Monday 18 July 2011

Labour Councillor's Benefit Fraud Catches up with Him

We have all been so busy concentrating on the corruption involving News International and the Metropolitan Police, happening in far off London town that a case of corruption far closer to home, whilst not as life changing, is certainly serious, and needs a good deal of further investigation.

John Holden, a Labour councillor on Highland Council, awaits sentencing having been found guilty of stealing £43,000 of Income Support from the London government and nearly £10,000 from his own council in council tax rebates (council tax benefit of £6,925 and single occupancy of more than £2,309).

Mr Holden had claimed that he lived alone, that he had no savings and that he had no job, whereas the truth was that he was living with his wife, had (and you’ll love this) savings of £200,000...which he claims to have saved in the period 2002 to 2008... and had his council salary of £16,000 pa which he had been drawing since his election in 2007.

It amazes me, but apparently it is true, that he may keep his position on Highland Council unless he is sent to prison. It seems that you can only be removed as a councillor if you are unable to do the job for some reason: in this case because you have been incarcerated.

The thing that I found most strange was that he had managed to save £200,000 in a period of 6 years. Given that his income during that period amounted to £53k in stolen benefits plus his salary as a councillor, unless his wife is a merchant banker, a lord, or a member of the royal family, I suspect that we might want to ask how exactly he managed to amass this substantial sum.

But as Granny would say “Everything’s mixed with mercy. It is indeed fortunately for the taxpayers that he did manage to make savings, because he will find it easy to make good the ‘proceeds of crime order’ that has been placed on him confiscating the cash he has stolen. And I’d be surprised if there were not substantial costs to pay.


  1. He ran a car boot sale for years in Inverness, on the two occasions I was there it was £7 to get in with the car to sell your stuff and it was always busy
    just saying :)

  2. This is the man whose two sons both spoke out against him. One even presented himself as a last minute witness for the prosecution. The other who lives in Ireland has not spoken to him in 17 years after Mr Holden rejected him because he was gay, said to the Press & Journal that Mr Holden had “always been crooked”. What charming people the Labour party do have.

  3. Morning Simonp, and welcome to Munguin's Republic. Thanks for contributing.

    That sounds like a nice little earner, which should also have been reported to DWP, and the Revenue.

    But you wonder if that would have given him thirty five grand a year in income. I bet there is more murkiness to uncover.

    He looks and sounds a horror.

  4. It takes some sort of father for both his sons to speak out against him... and what kind of man rejects his offspring for any reason?

    But there you are, what goes around, comes around. It would take a rejected son (or his sibling) to say that his father had always been crooked.

    I hope he goes to prison.

    At least in a small place like Inverness, prison or not, I would say he is finished, not just in politics, but anywhere except within the criminal fraternity.

  5. Tris.

    You know no one likes benefit fraud and the Tory Gov would have us all believing that it's the single parent families who screw the system or the unemployed person who earns a little bit on the side just to makes ends meet.

    I hope he gets a very long spell in prison and as it costs about £50,000 a year per prisoner, then he should have no problem in paying for it out of his £200,000 savings.

    This Labour council is thieving from the tax payer in a wholesale way and should be booted off the council wither he goes to prison or not.

    In fact I think I might send an email off to the Justice secretary asking him to charge people who are sent to prison if they have savings!!

  6. Many thanks for this excellent post. Although it confirms what we’ve known for a long time about the corrupt Scottish Labour party, it’s important to highlight these cases, the tip of the iceberg.

    Which leads nicely into their current exhibition of righteous indignation about Murdoch and News Corp. This isn’t off-topic, for it’s part of the same phenomenon. The reason Labour are jumping on the anti-Murdoch bandwagon is because they understand that, sooner or later, Murdoch is going to start dishing the dirt on the Labour party. What they’re doing is getting their retaliation in early in the hope that, by the time that Murdoch does start to dish the dirt on Labour, News Corp will be so discredited that nobody will be listening.

    But Murdoch is a master at keeping his powder dry, using information when it’s most advantageous to him, and if his ship does start to sink in England he will have no qualms about bringing Labour down with him, careful what you wish for Labour! Labour was in bed with Murdoch for almost 20 years up to 2009, just after Brown became leader. One thing about Murdoch, he knows a loser when he sees one.

