Monday, February 08, 2010

Labour Sacks Its Lawyers

Press release from CCHQ...

Speaking after the news that the Labour Party have dropped their official lawyers until after the cases of the three Labour MPs have concluded, Conservative Party Chairman Eric Pickles said: "After two days of claiming that there was nothing wrong with the Labour Party's official lawyers advising three MPs to use parliamentary privilege to escape charges over expenses, Gordon Brown has climbed down again. David Cameron took decisive action on Friday when the charges were first announced. Gordon Brown dithered and delayed over the weekend and as a result has yet again been left looking like he is not prepared to get to grips with this issue."

So to those who constantly bleated on about how there was nothing wrong in this at all, please do explain why Labour has dropped Mr Shamash and Co.


Old Holborn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jimmy said...

I assume it's a response to Bumface's smear tactics. My own view it's a mistake to dignify them like this. Perhaps they think it will force him to talk about policy now.

myob said...

The whole expenses saga has totally changed my view on British politics.

Far from it being about party politics now, its about the entire system.

It simply is not geared up to supporting our modern society.

"Innocent" or "Guilty", its time for a wholesale clear out.

Elimination of party politics and the whips.

Bills should be proposed and put to the public, the means are there and it is only self interest preventing this.

A case could be made for it being self selected and potentially leading to bad law but worse than what?

At least its more representative.

Those who claim they did no wrong did nothing to alert us to or prevent their colleagues from stealing from the taxpayer.

Politicians, despite the old fashioned "they're all bad" mantra used to have some respect amongst some of us.

Now, none. At all.

Cameron may blather on about this but he's merely trying to score political points/earn capital from it. If he really believed in reform for the greater good he'd be going much further than he has.

No existing MP should be allowed to stand for re-election. A view i'm sure many would support but we cannot force this. Only those involved can.

Our system is broken. In its present guise, it cannot be fixed.

This issue will never go away.


Richard Havers said...

Hang on a minute! Gordon was in tears all over the weekend, how can he be expected to be doing his job as well?

Jon Lishman said...

Excellent question, Iain. We won't have an answer, though. But, frankly, who cares? Brown's appalling performance, not just on this issue, but generally over the past week, and Cameron's contrastingly assured one, means that people will make up their own minds this time. They don't need any more Labour excuses, backtracking and spin any more. Watch the polls!

I strongly suspect that his limp, self-obsessed reaction to the expenses scandal is the thing that will finally (finally!) do for Brown - and, justly, be the making of Cameron.

Good riddance to the former; good luck to the latter.

tory boys never grow up said...

I suspect because Gerald Shamash, a thoroughly decent and honest man (ask Peter Watts or anyone else who knows him - rather than the odious Blaney) would not let the Party dicate who he could and couldn't take on as a client.

Now I've answered your question perhaps you could explain why you believe the charged MPs are guilty and have to prove their innocence - and why this qualifies you to be a legislator?

tory boys never grow up said...

Can I also ask why you let Old Holborn link to anti-semitic garbage?

Unsworth said...

Sorry, but I still say follow the money. This is not as it appears at first sight. No contracts exist - except the unwritten 'understandings'.

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

meanwhile, outside the Westminster Green-Zone, important views are aired:

Anonymous said...

WTF? What is the point of dropping the lawyers? That just ensures that it looks like something shifty was going on.

Somebody somewhere needs their head examined.

strapworld said...

Labour: The Corrupt Party!

Witterings from Witney said...


Knowing how Labour are wedded to the mantra of equality, they could hardly complain if the lawyers 'sacked' the government on our behalf - could they?

What is good for the goose............

Dick Puddlecote said...

Oooh Sir! Sir! I know!

It's cos Labour don't give a fig about anyone but Labour. Shamash tried to adhere to that but ended up embarrassing Labour and so ... was not good for Labour.

Do I get extra golden time? ;-)

Anonymous said...

If you have a point 'old holborn' make it, and stop playing around with silly plagiaristic masks.

meantime as Mr dale says, Labours knickers are well and truly in a twist.

Donal Blaney said...


DespairingLiberal said...

