Friday, July 18, 2008

Gordon Takes the Fifth on the Sith

I've been out most of the day (playing only my third golf round of the year, since you ask) so am only just catching up with the Charity Commission Report on the Smith Institute. Much coment seems to revolve around the fact that Gordon Brown refused to cooperate with the inquiry and didn't even answer their letters. Tory charities spokesman Greg Clark said: “Given that the criticism of the Smith Institute centred on its relationship with Gordon Brown, it is shocking that Brown refused to respond to any correspondence from the Charity Commission during their inquiry.” I am shocked that he is shocked. It's exactly what I would have expected. What an example to set others who are asked to co-operate with official inquiries.

UPDATE: More analysis from Guido HERE. Incredibly left wing blogs are trying to claim that the Smith Institute has been totally vindicated by the Charity Commission report. Delusional.

25 comments:

kinglear said...

Iain - as we Scots say " He's a bampot." - and at the very least a rude one. Mind you with the present disappearance of all sorts of information, I suppose its' just possible the letter sent by the Commission were lost - as were Gordo's replies.

J said...

"On the Sith"? Is he dedicated to eliminating all of us who claimed on the last census to be Jedi? :-)

Paul Pinfield said...

Shouldn't we be able to draw adverse inference from Brooon's silence? No?

Bollocks... Brooon is guilty.

David Boothroyd said...

If you had read the report instead of just copying out Paul Delaire Staines' blog post you would have seen that all that happened was that Gordon Brown was offered the chance to comment on the Charity Commission's finalized report. As the report exonerates the Smith Institute and does not criticize Gordon Brown, there was no reason for him to comment.

What exactly in Paul Delaire Staines' campaign against the Smith Institute could not be repeated mutatis mutandis against Policy Exchange, also a registered charity but manifestly a Conservative Party supporting one? (Clue: Nothing)

trevorsden said...

"You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention, when questioned, something which you later rely on in court."

I think the British public will treat Browns contempt for the Charity Commission as well and truly harming his defence.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

Yet again, we see what an unskilful politician Brown is. There was nothing to be gained by his refusal to co-operate. It was bound to reflect badly on him, as night follows day; a gift to his political enemies. He has an unerring instinct for the wrong decision.

Guido says he was threatened with contempt proceedings if he refused to co-operate.

Unsworth said...

@ David Boothroyd,

You seriously believe that claptrap? Brown and Balls were both offered the opportunity. Brown did not respond to the 'correspondence' (and what does that comprise?), but Balls clearly did. No doubt you believe Brown is so stupid as to leave his fingerprints all over the Report, and you carefully ignore the 'intimate' relationship between Brown and Balls.

The fact that both of these Ministers of State were offered this 'opportunity' is a measure of Suzi Leather's enslavement.

Even so, the Report does not 'exonerate' the Smith Institute. It makes many criticisms. No doubt you have seen and noted these whilst reading and interpreting all 52 pages of Ms Leather's terminal excitement.

Unity said...

Iain...

If afraid you've fallen for Guido's overselling.

What the report actually says, in the appendix explaining the conduct of the inquiry is...

"4. The Inquiry also involved...

...c) contacting the Rt. Hon Gordon Brown MP and the Rt. Hon Ed Balls MP to offer them the opportunity to comment upon the Commission’s findings."

To there is appended the footnote...

"The Rt. Hon Gordon Brown MP did not respond to the Commission’s correspondence"

So all Brown saw was the final report, which he chose not to comment on...

wrinkled weasel said...

I'm a bit hazy on the Smith saga, and frankly don't give a monkeys, but it sounds like another ghost operation designed to bankroll the insolvent Labour Party and that is the Progressive Policies Forum, which funded Peter Hain. Apparently, this is a think tank. Except that it does not meet, think, produce reports or have a web site.

Does Labour waste spend our pounds like they were Zimbabwean Dollars? Does the Pope wear white pants?

trevorsden said...

Charity begins at home - Gordon Browns home, that is.

If Boothroyd thinks that the Charity Commission's report exonerates both the Smith Institute and brown then he is as delusional as his hero.

Can Boothroyd explain why he, Brown, refused to reply to Charity Commission correspondence? The man is not fit to be Prime Minister, he has no moral compass

Gordon Brown's Moral Compass Swinger said...

If I refuse to return some of the mindless (and endless) requests from various government departments for statistics about my business I face the prospect of a big fine. This is yet another example of the bogeyman's double standards

David Boothroyd said...

The Smith Institute "does not meet, think, produce reports or have a web site"? Provable rubbish, go to www.smith-institute.org.uk where you will find lists of publications and events. As you would have found out if you had simply used Google.

It's illegal both ways for charities to donate to political parties: the charity can't donate and the party can't accept. So this is another piece of Tory rubbish.

