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Lord Levy re-arrested over cash-for-honours

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posted on Jan, 30 2007 @ 02:49 PM
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Labour's chief fundraiser Lord Levy has been re-arrested by police looking into cash-for-honours allegations.

He was questioned on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and later bailed.

Lord Levy, a close ally of Tony Blair, was first arrested last year in connection with claims honours had been sold in exchange for party donations.


Source: news.bbc.co.uk...

Coupled with the arrest of Ruth Turner, one of Number Ten's political advisers, it seems the police are onto something here. However, so far no one had been charged and it's still very possible that no one will be charged.

I'm not sure whether this will be raised in PMQs tomorrow, since I suspect if someone in the Labour Party is charged then someone from the Conservative Party will also be charged. The Tories may keep quiet about it - it's likely to be the Liberal Democrats who bring it up.

This issue has been around for a very long time, though. Just the other day I was watching an episode of 'The New Statesman' series, where Rik Mayall's character remarks: "£40,000? That's what John Major charges for a peerage!" Or something to that effect, anyway. And that was from 1990/91.

Anyway, I thought it was an interesting story in the investigation that I should bring to your attention. Thoughts?




posted on Jan, 30 2007 @ 03:09 PM
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What is meant by honors here? Like a title of nobility or some type of award or something?

[edit on 1/30/2007 by djohnsto77]



posted on Jan, 30 2007 @ 03:48 PM
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In this particular case it's peerages that are under scrutiny. Basically, a peerage is a title of nobility, some of which give you a seat in the House of Lords (the upper house of Parliament), meaning that anyone who has a peerage plays a role in the passage of a law in the United Kingdom.

The Labour Party have been accused of selling peerages in return for party funding, especially at election time. However, it's likely that the Conservative Party and very probably the Liberal Democrats have also done something like this.

The three main parties are allowed to nominate people for peerages - this is so the government doesn't flood the House of Lords with its own party members to get legislation through.

It sounds odd, I know - if you're going to nominate someone for an honour you're going to give it to someone as a reward for helping your party in some way rather than just nominating any old party member. Donating or loaning money is one of these ways. But there is a distinction between getting an honour for donating to a party and being told that you'll be given a peerage if you donate some cash. And therein lies the issue. Has any of the parties done this? If so, when and who to? Can the police prove they've done this? Has there been a cover-up, and can the police prove this also?



posted on Jan, 30 2007 @ 04:17 PM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77
What is meant by honors here? Like a title of nobility or some type of award or something?

[edit on 1/30/2007 by djohnsto77]


your second chamber is elected, our's isn't (yet)



posted on Jan, 30 2007 @ 04:22 PM
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Thanks for the clarification, I didn't really understand what was being discussed.

Anyway, it definitely sounds like a corruption scandal, but it seems your system is open to that.



posted on Jan, 30 2007 @ 05:27 PM
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Meh, they all are.

Look at Watergate



posted on Jan, 30 2007 @ 05:34 PM
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Originally posted by Ste2652
Meh, they all are.

Look at Watergate


Yeah I know...but actually giving special voting power to people selected arbitrarily seems to be especially open to it. We used to have that actually in our U.S. Senate, but an Amendment to the Constitution made Senators directly elected.



posted on Jan, 30 2007 @ 06:35 PM
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Actually, you'd be pleasantly surprised how (relatively) well it works. There are 212 members of the Labour Party, 206 members of the Conservative Party and 78 Liberal Democrats. On top of this, there are 201 cross-benchers (who belong to no party and are neutral - some of these individuals have played important non-partisan roles before, e.g. two were previous speakers of the House of Commons), 3 belonging to minor parties, 11 non-affiliated and 26 Lords Spiritual (clergymen from the Church of England).

As you can see, no group has a majority - in fact, the neutral faction outnumbers the even the government. Their job is to review legislation and delay it (for up to two years), though they can't completely block legislation or create any laws of their own.

