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The curse of the North

Nick Robinson | 10:55 UK time, Tuesday, 27 November 2007

First Northern Rock. Then those disks which went missing in Washington, Tyne and Wear. Now the mystery of the secret Newcastle donations.

The region that took Tony Blair to its heart is causing nothing but heartache for Gordon Brown.

This morning the chair of Labour's National Executive Committee, Diane Hayter, declared that "we'd set up systems that were absolutely rigorous" and - you know what - she appeared to believe it. This, mind you, just after it's been revealed that the party's top official connived in what were secret donations.

This coming after the cash-for-honours saga which, let's remember, began with secret donations - loans to Labour which were, you may recall, a way to keep donors' names out of the public domain.

Labour MPs in the north east tell me that one call to any of them would have been rigorous enough to stop this happening. Asked, "have you heard of Ray Ruddick?" they would have replied, "never heard of him - why, who is he?".

Had the reply been anything like, "he's given us over £100k in the past few weeks and he lives on your patch - he says his address is Blakelaw..." the response would have been hysterical laughter. Blakelaw is, one angry Labour MP suggested to me, a well-known estate on which, "the only way anyone there would have that sort of money is if they were very lucky or they were drug dealers".

If the conversation had become more candid - for example, "actually the money's really coming from a bloke called David Abrahams," the reply would have been, "don't touch it with a bargepole". Mr Abrahams is - let's put it this way - a "controversial figure" who's used different names, different ages, been deselected as a parliamentary candidate and has been involved in rows about the planning system.

Ms Hayter suggested this morning that alarm bells had not rung in the party because Mr Abraham's secret donations didn't come in one large sum. Hmmm. A look at the Electoral Commission register shows that Ray Ruddick of Newcastle gave over £100k in June & July as did Janet Kidd of Newcastle whilst John McCarthy of, er Newcastle, gave £35,000 (see this table).

Labour's "systems" appear to have failed because:

• If we're being told the whole story, then they relied on one person to interpret and obey the rules, who just happened to be the same person who was under huge pressure to find money to pay the bills.
• They appear to have relied on paper rather than human checks - i.e. checking whether donors were UK residents and on the electoral roll, rather than making phone calls like the one I imagine above.
• They scrapped a committee set up by Charles Clarke when he was party chairman to scrutinise large donations.

The party is still, I'm told, trawling through its accounts in an effort to discover what may lie hidden in them. They do contain donations from David Abrahams via a third individual - John McCarthy - whose entries on the Electoral Commission register (again, shown in this table) total over £200,000. The party believes that as much as half of this may, in fact, have been his own money. I am also told that a fourth name may soon emerge - giving around £20,000.

Whatever the final calculations the facts are clear. Labour allowed a "controversial" figure to secretly donate well over half-a-million pounds even after the harrowing experience of the first-ever police investigation to interview a serving prime minister. Gob smacking.

Comments

  • 1.
  • At 12:08 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • steve wrote:

Thats a bit better Nick!

No mention that Mr Watt was formerly Head of Compliance though!!

Bring in the CPS I say.

  • 2.
  • At 12:09 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Charles E Hardwidge wrote:

People can see why this mistake may have been made but when compared against the deliberate and persistent gaming of the system by business this pales into insignificance. Indeed, the corroding influence of business hasn't just influenced politicians judgement but undermined the public's approach to life. What of the steel jawed phoneys at the CBI, or the greedy ranks of private equity led by the holier than thou Sir Richard Branson?

We see evidence of overly competitive and secretive behaviour everywhere, as a generation of fear and greed has confused and weakened people. They talk of honour in loud voices on street corners, yet, are nowhere to be found when it is required. One begins to suspect the shrill cries and beating of chests over the past few weeks has been a displacement activity for their own guilt and shame, and the louder it is the more one wonders what they have to hide.

As Yamamoto Tsunetomo comments in The Hagakure: "It is not good to settle into a set of opinions. It is a mistake to put forth effort and obtain some understanding and then stop at that. At first putting forth great effort to be sure that you have grasped the basics, then practicing so that they may come to fruition is something that will never stop for your whole lifetime. Do not rely on following the degree of understanding that you have discovered, but simply think, "This is not enough.""

We must all strive to do better.

  • 3.
  • At 12:11 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Tom wrote:

Hilary Benn was originally offered the donation from Janet Kidd, but refused it until it came in the name of David Abrahams.

