Anti-poverty company ends poverty. For its CEO.

As a pinko socialist commie I don’t think anyone is worth this much, but it is especially irritating in a government owned company.

The “extraordinary” £1m-a-year salary for the head of a government-owned company set up to combat developing world poverty has been attacked by MPs.

The salary of CDC Group chief executive Richard Laing rose from £383,000 in 2003 to £970,000 in 2007, the Commons Public Accounts committee found.

But the Department for International Development, its 100% shareholder, was not properly consulted, the MPs said. BBC

Also, seriously, get a new name. The Colonial Development Corporation does not put out happy signals.

David Abrahams and his Manchurian plot to destroy New Labour.

The David Abrahams illegal donation scandal ( and I do not apologise for calling it that. Proxy donating IS illegal, as anyone but a small child or a Labour fundraiser would know.) seems to have quietened down a little for now, as various investigations begin into it. The Prime Minister’s own enquiry is likely to be a whitewash, but the Metropolitan Police enquiry is somewhat more hopeful.

Harriet Harman has managed, somehow, to keep her job. Hereafter known as the Umbrella Thief. Simon Heffer reports in the Telegraph:

It was a Labour Party conference in Brighton a few years ago. It was pouring with rain. I was leaving a restaurant and asked for my coat and umbrella.

The latter was a shockingly expensive, black wooden-handled model, bought deliberately so I would remember not to lose it. Instead, I was given the sort of floral collapsible one sold by Italian street vendors for a quid. I then saw a woman leaving the same restaurant with my umbrella. She protested it was hers. I protested it wasn’t.

I pointed out that a brass collar on the shaft bore my initials. At that moment, a waiter said, “Madam, here is your umbrella”, and handed her the Italian floral job. Flustered, Harriet Harman (for it was she) said that she thought she had borrowed the gamp from her sister who, being called Sarah Jane Harman, had the same initials as me.

Looking at the two brollies, I said I could see how easily she might have confused the two. She failed to appreciate the joke. Am I surprised that she is up to her neck in effluent about dodgy donations? Am I hell.

Clearly she has a taste for the finer things in life, be they Deputy Leaderships, or finely carved umbrellas. Given the closeness of her husband, the Labour Party treasurer Jack Dromey, to the current scandal, she is in danger from two directions. As they say, when it rains, it pours. Jack has been less than forthcoming about his involvement. I suppose he’s only the treasurer, not the finder-outer, or question-asker. Treasure your job while you can, Jack.

Mr Abrahams, showing cunning if not decisiveness or integrity, donated to both Harman and Hilary Benn for the Deputy Leadership campaign, though Mr Benn insisted that Abrahams donate in his own name for a change. Thus Benn has come out of this cleanly. He’s probably practising his Deputy Leader speeches in front of his bathroom mirror as I write. Dad would be proud.

Jon Mendelsohn is certainly doomed. Apart from Greg Palast’s revelations about his appallingly unethical lobbying company before he became Chief Fundraiser for Labour, Abrahams has now revealed that he has thankyou notes for all his various donations via various proxies. The thankyou notes being addressed to Abrahams rather gives the game away. Really thoughtful of him to have saved them all, don’t you think? David Abrahams assures us that he knew it was all above board because nice Mr Mendelsohn knew all about it.

Gordon Brown prides himself on the number of people from outside the Labour party that he’s brought into his Government. That’s lucky, as at the rate they’re going he’s going to need to replace half his cabinet by Christmas. Well done, Mr Abrahams! You’ve destroyed what little credibility New Labour had left. That was, ah, your intention, I assume?

Given that he first came to light trying to trick the Labour party into letting it stand as one of its MPs by hiring a fake family to accompany him, and was found out and cast into ignomy, it is not hard to imagine that he resolved to take his fiendish revenge upon them. Imagining things is fun!

I know, let’s have a poll! They’re always fun too. If you think I’ve missed anyone from the choices you ought to be there, post in comments and I’ll add them in.


A wee little Broon Cartoon.

My biggest effort at a webcomic ever! I should probably have tried to do it in something a bit better than Windows Paint.

I also completely failed at fitting it into the amount of width I have here, so you’ll have to give it a click to see it. You might also have to click magnify on it, if your browser unhelpfully resizes it so you can’t read the text. I’ll make sure I get it to fit in here next time. Probably. It’s kind of thin over here.
A little bit of fun with Gordon Brown and Nick Robinson.
For non-Brits, the Lib Dem leader, mighty Vince Cable, said this week: “The House has noticed the Prime Minister’s remarkable transformation in the past few weeks from Stalin to Mr. Bean – creating chaos out of order, rather than order out of chaos.

Janet Dunn remembers Abrahams’ “gift”.

Janet Dunn, who yesterday claimed to know nothing about having been used as an intermediary for one of David Abrahams’ Labour Party donations, has had a flash of insight, and now remembers the event. I suppose she doesn’t consider it “disgusting” any more, either.

I know I’m always forgetting about having £25,000 put into my bank account, and then passing it along. You can’t be expected to recall such minor financial details. Luckily, she kept records, and checked her bank balance last night, and it all came back to her. Fortunate indeed, considering that the Labour party had obvious proof that she’d paid them with a personal cheque.

I wonder if she is related to Alberto Gonzales?

Vince Cable, acting leader of the Liberal Democrats, has made a formal request for the Metropolitan Police (who have jurisdiction over all matters involving Westminster) to investigate the matter.

