A couple of examples emerge of just how charitable our old friends at the SOCIETY OF MERCHANT VENTURERS really are.
First, please step forward TIM ROSS who seems well-versed in that old Venturer trick of turning public money into private wealth.
Ross was, until June last year, Chairman of financial basketcase waste company MAY GURNEY (see The BRISTOLIAN #4.3 & 4.4), currently being rescued from financial collapse via a multi-million pound takeover by anti-union construction outfit, KIER GROUP. Indeed such are the financial problems at May Gurney that Bristol City Council has been discouraged from enforcing the penalty clauses in its waste collection contract with the company as it was thought it would bankrupt them and our rubbish could go uncollected.
However, bankruptcy is not something that’s likely to happen to Ross: once the ink was dry on May Gurney’s contract with the city council, he cashed in 100,000 of his shares in December 2011 to pocket A COOL £235,000 – conveniently before the share price of the company went south! He scarpered as Chairman of May Gurney six months later, just a few months before the share price tumbled below a pound.
Our second all-heart, all-charidee Venturer is CULLUM MCALPINE, scion of the civil engineering giant SIR ALFRED MCALPINE LTD, a firm that is never far from a tasty government contract or two. Cullum is a director of the company and has been personally named in papers lodged with the high court as being “intimately” involved in the operation of a “clandestine” organisation – The Consulting Association – holding a list of people barred from the construction industry. Or trade union blacklisting as it’s generally known.
The court papers claim, “McAlpine was the founding chairman at the [Consulting Association’s] inception in 1993. He was intimately involved in the foundation and operation of TCA. He formally offered Mr Kerr the position of director in August 1993. He finalised the written particulars of Mr Kerr’s employment, sending them to members for approval and obtaining legal advice in relation to them. He oversaw the arrangement of life and health insurance for Mr Kerr as part of his remuneration.”
IAN KERR was the director of The Consulting Association, the organisation which operated the ILLEGAL BLACKLIST OF WORKERS on behalf of big construction firms until he was exposed and prosecuted in 2009.
Perhaps Mr McAlpine should keep better company – as should the Society of Merchant Venturers.
AND ANOTHER THING …
Venturer DAVID ORD, co-owner of the Bristol Port Company at Avonmouth, has donated more than £330,000 to the Tory Party since 2005.
He was also one of forty donors to attend dinners with senior ministers, including the Prime Minister, in the last quarter of 2012.
So, did Ord use his access to ‘Dodgy’ David Cameron to lobby for the scrapping of plans for an electricity-generating Severn estuary barrage?