Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A fool and his money are soon parted

Right, I've been having a little think. From what I can see, two Labour appointed Lords and a Bishop are going to do an inquiry into the finances of the Labour party and should probably report to Harriet Harman as Party Chairman.

Harman of course, does not even have the backing of Gordon Brown over her acceptance of £5000 after her deputy leadership battle and both the Prime Minister and Hilary Benn refused donations from the woman, Janet Kidd

Harman's difficulties were intensified when Gordon Brown revealed that his campaign team refused to take a gift from Kidd on the grounds that she was not known to them.

Benn also rejected a gift from Kidd, acting as an intermediary for Abrahams, after one of his campaign team, Lady Jay, a trustee of Labour's £1,000 club, raised questions about the true source of the donation. Lady Jay would not last night elaborate on her role. Benn's team, as Mr Abrahams confirmed last night, accepted a £5,000 cheque direct from Abrahams.

Now the Labour party receive millions of pounds from the public purse so I find the excuse of Peter Watt, the former party general secretary that 'he did not know it was unlawful to use conduits to prevent true source of a donation being disclosed' frankly, unacceptable.

UKIP put their hands up and admitted they had made a clerical error, and contested the forfeiture of the money to the Electoral Commission because it was disproportionate. It seems nigh on impossible that so many people in the Labour Party, that bloated puss filled boil of evil and regulation, did not know that it was against the law (their law) to keep a donor anonymous, when the law is there to stop foreign and anonymous donors. hmmm.

The panel still has not been announced for Question Time. I can't help but think it's because they can't get a Labour minister on to defend the right fuck up they have made of, well, everything. I suspect we'll get Hazel Blears sitting there with her chipmunk smile saying 'well Gordon didn't know and when he did he was so wonderful' and 'Gordon is great' 'Gordon will fix it' and then, presumably, she'll have to run off to the loo to sort herself out.

The maximum pubishment for the crime which it appears has been committed (s65(4) of PPERA 2000) is a year in jail, for Abrahams and the naughty people at the Labour Party (click of the heels to Mr Wadsworth for that one). The Electoral Commission would only tell me on the phone that they are undertaking an investigation into the affair, but it does appear that Gordon Brown was rather jumping the gun by saying that he's going to pay back the money, because as I pointed out yesterday, it gets forfeited and goes back (ironically) to the Treasury. Not to Mr Abrahams, or all that would happen is that they'd give the money again. The same goes for Harriet "do as I say, not as I do" Harman and her repaying of the £5000. That is a good will gesture to the donor as far as I can tell, and won't affect the decision made by the Electoral Commission or the police. It's like a burglar giving you back your TV and expecting that to be the end of the matter.

OF course, with this biased bunch of pedants they probably will let that be the end of that, and then go ahead with their main aim of trying to bankrupt UKIP by appealing against the judge's ruling from the summer.

We'll wait and see, I suppose.

1 comment:

Mark Wadsworth said...

Ta for h/t.

The party treasurer gets done under s65(4) for false reporting (with usual defences, 'reasonable steps' and all that), anybody who gives the party treaurer misleading info about the identity of the donor gets done under s61(2).

Both punishable by up to 1 year in The Big House.

I've now found the good bit, s65(6), IF El Comm makes an application AND failure to comply was attributable to intention on the part of ANY PERSON to conceal existence of donation, then court MAY order forfeiture.