Sunday, July 15, 2007

Tony Lit & THAT Donation

Thanks to all those who have wished me a happy birthday either here or on Facebook. I have spent it at my parents near Saffron Walden, where there is no internet access, hence the lack of blogging today.

I have, however, been amused to read all the comments about my lack of posting on Sunrise Radio's £4800 donation to Labour. For the record, on last night's paper review on News 24 I not only chose that as one of my topics to talk about, I also talked about the two bad polls for the Conservatives. I also praised two LibDem MPs (see below). So please don't let anyone accuse me of trying to hide away from subjects which are difficult for the Tories.

On the Tony Lit front, I doubt whether the donation has lost him a single vote. Indeed, the blanket media coverage has raised his profile enormously - his picture is everywhere in today's papers. You could easily argue that the coverage is a boost. Personally, I cannot imagine why any Conservative would want to attend a Labour Party event, but we should remember it was an Asian business 'do', and a media organisation like Sunrise presumably has good reason to be impartial in its political relations.

I did find it interesting to note, though, that tables cost £4,800 - just £200 below the declaration limit. Another case of Labour operating at the margins.

UPDATE: Sense from Dizzy.


Anonymous said...

Still pretty disgraceful to be donating to Labour, though Iain. Can't all be explained away as expedient business decisions, regardless of the politics.

I hope we still stand for something?

I agree it isn't the end of the world, but I'm not bloody happy about it.

Anonymous said...

But "hiding from difficult subjects" is precisely what I do accuse you of.

If there is bad news for the Lib Dems you are very quick to blog about it.

If there is bad news for the Tories you are very slow to blog about it.

Never mind what you get up to on TV. It is this blog that I am talking about.

And this blog, because of the things you choose to blog about and choose not to blog about, is exposed as mere Tory propaganda.

Would you doubt that a Lib Dem donation to Labour would cost them a single vote?

Would you argue that the media coverage raised their profile enormously and so was obviously a good thing?

No, you would not.

That is why you are a hypocrite who hides from difficult subjects.

The Hitch said...
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The Hitch said...
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Iain Dale said...

King Cnut, I have never hidden the fact that I am a Tory, but if you actually look back in the archives you will find that I do talk about all sorts of difficult subjects for the Tories. Indeed, quite often I am critical of my own party.

From time to time I also praise things the LibDems have done - see News 24 last night and a blogpost earlier today.

Yes, I do delight in criticising the LibDems too and I make no apology for it. This is after all a Tory leaning blog. I make no pretention about impartiality and never have.

There's nothing hypocriticial about my stance whatsoever.

If you don't like what I do, no one is forcing you to return.

The Hitch said...

Of course it hasnt lost him a single vote , they are all bought and paid for.
I cried with joy when I read this story , it sums up the Cameron Conservative party to perfection.
"tell me what you want , what you really really want"
Its the spice girls all over again , talentless stand for nothings other than what you imagine may sell.
coincidence that the Spice Girls are re forming?
What next , Cameron kicks off for LA Galaxy?

Hughes Views said...

Always look on the bright side of life (whistle)
Always look on the light side of life (whistle)...

How much do tables at Dave's little knee ups cost?

Anonymous said...

If a Lib Dem candidate did what Tony Lit has done, you would have condemned him.

As he is a Tory candidate, you have not condemned him.

That is why you are a hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

Iain, haapy birthday - did you mean "Tony Lit & THAT Donation", pretty bad going when we can't get the candidate's name right!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Want socialism? Vote Tory

Anonymous said...

"And this blog, because of the things you choose to blog about and choose not to blog about, is exposed as mere Tory propaganda."

So what? Who's blog is it anyway? Are there some rules about blogs being even-handed or totally fair? What fun that would be.

It's Iain's blog, thicko - he can do what he damn well wants. If you don't like it, bog off.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Tony Lit and TWAT donation?

Anonymous said...