    But there’s something much deeper going on here. You can always tell when Labour is in trouble, its cries become ever more shrill and its mud is thrown ever more indiscriminately. Did anyone else notice yesterday the undue haste with which a procession of Labour MPs appeared on the BBC news Channel within minutes of the announcement of the resignation of the Met Commissioner Paul Stephenson? I listened to that odious automaton Yvette Cooper who, needless to say, had no interest in Stephenson himself but twisted every question she was asked about him into an answer about Cameron and Coulson.

    Added to this, in recent weeks, we’ve witnessed Ian ‘The Fuhrer’ Davidson refer to SNP MPs as “neo-fascists”, Labour MP Lyn Brown hurling abuse at a blind man for getting in her way – not so much ‘Blue Labour’ as , more appropriately, ‘True Blue Labour’, nastier than the Tories – and Scottish Labour shamefully trying to associate John Swinney and his ailing wife with the murky underworld of News Corp, an underworld that Scottish Labour is only all too familiar with.

    The deeper malaise here is twofold. One, Labour is beginning to realise that, in both England and Scotland, its time is up. Two, and part of the same malaise, what we are seeing is the unravelling of the British state. Think Tory sleaze, Labour’s cash for honours, the MPs expenses scandal, Labour’s courting of Murdoch and other corrupt press barons (anyone remember Robert Maxwell?), Labour’s boom and bust and the phone hacking scandal that still has much to reveal about the corruption and collusion of the Labour party.

    If you’re still unconvinced, and if you can bear it, look at the pages of Labour Hame (or, rather, Labour Lame). What those pages tell you is that they, too, realise that their time is up in Scotland. As this dawns on more of them, so they become nastier and nastier. In fact, this is the ‘narrative’ that all nationalist bloggers need to disseminate, Scottish Labour is the nasty party of Scottish politics.

    Labour Lame has indulged itself in recent weeks by asking a series of hypothetical questions about an independent Scotland. Nationalists can play this game too. If you ever have the misfortune of being on the receiving end of their platitudes you could do a lot worse than ask them the following hypothetical question:

    Take yourself back to 1979. Knowing what you do now about the events of the last 32 years would you still argue now, as you did then, that Scotland should remain in the union? Give reasons for your answer (remember to start at 1979 now, no cheating)?

    I’d post this myself on Labour Lame but the thought of having even a disembodied correspondence with these people makes me feel unclean.

  7. Allan:

    I think that that's a fair idea. People with savings should be paying towards their food and heating/lighting costs when they are in stir.

    I see no reason why scum like this should enjoy board and lodgings at my expense when they have a stash of ill gotten gains in their bank accounts.

    Drop the Justice Secretary a line Allan.

  8. Wow Anon.

    First thanks for the compliment.

    I agree with you. It is almost beyond belief that Labour is full of criticism for Murdoch now when Blair couldn't do enough to accommodate him for 15 years.

    I remember when Murdoch, who as you rightly say backs winners, changed horses and said he would back the Tories. Suddenly that daft old bat Harperson was on them like a rash... The Murdoch press was, she intoned, just a pile of 'news in briefs'. She babbled on about how they exploited womanhood with their page three stuff, forgetting it seems, for the moment, that she didn't feel inclined to criticise all this female degradation when Murdoch was hammering the Tories.

    Labour Hame, is a comic for people who want to read the drivel that the likes of Tom Harris and Kazia Dugdale churn out.

    They never answer the simple question: what is it that makes us too weak, too stupid and to small to look after our own affairs when Malta and Luxembourg can do it? For heaven's sake the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey manage rather well. Why can't Scotland?

    And no. I can't bear to read Labour Hame. I once did a long reply to some MP blokey on the subject of independence, and he failed to acknowledge it, never mind reply.

    I do, however, thoroughly enjoy James's (Scot Goes Pop)analysis of some of their posts, where he takes them, line by line and completely destroys them.

