Thursday, November 29, 2007

Was the Mendelsohn Donation From Mendelsohn?

This is what the Press Association is reporting about a donation from Gordon Brown's chief fundraiser to the Peter Hain Deputy Leadership campaign of, er, £5,000...
Work and Pensions Secretary Peter Hain tonight admitted that he failed to register a £5,000 donation to his deputy leadership campaign by Labour's new chief fund raiser. Mr Hain blamed an "administrative error" for the failure to inform the Electoral Commission of the donation by Jon Mendelsohn. "In the light of recent events, it has come to my attention that a donation from Jon Mendelsohn to my deputy leadership campaign was mistakenly not registered with the Electoral Commission," Mr Hain said in a statement. "Jon Mendelsohn made a personal contribution of £5,000 at the end of June 2007. We wish to make clear that this was entirely an administrative error on the part of my campaign. "I very much regret that the donation was not registered as it should have been and I am taking immediate steps to do so." Mr Mendelsohn, who was not the party's fund raiser at the time, is already facing calls for his resignation after the disclosure that he was aware two months ago of the proxy donations to the party made by property developer David Abrahams.

The question Mr Mendelsohn will need to answer is this: was it truly a "personal" donation? I am sure it is a coincidence that the donation was for £5,000, exactly the same amount as Mrs Kidd wanted to donate to Gordon Brown's campaign, and exactly the same amount that Mr Abrahams gave to Hilary Benn. The donation was made at the end of June, just shortly after Mr Mendelsohn offered two different leadership campaigns "help" in raising funds for their campaigns, according to today's Evening Standard. Funny, that.

26 comments:

Richard Dale said...

Damn me if this doesn't get funnier and funnier! if I wasn't ill I'd be up all night watching this - far better than the usual drama on TV.

The Splund said...

This is better than election night! Every moment a new revelation! Fair livens up a boring evening in an Oslo hotel room!

Chris Paul said...

NOT from Abrahams I'd say. Mendelsohn has access to such funds himself. Benn was Abrahams' main punt. Harman got some scraps when Gordon turned A/K down. As I've said before the whole things is a mess. All parties have had scrapes. This is a bad one but as yet it looks like party incompetence - NB not government incompetence - and Abrahams as maverick wild card rather than any wrong doing of the kind Guido etc were suggesting 24 and 48 hours ago.

washbrook1948 said...

Being a life long supporter of Bolton Wanderers watching the match tonight on five on my computer.
I got more excited looking at the posts on this blog and guido fawkes.
I almost missed the equaliser with 30 seconds to go.
The Test starts tomorrow.
Let's hope England bat and bowl better than Labour.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing that Labour grandees can spurt off all sorts of facts and figures in the commons and when make local speeches, BUT cannot remember to register donations.

Maybe they have forgotten that it was Labour that introduced this legislations.

It is getting like the old socialists days,dont do as I do, but do as I say.

Ed said...

What a tangled web!

This will run and run. In the end we will know exactly what happened and then hopefully a new set of rules can be hammered out.

Anonymous said...

Crikey.

Suddenly I don't think the Government can survive all this.

Must check odds on a January election...

Anonymous said...

disappointing question time ...
naff guests
This week should be good fer a laff

Pure comedy for several days on the trot .....

I hope that Yates gets more than consultancy....This time its already been agreed that the crime has been admitted ,Its just a question of how ,any to nick ...

best of Luck to him

Tankus

The Hitch said...

"In the light of recent events, it has come to my attention

Reminds me of that David Mellor /Ron the badger fan spoof that they did on little britain

" I fell over and suddenly found myself in a rastafarian gentleman"

Of course it has Pete a total suprise!
No doubt leaving you in a state of shock and with a burning desire to make sure lessons will be learned and make sure this never happens again.
(until the next time)

Diablo said...

I am now beginning to see why Brown was keen to build a government of all the talents. He knew he had inherited a bunch of elected wallies that he was obliged to place in his Cabinet so he wanted some real high fliers advising him.

So much for his judgement on that...now about the economy...no more boom and bust... education - "world class"... defence... crime.... immigration....fill in the rest for yourself.

Oh, and don't forget his promise to get away from sleaze!

How is the old billygoat gruff measuring up so far? Well it's been all change, hasn't it? 11%'s worth so far!

Now, how can we link the gargoyles (the two Eds and wee Dougie) to all this? "Bottled election attempt" springs to mind.

Anonymous said...

