Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Electoral Commission will not examine payments to Tory spin doctor Andy Coulson, it seems whoever is in power; the Commission will not act against

Dear All

Britain is a corrupt country.

The way it operates would put a banana republic to shame, institutions which are supposed to act as regulators are nothing of the kind, the act like blocking agents ensure that wrong doing or potential wrong doing by the political and social elite is buried.

There are numerous examples like the Electoral Commission failing to investigate Wendy Alexander when Labour MSP Group leader at Holyrood over the donations scandal which engulfed her.

Labour Government at Westminster, no action taken.

The latest cover up by the Electoral Commission bosses is their refusal not open an investigation into payments made to David Cameron’s former spin doctor Andy Coulson by his former employer News International.

Tory Government at Westminster, no action taken.

Do you see a pattern emerging?

Whoever the government of the day appears to be, they seem to automatically get a pass.

The Electoral Commission relies on the government for funding and their authority to operate.

Smaller parties and individuals not having the right political or social connections don’t escape such scrutiny.

Andy Coulson left the News of the World after the phone-hacking scandal engulfed the now-defunct tabloid and they became the news instead of reporting it.

His departure was supposed to signal the end of the affair which at the time was claimed to be the work of a single rogue reporter, in this case Clive Goodman, the Royal editor.

Turns out it was the tip of the iceberg which was to see the 168 year old paper being shut down as panic ensued in the Murdoch Empire.

When Coulson left, he continued to receive payments after quitting as News of the World editor.

It is said that the money wasn’t declared as Coulson was hired by the Tories in July 2007 on a reported salary of £275,000.

David Cameron said of Coulson that everyone deserves a ‘second chance’ in life.

Last week we learn that for several months after he started his new job as the chief Tory spin doctor, he was still receiving instalments of money as full settlement of his two-year contract.

So, he resigns and he still gets paid.
The Electoral Commission, the watchdog with no teeth or appetite to go after their new political masters said there was “no evidence” to suggest strict rules relating to political party finances had been breached.

It would seem that questions over conflict of interest need addressed.

Coulson continued to work for David Cameron in Downing Street as No 10’s communications chief until he quit in January when the sheer volume of what had transpired at the News of the World broke.

Cameron was forced to let his friend go.

Labour MP Tom Watson picking over this story wrote to the commission questioning whether the severance payments effectively part-funded Mr Coulson’s salary.

An Electoral Commission spokeswoman said:

“There is no evidence to suggest that there has been a breach.”

It seems that relevant questions which should have been asked by the Tories regarding Coulson weren’t asked as they should have been.

Again this exposes David Cameron for having committed another serious error of judgement.

The list is growing.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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