Wednesday, January 23, 2008

THE FEARLESS GLASGOW HERALD PART 2

The Herald's SNP cheerleader IAIN MACWHIRTER wrote the following in an article about donations which he described as secret.

" They (Labour) are morally uneasy because they know that business-men aren't stupid, they haven't become rich by throwing money around. Donating to politicians is all about influence, about buying into the inner circles of decision making"

I wrote to the Herald asking if he included Tom Farmer and Brian Souter but I got nowhere, some people have written to me to try to wriggle out of answering by saying he was only referring to secret donations, which are of course not illegal.

Note he does not preclude his statement by saying ' business-men who donate secretly are not stupid etc'

I ask again does he mean business-men per se or only Labour donors ?

Let me ask further is he saying that £950 buys influence with Labour but, £500,000 can't buy influence with the SNP ?

40 comments:

lemontetra said...

D'ye think this might have something to do with the fact that the SNP doesn't solicit donations to finance uncontested leadership elections?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(lemontetra) 14:49 -

I’ve answered this silly jibe before, it really shows your ignorance.

See if you can follow this :- a) Jack resigns b) Wendy immediately declares as a candidate. c) Wendy’s team immediately organise and start to raise funds. d) Wendy immediately goes out to tour constituencies the length and breadth of Scotland, Scotland is a place where you pay for travel, hotels, halls, meals etc. that’s important you need to remember that. e) Some time later, can’t remember how long later, the closing date for candidates passes with no takers. d) Here’s the difficult bit for you, then and only then does Wendy stop canvassing and fund raising because (can you guess ? ) yes you’ve got it she now knows that she will not face a contest.
Notwithstanding the fact that Wendy is easily the cleverest member of the Holyrood Parliament she, alas, is not psychic. Did any of this register

Rabbie said...

(Cllr Kelly 3.38)
Beautifully explained young Terry -even I can understand it.

Now, with Wendy being the Cleverest Member of the Holyrood Parliament, when she was canvassing the 'length and breadth of Scotland,' isn't it surprising that she didn't realise she was the only one campaigning?

I mean, didn't she notice there was no-one else there to argue with?

Even Wee Alex would have twigged that one and saved a few bob on the overheads.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

Rabbie - I doubt if there is much point in engaging in debate with you if this comment is going to be the standard.

I've given a pretty cast iron explanation about leadership funding and get this nonsense.

You don't have to grovel, all you need do is accept that you don't understand, you don't even need to comment if you are that embarrassed.

Rabbie said...

(Cllr Kelly 7.02)
Terry,
Be a good lad and do read what I write - I was congratulating you!

I said that your explanation of Labour funding was masterful and yet you take issue with me on that, but ignore my suggestion that if Wendy didn't notice she was the only horse in the race, she couldn't be all that bright.

Finally,'Does £950 buy influence?'

Well, beer and sandwiches at No.10 used to work with the unions so your lot never have been expensive.

Tel said...

Why was Labour donor Paul green asked by Labour to donate the sum of £950?

Why not ask for £1001 or as he's willing to donate to avoid the impression that they've got something to hide?

Anonymous said...

Would you not accept that had these £950 donations not come to light that you would still be able to attack the SNP for their links with Souter but that people like Will would not know of the leader of Scottish Labour being personally in hock to anyone?

If at the next election she were to become First Minister and decisions started to go the way of these donors do you not see the SNP would be unable to make any sort of connection?

Is that something that totally escapes you?

Anonymous said...

Erm, isn't Labour taking squillions from "equity traders"? And chappies like Lord Saiinsbury, well known member of the working class?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Rabbie) 23/01/08 - You continue to try to smear Wendy over the leadership race, I’m losing patience, you’ve had it explained.

I’ll ask again does £950 buy influence with Labour while £500,000 can’t buy influence with the SNP ?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Tel) 23/01/08 - I wasn’t aware that he was asked to donate that figure, my understanding is that some people donate less than a thousand to remain anonymous. And he was presumably one of them.

Rabbie said...

(Kelly 1.51)
You could be right Terry - Hain cost £103,000 but maybe £950 works in Scotland.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 09:52 -

This is not very clear but, I think you are saying that Will and Co. did not know about the under £1,000 donations, I seriously doubt that.

