Thursday, November 29, 2007

'Donorgate' getting serious

Throughout the current rumpus about the illegal donations to the Labour Party, its been assumed that, in reality, it was just a few backroom boys getting carried away. A bit of short term damage and then normality resumed. That was definitely the tone of a discussion on the Radio Cymru programme Taro Post that I took part in this afternoon. Paul Flynn, MP was on for Labour. I couldn't believe what he got away with. I was stuck on the end of a mobile, with a dodgy signal - and Radio Cymru still turn to Plaid Cymru, Labour's coalition partners as the 'opposition'. They still haven't cottoned on. Frankly, I was outraged by the tone of the discussion.

What we have is a Prime Minister admitting that his party has broken the law!! Paul was trying to compare the crime with what Plaids 3 MPs did with their Communications Allowance. Absolutely bloody outrageous. And even in this situation Labour is spinning and obfuscating for all its worth. I was surprised that Paul didn't bring Lloyd George into the discussion! Well, in my opinion, we are in new territory and we don't know where its going to end up. The Police are now investigating what is alleged to be a crime (just being careful). This could finish up anywhere.

We use the term 'donorgate' too casually. I remember Watergate. It started like this. The more we learn, the more we realise that there are things we don't know. Gordon Brown's escape route was a 100% 'clear the decks' admission. He didn't take it. Even worse, he tried to fix things by setting up a 'tame' inquiry. Its beginning to look as if he missed his chance. There was only going to be one, and it looks as if he blew it. At least the public are not fooled. Tomorrow's YouGov opinion poll in the Telegraph has the Conservatives on 43%, Labour on 32% and the Lib Dems on 14%. I've never seen anything like it. I know everyone thinks that things will calm down and the pendulum will swing back - but I really am beginning to think that it won't. What an absolute pillock Quentin Davies, MP looks now. I would really enjoy it if he was on Question Time tonight.


Praguetory said...

At best Paul Flynn is blinkered. I presume you've checked his blog - an exercise in moral relativism. Donorgate is an idiotic administrative failure - yeah right. He's irritated that Labour are being portrayed as the bad guys.

Yet just three posts later he trumps up a load of old anti-Tory smears suggesting they could all be matters for the police without once mentioning a single law that has been broken.

New Labour - criminal corruption serial incompetence and permanent spinning.

Normal Mouth said...

I remember Watergate. It started like this.

Seven words that completely spoil an otherwise sensible argument.

Anonymous said...

It really doesn't matter what Paul Flynn thinks. If Blair was still PM then Flynn would be demanding his resignation. Labour is in real trouble not just because of donorgate. The economy is heading for a downturn, house prices are falling and many people are facing mortgage increases as their fixed term mortgages come to an end. This toxic mix has all the potential to create a perfect political storm. Flynn is irrelevant to all of this. In many ways he is as eccentric as David Abrahams. What matters is how all this is playing with job public and all the polls suggest that joe public is at the tipping point with regard to Labour. It could be to use a Jim callaghan analogy another sea change moment in politics. When that happens you simply can't do anything .

Glyn Davies said...

praguetory - Labour's strategy seems to be to protest that it is no worse than anyone else. Paul probably took this message from his Blackberry. But in this sort of position, 'spin' just doesn't work. 'Fair Cop' and 'We're Sorry' are the only thins that will work.

NM - Yes and No. Yes, I can se why you think the comparison is way over the top - but the point I was trying to make is that this is a reletively unimportant crime, which is being made worse by a failure to be open. And I have this feeling that there is a lot more to come yet. And the Deputy Leader of the governing party is a significant politician (not the President I grant you).

vernon - I agree that a 'tipping point' may have been reached. Not something that we will know until the summer. You're right about Paul Fflyn - I don't really think of him as being a supporter of the Government. I've been surprised by the way he 's toeing the party line on this. He really must be worried about the long term damage that this is doing.

Aberavon and Neath Liberal Democrats said...

In the event, the only senior Labour figure who could be persuaded to sit on the Question Time panel was Caroline Flint, who has a history of shameless support of her-party-right-or-wrong.

- Frank Little

Glyn Davies said...

Frank - and she did ok on the inevitable first question. She talked David Dimbleby out of asking re-asking the question about the PM's office dumping on Hariet Harman. And she got good applause for just being there.

I have to say that the Ukip leader, Nigel Farage made an absolute prat of himself on the issue of party funding - when he tried to say that the Tories favoured it, when Alan Duncan was telling tehaudience that we don't.

Aberavon and Neath Liberal Democrats said...

What is the definitive Tory position on party funding? (Can we take it as read that TU funding of the Labour Party has to be part of the equation?)

Anonymous said...

The New Labour Scandal machine continues to go into overdrive. B&Q are fast selling out of whitewash. Labour HQ is buying it up by the truckload so that it is ready to pour into the police investigation report.

Some less than charitable observers scoffed when Gordon Brown declared that he was 'a conviction politician'. If the police are allowed to do what they are meant to do, and not hindered from the Government, it may well turn out that he and some of his self-serving gang become politicians with a conviction.

Harriet Harman says that the money will be given back and expects that to be the end of the matter! Can I go and rob a bank and if I get caught offer the money back and then get away with it? Would she accept that as a reasonable way to run society? How stupid are we (the electorate) to allow such crass incompetence (at best) in the people elected to run our affairs?

By admitting that errors have occurred (numerous ones at that) they’ve confessed that they are not competent to run a political party, so on what basis are they competent to run a country? Lost data CDs, wrong statistics, overwhelming immigration, law and order, Northern Rock collapse, foot and mouth leaks etc etc. I think the answer is obvious!

Don't worry about giving Labour MPs 8 weeks vacation - send all of them on vacation for 52 weeks a year and let the rest of us get on with our lives. In the end it will cost us less money and give us more security!

To quote Oliver Cromwell when he dismissed the Long Parliament:

“You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing, depart now and let us have done with you. In the name of God, GO!”

Glyn Davies said...

Frank - Good question. Personally, I'm not convinced that taxpayer's money should be given to political parties, and I was pleased to hear Alan Duncan say so on Question Time - But I do not know whether we have a final position on it. I'll try and find out.

roman - don't hold back about what you think about the Labour Government! I quite liked your new interpretation of 'Gordon Brown - a conviction politician'.

Anonymous said...

We will never remove these clowns unless we draw political blood...

Glyn Davies said...

roman - I already see the Thames flowing with much red blood.