Benn obviously saw this one coming (or his Dad did & told him) and comes out of it rather well, relatively speaking, obviously...

Not only do his propriety & probity remain intact, he also trousered the £5k! I bet he's glad he didn't win now.

I expect to see Hilary moving, crab-like, to the fringes of the administration & preparing for a swift dis-embarkation shortly before NuLab 'go nuclear'.

In the imagined smoking ruins of the Labour Party, only a small, brave few could possibly rise again. I think Mr. Benn is trying to make sure he's one of them.

  • 4.
  • At 12:18 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

For the labour party to suggest that they were simply unaware of this going on is complete rubbish. Everyone knows that parties are desperate for money and don't care where it comes from, as long as it does! That is not to say that Abrahams was in line for a peerage. Rather that it is plainly obvious he did not want to be given the high profile status that comes from being a substantial party doner and the government was more than willing to 'find ways' to accomodate his wishes. I'm sorry but the reasons behind why the systems failed you mention Nick are clearly retrospective excuses cobbled together by some lowly officials who are told to come up with something...anything that can absolve Gordon and his government of any blame.

  • 5.
  • At 12:21 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Hennell wrote:

How likely is this to effect general Labour donations, and the Parties finances? I'm guessing the party's finances still aren't in the most healthy of positions, how much can they handle a slow down in contributions?

(And is "I was first told of this on X" Gordon Browns most said phrase since taking office....)

  • 6.
  • At 12:22 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Max Sceptic wrote:

Our Friends in the North 2007 - without glamour, romance or thrill --- just sleaze.

  • 7.
  • At 12:27 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Jel wrote:

And for their next trick, an explanation of yesterday's presentation to the House of Lords, wherein a junior Minister in charge of Data Protection showed he wasn't even capable of keeping his own ministry under control...

  • 8.
  • At 12:37 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Lindsay Allen wrote:

Apparently, no one on the Labour Party Executive, including the treasurer,knew about the loans associated with the cash for honours.Now the latest donations were not connected to the right person. I wonder if there is any financial management expertise within the Labour Party and if not why didn't Mr G Brown intervene years ago?

abour has lost the next election by a landslide. All it took was a few weeks of a hysteria from the press, some Blair stooges from the army, and this party has been brought to the floor. Why is any of this the fault of the PM. Those army bosses were buddies of Mr Blair and didn't care about army funding when Blair was in.
This has to be the biggest success the Oxbridge conspiracy has ever had.

  • 10.
  • At 12:45 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • John Constable wrote:

Sleaze.

A word that has just about been exhausted now by New Labour.

So, it'll soon be "Dave's" turn and guess what?

Yes, thats right, within nanoseconds, it will be 'Tory sleaze' reprised.

Can the English electorate ever learn that it is the Party system itself that is at fault.

Vote in some genuine independents and change England for the better!

  • 11.
  • At 12:46 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Andy wrote:

Nick

Do you allow for the possibility that the reason the local MPs were not questioned was that the answers were already known ?

There is a line between plausible deniability and implausible deniablity.

  • 12.
  • At 12:47 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Bill G wrote:

Part of "Benn trned down offer" - 27/11/07 - 12.03

"(Baroness) Margaret Jay, who was supporting the campaign, made us aware that this donation was on behalf of Mr David Abrahams.

Is this a smoking gun?

How did the Baroness know. Who told her, who did she tell and all this must have been before Gordon Brown was finaly coronated !!

  • 13.
  • At 12:48 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Frederick James wrote:

Nick,

Did you note Brown's invariable form of words at the press conference: my team [he later made a slip and said it was he himself] decided that we would not accept donations from people not known to us.

Very rum. If someone offered your campaign money, wouldn't you try to get to know them, so that you could accept it, not just turn it down flat? Surely it is far more likely that they queried it, found out it was dodgy, and turned it down (like Benn).

His mechanical adherence to a pre-planned legalistic wording had the Clinton ring, to my ears.

  • 14.
  • At 12:51 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • brian wrote:

How come Hilary Ben rejects donation from Mrs Kidd, but accepts when changed to Mr Abrahms.... ?

But does not tell PM that there is suspicious donations.....?

So his rival accepts donation in good faith...

why are these people not asking questions.

PM says did not discuss with sacked person these issues, what questions did PM ask person in charge of donations????

  • 15.
  • At 12:54 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Angus Alderman wrote:

A scandal caused by someone failing to follow procedures because they were trying to met a target. How very New Labour.