“had these £950 donations not come to light” These donations are secret but the system of donating in this way was never a secret, I expect that all parties have used this system before.

“If at the next election she were to become First Minister and decisions started to go the way of these donors”

I’m struggling with this as well. The under £1,000 donors are secret so it would not be possible to tell if these people were being favoured by Govt. It’s interesting though that you think that donating £950 buys influence with Labour. What about £500,000 ?

Thursday, January 24, 2008 2:10:00 PM

Anonymous said...

You posted your response to the wrong thread again.

So you don't get the difference between deliberately soliciting individual donations just under the threshold for a leadership campaign and the transparency of large donations to a whole party?

How can you argue about the influence Souter has over the SNP? Because they published the details.

Who is to say that in the future these shady characters Wendy got herself mixed up with will turn round and say "I scratched your back". They could threaten to go to the press with the story of her subverting the finance laws which has a lot more hold over a party and a leader than the amount donated. We would never know of such a conflict.

And that is the difference between the two.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 11:15 - I don’t know anything about “equity traders” but Sainsbury I suppose like Souter is entitled to do that.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 14:21

“So you don't get the difference between deliberately soliciting individual donations”

Don’t I ? how pompous of you. Soliciting donations of less than £1,000 is not illegal and certainly not unique to Labour.

“How can you argue about the influence Souter has over the SNP? Because they published the details”

The SNP manifesto stated it was going to re-regulate the bus industry, Souter appeared with £500,000 and the manifesto promise was no more, that’s how I can criticise the SNP because it stinks.

Shady Characters ? - That bizarre scenario would presumably apply to any politician and any party.

You seem to be forgetting that Wendy did not get herself involved with any shady characters. If you really think that, you should go public and name these people and let them respond, what do you think ?

You would have to come out of hiding to do that of course.

Anonymous said...

The donations from this guy in Jersey were in fact illegal and the fact they came in under the threshold is circumstantial evidence (evidence backed up by documents from wendy's husband's computer) that they attempted to hide this law breaking.

You seem to miss the point. I agree with your point about the SNP ditching the bus regulation and calling into question the role of the donation in that. What I am trying to get through to you is that the SNP have done this openly.

The Alexander campaign fund was for her personal advancement. And it was illegal. That would give the donor a lot of influence going forward. Influence we would not be able to ascertain because of this secrecy.

We can link various actions of the SNP government together with the Souter funds but if Wendy were to start making decisions without anyone realising the interest then that is bad for democracy.

Your attempt to say that this comes down to simple sums (that the SNP owe more to Souter because he has given more money) is an attempt at a smokescreen because your friend has been caught.

And one final point. If it is done in her name then she is ultimately responsible for it. Unless you are saying she is irresponsible?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Will) 23/01/08-

I suspect that if you ask people outside your community what LGBT stands for you would get the same response as mine, which old refrain ?

You gave me the impression you were in his corner, I withdraw that.

Why not go the whole hog and condemn the SNP for their poor record on this subject then.

“And besides, that manifesto would have been written long before Souter got his chequebook out”

The £500,000 and the manifesto pledge being dropped are coincidental then, and you accuse Labour of dishonesty.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 15:29 -

My understanding is that this donation was illegal because he was not resident in the UK not because it was under £1.000 it is also patently obvious that she would have known nothing about this.

“What I am trying to get through to you is that the SNP have done this openly”

I don’t know what you mean by this, I’ve never said they didn’t do this openly the question is whether this bought influence.

“The Alexander campaign fund was for her personal advancement. And it was illegal”

No it wasn’t illegal.

If any politician were to make decisions based on illegal past activities it would be bad for democracy. She hasn’t done anything dishonest.

“ And one final point. If it is done in her name then she is ultimately responsible for it “

Absolute nonsense, if this were true there would be an awful lot more cases than this.

The Incorrigible Plagiarist said...

Terry Said:

I wasn’t aware that he was asked to donate that figure, my understanding is that some people donate less than a thousand to remain anonymous. And he was presumably one of them.


Paul Green Said:
"Mr Green said he was asked for £950, just below the level which would have to be declared publicly."

