Originally published as I smell a rat!, on March 16th 2011:
Or even ‘lower than vermin’, apologies to Nye Bevan. I refer, of course, to Rotherham’s oleaginous and slippery Member of Parliament, Denis MacShane. Guido Fawkes reminded us yesterday that this particular disgraced MP was ingratiating himself back on to the Labour benches where he seems to be increasingly tolerated by the new intake, at least! Don’t they ever wonder why he doesn’t attend parliamentary Labour Party meetings? They must be more stupid than they look!
What is known:
When the expenses scandal first broke MacShane had an article published in the Daily Telegraph on 12 May 2009, which made him appear to be Mr Clean himself. Headlined, ‘MPs’ expenses: The BNP must not prosper from this scandal’ he underplays the whole issue in a condescending manner, as usual, and raises the spectre of the BNP attacking him personally.The source of the complaint is irrelevant here! I smell a rat!
Incidentally, why was the only complaint selected for proper investigation, the complaint from a BNP activist when there were numerous other complaints making substantially the same point? Was this calculated to give him the best chance of at least a political defence? I smell a rat!
His then partner the feminist writer, Joan Smith, also rode to his defence and MPs generally, in her piece in the Guardian, Monday 25 May 2009 entitled “I am sick of my country and this hysteria over MPs. People have been led to believe that we are governed by a corrupt political class. This is sanctimonious nonsense.” Rather unfortunately perhaps, she reproduced her piece on here own site, Political Blonde, on October 13th 2010. I hope she is not superstitious or regretting this now!
Before the General Election last May, Rotherham’s voters were assured that Denis MacShane ‘was cleared’ but had to make some minor repayments of errors and the matters of his expenses were closed. We now know different, there were further issues put off until after the election so as not to damage their prospects! An outrage in a democracy! I smell a rat!
On October 14th 2010, out of the blue, the world was informed that MacShane had been under investigation by the Parliamentary Authorities for unspecified problems with his expenses claims. Their own investigation was put in to suspension and the matter referred to the Metropolitan Police for them to investigate further, very serious then! No one told us that he was still being investigated, I smell a rat!
The Labour party moved with incredible speed removing the labour whip in short order. MacShane was well and truly in the eye of the storm and in some disgrace to boot. All media outlets from television to newspapers carried the story of MacShane’s disgrace and gave it prominence on their websites. It was later interesting to note the speed with which this story lost prominence and in some cases became absent altogether, MacShane is a former President of the NUJ – has he friends still in the BBC or in the press? We should be told! I smell a rat!
The various stories published since that usually name all the others involved and update the readers on the other expenses cases that are ongoing. There has been one name that always seems to be missing from these accounts, yes it’s MacShane! I smell a rat!
A particularly interesting example, was published in the Sunday Times of January 16th, 2011 under the headline on the front page, “Six MPs face new fraud allegations”, can’t give you a link as it is behind Rupert Murdoch’s paywall. This publication was preceded by an enigmatic posting on twitter the day before by MacShane. It read “S Times to run odd smear story tomorrow about anonymous MP who has published list of MPs who should be investigated by police. Pip pip!” The story asserts that the source for the story was ‘a male labour MP, representing a northern constituency and reportedly unhappy at being investigated by the ‘boys in blue’. A loathsome creature indeed, to try to justify his own difficulties with his explanations by involving others from all three main parties! This individual should be about as welcome in the House as a stray rat from Downing Street! Incidentally the story accounts for all the ongoing cases except Denis MacShane! Dominic Lawson in an op-ed piece deprecated 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.”
There was at least one apparent attempt at diversionary tactics, when a story in the Daily Mail pinned the blame on Eric Illsley. So upset was ‘Honest’ Eric, that he squashed this rumour at Southwark Crown Court when he appeared for sentencing, better to be known as a convicted felon, than to be thought of as a sneak who dobs in his mates!
During the recent lull in fresh information about the progress or otherwise of the police investigation Denis seems oblivious of his suspension of the labour whip or his personal disgrace and has carried on as if nothing has happened! He can frequently be observed skulking about on the labour benches to the point that even Hansard has become confused reporting him erroneously as Lab, when this is quite clearly wrong.
Denis MacShane can certainly be judged already as greedy and avaricious, the prospect that much worse than mere greed is involved is unresolved for now but even if prosecution is not the outcome, clearly MacShane is still in deep trouble with the Parliamentary Authorities once their investigation is restarted!
The people of Rotherham Town feel a sense of acute embarrassment and outrage. They are scandalised by what is already known about their MP! If they were given half a chance they would bodily eject him! Time to call an end to this sorry episode in Rotherham’s history, MacShane must go! NOW!