Friday, January 18, 2008

Telegraph Column: Hain Was Warned of His Legal Responsibilities by Electoral Commission



My Telegraph column today looks at Peter Hain's position and concludes that Gordon Brown has bottled it again. Not much original in that, you may feel, but read the whole article HERE. Here is the slightly newsworthy paragraph...

The Electoral Commission confirmed to me yesterday that it wrote to Mr Hain, at
the beginning of his campaign, outlining his obligations and his duties relating
to the declaration of donations. The letter explained to him that he was legally
responsible for his campaign, and it was his responsibility to ensure that all
donations were declared within 30 days of receipt. Forms were provided for him
or his team to do just that. All these forms had to be signed by him personally.
Indeed, we know he received the forms, because he did declare some donations on
May 31.

So Peter Hain has no excuses for his "incompetence" (copyright G Brown 2008). He had been duly warned about his legal responsibilities but he chose to ignore them. Another example of Labour politicians thinking they are above the law.

I rang the Electoral Commission because I remember David Davis receiving such a letter at the beginning of the Tory leadership campaign. Surely the existence of such a letter weakens his position even further. The Commission wouldn't give me a copy of the letter, but someone might like to do an FOI on it. I suspect its contents would make his position untenable.

32 comments:

martyn said...

Iain, it's really time to let this go. That is of course unless you're willing to concede that Tory MP's are responsible for thier incompetence also.

You've been very quiet regarding George Osborne's dodgy 500 grand, if you are adiment that Hain (who I detest by the way) should have known his responsibility then so should George - lets have some consistancy here, although I'm not sure you're capable - please prove me wrong.

The general electorate really don't give a fig about this and want to know who can lead them to a bright and prosperous future, this tit for tat is frankly pathetic to those of us who have real lives and real jobs.

Iain Dale said...

Martyn, Sorry, but I disagree. All Mps are responsible for their own competence.

You refer to George Osborne's dodgy 500 grand. Clearly you do not know the details. The money was received by the Conservative Party to pay for people employed by the Conservative party, some of whom work in Osborne's office. He asked the Registrar of Membes Inetrests if he should register it under his own registration and was told no. This advice was incorrect. George Osborne has done nothing wrong. Unlike Peter Hain who has ignored the very law which he himself voted for.

Did you watch Question Time tonight? If you had, you would not have written your last paragraph.

Paddy Briggs said...

Could we all please move on ? Harman, Hain, Osbourne et all all seem to have made mistakes. Nothing venal. Nothing corrupt. Nothing remotely of ineterest to 99% of the population.

The future of Britain - now there's a subject worthy of debate. Not the tittle-tattle. Move on Iain. PLEASE.

red-baiter said...

Martyn -

You mention "real lives and real jobs."

Whilst the alternative to a "real job" is the sort of non-job that Labour has been creating by the thousand in recent years, what exactly is the alternative to a "real life"?

judith said...

And Osborne had, of course, already publicly registered the money with the Electoral Commission and had enquired whether it should be registered with the Members' Register, so he wasn't trying to HIDE it, unlike the Orange Fakir.

And what about money being channelled through an allegedly FAKE think tank?

And what about Ministers not abiding (or being competent at abiding by) legislation they have generated? I'd say the electorate should be interested in that kind of hypocrisy in their lords and masters.

Hain for Marbella said...

Nice one, Iain. Tango Man has outlived his usefulness by any standards, EXCEPT Bottler Brown's.

Aberavon Wizard said...

Good article. Anyone who has any knowledge of the donors involved would know that they would not have given the money unless they had been personally asked by Hain. One of them is already saying this. If that is the case then Hain should have immediately contacted the Electoral commission as soon as he had received the cheque. The problem bascically is that because he portrayed himself as the left winger in the Deputy Leadership contest until John Cruddas scuppered his chances he knew that eyebrows would be raised if the names of some of the donors came into the public domain. Some might have been Labour prty supporters in the past others it seems have been prepared to support any politician of whatever political persuasion in return for access to power. He might not be corrupt but he really is arrogant. Perhaps he should rememeber Lincoln'c famous quote about fooling the people. Hain should realise that e has been rumbled and hhis reputation is in tatters.