Anonymous said...

"What an example to set others who are asked to co-operate with official inquiries."

Oh I don't know. These days all 'official enquiries' are malicious. In seeking, allegedly, to ignore the State Brown was surely only behaving like any sane citizen.

Unsworth said...

@ Unity

""The Rt. Hon Gordon Brown MP did not respond to the Commission’s correspondence"

So all Brown saw was the final report, which he chose not to comment on..."


That is illogical. Your conclusion is not born out by that statement.

Brown could quite easily have seen the Report, not responded personally, and got Balls to respond as Brown saw fit. Remember, these two were offered the opportunity to comment on the 'findings', not the final Report.

Unsworth said...

@ David Boothroyd

"It's illegal both ways for charities to donate to political parties

So?

They can 'engage with' political parties, politicians and governments.

Define 'donate'. And, whilst you're at it, comment on 'sponsorship'.

It's clear from the anodyne Report that this 'charity' was engaged in - at the very least - some pretty sharp practice. Or it was/is remarkably incompetent.

But I suppose you believe that this whole shambles came about as the result of one man conducting a personal vendetta against a remarkably powerful organisation. Well, vendetta or no, that is his right, and plenty of people supported his position. How many support yours?

Tumelty said...

Have you even read this report Iain? Your post certainly suggests not.

jafo said...

As Guido was threatened with jail if he didn't co-operate, it seems a bit rich that GB refused to respond to correspondence and was allowed to get away with it.

This is what passes for an impartial enquiry, these days, it seems.

Penfold said...

Guido gets threatening legal letters demanding compliance and the Great Leader treats the Charity Commission with the disdain and contempt that they richly merit.
With that as our cassus belli we can now all turn round and treat the apparatchiks with the contempt they richly merit, they are after all OUR SERVANTS, they are not our masters and we are not slaves to government.
Well done Gordon, such leadership and direction, such an inspiration to the down-trodden, highly taxed and largely complaisant proletariat.

Anonymous said...

Were you playing in The Open?
freedom to prosper

mirtha tidville said...

Some rich new material for Private Eye methinks..

Confused of S. Yorks said...

Jafo ,July 19, 2008 10:36 AM, wrote:

"As Guido was threatened with jail if he didn't co-operate, it seems a bit rich that GB refused to respond to correspondence and was allowed to get away with it."

The difference being that Gordon was asked if he would like to comment on the findings of the Commission's investigation. Whereas Guido claimed to have additional evidence which had a direct impact on the investigation, but which he was wary of disclosing to the CC.

See, one declined to comment on the findings, the other was withholding evidence. Though whether Guido really had any additional evidence; handed said evidence over or confessed privately that his additional evidence was just so much hot air is a matter that only Guido can answer.

As for the Left being delusional in claiming Brown was vindicated, well I can only assume that Iain, being too busy to actually read the report, was also too busy to read any posts from Left-leaning blogs. The general tenor of their posts has been to highlight Guido's spinning of Brown's failure to comment on the Commission's finding as Brown avoiding giving evidence.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

In between severe imbibing of Sam Adams Summer Ale (essential to combat the 90-degree heat here on the Jersey shore), I have taken the time to read both the Inquiry and the Guf from Staines.

On such reflection, if the Met were doing the investigation, Staines and Dale should have been up for wasting Police time.

As for the whiners who have chipped in their brown-nosing comments: why should any Minister be obliged to comment on every passing bit of trivia? As Edward I would have asked: "quo warranto?" By what right do jumped-up petty gossips (yeah: I can do the insults and abuse almost as well as Dale and Staines) assume they deserve an answer to their nuisance?

Stop exculpating yourself. And stop apologising for Staines. This time, you blew it.

Ah: now I lie back, think of England, and attend to more important and liquid matters ...

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

Look chaps, the way these things work (standard procedure) is as follows: a party who might be criticised or adversely affected by the findings in a report is offered an opportunity to comment on the final draft BEFORE the report is signed off and published.

It's done in the interests of fairness, in case the authors of the report have fallen into error, especially factual error.

A failure to respond = I can't dispute your findings.

Why didn't he respond? My guess is because he dithered in deciding how to respond until it was too late.

sunny H said...

Iain - why don't you link to the left wing blogs and let their claims speak for themselves instead of doing the blog equivalent of putting your hands in your ears and shouting 'lalala I can't hear you!'?

Oh dear oh dear.

Hedley Lamarr said...

@ David Boothroyd, 12.28am

"Wrinkled Weasel" was talking about the Hain think tank having no output, not the Smith Institute.

I always find that if developing an argument, it helps to be in possession of the facts and to try and have at least a rudimentary grasp of what the other person is saying.