"The Test starts tomorrow. Let's hope England bat and bowl better than Labour."

If not it will finish tomorrow, too.

verity said...

Excuse me, excuse me, but why can't I access Newsnight or anything else? I'm using Windows Media Player. But I also have Real Player. But it won't play. Does anyone know what I need to do next as I want to be in at the death of this government.

Praguetory said...

Did someone say a can of worms? More like a barrel.

jimmy averill said...

diablo - I'd say it was a 22-point change.

judith said...

Dear Chris, the Party 'incompetents' just happen to be The Government.

They can't comply with their own legislation? Just how brain-dead are they?

Diablo said...

"jimmy averill said...
diablo - I'd say it was a 22-point change."

Too true jimmy! Never was good at maths. But then again my heart was in the right place - unlike Mr Paul who seems to have his head up his arse as usual.

Gareth said...

A certain Jonathan Mendelsohn also donated to Gordon Brown's leadership campaign.

jonathan hemlock said...

Iain:

Is it possible to get nostalgic for old-fashioned corruption, in the same way we get teary-eyed for second-rate glam rock bands and dodgy haircuts?

If so - I remember the "good old days" when a really proper bung of a million pounds was called a 'Bernie', in respect of the diminutive F1 boss's blatent bung in support of tobacco advertising.

Nowadays, it seems a mere five thou' will buy you influence with the Labour MP of your choice.

So - from now on, should we call a £5k bung a "Mendelsohn" - or a "Felix"?

Frankly, I find this degree of deflation (when buying politicians) a real worry.

Oscar Miller said...

Didn't Mendelsohn also give £5000 to Brown's campaign as well? How much spare dosh does this man have? Seems like he was handing out £5k like pocket money.

Anthony said...

A nice summary here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOxPcLCxjxw
;)

mitch said...

When declaring donations don't people have to use the words 'up to £5k' etc?

Therefore £5k is the highest amount people can donate in the lowest bracket, if you see what I mean. Isn't this the reason £5k is often used?

Cato, author of www.toryheaven.com said...

Wouldn't it be delicious if it were to transpire that the trail of badly hidden illegal donations to the labour Party led back to none other than ... Cherie Blair? She must have an even larger and permanent grin than is usual for her as she watches the loathed Gordon Brown squirming in discomfort at the Labour party's woes.

While there's absolutely nothing (so far as I am aware) to suggest Cherie had a hand in any of this, if one was to imagine someone both devious enough to plan such bad press for Gordon, as well as possessing the motive to stick the knife in, one can't think of a more likely candidate than Cherie. She would certainly also have possessed the required cash to fund these donations.

hedgehogskinner said...

Godawful government... But entertainment value...Wow!

zeno said...

Chris Paul: it's good to see that you are so well-informed about the mess.

With that much knowledge of what went on, I presume you've contacted the Electoral Commission and Insp. Knacker.

Or are you just blowing hard?

Stalin McSporran said...

Newmania pointed out a few days ago that the Labour Party no longer has any unifying intellectual position, like it used to when it was labour against capital. As a ragbag of the public sector elite, media luvvies, liberal lawyers, and the like, its funding problems were structural and therefore entirely predictable. I would go further and suggest that pretty much by definition, any donation to Labour by a businessman is likely to turn out to be corrupt. No businessman who has a company to run can possibly believe Labour to be good for business generally, but they might be prepared to accept that in exchange for a bung, Labour could be induced to be good for his business.

Thus Ecclestone bunged Labour a Bernie to get out of the tobacco ban, i.e. he was buying a very specific benefit to his business. Mittal bunged Labour to get a letter of support written in favour of his offer into a tender and at the expense of that of British steel companies. Again, not a woolly expression of approbation, but a bribe to secure a specific favour. The Hindujas bunged Labour to get British passports. Robinson bunged Mandelson to get a sinecure and a peerage. Anschutz bunged Prescott to get the casino at the dome. And so on.

Fayed has always assumed governments worked this way, and when he found he couldn't bung the Tories to get a passport, he took his revenge by simply asserting that he had done so. Thanks to Labour, he was believed.

This I think is why one automatically wonders what was in it for Abrahams. It is inconceivable that there was nothing, because for 13 years, that is just not how Labour has worked.

MrChippy said...

I wonder if the acting Commander Nigel Mawer who is investigating the missing discs and now the donations scandal, is related to Sir Phillip Mawer, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards? Does antone know?