Writing to Grayling

Bmblbzzz
Posts: 3257
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Writing to Grayling

Postby Bmblbzzz » 25 Jul 2019, 8:03am

I have to wonder what the point was of CUK encouraging us to write to Chris Grayling, in his role as Minister for Transport, on the topic of ring-fenced spending for cycling and walking, the day before he was due to be replaced.

Oldjohnw
Posts: 4483
Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Writing to Grayling

Postby Oldjohnw » 25 Jul 2019, 9:03am

Bmblbzzz wrote:I have to wonder what the point was of CUK encouraging us to write to Chris Grayling, in his role as Minister for Transport, on the topic of ring-fenced spending for cycling and walking, the day before he was due to be replaced.


First, whilst we might have made a readonable guess, no-one actually knew he was about to be replaced.

Second, your letter goes to the Secretary of State. That office exists until it is abolished although the incmbent might change. The name is incidental.
John

User avatar
squeaker
Posts: 3628
Joined: 12 Jan 2007, 11:43pm
Location: Sussex

Re: Writing to Grayling

Postby squeaker » 25 Jul 2019, 10:53am

Oldjohnw wrote:Second, your letter goes to the Secretary of State. That office exists until it is abolished although the incmbent might change. The name is incidental.

But could Grant Shapps be an improvement over Chris Grayling - the latter's track record suggest yes, but... :roll:
"42"

Bmblbzzz
Posts: 3257
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: Writing to Grayling

Postby Bmblbzzz » 25 Jul 2019, 10:55am

I think the first was pretty foreseeable... As for the second point, I did wonder if it was a deliberate tactic to make a big impact in the new SS's inbox. Don't know if that would actually get noticed though or is more likely to be passed over in the settling in period.

Mike Sales
Posts: 5048
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Writing to Grayling

Postby Mike Sales » 25 Jul 2019, 11:02am

squeaker wrote:But could Grant Shapps be an improvement over Chris Grayling - the latter's track record suggest yes, but... :roll:


I guess he could be, Failing Grayling sets a low bar, but...

A business deal involving a company set up by Grant Shapps, the Conservative party chairman, “may constitute an offence of fraud”, Scotland Yard has said.


However the Metropolitan Police said in a letter to a Labour MP that despite finding evidence of an offence, no charges will be brought.
Labour had been pressing the police to launch an investigation into How To Corp, an internet marketing firm set up by Mr Shapps and his wife in 2005.
There were claims that How to Corp, through its website, sold “auto-blogging” software that creates an instant cash-flow by allegedly plagiarising information.
Steve McCabe, a Labour MP, had alleged the company could be prosecuted “possible offences committed against the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as well as conspiracy and obtaining a pecuniary advantage”.
The claims were investigated by officers at the Homicide and Serious Crime unit in Scotland Yard.


[url]//www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10421830/Shapps-business-deal-may-constitute-an-offence-of-fraud-say-Police-but-no-charges-will-be-brought.html
[/url]

Mike Sales
Posts: 5048
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Writing to Grayling

Postby Mike Sales » 25 Jul 2019, 11:02am

squeaker wrote:But could Grant Shapps be an improvement over Chris Grayling - the latter's track record suggest yes, but... :roll:


I guess he could be, Failing Grayling sets a low bar, but...

A business deal involving a company set up by Grant Shapps, the Conservative party chairman, “may constitute an offence of fraud”, Scotland Yard has said.


However the Metropolitan Police said in a letter to a Labour MP that despite finding evidence of an offence, no charges will be brought.
Labour had been pressing the police to launch an investigation into How To Corp, an internet marketing firm set up by Mr Shapps and his wife in 2005.
There were claims that How to Corp, through its website, sold “auto-blogging” software that creates an instant cash-flow by allegedly plagiarising information.
Steve McCabe, a Labour MP, had alleged the company could be prosecuted “possible offences committed against the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as well as conspiracy and obtaining a pecuniary advantage”.
The claims were investigated by officers at the Homicide and Serious Crime unit in Scotland Yard.


[url]//www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10421830/Shapps-business-deal-may-constitute-an-offence-of-fraud-say-Police-but-no-charges-will-be-brought.html
[/url]

T
he real scandal with Grant Shapps is not that he lived a double life as an internet marketing salesman called Michael Green while he was an MP, nor even that he seemingly lied about it repeatedly and sued an opponent who suggested otherwise, it’s what Michael Green did for a living. Shapps speaks with pride about how he “built up a business from scratch”, having founded HowToCorp in 2000 and (he says) handed it over to his wife Belinda in 2008. Jeremy Hunt seems to believe that he was helping to “create wealth”. So here’s a quick roundup of the methods that Shapps has apparently used, and advised others to use, in order to get noticed and make money.


Trick people into following you on Twitter
To be fair to Shapps, this is standard practice for any online toe-rag. You follow somebody on Twitter who, flattered by your interest, follows you back, thereby joining the audience for your tweets and making your following look larger. Once they’ve done so, you silently unfollow them again. That way you don’t have to look at their opinions, but they will still see yours. You also hide the fact that you are indiscriminately following thousands of people. Shapps seems to have done this on an industrial scale, a practice that sometimes requires special software.
Plagiarise other writers for money
Speaking of special software, one of HowToCorp’s leading “products” was an application called TrafficPaymaster. This automatically created new blogs online, filled them with bits of writing copied from other blogs, and then collected money from Google, whose own software would mistakenly place advertisements on your website, believing it to be real. Besides being obviously unscrupulous, the practice was against Google’s code of conduct, and “may constitute an offence of fraud” according to legal advice received by the police, who nevertheless declined to investigate.


Get testimonials from people who seem not to exist.

In 2012, the Advertising Standards Authority opened an investigation into HowToCorp, following a complaint from a blogger alleging that it was using phoney testimonials. Michael Crick took up the theme for Channel 4, and could find no trace of several of the satisfied customers who recommended Michael Green, nor of the Wallerson Trust that one apparently represented, nor even anybody in the world with the surname “Stockheath”. Shapps insists they were genuine, but has never supplied any public proof. The ASA closed its investigation after being given promises by HowToCorp that the practice would not happen in future.
Be a master of disguise
Shapps has said that it was merely a “joke” or “normal” for him to take on the alter ego Michael Green, yet he has a long record of pretending to be other people. In 2007, during a byelection in west London, he posted a comment online pretending to be a Liberal Democrat accepting defeat – yet forgot that he had logged in as himself. Then in 2010 either he or someone else in his constituency office anonymously altered his Wikipedia page to delete any reference to the phoney LibDem incident, as well as references to HowToCorp and Michael Green. For good measure, the mysterious editor also added material about Shapps’s work on homelessness.


https://www.theguardian.com/politics/shortcuts/2015/mar/16/grant-shapps-business-mp-conservative-chairman-michael-green

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 15675
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Writing to Grayling

Postby mjr » 25 Jul 2019, 12:03pm

squeaker wrote:
Oldjohnw wrote:Second, your letter goes to the Secretary of State. That office exists until it is abolished although the incmbent might change. The name is incidental.

But could Grant Shapps be an improvement over Chris Grayling - the latter's track record suggest yes, but... :roll:

I've started a topic for Shapps's cycling and actions at viewtopic.php?f=6&t=131598
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

Bmblbzzz
Posts: 3257
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: Writing to Grayling

Postby Bmblbzzz » 1 Aug 2019, 6:08pm

Since I wrote to you last week however, much has changed at the Department for Transport, and I want to keep up the pressure on the new Minister. It’s essential that he tackles our ‘underfunding of cycling and walking’ crisis by at least doubling the money invested in active travel.