Nick Bowes was the Head of High Value Fundraising for the Labour Party. Until a few days ago he wrote what he thought was a private blog called Tales of the Northern Monkey. Thanks to the Mail on Sunday Nick Bowes's thoughts on the cash for honours scandal have become rather more public than he would have hoped.
"The whole peerages things is corrupt. It is one of the biggest forms of patronage still in the hands of the Prime Minister. I just wonder whether the PM really believes in sorting out the House of Lords, as it may just rob him of his one first-class way of rewarding big donors and sponsors of city academies. It dawned on me last night, with the equivalent impact of a brick hitting a wall at some pace, that they will probably want to talk to me too. I'm now a little worried. Just being involved in such a high-profile investigation when I no longer work for the Labour Party... five years ago [when I went to work for the Party] I never thought things would come to this. I still think the crucial questions are a) why were donors persuaded to change their donations into loans and b) to what extent was the Prime Minister involved? In answer to a) you have to conlude it is because they were going to get peerages and Number 10 didn't want people to draw a relationship between the two and b) the Prime Minister was in it up to his neck and was personally involved...Clearly Number Ten was running a Party within a Party - Blair, Lord Levy, Matt Carter and Ian McCartney were all complicit in the scam, and I knew absolutely nothing about the loans. I know all of the donors...most of them are genuinely nice people, although...I question their personal politics. What I mean by this is that they are basically Tories, saw which way the wind was blowing, and did what they needed to do to get the peerage they've always wished for... It's a Lavender List. It's got the grimy hands of Lord Levy all over it...most on this list have given substantial money to Labour. Some of the elevations I think would be quite good. Sir Gulam Noon - who frankly is the supporter of whomever is in government and therefore most likely to make him a Lord - and Barry Townsley who I have always suspected of being a Tory. It's all a bit of a mess and one which might still have been a story if we'd been more transparent ie more "cash from big business" stories as opposed to "sleazy, secretive deals" stories..."
Reminder. Nick Bowes was Head of High Value Fundraising. Guido might like to do a FOI on his job description with the Labour Party. A Labour Party spokesman told the MoS that Bowes "had no reason to know about the Partyt's funding and is unqualified to speak on the subject." Oh for God's sake. The clue is in his job title. If he didn't know about it, who did? Lord Levy, you say? Ah, it's all falling into place. But I feel rather sorry for Mr Bowes. He's standing as a councillor on May 5th and is applying to get on Labour's Parliamentary Candidates List. I wouldn't hold my breath, if I were him.