Yates of the Yard wants to know what Gordon Brown knew about the £14 million in loans to the Labour party made in 2005. Gordon will no doubt have credible answers for him. Yates’ questions would be better directed back to the 1990s, to the time when Gordon Brown had set up for his personal benefit a supposedly “blind”
trust called the Industrial Research Trust. Such trusts were made illegal in 2000 because they were neither blind or trustworthy. Many known donors to that particular trust were later enobled. Prima facie
there are questions to be answered about this supposedly blind trust which paid for Gordon’s expenses and the honours subsequently given to donors.
Henry Drucker (who co-authored a book with Gordon Brown in 1979) was a former fundraiser for the Labour party, he is on the record as describing blind trusts as “evil”. Drucker told David Osler* of some pretty in-your-face approaches from honours-seekers.
“One British-based businessman with foreign connections came right out and asked how much the going rate was for a peerage. He was willing to pay several million pounds for the privilege, Drucker believes.”
Henry Drucker would have been in a position to help police with their inquiries, unfortunately he is dead.
This is of course all in the past since the Industrial Research Trust is no more. Today Gordon has another vehicle for the financing of his ambitions – the Smith Institute. This charity effectively constitutes Gordon’s secretariat. It hosts events at Number 11, graced by Gordon, where he glad hands supporters and as a result ever increasing funds have been raised.
Access to Gordon can be had by donors via the Smith Institute. It is always around when Gordon needs a favour done. Hosting an event for Bill Clinton – get the Smith Institute to give him a platform to share with Gordon. Ed Balls is feeling a bit skint after standing down as Gordon’s SpAd before being parachuted into Normanton – get the Smith Institute to give him a well-paid sinecure. Fancy a bit of back slapping with Gore? Gordon gets the Smith Institute to arrange a screening of his new movie. Gordon doesn’t trust the Labour party’s internal polling – so get the Smith Institute to put Bob Shrum, the U.S. pollster on its payroll as “a senior research fellow”. A highly paid pollster as a fellow – now why ever would a charitable think tank need one of those?
Even though Wilf Stevenson, the Institute’s director, is happy to facilitate Gordon’s whims, the Smith Institute are very evasive about their Brownite links, Guido asked them how many events they had held at No. 11, they came over with amnesia; “Smith Institute events are private high-level guests only events.” Guido explained that, for research purposes only, he had attended one of their high level events. (Security isn’t so tight as they think). The Smith Institute did not deny that the number of events hosted at No. 11 by Gordon was in double figures. No other charity is so privileged, isn’t this bordering on abuse of office?
The question for Yates of the Yard is, isn’t Gordon repeating his old trick? Whereas he once used the Industrial Research Trust to further his ambitions, he now uses the Smith Institute to do the same. All the time claiming that he is “Mr Clean” in comparison to Tony’s sleazy money grubbing ways. “Blind trust” or “educational charity”, the cash was always for the greater glorification of Gordon. Guido reckons Yates should follow the money: who gave what and when? What did they get in return? Yates will find it was more than just canapes on offer at No. 11…