Devine retribution – Sixteen Months!

Jim Devine - Convicted and exposed as a liar and expenses cheat

Jim Devine, Ex-Labour MP for Livingston, has today been sentenced to sixteen months at the Old Bailey!

Well done to Mr Justice Saunders for handing down this penalty, considering he put the courts to the trouble of trying him when so clearly guilty, was perhaps, a little on the lenient side. No discount for him, unlike Chaytor and Illsley evidently.

Devine has recently been declared bankrupt. Was successfully taken to an employment tribunal and ordered to pay the appellant £35,000, which he still has not paid. Additionally he is a proven liar and a not very good, forger of receipts. His reputation has been destroyed completely as a result of his exposure. Devine, a single man, also has something of a reputation as a sex pest!

Devine is the third parliamentarian to be jailed over the expenses scandal. Former Bury North MP David Chaytor, 61, was jailed for 18 months for falsely claiming nearly £22,000. Eric Illsley, 55, the ex-MP for Barnsley Central, was sent to prison for a year for dishonestly obtaining £14,500 in second home claims.

Former Tory peer Lord Taylor of Warwick, 58, awaits sentencing after being found guilty of falsely claiming more than £11,000.

MacShane – More musical chairs in Parliament?

After the humiliation of being forced off the Labour benches at last weeks PMQ’s, MacShane was back to pretending to be a Labour MP once again!

I am reminded here of Dominic Lawson’s views of shamed politicians when he criticised the, “type of man of the left for whom the essential and intrinsic virtuousness of his public positions allows him to retain his sense of personal rectitude even when his private conduct is deplorable.” Many Rotherham citizens believe that this describes MacShane to a tee, if not some others, yet to hit the headlines?

Why can’t the Whips ensure discipline? Their failure is beginning to make them look ridiculous! Why do Labour MPs put up with this incredible charade from MacShane? They are all going to look pretty stupid sometime soon!

Hansard has continued to refer to him as a Labour MP despite MacShane’s designation as Independent in the list of MPs. Over the last few weeks I have taken issue with the parliamentary authorities over this and seem to have been given the run around so far, with numerous emails going back and forth when exactly as I was writing this, an email arrived which gave me the current excuse, I share it with you now:

“I have explored this in detail with the Table Office of the House of Commons, the Labour Whips and Hansard.

The problem comes, as you might have expected in a bit of Parliamentary trivia.

The Labour Party have not withdrawn the whip from Mr MacShane, they have simply suspended the whip and so he remains a member of the party and entitled to call himself a Labour MP.  Some MPs decide that they wish to distance themselves from the party in situations like this but Mr MacShane has wanted to continue to be referred to as a Labour MP.

Possibly the unintended consequence of this is that Mr MacShane is now listed as Labour on the Parliament website rather than Independent Labour – this office (officially) had it wrong, not Hansard.”

This is a pretty arcane use of the procedure to explain the indefensible! Splitting hairs in this lawyerly fashion, does not reflect well upon either the Labour Party or Parliament frankly! Yet another demonstration, if one was needed, of  Parliament being out of touch with public sentiment!

It is unfortunately typical of MacShane, misrepresenting himself by manipulating the fine print to his advantage, rather than being open and honest about it! ‘Dissembling’ Denis, indeed!

MacShane – Do the Tories know something we don’t?

Jackie Whiteley

In a very surprising move Rotherham Tories have selected their proposed candidate for the Rotherham Constituency, despite the next General Election being four years away. Could it be that they know something we don’t? An upcoming by-election for Rotherham, perhaps?

Denis MacShane, the currently disgraced, Member for Rotherham. Was elected as Labour, now sits as Independent, after being ejected from the Party when news of the Metropolitan Police investigation into his parliamentary expenses broke on the 14th Oct last year.

This egregiously arrogant and at the very least, greedy MP, looks to be in serious trouble and a by-election must be a distinct possibility sometime later this year.

Jackie Whiteley fought the seat at last years General Election for the Tories and came second with a creditable 16.7% vote share, has been selected as prospective parliamentary candidate. Is this further evidence of expectation of MacShane’s comeuppance to come?

When? We wonder, will Labour do the same given that they do not yet have a candidate themselves?

I hear that the Rotherham Independents may be looking for a ‘standard bearer’ should this by-election be called – watch this space.

News update – Rotherham’s Independents are inviting applications to be PPC for the next time this seat is fought, anyone interested should contact Peter Thirlwall in the first instance.

See also:

I smell a rat!

Jackie Whiteley announced as Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman for Rotherham

MacShane finally gets the message – Labour pushes him out!

Labour withdraws whip from former minister facing police inquiry

Expenses Scandal Latest News – Ex-Tory MEP told to repay staggering £345,289!

The news has surfaced today of more ‘unfinished business’ on the expenses scandal front. This time, Ex-Tory MEP and Ex-MP, Den Dover, no spring chicken at 72, has been ordered to repay the eye-watering sum of £345,289!

