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Police probe 'government contracts for donations'...

SCOTLAND Yard is to investigate claims that multi-million-pound government contracts were handed out in exchange for donations to the Labour Party.

In a dramatic widening of the 'loans-for-peerages' inquiry, Metropolitan Police commanders have extended the scope of the inquiry that has shaken Tony Blair's government. They want to establish whether anyone who donated money to Labour was "rewarded" with lucrative government business.


The opening of a new front in the investigation has triggered a massive expansion in the police manpower being dedicated to the affair.

Sources at the Met have told Scotland on Sunday that almost 300 police are assigned to the case, either full or part-time. They have been tasked with trawling through records of the thousands of contracts issued to private companies by government departments every year.

It has also emerged that plain-clothes detectives have entered the Cabinet Office in Whitehall to remove documents relating to the award of peerages.

Officers from the Specialist Crime Directorate talked to officials at the Ceremonial Secretariat within the Cabinet Office a few yards from Downing Street. The unit co-ordinates policy and recommendations for honours and processes nominations.

The remarkable developments have underlined the Met's determination to conduct a thorough investigation into the allegations, originally sparked by a complaint from Scottish National Party MP, Angus MacNeil.

Police sources last night warned that Tony Blair himself "should expect to be visited" - particularly as a number of his aides have made it clear that the Prime Minister was central to the Labour operation to squeeze secret loans from businessmen who he later nominated for peerages.

The police operation 'went nuclear' on Thursday, when former government adviser Des Smith was arrested under the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925.

Smith, an adviser to the body pushing forward Blair's flagship city academy scheme, sparked concerns over the honours system when he told an undercover reporter that financial supporters could expect to be rewarded with a peerage or a knighthood.

Sources close to the investigation last night claimed that Smith could be offered immunity from prosecution if he gave prosecutors full details of any wrongdoing. Opposition parties claimed the move could cause further turbulence, as the Attorney-General, a Labour Cabinet minister, would make the ultimate decision on whether immunity could be granted.

However, it is the extension of the investigation into contracts which represents the most dramatic development in the operation, with potentially explosive consequences for the Blair government.

The police will also need to move beyond the 1925 Act and investigate under alternative corruption legislation.

The Prime Minister has consistently faced complaints that his "cronies" were well-rewarded for supporting his party or his most favoured projects, often with peerages or other honours. But a

widespread investigation into allegations of favouritism in the allocation of multi-million-pound contracts would open Labour chiefs to further unwelcome scrutiny over how they fund their party.

A number of businesses run by Labour donors have won government contracts in recent years.

Three years ago, Scotland on Sunday revealed that Paul Drayson's company Powderject won a government vaccines contract after he had donated £50,000 to Labour. He subsequently won a huge smallpox vaccine contract and was eventually made a Labour peer following further donations, although there is no suggestion of any corruption in his activities.

Weber Shandwick, a firm with strong links to Labour, gave the party £17,000 and was later awarded a £3m contract to persuade business to back the government's city academy programme. Again, there is no suggestion of any impropriety.

"The cash-for-contracts element of this is at an early stage," a senior source close to the investigation told Scotland on Sunday. "But the Met feel confident that they will bring cases to answer."

The number of officers employed in the peerages investigation now ranks alongside other major police inquiries. At the height of the Soham murder investigation, there were 478 officers involved.

The affair has led to growing fears in Blairite circles that it could deter wealthy philanthropists from sponsoring the controversial city academy scheme. Under the programme, private sector interests are donating millions of pounds to help fund state schools in England.

One of those donors, Sir Peter Vardy, spoke yesterday about fears that the cash-for-peerages affair could deter such donors from getting involved.

"If the initiative is sunk and put below water because of this cash for honours it will be an enormous shame to the generations of young people who need a much better education than they are getting at the moment," he said.

Sir Peter, whose Emmanuel Schools in the north of England have attracted controversy over claims they teach 'creationism', conceded that some backers may have got involved in the programme in order to get an honour.

"I think it is very disappointing. If that is the case then they have missed the mark of what these academies were all set up for. I think it brings the whole honours into disrepute," he said. "They shouldn't be building the schools if all they are doing it for is to have an honour."

Amid the escalating furore, the SNP MP who sparked the investigation joined forces with the former sleaze-busting MP Martin Bell to demand a moratorium on future honours until confidence in the system has been restored.

Angus MacNeil called on Blair to freeze all appointments to the House of Lords until the matter has been fully investigated.

He said: "Instead of hiding in the Downing Street bunker, the Prime Minister has to acknowledge the full seriousness of the position he is now in. There is a total collapse of confidence in the integrity of his government and a widespread belief that honours are bartered around like second hand cars.

"Tony Blair is now the Arthur Daley of Westminster politics."

Bell warned that the 'corruption' surrounding Blair's government was worse than that afflicting the previous Conservative administration.

