Friday, April 23, 2010

Can keeping stolen money be anything but despicable behaviour?

There is nothing quite so nauseating as persons claiming the high moral ground when they have been guilty of even worse behaviour themselves. Same applies to political parties. Over recent years, all political parties have been tarnished by financial mis-doings of one sort or another. But its only the Lib Dems who try to pretend they are somehow whiter than others. Yet, in my opinion, the worst abuse of all was the failure of the Lib Dems to return the £2.4 million pounds donation that came from convicted fraudster Michael Brown. Read about Vince Cable being skewered on the subject today. I accept that it was not unreasonable to accept the money in the first place, but when it was discovered that it had been fraudulently obtained by Mr Brown before he gave it to the Lib Dems, the money should have been returned immediately. This nonsense that it was OK to keep the £2.4 million because the Electoral Commission decided it was received in 'good faith' cuts no ice with me. The money belongs to those whom Michael Brown defrauded, and it should have been given back, when he was convicted. At the very least, the Lib Dems should hang their heads in shame about this, rather than try to pose as better than other parties. Because they are not. And the hypocrisy makes it worse.


Dr. Christopher Wood said...

In re Liberal Democrats: "There is nothing quite so nauseating as persons claiming the high moral ground when they have been guilty of even worse behaviour themselves."

Can't agree more.

Frank H Little said...

When the Conservatives disown their various tax dodgers like Ashcroft and Laidlaw then they can start lecturing other parties.

Glyn Davies said...

Christopher - Its the hypocrisy that gets you.

Frank - A non dom is not a tax dodger. There are many thousands of non doms living in Britain, making a huge contribution to our economy. Being non-domiciled is entirely proper. But Michael Brown is a fraudster, and the £2.4 million obtained by the Liberal Party was money fraudulently taken from innocent people. It should have been returned to them. At the very least, Lib Dems should be ashamed of what has happened.

Anonymous said...

yes Glyn - but these donations are required to come from UK registered voters - Lord AShcroft is not!

Infact Lord Ashcroft has saved over £180m in taxes as a result of his 'non dom' status.

When Ashcroft was given his peerage he gave a "clear and unequivocal" assurance that he would take up permanent residence in the UK.

He hasn't!

The your party is in no position at all to critise others on these issues. There is no doubt that David Cameron knew about Ascroft's status but decided to keep quiet.

How would you describe this behaviour Glyn?

Anonymous said...

John Sopel is like a terrier snapping at Vince Cable's heels. VC's refusal to give the money back to the people who were tricked by Michael Brown is disgraceful.

Maybe there is a case for legal action to be taken to force the Lib/Dems to give it back, perhaps someone should look into this.

Anyway this should knock off the squeaky clean image of Cable and Nick Clegg - they are exposed for the hypocrits they are.

The Armchair Liberal said...

Michael Brown's £2.4 million was not the Lib Dems' finest hour, on that we can agree. The uncomfortable truth for Lib Dems is that we could not have paid it back even if we had wanted to; with the money spent, finding that sum up front would have bankrupted the party.

There the agreement ends. There are far too many non doms who have been ripping off the British taxpayer for years, Cashcroft chief amongst them. Perhaps the Tories would also consider paying back the millions of pounds that Cashcroft has swindled from the British taxpayer that would otherwise have been used to support front line public services?

In an otherwise excellent campaign, Clegg should not have put on his halo on this issue, something else we can possibly agree on. It is these sorts of unsavoury stories that re-emphasise the need for a cap on personal political donations, and state funding political parties to remove vested interests from politics.

JB said...


Food for thought for some of your correspondents. Ashcroft is a PEER and therefore would not apppear on any electoral roll.

Disqualified by peerage not nationality or residence.

alanindyfed said...

Just a reminder, Glyn -
it may well be that you end up in coalition with them!

Glyn Davies said...

Frank - And I suppose you also consider the non-doms who have made large donations to the Lib Dems, as reported in today's Times, as tax dodgers!!

Armchair Liberal - You seem to agree with my proposition that the Lib Dems are in no position to be sermonise on this issue. It was in this context that I pointed out the Michael Brown issue - which I think is far worse that anything non-doms have done, which has all been entirely legal. Brown has received 7 yeras for fraud and is still on the run - and the Lib Dems are using £2.4 million of his money to fund their campaign.

JB - Quite - but there is none so blind as those who will not see.

Alan - Who knows - but it does not mean that I should not expose their rank hypocrisy when justified. I've held back on what I really think of them - which would make even Heledd blush!!

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Armchair Liberal> Nick Clegg is wealthy and his parents very wealthy. His has not been a life of serious struggles, no need for him to win a university place from a poor area or from a council house estate. He could easily pay back the fraudulently obtained money out of his own pocket. He has done exceedingly well out of the expenses gravy train both at Westminster and in Europe.

Anonymous said...

I commented on Peter Black's blog about the Michael Brown issue and surprise, surprise it was ignored and not posted on his blog. He's obviously very selective about what comments he allows on his blog, and judging by how few there are compared with yours, either people find his blogs boring (which they are) or there are loads he won't print because they are critical - and he obviously can't take critisism.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm.. I just wondered if your expenses claims from your time as an AM had been made public please and where these details are available please?