Charles Clarke reckons the Labour party treasurer Jack Dromey is useless; “you have to wonder how well he was doing his work”. The National Executive Committee chairman, Sir Jeremy Beecham, said “I don’t know how closely Charles has been involved in all this. He’s not been on the National Executive for a number of years.” Trans. “Sod off and keep your nose out of it.”
Now the whispered briefings begin, and as with everything nowadays in the Labour party it has to be seen through the prism of the Blair/Brown struggle. The Guardian’s Diary
has a planted story from the Blairites putting the blame on the Labour party’s former General Secretary, Matt Carter and Jane Hogarth, Head of Labour’s Corporate Relations and Fundraising. Complete bollocks which tries to spin the blame as far away from Number 10 as possible. Downing Street’s David Levy and Tony Blair are ultimately responsible. Ruth Turner and John McTernan have supporting roles. The police will no doubt want to talk, with good reason, to Number 10 chief of staff Jonathan Powell as well.
It gets better, donors deprived of any real prospect of gongs are now planning to call in their loans. Labour will be some £6m short of cash without the ability to tap into any obvious vein of venality going forward. The union brothers are not going to bail Blair out, nor Brown as he needs to stand tough on public sector pay so as not to scare the voters. So selling the old HQ is a real prospect unless Lord Sainsbury wants to step in again.
UPDATE : Just noticed a dreadful piece by the Guardian’s political editor – it gives a new meaning to the term “whitewash”. The covert funding programme is because of what that pantomime villain the Daily Mail might say about those nice respectable and generous multi-millionaires. Sir Michael White anyone?