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The Stench of New Labour's
Rotten Garbage II

New Labour is unable to resist doing things in an underhand way. The latest brilliant idea is to take funds from the taxpayer, illegally, to pay for running the party.

A man under stressThe Labour party brought in a system for paying fixed allowances to local councillors (instead of any repaying expenses incurred) in 1998. The pious intent of the scheme was to attract higher-calibre people to senior posts in councils.
   "Well, that didn't work!"
    No, but it was never supposed to. The whole purpose of the allowances was to create reasonably paid 'jobs for the boys' in Labour's rotten boroughs. And a nice little earner it can be. A council leader can be paid around £40K, the deputy leader can expect around £30K and members of the 'cabinet' can be paid around £25K.
   "A very nice earner for some party hack who's never done a proper job."
   How true! The original system allowed councillors to make voluntary donations from their allowances to their political party. With an appropriate degree of behind-the-scenes intimidation to make sure that people volunteered. But the Labour party decided to go one better this year.

The man who stole your pensionAt a meeting held on September 20th, 2006, the National Executive Committee decided to make it compulsory for Labour councillors to surrender to party funds, a portion of their allowances. The NEC includes Tony Blair, Gordon Brown (the man who stole your pension) and the party treasurer Jack Dromey.
   Five days later, while the news media were focussing on Cherie Blair calling Gordon Brown a liar after he claimed that it had been a privilege working with Tony Blair, New Labour nodded through the necessary rule change.

The scam, which involves public money paid to local councillors being used to fund the Labour party, came to light in November 2006 when Councillor Bryan Sidaway, a former leader of Sunderland council, was threatened with disciplinary action if he refused to hand over 3% of his allowance.
   His reaction was to quit the Labour party and blow the whistle on the scam, which involves a direct debit of the money, which the council pays direct to the Labour party.

Elsewhere, Westminster council's Labour group are demanding 10% of their members' allowances and Gateshead's Labourites have to cough up 6%. The scam has been referred to the Committee on Standards in Public Life and the police are being invited to include it in their investigation of the other Labour party fund-raising scams, which include cash for honours.

Kangaroo crossingThe leader of the Tory group on Sunderland council has also shopped Labour to the Standards Board for breaching the code of conduct, which specifies that councillors may not use taxpayer's cash to fund the activities of a registered political party.

New Labour, New Scam With Taxpayers' Cash

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