Many reports around on Labour’s funding sleaze, The Telegraph has this one which links to a few others.
I almost said when discussing Gordon Brown’s terrible time, that it would need some corruption or sleaze to add to the general incompetence many of his people have shown, before this really became a John Major situation. Somehow ‘cash for honours’ and various affairs my cabinet ministers such as Prescott (now their’s a horrid thought if ever their was one!) and Peter ‘resigned twice but got a cushy job in Europe where my talent for controversial financial deals is a positive benefit’ Mandelson never seemed to harm Tony Blair’s Labour in the same way similar stories had everyone slating John Major’s Tories.
However, as I said in my previous post the media seems to have turned on Brown and everything is sticking to him. I predict this latest scandal will get more media attention and damage Brown’s credibility further.
The General Secretary of the Labour party has resigned after admitting knowing about donations from a rich business man being made through his employees. Apparently he didn’t realise it might be illegal. Now it seems obvious to me that it is a strange thing to do, why not give the money directly? Either because he didn’t want his name to be known as a big Labour donor which seems to go against the point of publishing lists of donors (openness is the point) or there is a limit on individual donations he was trying to circumvent. Either way it seems obvious there is a dodgy reason why the donor, David Abrahams, would choose to channel his donations through other people.
Potentially even worse, after the donation, the Highways agency removed its objection to a contraversial scheme by Mr Abrahams company. Not obviously linked, but bound to look bad in the press. Will Douglas Alexander, Transport Secretary at the time fall on his sword? It’s not the New Labour way to resign, but that’ll leave Gordon in the firing line.
Anyway, after all this fuss, what price arise Lord Abrahams after the next honours list?
Gordon Brown will return the money as it was donated illegally (his words). The question is give it back to who, the real donor or the intermediaries? And if it’s illegal will anyone face charges. There will be a review, delay the fuss until the row blows over, although at this rate their will be plenty more rows for Brown.