Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Ask the Electoral Commission to Confiscate the Money

Just got off the phone with the Electoral Commission. They are taking the “we can’t comment on an ongoing police investigation” line (© T. Blair). They however offered to direct Guido to the relevant legislation, which states


Forfeiture of donations made by impermissible or unidentifiable donors

(1) This section applies to any donation received by a registered party—

(a) which, … the party are prohibited from accepting, but

(b) which has been accepted by the party.

(2) The court may, on an application made by the Commission, order the forfeiture by the party of an amount equal to the value of the donation.

(3) The standard of proof in proceedings on an application under this section shall be that applicable to civil proceedings.

(4) An order may be made under this section whether or not proceedings are brought against any person for an offence connected with the donation.

So all the Electoral Commission has to do is apply to a Court for an Order. Guido understands that the only circumstances where the Labour party could pay back the money to the donor would be if they had discovered the funds were impermissable within 30 days of them being accepted. It is too late for that…

The Electoral Commission works for you, it costs millions yet it rarely seems to show any teeth, If you think they should get on with it and confiscate the money forthwith, email vmarkos@electoralcommission.org.uk, Vera Markos – Head of Strategy and Secretary to the Commission asking them to do their statutory duty swiftly.

What are they waiting for? The Labour party admits the donations were impermissable.

The LibDem leadership race is dragging on for another fortnight. Guido put a large bet on Clegg immediately after Ming’s election, assuming that Clegg was the heir, because he seemed appealingly telegenic and modernising.

Throughout this leadership contest Guido has however reduced his exposure to Clegg. It has to be said that Huhne, who has a limited likeability factor as a human, is a better campaigner. He has positioned himself on the clitoris of the activist base, painted Clegg as inept, lightweight and Cameron-in-yellow. He has also smartly jumped on Donorgate to put himself in the news. All in all, he has shown the ruthless determination of a politician who wants to win.

If he wins it will put the LibDems in the position the Tories were in under IDS. Universally derided as he was by the end of his leadership, people forget that IDS had activist adoration for his traditional Conservative views and hard line on Europe. The parliamentary Tory party was dismayed that they were saddled with IDS. Huhne has tacked left to appeal to the LibDem activists, who are far to the left of their parliamentarians and the party establishment machine.

Guido thinks it would be strategically better for the Tories to have Clegg as a leader, despite the fears that he will compete for Cameron’s votes. The most likely outcome of a general election is still a hung parliament. Clegg will be more amenable to a deal with the Tories. Guido is also beginning to wonder if Clegg might actually be a weaker campaigner than Huhne.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Purnell was Telling Porkies

As Guido re-iterated on Sunday, Labour have not paid back the Abrahams money. So when James Purnell toured the Sunday morning broadcast newsrooms claiming that “we’ve given the money back” he was lying.

Angus MacNeil put Jack Straw on the spot in the Commons with his question: “Last week the Prime Minister, when he said unlawful activities had taken place, said the money would be returned. Has the £650,000 left Labour Party accounts and where is it now?” Jack replied evasively “I cannot answer that question. I don’t know is the answer.”

Some of the less bright Labour backbenchers got quite worked up about Ashcroft. Jack Straw, perhaps wisely, was not so keen on talking about billionaire backers. Wisely when you consider that Lord Sainsbury has given far more to Labour in an effort to create a social democratic utopia for Sainsbury’s shoppers. Non-domicile backing for Labour from Lakshmi Mittal, Ronnie Cohen and Swarj Paul totals nearly £10 million, which is more than they have paid in UK taxes. The Labour leadership won’t want too much scrutiny of their foreign backers…

Spare a Thought for Quentin Davies

As the Labour party polls below Blair’s worst, as the majority of voters think it is tainted with sleaze, as bookies make David Cameron the hot favourite to be victorious at the polls, spare a thought for Quentin Davies. The Tory to Labour defector who switched from backing David Davis to Gordon Brown. You would have to have a heart of stone not to laugh…

Rules v Laws

Money laundering, secret illegal undeclared loans, the making of false statutory declarations, deception, fraudulent misrepresentation and the rest are not “technical breaches of the rules”, they are criminal acts. Could broadcasters bear that in mind when referring to Donorgate. This isn’t just like miscounting the triple word score in Scrabble.

Exclusive : Hain Cheated the Labour Party as Well

It seems that Hain decided to pay the Electoral Commission a visit rather quickly only after he realised that Guido and the Western Mail were on his tail. Amazing how a few pointed questions can prompt a minister into action. The “shit they are on to me, I was just about to make a full confession, really” ploy.

