Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What is the Point of Jack Dromey?

I suspect the second casualty of this scandal, will be the resignation of Jack Dromey. He has just told reporters that there was "complete concealment" from him about the Abrahams donations. He is the Labour Party Treasurer. This is the second time he has been kept in the dark. The last time he pleaded total ignorance was about the loans for honours affair. Courageously he blew the gaffe on that. What is the point of him remaining in position if he hasn't got a clue what is being done in his name? He's proved that he can't impose systems to stop this sort of thing happening. He ought to resign. Like Gordon Brown, he's not cut out for the job.

50 comments:

Tony said...

Well Mrs Jack Dromey seems to have had an idea about what was going on...

Carl Gardner said...

As David Boothroyd pointed out to me in comments on another post, it seems he wasn't even registered with the Electoral Commission as party treasurer for the purpose of reporting on donations! Peter Watt was.

Daily Referendum said...

Janet Dunn now remembers the cheque with which she donated £25,000 on behalf of David Abrahams.

high holborn said...

His treasurer's report to the LP conference 2007 was an embarrasing performance of conceit and hubris. How smug he was back then as the early general election bandwagon rolled and with Brown's ex-patsy Charlie Whelan just appointed to his Unite union payroll! Dromey being touted for a safe seat in the pre-election scrum - deja vu 5 years ago when he failed in Pontefract [?]- at the time Campbell commented in his diaries about his low calibre.

James said...

So now we have Harman, Dromey, and Mendelsohn who all might have reasons to resign. Anyone else likely to be up for plan-walking duties?

Gordon Brown is Cameron's Greatest Asset said...

Harriet Harperson probably married him because he was a bit of rough, so she gets to feel like Lady Chatterley and Camille Paglia at the same time.

Gary Elsby stoke said...

If I remeber rightly, Jack Dromey, did the rounds of the TV studios to stick the boot into Tony.

He did SKY at 6.00pm
BBC at 6.10
CH4 at 6.20
CH5 at 6.30
Newsnight at 6.45
Midnight news at 7.00
GMTV at 7.15
BBC24 morning at 7.25
SKY sunrise at 7.30pm.

You get the picture?

Jack will go into hiding.
Mr. Jack Harman will definitely go into hiding.

I think it's a scurrilous rumour to suggest that Tony has a smirk on his face as he settles the Middle East question, once and for all.

Arise Sir, Lord, Gold congressional medal of honour,Nobel Peace prize,leader of the UN,President of the EU,Tony Blair.

Gary

MrChippy said...

I don't know how anyone could trust any of this bunch to run a bath let alone this country.

machiavelli said...

Maybe if he resigned he could spend more time helping his wife with her due diligence (that's a joke about the current corruption and nothing salacious about their marital responsibilities, obviously)

Anonymous said...

re Daily Referendum @ 2:17

is there a source for that story? Checked your blog, but it does not say...

iang said...

Gordon Brown himself confirmed during PMQ's that these donations have been happening for four years. To quote "Dave", it beggars belief that Jack Dromey and Harriet Harman ( the Treasurer and Chairperson of the party ) were unaware of the "arrangements" with Abrahams for this length of time. ....Also who are the Labour Party's auditors? ( Gordo's pals PWC ?? ) How did they sign off the accounts ?

Chris Paul said...

This is a general concern Iain. How are Trustees and Directors and Management Committee Members of Vol Orgs, Charities and CLGs kept informed properly? Legally the buck tends to stop with such people even though it is incredibly easy for executive incompetence, workload or disingenuity to keep them/us in the dark.

I have seen both sides of this. The previous LP Treasurer was excellent on the Daily Politics yesterday. I'd guess she was able to be more hands on than Jack.

In respect of David Boothroyd's comment reported by Carl Gardner ... I think this may be a reasonable arrangement given the volunteer/executive issue I've raised. Mark Pack is in a similar position. Iain has reported he was. Paid people rather than volunteers reporting seems to be standard at this kind of level.

Whereas from constituency and local government committee levels it is volunteers. there are no workers in most cases I suppose.

Chris Paul said...

PS Jack Dromey came and spoke for Harriet at the Mcr Hustings for DL. He is more impressive in many ways. In fact we only had two of the candidates as between their teams they were doing two or perhaps even three hustings that night. Jack was easily the best of the subs and edged at least one of the candidates.

johnny legover said...

The point of Jack Dromey is to service Hattie Harperson.

Oscar Miller said...