    As for Labour's fury at being dumped by the people... they should perhaps be careful, this early on, showing just what a bunch of small minded amateurs they are. Dry powder is a good thing to have for when a ruling party starts to lose some of its popularity. Ranting mindlessly while the government is still extremely popular, doesn't do them much good, or much credit.

    The HON (snigger) Paul Martin is so consumed with anger (presumably he thought he was a cert for a job in a Labour cabinet) he's turned a permanent shade of purple.

    One day maybe he will burst.

  9. Not seen anything on the BBC, but they don't know anything north of Glasgow exists unless the Queen is at Balmoral.

    As for this bloke...he just gets funnier and funnier.

    "She only kept her clothes at my place because there wasn't room for a wardrobe at her parents m'lud"

    "She only kept her toothbrush there because there wasn't enough room for it at her parents, your sheriffness"

    "She only had her pjs under the pillow on my bed because ...erm... would you believe there wasn't room under her pillow?"

    Definitely a Labour councillor. He should have gone to Glasgow. They never get found out there.

  10. How wrong was Shakespeare when he referred to the well-fed look which seems to be common amongst these crooked politicians? Sadly I think this despicable character is only the tip of the iceberg and that more will emerge shortly. Hopefully, common-sense will prevail and this individual will be, literally if at all possible, kicked out on his erse.

  11. Hi JB: My mum was just saying that it's nice that you're back.

    As for fatso up there, he looks like he's a tad on the over-fed side. If the double chin gets much bigger it will obviate the need for a tie.

    In short...fat thieving git.

    There's bound to be more lurking in the woodwork, and a bit of 'erse' kicking for all of them seems good to me.

  12. Tris,

    Well said. Paul Martin is the kind of Labour pond life that has contaminated the body politic in Scotland for generations. I hope they keep this up, though, for the more I hear from them the more I’m convinced that the inquiry that really needs to be held is an inquiry into the Labour party and its nefarious governments.

    Speaking of inquiries, listening to Rupert and James Murdoch today reminded me of Fred Goodwin and assorted rogues who appeared before the Treasury Select Committee last year, not to mention numerous other snow jobs that are frequently held in that den of iniquity. Have you noticed how the common denominator with all these people is the claim that they know so little about the dealings of the organisations that they lead? Given this level of collective ignorance, shouldn’t we be asking the question: just what do these people do to earn their exhorbitant salaries, generous pension schemes, share options, golden handshakes not to mention the numerous expensive business lunches and first class travel that, nowadays, they don’t even consider to be perks of their jobs?

    Looks as if the MSM has found a new heroine in the shapely form of Wendi Deng. No-one seems to be running a caption competition to accompany the stills of that (already) famous right hook. Should you do so, might I be permitted to throw a counter-cultural spanner into the conformist works that will hit the headlines tomorrow, something along the lines of, ‘Chinese gold-digger protects her investment’.

    Rupert isn’t the first elderly wealthy businessman to have tickled Wendi’s fancy, of course, she’s got form this girl, both in and outside the ring.

  13. oops what CH?

  14. Couldn't agree more Anon.

    I watched very little of it, but I was beginning to wonder if Brookes actually ever went in to work. She seemed to know very little about it. In fact I did wonder if she knew it was a newspaper that she headed up.

    Strangely the though also crossed my mind that there were many others in the same position, including Mr Gove, who published his education reforms before they had been worked out and then blamed the civil service for all the mistakes, as if he hadn't actually been secretary for that department and the whole thing was someone else's idea.

    I wish I could get that kind of package for being utterly useless. I'd be so good at it!

    I'll decline on the invitation to start a competition for the custard pie blocker... but I though yours was excellent.

  15. Wrong thread sorry my mistook as age doesn't come alone.

  16. Ah, it's not easy being 27, is it?

  17. tris,

    Saw an interview with this individual who has suddenly started using a walking aid. Instead of being contrite and apologetic he was in complete denial, could not see that he'd done anything wrong and had a "why's everybody picking on me" attitude. If he does not go to clink he'll be allowed to carry on as a councillor presumably because he could cause more trouble out than in?

    Saw bits of the Murdoch's interviews and not impressed by the questions being asked. As far as I could see no-one asked directly who does the buck stops with, who carries the can and what action will be taken against them.