  • 16.
  • At 01:01 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Peter Thody wrote:

And they wonder why no-one believes a word they say. Beyond belief.

  • 17.
  • At 01:04 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Tim wrote:

As usual, Nick's put his finger on it. Gob smacking is the right description.

The official Labour version, that Paul Watt (Paul who?) was the only person who knew what was going on and that he (of all people) didn't realise that the identity of the true donor was the name which had to be disclosed, is - literally - incredible. I just don't believe it.

But on the generous assumption that it IS true, what message does it send about the competence of the people behind the scenes of this government.

This is worse than the two missing HMRC disks (an operational error) and Northern Rock (the government can't run every business, though it is odd how they bail out some and not others). The problem here is that the basic minimum ingredients of intelligence and integrity are both missing from the government's cocktail of competence.

Truly extraordinary.

  • 18.
  • At 01:08 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Darren Stephens wrote:

In all fairness to Brown, this morning's announcement shows a fairly steady grip. At this point, there's not a lot more he can do and his actions have been fairly decisive. Insisting the money be given back is sound judgement.

I also think some of the opposition clamouring is all sound and fury. Because they are not in government, I suspect that there are some financial skeletons clanking about in several party treasurers' offices, but as yet undiscovered. For that reason, large scale reform of political funding is likely to make many more than a little queasy.

  • 19.
  • At 01:16 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Nic Hawkins wrote:

"politicians lie" shock horror!

If I remember rightly, labour raised around 3 1/2 million last year, the tories around 2 1/2 million. Membership dues, small donations for a clear cause such as an upcoming election or other campaign, both understandable. 100k for general odds and sods, you have to wonder what's in it for the donor. It's not good business to gamble, and charitable donations that benefit local economies or develop potential workers logically deliver far better return than political gifts. This leaves you thinking that a personal reward is in store, or something covert.

Brown turned down money from Kidd. Benn only took the money once the rules were followed. Harman did as you'd expect and pocketed the cash, but why did the party not follow the example of two of its most senior figures?

In my opinion the whole can of worms needs opening again, right back to the peerages scandal and beyond. People are breaking the law, be it selling titles, not correctly reporting taxable revenues, not disclosing donors. They should be punished as the law demands, and similarly to company law (as enforced in the US at least), the bosses of the parties should also be held accountable. I'm sick of shrugging my shoulders and accepting the state of British politics.

What's the solution when the courts are so un-independent these days? Boycott political parties, don't vote, don't even tune in to watch them, and maybe they'll go away. Some hope. Maybe we should all vote Respect and live with Gorgeous George for five years - when that becomes an option you know the country's screwed!

  • 20.
  • At 01:18 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Peter Thody wrote:

And they wonder why no-one believes a word any of them say.

Cameron is clearly going to make as much political capital as he can from this but I think there's a great deal of truth in his reaction today: "There is a time in the life of every government when it slips over from complacency into arrogance, and from arrogance into even indifference for the law."

We saw the Tories reach this stage in the 90s and I believe New Labour have now reached their own point of no return.

  • 21.
  • At 01:23 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Robert wrote:

Come on it did not fail the alarm bell could not be heard as the till register made to much noise

  • 22.
  • At 01:46 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Richard wrote:

The more I read and hear about this whole affair the more it seems like a criminal conspiracy between Abrahams, Watt and the conduits to avoid the laws relating to the funding of political parties. The very purpose of those laws in this country is to allow the public to see if, and how much, controversial figures like Abrahams are donating so they can form their own judgements if donors appear to be receiving favourable treatment from politicians. It was to avoid precisely this that Abraham's put his conduit scheme in place and he did this with the knowing connivance of Labour's general secretary. I hope there are prosecutions and, frankly, I hope all involved get some jail time. It may be extreme but it appears that this sort of sanction will be the only way to demonstrate to politicians, and the very rich who want top buy their way into the politicians affections, that the law applies to them in the same way it applies to anybody else.

  • 23.
  • At 01:58 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Paul T wrote:

Gob smacking, quite. Both Northern Rock and the lost discs are connected to the government much more loosely than this latest outrageous incident. The labour party cannot and must not be allowed to obfuscate the plain truth on this one. They knowingly broke the law . Not only that, but a law which they introduced and which was at the centre of the cash for honours saga.