But Dromey didn't hit the studios with indignation about being kept in the dark about loans to Labour for reasons of integrity. The clear inference in Anthony Seldon's book Blair Unbound is that it was all part of the Brown camps anti-Blair campaign, keeping up the pressure after Blair's narrow victory on the education bill. Dromey said the timing was "entirely coincidental" (p.428) but Blair was livid. Brown's boys were even willing to risk the good repute of the party, so confident were they that when Brown showed up he could be the 'anti-sleaze' candidate and it wouldn't contaminate them. They turned the scandal on like a tap and (tried) to turn it off like a tap with the immediate announcement that no charges were to be brought on cash for honours as soon as Brown came to power. Dromey's absence now is more of a Macavity act. He doesn't want to be at the scene of the crime. Do you really believe he knew nothing about David Abraham's donations? I certainly don't. I think all the top Brownites knew and we are now witnessing a classic cover-up. They may be full of a lot of hot air about how 'wrong' it was, but really we should all know better than to believe a word they say.

canvas said...

Labour are on the rocks.

Can the public demand a general election?

Gordon Brown has a moral obligation to resign. He has no mandate to govern - and he's not a natural leader. It's get silly now.

Daily Referendum said...

Anon@2:25

It's being reported on the Beeb

Tony said...

Anon @ 2.45pm re: Daily Referendum info - BBC Five Live carried the news of Janet Dunn's near miraculous recollection of £25,000 being paid from her account. It sounded like John Pienaar reporting it.

You would sort of think people would remember a sum of money of that size transitting through their account on its way to a political party they do not support...

harriett harperson mp said...

Re: What is the point in Jack Dromey?

I'll have you know that Jack makes a very nice cup of tea, always gets up to put the cat out and when he's finished doing the washing up will be happy to reply in person.
HH

old blairite said...

Dromey is a Brownite who only blew the gaffe on the cash for honours to stuff Blair and open the way for Brown.

He should come clean on what he really knew about the Abraham's donations and the ilegal "arrangements" and then he should resign as treasurer and present himself to the police to assist their investigations.

verity said...

This pigswill will continue to "govern" - you should excuse the loose use of language - Great Britain until, somehow, the passenger class - aka public sector workers and the benefits recipients - is disenfranchised.

It is outrageous and unjust that the producing sector (wherever they put their X on their ballot papers) are financing the lifestyles of people with their fingers in the public purse

If you are not a wealth creator, there is absolutely no reason for you to have a say in how the wealth that has been created is spent.

This is an idea whose time has come and will spread like wildfire once one country implements it.

Six months on unemployment - click of a computer key and your name is removed from the electoral register. Back at work, click and you're back on.

Absolutely no one in the public sector, including the prime minister, should have a vote. The Queen doesn't get a vote, why should the prime minister?

This latest surreal scandal of socialist corruption will not be resolved, and will soon be overaken by another.

You will never get rid of the Harriet Harman, Jack Straw, Gordon Brown, Margaret Becket, Tessa Jowell fleas until you burn the public sector blanket.

Anonymous said...

'The Friends of Israel' seem to feature quite strongly in this whole sordid affair - is that where the money is really coming from? Are they Labour's shadowy backers? Are all the individuals involved just intermediaries for them to channel money?

machiavelli said...

He could stand in the corner with a big hat and a flashlight, and pretend to be a standard lamp, I suppose...

Ned said...

When Jack Dromey came out in 2006 ref' unknown £14million ..Tony Blair was PM,'some' believed at the time to keep GB out of any forthcoming Cash for Peerages revelations ... This time round Gordon Brown is PM ...JD's wife is Harriet Harman..long time friend & Deputy to Gordon Brown!!

Anonymous said...

Apparently Chris Huhne has written to the police, demanding that they investigate this affair. More than a little rich, given the £2.4 million in unlawful donations that the Liberal Democrats took from Michael Brown in 2005, which they have still got. Well, they would have it if they hadn't spent it. Shouldn't the Tories be reminding the public about that episode, and asking when if ever the Liberal Democrats intend to cough up that money?

Anonymous said...

It's nothing to do with whether Jack Dromey actually knew anything. He is the Treasurer. Under section 62 of the PPFRA 2000 he is the reporting officer and is the one who commits the criminal offence under section 65(4) if any part of the Act in relation to donations is not complied with but he has a defence if he can prove that he took all reasonable steps and exercised due diligence and still did not know about it. Doesn't exactly fit the known facts so far does it? Forget the handing the money back to Mr Abrahams or his agents bit - the Electoral Commission is entitled to and perhaps should apply to court for a forfeiture order. At least the tax payer will get some money back from the North East

chris paul said...

You might think this is all hot stuff but it will blow over - it means nothing outside the Westminster village. People care about their hospitals and their mortgages, not arcane stuff like party funding. Everybody knows the Tories are just as bent as Labour on this and it's disappointing that the BBC for one aren't focusing on this very important aspect of things. What about Michael Ashcroft then eh? Exactly.