What do Labour think they are doing handing out copies of someone's cheque with all the finacial details (sort code, account no etc) in clear view?

If it were my private banking details being sent to the press then I'd complain and demand an apology.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 10:51

The point is, moron, that blogs have no intellectual credibility if they are shown to be mere propaganda for a political party.

Anonymous said...

king cnut

and you think you have "intellectual credibility", lmao

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

king cnut

you make my point beter than ever I could

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Iain Dale said...

King Cnut, I have deleted two of your posts because they contained two obnoxious swearwords. If you wish to continue leaving comments you are very welcome to do so, but there is no need to swear. You rather undermine your exceedingly weak case.

Anonymous said...

Cases are not rendered "exceedingly weak" because of their language.

They are rendered exceedingly weak because of their arguments.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

King cnut clearly does not have much of a case and hasn't been around long enough to realise that you allow lots of anti-tory posts, and also ones that take the piss.

Of course we are going to tease you about Tony Git. It's all so funny and somehow.. all so predictable. He is not interested in democracy, he is interested in feathering his own nest, regardless of which party is the top-dog. And by the way, how many postal votes are there going to be in these exclusively Asian wards?

Anonymous said...

Well at least, if he was an admirer of Lord Blair of Basra, it would explain why he dropped his perfectly good Indian names in favour of being called "Tony".

Clothilde Simon

Anonymous said...

Actually, looks like the money is the least of it. The best thing he did for Labour was run as a Tory.

Anonymous said...

Clothilde - Perhaps he wanted to assimilate and become British? The way American Italians stopped being Antonio and became Tony or Anthony? And the daughters of Rosas became Rosie or Rosemary?

Do you disagree with the desire to assimilate into the host culture in which you are living and which holds your future? Do you think it is making a statement to ask the host culture to have constant difficulties with your ethnic name over the phone?

As far back as human life goes, it always made sense for the intruder to adapt to the host culture stat. Even in N America, Native Americans who had travelled a long way and joined another tribe from whom they needed hospitality to survive, adapted to that tribe. By which I mean, they adopted that tribe's customs and learned that tribe's language. They married within that tribe and their children were brought up as members of that tribe.

Clothilde, I find this intelligent human behaviour. Don't you?

Anonymous said...

He was sharing table with his wife, father and Ealing North Labour MP Steve Pound.

My concern is when he joined the party, when he passed his PAB, and when his name was put on approved candidates list.

We have really changed.

James Higham said...

...You could easily argue that the coverage is a boost...

And you can easily argue that the coverage confirms in people's minds, "What a prat."

James Higham said...

Iain, I've just been looking through your comments section and you have a dilemma - free speech [and stats] or a forum with a bit of class to it.

So far I've escaped the king cnuts of the blogosphere but more populist blogs like yours and Guido's are going to attract the low-lifes.

Hard to know what to do in this situation.

Anonymous said...

The Shenanigans involving LIT is typical of one general reason we are not 20% ahead in the polls.
Cameron is scrounging all over the place for a headline and certainly he is getting one which is shitting up his own supporters

Anonymous said...

"You could easily argue that the coverage is a boost."

oh come on Iain you're better than that and so are your readers.He's been boosted in the same way Peter Tatchell was boosted by all the negative media coverage at Bermondsey in 82.Lit wasn't even a Tory Party member days before he was selected, gave money to Labour a few days before standing, and you think traditional Tories are going to flock to the polls to back Lit? To coin a phrase' are you having a laugh, is he having a laugh'

The selection of Lit has been an unmitigated disaster for the Tories.Once your candidate becomes 'the issue' you're buggered.

Anonymous said...

Sorry King cnut but you're wrong.A blog's intellectual capacity is unaffected by the author's political persuasion.Everyone knows Dale is a Tory and will back the Tory line, what's wrong with that?

