Thursday, November 29, 2007

Evening Standard : "Source is Excellent"

Jon Mendelsohn is running out of options, as an experienced spin merchant he knows that suing a newspaper is risky and the last option of the desperate. It buys a little time and than you may have to drop it or risk expensively losing in Court. Remember the Beckhams threatening to sue various kiss ‘n tell girls? Remember Aitken and his trusty sword of truth? Doesn’t work does it?

Every indication is that the Standard is sticking by the story. They say the source is excellent. Guido has to laugh whenever Mendelsohn’s “friends” peddle the “man of integrity” line. People who have done business with him say that is not a description they recognised. The last thing Labour needs is to wash their dirty linen in a bitterly fought libel case.

GQ’s Powerful, Political, Unelected

GQ contacted Guido to tell him to come for a photo-shoot with David Bailey. Mrs Fawkes was very amused, “See if he will do the kids as well”. It would have been to highlight a piece on the most powerful unelected men in Britain. Guido can’t even get his three year old to eat her breakfast.

Alex Hilton is rumoured to be flashing his smile for Bailey, Iain is very excited about it and Tim Montgomerie has been invited as well. Like Gus O’Donnell, Guido declined, since he will be too busy exercising his power…

Gordon Brown is Now Official Labour Party Treasurer

Now that Peter Watt has resigned the legal treasurer of the Labour party is one G. Brown:

The law says

Where—

(a) the person registered as a party’s treasurer dies, or

(b) his appointment as treasurer terminates for any other reason,

then, until such time as another person is registered as the party’s treasurer in pursuance of an application under section 31(3)(a), the appropriate person shall be treated for all purposes of this Act (except subsection (8)) as if he were registered also as its treasurer.

(7) In subsection (6) “the appropriate person” means—

(a) the person registered as the party’s leader;

That should appeal to his control freakery…

Hat tip : LabourHome

LibDems Ask "Did Abrahams Illegally Finance Sedgefield By-Election?"

Defeated Sedgefield LibDem candidate Greg Stone has written to Phil Wilson MP, the Labour victor in Blair’s old constituency, demanding an explanation for his campaign’s funding.
As you will be aware, there has been considerable recent media coverage of illegitimate donations made to the Labour Party by Mr David Abrahams. Both the local press and the national press are reporting that donations totalling £62,000 were made by Mr Abrahams via his associates Mr Ruddick and Mrs Kidd to the Labour Party on the day the Sedgefield by-election was declared.

The LibDems have also made an official complaint to the Electoral Commission. It is noticeable that Abrahams was given a front-row seat at Sedgefield when Blair retired. Front row seats don’t come cheap…

Mendelsohn "Offered to Launder Moneyfor Deputy Leadership Campaign"

The London Evening Standard is reporting rumours that are flying around that the Benn deputy leadership campaign was offered and turned down illegal funding organised by Jon Mendelsohn. Which would explain why Baroness Jay is being so tight-lipped.

“We were approached by Mendelsohn. He rang up to say he had ways of supporting people. He said he was close to Gordon and was going to help with his leadership campaign. We discussed things but it became clear early on what he was talking about. He said there were people who want to make donations but they can’t be in the public domain. He said he could facilitate moving money around through a network of other people. He said ‘don’t worry, there’s nothing dodgy about it’. I ran a mile and said ‘thanks but no thanks’. A source close to Mr Mendelsohn revealed that he had met Gareth Thomas MP, a member of Hilary Benn’s campaign, for a cup of coffee and had mentioned how difficult it was to get donations because of the cash for honours affair. The source suggested that there were Labour supporters ready to offer funds, but Mr Mendelsohn categorically denies any suggestion he raised the idea of using third parties.”

Looks like the Labour knives are out. If Harman is forced out of course one of the other rivals could take her place – perhaps Hilary Benn…

Property Developer Gets Local Labour MPStephen Ladyman’s Backing After £25,000 Donation

Property company Commercial Group Properties Plc has an interest in Manston Business Park off the A299 near Kent Airport. The 45 acres it owns could be developed if Ken Wills the company’s chief executive gets planning permission.