Governing is a tough business and opposition is easy. Walk a mile in Gordon Brown's shoes, why don't you. He's a likeable and popular man who's doing his very best for the country - and it's got to be better than that public school toff Cameron's would be.

You got nowhere with the cash for honours fit up and this one will get you just as far. You need to get with the programme and stop acting like the same old nasty party.

Anonymous said...

Chris Pauls smoking some good weed this afternoon. He's drifted away into his own little parallel Universe. Peace man!

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

For Jack Dromey to actually know what is going on in the Labour party he would have to leave the pub for long enough to find out. And that is never going to happen.

crackers said...

This is the point of Jack Dromey in relation to Harman's acceptance of £5k from Abrahams.

1 You are intimately connected with Lab finance and fundraising.

2 Your wife has won the dep leadership contest but is £10k in debt.

3 Your wife asks for your help and advice knowing your contacts.

4 You call P Watt because you know he can help. You may even ask him about Abrahams. Anyway Watt tells you to give him a day or two.

5 Watt calls you back and says that Janet Kidd , a Labour donor, is happy to send £5K and that your wife's people must call her to make arrangements for a cheque. Watt tells you that its Abrahams, who is well known to Dromey but not to mention to Harriet.

6 Harman tells her team to call Kidd to arrange for the funds.

This is how it happened and this is the point of Dromey.

verity said...

I haven't even bothered to learn the names of the major players this time round. It will grind on and on and then grind to a halt and they'll all still be on the public teat and nothing will have changed.

Disenfranchisement of the public sector (and the welfare sector) is the only answer to saving democracy.

Anyone who values his vote that much can take a job in the wealth-creation sector and get his franchise back in a trice.

Anonymous said...

anon @ 4:48
It's nothing to do with whether Jack Dromey actually knew anything. He is the Treasurer. Under section 62 of the PPFRA 2000 he is the reporting officer and is the one who commits the criminal offence under section 65(4) if any part of the Act in relation to donations is not complied with

Sorry, but he is *not* the Treasurer in this sense. Look at the EC website - it is (was) little boy Watt. Dromey's title is for internal party purposes only.

Anonymous said...

I hope the Inland Revenue will be energeticaly pursueing the ostensible "donors" to make sure they properly declare the monies they received from Abrahams as "gifts" so that they can pay the correct tax!

Anonymous said...

One question. In the "loans" scandal it eventually emerged that this involved a group of people, and was not just one isolated individual. What checks are being made to establish if this "route" for channeling money to the Labour Party is a scheme that has been widely promoted/used?

verity said...

Well, the donor has multiple names and birth dates, so perhaps he has a multiple personality, too.

verity said...

PS - has anyone read Quentin Letts over on The Daily M**l? It's very funny.

copydude said...

Timeline.

Midday. Chris Huhne goes public with reporting Donor-gate to the police.

14.30. Janet Dunn suddenly has a 'miraculous recollection' - equal in miracle only to the immaculate conception - of donating 25,000 to the Labour Party.

Hmmmm

accountant said...

Labour Treasurer Jack Dromey appears to be denying all knowledge of these donations amounting to, at least, £650,000 from Abrahams, via intermediaries.

So if the Labour Party treasurer didn't know about all this money coming in, then who did know apart from Watt and Mendelsohn and what bank account was it paid into if it wasn't paid into the official Labour Party account administered by Dromey?

Is Dromey sugesting that senior people in the Labour Party, people very close to Brown perhaps, were running an unofficial "slush fund" extraneous to the official fund over which he had supervision?

Did Brown know about this slush fund?

copydude said...

To Accountant. Really.

People like Harriet Harman and Tessa Jowell can't be expected to know everything that happens when they are such busy mums.

They can not worry their pretty heads about every Tom, Dick or Berlusconi who happens to stop by the house and leave a cheque on top the fridge.

Like Tessa's husband, Jack put some of the money into their joint account at the Co-op and tucked away a few shillings into the Christmas Club. This year they were hoping to win the mince pies in the raffle.

It is cynical to suggest that this ordinary socialist couple were in any way trained lawyers or high-powered professionals capable of even checking their own bank statements.

Anonymous said...

Chris Paul is insulting and derogatory to those millions of "simple" people outside of the Westminster vilage. It's funny how the Labour Party purports to champion the interests of the "poor" and "ordinary" yet denigrates their ability to understand theissues when these are contrary to Labour interests.