You know what you are going to get and can choose to read or not.At least Dale allows criticism justified or not. As a Labour activist I have to applaud the chance to put comment on Dale's opinions and scooops...

BJ said...

Apopros of not much, can I make an accusation of Sky left-wing bias? Steve Pound is reviewing the papers on "Sunrise" this morning. If a senior Labour figure from Ealing was given a big slice of breakfast airtime on the BBC during a by-election, there'd be hell to pay!

Tim said...

Sorry Iain, but you are shown for what you are when one compares this to this.

Admit it; you're not a commentator, you're a budding spin-doctor and a willing propagandist.

Anonymous said...

Yeah right, this is excellent news for the Tories... bad news for Labour... the current five-year plan has been achieved within four years... iron output is up 37%... Comrade Stalin will today visit a collective farm...

Anonymous said...

I suspect that this will backfire on Labour’s drive to restore its shakey finances. Whilst political donations should be public who would be a Labour donor? Whilst someone has obscured the sorting numbers on the bottom of the cheque most donors would be horrified to see that an organisation they had supported revealing their banker and account name to the public along with the signature of one of their authorised signatories.

Anonymous said...

£4,800 is a Lot of Money for most people. Frankly it disgusts me that Politicians think they are worth so much just to have a meal with.

How is giving such a large donation to New Labour, being "Impartial in political relations" ?

Anonymous said...

my parents near Saffron Walden, where there is no internet access mean they live in a Vale of Ignorance....? Why is Cameron going to Rwanda when Saffron Walden sounds to be closer and in need of a boost ?

Anonymous said...

£4,800 is a Lot of Money for most people.

Conveniently it is just below the £5000 disclosure level and probably does not appear in the accounts of Sunrise Radio either

Anonymous said...

Daley however is SPOT ON in the DT.
Boris, if he runs will free up a prime seat in Henley for a quality candidate with real beliefs whatever they are.

Anonymous said...

If Mr Lit really was a Labour supporter he would have joined the Labour Party instead. They would have welcomed him with open arms - not to miss out on an opportunity to win an election to strengthen Brown's honeymoon.
Instead he joined the Tories knowing he has little chance of winning given the 11,400 or so majority.
It was business. This sort of "shmoozing" is very common amongs our society. 'Tis sad perhaps, but C'est a vie.

Anonymous said...

It isn't the fact that Lit made the donation that is reprehensible, so much as the fact that this wasn't made public at the time of his selection, which is a major failing on somebody's part.

Anonymous said...

Even I have attended a Labour Party event - Labour Party conference as it happens. On behalf of the Conservative Party. Does that make me a closet socialist?

Chris Paul said...

Lit was not a Tory at the time of his/his dad's/his firm's donation now was he?

If Cameron is trying to develop a reputation as a party of stop-at-nothing chancers.

Tony Lit, Gurch the separatist Lurch, the non-defectors from Hounslow that used an NF spin off standing for "Total democracy" and indigenous residents as a stepping stone to reach the one true blue Tory faith.

Desperate. Unspinnable. Tragedy. But killed off the LDs. Brilliant work from Mr Watson.

Chris Paul said...

BTW the cheque has not been reproduced with the sort code etc. Has it? Where?

Newmania said...

I must say I don’t see what the fuss is about. Why the Telegraph had to make it a front page I have no idea. Gordon Brown I noticed calling disingenuously for moderate Conservatives to join him.
(ie Spider calls for moderate flies to be eaten )

The Conservative Party on the other hand , does have to become a place where a right leaning ex Blairite could migrate to. Until this is achieved collecting a coalition for an election victory is going to be difficult and there are a few Labour MPs I rather like .I have always been amazed that when the Labour Party were prepared to abandon the soul of their party to get power Conservatives thought a bit of mood music would suffice. The way forward is still rapprochement with the centre and David Cameron deserves our thanks for trying to save the Party and the country.

( Does anyone understand what Chris Paul is saying , I can`t make head or tail of it ?)