"I doubt if even now the Prime Minister and indeed the Conservative Party recognise the extent to which they have brought politics into disrepute and it is high time that they did."

The discovery of an arcane Act has transformed the cash-for-peerages embarrassment into a full-blown crisis which threatens Tony Blair

THEY are less than a mile apart. Downing Street and New Scotland Yard are separated by a tight network of picturesque London streets and centuries of political convention. A mischievous political complaint over "cash-for-peerages" allegations by an unknown Scottish National Party MP was hardly going to disrupt the happy and productive arrangement between these two pillars of the establishment.

This was Westminster logic at the beginning of last week. By yesterday, however, everything had changed. The Met had made a dramatic arrest. And at Westminster, a government which had attempted to laugh off the affair a few weeks earlier, was no longer wearing a smile. Panic has set in.

"There must be some obscure SNP researcher somewhere just clapping himself on the back all the time," a Labour backbencher observed last night of the Nationalists' original approach to the Met, which prompted the investigation under the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925. "I can only compliment him, whoever he is. It seemed a neat way of embarrassing the government, but nothing more than that. But I was only worried that it might embarrass us - not throw us into uproar."

Tony Blair's aides furiously deny it, but 'uproar' is an accurate description of the mood in Number 10 during this last tumultuous week.

It had been going as planned. The Prime Minister, eager to regain the initiative after a difficult few weeks, had greeted health trust chief executives in Downing Street for a summit on the financial crisis in the NHS. But all plans had been immediately overshadowed on Thursday afternoon as the news came through that former government adviser and headteacher Des Smith had become the first person to be arrested as part of police inquiries.

The hapless Smith, an adviser to the body pushing forward Blair's pet 'city academy' scheme, had boasted of his access to Downing Street, claiming financial supporters of the academies could expect to be rewarded with honours. For the police, his arrest was a sensible starting point.

It was his exposure, following a particularly self-aggrandising outburst to an undercover reporter, that sparked the original concerns over the integrity of the system.

A measure of Number 10's concern last week came with the immediate response: denial. "Where are the allegations about the politicians in all of this?" one source close to Blair protested. "This man [Smith] appears to have been talking entirely for himself. The type of honours he was bandying about are generally not even in the gift of politicians. You should not assume that this will involve the Prime Minister."

It is New Labour crisis management par excellence: first, deny any suggestion of a problem for the party; and, at all costs, keep the Prime Minister out of it. But the problem for the government, and the issue that has propelled a frustrated Downing Street into a tailspin during the past few days, is that neither of these basic demands can be satisfied.

The government is facing the first criminal investigation into allegations of peerages for sale for almost 80 years. Scotland on Sunday reveals today that the police investigation that began with a staff allocation of less than 20 officers has now been extended into one encompassing almost 300.

Its breadth is expanding by the day. Plain-clothes detectives have marched into the Cabinet Office, which adjoins Downing Street itself, to remove documents relating to the award of peerages as part of their investigation.

Downing Street sources last night conceded that Lord Adonis, the former Number 10 aide, turned education minister and an architect of the specialist schools scheme, is facing a grilling from the officers conducting the inquiry. Meanwhile, Scotland on Sunday has learned that police are widening their investigation to examine allegations of so-called 'cash-for-contracts', with the government accused of handing lucrative public sector deals to party donors.

Earlier fears that the high-profile nature of the inquiry could deter future financial contributions from would-be supporters - of Blair's party or his favoured projects - suddenly appear secondary. The spectacle of detectives trampling through the workings of Blair's government threaten its very reputation.

Worse, the Prime Minister cannot be isolated from the furore. "The bottom line with problems like this is that you want to make sure the boss is detached from everything that is being splattered about," a Labour Party insider explained. "The problem with this investigation is that everything leads to Blair in one way or another. I know that Downing Street is deeply worried this week and the main reason for that is that they can't just deflect criticism away from him, like they usually do."

For a regime renowned for its over-arching desire to control its surroundings and the actions of people within its sphere, this state of powerlessness appears to have come as a shocking blow.

When news of an arrest first exploded on Thursday, the initial assumption was that it must be a Labour MP or peer; confirmation that it was Smith may have come as some relief at first, but it has brought its own problems. Despite his happily trumpeted links to the core of New Labour, Smith was not an employee, an adviser or, it appears, even a Labour party member: he is thus beyond all official government influence. The dilemma represented by his arrest was summed up by another party figure yesterday: "It's a relief that it is someone not associated with the Labour Party, but the worry is that as a result we have no idea what he is saying in there."

The police, it appears, would have it no other way. The swoop on Smith was in the first place a signal that they had not quietly dropped an investigation which many believed they had no stomach for. More importantly, it also demonstrated that they were prepared to pursue their inquiries with a vigour few had anticipated.