  18. JB...He’s going to be another; “As your lordship can see, my client is now in poor health and rather frail. It is feared that prison would be injurious to his health”.

    Of course, there are those with far worse crimes sitting at Westminster, serving, at her majesty’s pleasure, in her parliament.

    I watched 10 minutes of the Brookes interview. I was unimpressed by her answers; she seems to know almost nothing about the organisation she was running. Of course you can say that the chief executive is hardly likely to know all that is going on in all the offices of her company, but given that she was the paper’s editor for part of the time, and given that she was printing the most “fantastic scoops”, about people in the public eye, and with the attendant potential for court action, you’d have thought that she might have wanted to know the sources of at least one or two of them.

    Like you I was unimpressed by the questioning (although I didn’t see Rupert and Son). When she said “I didn’t know anything about that”, why didn’t someone say “Why not? You should have known. What were you doing? Did it not occur to you to ask where these stories were coming from? Did it not occur to your lawyers? Did they never ask? Don’t you think you should have known? Were you satisfied that Andy Coulson, who reportedly was hands on, didn’t know where his stories were coming from? When there was a court case over the royals, did it not seem the right time to have a root and branch investigation into where all the sensational stories were coming from? Did you take a lot of holidays from the workplace, or were you off sick a lot of the time? Were you actually employed there at all? What was your salary, and do you think you earned it? And finally, Ms Brookes, do you think that the public collectively came up the Thames on a large tea cake?”

  19. Tris,

    Your blog list today includes a report from Liberal Democratic Voice stating that in a parliamentary answer in the House of Commons yesterday, it was revealed that, between 2005-2010, the last Labour government spent some £38 million of taxpayers’ money on advertising in News International publications. No figures have been released yet for how much taxpayers’ money Labour governments spent on advertising in News International in the period 1997-2005. No figures have been released either about how much taxpayers’ money Labour spent on other newspapers, including the increasingly nervous Trinity Mirror, nor have any figures been released about the spending of taxpayers’ money on advertising by the Labour-led executive in the Scottish parliament between 1999-2007.

    This is the first of many revelations about the nasty party that will come out both as a consequence of Lord Justice Leveson’s inquiry and as Murdoch, as well as others, start to drip feed the dirt on Labour which will give us a clearer idea about just how corrupt and duplicitous rotten Labour is. This also signifies that the Tories and the Lib Dems are now going on the offensive with Labour on News International, I hope that the SNP does the same. We can now understand why the Labour low-life Paul Martin is attempting to smear the SNP. As the old saying goes, when Labour is in a hole, they try to drag everyone else down with them.

  20. Good point Anon. George Laird's blog lists the questions that the Hon Paul Martin has been asking the Scottish Government.

    It is right that Labour should hold the government to account on all matter, but I wonder if it necessary for his to waste so much time on some of these point.

    As for advertising, until quite recently the Sun and the NotW were just tabloids with huge circulations. They were legitimate vehicles for government advertising.

    And the Times and Sunday Times were perfectly respectable titles.

    Governments will always meet with the media.

    The problem is when they get too entangled with the journalists, or when the journalists have discovered things about them they would rather were not published and have a hold over them....or the police

    I wonder if there is any question that Scottish police were in any way compromised by involvement with NI.

  21. C'mon Tris,

    Stick up another post - I'm sick of looking at this spud-faced loon every time I visit your blog. Thanking you in anticipation and love to your Mum.

    PS: Any news of Sophia?

  22. Sophia has had to resort to prostitution because the high inflation etc is affecting her living standards so she does not have time to comment at present.

  23. OK John... You got it.

    I'll do one tonight. I do understand why you don't want to look at that ugly mug when you visit the blog and I apologise.

    I've not heard from Sophia for months. I've put a wee note on her blog. I hope that at least we'll get some response and find out how she is. Much missed, I have to say.

    BTW I'm sure my mother will be delighted with your message.

  24. Oh Anon...

    If I'd known she was in such a bad way, I'd have lent her a few quid till we get rid of Cameron and things start to get better. The stairs will still be there when we're independent and they'll need a woman of Sophia's experience to get the encrusted muck off... ;¬))