Electoral Commission Is Investigating Gordon Brown / Smith Institute Slush Fund Allegations

The Sunday Times is reporting that the Electoral Commission is to investigate whether, in breach of electoral law, Ed Balls continued working for Gordon Brown while on the payroll of the Smith Institute charity before becoming an MP.

Regular readers will know that this allgation was a central part of Guido’s campaign against the Sith. Essentially the Smith Institute was a slush fund for Gordon’s ambitions. The Tories are now convinced that Ed Balls continued working for Gordon Brown when he was on the charity’s payroll. They have been trying for six months to ascertain whether or not he continued to have access to the Treasury with a security pass. Guido has other evidence that Ed Balls continued to act as Gordon Brown’s political adviser during th 2004 / 5 period when he was being paid by the charity. Not only Balls but also Tony Pilch, a former SpAd close to Balls, and Bob Shrum during the same over-lapping period were working for the Smith Institute.

According to the Sunday Times “the Tories are submitting a complaint to the Electoral Commission and John Lyon, the parliamentary commissioner for standards. They want Brown to be challenged over whether Balls had a pass.”

Guido understands that the Electoral Commission is already making inquiries, including in the United States, following a complaint made last July (after the Charity Commission report condemned the Smith Institute for partisan activity) by the Sunlight Centre for Open Politics. That letter of complaint (here) focused on the activities of U.S. pollster Bob Shrum. Shrum was paid by the Smith Institute to advise Gordon Brown, these slush payments are a serious breach of electoral law.

From Superhero to Moses

After reading Peter Mandelson’s unintentionally hilarious interview in the Guardian comparing Brown to Moses, Alan Duncan, his shadow says;
“First global superhero and now Moses… Labour and Peter Mandelson should spend more time getting a grip on the country’s problems and less time heaping praise on their failed leader. We face massive issues. The automotive sector is grinding to a halt, the payment chain between companies is freezing over and insolvencies are rising fast. Labour has all but bankrupted Britain and as a result we are now badly placed to stave off the recession.”

Britain does need a miracle worker…

UPDATE : Charlotte Corday, the co-conspirator with the most cutting wit in the comments: “The only thing that Gordon Brown has in common with Moses is that they are both basket-cases.”

Good Faith Claim is Bad Politics

The LibDems love sitting on the moral high ground safe in the knowledge that since they will never form a government, they won’t have to implement their policy positions. In a world of shades of grey, they see things in black and white. They even have a campaigning website www.Corruption is a Crime.com with the slogan “It’s time to end dodgy dealing”. The website proclaims “For far too long, it’s been acceptable to turn a blind eye to corruption when it comes to foreign contracts. The Liberal Democrats believe that corruption is a crime and should be stopped. Allegations of serious corruption must be fully investigated.”

Excellent news. Perhaps now Michael Brown, their Majorca-based backer, has been convicted of theft, they will repay the defrauded £2.4 million they got from their crooked patron? When LibDemVoice polled readers, 52% of the highly moralistic grassroots sandalistas thought the party should pay back the money ASAP. Strangely nowhere on www.corruptionisacrime.com is Michael Brown mentioned…

ePolitix Not Closing, "Re-Focusing"

Michael Hepburn, CEO of Dods tells Guido that ePolitix.com is not closing (despite rumours to the contrary), it will instead focus more specifically on specialist in-depth analysis of policy and legislation rather than general political news stories. They will be cutting back on “3 or 4 journalists” as a result…

Whistleblowers Still Welcome Here

Guido makes every technological effort to make it easy and safe to blow the whistle on politicians:
  • If you call the voicemail number your speech is converted to text and SMS’d to Guido’s mobile phone.* Your voice is then erased.
  • If you fax a document to Guido it is converted into an image file and emailed to Guido, if it is going to be used all identifiers are digitally removed, often by converting the fax image to clean text using optical character recognition software.
  • If you want to send an untraceable encrypted email, Guido recommends using Hushmail.

If you want to clear your conscience, in confidence, this is the place to send documentation without being traced.

Peter Hain’s demise began with the leak of one document, his campaign budget. That tip set in train a process that led directly to him resigning from the cabinet and being investigated by the police for undeclared donations.

You make this blog happen. Sources are anonymous (unless you want credit**). Who is on the fiddle? Who is lying? If you know “the line” is a lie, ask yourself why you got into politics; was it to cover up the truth or tell it?

Skype gossip and tittle-tattle online to Guido.
(If you haven’t got Skype, download it free here.)

Guido’s blog relies on you for information.

Voicemail : 0709 284 0531
Fax : 0709 201 2337
Email : Guido.Fawkes@Order-Order.com

*Courtesy of SpinVox **You may get a “Conspiracy Member” T-shirt.

Friday Caption Competition (Dry, Wet, Soppy Edition)

+++ Taxpayer Loses £2 Billion in RBS First Day of Ownership +++

Taxpayer paid 65.5p, currently trading 55p. Loss of £2 billion on the first day the taxpayer became the majority shareholder. It is only money…

Then and Now

In May 1985, a youthful opposition politician got hold of a leaked confidential government review proposing to encourage the unemployed to get jobs by reducing their dole. This, he raged, was ” a raid on the poor”.

Gordon was not arrested. Ironically it is also his government’s policy now.

Hat-tip : London Evening Standard

UPDATE : The Fink has a few more examples the Met Police might wish to investigate.

Arrest Osborne Next

Surely the logic of the government’s position means that George Osborne should be arrested. In the PBR debate he all but confessed to being in receipt of leaks when he said “we know” about government plans to push VAT up

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Clunking Fists Strike Opponents

Guido can’t remember anything like this happening in his lifetime. This was not a national security issue. Counter terrorist police arresting opposition politicians?

UPDATE :

David Davis on the Today show made the same point, that locking up opposition MPs

[…]

+ READ MORE +

+++ Cameron Calls 8 a.m. Press Conference +++

Speccie says something is up, all we know from ConservativeHome is it involves a shadow minister.

CCHQ says the breakfast briefing is about the “credit crisis”

UPDATE : Paul Waugh speculates it could be that the Tory […]

+ READ MORE +

Recession Bites Into Politics

Financial Dynamics is letting go of a dozen spinmeisters – mainly on the public affairs side. FD paid £4 million for dodgy close-to-New-Labour spin operation LLM only last year, just as the usefulness of New Labour contacts became questionable.

As

[…]

+ READ MORE +



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Liz Kendall is asked by Tom Newton Dunn if she would ever ban the Sun from one of her press conferences:

“If you stripped naked and ran in front of me, Tom, I might have second thoughts about it, but apart from that, no.”

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