If the decision to arrest Smith was not dramatic enough, the manner in which he was hauled in for questioning was the stuff of television cop shows. A 60-year-old headteacher wanted for questioning over what is at base a 'white-collar crime' would not usually expect to be led from his home to a waiting police car in full view of his neighbours. He might also expect weightier figures, people with greater influence than he ever claimed to have, to hear the policeman's knock before him.

That Smith was arrested, rather than invited to attend a police station for questioning, and that he was the first person caught up in the intricate web of allegations to be hauled in, was entirely in line with the strategy finalised by senior Met officers in the days before they moved last week. "Mr Smith was the natural starting point because of his comments to a Sunday newspaper. He was, essentially, where this started," one said. "It is also sensible to identify sources that you think might be most productive to your inquiries at the earliest stage."

For "most productive", read "less experienced", "less polished" or "weakest". There is no suggestion that Smith has done anything wrong - he has not been charged with any offence - but the police strategy appears to be based on exploiting his knowledge to lead them to possible wrong-doing further up the food chain.

The aggressive strategy is based upon the "gang-busting" approach used successfully by American police to divide and then convict the members of influential criminal gangs. Control of the expanding inquiry has been handed over to a deputy assistant commissioner, John Yates, supported by detective superintendent Graham McNulty. Under them, it is now adopting a zero-tolerance approach.

And their officers are coming for those higher up the food-chain.

When one of Blair's closest confidants told Scotland on Sunday last month that the Prime Minister "knew exactly what was going on" when the Labour Party accepted loans from wealthy supporters - some of whom he eventually nominated for peerages - he underlined Blair's personal connection to the allegations that sparked the cash-for-peerages affair. His principal fund-raiser, Lord Levy, has since maintained he was effectively following demands from above when he helped collect £14m in 'secret' loan payments. Both men, along with ex-party general secretary Matt Carter and chairman Ian McCartney, are likely to become acquainted with Met detectives before the book is closed on this investigation.

"Mr Blair should expect to be visited," one police source ventured last night. "I don't think that will come as a great surprise to him."

Det Supt McNulty, the man charged with conducting the operation on the ground, in Westminster, Whitehall and Downing Street, will not have far to go.


JANUARY 15 2006: It emerges that Des Smith, a senior adviser to Tony Blair's flagship city academy programme, has told an undercover reporter that wealthy donors could obtain honours such as knighthoods and peerages by giving money to the scheme.

MARCH 12: Dr Chai Patel, right, reveals that he had made a £1.5m loan to the Labour Party just weeks before being nominated for a peerage.

MARCH 15: Property millionaire David Garrard confirms that he too had loaned an unspecified amount to Labour before the 2005 General Election. Five months later, he was offered a peerage.

MARCH 16: Labour's treasurer Jack Dromey announces a party inquiry into the affair and adds that he had not been informed about the loans.

MARCH 17: Nationalist MP Angus MacNeil reveals that he has written to the police urging them to investigate whether an arcane 1925 law forbidding the offering of money for political honours has been broken.

MARCH 21: Scotland Yard announces that it has launched an investigation. Labour publishes its full list of lenders who gave the party almost £14m.

MARCH 29: Electoral Commission demands that parties surrender details of the loans they received.

MARCH 30: Scotland Yard announces that the scope of its inquiry has been widened to include all the main parties.

MARCH 31: The Tories reveal the names of 13 supporters who lent them £16m.

APRIL 6: It emerges that detectives are probing whether the parties broke election law in addition to laws on money for honours.

APRIL 13: Des Smith is arrested and questioned.

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The TRUTH is out there...........

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Reply with quote  #32 


root of all evil cartoons, root of all evil cartoon, root of all evil picture, root of all evil pictures, root of all evil image, root of all evil images, root of all evil illustration, root of all evil illustrations
'I followed the money.'


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Reply with quote  #33 

To free us from the  expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves there lies the great, singular power of self-respect.

Hey that shark has pretty teeth dear and he shows 'em pearly white.
Just a jackknife has Macheath dear And he keeps it way out of site.

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Reply with quote  #34 

Money can never buy RESPECT as RESPECT has to be earned by your morality.


Money can appear to buy you respect by appearing affluent in financial circles.


Technically money can buy you respect but it is cosmetic.


Real respect by your family or peers no amount of money could buy although you can buy a peerage and therefore cosmetic respect.


The irony is not lost!



The TRUTH is out there...........

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Reply with quote  #35 








The above statements are from the government's RESPECT action plan......


10 January 2006

Tony Blair has a go at removing graffiti from a wall in SwindonThe PM visited an estate in Swindon as part of the government's Respect launch, where he was told "the tide is turning" against anti-social behaviour.  (Mr Blair will need more than a hose to 'turn the tide' on the anti-social behaviour in his own government).


Headlines from the most recent scandals in government:


Prime Minister Tony Blair - faces a police inquiry into the cash-for-honours row.


Home Secretary Charles Clarke - released 1,023 foreign criminals by mistake.


Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, married for 44 years - having an affair with secretary.


Defence Secretary John Reid - forced to deny taking drugs after police sniffer dogs found cannabis in his home.


Education Secretary Ruth Kelly - approved the appointment of a registered sex offender as a PE teacher.


Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell - accused of breaching ministers' code of conduct because her husband did not tell her about a £344,000 gift he had received.


.....and they dare to preach RESPECT to us, the public.




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Reply with quote  #36 

Absolutely spot on Magpie and they have the audacity to try and preach morality to us the masses!.


I was reading over some of the other posts and this one was from our archives by mactheknife:


"The problem of power is how to achieve its responsible use rather than its irresponsible and indulgent use - of how to get men of power to live for the public rather than off the public."


The deception of morality against the public will reflect in the next elections! 


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Reply with quote  #37 
Originally Posted by Admin2

Absolutely spot on Magpie and they have the audacity to try and preach morality to us the masses!.


In the words of Derek Faye ""How very dare they"!


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Reply with quote  #38 

Exactly Magpie! So here is another ARCHIVE For them to ponder over:


Modern History Sourcebook:
Maximilien Robespierre:
On the Principles of Political Morality, February 1794

Citizens, Representatives of the People:

Some time since we laid before you the principles of our exterior political system, we now come to develop the principles of political morality which are to govern the interior. After having long pursued the path which chance pointed out, carried away in a manner by the efforts of contending factions, the Representatives of the People at length acquired a character and produced a form of government. A sudden change in the success of the nation announced to Europe the regeneration which was operated in the national representation. But to this point of time, even now that I address you, it must be allowed that we have been impelled thro' the tempest of a revolution, rather by a love of right and a feeling of the wants of our country, than by an exact theory, and precise rules of conduct, which we had not even leisure to sketch.

It is time to designate clearly the purposes of the revolution and the point which we wish to attain: It is time we should examine ourselves the obstacles which yet are between us and our wishes, and the means most proper to realize them: A consideration simple and important which appears not yet to have been contemplated. Indeed, how could a base and corrupt government have dared to view themselves in the mirror of political rectitude? A king, a proud senate, a Caesar, a Cromwell; of these the first care was to cover their dark designs under the cloak of religion, to covenant with every vice, caress every party, destroy men of probity, oppress and deceive the people in order to attain the end of their perfidious ambition. If we had not had a task of the first magnitude to accomplish; if all our concern had been to raise a party or create a new aristocracy, we might have believed, as certain writers more ignorant than wicked asserted, that the plan of the French revolution was to be found written in the works of Tacitus and of Machiavel; we might have sought the duties of the representatives of the people in the history of Augustus, of Tiberius, or of Vespasian, or even in that of certain French legislators; for tyrants are substantially alike and only differ by trifling shades of perfidy and cruelty.

For our part we now come to make the whole world partake in your political secrets, in order that all friends of their country may rally at the voice of reason and public interest, and that the French nation and her representatives be respected in all countries which may attain a knowledge of their true principles; and that intriguers who always seek to supplant other intriguers may be judged by public opinion upon settled and plain principles.

Every precaution must early be used to place the interests of freedom in the hands of truth, which is eternal, rather than in those of men who change; so that if the government forgets the interests of the people or falls into the hands of men corrupted, according to the natural course of things, the light of acknowledged principles should unmask their treasons, and that every new faction may read its death in the very thought of a crime.

Happy the people that attains this end; for, whatever new machinations are plotted against their liberty, what resources does not public reason present when guaranteeing freedom!

What is the end of our revolution? The tranquil enjoyment of liberty and equality; the reign of that eternal justice, the laws of which are graven, not on marble or stone, but in the hearts of men, even in the heart of the slave who has forgotten them, and in that of the tyrant who disowns them.

We wish that order of things where all the low and cruel passions are enchained, all the beneficent and generous passions awakened by the laws; where ambition subsists in a desire to deserve glory and serve the country: where distinctions grow out of the system of equality, where the citizen submits to the authority of the magistrate, the magistrate obeys that of the people, and the people are governed by a love of justice; where the country secures the comfort of each individual, and where each individual prides himself on the prosperity and glory of his country; where every soul expands by a free communication of republican sentiments, and by the necessity of deserving the esteem of a great people: where the arts serve to embellish that liberty which gives them value and support, and commerce is a source of public wealth and not merely of immense riches to a few individuals.

We wish in our country that morality may be substituted for egotism, probity for false honour, principles for usages, duties for good manners, the empire of reason for the tyranny of fashion, a contempt of vice for a contempt of misfortune, pride for insolence, magnanimity for vanity, the love of glory for the love of money, good people for good company, merit for intrigue, genius for wit, truth for tinsel show, the attractions of happiness for the ennui of sensuality, the grandeur of man for the littleness of the great, a people magnanimous, powerful, happy, for a people amiable, frivolous and miserable; in a word, all the virtues and miracles of a Republic instead of all the vices and absurdities of a Monarchy.