This story is all over the redtops as it is in the former broadsheets. All the "common" people need, and do, understand is that this story underlines the sleazy nature of this government. In fact, this will mean more to the "common man" because the red tops will report this simply as a matter of pure sleaze with none of the nuances which more charitable broadsheets will include.

You brought this on yourselves Chris Paul. You made an issue of toe sucking, secretary fvcking and other "sleazy" stories under the last Tory government. Your own todies' far more sleazy excesses are coming back to haunt you under Brown as they did under Blair.

Brown can no longer hide under the "change" mantra. He was the keystone of the last Blair government and is a living embodiment of all that is spin, sleaze and obfuscation.

You're finished. If this carries on much longer then the next election will not be a case of "can the tories overcome the inbuilt Labour advantage?" You will lose by a landslide...

Anonymous said...

Probably worth asking what the point of Verity is given the comment on disenfranchising non wealth creators. Perhaps she exists to remind us that nearly every extension of democracy was opposed by the right.

Of course the Soviet Union would be able to argue that it was democracy on Verity's basis.

And would she really take the vote away from policemen and soldiers - or perhaps they could be privatised as well.

JERRY HAYES said...

While thoroughly enjoying the mindboggling hypocrisy of Brown I am reminded of a tale that John Gummer used to tell when he was Chairman of the Tories. One day, at some fundraiser, a prominent asian gentleman approached him and hinted that his community was under-represented in the Lords. Should the need arise , he would only be too happy to oblige. Gummer, ever polite, made some throwaway remark and moved on. A week later the same gentleman appeared at Central Office with a large briefcase demanding to see the Chairman. He was ushered in to the presence, reminded Gummer of the conversation and opened his briefcase to reveal one million pounds in used fifties. "A small donation to the party", he grinned. "May I have my peerage next week?" When Gummer had scraped himself off the floor gentleman was politely shown the door. How things have changed.

Anonymous said...

Furthermore, the biggest sleaze story under Major was that of Hamilton accepting a few grand in cash for questions. All the stories regarding Labour sleaze involve hundreds of thousands of pounds taken by the party's senior members with e connivance or "ignorance" of very senior figures.

Labour sleaze puts the Tory party to shame. To think that the party of the working man is so much more adept at financial fraud and illegality must gall those corrupt tories who took a few envelopes under Major. Major, incidentally, was never remotely implicated in doing any worse than showing the distaste to find Currie attractive.

canvas said...

What's the point of Gordon Brown?

Gordon - if you can't cope, you should leave the work to someone who can.

Please resign.

jonathan hemlock said...

Iain,

We all know what a good friend Gordon is when times are tough.

Harriet is about to find out.

Harriet Harman says ‘I’m sure Gordon will stand by me’

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

I seem to remember when Dromey hit the airwaves on loans for peerages the Labour Party line was, 'Oh, he's not the treasurer in the sense that he has anything to do with the money. It's just an honorary position which involves little more than presenting a report to the annual conference.'

Perhaps they'll try to pull that stunt again. Not that anyone believed them first time round.

I also remember Dromey's organisation of the mass pickets at the Grunwick photo lab. That was in the days when mob intimidation seemed to be official Labour Party policy. (Some of the brothers still yearn for those happy days, I believe.)

bebopper said...

The following is obviously Politically Incorrect:
However, TV coverage of PMQs will reveal rows of inadequate people on the Labour back benches.
Their inadequacies are magnified when Party Whips force them to read out soft questions for the Prime Minister. Which is difficult when you have learning difficulties.
These Educational Subnormal People are chosen as parliamentry candidates because they are:
(a) Women
(b) Black or Asian
(c) Sponsored by a trades union.

LESSON: Dave, the first person who comes into your office and starts a pitch about "diversity", take out your revolver, take aim, and.....

ray said...

Verity,

I wondered why I couldn't get an appointment to see my GP - then I saw her serving behind the counter at Primark

Anyway, you seem to forget that the public sector workers pay taxes too; 'no taxation without representation' - now where have I heard that before?

chris (m) said...

Anonymouse 6.38pm said "I hope the Inland Revenue will be energeticaly pursueing the ostensible "donors" to make sure they properly declare the monies they received from Abrahams as "gifts" so that they can pay the correct tax!"

Surely the whole point of this is that the intermediaries were acting as agents or bare trustees for Mr Abrahams and as giving money to a political party is not a taxable transaction the Inland Revenue would not be interested.

The alternative would be to suggest that these were secret wages paid to the intermediaries who then decided entirely at their own discretion to donate them to Labour. That would have income tax implications but then the donations would not have been treated as being secret donations by Abrahams.

What surprises me is how little seems to be said about Mr Abrahams' developments and the way he managed to get planning permission after it had been turned down. Did this come after an appeal to the Secretary of State?