Sunday, March 26, 2006

Who's That Donor?

Notice how quiet the Conservatives have been during the fuss about all those "loans" the Labour Party has been recieving from businessmen lately? I'd rather assumed it was something along the lines of "people with glass offshore accounts etc."
According to today's 'Sunday Times' the Tories have pocketed £100,000 for dinner at a fundraising ball from the wife of arms dealer Wafic Said.
"Over the past two years the Saids are understood to have given at least £550,000 to the Tories at auctions but none of it has been declared publicly."

Wafic Said was closely involved in the enormous Al-Yamamah arms deal in the 1980s, widely held to be the source of Mark thatcher's personal wealth.
British investigative journalists have uncovered evidence that Said may have been involved in distributing Saudi payoffs in one form or another to participants on the British side of the Al-Yamamah deal. In 1994, British reporters ran a land registry search on the posh Eaton Terrace residence in which Mark Thatcher (below) had been living and found that it was owned by a Panamanian company, Formigol, which was registered at the 5th floor of 49 Park Lane - Said's office. In 1998, it was reported that the luxurious Mayfair penthouse of Sir Richard Evans, chief executive of British Aerospace, was registered in the name of a Panamanian company called Knightsbridge Enterprises, which happened to be run from Said's offices at 49 Park Lane. Sir Charles Powell, a long-time foreign policy advisor of Thatcher who was present during the negotiations for this deal, was later hired as chairman of Sagitta Asset Management Limited, of which Said is the primary shareholder.
It was, of course, Wafic Said who was staying in the Paris Ritz at the same time, and dining with Jonathan Aitken during the infamous episode when "Sword of Truth" Aitken sued the 'Guardian' and ended up doing time for perjury. Like the editor of the 'Guardian' at that time, Peter Preston, I've always wondered just what it was which Aitken was so desperate to cover up he was prepared to invent such absurd stories? I don't suppose Wafic Said will be any hurry to tell.

PS In the same paper Rod Liddle finally comes up the what Dicky Entrails has said all along is the answer to the cash for peerages questions which have plagued all administrations. Bring it all out into the open and auction them.
Though that might mean eboni001 aka amanda12340_2 in the Lords. (Scroll down a bit if you don't get it.)


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