Anonymous said...

Paddy Briggs....looking at your photo, it seems that you dye your hair.

What's the explanation for your red face - or have most of us already worked that out?

Windsor Tripehound said...

Paddy Briggs said:

Could we all please move on ?

Of course we should. And next time I get a £40 fine and 3 points for the heinous offence of driving at 35 mph on an empty road in broad daylight, I'll write back to Thames Valley Police and say, "let's move on".

No, let's not move on. Let's show Mr Hain up for being what he is, a sleazy opportunist without a scrap of honour, integrity or self-awareness. His continuing presence on the front bench diminishes us all.

O tempora! O mores!

Anonymous said...

Paddy Briggs-

I think you will find the majority of the Electorate are interested and concerned. The vast majority of us abide by the rules and laws of this society. Being a member of this country's Government should be a priveledge and honour, and not treated with utter arrogance and incompedence.

Charlie Root said...

To be fair Iain I think Martyn and Paddy have a bit of a point - regardless of Question Time, I suggest you stop just 5-10 people in the street and simply ask them the following;

"what is more important to you? Party funding or Running the country"

I think I know what the majority of those will say, the only people who really give a stuff about this is people on both sides with agenda's to discredit each other - it's as plain as day.

Frankly I couldn't give a toss about Hain's donation or Osbornes incorrect advice, I want to know what the Tories or Labour are going to do about my local hospital money worries or plans to build 20,000 new homes in my town without plans for new schools, doctors etc.

These are the issues that people care about, party funding rows come way down the list.

@Iain, is the comment from January 18, 2008 8:20 AM by anon really necessary, childish comments add nothing to the debate.

Anonymous said...

Red baiter said "Whilst the alternative to a "real job" is the sort of non-job that Labour has been creating by the thousand in recent years,"

FYI the majority of new jobs are in the private sector - the public sector employment numbers have contracted and compare healthily with those in our competitor countries.

Question Time revealed that Liam Fox had no answers.

Anonymous said...

charlie root: that is a trick of "framing" a question.

If you ask "which is more important to stop" - "terrorists or burglars?" you get a different answer if you offer "burglars or shoplifters?"

Jackie Ashley apologises for Hain on the basis that no "serious" law was broken. If MPs choose to label laws as "serious" and "non-serious" fair enough. But, so far as I know, they don't. It is a big deal if a law-maker smirks contempt at the law.

Anonymous said...

"The Hain defence" i.e. "I'm not very good with rules and regulations" has not so far worked for this woman being prosecuted in Welshpool.

(The Hain Defence appears at the bottom of the article)

Inside Right said...

The question as to whether Hain was personally involved in soliciting further donations after the campaign does not appear to be in doubt.

In an interview with the Guardian Hain admitted he had personally solicited many of the 17 donations that he then forgot to register.

Anonymous said...

Hain may have outlived his usefullness (we're the good party,we're ethical,we stood against apartheid) but certainly not his awfullness.Indeed,I fear that his orange corpse will lurk in the grave just waiting to scare the living abdabs out of some future archaeologist or building contractor.

Peter Hain's Integrity said...

@ windsor tripehound

O tempora! O mores!

You know I've been thinking about opening a restaurant called this. Fusion Japanese / London East End cookery: sushi and whelks, jellied eel teriyaki. O Tempura, O Morays, geddit? What do you think?

David said...

I think I'm beginning to see the problem. Labour types can't seem to distinguish between declaring and not declaring. Hence their view that what Osbourne did was the same. And, therefore, why Hain is in trouble.

Penfold said...

Well, on the basis of this alleged letter Hain is toast, and his career can be buried with deep joy.

Penfold said...

Well, on the basis of this alleged letter Hain is toast, and his career can be buried with deep joy.