Anonymous said...

As Mr Cameron is supposed to be the new Mr Blair according to Mr Osbourne why should Mr Litt be considered hypocritical in backing first Mr Blair and then Mr Cameron?

It seems very consistent to me - although it has nothing to do with Conservative politics as none of them is really a conservative.

Anonymous said...

For the last three GE's, the Tories have been reduced to a rump vote of 'real' Conservatives. The only way to win is to broaden the party's appeal. In the simplest possible terms, this means winning the support of people who have previously been sympathetic to Labour. Even Tony Lit.

Anonymous said...

I understand the reason that Tony Lit was not a member of the Tory party until very recently is that as MD of a radio station he was not permitted to be a member of a political party under OFCOM rules.

BJ said...

Anon @ 1208: complete balls. Anyone is allowed to be a member of a political party. It's a basic human right. Ofcom rules are about campaigning on-air, nothing else.

Tapestry said...

The facts on the ground are probably more significant than Labour spin which is really an attempt to colour in Cameron.

Local Southallers are well aware of Tony Lit's business and radio station. They are delighted that Conservatives won the Council last year. Council Tax has come down. Streets are cleaner. More police are patrolling and they feel the area is being run better than under Labour.

There is a general flipover from labour to conservative going on and Labour are using the £4800 donation story to try to cover up their embarrassment. It's the nitty gritty local issues that count.

Nationally it seems like this is a very embarrassing development for Cameron, but as each day goes by and Lit gets closer to winning, the risks to the Gordon Brown Clunking spin machine of looking foolish are greater. They've boosted Lit's profile more than anyone else could ever have done, and given Cameron a publicity lift at the same time.

Anonymous said...

If you belive that Lit is OK to sponsor the Labour Party, then I think you may be finally losing it.

In a million years, I (me) could not think of any other gift that could be gifted to Gordon Brown within a few Months of a GE.

A Tory crossing the floor (hurry up Mr. Bercow!)is just another Tory in sheeps clothing to me and I take them with a pinch of salt.

But.. a Tory candidate giving a donation to Labour funds?

That's a bit like me giving to Tory funds.

I'd prefer to 'early release'criminals than do that.

But then again, I'm honest.

A bad day for dave here, a very bad day indeed. Roll on the election.
NHS manifesto
Public spending
You are kidding.

Anonymous said...

Mr Sharma has been a President and is current member of the Overseas wing of Indian Congress Party (In the Times). This was the Party that massacred thousands of Sikhs in India in 1984.

Hardly sensitive to Sikhs is this?

Anonymous said...

" but as each day goes by and Lit gets closer to winning,"

i'd advise all to keep this comment until Friday morning...

The Great Gildersleeve said...

If you want spin(It still exists in the area where the by election is taking place to find TB's successor)

I'm amazed that having been so important to the media over the years who have visited this area, that the campaign for the replacement has had little or no reporting in the national spotlight.

I didn't expect it once the replacement was elected and that may not be a bad thing.

Oh and the Labour candidate has some wonderful celebrity backing that is bound to clinch the result.

The latest flyer shows the actor who plays the Vicar in Emmerdale as saying "I'm delighted to give my backing to Labour's local man"

It gets no better...

Anonymous said...


Surely the point here is judgement.
Not legal or financial but pure common sense???

What was a man who was in the process of being considered as a Conservative parliamentary candidate doing at a Labour fundraiser AND being snapped with the country's most unpopular politician just THREE days before his candidacy was confirmed by the party.

Surely it would have been better to have stayed away or just sent Dad (with strict instructions to keep a low profile AND not enter the raffle)???

In the remaining three days, our opponents will just hammer on relentlessly that whatever undoubted qualifications Lit has for the job...his judgement is suspect.

Anonymous said...

To donate thousands of pounds to Labour, only to stand for parliament as a Tory four weeks later is a fiasco so perfect it makes an idiot of anyone who tries to defend it.

