Sunday, 14 February 2016

GREAT BRITISH VALUES IN BY-ELECTIONS



By-election spend is strictly controlled by law. Law which applies equally across parties and over the UK. Presumably there is no lower legal limit, but the upper legal limit is set at £100,000 per election.

It is illegal to exceed that amount. It is illegal to not mention in returns, expenses that have been incurred. It is illegal to doctor your receipts, by, say giving false addresses for hotel bookings, or use any other means to withhold pertinent information from the Electoral Commission.

Rental on premises, hotel accommodation and food, drink, tips, paid staff time, travel, etc, are eligible expenditure.

This is a Channel Four news investigation into three by-elections held in England in 2014, when there was a growing public interest in, and a real threat to the Tories from, UKIP, and when 2 Conservative MPs had triggered by-elections by defecting to UKIP. Two of them were won by UKIP, despite a massive Tory effort.

The investigation looks very specifically at the amount of money spent by the Conservatives and compares that to the expenditure that they declared...

...With interesting results.

Is this what the Tories mean by Great British Values? All in it together? The Big Society?

Channel Four has sent the information to the Electoral Commission. We await the outcome with interest.

28 comments:

  1. The findings do not surprise me. Investigations into other parties would probably find similar cases.

    In my view, I would expect the majority cases where there has been an overspend being down to poor administration. It happens, and provided they a relatively few, then a warning (one only!) would be sufficient.

    But as with the elections above, which were seen as critical, then there must have been specific directions given for all resources to be used. And if there are allegations of deliberate fraudulent behaviour, then those responsible, if found guilty, should be hammered. Why? A by-election has the potential to bring down a government, especially if there is a narrow majority, and that can lead to major policy changes and possibly cancellation of projects. And that costs the taxpayer a lot of money. It can also have a major impact on the population with policies potentially scuppered.

    Perhaps for bye-elections, a full budgeted plan is handed to an independent body prior to the campaign, and monitored throughout. All the major parties will surely have pre-prepared election plans.

    If a party cannot keep track of its own spending, then how on earth can we trust them in Government?

    zog

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    1. Well, the answer to the last one is... we don't!

      I mean Gidiot has been prudent and cut everything he could and sold off what he wasn't nailed down and some of what was, and yet, under his chancellorship the debt has reduced from Brown's incompetent £800,000,000,000 to an eye watering, unpayable £1,600,000,000,000, which grows at thousands of pounds a second.

      They went on and on about how we couldn't leave our children and grandchildren all this debt. Does Gidiot think this debt is all white powder or something? OK. Silly question.

      And they seem to have put Google in charge of collecting tax from underpayers... Nice work if you can get it. Pity Jimmy Saville wasn't around to put in charge of sex crimes.

      So we can't trust them at all. It's like letting mad, drunken Auntie Bessie be in charge of the summer holiday fund for all the family.

      I'm sure all parties overspend a little. But it's an offence to lie on the returns. it's even an offence to make an error.

      Some of it is probably fair error (still an offence); some of it is undoubtedly incompetence (also an offense)... and this looks very much like it is fraud. Why else send the invoices for hundreds of thousands of pounds to someone's private address?

      Come on this is the Tories; the party of big business, and the ultra rich. Surely they had an accountant or someone who knew about this.

      You can excuse Better Together for the missing £58,000. The had Blair mcDonut in charge, and "Alistair Seven Houses, I need an accountant to work out my tax while I'm Chancellor of the Exchequer.. oh look, I've overclaimed expenses and flipped my houses till I don't know where I'm living. Oh damn, while I was worrying about that the banks all crashed Darling like in the great depression" in charge. Things were bound to go wrong. For heaven's sake look at how crap he was at the treasury.

      But the Tories... you really would think they would know what they were doing? Nah, it's ok, I've not gone mad, I'm having a laff!

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  2. It seems like criminal activity to me.

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    1. Well on the face of the evidence from one side (and the expert did say that he would need to hear the other side), it does look like it.

      So I look forward to hearing what the Tories have to say once they are questioned by the Electoral Commission and maybe the police.

      Delete
  3. As we have seen with the Carmichael case,electoral law is designed for appearance purposes only and lacks real accountability when tested in a court of law.
    I think channel 4 were saying that the statute of limitations for this case is one year,so well past it's accountability period.
    It all goes to show that the Tories and their friends are masters at manipulating the corrupt system of governance in Westminster.

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    Replies
    1. I expect it will be another short term embarrassment for them.

      Nothing more.

      After all, they seem to be able to get around most things, when the establishment all pull together...

      Law isn't for people like them.

      Delete
  4. Tris

    Our politics and political system is all a con designed to keep the same few people in power. I don't even consider us to live in a democracy, just the illusion of one. I read an article a little while ago and it was about how candidates who bring more money to the table are more often than not selected or put forward, esp in target seats. The whole system is corrupt and of course it will not change because they don't want it to change.