We wish, in a word, to fulfill the intentions of nature and the destiny of man, realize the promises of philosophy, and acquit providence of a long reign of crime and tyranny. That France, once illustrious among enslaved nations, may, by eclipsing the glory of all free countries that ever existed, become a model to nations, a terror to oppressors, a consolation to the oppressed, an ornament of the universe and that, by sealing the work with our blood, we may at least witness the dawn of the bright day of universal happiness. This is our ambition, - this is the end of our efforts....

Since virtue and equality are the soul of the republic, and that your aim is to found, to consolidate the republic, it follows, that the first rule of your political conduct should be, to let all your measures tend to maintain equality and encourage virtue, for the first care of the legislator should be to strengthen the principles on which the government rests. Hence all that tends to excite a love of country, to purify manners, to exalt the mind, to direct the passions of the human heart towards the public good, you should adopt and establish. All that tends to concenter and debase them into selfish egotism, to awaken an infatuation for littlenesses, and a disregard for greatness, you should reject or repress. In the system of the French revolution that which is immoral is impolitic, and what tends to corrupt is counter-revolutionary. Weaknesses, vices, prejudices are the road to monarchy. Carried away, too often perhaps, by the force of ancient habits, as well as by the innate imperfection of human nature, to false ideas and pusillanimous sentiments, we have more to fear from the excesses of weakness, than from excesses of energy. The warmth of zeal is not perhaps the most dangerous rock that we have to avoid; but rather that languour which ease produces and a distrust of our own courage. Therefore continually wind up the sacred spring of republican government, instead of letting it run down. I need not say that I am not here justifying any excess. Principles the most sacred may be abused: the wisdom of government should guide its operations according to circumstances, it should time its measures, choose its means; for the manner of bringing about great things is an essential part of the talent of producing them, just as wisdom is an essential attribute of virtue....

It is not necessary to detail the natural consequences of the principle of democracy, it is the principle itself, simple yet copious, which deserves to be developed.

Republican virtue may be considered as it respects the people and as it respects the government. It is necessary in both. When however, the government alone want it, there exists a resource in that of the people; but when the people themselves are corrupted liberty is already lost.

Happily virtue is natural in the people, [despite] aristocratical prejudices. A nation is truly corrupt, when, after having, by degrees lost its character and liberty, it slides from democracy into aristocracy or monarchy; this is the death of the political body by decrepitude....

But, when, by prodigious effects of courage and of reason, a whole people break asunder the fetters of despotism to make of the fragments trophies to liberty; when, by their innate vigor, they rise in a manner from the arms of death, to resume all the strength of youth when, in turns forgiving and inexorable, intrepid and docile, they can neither be checked by impregnable ramparts, nor by innumerable armies of tyrants leagued against them, and yet of themselves stop at the voice of the law; if then they do not reach the heights of their destiny it can only be the fault of those who govern.

Again, it may be said, that to love justice and equality the people need no great effort of virtue; it is sufficient that they love themselves....

If virtue be the spring of a popular government in times of peace, the spring of that government during a revolution is virtue combined with terror: virtue, without which terror is destructive; terror, without which virtue is impotent. Terror is only justice prompt, severe and inflexible; it is then an emanation of virtue; it is less a distinct principle than a natural consequence of the general principle of democracy, applied to the most pressing wants of the country.

It has been said that terror is the spring of despotic government. Does yours then resemble despotism? Yes, as the steel that glistens in the hands of the heroes of liberty resembles the sword with which the satellites of tyranny are armed. Let the despot govern by terror his debased subjects; he is right as a despot: conquer by terror the enemies of liberty and you will be right as founders of the republic. The government in a revolution is the despotism of liberty against tyranny. Is force only intended to protect crime? Is not the lightning of heaven made to blast vice exalted?

The law of self-preservation, with every being whether physical or moral, is the first law of nature. Crime butchers innocence to secure a throne, and innocence struggles with all its might against the attempts of crime. If tyranny reigned one single day not a patriot would survive it. How long yet will the madness of despots be called justice, and the justice of the people barbarity or rebellion? - How tenderly oppressors and how severely the oppressed are treated! Nothing more natural: whoever does not abhor crime cannot love virtue. Yet one or the other must be crushed. Let mercy be shown the royalists exclaim some men. Pardon the villains! No: be merciful to innocence, pardon the unfortunate, show compassion for human weakness.

The protection of government is only due to peaceable citizens; and all citizens in the republic are republicans. The royalists, the conspirators, are strangers, or rather enemies. Is not this dreadful contest, which liberty maintains against tyranny, indivisible? Are not the internal enemies the allies of those in the exterior? The assassins who lay waste the interior; the intriguers who purchase the consciences of the delegates of the people: the traitors who sell them; the mercenary libellists paid to dishonor the cause of the people, to smother public virtue, to fan the flame of civil discord, and bring about a political counter revolution by means of a moral one; all these men, are they less culpable or less dangerous than the tyrants whom they serve? . . .