Philip Gould's defence of Peter Watt on WATO this luchtime was unbelievable, literally. The most charitable thing I could say of him is that he is utterly self deluded if he truly believes his actions were acceptable.

As usual with these stories the initial defence vaproizes the moment a journalist starts to probe the issue. If Hilary Benn can do the right thing and refuse £5000 from Mr Abraham's due to the shady way it was offered, why can't the General Secretary of the party ?

Simple greed and utter contempt for the electorate are the only conclusions I can draw.

  • 24.
  • At 04:10 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Dan wrote:

If Peter Watt knew the donations came from someone else then he broke the law and should not just resign but be sacked and there is still a potential police case.

In terms donations were they did not know, how big does the donation need to be before they need to go beyond the simple confirmation that the donor is British and therefore allowed to donate.

£10
£100
£1000
£10,000
£100,000
£1,000,000

clearly not at the £10 level but by the time you have become the 3rd and 4th biggest donors to Labour this year, the party should be doing more than making sure you have a pulse.
Legally they do not have to surely the offense is disguising the source of the donation and that is Mr Abrahams offense.

Why aren't the individuals that Mr Abrahams "gifted" money being chased by HMRC for capital gains tax? What they did with their "gifts" is irrelevant, whether they went shopping in Harrods or handed it all over to Labour, the fact is they received it as a gift and should pay capital gains tax on all of it.

Am I the only person to see a chilling reminder of the transition
from MaggieT to John Major in this TonyB to Gordon Brown rerun?

Hidden grossly unprofessional behaviour in public office slithering out in the new rule and damaging the innocent?

dave

  • 27.
  • At 05:28 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Leon Perkin wrote:

A brief look at the legislation will indicate that there is a mandatory quarterly list of donations which is required to disclose the correct name and address of the donor.

If the donor is incorrectly recorded because the details were withheld from the treasurer, a criminal offence has been committed, carrying an imprisonment penalty.

However, if the treasurer knowingly prepared an incorrect list, then he has committed a similar offence.

In either case the funds donated will become subject to the Money Laundering Regulations and the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Any accountant, auditor or solicitor coming across circumstances where it is reasonable to suspect that such funds have been received or held MUST report his or her suspicions in strict confidence to SOCA.

(Penalty for not reporting or for tipping off the suspect, or anyone else, - up to two years.)

All New Labour's own legislation.

Mr Brown's offer to open an enquiry and return the donations is not enough. What appears to have happened may be properly described as Money Laundering - a criminal offence.

No new laws are required in this area. The existing criminal law, if enforced, should be quite sufficient.

  • 28.
  • At 05:37 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Ian wrote:

What we are seeing is that for the first time in ten years there is an active opposition party making life difficult for the Government. That is a welcome and needed change.

For Labour to succeed and come back from these events all options need to be considered. Labour was ruthless in pushing out Blair, it may need to be ruthless again. It certainly isn't enough to keep talking strategy and pushing out policy. That on its own does not get things done, implementation does and that is the hard part that the Brown team has not learnt.

Either Brown and the NEC clear house and re-energize Government, Party management and party or they can see all that has been achieved unravel over the next 2 years. They can then prepare to be out of Government for another 10. That would be a sorry state for aften 10 years of 'thinking' there is still not an opposition policy worth the name.

  • 29.
  • At 05:49 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • robert wrote:

At least Old Labour could have been relied on to be honest and had a passing intrest in the national intrest and electorate. I despair Nu-lab policys on immigration alone will bring an end to parliamentary democracy in there building of millions of houses that with the known coming depletion of oil will not have gas,electric,water or food,it takes 10 calories of oil to produce one calorie of food.

  • 30.
  • At 06:01 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Jerry Turner wrote:

Given that ignorance of the law is no defence to a criminal charge why have all the donors, Mr Watt and Harriet Harman not yet been charged. Where is Inspector Knacker?

  • 31.
  • At 06:09 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • david Flanaghan wrote:

Decisisve leadership? Are you on another planet. Im off to rob a bank tomorrow. I know its illegal but if im caught shall decisively return all the money and all will be well with the world.

No mention anywhere on the BBC about the mysterious withdrawal of objections to Mr abrahams projects shortly after making his donation.

Does anyone believe that if a individual donated that amount of money he or she woul dnot be made known to the PM.

  • 32.
  • At 06:30 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Robert wrote:

I doubt anyone saw this coming, imagine getting all that money and the drooling of a Labour party.