    I would like to see PR and a Federal system in the UK if we have to be a part of this horrible union, it won't happen and even the Liberals when push comes to shove actually don't go for it. I will always try to keep up to date with what these people do in our name but it doesn't half make a person angry. We are just servants and slaves to these people, I really think that most could not give a shit after they have been in Westminster for a few years as they soon learn that they will not be allowed to change a damn thing and they are there to be tolerated, the toffs still rule the roost. We need to wake up and I actually think that the EU referendum might just be the bloody nose that Cameron gets as people are so sick of the Tories and will want to give them a kicking, Cameron will rue the day he ever called this debate.

    Bruce

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    1. I've said on many occasions that the UK is FAR from being a democracy. Of course there is no such thing as a perfect democracy, but the UK is well down teh list of those who make an effort to try.

      But you know, it occurred to me recently and re-occurs frequently, that Westminster has destroyed any notion of trust we, our parents and grandparents would have had in government.

      Just for example: HSBC has announced it will stay in London. This is a huge fillip to Osborne. But does anyone, for a second think that they made that decision on a level playing field?

      No.

      We know that the bank tax was removed saving HSBC a billion a year... but what other sweeteners were used to persuade them not to desert the City, and start a run...

      We were promised a Federal system by Better Together.

      What we got was the right to vary the income tax a bit, but to loose £7 billion a year in the process.

      Watch out teeth, another kick coming in soon.

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  5. The stink emanating from britnat Westminster gets more rancid by the day. The so-called united kingdom is suffocating Scotland. We owe to everyone in Scotland to help bring an end to the union with England.

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    1. It does. I'm not over emotional about it, but I've got to the stage where the site of their flag and the sound of their anthem actually makes me want to vomit.

      Delete
  6. Tris, are you aware that No Borders just sent in their spending to the EC and were fined a mere £400 which is a pittance when you consider that they fined Stuart £750 and he was not actually late with everything. DEmocracy, the only bit I want to see from the Greek system is the right to banish, we would be made of money in the UK if you consider how many we could banish off to say the US where their hearts truly are.

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    1. I wasn't Helena.

      Is there some explanation for the difference between Wings and NB?

      And does anyone know what happened to all the money that went missing from Ukok??

      Delete
    2. There has to be a legal reason behind different levels of fines. The C simply cannot decide they will fine someone higher simply because the Government doesn't like them.

      Perhaps check with Peat Worrier? I have no idea how the fine system works but it will be protected under law.

      zog

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    3. In addition to any Electoral Commission fine the No Borders Campaign Company will be liable for a fine of £375 for being over a month late in lodging its accounts with Companies House. The Companies House record also shows that No Borders Campaign had income and expenditure of £462,000 in the period to 31 March 2015 and now has no assets.

      Delete
  7. tris


    you have come to my house/Blogg and insulted me grievously
    calling me a racist I who have children of colour in my extended family boys and girls one being only a few months old.

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    1. You really are a mad old thing Niko.

      Delete
    2. Bullshit Niko,

      Tris spelled out the truth. I went to your site and read the posts. Where the heck is the racism from tris?

      If you were insulted grievously then you are a very tender plant that see's insult where there is none and thrives on playing a victim card when there is none to be played.

      Perhaps that is what the Labour party, and you as a fellow traveller with your personal bullshit, have always been about. You both cheat at cards and get upset if the rest of us notice.

      Away with you!

      Delete
    3. Och, he's having a daft half hour Douglas. Ignore him.

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. Och away you blethering skite.

      I didn't call you a racist. I said you were standing shoulder to shoulder with half the Tories, UKIP and a bunch of weirdos that make up the Robinsons' party in NI.

      After some of the things you said about me in the past... Geez Niko.

      Delete
    2. PS: I see that Iain Duncan Smith is on your side, Niko.

      Delete
    3. Tris, having been called a Virago by the fair Niko, and by the way Niko the only man allowed to use that term is the man I live with. I would not give him house room for a week or two. I cannot ever think that you would call Niko a racist though I still will call him the Q word which upset Zog so much, try looking up the meaning of the words, both of you and tell me that even Niko is guilty as a opinion maker as much as Brown Darling et al.

      Delete
    4. I didn't call him a racist, Helena. he calls people names, but I doubt he means any of them.

      Anyway, I just pointed out that it was silly to harp on about the SNP being on the same side as the Tories. All the other parties except half the Tories, some Labour are on the stay side. UKIP and the DUP are joined with the hard right of the Tories. Fox and Werrity, Duncan Smith and the usual suspects from the far right seem to be on the same side as Niko.

      Delete
    5. http://www.itv.com/news/2016-02-16/eu-poll-raises-prospect-of-another-scottish-independence-referendum/

      Nicola won't campaign with Cameron, Niko.

      Delete
  9. Something else to raise at any by-election:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35583415

    zog

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    1. It's amazing that Osborne could be so incompetent. We need more and more of these houses. Vast numbers of hospital beds are blocked by people who could go home if they had some support.

      We could also mention that teh 111 service at least in England seems to be manned by O level students with no training in health matters. Bravo Hunt. Another triumph to add to the mental health and junior doctor fiascos.

      Delete