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Harman to make statement at 3:30 pm

"they’ve been in power for so long that complacency tips over into arrogance, and arrogance even becomes indifference to the law"

David Cameron is absolutely right. The Labour government has lost its sense of accountability and now exists in its own little bubble, thinking it is above the law, beyond reproach and untouchable. The outcome of the cash-for-honours inquiry will have only re-enforced Labour's belief that their power base is completely unsurmountable. This isn't merely a government that is incompetent, this is a corrupt government. Their record going back through their entire period of office has been coated from top to bottom in sleaze, backhand deals from an underhand government.

Brown claims he never accepted funds from Kidd because his campaign team had never heard of her. However at the same time she was, on the face of it, one of the party's biggest donors.

Let's keep digging.

It's an absolute disgrace from an absolute shower.

Watt was reminded of his obligations regarding third party donations that the originator must be named, his subsequent claim not to know was patently a lie. He has at least done the decent thing and resigned. Probably the only person in a long while who has had the courage of their convictions and the ethical/morale stance to accept the blame and fall on the sword.

The way the donations were structured raises a number of questions:-
1. Gifting/Transference of Assets...surely the HMRC will neeed to investigate the payments as there is the potential of tax evasion involved in the payments. Also, is the payment a PET for IHT purposes. The receivers are equally liable under both and disposal of assets, if in receipt of any benefit, is a crime.
2. Third party involvement suggests that an attempt was made to evade and negate PPER 2000.
3. The use of agents means that NuLab could well be charged with conspiracy under money laundry rules in that they did not conduct due diligence into the payee, along with failure to KYC.
4. Questions need to be asked concerning the property development that suddenly got the go ahead despite governmental department resistance. Did in fact these donations contain a bung?
5. I cannot believe that Watt was the only person involved in this little scam. After the loans for peerages scam and Dromey's anger that as treasurer he was left out of the loop, one cannot believe that Labour had no controls.
6. Harman's subsidy, from Abrahams, in the leadership campaign requires investigation, and equally as to what Dromey knew of it. Afterall, they are husband and wife and i cannot believe for a nano-second that no discussions took place between these two apparatchiks.

These will do for a starter and i seriously hope that Yates of the Yard is searching for his cycle-clips and oiling up his trusty Rudge for a short hop across town.
There is the distinct reek of Arbroath Smokies about the atmosphere.
No-one will trust an internal inquiry or for that matter one conducted under the usual whitewash independant rules.
This must be a police job and Yates has form as a fair and good investigator.

Who told Peter Watt about David Abraham's donations? Was he told verbally, by telephone, email, letter, by whom? Was it David Abraham? Somebody else knew! That is the question.

Labour has become indifferent to the law? Well what's new? From Ecclestone onward this government has adopted a very cavalier attitude toward any moral or legal obstacle it faces. Only the most notable examples being Railtrack privatisation,David Kelly, Lord Goldsmith & The Iraq war, Cash for honours etcetc etc.This time I just hope they're caught and they pay the price. My only regret is that Blair is not at the helm to face the disgrace.

Mac. Yes fascinating to see where this is going to end up, isn't it? Still, these little misunderstandings happen from time to time don't they? I'm sure it's all above board.

Thank heavens there's no suggestion of any favours having been done in return for the donations.

I have this wearying feeling that we poor sods - ie the British taxpayer - are going to end up paying now through state funding of some sort. Let's be clear, NONE of the major parties is whiter than white on this: all have undertaken cash for honours and for every Ecclestone/Robinson/Hinduja, there's an Archer/Hamilton/Nadir.

Beats me what MPs do now that most of the work is done in Brussels. It's bad enough having to vote for them, let alone pay even more for the privilege.

With the donations, it seems to me that the Labour Party is reaping what it sowed. Sensible Labour Party officials always knew that Tony Blair's ridiculous smears of "sleazy" Conservatives in the 1990s were blatent and knowing lies, and manifestly didn't have any conviction about the need to follow the absurd rules and restrictions that Blair introduced.

