“British Jobs for British Workers”Law Lords Rule Labour Party Guilty of Racial Discrimination

Raghib Ahsan took the Labour Party to an industrial tribunal on the grounds of racial discrimination. He won his case but the Labour party appealed and it went all the way to the House of Lords. The Law Lords unanimously ruled that the Labour Party was indeed guilty of racial discrimination under the 1976 Race Relations Act.

It took a ten year battle with the Labour Party before Raghib won. Guido has not noticed this well reported elsewhere. The full Law Lords ruling is here [pdf].

Lord Hoffman was absolutely damning of the Labour Party defence proffered, before he resigned, by Peter Watt –

…it seems to me unacceptable. It is nothing more than the old plea that you have nothing against employing a black person but the customers would not like it. In essence it is a defence of justification based on political expediency. It may salvage the purity of the personal motives of the selection panel but it does not in my opinion satisfy the terms of the 1976 Act, which does not allow any justification for “direct” discrimination. It simply says that one shall not discriminate on racial grounds.

Last month the Labour Party was found guilty of deliberately discriminating in favour of a white candidate because of the sensitivities of the constituency. A white Briton got the job over a brown Pakistani Briton. So is this what Gordon means by “British Jobs for British Workers”?

Perhaps this story was lost in the uproar about Donorgate and the loss of 25 million bank account details by the government. Guido can’t help thinking that if the highest court in the land had just found the Conservative Party guilty of racial discrimination, that Alex Hilton, Kevin Maguire, Polly Toynbee, Roy Hattersley, Jackie Ashley together with the leader writers of the Guardian and Independent would all be working overtime. The silence is deafening.

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Ashcroft Should Come Clean

Labour is getting hammered for breaking the laws on political funding. Rightly so, there needs to be criminal prosecutions in order to make it clear that the laws are to be obeyed. The Tories are working around the laws, which may be legal, but it is slippery. It is also bad politics, slushing money through unincorporated associations is just not on any more. Ashcroft’s tax arrangements are only a private matter if he is a private person.

Ashcroft’s influence on the Tories, like that of Lord Sainsbury for Labour, has been in the national interest. Billionaire Lord Sainsbury helped finance New Labour, dragging the Labour party from socialism towards an accommodation with the Thatcherite settlement and at the very least an acceptance of the market economy. Sainsbury financed progressive think tanks and pressure groups as well as the Labour party itself, to the betterment of the country. It was in the national interest to have a non-socialist alternative governing party to the Tories. Like Ashcroft he got stuck in rather than just sending £15 million plus of cheques.

Ashcroft has an equally involved approach, he has made an evidence based case to the Tories to change their game for the better. He has encouraged them, with financial incentives, to campaign professionally. He has pushed the party to appeal to the young aspirational middle classes once again, rather than just their core voters. It has got to be in the best interests of the country to have an opposition that is electorally competitive and appealing rather than ideologically marooned. Ashcroft is not a sinister Blofeld type character, he like Sainsbury has constructively used his wealth to better his party and (eventually) his country. But the increasing perception that Labour is trying to capitalise on is that he is a shadowy tycoon manipulating Cameron. It is in his own interests to come clean and it is definitely in the interests of the Tories that he comes clean – soon. If not people will be entitled to assume he has something to hide.

Politics in Britain suffers from a disconnect between cynical voters and disingenuous politicians. Any lack of clarity and the voters presume the worst – usually correctly. The money laundering, for that is what it is, endemic in British politics is just not acceptable. Every penny should be accounted for and sourced, whether it is Midlands business types or Muslim moguls. If they don’t like the publicity than they shouldn’t donate. Corruption is only possible in the shadows, in the sunshine we can see clearly, whatever reforms are made should be on the basis of total transparency. State funding is a lazy option, it also presumes that political campaigning is of such importance that it should be funded – it isn’t. In Europe there is plenty of state-sourced funding corruption, it won’t make things any better.

Politics is needlessly expensive, we don’t need so much politics or so many politicians and their hangers on. Politicians need to be taken down a peg or two, having to raise money only from people who are prepared to openly support them might bring some much needed humility and make them more connected to voters. If people are too ashamed to openly support politicians, it is the politicians who need to improve their reputation.

Blinky Balls on Marr

Ed Balls was spinning happily away on the Andrew Marr show when all of a sudden the blink rate went into overdrive when he was asked about the bottled election. Marr asked him had he told Brown to raise his game, Ed said words to the effect “of course not”, Marr retorted “shouldn’t you?”, Ed started mumbling.

For Andy Marr, this constitutes an all out attack. Mrs Marr’s articles in the Guardian are less than adulatory of late. Are they disappointed?

Sunday Sleaze Round-Up

Abrahams did get government fast-tracking after donationSunday Telegraph
96% of Muslim Friends of Labour cash came from one donor Sunday Times
Planners fast-tracked Labour donor’s business park scheme Indy on Sunday
Wendy hit by more revelations – Sunday Herald
Scottish Labour loses top donor in sleaze rowScotland on Sunday
Son of millionaire MP Sarwar guilty of £850,000 money laundering scamScotsman

Oh and…

Hugh Grant parties with vice-girlsNews of the Screws

Tory Spin Breaks Fundamental Rule

CCHQ have just sent out a “Why, oh why” press release about the OFT ruling from the shadow Farms Minister, James Paice, headlined “The price of milk should not be fixed”.