Given that all the really serious offenders (flippers, rent-farmers, etc) are off the hook and these three tiddlers are being thrown to the mob to appease them with small change, I suppose we should be eternally grateful that their legal aid from the Labour Party has been withdrawn. One cannot help though but smell a small ratette. Isn't it possible that the High Hedjins of NuLab and NuTory met up and agreed who they would throw to the ravening wolves? After that, the mere matter of the DPP deciding on a trial or four is a mere trifle.

All that remains is for the next government to declare that it is all resolved and return to business as usual. Ere ere!

Jimmy said...


No the real coup de grace was for Cameron to set about sabotaging the prosecutions for perceived partisan advantage.

Conand said...

Maybe Labour finally worked out that, at least on a subliminal level, employing Lawyers called Smash & Steal probably isn't a good idea for a political party.

Anonymous said...

Labour are fast becoming known as The Damned, Iain.

A hard label to avoid for them, now and perhaps forever more.

Jimmy said...


You lost. Let it go.

Iain Dale said...

Actually, he won.

Martin S said...

Brownian Motion: Dithering until invisible, then repeating somewhere else.

Does Brown clutch at straws or bananas?

Jimmy said...


I was talking about the election case where Shamash embarassed him. I think it's time to let the healing begin.

Unsworth said...


'Coup de Grace'?

Another State Education Victim.

Iain Dale said...

Jimmy, you really are quite warped on this. Donal won the case against Shamash. How on earth could Shamash have embarrassed him?

DespairingLiberal said...

Quite funny that if you Google Donal Blaney, the first image that comes up is him standing in front of a swastika flag.

I can't help but wonder Iain why you are so drawn to Blaney, who seems to be a sort of neo-BNP'er inside the ranks of the tory party. I thought you yourself were a bit more centrist than that?

Iain Dale said...

That image of Blaney was photoshopped by a Labour blogger.

Donal is a good friend of mine. There's nothing BNP about him at all.

I note that you have now tacitly admitted your previous assertion was wrong.

You're always calling on me to apologise for this, that or the other. Perhaps you should follow your own advice.

DespairingLiberal said...

What exactly are you asking me to apologise for Iain? Not clear from your comment which of my points you are referring to.

As for Donal, did he or did he not send out literature saying "Fulham homes for Fulham people" or something very similar? Who did he have in mind exactly as not "Fulham people"? I think we can guess.

We are still waiting to hear from you as a friend of Lord Ashcroft's as to his current domicile status - nobody in your Party, including you, a self-declared friend and business associate of his, seems willing to say if he has kept his commitment to become a UK citizen for tax purposes. I think we must assume this is because he has not. So the Conservative Party is now funded by a tax exile living abroad. I'm completely confident that won't in any way affect Tory policy towards reclaiming the half-trillion pounds of British taxes that could be used for our economy but are instead currently assisting the Grand Caymans, Sark, Belize, etc.

Iain Dale said...

You were alleging Shamash had made a fool out of Donal and beaten him in a case. It was actually Donal who won the case. You got it wrong. Admit it.

On Lord A, you make a number of unfounded assumptions and then draw false conclusions. But I am not getting into that with you, so dont even try to continue it.

Penguinissimo said...

The answer to the question is that Shamash and Co have an irreconcilable conflict of interest.

What is best for these three individuals in defending the charges and what is best for the Labour party are palpably not the same thing.

What if, for example, one of the accused wants to say that he was told by senior figures in the Labour Party that it was ok to make such claims? What if, say, a Cabinet minister is even alleged to have said something like "claim like the rest of us or you'll make us all look bad"?

Clearly it is in the individual's interest - he could argue, for example, that he was following an implied instruction from someone in authority. Equally clearly, it is not in the Labour party's interest to be seen to be condoning excessive claiming.

How then could Shamash advise both the Labour party and the individual? Answer - he would be in breach of Law Society regulations to do so.

As much as I'd like there to be, there's nothing fishy here...

Roger Thornhill said...

On the surface it looks "sensible" - conflict of interest.

However, as Labour will probably re-engage them as soon as this is over, it would have been better for the "Three little pigs" to have engaged someone else...

