Thursday, November 30, 2006

Provisional Daily Mail

Yet another example of the brilliance of Provisional BBC, five weeks after it ran a story 'Fresh Donor Row', about the row of a Labour donor accused of receiving privileged access to politicians because of her financial contributions to the Party, the Daily Mail ran a front page story about the corruption scandal of Labour Party members, erm, giving money to the Labour Party. Here is a composite, with some bits from each article, see if you can guess which are which:

"The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, donated £36 to Labour. She subsequently received invitations to meet prominent politicians and “have her say” in the drafting of the next Labour election manifesto."

"The scam - also under investigation by sleaze watchdogs – has been branded a "national disgrace", an "outrageous abuse of taxpayers' money" and an "affront to democracy"."

Party chair Hazel Blears faced immediate calls to name all others who donated under the controversial arrangements.

'It is a national disgrace. 'We are talking about millions of pounds a year going into the Labour Party war chest via the taxpayer - but without them even knowing. This is their money," said Bryn Sidaway, former leader of Sunderland Council.

James Frayne, campaign director of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: "The crisis in party funding has clearly made Labour officials completely lose the plot. This is obviously morally wrong and is an outrageous abuse of taxpayers' money. The Labour leadership should put a stop to this immediately and pay back anything that's been sent to the Party."

A party spokesman refused to comment on individual cases, but said the “membership” system was fully approved by the Electoral Commission. A Labour party spokesperson said: "Labour councillors agree to abide by Labour Party rules including the payment of a Group levy. This levy is from councillors personally and not the council."

Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell declared the Labour Party morally bankrupt. Though his party run a similar system, the pensioner proudly acknowledged there are no benefits to being a Lib Dem member. A Liberal Democrat spokesman confirmed that some LibDem councils, including Richmond in Surrey, run a voluntary programme in which their councillors hand over cash to fund party activities.

Tony Blair denied donors had a say in policy, arguing “Trade unions are our biggest donors, and we ignore everything they say.”


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