The fact of the matter is this: Political donations in Britain are not and (since Lloyd George in the 1920s)have never been corrupt. The restrictions that the Labour Party introduced after 1997 were wholly unnecessary and counterproductive. The Labour Party, collectively, never believed in their own rules and never felt the slightest need to follow them in spirit (or, insofar as they could get away with it, in letter).

Given the way that the British press is so unpleasant about anyone remotely connected to politics, I find it not at all strange that David Abrahams wished to give his money in secret. I see not the slightest problem with his doing so. It is his money. If he is daft enough to want to give it to the Labour Party that is none of my business, and he should be able to do it without subject himself to press assault. He wants to remain an anonymous private citizen, and to keep his business and political dealings separate. Well, good for him. The *only* problem with what David Abrahams did is that it was illegal. It is in no way otherwise wrong. And that is the classic sign of a bad law - one for which the only wrongness consists in the illegality itself.

Conservatives need to get a grip on ourselves here. We have succumbed too easily to the temptation to want to outbid the Labour Party in righteousness - if they believe in restricting donations, we are tempeted to believe in capping them; If they want to ponder state funding, we are tempted to advocate it. This is a false road we have gone down. The problem here is *not* the donations, and the answer is *not* further restrictions - as we have proposed. The problem here is that we have a lot of unnecessary restrictions on private donations that completely unnecessarily impose upon liberty of political conscience and people's freedom to spend their money as they will. We need to speak the truth here: there is no corruption, and there is no need for all these *stupid* rules. All they do is to restrict freedom, create suspicion, reduce confidence in the propriety of perfectly upright people, and give rise to all sorts of silly quasi-scandals that reduce confidence in the whole political process.

The answer is simple. Anyone, from any country, should be able to donate whatever money he or she wants to any British political party he or she chooses, without informing anybody he or she doesn't want to inform.

Andrew, that's exactly right. The only time there should be any question about a donation is if there is a suggestion that some favour has been done as a result, some decision of state made, or perhaps reversed, as a result of the gift.

No, it's exactly wrong.I simply do not believe that there has been no corruption in political donations. What about cash for questions and Bernie Ecclestone as two absolutely blatant examples?.
Transparency across the board in political giving is of huge importance and to suggest otherwise as Andrew Lillico suggests will drag British politics into even lower regard amongst the electorate than it is already.

"The answer is simple. Anyone, from any country, should be able to donate whatever money he or she wants to any British political party he or she chooses, without informing anybody he or she doesn't want to inform."

OK for the very small donations but in real life and for the larger donations
erm , slightly naive perhaps , Andrew?

Do Harriet Harman et al really believe that giving the money back makes everything OK?

ps I like Nigel Farage's point that the money should go back to the donors - ie the builder and the secretary!

"ps I like Nigel Farage's point that the money should go back to the donors - ie the builder and the secretary!"

Yes which would make them liable for more tax, on top of the original gifts, which also appear to have tax due on them, for the forth donors to Labour have just said they knew nothing about the donations, and claim to be Conservative supporters. So it would seem there is a lot of tax money due on the donations.

NuLab has brought total disgrace to Britain and its political process. It is nothing new, but has been happening since 1997:
a) Bernie Ecclestone
b) the Hindujas and their passports
c) Peter Mandelson - now he is an EU Commissar
d) Bristol Flats;
e) Keith Vaaz;
f) Cash for Honours;
g) Dodgey dossier;
f) John Prescott and his free houses;
g) Blairs letter to Romania on behalf of Laxmi Mittal;
h) David Blunkett;
i) Labour MPs and their party propaganda expenses;
j) good day to bury bad news;
k) government giving the unions $5m which the unions promptly give back to the Labour Party;
l) and now this..

I bet there are a lot of these and NuLab is bronging out all of these into the open in the hope that in two and a half years the man on the Clapham Omnibus would have forgotten all about these.

We have a Government that is pathalogically corrupt and has institutionalised sleaze and our politics is debased to the level of that of banana republics.

On top of it NuLab has destroyed the constitution, the business environment and civil liberties.

We need a military coup.

A good summary, Yogi - although I'll bet people can think of more.
Tim should keep a prominent list on Conservative Home and we can suggest additions as appropriate.