That said, I am VERY suspicious over the use of the "Parliamentary Privilege" written into the 1689 English Bill of Rights (which, conveniently, contains the oath that no parliamentarian hand over sovereignty to a foreign power...).

This is how I see it playing out:

BoR clause is used (we are there now)
Big fuss and MSM spin about how it needs to be "modernised"*
New laws abrogating the ENTIRE BoR shoved through with Dave's connivance.
Future parliaments can now be bound, MPs able to hand over sovereignty.

End of Nation State.

Dave, Gordon and all get cosy sinecures in the "big Pond" of Europe after their spells as "Gaulieter" or "Town Clerk of Britain" depending on how you see it.

The crime of Treason was recently repealed (by T Blair). Pure coincidence, naturally.

* modern, like "change" is meaningless. Clarify, yes, improve, yes. Modern buildings will be knocked down in 30 years and 20 of those years it will be a decaying, rain-stained carbuncle.

Unsworth said...


"I think we can guess" Well, you usually do. As to 'we' - speak for your monomaniac self.

DespairingLiberal said...

"You were alleging Shamash had made a fool out of Donal and beaten him in a case. It was actually Donal who won the case. You got it wrong. Admit it."

I've never commented on that case and know nothing about it Iain. Perhaps you were thinking of someone else?

On the Ashcroft issue, it clearly isn't irrelevant, monomaniacal or unfounded to worry that so much of the basic funding of the (presumably) ruling party after the next election comes from just one man, especially given that man appears to still be a non-domicile. I think anyone reasonable can see that this is a concern. It surely must have an impact on the thinking behind Tory policies.

But I agree that NuLab and LibDems have been little better, each seeking funds from wealthy and sometimes corrupt or dishonest individuals.

There clearly need to be limits on how much one person or company can donate to a political party. We will just have to live with the consequences of fewer paid-for ads and more TV debating and meeting the voters that will result in a more genuine democracy, instead of toadying to special (sometimes foreign) interests.

Jimmy said...

Iain, I was talking about Finch v Richardson, the case he alluded to on his blog and which he appears to have written about on TP. Which case were you talking about? If you are aware of a case which he has won then I am happy to acknowledge the fact and congratulate him.

tory boys never grow up said...


If you follow the logic of your argument - it would appear that given most major political parties have policies/views on most matters (Cameron's Tories excepted) then a lawyer for a political party would have a conflict of interest in taking on work from almost everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Desparing Liberal - I notice you have not apologised for libelling Blaney.

Coward or what? The photo-shopped effort comes fro a typically thick Labour blog which seems to have a Dorris fixation.

DespairingLiberal said...

Where on earth did I libel Blaney Trevorsden?

Donal Blaney said...

Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy

McMurtrie v Fernandes - Shamash has been ordered to pay my client's costs on the indemnity basis because he failed to serve the proceedings on the DPP (the same guy who is prosecuting his three MP clients, ironically). No costs order in Finch v Richardson. So call it one-all with me winning on away goals (or two-one to me, given this week's events).

Still, why let the facts get in the way of a good smear. What a good pupil of Mr McBride you (oh yes, I acted for Nadine Dorries against him and that was another victory)

Despairing Liberal - thanks for putting your head above the parapet. Anonymous abuse on the internet is easy to defeat now thanks to the case of Blaney v Person(s) Unknown in which I obtained a world first order allowing for such cyberbullies to be unmasked and served via Twitter (giving rise to what is known as a Blaney's Blarney Order). Oh look, another victory.

Donal Blaney said...

Oh and re Fulham Homes for Fulham People (my, how similar that sounds to Gordon Brown's British Jobs for British Workers slogan - are you anti-Brown now too?), my fellow councillor and I were acting for a local BLACK family that was not being rehoused by the Labour council because the council was giving priority to people who didn't live in, work in or have any connection with Fulham.

Still, why let THAT smear get in the way of the truth either. I look forward to adding you to my list of scalps, Despairing Liberal.

tory boys never grow up said...

Donal perhaps needs to be reminded that legal cases are not football matches where the lawyers score all the goals. Perhaps the underlying facts have an impact on the overall result - and lawyers are usually acting for someone other than themselves.

Jimmy said...

"Still, why let the facts get in the way of a good smear."

How were you smeared? We were clearly at cross purposes. I was unaware of the McMurtrie case and congratulate you. After all, own goals count too.

As for Nadine, well I suspect we differ on what constitutes success, but you are indeed fortunate to have a client so easily pleased. I take it nothing was ever actually issued.

"I obtained a world first order allowing for such cyberbullies to be unmasked "

So who was it?

Jimmy said...

"lawyers are usually acting for someone other than themselves."

Well that's how it's supposed to work. Apparently some take a more unconventional view.

Martin S said...

Good Lord. Does someone offer a course in Vacuous comments on websites? There are several people who comment here who seem to have passed with flying colours.

BTW, if you mount the moral high ground to throw mud at other people, you smear yourself, first of all.

DespairingLiberal said...

I am not clear how you will make of me a "scalp" Donal, but I'm happy to admit I was wrong about the context of your "Fulham homes for Fulham people" remark if that makes you happy.

I am also not clear how the fact that you got an injunction against someone for imitating you has anything at all to do with backing up your non-case against my non-smear? Since you yourself admit you said the words I ascribed to you? Oh well. Particularly poignant that you in public made such a thing of your actions being against "cyberbullying". I wonder who the bully is here?

I also note that on your blog that you (for example on Feb 2 2010) sometimes use very insulting language against public companies. For example, you state that Autoglass are "a shower of shite" and go on to a lengthy public diatribe against them.

Do they already know about this up at Autoglass?

In case not and to assist, I have contacted their legal dept and asked them to take a look at it.

All the best

Despairing Liberal

Donal Blaney said...

Keep it coming Despairing Liberal. The police are enjoying your antics too.

Oh and if I hear from Autoglass I'll be sure to let you know. Don't hold your breath.

(Actually, DO hold your breath - you might suffocate and save us all from having to read your turgid smears and falsehoods)

DespairingLiberal said...

So now it's "the police". Hahahaha. What crime do you say I have committed Judge Blaney? "Sorry your honour, I admit to the crime of saying that Donal Blaney himself says that he says that Fulham homes are for Fulham people". "You will go to prison for 22 years". For the crime of Blaney-slapping.

Reading this blather though I do wonder how some people manage to make it through their law exams.

Jimmy said...

"The police are enjoying your antics too. "

This is why people make fun of you Donal.

tory boys never grow up said...


Have you added all our names to the list!

Jimmy said...

Arrest that man Officer! He was mean to me on the internet!

I'm beginning to see where Grieve may have got his crime statistics.

DespairingLiberal said...

Very amusing Jimmy, but there's actually quite a sinister undertow to some of Blaney's comments. How ironic that he reaches for the police when confronted by someone who is willing to stand up to him, yet on his own blog, constantly swears and fulminates against the "socialist scum" nanny state, etc, etc.

Beneath that Libertarian exterior there lurks an authoritarian streak methinks.

Anyone thinking of going to Mr Blaney for "legal advice" would do well to read his comments here and on his own blog first and then decide if they really want such an individual as their sol.

My word verication was "pooooppp".

tory boys never grow up said...

Despairing Liberal

To be fair to Donal I don't think he has ever had that much time for the Libertarian side of Conservatism. However, it should be noted that he is well versed in the political techniques of the American Right which have an underlying basic hypocrisy of taking full advantage for their own purposes of the fairness and tolerance which liberals rightly permit them to have - but when it comes to attacks on their views they are immediately taught to have a policy of zero tolerance.

I'm afraid this attitude has infected many right wing British blogs - and so you need a pretty thick skin to put forward views that differ from the blogger or the pack of local sock puppets. The result is that blogs are beooming increasingly ghettoised and healthy debate between different and opposing strands is becoming increasing rare.

I supsect that longer term the really sucessful and influential blogs will be those where the blogger can act more in the spirit of a proper chairman and with some degree of fairness.

Iain Dale said...

DL, I deleted your last comment. If you want to smear me like that you can do it elsewhere.