Monday, February 7, 2011

Devine Intervention

Guido questioned the notion of a “friendly printer” in terms of the expenses fraud last week. Devine claims he was told by other MPs to get a “friendly printer” to produce a fake invoice to facilitate his dodgy accounting practices. No wonder Amstrong Printing Ltd were happy to help – their Director Margaret Brisley is a on Stirling Council, for Labour. All good friends…

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friendly Printers

Tom Watson has been in Court today as a witness in Jim Devine’s fraud trial,  The Telegraph reports that Devine alleges that Watson and Labour whip Steven McCabe told him when “merry” in the Strangers Bar that he could take money from his office allowance to resolve his staffing problems. All he would need is a “friendly printers” to knock up the receipts. Not an excuse in law and both men deny the conversation ever happened, but it was the mention of “friendly printers” that got Guido thinking. What is a “friendly printer”?

Surely an organisation that was run by former Labour staffers and with a willingness to send differently worded invoices for the same product must be a “friendly printer”. Public Impact Printers are a “friendly printer” who were so helpful to the current Shadow Justice Secretary. Chris Huhne knows a thing or two about “friendly printers” too. Especially that one based in the same building as his constituency office.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

+ + + Jim Devine Pleads Not Guilty + + +

Two counts of false accounting. Trial to last a week.

UPDATE: After an excellent investigation by the Herald’s investigations chief Paul Hutcheon it was the Sunlight Centre that got the ball rolling:

UPDATE II: Sky and the BBC are both tweeting live from the court.

UPDATE III: The judge just told the jury not to search the internet about the case. Despite what Guido said about Krishnan in the last post, this was no doubt his finest hour:

Guido imagines the interview will be played by the prosecution. And that’s all he has to say on the matter.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Latham and the Libyans

On the day it is revealed by Wikileaks that a government minister gave the Libyans advice on how to secure Al-Megrahi’s release and Gus O’Donnell announces he is opening up the files, it seems the the Guidoisation of politics is continuing.

Tory backbencher Pauline Latham asked the House earlier whether the government had any plans to start sending British cancer patients for treatment in Libya “given their higher survival rate”. Clearly a fan of Guy New’s Al Megrahi Watch. Fifteen months and counting since the beaks said he would die.

 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Learned Lord Taylor Testifies

Guido noted on Monday that troughing Lord Taylor’s defence looks set to be “bigger boys told me to do it”, and he has shored up that position on the stand. Via Anna Adams, who is tweeting live from the court room, we are getting a blow by blow account of testimony. Taylor told the jury that he was under the impression “expenses” were not a reimbursement but an “allowance in lieu of a salary” and that the Lords was a place for the “retired and rich”, something he was not.

It sounds to Guido that in making excuses to justify his claims, the learned Lord is actually digging himself a hole…

UPDATE: Taylor claims Black Rod was aware of the situation and said: “we muddle along but it works”. Outrageous if true, but he must still have known he was in the wrong…

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lord Taylor’s Playground Defence

Lord Taylor’s claims were connected to a residence in Oxford – an address the prosecution say he never stayed at and doesn’t own. This is conceded by his barrister who says John Taylor was told by another senior peer that his claims were ‘acceptable’. His defence amounts to “a big boy told me to do it” and “all the other kids do it”. His barrister said peers, including Taylor, treat expenses as “in lieu of a salary” and that falsely claiming for expenses like this was ‘commonplace’ in the Lords. They were all at it.

You might think that admitting falsely claiming for expenses was a clear admission of guilt. It seems that the defence is trying to show there was no mens rea or “guilty mind” without which they could argue there is no criminal liability because actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea“the act does not make a person guilty unless the mind be also guilty”. How Taylor will demonstrate an innocent mind when he gave false addresses will be interesting…

Monday, January 17, 2011

Troughing Taylor Trial Today

Lord Taylor would not be on trial today if was not for a combination of bloggers and Jonathan Calvert of the Sunday Times. Taylor, a former barrister, is pleading not guilty to six counts of false accounting under the 1968 Theft Act between 2006 and 2007, he denies dishonestly claiming £11,277.