To punish the oppressors of humanity is clemency; to forgive them is cruelty. The severity of tyrants has barbarity for its principle; that of a republican government is founded on beneficence. Therefore let him beware who should dare to influence the people by that terror which is made only for their enemies! Let him beware, who, regarding the inevitable errors of civism in the same light, with the premeditated crimes of perfidiousness, or the attempts of conspirators, suffers the dangerous intriguer to escape and pursues the peaceable citizen! Death to the villain who dares abuse the sacred name of liberty or the powerful arms intended for her defence, to carry mourning or death to the patriotic heart....


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Reply with quote  #39 

Peer 'should leave Scotland'...

LORD Watson, the disgraced peer jailed after starting a fire in a hotel, has been urged by friends to quit Scotland when he is released from prison next week.

The former Labour MSP, who was convicted for setting fire to curtains after a gala dinner in 2004, is due to get out of prison in nine days, following an eight-month sentence.


Despite being stripped of his political title, Watson will still be entitled to sit in the House of Lords when he is released.

Friends say he has not made his plans clear, but they expect him to move from his home in Glasgow to London, in an attempt to pick up the pieces of his life.

One close friend, Denis Sullivan Robertson, a PR executive, said: "Nobody knows what he is going to do. I think he is going to take a bit of time to reflect. The experience has been salutary and dramatic in his life and I think he will bounce back."

He added: "I don't think he has a life in Scotland, and I have said that to him. Scotland is too much of a village for him to pick up his life here."

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Shamed peer Archer returns to party fold

JEFFREY ARCHER has rejoined the Conservative Party and wants to regain his status as a Tory member of the House of Lords, it emerged today.

The disgraced peer revealed he recently rejoined his local party in Vauxhall, south London, after serving a five-year expulsion from the Tories. An interview with a national newspaper reported he has also spoken privately to the party's Chief Whip about going back on the Tory benches.


In May, Lord Archer, of Weston-Super-Mare, returned to the Lords for the first time since he was released from jail in 2003 after serving two years of a four-year sentence for perjury.

Lord Archer, who is entitled to sit as a "non-affiliated" peer, nearly lost his seat in the Lords two years ago.

MPs who are sentenced to more than two years' jail automatically lose their seats, but Government plans to extend this provision to the Lords were withdrawn.

In his first interview since his prison release, Lord Archer said he had no illusions about his return. "In the past I wanted to be chairman of the Conservative Party and I wanted to be Mayor of London. But at the moment my life consists of writing and charity auctions, and watching sport," he said.

"I don't have any other ambitions. I don't need anything else.

"What ambitions could I have?

"I would like to do a mile in eight minutes. And I would like to do 100 yards at the age of 100 in under 30.89, which is the current world record."

Publicising his new novel, he said he had not spoken to the press for five years and anything attributed to him in that time was "made up".

He admitted he was concerned about public reaction when he left jail but said people "couldn't have been more friendly or kind".


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Reply with quote  #40 

BBC NEWS Monday, 15 May 2006


MPs asked to delay honours probe
House of Lords, with peers in their ceremonial dress for the State Opening of Parliament
MPs postponed their inquiry in March
A committee of MPs has again been asked to delay part of their inquiry into claims peerages were offered in return for loans to political parties.

Scotland Yard's Deputy Assistant Commissioner John Yates made the request at a Westminster meeting.

The police are worried public committee hearings could unwittingly undermine their inquiry.

Mr Yates said he had made significant progress in the ongoing investigation into the alleged scandal.

This is the second time MPs have been asked to delay the parliamentary inquiry into the allegations.

We have already identified a number of issues that merit further detailed examination
John Yates Scotland Yard Deputy Assistant Commissioner

The Public Administration Committee wanted to interview some of the millionaire businessmen who had made loans to the Labour Party as well as Tony Blair's chief fundraiser, Lord Levy.

But in March they agreed to postpone their inquiry at the request of Scotland Yard.

On Monday evening the MPs met Mr Yates and lawyers from the Crown Prosecution Service.

The MPs are taking legal advice and are expected to make a statement on Tuesday.

Proper aim

In a statement Mr Yates said he recognised the "proper aim" of such inquiries but warned: "We are seeking the continued cooperation of all interested parties that their inquiries do not unwittingly undermine the criminal investigation."

Despite the warning, the MPs later decided to press ahead with plans to question Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell on Tuesday.

They will also quiz Lord Stevenson and Lord Hurd, both from the independent Lords appointments commission which voiced concern about some of the Labour lenders nominated for peerages.

Mr Yates said the police had received a wide range of allegations since their inquiry began.

