A senior lobby journalist told me yesterday afternoon that the Conservatives would today announce the names of those who have lent the Party money in recent years. I contemplated posting this news but couldn't get it verified. Now I wish I had! The media have already identified the sources of loans worth £12 million, but the rest will be made public in a statement in a few hours time. Is this a good thing? Undoubtedly yes. I have said all along that transparency is the best form of defence and if the rest of the donor/lendors have been persuaded to go public, so much the better. Things have got so ridiculous on this that I had a call from Newsnight's Michael Crick yesterday asking if the David Davis campaign was lent any money. My first reaction was to roar with laughter. Just for the record, it didn't. The attempt by Labour to switch the spotlight onto the Conservatives was made even more obvious yesterday by the complaint by a hitherto unheard of Labour MP to the Metropolitan Police about Tory donations. It's just a shame that some journalists have fallen for it so easily. But perhaps with the announcement this afternoon, the media spotlight will return to where it ought to be aimed at - the Labour Party.
AFTERTHOUGHT: Several people in the Comments section (Labour/LibDem supporters, natch) have questioned why Tory loand are any different to Labour ones. For a start, the Labour Party Treasurer clearly thought something was awry as he didn't even know about them. They had been hidden from him and others. That was not the case with Tory loans, the existence of which was already public knowledge. Indeed, there had been newspaper articles about the Party having loans some time ago. Secondly, no one has established a link between Tory loans and honours. We must await for the full list this afternoon, but I will be astonished if they mirror the Labour situation, where four of their Peerage nominees had been lendors to the Labour Party. As Guido helpfully points out "No. 10 civil servants assisting in the procuring of honours for "loans" on behalf of Blair without going through the Labour party machine is very different from Tory treasurers raising money as per normal either by donation or loan."
what is the difference between the parties then?
Both parties nomionated people for honours. Both parties nominated people who lent them money for honours.
I'd really like to know that too. A lot of people have talked about Labour 'spinning' and 'distracting the public' by going on about Conservative loans. But I fail to see what why the Labour loans are more scandalous than the Conservative ones.
I'm not saying that it *isn't* scandalous, but it seems to me that both parties have done the exact same thing. So why are people characterising the Tory loans as a distraction? Just partisanism?
anonymous, you poor deluded fool. The difference between the two is... Iain is a Conservative. Their loans are more pure than our loans. According to Iain, their multi-millionaires were worried they might not be awarded government contracts. Pull the other leg. Blair has sucked up to Tory and Labour millionaires... they are HIS people in the same way that they are Cameron's people. They just love the wealth, the glamour, the glitz.
anon,that's not a given as yet!
There is a big difference between telling someone that if they lend you cash you'll give them and honour an giving someone an honour after the fact.
One is illegal the other isn't
No. 10 civil servants assisting in the procuring of honours for "loans" on behalf of Blair without going through the Labour party machine is very different from Tory treasurers raising money as per normal either by donation or loan.
Yes, Tony Blair can promise a gong, but the Conservatives cannot. The Conservatives are at least one step removed from the stench, probably two, but then, we know that anon, john miles and bob piper know that too, really.
The difference is that Labour approached the boss of Capita, a firm dependent on Labour politicians decisions for much of its income, for a multi-million-pound loan. When you add that to the Lord Drayson 'no competition' Vaccine + Donation scandal, and the Labour governments backhanded payment to their Union paymasters for 'modernisation', it's quite clear that Labour uses public money to pay those who give or loan substantial donations to Labour. Last time I checked, the Conservatives weren't in government, and weren't paying back their donors/lenders with taxpayers money.
Actually, contratory, no. Cameron can certainly propose people for the Lords.
"Promise" and "propose" ain't the same thing.
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