"Sensible Labour Party officials always knew that Tony Blair's ridiculous smears of "sleazy" Conservatives in the 1990s were blatent and knowing lies, and manifestly didn't have any conviction about the need to follow the absurd rules and restrictions that Blair introduced"

Andrew Lillico's comment gets to the bottom line. Labour think, and always have done, that as politicians in an elected position of power what other people call corruption is something they are entitled to. When socialism started they saw getting elected as the way to become leaders with the money instead of mill owners or squires. Given how they work I bet the North East, and probably Scotland, is riven with Labour corruption that they just think is OK for them. Tories, of course, are just mill owner or squires and it is, therefore, nasty of them if they do the same thing.

Please get at the bigger point. This is not just New Labour it is a basic Labour instinct similar to tax payers money being there for them to spend to underline their importance. As has been pointed out this has been going on since 1997.

I would also make my point, again, sorry, that Labour have, more or less, got away with this to-date because they sold the Tory sleeze myth mostly because the Tories, as in so many other cases, havn't the self confidence, (or guts) to take on all the appalling myths surrounding the 18 years.

Bear in mind that all the corruption we know about is only the corruption that has been unearthed, how much more is their laying yet undiscovered? Going off Labour's record its as good as certain that there will be more. Labour really are the 'Animal Farm' government, while in opposition they attacked Tory sleaze and promised to be whiter-than-white yet from the day they have been in power they have been completely corrupt even to the point of lying to the house of commons with faked evidence to start a war.

When growing up I would often hear about corrupt banana republics in which the politicians were above the law, I never thought Britain would become like those bandit regimes, however it now is. I read the foreign press everyday and people are amazed how Britain has become a corrupted nation, Labour have done that to us, they have poisoned our nation.

David Sergeant,

I believe you to be exactly right regarding the North East.

Please find below what I unearthed by accident whilst digging for other curious actions at North East (Labour run) authorities.

I questioned this several times using Freedom Of Information - they were brazen enough to produce a column for "donations to Labour Party". If anyone can advise on this matter, please do so.

I was digging for facts regarding council payments to the North East Assembly and individual expenses and, to my horror, the Freedom of Information reply, an exel sheet, listed a specific column headed "Donation to the Labour Party". Basically, it was suggested they had a group fund, to which they all contributed a certain amount annually.

I questioned this and was told that the council administers a proportion of money, at source, from all of the Labour Councillors at the council.

Again, I questioned the arrangement that a council is administering money on behalf of a political party, or members of a political party. I was told that if employeees wish to have their Leisure Centre costs deducted, then the council would oblige, therefore there was no difference in offering a similar service to the Labour Party.

My point is simple - if they wish to create a group fund, then do that privately, at least after you have been paid your expenses and transfer it from your own bank account. It looks bad that taxpayers money is diverted, at source, to the Labour Party. There's me thinking their expenses were paid for serving the public.

As I said, any help or advice would be gratefully received.

The difference with so called Tory sleaze was that it was individuals and there was never any question of the Government as a whole being corrupt.In the case of Jeffrey Archer, and I am no fan, he lied to cover up a private affair and his sentence was pure spite considering he was set up by a newspaper. Jonathon Aitkens was foolish and if he had admitted the original accusation he would never have been jailed, that said he did deserve what he got for causing his daughter to perjure herself. Neil Hamilton, I have never been convinced that he was guilty of anything more than greed re hotel stays. Frankly I prefer his word to Fayed and, as far as I am aware, no evidence of unaccounted cash was ever found. However this government is rotten from the top down, somehow they escaped everything, assault, John Prescott, sex scandals, Cook, Blunkett and Prescott, financial scandals to many to mention. I have never known such an arrogant, corrupt and utterly shameless Government in my life. I agree with Tony above this Government has poisoned our whole society.

Sad to say, Tony is absolutely correct when he said:

"Britain has become a corrupted nation, Labour have done that to us, they have poisoned our nation".

In fact it is even worse; Blair has effectively dismantled the institutions (the Union, the HoL, the civil service etc) that have provided the nation's backbone, so demoralised the people working in them and has removed the normal checks and balances, so that the daily round of government is reduced to inertia and lapses into incompetence wherever you look.