'Worth investigating'

But the investigation remained focused on whether peerages were offered in exchange for loans to political parties or sponsorship of the government's flagship city academies.

"Significant progress has been made in the inquiry to date, although in many ways the investigation is still at a relatively early stage," said Mr Yates.

"A large amount of documentation has been provided to us and it is a major and ongoing task for the investigation team to examine it all.

"We have already identified a number of issues that merit further detailed examination."

The police have interviewed some people under caution and others as witnesses without caution.

Loans rules

Last month, Des Smith, a head teacher from East London was arrested by detectives under the 1925 Abuse of Honours Act which forbids the sale of peerages.

Mr Smith was the first person to be interviewed under caution as part of the inquiry. He was later released on police bail. Mr Smith has categorically denied the allegations and says he will be contesting them vigorously.

Both the police and the MPs launched their inquiries after it emerged that some people who had been nominated for peerages by Tony Blair had given Labour large loans before last year's election.

The investigation has been widened to include loans to the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.

The rules on political funding meant that all large political donations had to be declared - but details of large loans did not have to be published.


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Reply with quote  #41 

Hi Admin2 & Magpie... thanks for your posts in relation to the topic of 'Can Money Buy You Respect'.


With regards to Magpie's previous post, in which the article outlines that MPs are asked to delay honours probe, it would appear, seeing as the investigation was previously postponed back in March,and has now been postponed yet again, that money cannot buy you respect as was previously thought, but can in fact, buy you time.  And when it concerns agencies such as the Government, the Judiciary and the Police, that would be time to 'cover their arses' in the most appropriate manner available.


Why the delay?


According to John Yates, Scotland Yard's Depute Assistant Commissioner, there are a 'number of issues that merit further detailed examination', so it's about time that they bloody well got on with it and exposed the Government for the crooks that they really are.



I'd rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I am not".

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Reply with quote  #42 

The Times May 17, 2006

Police to focus on Labour in loans inquiry

SCOTLAND Yard has narrowed its investigation into cash for peerages allegations to £14 million in secret loans from a dozen rich benefactors to the Labour Party.

The Times has learnt that the eight-strong police team has requisitioned 1,000 papers relating to the transactions that helped to bankroll the Labour election campaign. The police will hand over an initial report on their inquiry to the Crown Prosecution Service in the autumn, raising the possibility that charges may be brought.

Documents have been sent to the police from Labour lenders and the Labour Party. A number of other unconnected sources, including the Inland Revenue and former employees of the Labour Party, have also offered documentation.

Whitehall sources confirmed that Labour was now at the centre of the investigation. “It is Labour’s loans that seem to be at the heart of the issue,” one senior source said. “There are a number of documents that have given the investigation an added significance. Everybody knows that the Labour Party must be terrified. But now the police have the evidence in its hands, it might be best to remain calm, and help them as much as possible.”

The seriousness of the inquiry was underlined yesterday when the influential Commons Public Administration Committee surprisingly announced that it would suspend its own separate hearings into whether peerages could be bought.

Tony Wright, the committee chairman, said: “It is clear that some of the witnesses that we have identified are very much in the frame as far as the police are concerned. These are big, important public issues, but I want to be responsible and above all I don’t want it to be said at any point that we compromised police action. But we are not giving them a blank cheque. In July we will review this decision.”

Lord Levy, Tony Blair’s personal fundraiser, had been scheduled to give evidence in a televised hearing before the committee next week. He will now not be questioned by the committee until the police have interviewed him.

The report to the CPS could coincide with the party conference season, but a Scotland Yard spokesman said that this did not suggest that the investigation would be complete by then. John Yates, the deputy assistant police commissioner leading the inquiry, said last night that significant progress had already been made and detectives had “already identified a number of issues that merit further investigation”.

The police are examining whether the loans from a dozen businessmen, including Sir David Garrard, a retired property developer who loaned £2.3 million, were genuine commercial transactions. Sir David is a close friend of Lord Levy, who persuaded many of the benefactors to make secret loans rather than donations.

If there were to be a prosecution it is unlikely that any of the dozen donors questioned by police would face charges because they would have been following instructions from the Labour Party. This would put any blame on to the party.

Any political party that does not declare a loan that is not genuinely commercial is in breach of the Political Parties, Election and Referendum Act, which became law in 2000. It is an offence punishable by up to one year in prison to knowingly give false information to the Electoral Commission about donations to political parties.

Four nominees for a peerage, who had made loans, were blocked this year by the House of Lords Appointments Commission. Lord Stevenson of Coddenham, the commission chairman, said that it was the first time they had ever blocked party political peerages.

Sir Gus O’Donnell, the Cabinet Secretary, giving evidence to the Public Administration Committee, said yesterday said that the committee should delay its inquiry until the police had concluded their criminal investigation. He said: “I think there’s a real issue when an investigation is ongoing that nobody says anything that might impact on criminal cases.”