David Abrahams – Serial liar

David Abrahams, alias David Martin was unknown to me at the beginning of this week, and yet it appears that he has been a busy little bee indeed. At least where deception is concerned. A bee of lies.

It turns out that when David Abrahams was trying to become Labour MP for Richmond in 1992, he made a point of introducing the selection committee to his wife and son.

A divorcee, Anthea Bailey, told a local newspaper she and her 11-year old son had posed as Mr Abrahams’ family. This was done, she said, as a “business arrangement” so he could create “the right impression”.

A press statement was apparently also issued at the time of his selection, reportedly stating how he lived with his wife and son – but he had never been married.

That business arrangement involved Mr Abrahams paying off Mrs Bailey’s overdraft, and paying her son’s private school fees. He also failed to mention that he was going through the courts at the time, under the name David Martin, though he was eventually found innocent of the charge of illegally evicting a tenant.

He even seems to be lying about how old he is. He claims to have been born in 1954, but records suggest that he was in fact born in 1944.

His duplicitous behaviour seems to be contagious. It is remarkable how many Labour politicians seem to have no idea who he is, as if he came down in the last shower. A shower… of money.

Stephen Pollard in the Spectator remarks:From 1992-95 I worked for the Fabian Society. Our meetings were attended by a variety of people: students and academics, hacks and Labour Party members, politicos and wannabe politicos. The presence of someone such as Gordon Brown at one of these meetings was not in the least bit unusual, nor that of any other senior party figure. As an affiliated part of the Labour Party, our job in opposition was to provoke thought about the party’s policies.

One of the regular – indeed, one of the most assiduous – attendees at those meetings was David Abrahams. He would mix, as would everyone in that milieu, with backbenchers, front benchers, NEC members and Shadow Cabinet members.

Many of those people are now ministers. Others are Cabinet members, some very senior. It is possible – just – that when they say they have no idea who David Abrahams is, or cannot recall ever meeting him, they are telling the truth. It is, after all, possible that there are people in the country who have never heard of, say, Gordon Brown. Possible, yes; but very, very unlikely.

The obvious question is WHY? Why did Mr Abrahams go to such lengths to conceal his identity?
What was he trying to gain? Forgiveness for another run at Parliament, perhaps, or an honour, or maybe he is one of those people who likes to believe that he has influence with important people. Maybe some sort of property dodge, or lenient planning oversight? I doubt he did it just to get a plum seat at Blair’s leaving speech. Whatever the reason, it is clear that his insidious roots have spread throughout the upper echelons of the Labour party, and it’s going to take some digging to shift them.

It’s coming out tonight that some of the people, in whose name Mr Abrahams donated money, had no idea that this was being done. Janet Dunn, a lifelong Tory, had £25,000 sent in her name. She is the wife of Anthony Dunn, who has done land consultancy for Mr Abrahams in the past, and knew absolutely nothing about the matter until this week. She is not best pleased, calling the situation “disgusting”.

The Crown Prosecution Service seems to be taking an interest.

David Abrahams admits to knowingly breaking the law.

Labour general secretary Peter Watt has resigned following the revelation that a property developer made donations to the party via two colleagues.
David Abrahams, who gave more than £400,000 through associates, said Mr Watt’s resignation was “sad”.

Mr Watt told a meeting of officers of Labour’s National Executive Committee he had known about the arrangement.

Under the law, those making donations on behalf of others must give details of who is providing the money.

Mr Abrahams and Mr Watt thought it was perfectly legal to channel donation through third partys. How utterly naive can you get? If that was allowed, then any foreign power that felt like it could buy our whole political system.

Then later he said this:

Mr Abrahams insisted that Mr Ruddick and Mrs Kidd were fully aware of the destination of the cheques they signed. He said he objected to the requirements for major donors’ identities to be made public, introduced by Tony Blair in 2000 as part of his campaign to “clean up politics”.

“If you make donations to a political party, you are hounded in a way that you are not if you make them to other worthwhile causes.”

Oh, you object to THAT law. Why didn’t you say so? It’s quite alright to break the law if you object to it.

I, for instance, object to the law that prevents me from throwing you out of this window.

So you chose to break the law, because you objected to a requirement brought in by the person you were giving the money to. You knowingly committed a serious crime. Not liking the law is not a very good defense, as thousands of cannabis smokers find out every year, but then again, you’re probably a whole lot richer than they are.

Send him to the Tower.

Liberal Democrat leadership battle turns shameful.

The clash between the two Liberal Democrat leadership candidates this morning on The Politics Show was utterly shameful. Chris Huhne, when challenged over his office’s dirty tricks, launched into a hectoring bullying attack upon Nick Clegg.

There is absolutely no way in hell I am voting for Chris Huhne next week. I want a leader that plays fair, and does not try to shout people down. I was totally undecided, but this nastiness has brought me down on the side of Nick Clegg.

You can see the interview with the candidates here.

And the worst of it?

But, in heated exchanges, he went on to accuse home affairs spokesman Mr Clegg of “flip-flopping” over his policies.

Any candidate that uses the term “flip-flopping” is no friend of mine. I had my fill of that language in 2004, and Liberal Democrats ought not to be recycling US Republican talking points. And well done Jon Sopel, for not parroting the talking points that had been neatly handed to you, and instead turning the tables on a very shoddy piece of skullduggery.