The title of this comes from the killer line delivered by Vince Cable, acting leader of the Lib-Dems, at Prime Ministers’ Questions today.
I’ve not devoted a full post to this latest scandal yet, and not to worry, the Abrahams affair rumbles on.
The Morning Star’s Adrian Roberts writes:
NEW Labour struggled with deepening crisis on Wednesday as senior party figures tripped over each other while trying to explain away the latest donations scandal.
During rowdy exchanges in the Commons, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that the government would co-operate with any police inquiry into donations to the Labour Party by property developer David Abrahams.
But his excuses did not stop jubilant Tory leader David Cameron from making hay at the hapless Premier’s expense.
Latest word is that Abrahams was badgered for donations by Jonathan Mendelsohn, Brown’s chief fundraiser, and now the Scottish Labour Party has been drawn in:
The row over Labour Party funding has drawn in the party’s Scottish leader Wendy Alexander.
Ms Alexander is checking the source of a donation to her successful campaign to win the leadership in Scotland.
A spokesman said Ms Alexander’s team had acted in good faith but the SNP said Labour “sleaze” had come north.
My blogging companero Wonko asks an interesting question about the party’s solvency:
The Labour Party has outstanding debts of £29,178,692 – nearly £29.2m. Does Labour have sufficient liquidity to meet loan repayments? No, it has had to restructure some of its loans. Does it have sufficient assets – property, cash reserves, guarantors – to repay its debts? No, it has very few assets. The Liebour Party is insolvent.
What happens if a large creditor – the Unity Trust Bank for example – decides to call in its loans? Liebour hasn’t exactly been union friendly this time round and they shouldn’t rely on union support forever – it’ll carry on for as long as they are useful to each other and no longer (Unity Trust Bank is a union bank). If the Liebour Party no longer exists can a Liebour government continue to run the country?
A very pertinent question. Brown’s “government of all the talents” can perhaps be viewed as an attempt to forge a new political party, more akin to the Democrats in the US, with the Liberal Democrats and opportunistic Tories?
New Labour has always said to dissenting unions that there’s nowhere else to go (this, as they do their best to prevent a challenge from the Labour Left and stop a successful anti-capitalist party being established). But if this recent scandal results in state funding of political parties or a cap on donations, there could be a chance some unions decide to cease funding Labour centrally and instead invest in those parliamentary candidates that act in the interests of working people, and not the big business elite.