Monday, 26 November 2007

Epicaricacy - is it a bad thing?

Nothing wrong with Greek words in my opinion.

On the 21st of November 2007 the Lords Hoffman, Rodger of Earlsferry, Walker of Gestingthorpe, Carswell, and Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood delivered their opinions on a most interesting case.

The Cause was Watt (formerly Carter) (sued on his own on behalf of the other members of the Labour Party) (Respondent) v Ahsan (Appellant) v. Ahsan (Apellant)

Lord Hoffman reached the conclusion that the Labour Party acted in a racist manner when identifying suitable candidates in Birmingham, saying that the party's arguments in the case were similar to "the old plea that you have nothing against employing a black person but the customers would not like it."

He upheld three of the four complaints. The other four fellows on the panel were likewise minded, agreeing with the opinion of Lord Hoffman. I'm not entirely clear what sanction will now be applied since the election in question is now in the past.

Skip forwards a few days and the chap who was cited as the respondent in that case, Peter Watt, has resigned as General Secretary of the Labour Party - not as a result of the court case, but because he was implicated in the money-laundering scheme for Labour donations.

Mr Watt admitted being aware of the money-laundering arrangment but claimned ignorance of the obligation to report it. For the benefit of all, I can exclusively reveal that it is hidden in plain sight in the guidance from the Electoral Commission which parties are supposed to follow and which is available on the Electoral Commission's website.

Turn to page 19 and read this:
Donations from an agent of the donor
4.29 If the original source of the donation is someone other than the individual or organisation that transfers the donation to the party, the individual or organisation making the transfer is acting as an agent for the original donor. Where a person acts as an agent in making a donation, they must ensure that the party is given all the relevant information as listed at paragraph 5.5 (Section 54(6)). Transferring a donation to an agent rather than directly to a party must not be used as an attempt to evade the controls on permissibility and transparency.
Seems quite straightforward. Page 36 is equally interesting - the penalites for non-compliance, £5,000 or a spell in prison.

Honestly - who brought in this legislation?

1 comment:

Osama Saeed said...

Good spot Calum. I've linked to this here
http://www.osamasaeed.org/osama/2007/11/labour-donors-a.html