Everyone now knows:
"As a Jersey resident, Mr Green is barred by UK law from giving money to political parties or politicians."

Labour tried to conceal the illegal source of the donation, by keeping it below the threshold.

They were caught out by an insider leaking the details to the press.

Wendy is a lame duck leader, who has already acknowledged that it was an illegal donation.

Soutar's money to the SNP is above board and the public can make of it what they like... in fact, the public, in full knowledge of the SNP funding and not being as dumb as you seem to think, voted for the SNP anyway.

Will said...

Well, the fact that you've opted to reply here to a comment I made on a different thread is going to really confuse people, but all I'll say is that if you were that genuine and interested in gay equality as you claim, you'd have some basic idea of the issues, and the abbreviation currently in use. But then, you're the only "supporter of gay equality" who doesn't want to comment on an act of discrimination (and its resolution) in your own town (I'm still waiting for reaction on the Jonah Ditton case, after how many months?)

And the re-regulation was NOT in the 2007 manifesto! It was never in the manifesto. How can something be dropped from a document it was never in?!

And the SNP record is one of supporting the repeal of Section 28 supporting civil partnerships and - despite Roseanna Cunningham and Brian Souter - supporting adoption by gay couples. Oh, and Kenny MacAskill is giving his backing to anti-hate crime legislation. That's our record.

Your record is one of lies and false anger.

I prefer ours.

Peter said...

What I think we'd all like to know is why were Labour soliciting donations just short of the threshold? If it wasn't to buy influence, what did all those capitalists want? You can hardly blame them for thinking you lot are cheap. Or were Labour just doing it to sneak in a few illegal offshore donations?

The £100,000 Peter Hain trousered-what was that buying? If it was all above board why has he resigned?

As for Harriet Harman what was she trying to hide?

What do you think of Hilary Benn's refusal to accept a donation that Harman accepted on the basis that

'We declined to accept the cheque because we felt that if Mr Abrahams wanted to make a donation he could do so in his own name, and we returned the cheque.'

Incidentally you must be gutted at Tony Benn turning up at the Police protest. Is he now deserving of the same contempt with which you treated those who disagreed with you on that thread?


All examples of Labour sleaze. Can you still justify it? Where is your moral courage?

Eliot Ness said...

"It’s interesting though that you think that donating £950 buys influence with Labour."

Whether or not £950 "buys" influence with Labour is not the issue. The donation in question came from a person who was not entitled to donate in the first place and Ms Alexander and her campaign team went to great lengths to cover this up. It's not the amount of the donation it's the legality of the donation.

If one hundred people not legally entitled to donate each make a £950 donation, that's an awful lot of illegal cash swilling around the party coffers.

Surely, Mr Kelly even you can see that?

The Incorrigible Plagiarist said...


The SNP manifesto stated it was going to re-regulate the bus industry, Souter appeared with £500,000 and the manifesto promise was no more, that’s how I can criticise the SNP because it stinks.


Hate to cast you up about the accuracy of your statements, but could you remind me in exactly which manifesto did the SNP actually state that it would re-regulate the buses?

Anonymous said...

"My understanding is that this donation was illegal because he was not resident in the UK not because it was under £1.000 "

That is correct. But the allegation is that they solicited this exact amount (according to the man who donated it) and in evidence submitted to the Commission it is obvious that they are not confident with the legality of the donation.

To be clear no one is disputing the account that the campaign explicitly asked for £950 and the only reason for this would have been to avoid disclosure.

"the question is whether this bought influence. "

No, YOUR question is whether this bought influence. the point I am making here is that if the SNP is being bought and sold then the public (you and I) can see that. If Wendy was being bought and sold then I cannot.

"“The Alexander campaign fund was for her personal advancement. And it was illegal”

No it wasn’t illegal."

That should have read "the Alexander campaign fund donation was for personal advancement. And it was illegal" which I am sure you will agree that it was. Sorry, should have proof read.

"She hasn’t done anything dishonest"

Well - she has. She has accepted a campaign donation from someone she knew to be not allowed. How do we know this? She wrote a personal thank you letter to his address in Jersey.

"“ And one final point. If it is done in her name then she is ultimately responsible for it “

Absolute nonsense, if this were true there would be an awful lot more cases than this."