I bet the alarm bells went off, but the sound of the till slamming shut stopped any though of things like legality.


( thats what I should have said before)

  • 33.
  • At 06:38 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Chris Rumbold wrote:

As David Cameron said, there is a time in the life of every government when it slips from complacency into arrogance and from arrogance into indifference for the law. Here in Canada that is so true. The previous Liberal government that had been in power for more than 13 years was caught siphoning government funds earmarked for provincial programs back into its own coffers, and was further rewarding its Liberal Party friends with lavish federal contract who then in turn made further kickbacks to the party coffers. Corruption is rife in all political systems; well it was like that here in Canada before the Liberals got kicked out of office in the last federal election. Change is good for democracy. Maybe it's time the British Labour Party spent some time on the opposition benches.

  • 34.
  • At 07:20 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Craig Smith wrote:

Worse than all these New Labour scandals is
their evil mass child abduction scandle.

New Labour have funded thousands of government agents to cold call on the doorsteps of English parents so as to feed children into the family law industry.

It begins with a pair of smiling faces who walk into the parents life by way of a routine welfare check.

They look respectable, they speak cogently, they are educated to degree level, and that somehow makes it ok for them to begin the long arduous process of seizing the children from the unsuspecting parents who are normally working class and without the education to understand what is happening.

The well healed New Labour government agent is paid by the tax payer to make the parents feel like monsters, allegations of violence and abuse are issued without any evidence, the parents become terrified which is then smartly construed as a mental illness, the cause and effects of the ordeal is then counted against the parent when the Cafcass medical reports are record by the Courts own expert witnesses.

Meanwhile the hard targets, the real child abusers, are left free to get away with an equal evil whilst the New Labour agent cherry picks the innocent as these victims are soft easy targets and easy to deal with.

The expert witnesses are said to be ''independent'' but are in fact always used by the courts for the very purpose of taking away the children and they too are funded, yes you guessed it, by New Labour.

New Labours government agents then harass and harangue the parent right through and up to and through the court case.

Even the Courts are being paid, yes that's right, by New Labour, it is all funded from the treasury in what is a chain of tax funded child snatchers.

They all know its wrong, they all know its unlawful, but when you are the law, who will hold you to account?

It is in a ''court of law'' after years of anxiety waiting for the judgement that the children are finally taken away, in private, without a jury and without any members of the media being allowed to record it.

Millions of UK children have been taken away from good parents under New Labour's evil family law disaster than under any previous government, why...because Tony Blair was a lawyer, as was his wife, and they both knew how much money can be made from this lucrative trade.

The family lawyer being all part of Blair's old profession, a profession of which Blair has many of his own people in places of power, including the president of the Family Division, the CPS, Cafcass and the DCA.

Brown will as ever deny everything and this huge multi million pound state funded child abduction scam will continue to ruin the lives of millions ofchildren and parents, with the legacy of these mentally tormented children becoming the next generations big social problem.

Millions of parents wait for that dreaded knock at the door from a family law liaison officer ready to bait and torment the victims of this evil family law holocaust.

Every parent now knows a parent who have had their children taken and one wonders what happens to these children once they are locked away in a government children's home, deprived of the legal right to have contact with their parents.

Its good news for those being paid to take the children, the entire family law industry would collapse tomorrow if it became as illegal as the slave trade.

This evil trade in children has become just what we expect from this government and its never ending corruption, but taking children for a salary is one hopes New Labours final scandal before the Nation demands a general election and stiff jail sentences for all those who have used tax payers money to take children from parents in the name of the law.

  • 35.
  • At 07:48 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Martin wrote:

From Channel 4 this evening: Nice story about the timing of donations and the removal of objections by the Highways Agency to a large planning development in the NE.
Guess who was involved in the planning development.
No linkage of course and nothing to do with the donations from the directors.
Transparency Gordon? Any views Nick?

  • 36.
  • At 07:50 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • David Smith wrote:

What have they been doing since the law was knocking on the door of number 10, so much for their rhetoric it seems they haven't learned anything from that.

More inquiries at the taxpayers expense no doubt and all done by a friend of a friend.

Again, no matter what is said can they ever be believed, to sort this head's need to roll instead of the plain ol' rhetoric we here time after time.

This is not a government in crises, this a government full of arrogance and neglect..

.. a good government should be able to keep their noses clean. No matter how transparent you can't see through muck!