English Liberation Front said...

charlie root: "what is more important to you? Party funding or Running the country"

Come on! You're not actually trying to tell us that New Labour are "running the country" are you? That is their stock patter to deflect attention from their more devious little scams, to drone pompously on about getting on with the job, etc., etc. What a joke! They are running the country alright - running it into the ground, running from the truth, running riot in ruining institutions, customs and practice that have stood this country in good stead for hundreds of years.

The party funding issue just reflects the corrupt, venal and deceitful way they behave in government. Hardly surprising from a group of repulsive reptiles who spent 10 years plotting against their own leader. Anyone who believes in them anymore must be very thick or as thick as thieves with them.

Anonymous said...

Why does everyone think Guido Fawkes AKA Paul Staines is a neutral. Guido Fawkes is an extreme right winger.

His recent castigation of anti racist campaigner Mr Hain is a sign of what he hates. Hain sacrificed his security against a brutal state to fight for democracy for blacks in south Africa. Fawkes despises him for that.

He joined the Young Conservatives whilst at University.

Here is the real facts about Fawkes

Having joined the Federation of Conservative Students, he described his politics as "Thatcher on drugs".

Staines worked as 'foreign policy analyst' for the extreme right wing Committee for a Free Britain, a right wing Conservative pressure group, alongside David Hart. Staines acted as editor of 'British Briefing' a long standing publication that sought to "smear Labour MPs and left leaning lawyers and writers".

He does the same now but claims he is neutral. Funny how he nevers insults the tories bosses infact seems to let them of the hook. I am sure you can see he is no neutral. He is no neutral but wait the later points are even worse. .

Staines relates of his work with the Committee: in the book

(1998). Altered State: The Story of Ecstasy Culture and Acid House, 2nd edition, London: Serpent's Tail. ISBN 1-85242-604-7. —

"I was lobbying at the Council of Europe and at Parliament; I was over in Washington, in Jo'burg, in South America. It was 'let's get guns for the Contras', that sort of stuff. I was enjoying it immensely, I got to go with these guys and fire off AK-47s. I always like to go where the action is, and for that period in the Reagan/Thatcher days, it was great fun, it was all expenses paid and I got to see the world. I used to think that World Briefing was a bit funny. The only scary thing about those publications was the mailing list - people like George Bush - and the fact that Hart would talk to the head of British Intelligence for an hour. I used to think it was us having a laugh, putting some loony right-wing sell in, and that somebody somewhere was taking it seriously. You've got to understand that we had a sense of humor about this."

The CFB invited Adolfo Calero, the Nicaraguan Contra leader, to visit the UK.

What kinf of sickoe works with the contras and supplies gunsot them.

In a November 1984 report the Sandinista government alleged since 1981 the Contras had assassinated 910 state officials; attacked nearly 100 civilian communities; caused the displacement of over 150,000 people from their homes and farms; and damaged or destroyed bridges, port facilities, granaries, water and oil deposits, electrical power stations, telephone lines, saw mills, health centers, schools and dams.

A Sandinista militiaman interviewed by The Guardian stated Contra rebels committed these atrocities against Sandinista prisoners after a battle at a Sandinista rural outpost:

Rosa had her breasts cut off. Then they cut into her chest and took out her heart. The men had their arms broken, their testicles cut off. They were killed by slitting their throats and pulling the tongue out through the slit. Fawkes must be so proud. So think of that when you read his blog.

What kind of sickoe thinks it is fun to support sick creeps like the contras.

The CFB launched a number of policy campaigns and initiatives during 1988. It also supported the Community Charge (Poll Tax).

In time for the October 1988 Conservative Party Conference, the CFB published a British Foreign Policy - The Case for Reform, featuring a photo on the front cover of Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe giving the clenched fist salute at a meeting in southern Africa. In the pamphlet's conclusion it stated "The Foreign Office is one of the last of the great institutions to escape the refreshing breath of Thatcherism." Howe maintained he had not been giving a black power salute.