Wrong again Terry. If you have a leaflet in the election that says "Vote Kelly because all my opponents are kiddie fiddlers", written by someone on your campaign staff and distributed by campaign workers then who would carry the can? Exactly, it would be you. People authorised by Alexander to raise funds for her leadership campaign solicited donations from a questionable source. "The buck stops here", otherwise she was incompetent and could not control a small staff running a light campaign so how could she run a party or a country? Either she takes responsibility for it or she declares that she is incapable. Unless you have a third option?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(The Incorrigible Plagiarist) 24/01/08

We will see if all you say about this is true in due course, at the moment you will have to keep praying.

The question about Souter’s money is did it buy influence, the bus thing, remember.

You seem to be laying claim to something which is a bit unrealistic. If the war in Iraq had not been going on do you think the SNP would have won by that one seat ?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Will) 24/01/08 -

If I got the thread wrong I apologise, I am dealing with quite a lot of traffic, you people are not subtle.

Look, the abbreviation currently in use was unknown to 6 people whom I asked, I got the first 3 LGB if that’s any good, is this your argument ?

(I'm still waiting for reaction on the Jonah Ditton case, after how many months?)

What reaction are you on about ? This guy got fired for being gay and won compensation from his employer. Well done to him, his boss should have been sacked and charged, what have I missed ?

“And the re-regulation was NOT in the 2007 manifesto“ !

OK so why did it become an issue, I didn’t make it up, have people been lying to me ? What was it in ?

Section 28 was Wendy. You forgot Salmond ( the spiv ) and the Cardinal and gay adoption and you forgot Fergus Ewing’s support for the firemen bigots.

The anti hate crime is hardly a controversy, that’s not much of a record.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Peter) 24/01/08 - Soliciting donations short of &1,00 is not new. If you think political influence is bought for £950 you clearly have your finger on the pulse, try £500,000.
“The £100,000 Peter Hain trousered-what was that buying? If it was all above board why has he resigned“ ?

He didn’t speak to me about it but I understand he resigned to fight to clear his name.

“Incidentally you must be gutted at Tony Benn turning up at the Police protest”

Why should I be, a workers demo why shouldn’t he, I didn’t comment on whether they should get their money I said that I don’t think they are a special case, like Tony I think they should have the right to strike.

Tony will however regret that he inadvertently found himself sharing a platform with the BNP who were made very welcome by the police.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Eliot Ness) 09:18 -

Ms. Alexander did not go to any lengths to cover anything up, perhaps if you say it often enough you will start to believe it yourself.

The rest of this is tosh.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(The Incorrigible Plagiarist) 13:58 - Can you answer this question. Did the SNP say that they would re regulate the buses prior to taking Souter‘s money ?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 16:00 -

“if the SNP is being bought and sold then the public (you and I) can see that”

No we can’t because the SNP are not about to admit that they have been bought and sold are they ?

“She wrote a personal thank you letter to his address in Jersey”

This does not mean she knew this donation was illegal, it means she wrote a thank you letter that’s all, people donate money she writes a thank you letter, she is not expected to know the details.

"The buck stops here" No, it only stops here if she knew about it.

“otherwise she was incompetent”

not knowing every detail of your campaign does not make you incompetent.
To know every single detail with certainty would mean working entirely on your own, with no help whatever.

You haven’t landed a glove.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(The Incorrigible Plagiarist) 11:11 - For god’s sake can you not shorten it a bit, particularly when you’ve said it all before ?

Claire Miller said...

What do you think of Glasgow City Councils decision to sack Raymond Bell for being misinformed, intimidated and bullied by Tommy Williams?

Do you think he could have a case for unfair dismissal?

jon said...

My apologies councillor, I didn't realise that you were unaware of Paul Green's clear statement that he was asked to donate £950 to stay below the threshold.

Any donation he could have made whether £5 or £50,000 would have been illegal as he isn't registered to vote in the UK. Can you not see why that fact in tandem with Labour requesting a donation just short of the threshold looks dodgy?

I've no idea what the price of political influence is, I've never tried to buy it. As things stand and in the absence of any robust defence from the Labour Party it looks to many folk as if they were
knowingly trying to conceal illegal donations.

