A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Some thoughts about loans & peerages

1) The thoroughness of Yates' investigation is in everyone's interest - it wouldn't have helped the Labour Party if the allegation had been made and not properly investigated.

2) The Labour Party has extremely good lawyers who would have been asked for advice about the legality of any fund-raising - does anyone really think a political party would risk doing something illegal just to be able to afford a few more billboards?

3) If there was the slightest chance that Blair had broken the law wouldn't the party's lawyers have warned him of the possibility and wouldn't he have found an excuse to quit early as PM to reduce any damage to the wider party?

4) If there was any chance that any Labour or No10 staff had broken the law isn't Blair ruthless enough that he would have asked them to publicly fall on their swords and accept personal responsibility?

8 Comments:

Blogger Benjamin said...

Yes, all speculation, old boy, all speculation.

Apart from this bit, which forced a wry smile from my lips:

"The thoroughness of Yates' investigation is in everyone's interest - it wouldn't have helped the Labour Party if the allegation had been made and not properly investigated."

You say that now, of course: "Yates of the Yard" has entered the popular conciousness, the investigation has gathered steam, you have no choice.

However, I seem to remember Labour Party loyalists making fun of SNP and their complaint when it was originally brought up; it was all a bit of knockabout mischief by the Nats, not to be taken seriously, they said.

Well, it sure is being taken seriously now.

5:55 am, November 17, 2006

 
Blogger Bob Piper said...

If there was any chance that any Labour or No10 staff had broken the law isn't Blair ruthless enough that he would have asked them to publicly fall on their swords and accept personal responsibility?

You fail to account for those that would willingly lay down their party to save their lives.

11:40 am, November 17, 2006

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Bob, I've been close enough to the centre of the machine to know that the party survival instinct (and the battle hardened nature of our key professional staff) is such that anyone who puts themselves in a position where they might damage the party is very rapidly handed the tumbler of whiskey and revolver, however senior they are. There is an organic survival instinct hardwired into the Labour Party's organisational culture that puts the party's interests above those of any individual. You don't get to work at that kind of level unless you have proved over decades that you would jump under a bus for the sake of the party.

11:57 am, November 17, 2006

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luke

I agree with your comments, however, I'm reminded of the little boy who said "say it ain't so, Joe" about hte WhiteSox bribery scandal in base ball

1:58 pm, November 17, 2006

 
Blogger kris said...

Sometimes, an in-house legal team's advice is just a little too clever.

Often, it's only when external counsel are briefed that someone points out that the supposed technicality is highly unattractive.

I don't know if the party took external counsel's advice or whether any advice received was correct.

It's the sort of thing that the party really does not want to have tested in court...

2:11 pm, November 17, 2006

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At the end of the day, the only people who could 'sell an honour' are the leaders of the main political parties (who nominate) and the Queen herself (who grants). The rest of the investigation is simply the yard getting on the bandwaggon. All of this could have been over in a week with the lenders, givers and nominators all interviewed. Frankly why should someone who gives millions to education, health or the arts not get a gong? As for the loans and dodgy gifts, we could end up with three newco political parties!

5:17 pm, November 17, 2006

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't get to work at that kind of level unless you have proved over decades that you would jump under a bus for the sake of the party.

Promises, promises!

8:05 am, November 18, 2006

 
Anonymous Alex said...

Luke, your comments are a desperate attempt at rationalisation.

Blair's arrogance led him down the road of loans for peerages. He new that the best way to side track the unions and the grass roots members was to make himself financially independent of them by selling peerages.

And if it isn't dodgy, explain this to me. Why were individuals who were happy to give donations encouraged to give loans instead? That smells as rotten as a very rotten fish to me.

But what really makes me sick is his line about 'being tried in the court of public opinion', trotted out by the Blairite Nick Robinson. Its basically an attempt to delegitimise public interest in the issue. And its unbelievably hypocrticial.

1:22 pm, November 18, 2006

 

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