Friday, 30 November 2007

Oh the voices

After my last post pointing out that Wendy Alexander was legally obliged to publish a list of donors to her leadership campaign, I received two telephone calls.

The first one told me I'd missed something out - Wendy only had 30 days to declare those gifts (see the mess that Labour MSP Ken Macintosh got himself into over not declaring an interest in time), and that the penalties can be severe - a year in jail, a £5,000 fine, that kind of thing. I was also told I was right on the call about the effect of the legislation regarding Ms Alexander.

The other phone call suggested something else I should be looking at. More on that later.

While I'm on, though, the claims by Labour members that amount to "it's a muddle not a fiddle" simply don't add up. They claim that they did not set out to get round the law but simply made inaccurate assessments of the law or 'misinterpretations' of the law.

The evidence suggests otherwise -
  • They established a ghost body to try to avoid declaring donations in the Parliamentary Register of Interests - hardly the behaviour of people seeking to stay inside the law.
  • Donations were asked for, by members of Alexander's campaign team, which were just below the declarable limit for regulated donees - they were seeking to avoid scrutiny.
  • They have continued to refuse to reveal the list of donors - avoiding scrutiny.
  • At least one donation was sought from an impermissible overseas donor - a straightforward breach of the law.
  • Those members of her team have been denying that they did anything wrong.
  • They claimed that the donation from Paul Green came from a company registered in Glasgow - which it did not - a lie.
  • It was claimed that only Charlie Gordon knew the details of the transaction but it was revealed that a personal cheque was handed to David Whitton - another lie.
  • They then claimed that the donation came in the form of a personal cheque but that it was a corporate donation - because we're all aware that company cheques don't exist ...
  • The next claim was that Wendy Alexander didn't know that Paul Green lived in Jersey - then it was revealed that she had sent him a thank-you letter to his house in Jersey - another lie.
  • Today the claim was that Wendy Alexander and her campaign team still thought that it was a corporate donation - in spite of receiving a personal cheque and sending a personal letter to Paul Green's house - a lie or sheer stupidity.
  • Now the message is that Wendy will fight on because she has done nothing wrong - but they still want to avoid scrutiny.
Twisting, turning, lying, cheating, dodging, hiding, shifting, knifing, malodorous mendicants.

They expect us to believe they have done nothing wrong?

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