The Public Administration Committee was the first to announce an inquiry after four nominees for peerages were blocked by the House of Lords Appointments Commission. The committee is examining whether there is any link between donations and the award of peerages

The Constitutional Affairs Committee is holding a separate inquiry into party funding and whether there should be an extension of state funding

The Electoral Commission began a review yesterday into party financing

Scotland Yard
is conducting the first investigation for 70 years into whether there has been a breach of the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925


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Reply with quote  #43 

The Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, passed in 1925, that makes the sale of Peerages and other Honours illegal. It was brought in after the Liberal Party government of David Lloyd George (later Earl Lloyd-George) was embroiled in a wide-spread and long-term sale of Honours, to benefit Liberal Party funds, and allegedly for the personal financial gain of the Prime Minister, in a then-legal abuse of the Prime Minister's powers of patronage.

Only one person has ever been convicted under the Act — Maundy Gregory, Lloyd-George's "honours broker" — whose actions were the main cause of the Act in the first place.

In March 2006, the Metropolitan Police confirmed that, following complaints by the Scottish National Party and others, they were investigating possible breaches of the Act. A total of £14 million in loans was given by wealthy individuals to Labour during the 2005 general election campaign and four of these men were subsequently nominated for Life Peerages. (see main article Cash for Peerages)

The TRUTH is out there...........

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Reply with quote  #44 

The Sunday Times May 28, 2006

An OBE? That's for 'toilet cleaners'

MICHAEL WINNER, the film director and shrinking bon viveur, has turned down an OBE in the Queen’s 80th birthday honours’ list “because it’s the sort of award they give to toilet cleaners”.

Downing Street offered to honour Winner’s services to the police after his 22-year campaign to mark the bravery of officers who have been killed in the line of duty.

Winner, who writes the Winner’s Dinners column in The Sunday Times in between making television commercials, was far from delighted with the offer.

“An OBE is what you get if you clean the toilets well at King’s Cross station,” he said yesterday.

“I’m very glad that they recognise my considerable skills as a toilet cleaner. But I didn’t do my stuff for the police to get anything and I really don’t care if I get anything or not.”

In a hint that he might feel let down at the level of the award, he added: “I mean, at least if you go straight to the House of Lords you can wear fancy dress and have a giggle.”

Winner, 70, who lists “being difficult” among his hobbies in Who’s Who, said: “I can’t see any reason to accept it. Of course some decent people get it. But when you look at the rubbish who are getting these awards and the absolute non-service they have given to the nation other than financing or working for political parties, you say, ‘What company am I in?’ ” In April last year the Queen was joined by Tony Blair and Winner to unveil the National Police Memorial to commemorate all 1,600 officers who have died since the 17th century.

“It was the first memorial in the Mall for 100 years and that I consider worth doing,” said Winner.

“I didn’t say when I met the Queen, ‘Did you bring your sword, dear?’ ” Winner, who has lost 2½ stone in the past year on his ‘fat pig diet’, started his campaign to honour officers after WPC Yvonne Fletcher was murdered outside the Libyan embassy in London in 1984.


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Reply with quote  #45 

My right-wing brethren, those powerful evangelicals, are leaving the issues of abortion and gay marriage to wade in where they have no expertise:

These "watch parties" are being organized by a small but growing movement of evangelical Christians who no longer want to be defined by gay marriage and abortion. Plumbing the Bible for God's priorities, they are talking instead about global warming and affordable housing, about fewer tax cuts for the rich and more food stamps for the poor.

There you have it religious leaders are expert in scientific climatic projections, the affordability of housing, tax policy and solving poverty. As most of the experts in those fields are constantly in a state of confusion, what on Earth do these evangelicals think they are going to add to the dialogue.

Global Warming: This grant-grabbing nonsense was put to bed by Michael Crichton in "The State of Fear" with graphs, data and scientific opinions that have left no doubt that the leftist-induced fear is nothing more than the suspension of disbelief.

Affordability of Housing: Just another tax issue. Please subsidize housing by taxing the rich.

Fewer Tax Cuts: Taxing the rich hammers the poor. Tax cuts give people who don't need them the extra cash to invest in the economy to create jobs for the poor.

Food Stamps for the Poor: Just another tax issue. Giving money to the "poor" creates dependency. Is dependency really Christian?

Why must Christians concentrate on keeping the poor, poor. Dependency breeds poverty. Why not reform Social Security and Medicare and make the poor wealthy without changing a thing the "poor" are presently paying and not require an investment on their part. Too easy? My recollection about the bible runs to stop fishing on one side of the boat, try the other; that God helps those who helps themselves.

The absolutely enormous and powerful efforts evangelicals can muster would be better spent on raising the tide to lift all boats by privatizing Social Security and Medicare which through methods explained at is a no-brainer. Paying the poor to shut up, is not the message. A merciful God supports helping hands, not lifetime cradles.

The TRUTH is out there...........
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