This is bad enough but the original repayment demanded of him was the much more considerable sum of £538,000! This sum has been reduced as a result of his appeal whose judgement has been revealed today.

Where there’s a trough, the greedy politicians will shove their greedy noses in it! Just think about it, it could have been worse, he could have had a parliamentary credit card as well!

Den Dover previously represented the North West of England in Brussels and was the former Tory MP for Chorley.

MacShane finally gets the message – Labour pushes him out!

MacShane - Arrogant, Greedy, Unrepentant & Cold Shouldered!

I know I’m pretty sad, but watching PMQ’s was rewarded today when MacShane, who has been notable by his absence in recent days, was seen sitting amongst the Nationalists, on the far away benches in the Parliamentary Universe, reserved for the minority parties and outcasts such as him!

At long last, the labour whips must have acted and had a word with him about pretending to still be a labour MP. They must have been very strong words, as Denis has a hide as thick as a rhinoceros!

He cut a lonely figure without being able to insert himself on the labour benches. Let’s hope he now realises the disgrace he in. He should cease making his usual incontinent flow of pious pronouncements, until his police investigation is completed and the results known, followed by the reactivated parliamentary investigation and it’s completion.

MacShane is in very deep trouble therefore and it will be a long time before there is the remotest chance of his rehabilitation. A period of silence and contemplation from Denis is now required. He should reflect on the true nature of his behaviour, the seriousness of his situation and demonstrate a little humility. I realise that this is asking a lot from Denis, but I am sure he really should try, at least the silence bit, it would do us all good!

My conclusion? It might well be best for all of us, but especially for MacShane himself in the long run, were he to apply for an ‘office of profit under the Crown’ and go! Now!

We have heard about the first rumblings of a campaign to rid Rotherham of their disgraced and embarrassing Member of Parliament. Further report on this when the situation becomes clearer.

Rik

See also: I smell a rat!

Chaytor appeal – rejected!

The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, has announced the rejection of David Chaytor’s appeal.

Announcing the decision, Lord Judge, sitting with Mr Justice Henriques and Mr Justice Foskett, said:

“This was a grave breach of trust and there was a further aggravating feature of this case. It is difficult to exaggerate the levels of public concern at the revelation of significant abuse of the expenses system by some Members of Parliament.

Some elected representatives, vested with the responsibility for making the laws which govern us all, betrayed the public trust, There was incredulous consequent public shock. The result was serious damage to the reputation of Parliament, with correspondingly reduced confidence in our priceless democratic system and the processes by which it is implemented and we are governed. This element of damage caused by the appellant and others cannot be valued in monetary terms, but it is nonetheless real, and the impact of what has been done will not dissipate rapidly.

Lord Judge

Lord Judge

This sad fall from grace was entirely self-inflicted, difficult to exaggerate the levels of public concern at the revelation of significant abuse of the expenses system by some Members of Parliament.

As a Member of Parliament, the appellant was entitled, within prescribed rules, to claim for expenses incurred by him in the course of fulfilling the responsibilities of his office.

The rules are set out in a document known as the Green Book, published by the House of Commons Department of Resources, which was also responsible for the administration of the expenses claims system.

Until what became known as the “expenses scandal”, it was an essential feature of the operation of the scheme that Members of Parliament were invariably treated as honest, trustworthy people and the unwritten assumption was that only claims for expenses genuinely incurred in accordance with the rules would be made.”

He went on to say, “Chaytor had been guilty of serious dishonesty”.

The judge also said: “He has publicly admitted his dishonesty and his humiliation is complete.”

Jailed Chaytor appeals his 18 month sentence!!!

IPSA gives in to the greed impulse!

Many MPs including two of Rotherham’s own, Denis MacShane and Kevin Barron have done little but complain and lobby behind the scenes, they don’t want their constituents to know this of course, for changes to allow more ‘flexibility’. They could be heard around Westminster, moaning and complaining ad nauseum.

These two, among the least open of MPs when it comes to explaining their use of our money, were, up to the new system was introduced, among the largest claimers. They have reversed this and are currently bottom of the order.

The only significant change to the system, apart from putting the system on-line was the requirement for proper receipts, demonstrating that the expenditure had actually happened! What’s the matter with that? I can hear you say. Proving that you actually spent the money, whatever next!

The kind of receipts habitually presented by MPs has for a long time been a farce with the most extraordinarily thin paperwork. We now know, that where it did not exist, MPs simply created their own! We see this approach in the last posting about David Chaytor the forger! Perhaps this explains MPs reticence to claim?

These changes announced today will only end in disaster, because ‘flexibility’ will be misused by these greedy, dishonest MPs still sitting in the House enjoying reputations they do not deserve.

