Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Carlyle Lobbyist Does Land Deal with British PM

Channel Four News reported on a land deal between lobbyist Lord Charlington and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Intriguing details have emerged about this transaction that raise questions over how much the public should know about the financial dealings of the prime minister.

In 2001, Mr Cameron paid £650,000 for his constituency home - a purchase aided by around £150,000 in parliamentary expenses. When Mr Cameron bought this home, he also acquired a patch of land up the lane. This was separated from the main house by a driveway and garages belonging to a cottage opposite.

From inspection of Land Registry documents, Channel 4 News found that in November last year, Conservative peer and Tory donor Lord Chadlington, who owns a large manor house nearby, bought the cottage for £715,000, thereby taking ownership of the driveway and garages which ran across the prime minister's land.

Eight months later, in July this year, Lord Chadlington sold the prime minister the driveway and garages together with a large field which he owned at the back of Mr Cameron's constituency home for £137,500.

Charlington lobbies on behalf of the London Stock Exchange, Associated British Foods and The Carlyle Group.  Sir Alistair Graham, former chairman of the Committee of Standards in Public Life, offered:

"I would've thought he would've wanted to have done that as quickly as possible, particularly given his public comments about lobbying…If you’re doing a private deal affecting your personal interests with one of the head of the largest lobbying firms in this country then of course you should register that in your MP’s list of interests as quickly as possible."
Public comments are for mass consumption, not an ethical guide.  Take fellow private equity underwriter Mitt Romney, formerly of Bain Capital.  This week he talked tough on China stealing American jobs.  How many jobs did Bain affiliates send to China, both under Mitt and afterwards?  The Carlyle Group sent many.

The Government-Corporate Monstrosity is Eisenhower's Military-Industrial Complex on steroids. Elitist insiders work all sides of the triangle, lobbying, government appointments and corporations with ample funding.