson made him a peer.

The Prime Minister overruled advice from the official Appointments Commission to put Peter Cruddas in the House of Lords after he failed its vetting process.

Now it has emerged Lord Cruddas - a long-time political donor - gave the Tories his largest ever cash contribution just days after being put in post.

Lord Cruddas’ term in the Lords was confirmed in December, began on January 27, according to Parliament, and he was formally introduced on February 2. His whopping £500,000 was received by the Tory party on February 5 and accepted three days later.

The enormous donation - part of £6.3m which plunged into Tory coffers between January and March - could (again irony, here) reignite a cronyism row which erupted when the PM handed Lord Cruddas a peerage.

This is utterly disgusting - and a total kick in the face for all the voters in Swindon (and in every other UK constituency) not that our two MPs give an utter fig!

Messers Buckland and Tomlinson - we all look forward to hearing your latest (utterly crass) spin on this..... though I'm not holding my breath.

Steve Cowdry.

Saddleback Road


Palestinians' treatment by Israel a sick joke

Peter Hicks’ reply(SA, June 4) to Martin Topping’s excellent letter on Palestine is riddled with distortions, half-truths and omissions.

He supports the violent ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes but feels entitled to dictate to Palestinians whether and how they resist.

Wisely, he avoids addressing the formation of Israel through terrorism but in so doing turns reality on its head, blaming the Palestinian victims.

Mr Hicks makes the long-discredited claim that Palestinian organisations have turned down offers made by the colonial settlers and their great power backers.

His citation of the Israeli “offer” around the Oslo process must stand as an example of his distortions. He ignores the extensive scholarship on the process.

In brief, Yasser Arafat made all the concessions going when chasing this process. Agreement meant not only abandoning Palestine’s refugees but also promising not even to attempt negotiations about the issue.

It meant the Palestine Authority policing dissent on behalf of Israel. The establishment of colonial settlements on Palestinian land continued through the whole process; it was a sick joke.

The absurdity of Mr Hicks’ view of the process can be demonstrated conclusively by comparing it with the detailed account, given by United States State Department officials Agha and Malley, in the New York Review of Books.

They dismiss Israel’s version, which Mr Hicks swallowed whole. We also have the accounts by Israeli journalists who reported on how the resulting Intifada was an initially peaceful protest crushed by the Israeli army.

They went on to complain about how their reports were systematically distorted by editors.

Peter Smith

Woodside Avenue


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