So now we see why fawkes despises hain. Re,ber he was a foreign policy analyst.. .

Windsor Tripehound said...

O Tempura, O Morays, geddit? What do you think?

Laugh? I thought I'd forgotten how to.

Elby the Berserk said...

@Anon 1:58pm

And your point is? Guido is not a politician, Guido is not beholden to you, so what exactly is your point?

hatfield girl said...

Anon.@10.23 am

That 'the alternative to a "real job" is the sort of non-job that Labour has been creating by the thousand in recent years,' is borne out by much economic analysis published in the last 3 years.
To offer an example, Edmonds and Glynn, in an analysis of the UK as
a whole found:
'that all the net job creation since 2000..could be attributed to the expansion of public spending.'
(FT June 2005).

The wholesale disaster of hidden wealth transfers involved in ten years of New Labour economic Balls is widely discussed in academic journals.

Ctesibius said...

Anonymous 1:58

Thanks for clarifying that. I though Guido had made it clear he despised Hain because he was a hypocritical fat-cat in a position of great power, yet acknowledged even by the 'Great Helmsman', bottler Brown, as being 'incompetent'.

45govt said...

anon @ 1.58 - what on earth are you on about? Typical Nu-lab policy, shoot the messenger. Who cares what side of the divide Guido comes from? It doesn't alter the fact that seems to escape you and so many otherwise lucid sounding people here that he is exposing CRIMINAL behaviour by members of the Cabinet of HM Government. It is an issue that should concern us more than any other, and anyone who witters on about which is more important, running the country, or checking to see if the people we have elected to do so are on the take, are deluded. It is a no-brainer; if they are going to lie and steal and cover up, then they must be stopped from running the country. Simple. Only those with vested interests, such as all the army of no-job holders created by Nu-Lab can logically tell us to "move on", and to paraphrase Mandy Rice-Davies famous line - well the would woudn't they?

English Liberation Front said...

Why do you think "everyone thinks" Guido is neutral? And why do you think the right wing should be demonised? Is it worse than the left wing? Or worse than the repulsive extreme left/extreme right mutant known as New Labour? Typical of the left to presume it is right and the right is wrong. You quote an example of supposed right wing atrocity. There is not room here to post examples of left wing atrocities, including the complete ruin of this once great nation by a succession of Soviet sleepers posing as Labour and "New Labour" (there's a laugh) politicians, BBC journalists and celebrities. At the present time we are beginning a struggle for English survival; it is time for the least worse option and the recognition that my enemy's enemy is my friend.

Chris Paul said...

Nest week you can explain the travesty of Osborne's failure to declare almost half a million to either the EC or RMI. Your reply to this point made as comment 1 is either very disingenuous or rather ignorant.

Osborne didn't ask anyone anything. The office of the Tory Chief Whip asked the commissioner a question which apparently enquired which donations stuck on the RMI also needed putting on the register at EC. Not the other way round. Assumption in answer that these already on RMI.

Wrong question, wrong timing 11 months in, absolutely bang to rights concealling who was propping up Osborne's continuous mendacity and spin on treasury matters.

Outrageous. Far worse than Hain. Much later. Much more money. Much more calculating.

What other questions were asked by the Chief Whip's Office? Or others among CCHQ or individual MPs' organisations.

Hain's position is that he didn't knowingly do anything to hide contributions. His team were just late in full disclosure.

The only thing it has in common with David Davis is that Hain did remarkably badly.

I'm not sure why you want to keep reminding people of your part in that debacle. Get over it. And deal with Osborne honestly. An outrageous and wilful avoidance of transparent reporting by the Buller boy.

Anonymous said...

Hain is a her.

Anonymous said...

You usually find that those who cannot be trusted with the smaller details of life, cannot usually be trusted with the bigger things; so this matter of principle is very important.

Anonymous said...

Nulab lowlifes have betrayed the labour party and destroyed both it and Britain. 'No ifs, no buts' is their only attitude to the working class. The nulabs should all be in prison. Or, better still, executed for treason.