Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Some Would Call It Corruption

Mark Pack has an excellent story on LibDem Voice. Here's the gist...

Labour-run Knowsley Council is continuing to pump money in to the Labour Party’s
coffers by exhibiting at the party’s conference. The council pays to appear only
at the Labour Party’s conferences, ignoring other parties, and is continuing to
do so even now that Labour is no longer in government.

Back in January 2007 Liberal Democrat Voice revealed Knowsley Council had spent £47,000 on exhibiting at the Labour conference over the previous four years. At the time the council said that, “Knowsley does not attend any other party political
conference, it attends the Labour Party Annual Conference as the party in power.”

However, the council is exhibiting at this autumn’s Labour conference even though the party is not in power. Moreover, it is not exhibiting at either the Conservative or Liberal Democrat conferences. Even if the conference presence had been booked well in advance (despite the knowledge that there would be a general election this year), there is still time to cancel plans as shown by the order that has gone out this month to other parts of the public sector not to spend money on stalls at the autumn conference.


I'd happily ban all councils - including Tory ones (yes, I'm talking about you, Westminster) -from exhibiting at party conferences. There is absolutely no conceivable benefit to council tax payers. All they do it for is to use it as a back door route of making a party donation. Some would call it corrupt.

13 comments:

Matt said...

Should this not be reported to the authorities as a donation to the Labour Party?

google said...

What we need in this country is publication of details like this. If more people knew about such things it would soon end.

But, as more people are worried if Katie will be kicked off the X-factor we get what we deserve.

James said...

To be honest im a Councillor (Conservative) and can't understand why Councils do attend...the only good thing I ever got was a miniture wheelie bin from Tyneside Council one year. Alhtough Iain I still have those cards you gave out once (was it 'Tops Cards'??)

BrendaC said...

@Matt

Only if the Countryside Alliance also counts as donating to Labour.

They also have a stand, arguably equally pointless. (obv i take the point its not taxpayers money!)

I was brought up in Knowsley, they have several wards where Labour are elected unopposed at locals, and the local MP has a majortity of approx 30k.

Span Ows said...

Not to put too finer a point on it - and apologies in advance to the residents there - but knowsley comes "towards the bottom" in the lists of 'nice place to live', 'good for children' 'best education' etc...

Thorpe said...

Oh go on Iain - be a devil. Why not drop this little factoid into your conversation at the next Sky News paper review with the delectable Sally Bercow - purely in the interest of balancing her rather charitable views of the Labour Party?

English Pensioner said...

What's our very expensive (now ex-) audit commission been up to? Or were they also exhibiting?

JMB said...

I can see an argument for the local council of the town/city hosting the conference having a stand but perhaps they should be given a free stand by the organisers or venue.

Rush-is-Right said...

"I'd happily ban all councils... from exhibiting at party conferences. "

In truth, there are probably laws already that ought to prevent this sort of thing. It just wants somebody with the 'nads to take them to court.

Knowsley... isn't that where Derek Hatton came from?

Bob Piper said...

Bit late on this one, Iain. Didn't you see the bit about those public sector organisations - not just Councils - donating to the Conservative Party, ooops, sorry, exhibiting at the Conservative Party Conference, at political Scrapbook a week ago!

http://politicalscrapbook.net/2010/08/tory-hypocrisy-over-sponsorship-as-party-flogs-conference-packages-to-public-sector-bodies/

Oh, go on make Thorpe happy and slip that little story in to your newspaper review.

Scary Biscuits said...

I think this comes under Pickles's category of govt lobbying govt.

I don't share his penchant for ordering councils about. Properly, this is a matter between the people of the said shithole and their elected representatives. Except that it isn't. We pay them to do this through subsidies. Their reward for wasting our money shouldn't be to order them not to do it but to take away their grants, all of them. Then stand back and watch how voters react.

This is another case of what IDS would call encouraging failure. It's not just benefit payments to individuals that are a problem; it's the whole way we subsidise local government. The more they fail, the more money we give them. No wonder so many keep failing.

Unsworth said...

@ Bob Piper

Some sort of race, is there?

Unsworth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.