Thursday, January 03, 2008

Flashback: Jailbird Michael Brown Upset by "Dishonesty"?

Fairly hilarious discovery in the archives. In reading round the Lord Khalid Hameed of Hampstead (right) elevation; and the absolute coincidence of interesting donations to the Lib Dems either side of the peerage; I am reminded of the Lib Dems other star donor and jailbird Michael Brown.

Michael Brown is of course a convicted fraudster felon. His businesses apparently had no business in the UK when they donated very generously. This fundamental eligibility criterion nuance eluded the Lib Dems "due diligence", probably because at £2.4 million the contribution was so trivial.

Now looks like it might not even have been the company's own money to dispense, but hey ho, mistakes do happen. Good to see the Electoral Commission giving them the benefit of the doubt as they did the Tories over their Houses of Parliament dining scam scheme. Presumably Abrahams and Watt will just give the EC their best winning grins and walk free.

But anyway a liberal Brown wasn't even the itsy bitsyest bit alarmed at the stream of revelations around alcoholism, bisexuality and unfit-for-publicationism afflicting Charles Kennedy, Simon Hughes, and Mark Oaten respectively.

Here's the Times (back in January 2006):

The shambles has also thrown a harsh light on possible splits among Lib Dems with important donors threatening to withdraw their support. Paul Marshall, a City millionaire who has been a big backer of the party, is understood to be ready to stop if Hughes wins. Several other leading backers are said to believe that Hughes, most left-wing of the three leadership candidates, is not fit to lead the party.

Michael Brown, who has given the party more than £2m, has also indicated he will stop funding regardless of who wins the leadership.

Yes, that's right. Brown was among those bugged by the dishonesty of the party he'd just chucked £2.4M at!

One insider close to the leading donors said: “It’s not the homosexuality (or the struggles with alcohol) — it’s the dishonesty. People like Simon, but some of the big backers are disappointed by this revelation.”

I can imagine how very disappointing indeed this fibbery - so familiar to political opponents - would be to a fine upstanding individual like Michael Brown. But the Times continued ...

The Lib Dems face a further blow with some Muslim members threatening to leave because of Hughes’s bisexuality.

The paper then goes on to list some high profile examples of this phenomenon. But where on earth are they going to head if they want to make an issue of a party's liberalism around sexuality? Not to Labour, that's for sure.

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