There really is no point crying over this…

Ken Not So Confident

Ken was overheard at his office in the lift by a co-conspirator who emailed this in
He was quite happily telling his companion that if (and he did say “if”) he wins a third term, he will be evicting the Conservative Group from their offices and taking over the area for his own staff. Apparently the Conservatives are hardly ever there and don’t need as much room as they have.

Not so certain of victory?

UPDATE : Ken’s henchman Lee Jasper is, as Guido has said before, a shakedown artist. He lives in an upmarket period property owned by a Housing Association which receives £80 million a year to house low income families. Lee Jasper earns £117,000 a year and pays just £90 week rent. According to the Evening Standard the market rate, which he could well afford, is £550 a week for this period property worth some £750,000. So this is what Ken means by affordable housing.

Friday Caption Contest

Government of All the Clowns

Left-winger John McDonnell MP is putting the boot in on GMTV
“I think we’re in a mess. I think people are demoralised. I think Labour party members can’t understand how we’ve got in this mess. I think Gordon has shown, to be frank with you, ineptitude on a number of issues and so have some of the people around him..”

This follows Blairite Matthew Taylor yesterday telling the Guardian that the government was “inept”

“Politically, it doesn’t look particularly attractive if you are going round trying to shift responsibility. … too early to say that the position for the government is terminal.”

So there you have it, from Labour’s left and right, they are inept clowns.

Canoeist Wife Tries the “Harman Defence”

Is Guido the only one who is amused that Anne Darwin is using the “Harman Defence”. Claiming that she took the unlawfully obtained money “in good faith”. If Harman wants to run to Panama, Guido will happily pay for a ticket…

Follett Contradicts Herself Again

Yesterday Barbara Follett released a statement giving a sort of non-denial of undeclared funding of her political office. She seemed to think that because the money was drawn from her husband via their joint account it did not have to be declared. Wrong.

The Huntsman blog which first drew attention to this undeclared funding reminds us about a statement released by the Follets and covered by Guido in November 2004. The statement specifically admits that her office “is heavily subsidised by her husband, Ken Follett… In the financial year 2003-2004.. she claimed only £118,214 in expenses. She contributed her entire salary of £55,118 to meet some of the difference. The remaining £102, 673 was met by Ken.”

She was attempting to justify her claim for mortgage subsidy allowance on their £2 million mansion. If her political career is indeed being subsidised by her husband, she should declare it properly on the register clearly. The law is the law.

Harriet Is Having a Party Tonight

Guido knows how skint Harriet is so he wants to do his bit to help tonight. Leg it on down for 7.30pm to the Fox on the Hill, 149 Denmark Hill, Camberwell, London, SE5 8EH. For only a mere £10 contribution to the buffet, you can help her out. Now Harriet, don’t forget if it does make a profit to register the money this time.

A bit of a come down after the cancelled swanky champagne and canapes fund-raiser party she planned for yesterday in a West End nightclub. Times are hard…

Follett v Follett

Guido and Mrs Fawkes often have disagreements over who spends how much on what. She thinks it all goes on booze and Guido suspects a lot of it just gets wasted on not getting wasted.

The multi-millionaire Folletts are no different. Ken Follett says “She spends all of her allowances and all of her salary running her office and I actually subsidise it to the tune of every year at least a hundred thousand pounds a year.”

When the Huntsman blogger pointed out that this is undeclared funding and therefore unlawful, Barbara got a bit panicky. The Equality Minister now says, panto style,“oh no he doesn’t”.

Barbara told PinkNews that “There are no donations involved. The funds are either from my parliamentary income, or from the joint accounts that I hold with my husband, Ken Follett.” Which doesn’t really clear up the matter up does it?

Boris Attacks Ken Over Jasper’s Missing Millions

Boris speaking at Prospex, a charity helping disadvantaged young kids said pointedly today;
“it is galling to know that millions of pounds of LDA money has allegedly not got through to the many community groups that need it most. The Mayor should now apologise for this outrageous abuse of hard-earned taxpayer’s money. We always knew the attacks on me were a put-up job, and in no sense represented the black community. The attacks are a smokescreen to hide the fact that his administration has ripped off community groups across London and failed to improve the lives of the very people he claims to champion. I am delighted that the curtain has gone up to reveal Ken pulling the levers. The incompetent puppetmaster has been exposed by his own puppets.”

Ken has a history of diverting cash supposedly for good causes into furthering his political self interest. If it is proven that Jasper, who is a bit of a shakedown artist at the best of times, has misused public money, Ken will go down with him.

No Boom. Just Bust.

The latest insolvency figures are out. Gordon has certainly put an end to the boom, just not so sure about the bust. Is it a prudent moment to put £30 billion of public money into Northern Rock’s mortgage risk as property prices turn down?

Today’s Bank of England interest rate cut is a vote of no confidence in the economy…

Why Has Wee Dougie Bottled It Again?

It is noticeable that old hands like Geof Hoon and Jack Straw have been the ones pushed in front of the cameras by Downing Street to defend the government during this whirlpool of incompetence. Ed Balls and Douglas Alexander have kept out of sight whispering in Gordon’s ear.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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