[A-List] UK state: political smears
Michael.Keaney at mbs.fi
Wed Mar 6 01:24:18 MST 2002
It looks like the punk Thatcherite Conservatives are getting serious
about the make or break next election. Together with some astute
repackaging by leader Iain Duncan Smith (toning down the Europhobia,
emphasising better public services), going after New Labour sleaze is
tactically clever, since there will be no shortage of it to dig up.
Mandelson particularly is so arrogant as to assume that he walks on
water, and his lack of care in his dealings is telling. Still, he can
be, has been, exported to Europe as part of the New Labour/British state
plan to orchestrate a takeover of the process of European integration to
suit British interests. Meanwhile, tarring the rival Liberal Democrats,
the potential official opposition after the next election, shows just
how seriously a threat they are considered to be. Question is, will
Tony's "big tent" strategy be sufficient to neutralise any serious
threats to his hegemony?
Mandelson accused of failing to declare benefit
David Hencke, Westminster correspondent
Wednesday March 6, 2002
Former cabinet minister Peter Mandelson was last night facing a second
investigation into failing to declare benefits - this time for a rent
free stay in a £6.75m London town house owned by fellow Labour MP Shaun
The ex-minister who had to resign for failing to declare a £373,000
cheap interest loan from ministerial colleague Geoffrey Robinson to buy
his home in Notting Hill, west London, is now the subject of the first
complaint to Philip Mawer, the new parliamentary standards commissioner.
The complaint from the former Tory MP for Dorset South Ian Bruce, also
alleges that Mr Mandelson has not made a full declaration of his income
from outside speech engagements made as an MP.
Mr Bruce has written to Mr Mawer saying: "Mr Woodward does not declare
that he was receiving rent for premises in Queen Anne's Gate and,
assuming his declaration is correct, then Mr Mandelson was receiving an
undeclared benefit in kind.
"I believe that members of the Labour party might believe the finding of
a safe Labour seat for Mr Woodward would have put Mr Woodward in the
debt of whoever organised that for him. As you may know, Mr Mandelson
was in charge of Labour's campaign at the last election and may well
have been that person."
Mr Bruce said it was important the concerns were investigated, as "Mr
Mandelson continues to have daily access to the prime minister and ap
pears to be trying to rehabilitate his reputation in advance of being
offered some new public position".
Mr Mandelson said last night: "This is clearly a baseless and
politically motivated complaint dreamt up by a former Tory MP."
But he declined to discuss whether he had paid rent or stayed free at
the London home of Mr Woodward who has now sold the property.
Mr Bruce has also tabled a complaint against the Liberal Democrat
leader, Charles Kennedy, after finding that he recorded donations of
£15,000 from CA Church Ltd and £20,000 from its director, Lynda
Partridge, in the register of members' interests.
He wrote: "I believe that Mr Kennedy should provide more information
about why such a company and one of its directors is providing £35,000
which is equivalent to 50% of the company's net profit."
The shareholders are a Spanish resident, named as PA Church, and the
British Virgin Islands-based Omdium Group, said Mr Bruce.
"I understand that these donations do not fall foul of the prohibition
of overseas donations because they are routed through a UK-registered
company and a UK resident. I think the public require a better
explanation of why such an arrangement has been made and whether they
comply with the spirit of that legislation."
Mr Kennedy said: "I am mystified by this bizarre complaint. These were
perfectly legal donations registered in the proper manner from
long-standing party supporters."
Full article at:
Mercuria Business School
michael.keaney at mbs.fi
More information about the A-List