For background on ther case see Pesky Bloggers Do It Again (Nov, 2009).

Amusingly he claimed to a co-conspirator on the Lords of the Blog not long before being charged that

For your information, the police have examined my expenses. The police are satisfied that there has been no impropriety or any other cause for concern. They have thanked me for my cooperation, and will not be taking the matter further.

Alas that turned out to be untrue when it was challenged by a co-conspirator, that very claim on his blog set in course a chain of events that led to him being in Southwark Crown Court today. He would have got away with it if it wasn’t for those pesky bloggers…

(On a lighter note Guido did however like some of his blogged tips for a better life - Top Tips From Troughing Lord Taylor.)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Petition Presented to Eric Illsley’s Office

Over forty pages of signatures from the Sunlight Centre’s petition to have Eric Illsley resign with immediate effect have just been delivered to the disgraced Member for Barnsley’s office:

More than 2,000 people demanded that Illsley applies for the Chiltern Hundreds immediately. They don’t want him to wait until the end of the month to quit, as he plans to do, which would enable him to get his hands on over £5,000 more from the taxpayers he has already robbed once. Illsley claims to be winding up his office, the extent of which seemed to be occupied by one bag carrier sitting in a darkened room looking at the W4MP jobs page

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Illsley Not Really Resigning

He says in his statement he is “winding down his office” and will stand down before his next court appearance – which is in a month. Based on past precedent he’ll get sentenced to more than a year in jail at his next court appearance and would therefore lose his membership of parliament anyway without resigning. Meantime he’ll claim more than £5,000 further off the taxpayers he has already been convicted of robbing…

Illsley Can Keep Troughing for a Month

The Speaker has decreed that because Eric Illsley’s case is still sub judice no move to expel him can be made until sentencing.  So the thief can continue troughing on his taxpayers salary for another month. To the public such a measure looks absurd and antiquated. Nearly 2,000 people have signed the petition calling for Illsley to do the right thing and fall on his sword. Guido hears there are plans to deliver the names to the disgraced member in person…

UPDATE: Paul Waugh reports of the distinct unease at the Speakers ruling:

“Well, to all of us hacks we found this jaw-droppingly wrong. How on earth can something still be sub judice when a judge rather than a jury is the only person left in the legal process? Judges cannot be influenced by words in newspapers, unlike juries. We’re not the only ones who think the Speaker’s advice was misguided. Labour clearly have their doubts and are desperate to call for the resolution and avoid getting the blame for Illsley being allowed – let’s not forget this – to pick up at least another month’s taxpayer-funded salary as an MP.”

Apparently Downing Street aren’t too impressed either…

Tell the Speaker what you think.


Seen Elsewhere

Gove Loses WWI Battle | Conservative Woman
5 Reasons Labour Likely to Win General Election | Sunny Hundal
Dave Surrounded By Topless Women | Sun
UN Loony says Britain Most Sexist Country | Sun
Farage is a Good Reason to Leave the EU | Dan Hannan
UKIP Blocked Expenses Questions | Times
NHS Showdown Coming | Paul Goodman
Sons of Brown | Telegraph
All Three Parties Mulling Leadership | Staggers
Isn’t George Great | Simon Jenkins
Establishment Times Chums Appeasing Tory Europhiles | UKIP


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Cathy Jamieson MP, Labour’s Shadow Treasury minister, commenting on Treasury analysis of the economic impact of tax changes…

“If the Treasury is looking at the economic impact of tax changes, then surely it should examine the impact of the rise in VAT and cuts to tax credits? George Osborne’s £12 billion VAT rise knocked confidence, helped to choke off the recovery and has cost families £1,350 over the last three years.”



orkneylad says:

What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?


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