Guido seems to better informed about Hain’s budget than he now claims to be. Back in May Guido ran this story detailing his expenditure, yet he claims to have been unaware of the figures until yesterday. Guido even helpfully uploaded the campaign’s expenditure summary for co-conspirators to download here. So how come Guido knew in May and he didn’t until yesterday. Why the under-reporting? Is it because of dodgy embarrassing donors like Mendelsohn?

Labour party rules on the leadership campaign require 15% of funds raised to go to the National Labour Party, and on September 9 this year Hain duly paid over £ 11,550.

In reality he should have paid over £13,335. He cheated his own party out of £1,785.60. Now if he worked for a private company and effectively defrauded them of commission, what would you do? Prosecute for fraudulent accounting or under the good old Theft Act?

How come Guido knew from his own campaign’s documents these figures and he didn’t? Even the most charitable interpretation is that he is recklessly incompetent. Is he really fit to be in charge of the billions allocated by the Department for Work and Pensions. Is he really the best person to be in charge of your pension?

Sean Connery’s Revenge

The regulations on donations were originally designed to screw foreign financial backers of the Conservative party. Some bright spark suggested tightening up the rules to exclude support from British expats who were not registered to vote and did not pay UK tax. A clause designed specifically and spitefully to block support from Sean Connery for the SNP.

It is that very same law that has come back to bite Scottish Labour’s Wendy Alexander. Sean Connery will be laughing his tartan socks off.

Monday, December 3, 2007

ICM Poll : 57% Think Brown is Sleazy

The moral compass is lost, his integrity in tatters, Gordon clings on to disgraced ministers out of fear. Three senior ministers are accused of reckless criminality and senior Labour party officials are facing potential jail sentences. Is it any surprise that an ICM Poll for Newsnight shows that 57% of voters think Gordon Brown is tainted by sleaze? The Labour party is now perceived by most people as institutionally corrupt.

+++ BBC NEWS HAIN "THERE ARE MORE DONATIONS" +++

As broken by Guido here earlier. The obvious questions are

  1. Why didn’t he ‘fess up last week during his last admitted bout of amnesia?
  2. Why wait until Guido chases his fundraiser?
UPDATE 20.30 : For the record Guido made his first phone-call to Huw Roberts at 12.57 today. Guido called repeatedly his office, mobile and home numbers. Huw returned the call around 15.30. The story was up on the blog by 16.07, Joe Carberry, Hain’s SpAd, told Guido at around 16.30 that the story was untrue.

Hain released a self-serving statement this evening, just in time for the 6pm news shows, saying he went to see the Electoral Commission “this afternoon”. Guido would like to know if this was arranged in advance or was it impromptu? Funny coincidence of timing.

Et Tu Maguire

Things must be really bad, Kevin Maguire is now channelling Guido and putting his pseudo-working-class boot in

…cheap stunts like shamefully pouring tea for Maggie Thatcher [don't] look so clever when you’re in trouble and desperate for friends. Fair-weather right-wingers Brown wooed are long gone, firm backers he recklessly took for granted no longer prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. Brown will pay dearly for repeating Tony Blair’s mistake, neglecting Labour’s core while pegging his big tent on the shifting sands of floating voters. A premier who unwisely blew then blew some more into an election bubble that burst his authority, looks dangerously clueless now the going’s got tough… Can you think of three good things to say at the moment about Brown’s Government? No, me neither.

Might be nearly time to back Labour at the bookies…


Seen Elsewhere

Guido’s Column | Sun
NUT’s Loony Defence of Status Quo | Jago Pearson
A Dozen Reasons to Be Cheerful | John McTernan
Political Bloggers Are Equal Opportunities Attackers | ConHome
Michael Gove Should Resign | Conservative Women
Sarah Wollaston’s Naming and Shaming of Bloggers | LibDemVoice
Fraser Nelson: Put Your Money on Ed Miliband to Win | Guardian
Guido Fawkes is Too Aggressive | The Times
Ditch Tobacco Plain Packaging | Grassroots Conservatives
What Farage, Boris and Rob Ford Have in Common | William Walter
Labour Spell New Adviser’s Name Wrong | ITV


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Rod Liddle on the loony UN sexism special rapporteur:

“There is more sexism in Britain than in any other country in the world, according to a mad woman who has been sent here by the United Nations.

Rashida Manjoo is a part-time professor of law at Cape Town University in the totally non-sexist country of South Africa (otherwise known as Rape Capital Of The World).

Mrs Magoo has been wandering around with her notebook and is appalled by the sexist “boys’ club” culture here, apparently.

I don’t doubt we still have sexism in the UK. But is it worse than in, say, Saudi Arabia, d’you think, honey-lamb? Or about 175 other countries? Get a grip, you doolally old bat.”



orkneylad says:

What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?


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