The longer these people are in office - not in power - the longer it will take this country to recover.

carol42, very good points. The thing that has struck me about this corrupt Labour government is the way disgraced ministers have been encouraged to resign, come back, resign and come back again. You may well remember IDS making a great speech about this at conference a few years ago? It seems Labour think resignation is just a way to take the heat out of a situation allowing the minister to return at a later date. We all know that a person who behaves badly and gets away with it tends to behave badly again. If ministers knew that a misdemeanor meant absolute political death and the end of public life they might think twice before they act.

Thanks Yogi, Deborah,

Good list. There's obviously the New Labour Book of Sleaze (thanks to Guido and Iain Dale) but perhaps we should keep a simple internet-based lists of sleaze and, imo, incompetence.

Let me know if anyone has strong feelings...

"There can be no clearer example of the contempt in which politicians hold the electorate than their enduring belief in the gullibility of voters" This is a quote from an article by Edward Heathcoat Amory, in today's Mail, entitled 'Sleaze, party funding and the siren voices we must ignore.'

It is a full page article discussing the enormous amount of money that pours into Labours coffers from rich donors AND £10million A YEAR from the unions. He does mention the Conservatives as well...

"Contrary to myth, they (the Conservatives) have also spent substantially less than Labour. In the five years from 2001 to 2005, Labour spent £172million, the Tories £116million."

Mr. Amory does not agree with state funding, but he writes - "Ask most parliamentarians of any party and they will tell you more state funding. They argue - although not in quite these terms - that because politicians cannot be trusted to behave honestly, the taxpayer must pay through the nose to keep them on the straight and narrow."

He suggests at the end of his article that there should be a £50,000 cap on all donations - whether from individuals OR UNIONS (my capitals). That solution has already been suggested and turned down by Labour, who of course would NEVER give up the enormous sum that they get yearly from the unions.

It amazes me that a ruling party that has had such large majorities, has had to resort to almost any tactics to obtain money to waste on advertising themselves.

As Mr. Amory says at the end of his article: "George Osborne didn't need a poster campaign to tell people about his plans for inheritance tax this autumn."

This from today's Telegraph. How can this happen without someone actually working in the bank actively working to make it happen? Am I missing something?

""Mrs Dunn, from Ponteland, near Newcastle upon Tyne, insisted that she had not written out a cheque to the party. “I knew nothing at all about it. Last night was the first I heard,” she said. Her husband, 67, said later: “We checked . . . [and] a cheque was put in and out. It was done as a swap cheque. It was just done in and out. David’s put one in and we’ve put one out.”

Mr Dunn, a land agent, said that he worked for Mr Abrahams on occasions. The couple described themselves as Tory voters. Mr Dunn said that Mr Abrahams, 63, rang him and said: “I think you better check your bank statements.”

He said: “It was David’s money and we’ve been used. We’re very upset. It’s done now, unfortunately. We can’t got backwards, unfortunately.”

One of the basic problems with NuLab, is that none of them, have really worked in the real world, observing the rules and obeying a core moral and ethic standard.
They are unused to the values and standards that everyone else has to conduct their lives by. As such they are bereft of moral standards.
In government and making rules, there is, it appears, the belief that the rules are for the ordinary people, the punters, the electorate, that they do not apply to them, as they are the rulers and are above the petty restrictions.
It is the natural arrogance of the apparatchiks, and in NuLab we do have a bunch that believes they have the moral high-ground, can do no wrong; that all they undertake is for an altruistic good so the rules are off.
As for the people who have acted as fronts for Abrahams, I think they protest too much. What they have done is silly, or frankly stupid, they have conspired, and if they didn't then more fool them for not thinking the actions through and asking questions. Ignorance and stupidity are no defence, in law, or in the real world.

Just to point out that Brown is quoting Black Wednesday in his defence. When, for crying out loud, are we going to sort out all these myths about the 18 years?

Tony Makara | November 27, 20:14
"..If ministers knew that a misdemeanour meant absolute political death and the end of public life they might think twice before they act."

It always amazes me when politicians get a second chance. How many people in the real world get sacked, only to get re-employed by the same company after a 'decent' interval ?

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