Sunday, December 02, 2007

Mail on Sunday: Headline Wrongly Screams "Scandal"

Interesting story again from the Mail on Sunday. But just as last week's blockbuster the story does not quite match the headline: "Exclusive: Labour to launch an inquiry into SECOND donor scandal" it says. But there is no scandal identified in this piece. If a man was on the electoral roll on May 1 he was able to donate on May 2, end of. What justification is there for using the word "scandal" in their headline?

And can the Mail on Sunday's crack reporting team please tell us where that Lord Ashcroft appears on the electoral roll?


tory boys never grow up said...

Absolutely right - Tory donors have even been know to acquire companies the day before they make donations (ECJ Investments) - and then the company is wound up at a later date (without filing any accounts) on the basis that it was not carrying on a business. Wnder of that company was acting as an agent as well!

So much for Mail on Sunday's exclusive last week - per the Observer it looks like that CCHQ were onto the case at least a month before - makes Dale's posting on thios being the hard work of a MOS journalist look very silly.

Chris Paul said...

The question here may be why aren't Labour donors doing the company formation thing? Because it is even more stinky? Though surely a company not carrying on a business in the UK is not a permissible donor or lender?

Wasn't that the crux of the Michael Brown case that is keeping the Lib Dems - apart from the impetuous Huhne with his tic tac vitus dance semaphore - keeping them quiet?

jailhouselawyer said...

Did you see Dave Cameron with Andrew Marr on the BBC this morning? Donorgate was being discussed. Andrew Marr raised the issue of Lord Ashcroft. According to Dave Cameron, Lord Ashcroft now resides in this country and is paying his taxes. Can this be checked out for accuracy?

Chris Paul said...

Well I'm not sure. Full electoral registers are available to all parties and in theory between the un-Tories we should have a full set. Though there may be examples where due to expense and lack of party on the ground we do not.

A new version of the register has just come out.

These are only to be used for electoral purposes. Though checking if Ashcroft lives on your patch would qualify for that.

The abridged version would be no use as LA could put a cross in the no publicity box. He is clearly using companies as agents for donations and as in the Abrahams case this should surely be declared and for all the time for which he was not on the register and not resident there is a huge question mark over those donations.

As to "paying tax" and particularly paying personal tax - which is the point - it is very hard indeed to check. I don't suppose the household were claiming any child benefits? But perhaps a CD-ROM will be found in a skip somewhere?

If he is here and is paying tax then I'd have thought that some of our brave meejah people would be able to have him tracked down ...

If we cynically translate from the weasel however (and assuming you have used the exact words):

"resides in this country" = is in a suite at the Ritz tonight, for one night only


"is paying his taxes" = one or two of his myriad companies admit to a profit


"now" = years and years after his broken promise said he would

Chris Paul said...

Hi John

I've checked the transcript. Cameron was speaking weasel but I am almost certain that what he said was that Ashcroft HAS NOT MET the requirements re residency and paying tax. NOT MET.

But they are BEING MET.

As there is a new register out now and if DC is not claiming LA on this one there's another year really until he'd have to show - even if he moved tomorrow.

His 2006 speech (Ashcroft's) - which is one of FOUR EVER - had some muttering about Gibraltar ... could he have a nest there?

Anyway will blog it later, but have to do some real work now.

Best w

Chris P