Beyond Snouts in the Trough: Labour's False Accounting?


The story of loans to the Labour Party in return for peerages has had a sniff of being something bigger than it first appeared.

It is.

The Labour Party's treasurer said he was not informed about secret loans made to the party in the run-up to last year's General Election.

Jack Dromey launched an investigation into the loans, which have become the centre of "cash-for-peerages" allegations.

Whoa, hold on a minute, the Labour Party's treasurer was not informed about £3,500,000 worth of loans made to the party!?

Whiter than white?

I don't pretend to have any knowlege of accounting, so plenty of questions on this one:

How the hell did they manage to sign off on the accounts?
Are there two sets of books?
How were the loans to be paid off without the party treasurer's knowlege?
Were the loans handled by No. 10?
Are the Electoral Commission happy with this, or did they even know of it?
Why were the loans kept secret?
If Labour has nothing to hide about these loans, why did they hide them?
Who knew about them?

Watch Jack Dromey's interview for C4 News here. He is sounding more than a little hacked off, whilst maintaining that there was nothing illegal going on... Apparently he, as party treasurer, learned about £3,500,000 worth of loans to the party from media reports.

Given that he is married to Harriet Harman, former Solicitor General, and now a Department of Constitutional Affairs minister, their breakfast table conversation last week must have rivaled that of Tessa Jowell and David Mills!

Nobody could accuse me of being a lover of the Conservative Party - but this makes a few thousand quid in a brown envelope paid in return for a question being asked in the Commons look pretty pathetic.

Jack Dromey looked mightily

Jack Dromey looked mightily fucked off. I sense a man wary of being the next scapegaot getting his revenge in first. He was very happy to grass up No. 10 - I wonder how well Bliar'll sleep tonight, Dromey must know where plenty of bodies are buried.

Obviously a "coincidence" ,

Obviously a "coincidence" , but £3,500,000 sounds remarkably close to the reported amount of the mortgages on Tony and Cherie Blair's properties.

Where is this money then, if the Treasurer does not know about them ?

Surely it has not passed through Tony Blair's private bank accounts ??

Shades of Maundy Gregory [

Shades of Maundy Gregory [ More ] about this affair. He [in 1932] ' . . was sentenced to two months' imprisonment and a fine of £50. On leaving prison Gregory was persuaded to live in Paris where he was paid a pension of £2,000 a year by the Conservative Party.' I wonder who will get to live in Paris this time round?

The money was only resting

The money was only resting in my account.

Re the questions:

Re the questions:

The electoral commission, when set up, were specifically not to be interested in loans, only gifts. Odd that.

When Blair said "whiter than

When Blair said "whiter than white" I think he was talking about money laundering.

The relevant section of the

The relevant section of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 is here

(1) If in the case of a registered party-

(a) any requirements of regulations under section 42(2)(a) are not complied with in relation to any statement of accounts delivered to the Commission under section 45, or

(b) any statement of accounts, notification or auditor's report required to be delivered to the Commission under that section is not delivered to them before the end of the relevant period,

the person who was the treasurer of the party immediately before the end of that period is guilty of an offence.

Well the Safety Elephant has

Well the Safety Elephant has denied any rift in the party and said that there is "no cash for peerages arrangement". So it must be true then. Move along now, nothing to see here.

Jack Dromey explained why

Jack Dromey explained why nothing illegal is going on last night on Newsnight - the loans would have shown up in Labour's accounts eventually. 18 months after they were made, in the sept '06 accounts. Honest gov...

I really must try out some

I really must try out some of these New Labour tricks with my mortgage provider (I'm buying a house, or attempting to). A quick to-do list:

1) Write to Silvio Berlusconi offering my services as a professional liar in return for a lump sum
2) Write to the bank in about a year to 18 months' time protesting that I didn't know that they'd lent me all this money

Anyone think they'll work?

How does he know? Is he

How does he know? Is he claiming to have some responsibility for party funding? Does that statement (please God!) incur any legal liability?

Cut to advertising voiceover: Are you looking to invest a large sum of money with people who don't ask inconvenient questions? Tired of being turned away by reputable financial institutions like High Street Banks and the Mafia? Only the Blair Fund can provide you with both lucrative returns and a chance to collect valuable rewards through our loyalty scheme. With only 1,000,000 points you could be the proud owner of a seat in the world famous House of Lords, a quiet and carefree resort that caters exclusively to the tastes of the more senior members of society. Warning: Terms and conditions apply. You may not get back the amount you invested. Peerages are not guaranteed. The Blair Fund is an investment company regulated in the Cayman Islands.


How does this loan scam work

How does this loan scam work exactly? Unless Neo Labour are in dire financial straits, why are they borrowing millions of pounds? If they are in financial trouble, how do they intend to service the loan and how to pay it back?

The aspiring peer lends Neo Labour a large some of money at commercial rates (a couple of percent over the base rate). Because it is a loan rather than a gift, it does not have to be declared. The secret loans seem to be combined with a smaller public donation - is this to cover servicing the loan for several years? Then what happens - does the successful peer forget about the loan or use it to exert leverage on government policy years in the future? It all seems confusing to me.

I *suspect* that the loaner

I *suspect* that the loaner would not be overly bothered about sending the debt collectors round if the cheque wasn't forthcoming. These are presumably plausibly-deniable gifts, after all.

Alternatively, the idea of large men bludgeoning their way into Labour HQ and taking away the furniture is rather appealing. I'd be at the auction for Charles Clarke's chair if nothing else. I'd use it as a sofa.

I have just been completing

I have just been completing the parser right through all the House of Lords back to 1999 for Publicwhip and Theyworkforyou. I have read more pages of Lords Hansard than anyone in the past week. Believe me, there is nothing you want to put yourself through in that chamber for the long-term. Its political influence is minimal, the opportunities for corruption negligeable (unless you become minister for arms procurement), so the purpose of buying a peerage must be 100% vanity, and nothing else.

And once you do buy your way into the House, people will be able to look at your record on the Public Whip and see that you are literally a waste of space. It will become clearer, with every hour of mind-numbing bordom that you miss in the chamber, that you do not deserve this honour. You are not qualified. People will look up the figure and laugh at it. It will become such an embarrassment that you will consider resigning and making way for someone much much better.

Channel 4 tonight (16/3/06)

Channel 4 tonight said the amount in dodgy, unaccounted loans to Labour via Number 10's secret slush fund has gone up to £12 million!

It must be said, it is good to see the spouse of a female Cabinet member opening pandora's box of Labour lies, corruption and slease rather than putting his snout in the trough(Harriet Harman, constitutoinal affairs minister, has been stripped of her responsibilities for overseeing electoral and House of Lords reform.)

Newsnight spent most of

Newsnight spent most of tonights programme on the subject. They now have the loans figure up to £14 million...

Hattersley was interviewed and stated that it was time for Blair to go, sooner rather than later.

Newsnight programme available to view at for next 24 hours.