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We need to have all the details, but if any MP has knowingly retained any connection, financial or otherwise, with any firm that is still dealing with that obnoxious regime, he or she must be dealt with most severely.
And if a member of the Shadow Cabinet is involved, then back to the backbenches he or she should go.
At least there will be a man of principle back in office before long who deserves to get his old job back!

the british gvt is PROMOTING comercial links with china - which has a far far far worse record of repression than china.

all this zimbabwe chat is cover for something, not quite sure what yet.

It adds weight to the impression that MPs are full of hot air, but happy to make money of any situation that presents itself.

I'm getting pretty tired of hearing about the dodgy fiancial affiars of Tory MPs.

These people should be sacked!

the british gvt is PROMOTING comercial links with china - which has a far far far worse record of repression than china

I guess you mean a worse record than Zimbabwe. But I would disagree there. China may be a violator of human rights, but it is still (slowly) trying to move towards some form of rule of law. When Chinese civilians have been shot by the Police there is real anger and other people are not scared of making a big fuss over it - then the government will at least be seen to do something. Though, sadly, minorities like the Tibetans are not given such understanding.

In Zimbabwe the Police/armed thugs can and do kill people at will - other Zimbabweans are too scared and disillusioned to try to do anything about it.

They aren't 'dodgy financial affairs', 'Yournamehere' (bit of a coward are you?) but shareholding in major British companies like Shell or Rio Tinto.
Whether those company's are right to be in Zimbabwe is a moot point (will more people losing their jobs in Zimbabwe really help if they pull out?)but it cannot be claimed with any credibility whatsoever that any shareholder in these companies is investing a 'Zimbabwean firm'. Very suprised that CH want to give this story any credibility by publishing it here.

Non-story. Tory MPs have shares in multi-billion pound multi-nationals that happen to trade in Zimbabwe - gasp!

What a surprise it's the BBC and the Independent running with this one as Brown celebrates his useless first year.

Malcolm - I think it is relevant if Grieve has got a £1m stake in a Zimbabwean firm while Cameron is telling everyone not to invest there.

It's not that so much as the endless revelations about the finances of Tory MPs. If they're not robbing the tax payer blind, they seem to have some other complicated set up that most ordinary people will struggle to understand.

I can't believe people don't think this matters. Firstly, the regime in Zimbabwe is now one of the worst in the world. See http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/africa/article4232386.ece for yet another example, if one were needed, of its brutality. Any company that trades there is supporting it and to all intents and purposes propping it up, whether they intend to or not. Bottom line: our MPs should not own stakes in companies that prop up Mugabe's illegal and immoral regime.

Even if, and I frankly can't believe it's not, that's not reason enough; Tim / Sam has identified and put up a quotation from Cameron explicitly saying people shouldn't do this. For Tory MPs to contradict him makes us all look stupid.

Just returned from a dinner with some residents of Zimbabve/Ghana/Nigeria. Their argument is that even after all these almost 50% of the people in Zimbabve want President Mugabe to stay.

The presidential elections(Not the recent one) was not an outright win for the opposition.

So if Mugabe kills white farmers He is a bad man and the Sri Lankan President kills thousands of Tamils He is a good man.

Robert Mugabe has gone too far and there is no doubt that He must step down.

Anyone owning shares in large multinational companies is bound to find that some of the countries have unsavoury regimes. The Independent and the BBC would normally criticise any company which refused to invest in a developing nation, thereby helping the population of those countries to improve their standard of living.
But of course the BBC and the Independent would prefer that we just give aid to socialist regimes - capitalism is a filthy word to them.

Malcolm @ 23:17 - Yes I totally agree with you! (nice when we do that :-))

This is a non-story and yes, I have shares in Shell and do not feel that having them in any way compromises my feelings of absolute horror and revulsion and what is going on in Zimbabwe!

Sorry I mean "AT what is going in in Zimbabwe"

Complete non story in the sense that I do not believe any of these MP's have knowing done anything wrong. But not surprised at the Beeb jumping into the fray.
I suspect that there are many shareholding people in the UK who would be gob smacked at the thought that companies like the ones you have listed have links to Zimbabwe.
Very surprised to see my own Libdem MP mentioned in this piece, but then like the others, I genuinely believe that he will have been unaware of these links.
Totally agree with Tim's analysis and conclusions on this.
If anything, it makes the point that Cameron raised at PMQ's even more valid.
"Businesses and individuals that have dealings in Zimbabwe must examine their responsibilities and make sure they do not make investments that prop up the regime."

I've added links to the IoS story/leader.

Worth reading the Spectator's take on intervention btw.

"Very suprised that CH want to give this story any credibility by publishing it here."

Totally agree with Malcolm, Sally etc. Almost anyone with a pension will have an interest in cos such as RTZ, Shell & Barclays and most people owning a portfolio of more than about 8 shares is likely to have one of them. To call the "Zimbabwean firms" is ludicrous. I plead guilty to owning shares, either personally or as a family trustee, in almost all of them. The Indpendent is a very silly newspaper.

A far better story would surely have been for them to have spoken to these major British cos and found out what their attitude to being in Z. is. To hound anyone who happens to invest in some of the most prominment and largest British cos is just silly.

I fill my car up at Shell petrol stations. Am I helping to oppress Zimbabweans? I save money as Shell is cheaper than Esso so I benefit financially as well.

Shows how easy it is to be "guilty".

The story is a load of ******** and all it shows is how partisan the supposedly neutral BBC news is. The Independent is not required to be neutral as we don't pay for it with our taxes.