It's not perfect, but in some odd way it does work, though I agree a democratically elected chamber would be best - I think perhaps one with the same powers of the House of Lords as it is now, except everyone is independent and elected. No need to worry about voting along a particular party line or anything like that. Perhaps give it special powers to block certain pieces of legislation, e.g. altering the time limit between elections.



posted on Jan, 30 2007 @ 07:34 PM
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One element of all of this that constantly seems to be left out is that
it is a perfectly legal and normal part of our politics here for the main (ie largest elected) British political parties to nominate people for a 'Peerage' to the HOL for 'political services' to that party.

Quite how the cops reckon they can prove anything dodgy or corrupt when the 'remit' is as broad and so focussed on the partys' own interest(s) as that escapes me entirely.

It's also well worth bearing in mind that an arrest is not a charge and a charge is not a conviction.

IMO it's quite obvious that the Police have nothing.

They've been trying to pressurise perfectly respectable people with 'strong-arm' bullying tactics - the arrest of Ruth Turner at 6.30am with media cameras in tow was about as low as it gets......what was so difficult about arranging for her to attend a Police station at a normal hour and if they felt the need placing her under arrest there and then bailing her without the media in tow?

Frankly I believe that at the end of this we'll all be wondering what £XXmillion was spent on that ended up producing a sum total of nothing.

I just hope that the regular cynacism about politics and politicians doesn't let the cops off of the hook for wasting so much public money on this futile exercise.



posted on Jan, 31 2007 @ 03:17 AM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
One element of all of this that constantly seems to be left out is that
it is a perfectly legal and normal part of our politics here for the main (ie largest elected) British political parties to nominate people for a 'Peerage' to the HOL for 'political services' to that party.

Quite how the cops reckon they can prove anything dodgy or corrupt when the 'remit' is as broad and so focussed on the partys' own interest(s) as that escapes me entirely.


Agreed, it won't be easy but whilst the remit for awarding a life peerage is, indeed, broad it is clearly illegal to sell an honour. The problem that the investigation faces is twofold:

1. Honours have been bought and sold for hundreds of years. From the early days of "lend me a few hundred fully armed men to prop up my flagging monarchy and I'll give you a large part of Dorset" to the more recent version along the lines of "donate a couple of million to put up a shelter for distressed women and you can bank on a knighthood". Whilst the proles endured the "damning with faint praise" approach of a BEM or somesuch for 50 years service as a lollipop lady those with money have always enjoyed an easier access route to power and further wealth. If all the police can uncover is an unhealthy statistical correlation between party donors and a peerage or two then they will be entirely unable to take anything to court unless they intend to prosecute every party leader and ex-leader still breathing.

2. Because of the "wide remit" you speak of they will only have a realistic chance of a prosecution if someone has been foolish enough to comit something to paper which was more indiscreet than it should have been. It sounds unlikely but,of course, politicians and their immediate retinue are frequently compulsive diary keepers which may help.

Someone mentioned Watergate earlier which is relevant. It is noticeable that Levy's arrest is on suspicion of perverting the course of justice which may very well be translated as "shredding the incriminating e-mails" or something similar.

It is entirely possible that once again it will not be the crime which causes the problem but rather the attempts to cover it up.

Always assuming that there has been a crime commited of course...



posted on Jan, 31 2007 @ 04:24 AM
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It can be proven, sort of:

If someone donates or loans money to a party and then is given a peerage for services to that party, then technically that's legal. However, if someone is told "Donate/loan money to our party and we'll nominate you for a peerage" then that's illegal - you're selling an honour.

You remember Levy was arrested before because he told that party donor that he could have a 'Big K' (allegedly a Knighthood) amongst others if he put some money down for the privilege, although there wasn't enough proof to charge him over this. If the police can find letters or emails or other evidence which suggests that a party offered a donor an honour before they donated, then they have a case.

