Oh my aching sides … Whatever will that rump of sleazy lawyers who make up most of the Labour Party these days come up with next? Er, this?
Yes, in a desperate bid to create an appearance of integrity in the face of a cabinet knee deep in financial scams and an MP class loaded up with tax payer funded plasma TVs and quality soft furnishings, Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidates (PPCs) have now bodged together something they’re calling “Five pledges that show we mean business”.
(Note the term “business” here. Not “socialism”; “social democracy”; “social justice”; “fairness”; “democracy”; “equality; “fraternity”; “liberty” or any other term you might associate with left of centre politics.)
Now stop laughing at the back there please. This is serious. These wannabees are promising to, “subscribe to high standards of integrity, transparency, accountability and financial economy” OK?
So who’s this at number 73 on the grand Labour list of political integrity then? Why it’s Sam Townend, Labour PPC for Bristol North West.
Surely not the same smarmy well-paid barrister-boy Sam Townend, Labour PPC for Bristol North West, who had to recently resign his Lambeth Council seat in London after being exposed for trousering £10,212 of council tax payers money in allowances while turning up for only two meetings because he now lives in Bristol?
Indeed it is.
So this pledge, rather than suggesting we’re now on the verge of a new era of integrity in politics, actually creates the impression these people would sign papers to put their own kids in Guantanamo and agree to the full waterboarding treatment if they thought it would help them get elected on to the Westminster career ladder and gravy train doesn’t it?
Meanwhile “Five pledges” Townend’s new Bristol North West constituency party is no stranger to some odd financial arrangements itself since he appeared in town.
As reported by the Blogger at the arse end of 2007, it seems Townend’s selection and nomination for the Bristol North West seat coincided with two mysterious cash payments into his new Constituency Party’s funds amounting to exactly £10,000.
The money was listed as being donated by the ‘Bristol Labour Group’, using a Council House office address where local government officers – not Labour Party staffers – are based.
And despite enquiries, nobody on the ‘Bristol Labour Group’ – whoever they may be – seems able or willing to explain where this large sum of cash might have come from.
Former Bristol Labour Group leader George Micklewright has even gone to the trouble of outlining the historically poor financial situation of ‘The Bristol Labour Group’ on this blog and has described the £10,000 cash they suddenly rustled up out of the blue in 2007 – oddly coinciding with the Bristol North West candidate selection process – as “magic money”.
“Clearly the Labour Group account was used as a conduit,” concludes Mr Micklewright.
But a conduit for who?
In the current climate of mistrust and disgust at politicians’ financial arrangements, isn’t it about time ‘the Bristol Labour Group’ properly identified itself and explained where they got this £10k in cash from and why they donated it to their North West Constituency Party?
Surely there must be perfectly simple and honest explanation for it all don’t you think?