  • 37.
  • At 07:57 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • B Stewart-Deane wrote:

The other big question is why BBC News at 6pm managed to interview only McShane, a Labour MP and apologist.

No Opposition spokespeople - leftwing BBC tendencies as ever - just compare Jeremy Thompson's agressive interviewing of McShane on Sky News and the use of the Scot Nat MP who uncovered the peerages for cash mess. Also, compare the length of time Sky News devoted to this top item.

BBC News has descended appalling in terms of independence and integrity.

  • 38.
  • At 09:00 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • Andy Watson wrote:

What worries me about this whole sad affair and those that have gone before is the example it sets to the general public.

It now appears that the example being set is anything goes, but don't get caught!

What hope is their for crime reduction and fair play in Society when those at the helm bend and break the rules when it suits them. Will we see this sort of behaviour reflected by other official bodies? Some one tell me how I can opt out of society. I.D. Cards? I wouldn't give this lot the time of day let alone my personal details!

  • 39.
  • At 11:27 PM on 27 Nov 2007,
  • John wrote:

I'm sorry but this is just absurd!

If Gordon Brown was thinking of holding an early election, the Labour party were seriously in need of cash, the campaign would be about to mobilise.

I for one moment can not believe that a conversation would not take place along the lines of

"We need money for the election"

"Let's ask our big donors for more cash"

"Yes who gives us lots of money?"

"Ray Ruddick of Newcastle and Janet Kidd of Newcastle"

"Right, lets get in touch and see if we can get more money from them, we need it to support our good work"

That the higher levels of the Labour Party can deny that they knew anything about these donations is scandalous. I bet even the PM and his special advisors had a good grip on how their finances were in the run up to the 'never really was going to be' election!

  • 40.
  • At 01:58 AM on 28 Nov 2007,
  • Roger Parkes wrote:

I simply do not trust Gordon Brown and his crew. They are totally incompetent and very shady in their answers to difficult questions. Let the law take its course.

  • 41.
  • At 03:14 PM on 29 Nov 2007,
  • peter cameron wrote:

The ranting and hysteria of the hyena media pack failed to pick up the excesses of the Tory paymaster lording it up away from the UK.
Understandable, they are only interested in bringing down governments, not the opposition.
We live in a time when the power of the fourth estate is now completely out of control as it functions with little or no degree of accountability outside its own borders. What about the poor woman held in Sudan? surely that is a far more worthwhile cause to pursue?

  • 42.
  • At 12:14 AM on 02 Dec 2007,
  • Glyn Jenkins wrote:

Time for New Labour to manipulate the sleaze situation, which they have caused themselves, and gain an advantage over the Tories when it comes to raising money through donations.
They will use the liberals in thier sleazy underhanded plan. And i think the liberals will see it as a way of gaining an advantage themselves.
The whole thing smells really bad and it could smell a lot worse yet.

  • 43.
  • At 11:49 AM on 02 Dec 2007,
  • Andy Birtwistle wrote:

Salem is resurrected with a brand new Witch Finder General in the presence of Mr Nick Robinson who seems to be the BBC's answer to Alistair Cameron. Keep it up Nick and very soon we will have a nation of citizens who have no trust or faith in any politicians.Serious mistakes have been made but to suggest as in your recent reports do,incompetence to the point of criminal negligence smacks of a witch hunt!A comparison can be drawn in your latest revelations with the hounding of Mr Abraham via the media(read his letter in the Guardian)and unfortunate Dr David Kelly. Your journalistic style aggressive,cynical and at times downright spiteful,does no justice to the BBC

  • 44.
  • At 12:16 PM on 03 Dec 2007,
  • Romanus Renatus wrote:

Mr Birtwistle,
Rubbish!

I think a Jungian analyst (which I'm not) might draw a link between Gordon Brown's controlled, authoritarian personality and the uncontrollable events he seems to attract.

In the summer it was not personal - the floods, the terrorism, the foot and mouth.

This autumn there has been another bout, but it's getting closer to home, he is more accountable. His geatest fear is to be seen as incompetent, and that seems to be exactly what is coming his way.

I think our Jungian analyst might further point out that Brown is a passionate, romantic man at heart - he really cares about Africa, the underprivileged etc. But he only lets bits of it out, he sits on a lot of it. And that's why it comes out around him in this chaotic way. A bit fanciful, perhaps, but there is something odd in the way gobsmacking events seem to explode around him.

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