Dr Stephen Ladyman, Labour MP for South Thanet, told the local rag this week: “I fully support Ken and his team in their efforts which is why I have been working with them for well over a year…” Which is nice, and entirely unrelated to the recent £25,000 donation property developer Ken Wills made to Stephen Ladyman’s local Labour party in this ultra-marginal seat…

Exclusive : Police to Seize Labour Party Software Evidence

A co-conspirator tells Guido that the Labour party’s High Value Donors Unit has a piece of American software that could provide very handy evidence for the police investigating the illegal fund raising scandal. Raiser’s Edge is supposed to record all contacts with donors including what events they have attended and what telephone calls have taken place. It will reveal some of the people who knew about Abrahams besides Peter Watt, Jon Mendelsohn and Baroness Jay.

The police will want to get in before they hit the delete button – if the software records that David Abrahams is in fact the donor for Kidd et al the scandal is institutional and systematic. Guido wonders what the software will record for the proxy donors. If the records go missing in a cover-up attempt it would indicate a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice – again!

Michael Bright has got the Labour party to admit Abrahams attended fund raising galas with ministers and other high-ranking Labour figures. No word as to who was at the table with Abrahams, but as the third highest ranking donor you can bet he wasn’t on a table behind a pillar next to the toilets. Flash, bang wallop what a picture that will be…

UPDATE : Deleting records could be difficult for anyone at Labour HQ contemplating perverting the course of justice according to a co-conspirator “I work for a charity (have done for many years, I am the token right winger in the room, kind of minority tokenism, but anyway…) and have been using Raiser’s Edge™ for many years, and if their system works anything like ours, not only will/should every contact be recorded, but they cannot be deleted, for audit purposes. And should someone be naughty and not record info, it will probably be reconstructable through the context of the other information on the system.”

Mendelsohn Goes Missing

Jon Mendelsohn has gone to ground and is not answering questions from the media.

He released a statement claiming that when he learnt from Peter Watt that Abrahams was behind a string of proxy donations he was “unhappy with the arrangement… very concerned that these arrangements did not meet the strict transparency test that I wished to see in place… I did not discuss this with the officers of the national executive committee or party leadership… I decided to tell Mr Abrahams that his method of contribution was unacceptable.”

He sticks to the party line that Peter Watt the General Secretary thought it was legally correct. So despite his suspicions he still kept schtum, told no one and intended to put a stop to it. Do you believe this highly successful spin doctor is telling the truth?

  • Why didn’t Mendelsohn immediately inform the Electoral Commission?
  • Why given that he told Peter Watt of his concerns, didn’t he also report his concerns immediately to the NEC or his party leader, Gordon Brown?
  • On appointment as Director of General Election Resources, it was stated that he would report to Douglas Alexander, the General Election Co-ordinator. So why did he report this to Peter Watt instead?
  • In the letter to Abrahams he refers to “the priorities that we are assigning to our resources”, isn’t that actually a softening up phrase for a bid for more money?
It all just doesn’t ring true. It smells like he is trying to protect his political superiors. At least in this case we have clear evidence of wrong doing and the police won’t have difficulty proving a crime was committed. Gordon Brown has already told us it was unlawful.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What Laws Have Been Broken?

There seems to be a smorgasbord of potential offences committed in this illegal funding operation for the Labour party. Money laundering, fraudulent misrepresentation, numerous offences under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, the list goes on.

So all you loafing lawyers and amateur barrister wannabees, lets see if we can compile a list of potential charges to be faced in the comments. Should make pleasant reading…

Parallel Investigations Under Way

Guido has just got off the phone with the Electoral Commission and they were being reasonably tight-lipped about their investigation. They would only say that it started yesterday and it was being handled by their compliance department.

They would not be drawn to comment on how it might run in the very likely event that the police begin a criminal investigation.

Nobody is taking the investigation into Harriet Harman that is reporting to Harriet Harman very seriously. Possibly because it is being carried out by Labour’s former general secretary, Lord Whitty, under the advice of the former bishop of Oxford and veteran Thought for the Day platitude peddler Lord Harries, and the former Labour Scottish Solicitor General, Lord McCluskey.

Everyone keeps repeating the same joke about “all we need now is an actress”. But we already have Ms Harman…

UPDATE : Peter Oborne in tomorrow’s Speccie :

‘Get me a Bishop. Get me a f—ing Bishop!’ Peter Mandelson, then Labour’s political strategist, yelled these words across the floor of Labour campaign headquarters at a rare moment of crisis before the 1997 general election. Inquiries were made, soundings taken in ecclesiastical and other circles. With surprising speed, lo and behold! there emerged out of pontifical obscurity the austere figure of Richard Harries, Bishop of Oxford. The ecclesiastical potentate obligingly anathemised John Major and his works.


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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