Tag Archives: Lord Digby Jones

Digby Jones and Love My Lotto

Digby Jones There’s an old old joke which last night’s Question Time made me think of:

A man moves to a village in Wales and gets talking to an old man from the village.
He asks the old man what his name is, but the old man gets very irate at this point and says:
– See that line of houses over there? I built them all, but do they call me Jones the house builder? Do they hell!
– See those railway lines over there? I laid them all, but do they call me Jones the engineer? Do they hell!
– See those bridges over that river? I built them all, but do they call me Jones the bridge builder? Do they hell!
– But, a long long time ago, I shagged ONE sheep…

As ever when watching Question Time I was doing some casual online research about the speakers, especially where I didn’t know them very well, and I had been fortunate enough never previously to have encountered the most stereotypical roaring Tory boar, Sir Lord Digby Jones of Birmingham.
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Let’s talk about scroungers, gentlemen

The lineup on BBC Question Time tonight was Digby Jones, Alan Duncan, Emma Boon, Phil Redmond, Sadiq Khan.

Digby Jones was revealed in 2010 as “the most expensive member of the House of Lords in the West Midlands”

An analysis of his expenses claims shows that Lord Jones of Birmingham charged taxpayers £574.12 in allowances – for every day he attended Parliament. … The latest expenses figures show that Lord Jones claimed £24,687 for the period between April 2008 and March 2009, and attended the House of Lords 43 times, costing taxpayers £574.12 per appearance. (Birmingham Post, 18th February 2010)

“Digby, Lord Jones of Birmingham” was being paid a Ministerial salary of £108,253 per year between June 2007 and October 2008.

Jones read Law at University College London in the 1970s, paid for by the British taxpayer, and worked for twenty years at Edge Ellison, according to the biography on his website more in a business capacity than as a lawyer. For six years he was Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) between 1st January 2000 and 30th June 2006 and was knighted in 2005. His knighthood has not yet been withdrawn. CBI describes itself as the UK’s “premier business lobbying organisation” – fixing politicians for industry from its offices in Beijing, Brussels, New Delhi and Washington DC.

There’s also iSoft….

For six years Jones was a non-executive director and then advisor for the NHS IT contractor iSoft (between 2000 and 2006). A memorandum (by Ian Griffiths and Simon Bowers, The Guardian) submitted to the Commons Select Committee on Public Accounts in April 2007 with regard to some major irregularities in iSoft’s annual audit, notes that although Digby Jones, when a non-executive director at iSoft, had attended the audit committee and had instructed iSoft’s lawyers to inform the Guardian in the course of their investigation that

“He [Sir Digby Jones] is satisfied that there was no confusion over the matter internally, but there was an error in preparation of the draft minutes”

it turned out that a £30 million shortfall, attributed to a drafting error, was no such:

In October 2006 iSoft conceded the original minutes seen by The Guardian were entirely accurate. Continue reading

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Filed under Benefits, In The Media, Poverty