It's hard to prove, but it's still possible someone will be charged. I wouldn't be sure of anything until the investigation is over, and I wouldn't bet on just people from the Labour Party being arrested as the investigation goes on, either.



posted on Jan, 31 2007 @ 01:28 PM
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As a pal of mine so beautifully put it -

In a shock development which will rock Downing street, police for the 250th consecutive day charged nobody with anything and briefed reporters about how clever they are.



posted on Jan, 31 2007 @ 03:33 PM
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IMO it's quite obvious that the Police have nothing.

They've been trying to pressurise perfectly respectable people with 'strong-arm' bullying tactics - the arrest of Ruth Turner at 6.30am with media cameras in tow was about as low as it gets.


lol keep turning the Labour spin.

Its obvious we are dealing with a case of corruption, and all the facts are true. including that secret server (which i posted the DIRECT link to on RATS). How you can deny it is laughable, even when cabinet ministers have been speaking to the papers about the fear of taking a beating in the polls

Blair has ruined the Labour Party

*sits and waits for this thread to be turned to the Tories...
*



posted on Jan, 31 2007 @ 07:56 PM
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Originally posted by infinite
lol keep turning the Labour spin.


- As far as the Labour party is concerned nobody needs to 'spin' anything here.

Are you honestly saying you think there was a valid reason to make that public early am arrest of Ruth Turner in the manner they did?

The truth is that the cops have been at this for months and have turned up nothing.
This despite claiming they'd be moving one way or the other by jan 2007 (and even that time-frame was outrageous given the resources this farce is consuming).....now obviously another deadline that they have missed.


Its obvious we are dealing with a case of corruption, and all the facts are true.


- No it isn't and no they aren't.

If that were so there'd have been a file sent to the CPS long before now.

There's nothing "obvious" about the allegations at all and there are certainly pitifully few facts to be had.


including that secret server (which i posted the DIRECT link to on RATS).


- What, so a private server has been 'discovered' (shock horror) which is used on matters pertaining to the Labour party?

Surely that is not only perfectly right & proper but the only way those arrangements would be done and dealt with?
Why wouldn't they do it that way?

Of course there are private technical facilities for use in matters strictly relating to the Labour party, what possible justification could there be for using government facilities on specifically Labour party matters?

......or are you going to try and say that the leader of the Labour party isn't, for some weird reason, 'allowed' these sort of party facilities in No.10?

This 'story' is really raking out the bottom of the barrel.

Not a shred of fact of any wrong-doing, a ton of baseless innuendo and all of it requiring folks turn off their brain to believe the worst.

This little tale is pure innuendo and sheer spin and an attempt at a superficial slur that doesn't stand a moment's honest & sober consideration.


How you can deny it is laughable


- No infinite, what is "laughable" is the haste with which you rush to insist it must be corrupt and all true because a private party server was 'found'.

You genuinely surprised me with that one.


even when cabinet ministers have been speaking to the papers about the fear of taking a beating in the polls


- That's nothing like the same as 'proving' anything dodgy was going on.

It's perfectly understandable that Labour MPs aren't enjoying the party being under suspicion.


Blair has ruined the Labour Party


- You might hope so but I'd prefer a more independent, sober and less hasty judgement.
We'll see what comes out of this eventually.

3 consecutive victories with good working majorities is IMO a very funny definition of ruined.


*sits and waits for this thread to be turned to the Tories...
*


- They'll be left wondering just what comes out of this for them.

Michael Ashcroft must be sweating some, wouldn't you say?



posted on Feb, 1 2007 @ 12:56 PM
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It seems that the PM was questioned again over this last Friday.


Tony Blair was questioned for a second time by police investigating cash-for-honours allegations it has emerged, after a six-day news blackout.

The interview, which lasted 45 minutes, took place in No 10 last Friday and was kept secret at the request of police.


Could something he said have led to Levy's rearrest, hence the media blackout?




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