We have been reminded that one of the chief characteristics of the Tory party is its infinite hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of sub-Continentals, I see Iain's little star Warsi has been sending a pamphlet round to muslims claiming that schools are "promoting homosexuality".

This is what happens when people get their feet under the desk in a non-job. They make it up as they go along and,in their eagerness to shine, cause untold damage. She should be sacked and the post done away with. It's ridiculous.

Tony Lit's OK, but he should lose the bouffant.

David Lindsay said...

Why is anyone surprised? Our allegedly competing remnant political parties are now identical not just politically and ideologically, but organisationally and, especially, financially.

Everyone should know this, but the glorified gossip columnists of the Press and the BBC cannot be bothered to report it, lest they be invited to no more parties with real life characters from The Thick of It. They are wholly uninterested in politics as such.

I never received an adequate answer to the question of whether Louise Bagshawe, of the Cameron A-List, was still a member of the Labour Party, and therefore also of how many other Cameron-favoured candidates were in fact Labour members. How about Tony Lit?

Oh, but he only attended and donated “in a business capacity”. So that’s all right, then. Isn’t it?

We need new parties.


Anonymous said...

Ahh you don't understand Southall politics, the previous Labour MP Piara Khabra was a member of the Communist party then joined Labour ,then the SDP and then back to Labour again.

Anonymous said...

I foretell that:

Labour will win, but with a much reduced majority. Watson's dirty tricks with the cheque publicity will inhibit future donations to Labour.
The Conservatives will come a creditable second, which was always the intention. The result will further undermine the traditional Asian political affinity with Labour.
Ming the Really Quite Hopeless will finally ride off into the sunset. Cometh the hour, cometh the man - Mr Clegg's star will be in the ascendant.
Iain will get even fatter and lose even more of his hair, but won't be able to bear the thought of updating his blog photo.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Verity: "Tony Lit's OK, but he should lose the bouffant"

Yes. And I bet he likes cocktails with exotic names and a little umbrella in them and that his favourite is probably "A long slow piss on democracy".

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Janet Daley has gotten it dead right in the Torygraph (!) today.

She writes:

Tony Lit, was a Labour donor until about 20 minutes before he was steamrollered into position as a Conservative by-election candidate.

This is very, very bad....

And what has gone wrong with the Tony Lit candidacy in Ealing Southall chimes with people's suspicions about Cameron Conservatism.

Only the most self-deluding Tory official could believe that Labour's description of this as a demonstration of "naked Tory opportunism" will not resonate with the public...

If a rising star of the New Conservatism such as Mr Lit can so rapidly and effortlessly have switched sides, what does that say about the new Conservatives?"

What is says about the new Conservatives is that they favour positioning over principles. They will rubbish a respected, time-served Patrick Mercer in hours, but fawn all over some ethnic pretty boy without actually taking a long hard look at what he stands for.

There is only one word that will suffice for people who subscribe to the newCon view, and it rhymes with James Blunt.

(Francis Maude is unwell)

Anonymous said...

I can't think of anything that rhymes with James Blunt.

Anonymous said...

Look at Boris and try again.

tory boys never grow up said...

I very much doubt that the Labour Party will be able to avoid reporting a donation from Sunrise Radio since it is also being reported that they made a further donation by bidding £4000 for a raffle ticket price - which will take them over the £5000 limit

In addition Sunrise Radio have to report any donation to a political party over £200 in their accounts. And if they haven't already got agreement for the donation from their shareholders - then the directors are personally liable to pay it back - wouldn't that be fun!

While you are worrying about the Labour Party hiding donations perhaps you ought to worry a little bit more how the Tories (both nationally and locally (limit £1000)) hide their dinner donations? Let me let you into a little secret they use front organisations such as the Winterball Committee or the Confernce Committee - they also have the advantage that they can take amounts from overseas and other illegal donors