Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Veteran reporter shock admission

The Man In The White Suit says 'sleaze is worse under Labour'.

On Newsnight tonight a clearly careworn and weary Martin Bell appeared and denounced Labour for sleaze saying to a clearly astonished Jeremy Paxman that political scandal had got worse since they took over.

This, you will recall, is the retired war correspondent so incensed by the behaviour of Tatton MP Neil Hamilton that he stood against him as a candidate in the 1997 general election and was successfully elected for two Parliaments on a 'no corruption in public life' ticket.

His view -expressed tonight- is that far from cleaning up politics as promised things have got far worse under Labour. He points out that however shameful the Fayed/Hamilton affair was it was a lowly backbench MP on the make, not institutionalised corruption - which is what this currently unfolding fund raising scandal appears to be, coming after a string of other scandals from the New Labour team.

He said that the whole story 'stank', because of Mr Abrahams being a property developer and with all the potential conflicts of interest that could exist between elected politicians and developers. He also asked why six months ofter the resignation of the former standards in public life commitee chairman, no replacement had been recruited.

And it is becoming crystal clear that, once again, ministers and Labour MP's have been 'economical with the truth' over who did know about the scheme whereby Mr Abrahams was able to circumvent the law banning anonymity by giving his donations via third parties.

Brown admits his leadership bid campaign team rejected a donation and the Benn deputy leadership bid team also initially turned Mr Abrahams nominee money away after warnings from Baroness Jay about the donor.

Harriet Harman received her donation three weeks after the election for deputy leader was over, what I want to know is, what happened to the money because she surely didn't use it in an election campaign that was already over. Was it also given over to the Labour Party?

Last thing tonight Mr Abrahams appeared to suggest on television that Brown’s own chief fundraiser knew what a significant donor Abrahams has been for a number of years - having written to him recently to thank him for his efforts.

What was that chorus in 1997... "things can only get better"

No comments: