Friday, April 23, 2010

Vince Cable Comes a Cropper (Again)

Vince Cable came under some strong questioning on tonight's CAMPAIGN SHOW about the £2.4 million donation to the LibDems by convicted fraudster, Michael Brown. Enjoy how Vince squirms...

JS - If you want to be an honest party and stand above everyone else in the fray, shouldn’t you give that money back
VC - All the parties including ours have been damaged by dodgy donor. And that’s why we’re arguing the whole system has to be cleared up.
JS – so I asks you as specific question? Should that you give that money back?
VC - If we were asked to give the money back by the electoral commission, we would have given that money back,
JS - Take the moral lead?
VC – No.
JS – Why not?
VC – We accept the money in good faith
JS – interrupts
VC – What we are now arguing is the positive point and that all parties have accepted money from people that they shouldn’t have accepted money from. And we’ve to clean up the system.
JS – Let me make a distinction. You have said that if you were asked to pay the money back you would. Don’t you think you should have paid the money back? This is £2.5m where people have been defrauded. If you give that money back then maybe some of the people who have been ripped off by this guy would get their money back.
VC – We have accepted the money in completely good faith, not aware of any of that context. We have all been contaminated by this very very damaging system of party donation.
JS – (interrupts) in view of that context now, give the money back
VC - We want to clean that system up to ensure that people like this (interrupts) are not involved in donations again.
JS – But if you wanted to do that in a pre-emptive way you could say unilaterally… I you wanted to highbrow… we took this money in good faith, we did it all by the rules at the time, but clearly its wrong and we’re giving the money back.
VC – If we thought there was any culpability we would have taken that step. We want to clean the system up. Other parties have accepted vast sums of money from highly questionable people.
JS – Do you think you should pay the money back?
VC – No we don’t think we should give it back because we were in no way culpable morally or in any other way.

Whiter than white, these LibDems, eh?


Old Holborn said...

I'll have you know that Vince Cable has predicted 17 of the last 2 recessions

JMB said...

hy can't the money be recovered under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002?

john in cheshire said...

Ha Ha. QED.

Houdini said...

I fail to understand why receiving stolen goods is legal.

The LibDums are claiming that anyone who accepts something in good faith that turns out to be stolen is quite entitled to keep it.

That's rubbish ethically, morally and legally. Legally by refusing to give the money back they could be classed as aiding and betting.

But this of course is British politics...

Bardirect said...

You've got to give Uncle Fester some credit for putting himself forward for these daily maulings. But did more than 20 people see it? I'll bet more people were tuned into the BBC4 docufilm about Dr Feelgood. Strangely, there is as uncanny resemblence between the formerly wide eyed axe man Wilko Johnson and the economics guru, the latter mimicking the choppy style, novel dress sense and jerky movements of the guitarist

Nich Starling said...

Answer this question Iain. What % of Lib Dem MPs flipped their second hime and what % of Tories ?

Anonymous said...

The Lib Dems are utterly shameless; they are the dirtiest, sleaziest party in politics. They should return the money now!

How they piously claim to be above the other parties when they have the worst record on donations of any party, even worse than Labour. The Lib Dems have taken the proceeds of crime, they should return the cash. If another party had done what they have done, they would never leave it alone. Maybe they did not know how Michael Brown came across the funds, which do not make it right.

The lib dems are a rotten bunch; Lord Rennard still looks to be carrying out many of the functions he did as Lib Dem Chief Executive, wonder if he is still on the pay role? The utter hypocrisy lies and deceit of that lib dems is beyond belief. Lord Rennard was of course caught out in the expenses scandal where he was claiming for expenses he should not really have been entitled too. That was on top of a reported £90,000 salary.

Liberal Democrat MPs have been caught with their snouts in the trough as well; even Vince Cable asked if he could have more of one expense because he felt he was being cheated out of not being able to claim enough from another.

wild said...

Absolutely brazen Leftist bias by Michael Crick on Newsnight tonight. He (in all seriousness) claimed that Cameron had made a big mistake in his interview with Jeremy Paxman by defending the assertion that attempts ought to be made to facilitate the growth of the private sector in areas of the UK (such as Northern Ireland and N-E England) where there is an unhealthy economic dominance by the State.

Only somebody well to the Left of Brown could think that such a claim was a big mistake.

Silent Hunter said...

Well Iain?

Are you going to answer Norfolk Bloggers question?

Martin S said...

I see what you mean. He looks a bit like Wilko Johnson...

Iain Dale said...

No, partly because I don't know the answer and can't be arsed to find it out, but secondly because it's a diversionary tactic. This thread is about Cable and Michael Brown, not Tory MPs' expenses.

DeeDee99 said...

St Vince's halo has slipped and is now resting by his ankles.

Anonymous said...

@Silent Hunter. I often answer Norfolk Blogger as I did today in another thread. My impression of his postings: Like Cleggy and Cable, his utterances are full of delusion- typical Libdem kind. When Cable opens his mouth next time, simply say Andrew Neil is going to ask him a question next. That should take care of Cable!

Alex said...

Whatever the Electoral Commission said about the permissibility of the donation is not directly in point, although they should have rejected the donation because Brown's companies were not engaged in business in the UK, but they would never have forced the Lib Dems to hand back stolen money because that is not covered by PPERA 2000.

Any honest person would hand the money back to its rightful owners. The Lib Dems are not honest.

Martin S said...

Here's a question for Norfolk Blogger:

How many other parties are knowingly keeping £2.5m of someone elses' money?

Twig said...

1. UKIP had 360k confiscated just because of a technicality. The Electoral Commission could have told them to return the money to the donor and allow him to re-donate it after getting his registration in order, but no - they confiscated it.

2. The Lib Dem funding was from a donor in Spain through a dormant UK company which had no visible earnings and was just used as a conduit for the stolen money.
The Electoral Commission allowed them to keep the money.

The Electoral Commission's judgements on the above cases are unjust.

The Lib Dems have shown their true colours, by not doing the right thing of their own volition.

JMB said...

Perhaps someone needs to organise a group of the people who lost money to follow Clegg around with placards about him having stolen their money.

Alfred said...

What a shikicker Cable is.

Manfarang said...

What about paying the Polly Peck money back?

Jimmy said...

Given the tories' grim determination to beat this one to death may we assume that the Asil Nadir money has been passed to its rightful owners too?

miko said...

Vince Cable's halo,if he ever had one amongst this band of mediocrity called Parliament,was flushed down the toilet long ago.

This really is the age of nonentities.

None of these politicians would last a week in a real business.

It's all so depressing.

"None Of The Above" could win this election,if only we could get him/her on to the ballot paper.

Cynic said...

Vince needs to read Section 78 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and especially the bit that says

" if the defendant transfers property to another person for a consideration whose value is significantly less than the value of the property at the time of the transfer, he is to be treated as making a gift."

That gift then becomes a 'tainted gift' which should be recovered by the state to enforce any POCA order made for confiscation of his criminal assets.

So this is dirty money which is recoverable by the state. Why has the CPS not acted to recover it? Anyone care to ask Kier Stammer?

Cynic said...

Silly me...I should also have said that under Section 83 of POCA of the Lib Dems have spent the tainted gift then the court can order the recovery / seizure of all other free property held by them up to that amount.

Caro said...

Lib Dems: "Weak on crime. Weak on returning the proceeds of crime."

Vienna Woods said...

Actually, "Uncle Fester" (good one that!) looks more like Lord Voldemort!

The situation regarding the Michael Brown donation has puzzled me for long enough and how on earth the Parliamentary Commission came to the decision that they did is beyond my comprehension.

The defence that Cable puts forward, i.e. that the donation was accepted in good faith, doesn't bear scrutiny for one minute. If someone known to you as a casual acquaintance presents you with a large some of money, do you snatch it, run away and spend it as the Liberals did. No, of course not! No doubt they were grateful for the donation as their finances were not so healthy and I can distinctly remember reports at the time indicating that if they were forced to pay it back then the LibDems would have been long since bankrupt.

Some years ago on checking my Bank Account I noticed that there was double what I thought should have been there. The same evening I sat down and worked out that a large payment had been received into my account for which I had no knowledge. The following morning I went to the bank where the manager advised me that it was indeed a false payment and the cheeky bugger had the nerve to tell me that my failure to notice the excess for 2 months could be regarded by the police as a criminal deception if in the ensuing time the account would have dipped into negative equity with the false payment covering my arse - so to say! I'm no longer with said bank - of course!

Paul C said...

Let's try this one for Norfolk Blogger - which millionaire party leader had the highest expenses claims?

And which party has sacked the fewest (percentage wise) of their expenses-fiddling MPs?

AndrewJK said...

"No, we don't believe we should give the money back", says Vince. Earlier in the exchange he said he would give it back if told to. I expect if that were to happen it would be done grudgingly and with complete reluctance.

Victor, NW Kent said...

Leave St. Vincent alone. He has the best hindsight of any politician.

His foresight is a bit shaky, I admit but hindsight makes one always right.

ChristalPalace said...

I'm uncomfortable about Nick's suggestions that Lib Dem MPs were less culpable in the expenses scandal during the leaders' debate, and would ideally like to see the Michael Brown money returned. However, given the chasm in party funding, if the Lib Dems had pay back £2.5million, that surely brings to an end any chance of running an effective campaign. Now obviously the Tories and Labour would love this, but surely Iain you must see that it can't happen whilst the Tories are still taking millions from Michael Ashcroft and Labour millions from Unite and Unison.

Patrick said...

well done jon sopel.

this is much worse than the duck house etc.

the "right thing" to do is to offer the money to the people who were defrauded.

Patrick said...

pity no one (except Iain) was watching!

Norton Folgate said...

The Tory Ashcroft money and Labour Unite money isn't known stolen goods.

The Libdems are willfully sitting on £2.5 million of other peoples stolen money that they know to be stolen and won't give it back unless forced to.

Any pretence of being the "Different" party or holding the moral high ground is long since gone.

Twig said...

"...the Tories are still taking millions from Michael Ashcroft and Labour millions from Unite and Unison."

1. The Lib Dems accepted money in good faith and subsequently found out that it was stolen money. You cannot keep stolen goods just because you received them in good faith and Vince Cable and Nick Clegg should know this.

2. Lord Ashcroft's donations to the Conservatives are from his own pocket and have been taxed in the UK. Lord Ashcroft's non-dom status means that he does not pay UK tax on his overseas investments, unless he brings the money into the UK; in which case he pays UK income tax on it.

3. The union donations to New Labour are funded by payments from the taxpayer under the pretext of "union modernisation".

Out the above three funding sources I would say that no.2 is the only legitimate one.


Twig said...

@Vienna Woods

Which bank was it?

Unsworth said...

@ ChristalPalace

So, justice and moral rectitude - only not until after the General Election? Augustine would sympathise.

An interesting legal and ethical position.

Presumably you have evidence that the funds donated by Ashcroft and the Unions (respectively) are also stolen?

M said...

Looks like Sopel 2-0 Cable. Cable must hate Sopel.

Surely if you knew something given to you was dodgy, then you would return it?