Friday, 1 February 2008

I wish to claim the credit

I normally shun approbation, eschew plaudits and shy away from acclaim but I'm in the spotlight so I may as well dance.

It was two months ago on Friday November 30th that I revealed that Wendy Alexander was obliged to reveal her donors. See the wonderful post here - Cashley tells the future
Here's an excerpt:

The Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006, requires that all MSPs publish details of their interests in the Register. Those interests include, at paragraph 6(1) of the schedule,


6 (1) Where a member or a company in which the member has a controlling interest or a partnership of which the member is a partner, receives, or has received, a gift of heritable or moveable property or a gift of a benefit in kind and—(a) the value of the gift, at the date on which it was received, exceeds 1 per cent of a member’s salary on that date (rounded down to the nearest £10); and(b) that gift meets the prejudice test.

So anything over £530 has to be listed in the Register of Interests. Her defence will be that it was not her nor a company in which she has a controlling interest that received the gift.

Personally, I would say that she was a partner in the body that existed solely to get her elected as Labour leader.

That wasn't all - a later post that day pointed out that she only had 30 days to make the declaration Read all about it!

Can I now point out that she is having to declare these donations because she was a partner in the organisation which received them? There were other partners in that partnership and they also have to declare these sums - they have no choice.

Things are looking pretty bleak for Ms Alexander now, and for her partners. Failure to register your interests is an offence (section 17 of the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006 and section 39 of the Scotland Act 1998 are the appropriate bits of law for all of you anoraks).

Neither Act allows a defence for failure to register an interest - this is a strict liability offence (the offence is actually taking part in proceedings of the Parliament while having an unregistered interest), and the penalty is a fine at level 5 on the Standard Scale on summary conviction (no prison for this one - that's the Electoral Commission one).

There are 10 donations which should have been declared, that's 10 violations of the law, 10 fines, £50,000. Each of the partners in that partnership which was Madame's campaign team is guilty.
So that will be:
£50,000 from Wendy Alexander for breaking the law
£50,000 from David Whitton for breaking the law
£50,000 from Tom McCabe for breaking the law
£50,000 from Andy Kerr for breaking the law
£50,000 from Jackie Baillie for breaking the law
£50,000 from Charlie Gordon for breaking the law (plus whatever else from his other donation nonsense)
£50,000 from anybody else who was involved who I've missed out for breaking the law

Good to see they'll be giving something back the community, isn't it? Conviction politicians one and all...

At least someone must find this funny though ...

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