Only 7? I am surprised that there aren't more MP's with shares in BP, Shell, RTZ & Anglo. Just about every pension fund probably holds at least one of these shares.

Perhaps the Independent would like to assure us that he does not buy petrol made from oil extracted by Shell or NP.

Looking at the names of some of the companies listed, I suspect that the Indy and the BBC will strike a chord, but not for the reasons they intended.
How many people use some of these companies every day in Britain, and how can they criticise MP's for holding shares in what are basically in some cases, very successful domestic companies?
They have chosen to try and put the pressure on a few MP's, with the emphasis on the Tory party and sleaze. A much fairer angle might have been to highlight the companies involved - and how that effects us all.
Not one of the Indy's better days at the coal face of British journalism to be honest.

Mark, might have been fairer of the Indy to try and calculate how many Brits hold shares in these companies, just to put things into perspective?
I suspect that there will be a few more MP's choking on their cornflakes tomorrow morning and busily checking their share portfolio's.
Out of interest, without even getting into the pensions investment side of things, do British employee's of Shell, Barclays or Tesco have company share options?

It's South Africa all over again! Cameron has to act on this today or else he loses all credibility on Zimbabwe. These MPs should be on the phone to their brokers Monday morning or else.

It doesn't matter whether it's a non-story, perception is everything. Do we really want Brown to use it every time Mugabe is raised in the House?

Toby, will the Treasury stop taking any tax revenue from some of the companies listed?

I trust that the BBC Pension Scheme's trustees will be divesting themselves of these major stocks just as soon as markets open on Monday morning?

They will doubtless own a slug of each and every one of them, as will every other pension scheme in the land.

Complete non-story. So the Indy thinks there should be a boycott of Shell, BP, Tesco and Barclays and Uniever. The Zimbabwe link is tenuous at best.

Instead of giving the Indy their pound of flesh, Cameron should tell them to stop being so stupid and write a proper story.

The issue is that these MPs must pressurize these companies to withdraw from Zimbabwe.

This is a pathetic and inappropriate witch hunt.

Will Labour MPs be sacked for shopping at Tesco - or if their wives, mistresses or boyfriends do?

Stop the nonsense now. Graft and embezzlement are one thing, investing on the stock market another altogether.

By the way, where do the many wealthy Labour MPs like Woodward have their investments?


Are you happy that these companies are not providing the only lifeline in terms of money and food for MDC supporters?

So here are the holdings of relevant shares listed in the latest BBC pension fund accounts:


BP plc £53.7 million
Royal Dutch Shell plc £53.4 million
Barclays plc £35.8 million
Rio Tinto plc £26.9 million

I make that £169,800,000 worth of reasons why residents of translucent silicate structures shouldn't project mineral formations.

It would be a wonderful thing if all these Tory MPs said that they would sell their shares in these companies if they did not start to withdraw from Zimbabwe.

Presumably the Independent will no longer accept advertising revenue from these or any other companies and their subsidiaries that do business directly or indirectly with Zimbabwe?

Will they refuse to accept any payment from Barclays bank account?

Will the editor, the massed ranks of Indy hacks and all substantial shareholders of the Independent declare their holdings in any company that may do business with Zimbabwe?

Yep, the silly season has started early.

Spot on Old Hack. The Indy is the master of hypocrisy. My favourite example was an issue containing an editorial encouraging people to avoid air travel and a holidays supplement full of ads for jetaway breaks!

typical independent hypocrisy


they have subsidaries that do buisness in Zimbabwe

what a non story

The indie pension scheme will also be invested in these FTSE 100 companies as well as the MPs pension scheme

Guido has a nice story that graphically illustrates Mark Williams' point above about residents of translucent silicate structures (nice one, Mark!). It's almost straight out of the Gnome leader column in Private Eye.

That's very amusing Tim - yes the Indy is the King of "Do As I Say, Not As I Do"! It appeals to the "Guilty Leftie" brigade - most of whom are BBC Apparatchniks of course...

What a pathetic rag the Independent is

And well done to Mark Williams for quantifying the BBC's hypocrisy -- no wonder they've dropped the story so fast

Extend the "logic" of the "Independent"'s arguments to unit based investment funds and pensions whose fund managers invest in these companies (including, for example, all FTSE trackers) and you would probably be struggling to find an MP that doesn't invest to some extent in Zimbabwe...

Isn't it a bit hypocritical to moan about British interests in Zimbabwe, after all we built the nation in the first place. Do you think we would give a dam about the behavior of Mugabe, if it didn't undermine our ability to make a buck or two over there ? The fact is if we withdrew all British investment and goods from Zimbabwe the economy would be in even worse shape than it currently is. Its a great shame that there are not large Oil reserves to be had, or I bet we would already have sent troops. As it is; the answer to Zimbabwe's problems is the removal of its evil leader, not the end of British investment. If Zimbabwe is ever to recover its economy there will be a great opportunity for further investment. Long live the BSAC says I.

The independent better decide to pull its paper from shell petrol stations and also tesco... hmmmm a poor piece of journalism. Owning shares in some FTSE 100 blue chips is really scraping the barrel at attempting to portray Tory MPs as backing the current Zimbabwe regime!

Take this Hypothetical situation.

Mugabe trips over and dies tomorrow. The Army, scared of massive unrest, declares that Morgan Tsvangirai should be installed as President until new elections.

Unfortunately, Shell, BP, Barclays and Tescos sold up yesterday, to the only people in Zim with money, Comrade Bobs cronies.

Now the Indy claims that these companies are letting the poor people of Zimbabwe down.

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