A news splash on the City of London council website yesterday announced that James Thomson has been elected as chairman of the City of London Police Authority Board. While this will surprise few who follow City of London politics – since Thomson has been on the board for the past five years and has occupied the post of deputy chairman for the past three – it will nevertheless further undermine public confidence in the City of London Police because of a series of controversies that continue to swirl around this councillor.Read more "James Thomson Becoming Chair Of City Of London Police Authority Board Further Undermines Public Confidence"
Sadly we weren’t surprised by to see a Which? report earlier this month about an IT glitch at City of London Police that stalled the processing of more than 300,000 crime reports. For as long as the Court of Common Council acts as the police authority for this force there is no proper democratic oversight of the City of London police, and this also undermines public confidence in its officers. While the Court of Common Council is elected this is mostly on undemocratic business votes, rather than by residents, something very different to how police and crime commissioners are chosen elsewhere in the UK. As we’ve said before, the current deputy chairman of the council’s police committee is James Thomson and there are questions still to be answered about his vote – and that of Christopher Hayward also on the police committee – in favour of granting planning permission for Taylor Wimpey’s The Denizen on the site of Bernard Morgan House, a City of London Police property sold to developers at what many see as an inflated price. Aside from the potential conflict of interest over attempting to fix a blown police budget, Thomson and Hayward – and another councillor Sir Michael Bear – also have yet to explain why they felt able to vote in favour of planning permission for The Denizen despite roles at firms who worked with Taylor WimpeyRead more "Another City of London Policing Fail"
Anyone who looks at how the City of London operates will see that it financialises productive sectors of society so that it can suck wealth and life out of the world. Rather than giving anything to society, the City of London just takes and then uses some of the wealth it siphons off to lobby for neo-liberal under-regulated economic policies, so that it might further funnel the world’s resources away from those who need them for the benefit of a super-rich elite who already have way too much. If the City of London were to cease operations today, the UK economy and the world would be hugely improved. In an effort to obscure this fact the City keeps telling porky pies to make it look like it pays more tax than it does, then getting those it is in bed with to repeat these fibs.Read more "More Fibs About Tax & The City of London"
Two City of London police officers face disciplinary action after the collapse of a fraud trial amid claims that expert witnesses, one of whom was not of “suitable calibre”, were coached. The City of London detectives investigated an alleged £3.5m cold-calling scam. In it eight men were accused of duping 72 people into making bad investments in carbon credits and diamonds. Andrew Ager gave evidence as an expert witness. But the case was thrown out after he admitted under cross-examination that he had never read a book on carbon credits. Now two unamed police officers will face an internal investigation. It follows the disclosure of emails that appear to show one detective constable, Stewart Walker, telling Ager what to write in a statement.Read more "City of London Police Accused Of Coaching Witnesses"
The City of London police investigates economic crime in Britain and runs Action Fraud, a national reporting service. City of London police received almost £29 million in funding from banking and insurance trade bodies over the past five years in an arrangement that has been attacked as a “serious conflict of interest”. The force, Britain’s leading constabulary for investigating economic crime, received £17 million from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and a further £11.8 million from UK Finance, the banking industry group, between 2013 and 2018.Read more "Can City of London Police Effectively Investigate Economic Crime While Receiving Funding From The Finance Industry?"
Earlier this month the City of London publicised the extremely deceptive claim that the finance sector made a massive tax contribution to the UK economy; this was then picked up from their press department and uncritically run as a story by various tame media outlets. We’d planned to write a blog countering the blatant manipulation of statistics involved if no one else did. However, Prem Sikka stepped forward and did the work for us, so all we need to do here is reproduce his piece from Left Foot Forward.Read more "The City of London Lie Machine In Action"
As we reported back in February this year concerns about potential conflicts of interest over planning permission being granted to Taylor Wimpey to build luxury apartments on the site of Bernard Morgan House now include speculation this former police building might have been sold to help cover a blown police budget. The focus of attention then was very much City of London common councillors James Thomson and Chris Hayward because of their involvements with both the planning and police committees. In a Sun ‘exclusive’ last week it was reported that top City of London cop Chief Superintendent Dave Clark was under investigation for ‘allegedly using secret information to help pals win crime contracts.’ If it turns out these allegations have any substance to them, we’d be very interested to know whether activities of the type being investigated contributed to the blown police budget.Read more "The City of London Police Budget Deficit, Taylor Wimpey’s The Denizen & Top Cop Dave Clark"
The proposed site of The Denizen is a few metres inside the City of London borough boundary, and Taylor Wimpey make far more of this than the location warrants; essentially these will be City fringe properties and like other developments in EC1 they are being marketed as ghost home investments to speculators in South East Asia. Potential victims of Taylor Wimpey’s disingenuous sales pitch in South East Asia will already be familiar with Denizen as a clothes brand owned by Levis but with jeans sold at ‘cheap and cheerful’ prices compared to the company’s ‘original’ products. Although Taylor Wimpey tap into hype about cheap jeans, their proposed development is over-priced and dingy; and life inside it is likely to be ‘solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short’.Read more "The Denizen: Where Dumb Meets Stupid"
We’re fairly sure we’ve identified the ten people who voted against Taylor Wimpey’s Gerrymander Mansions development, which leaves those who either didn’t vote or voted in favour of it. So here is some background business and political information about three members of the Planning Committee who we suspect didn’t vote against the application. There is a a barrister, an IT professional, and a one time political researcher for a notorious right-wing Tory MP: Emma Edhem, Judith Pleasance and Rehana Ameer.Read more "3 Members of the City of London Planning Committee"