I'm old enough to remember when the Labour party (the odd bad apple aside) was pretty decent. I've voted for them in the past and would love to to so again but the overall impression given by the leadership is one of arrogance and corruption.

Vanda Murray said...

“if the SNP is being bought and sold then the public (you and I) can see that”

'No we can’t because the SNP are not about to admit that they have been bought and sold are they ?'

Councillor, you are obviously an intelligent man but you don't actually believe that do you? Do you really think the public are stupid enough to take everything politicians say at face value. You should get out and meet us more -we're a cynical bunch when it comes to politics.

We can all keep an eye on the SNP for any influence the donations they've accepted may have. If the Labour scandals hadn't broken none of us would have known they were accepting illegal donations. The SNP are being bought and sold but Labour were breaking the law. Both should pay the price for their transgressions.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(jon) 26/01/08 - If the investigation into this supports your analysis then I have no doubt that there will be repercussions for those concerned, I have never said otherwise.

People are trying to use this to bring down Wendy Alexander and I happen to believe she is not guilty of any dishonesty.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Vanda Murray) 26/01/08 - I believe that any political Party who accepts money for influence would never admit that, isn’t that rather obvious.

“We can all keep an eye on the SNP for any influence the donations they've accepted may have“

Well actually you can’t anyone who donates under £1,000 is entitled to anonymity if they want it so, if £950 can by influence and secrecy how can you say that.

The Incorrigible Plagiarist said...


Can you answer this question. Did the SNP say that they would re regulate the buses prior to taking Souter‘s money ?


Yes, I can answer that question.

The 2006 SNP conference passed a motion that would support re-regulation of the buses.

That conference motion did not make it into the SNP manifesto for the 2007 election, which was published around the time of the openly registered Soutar donation.

(How many conference motions become manifesto pledges? (Genuinely asking BTW?))

The SNP won the 2007 election, but clearly not on the strength of the bus re-regulation policy...

What was your daft question again? Would Labour have lost the election if they hadn't embroiled us in an illegal war in Iraq?

Bit more serious than a bus timetable isn't it, but if I'm honest, I belive that had Tony Bliar not dragged us into that illegal and immoral conflict, on the strength of a fudged report, then there's a strong possibility that Labour would still have had the trust of the people.

Any other matters I can clarify for you?

Anonymous said...

"she writes a thank you letter, she is not expected to know the details"

Even when the letter thanks him for his personal donation and is addressed to Jersey? So she is not reading what she is signing?

Do you not realise that anything signed is you taking legal responsibility? I got my bonus letter through the other day and my boss had to sign it to make it all above board. When you sign your expenses declaration at the end of the election you are accepting legal responsibility for that. When you had Wendy sign hers she was taking legal responsibility for it.

What if that letter had promised him a seat in the House of Lords? Or maybe a contract for office space for Renfrewshire Labour and she signed it without reading it? She would have been legally bound to honour the promise or go to court to fight the resulting suit.

Alleging that Alexander was not aware of the contents of anything she signed is quite an accusation. Some would say it was "an incompetence".

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 10:10

“Alleging that Alexander was not aware of the contents of anything she signed is quite an accusation“.

This is dishonest, tell me where you read or heard that “Alexander was not aware of the contents of anything she signed”

you need anonymity to come away with lies like that don’t you.

If a member of a campaign team says sign these thank you letters you do so, you do not read every letter or, indeed everything that you sign during an election.

The candidate does not deal with the crossing of every ‘T’ and the dotting of every ‘I’ during a campaign, otherwise they wouldn’t need any assistance would they ?
to suggest they do is either dishonest or stupid.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 10:10

“Alleging that Alexander was not aware of the contents of anything she signed is quite an accusation“.

This is dishonest, tell me where you read or heard that “Alexander was not aware of the contents of anything she signed”

you need anonymity to come away with lies like that don’t you.

If a member of a campaign team says sign these thank you letters you do so, you do not read every letter or, indeed everything that you sign during an election.

The candidate does not deal with the crossing of every ‘T’ and the dotting of every ‘I’ during a campaign, otherwise they wouldn’t need any assistance would they ?
to suggest they do is either dishonest or stupid.