It gets better, donors deprived of any real prospect of gongs are now planning to call in their loans. Labour will be some £6m short of cash without the ability to tap into any obvious vein of venality going forward. The union brothers are not going to bail Blair out, nor Brown as he needs to stand tough on public sector pay so as not to scare the voters. So selling the old HQ is a real prospect unless Lord Sainsbury wants to step in again.
UPDATE : Just noticed a dreadful piece by the Guardian’s political editor – it gives a new meaning to the term “whitewash”. The covert funding programme is because of what that pantomime villain the Daily Mail might say about those nice respectable and generous multi-millionaires. Sir Michael White anyone?
However, Offences under the 1889 & 1906 Act require the consent of the Attorney General. Guido forsees a snag here. Lord Peter Goldsmith, the Attorney General, was made a Life Peer by Blair in 1999.
So when Hugo Rifkind, excitedly emailed yesterday (he has long since forgiven Guido for certain, perhaps harsh comments, about his father) to say “I have a blog“. “Calm down dear” was all Guido could muster, “it’s only a blog”. It is content richer than the diary, with comments and stuff. Much better than his dead tree version. It even has a blogroll. It is here that we see the novice blogger showing through. Apart from the obvious oversight of a link to Guido, it has a link to Matt Drudge’s Drudge Report - except it doesn’t. It links to www.drudgereport.co.uk, a UK based cyber squatter. Best correct both those mistakes simultaneously.
Anyway, go to Hugo’s blog and make a comment. Show him some love, go on, do it for Rupert.
BBC reports at 17:00 GMT
Press Association reported at 17:21 GMT
Guido reported it this morning at 11:33 GMT
Capita has contracts, largely with government controlled entities, worth £3 billion. Capita dominates government outsourcing with 34% of the market in administration and processing for government departments and local councils. In 2004, 52% of Capita’s revenue came from public sector outsourcing, £1.3 billion in revenue due largely to an explosion in demand for its services in line with New Labour’s controversial outsourcing policy.
Government relations is clearly of critical importance to Capita. So a £1m secret loan from the CEO to the governing party at the request of the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy is of public interest.
Guido has a lot of questions for Ruth Turner, the most important being, did she at any time have any dealings with Capita, its lobbyists or the CEO, ?
Sir Ian Blair
New Scotland Yard
Thursday 16th March 2006
Dear Sir Ian,
I am writing to you regarding the growing circumstantial evidence surrounding the alleged selling of peerages. I am sure you will be aware of the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925. Section 1 (1) states that:
“If any person accepts, obtains or agrees to accept or obtain from any person, for himself or for any other person, or for any purpose, any gift, money or valuable consideration as an inducement or reward for procuring or assisting or endeavouring to procure the grant of a dignity or title of honour to any person or otherwise in connection with such a grant, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanour.”
The body of evidence in the Sunday Times dossier is incredibly damning. With 80 pence in every £1 going donated to the Labour party by individuals comes from people who have been honoured. Every donor who has given the party more than £1 million has been given a knighthood or a peerage.
There is also the refusal of the House of Lords Appointments Commission to accept recent nominations from the Labour Party to consider. This would appear to be a case for investigation under this Act to see if any criminality has taken place.
Three quarters of those individuals who have given more than £50 000 to the Labour Party since 2001 have received an honour.
I urge you to open an investigation into this very serious matter.
I look forward to hearing from you,
Angus MacNeil MP
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Tom Harris bemoans the public’s attitude to politicians…
“Mr Oborne echoes the lazy, anti-politics whine we hear so often these days, all based on the absurd notion that politicians were once loved and only fell out of public favour during the expenses scandal. He should take a walk to the Strangers’ Bar. But not to sup with the patrons he seems to despise so much, dearie me, no; he should instead look at the paintings on the corridor outside the bar, which depict the devastating fire which consumed most of the Palace in 1834. And he should reflect on the fact that on that dramatic night, as the Commons went up in flames, a crowd gathered on the South Bank to clap and cheer.”
The thing that Dave needs to work out is which group is more likely to vote Conservative. Mad swivel-eyed loons or mad homosexuals wishing to get married.