Tag Archives: Karren Brady

Scroungers

3 Feb

In a piece in today’s Guardian on the failure of the 2012 Olympics to deliver a legacy of greater participation in sport David Conn observes

The real Olympic legacy winners, of course, are West Ham United, owned by David Sullivan and David Gold, who made their first fortunes in pornography. Next year the Premier League club will take charge of the Olympic stadium, built with £429m of public money, and for which the public is paying a further £160m to convert for West Ham. The club will pay rent, and stands to make a fortune from the 54,000-seat capacity – far more than than its current Upton Park home – and enhanced corporate feasting. Karren Brady, who has worked loyally for Sullivan all her career, negotiated this stadium deal of the century with London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, and has since been made a Conservative peer – Baroness Brady of Knightsbridge.

And a quarter of that £160m conversion cost is being met by the council taxpayers of Newham – local people who are struggling with falling wages and rising prices. Meanwhile, David Cameron promises to drive even more of them into poverty by cutting the benefits cap if his party wins in May.

But of course there’s no cap on handouts to the wealthy. Multimillionaire pornographers and their Tory chief executive can have their business subsidised by the taxpayer: it’s enough to turn your stomach. 

A good year

4 Jan

Ironic lectern caption for a woman who has just been handed a new stadium for free

2013 was a very good year – for Karren Brady.

In March the business she runs, West Ham United FC, was handed prime tenancy of a £600 million public asset in exchange for a peppercorn rent and some vague promises about community engagement.

At the same time, Newham council confirmed that it will contribute £40 million to the cost of converting the stadium for the Hammers’ use – ensuring that Ms Brady and her multi-millionaire employers will bear the merest fraction of the expense of relocating their business to swanky new premises.

In September she received a standing ovation at the Tory party conference when she made a speech introducing chancellor George Osborne,

And to top it all off in December she was awarded a CBE for her “for services to entrepreneurship and women in business.”

Usually, people who rely on public money to get by are branded ‘scroungers’ by the Tories; but when it’s handed out to business people they get standing ovations and medals for ‘entrepreneurship’.