Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Libdemologists: Yet More Eee-yore from Simple Simon?

Well well well. It seems that Cllr Simon Ashley (left), Lib Dem group leader in Manchester, has lived up to the donkey vote thing by not buying a round of drinks and toasting Charles Kennedy with a glass that is even emptier than half empty:

"To lose one leader is unfortunate, to lose two is downright clumsy. I don't think we should have got rid of Charles Kennedy. Presuming he wants the job and is sober who else do we have that has the experience to do the job" (Manchester Evening News, but not online)

Apart perhaps from Ashley himself - seeing as he has survived countless assassination attempts over his inept leadership.

You will find Ashley putting his weight behind Hughes last time in this fascinating timeline with some marvellous opinion poll action swirling around like a bunch of headless chickens flocking together.

Meanwhile the leftier-than-thou and holier-than-thou Cllr John "Hospital Hoax" Leech MP (centre) plugged Clegg as he pretended to want Kennedy to stay. But then switched to Huhne when Clegg didn't run.

They are all over the place these Lib Dems they really are.


Anonymous said...

The question that needs to be asked about the Ashcroft donations is whether they should have been counted within the Conservatives national spending totals for the General Election.

Expenditure under taken in the 12 month period before the General Election which promotes or procures sucess for a party or its candidates, or enhances the standing of the party or its candidates or prejudices the electoral prospects of any opponents counts towards the national campaign spending limit (section 72 of PPERA) and s72(8) also makes it clear that expenditure incurred by or on behalf of an accounting unit of a party (i.e. constituency associations for the Tories) is regarded as national campaign expenditure. It is very difficult to see how the Ashcroft donations could fall outside this definition.

If the Ashcroft donation should have been included in the Tories campaign expenditure - then it would almost certainly be the case that the national expenditure limit was broken during the last election as the recorded expenditure was very near the limit.

Perhaps this is something that the Electoral Commission or others should be investigating.

On the declaration of interest, I am presuming that it is North Norfolk and not you that received the £10,000 - since if it was the latter you have failed to register the donation with the Electoral Commission. North Norfolk registered 3 donations from Ashcrofts' front company totally c£17k - I'm presuming that they had someone with better accounting skills than Iain!

(posted on Dale's Diary - thought you might be interested)

Chris Paul said...

Yes, that is interesting. And the bring it slightly back on topic John Leech or his party trousered donations/loans of £23,000 from one donor in the run up to the 2005 election.

Much of it donated in the immediate period including a last gasp cheque apparently procured over a "Thank You" pizza with just a couple of days to go. Possibly a good slurp of alcohol in the mix there I'll be bound.

He recorded no other donors. I am aware of one who gave a cheque for £500 or so though it seems it was not cashed. Cheques can be so awkward don't you think? Have to be explained. Not like the slosh of cash money.

The same man (that other donor) was acting as MC at a celebration party and Ashley (I believe) grabbed the mic off him when he seemed to be about to disclose the secret squirrel amount of the main donor's contribution.

This was not all disclosed in a timely way and at that time about half of it had not been disclosed and disclosure was I believe overdue. Almost as if they were planning not to let on. Being as the donations were twice the allowance and there was not much out of period expenditure to swab up the cheque payment balance.

The expenses return itself looked for all the world like a complete crock. Paid staff workers unmentioned. Phones totalling £19. An unfeasibly small print bill. Next to no postage cost. Neighbouring constituencies sharing costs. No sign of payments to organisers etc that were by all accounts openly made at the time. Oh did I already say that one? Sorry.

The local party not contributing anything. The candidate not contributing anything. The candidate's family not contributing anything (but a repayment to them later). A barrister constituent/activist contributing a four-figure sum in another constituency but not in the one where he lived.

Leech apparently though paid back a loan from his mum. But not the main donor/lender.

Perhaps I'll find the time to blog both these quite distinct matters later.

In the meantime thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

So Simon thinks that only Charles Kennedy has the experience? This surely must be yet another harbinger for the end of his leadership career? Simon's I mean not Charlie's.

It is not beyond the realms of possibility that the sandals on the street around the country will punish these shiny, suited, public school diletantes who have offed two leaders in less than two years and boost Charles back in, or even pick Webb or Kramer.

Anonymous said...

Even the BBC admitted this morning that there was no point polling public opinion on the Fib Dem leadership 'cos the public have absolutely no idea who any of them are!! What a joke.

Also who is boy wonder Leech gonna support. He pretends to be a lefty in manchester whilst hanging out with the right wing swivel eyes in London. He really is an arsehole.

Anonymous said...

You're still doing this stuff, Chris.

I thought we had agreed you would stop until your medication had kicked in? Please call me urgently.

Chris Paul said...

Cheers Monica but I've lost your number and your blog address. In fact, let's be honest, you don't have one because you are some coward's imaginary friend.