These changes must be reversed! They will end in tears and more scandal, as the system is ‘worked’ to yield maximum benefit! Giving them credit cards will definitely be a disaster, if Rotherham’s previous experience of this kind of thing, is repeated in Parliament. Disaster indeed! If the current MPs don’t like it, they know what they can do!

Previous Post: The Expenses Saga – What Have We Learned? How Trust Can Be Restored!

Jailed Chaytor appeals his 18 month sentence!!!

Chaytor, the forger!

Disgraced and Jailed for eighteen months after pleading guilty at Southwark Crown Court, after many months of wriggling, trying to escape justice along with Jim Devine and Elliot Morley, is still wriggling it seems, with the announcement today that Chaytor has lodged an appeal to try to reduce his sentence!

Chaytor, it should be remembered, admitted fraud, forgery and deception involving at least £22,000! He pleaded guilty at the last minute in order to avoid incriminating at least one close family member, his daughter (reminiscent of Jonathan Aitken, perhaps?). Chaytor had forged invoices and even a tenancy agreement, no mere accident of accounting but a conspiracy to defraud the taxpayer! Something, for which, he was never charged. I wonder why not? When the evidence is clear? Why was his daughter not similarly charged? We should be told!

Chaytor’s application is to be reviewed by three judges, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, and two other judges will hear the application, the result will come later. If the application succeeds then a full appeal hearing will be convened with both the defence and prosecution being represented.

Most people appreciated at the time, just how lenient his sentence was, and think that Chaytor should be grateful for it and have no sympathy whatsoever for him and his further attempts to evade full justice for his crimes.

The problem here, I suspect, is that David Chaytor has not himself, fully accepted the reality of his own guilt. His sense of entitlement and self righteousness still blinds him to the true nature and seriousness of his crimes, as it does others equally guilty, still in Parliament to this day!

Hopefully the judges will appreciate this as well!

Grinning goon gets roasting in ‘Tiser!

Reg Littleboy - Grinning Goon!

My 60p for the Advertiser was well spent this week on the letters pages alone. Last weeks announcement by Reg Littleboy, that, ‘we we’re all in the same boat’ was met this week with howls of criticism and derision liberally sprinkled throughout the published responses from letter writers!

I have always regarded him as Littleboy by name, littleboy by nature! ever since a now deceased Councillor of this Borough told me most in Labour Group spoke of him thus.

Never known for his abilities this underachiever has been the Labour Group Secretary for some time as well as a long serving Borough Councillor. I don’t think Rotherham has had value for money from Reg, let’s hope his replacement is an improvement, but I won’t be holding my breath!

Just the one is published on the Advertiser website, ‘You’re having a laugh, Reg’ by Michael Conlon, from Maltby, Gives a good flavour of the views from correspondents.

‘Tiser is now on twitter, http://twitter.com/#!/rotherhamtiser.

Disgraced MacShane – Organises Conference 31-51-81?

Tomorrow, in Rotherham, a group of Labour luminaries will gather for a conference.

After losing office and with the world going to pieces they are going to collectively contemplate their navels and talk about the past!

You would have thought that the likes of Polly Toynbee would have better things to do than come up here, just to massage the ego of Rotherham’s disgraced MP. She does have a recent book to sell however, so I guess that would explain it! MacShane it should be noted, was thrown out of the Labour Party! Once the news of his, still ongoing, police investigation surfaced!

Surely the title of this conference for true headbangers is incorrect? Ramsay McDonald was PM and lost power in 1931, Clem Atlee also PM losing power in 1951, but surely the real 3rd should be 1979 and Jim Callaghan the PM who lost to Maggie in 1979. If the organisers knowledge of history is flawed then I doubt whether they will come up with any startling conclusions.

Tickets have reportedly not sold well and they are engaged in damage limitation as I write in MacShanes rather expensive (for us) office just off Moorgate. Pretty soon they will give up the pretence and let people come free, but I doubt that many will turn up when it has also been revealed as only a front for a Labour fundraiser for MacShane! Anyone would be forgiven for thinking that MacShane was still a Labour MP? He certainly tries to pretend to be!

Hang on just a minute, surely his office should be used exclusively for his Parliamentary Duties? Use of this office to organise Labour Party fundraisers is not therefore a proper use!

Update: Sales of tickets for this conference must be going well. The conference website was amended to read:

*NEWS* Due to the short time until the Conference, you no longer need to pay beforehand. Simply e-mail mike@denismacshane.org.uk with your details, and you can pay on the door.

The registration fee is £10 each, or £2 for concessions. Please send a cheque or Postal Order made payable to “South Yorkshire Political Conferences”, along with the following information, to The Office of Denis MacShane MP, 4 Hall Grove S60 2BS

“South Yorkshire Political Conferences” Who or what are they? Is this just another front organisation behind which MacShane hides?

Update: Guido asks more questions of MacShane – Why Is MacShane Fund-raising For Labour?