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The Prescott report

Being at least reasonably sane, and having better things to do with my life, I'm not going to read the whole of the Prescott report, but I did notice the valuations he put on his gifts from Anschutz.

The Stetson is estimated at £97. I found this retailer where prices range from $130 up to $350. I can't imagine that Anschutz would have gone for the cheapest option.....

The boots - estimated at £120. This is a tough call, as there is no indication as to brand or material, but the retailer above has them ranging from $140 to $350.

Spurs £207 , belt buckle etc £185. Impossible to tell.

Meanwhile, I just love Prescott's response to the letter from Hugo Swire:

"You wrote regarding my official trip to the United States in July of last year, which I undertook to discuss issues around urban and rural sustainability and regeneration, and to specifically visit, at the request of the Foreign Office, parts of "Middle America". The trip included many official visits and meetings, with local, regional and national politicians, business leaders and workers involved in farming and agricultural industries in Colorado, and visits and keynote speeches in Texas and Los Angeles".

I've been to Colorado, and rather nice it is too, but Iwould not regard visiting a millionaire's plaything as likely to give much insight into Middle America. Nor LA , come to that....

Having gone for a sniff around sundry websites, here are my findings on the committee's membership:

Younger – ‘Wet’ patrician.

Barron – One time Scargill ally but baled out and supported reform of Clause 4.

Curry – Noted euro fanatic.

Dismore – Sound on Israel.

Harvey – Had a road to Damascus, apparently, and changed from eurosceptic to europhile.

Jenkins – Blairite toadie.

Llywd – Anti-Iraq war. Changed his name from Hughes. Poseur…

Mullin – Old school leftie. Delightfully claimed that the Birmingham six were innocent as he knew those who had done it. Not that he named names, of course.

Soames – Noted trencherman.

Whitehead – Green obsessive.

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Anonymous Verity said... 5:34 pm

Stetson - probably around $1,000.

For sure the boots will have cost around $10,000. So will the hand tooled leather belt. It probably has a real silver buckle.

I lived in Texas. I know these prices.  

Blogger Matt Dean said... 3:30 am

Thank-you for your thoughtful and informative blog Croydonian.
One of the Committee investigating Prescott was Alan Whitehead who happens to be my local MP in Southampton and a political opponent of mine.
He is not adverse to taking freebies himself- McDonalds were very generous to him during the world cup for example. For more info, feel free to read my posts on 'Burgergate' on my blog at


as well as Mr Whitehead's other misdeads with friends like Clive Betts MP and his hypocracy over education!
Best wishes,

Blogger Praguetory said... 10:05 am

Prescott's Departmental Valuations

P35 - "My office has gone to considerable effort to value them (the gifts)"

- As the report repeatedly stresses the complaint pertains to John Prescott's conduct only, so he should not have allowed Departmental staff paid for by the taxpayer to perform a task unrelated to their employ.
- The above suggests that this was only done after the complaint was made. This should have been done at the time that the gifts were received for customs purposes
- Instead of making an estimate from a catalogue why couldn't John pick up the telephone and find out the exact price of the gift from the donor? After all John had met Anschutz seven times.

P35 - "The total value of these gifts is around £600"

A very unfortunate figure. As set out elsewhere in the report, the threshold for registration of gifts from one source was £590 in July 2005. Is the mathematics expert in John's office currently in hiding?

P37 - "A leather bound notebook (not valued)"

Why not?  

Anonymous Verity said... 1:03 pm

witheshaw - More lies from Prescott. These items bought by a multi-millionaire would not be items that are sold out of a catalogue. They would have been custom made.

Second, like you, I am puzzled about why the leather bound notebook wasn't included. That too, would have been expensive. Multi-squillionaires seeking favours from politicians do not give cheap gifts.

Where does Anshutz have his office? Might be worth giving them a call instead of pouring through catalogues.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 1:13 pm

Thanks Matt - I'll check it out.

Witheshaw / Verity - If the goods were custom made for JP, and a 'name' belt buckle must have been, this raises questions about how much advance notice Anschutz had that Prescott was going to fancy playing around on his dude ranch  

Blogger Praguetory said... 3:45 pm

Also worth mentioning that in the itinerary of Prezza's US visit is a drinks reception hosted by AEG (Anschutz's company) in LA. Shouldn't that hospitality be added to the running total?

Having now read the report the word that most sums up Prezza's actions since the complaint was made is obfusaction. The report leaves several loose ends. I'm particularly keen to learn more about the request that was made by the FO for Prezza to visit Denver. I would like to see evidence of that.  

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