MacShane bites the hand that fed him?

Denis MacShane Rotherham’s oleaginous and very greedy Member of Parliament, cast adrift by Labour with the suspension of the whip last October, has announced that his phone was hacked and he would be issuing proceedings against one of his old employers! See ‘Tiser here.

Labour sources confirm that MacShane is most unlikely to remain a Labour MP and at some point a selection battle to replace MacShane, at a by-election perhaps, but certainly for the next General Election. The smart money seems to be being placed on a local rising star in Labours firmament, but a note of caution, Rotherham Constituency has been here before, last time the ‘local boy’ was Peter Thirlwall, remember what happened then?

The Rotherham Constituency Labour Party is in turmoil I hear, with many General Management Committee members in open revolt, no longer even prepared to speak to Denis and the one thing they all agree upon is that Denis must go. They are thoroughly fed up with the antics and plain greed of their MP and their embarrassment at Denis’s disgrace is manifest.

Denis MacShane is a past President of the National Union of Journalists and has form for abusing his influence abominably, no more so than when he threatens fellow Journos with NUJ discipline if they ask awkward questions along the lines regularly rehearsed in the excellent and informative MacShane Files. In short, as well as his many other failings, being a ‘low down bully’ can be added to the list of his calumnies.

The only person who thinks that he can survive this is Denis himself! He is about to discover that he is wrong! No one is above the party and he will be required to fall on his sword once the Met police and the CPS pull their fingers out, whether he likes it or not!

Is his legal battle to come with his former employers, just another attempt to milk the system for all he can get to go towards a comfortable retirement paid for up to now, largely by us, as is the ‘House in London’ from which he receives rental income, that we paid for along with his property just off Moorgate that he ripped us off for ‘office rent’, to the tune of £125,000 in five years! That exceeds the properties worth, even possibly today!

Only Denis would have thought it a good idea to remain in the House of Commons after last years General Elections. The exposure of Eric Illsley, almost as soon as the last vote was counted, did not bode well for Denis and by October he had himself been suspended from the Labour Whip. Unlike Jim Devine, who at least misused real invoices, Denis’s were considerably more amateur than that!

Why did he stay? Hubris and greed I should imagine. He could easily have left with his reputation intact and still made a living from writing. Another benefit for Denis would have been his long term relationship with Joan Smith, which might have survived if Joan had remained in blissful ignorance of Denis’s greed and deceptions. No one would have remained interested for long in the past claims of an ex MP and the scale of his greed would not have become public.

Denis’s brother, Edmund Matyjaszek the poet and School Headmaster must despair of his younger brother’s activities, as he rather forcibly included him as the provider of ‘research and translation services’ that never were!

Finally, I wonder whether they will let him out of prison to fight his civil case against News Group Newspapers? An amusing thought, I must say!

Accidental Anarchist

Advertiser delivers MacShane free week! Or does it?

This story has been updated with new information, click here.

A week after the Rotherham Advertiser published, not one, but two, puff pieces lifted directly from press releases provided to them by MacShane himself, a good example of lazy journalism, if ever you needed one, we were treated, last Friday to our absolute delight, an apparently, MacShane free week!

The Advertiser should be congratulated by all who know that MacShane is in disgrace!** His opinions and views should count for nothing and should not appear, at least uncritically, until this disgrace is lifted. MacShane free weeks should be the order of the day, rather than the exception!

Or is there a ‘stealth contribution’ from MacShane?

Close textual analysis of letters published in the Advertiser under the name, PJ Cawkwell from Conisborough, Doncaster, show a distinct similarity to communications made by Denis MacShane, especially twitter! PJ Cawkwell, we have been told is a friend of Denis, so it is entirely possible that authorship is misrepresented here.*** Also read update here

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Notes: **He has refused to answer the many questions put to him. When he had the opportunity to answer his critics last year, what did Denis do? He ran away! Cowardice, can therefore be added to the lengthy list of MacShane’s shortcomings.

He is currently under investigation by the Metropolitan Police for his claims, read the MacShane files here. He is suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party and currently persona non grata on the Labour benches. The Parliamentary Authorities have a suspended investigation that uncovered the abuse in the first place and called in the police which was unprecedented for an Ex-Minister and Privy Councillor!

*** Denis has form for this, as students of MacShane already know! At least Lord Ahmed gained some credibility refusing to act as pretend author of a diatribe written by Denis before a rather naive and gormless asian muslim backbencher was persuaded by Denis and much embarrassment ensued for them both!

New and completely fresh problems have emerged with his expenses claims, discovered by Peter Thirlwall and now being examined by Police and Parliamentary Authorities after being missed by everyone until now! All thanks to spreadsheets, aren’t they wonderful? We will be reporting on this fresh discovery, soonest!

Guido Fawkes

@GuidoFawkes Guido Fawkes
Every time I see @DenisMacShane on TV I ask myself, “Why isn’t he in jail yet?”

Elliot Morley – In Court Today

Elliot Morley

Elliot Morley, the disgraced Ex-Labour MP for Scunthorpe, appears at Southwark Crown Court this afternoon.

He will appear before Mr Justice Saunders, scheduled for 16:00.

Morley, 58, faces two charges of false accounting in relation to the claims against his home in Winterton, near Scunthorpe, between 2004 and 2007.

Morley has been charged with claiming £16,800 on a phantom mortgage. He is also accused of pocketing £15,800 on mortgage claims, exaggerating the amount he was paying.

Elliot Morley, Jim Devine and David Chaytor had previously challenged the involvement of the courts, claiming Parliamentary privilege covered them. They rather unsurprisingly lost the argument and now with Devine and Chaytor safely tucked up in prison, Morley is the last of the trio to face justice!

More on this later.

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.

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!

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

The long running expenses scandal has provided clues that illuminate the murky depths in much the same way, you can see more below the surface of a smooth pond, if you throw a few stones in!

Even the role played by other central players, some still on the green benches, was illuminated in an excellent Play broadcast on the BBC last year. The role of Speaker Martin and his closest allies in encouraging a climate of laxity and excess when it came to claiming expenses was crucial!

The cases of Jim Devine, David Chaytor, Eric Illsley and Lord Taylor plus the investigation of Denis MacShane, have taught us much about the attitudes and methods employed in claiming expenses beyond expenditure! Otherwise known as fraud to you and me!

Investigative journalism, assisted by a rather important leak to the Telegraph, has also contributed an enormous amount of detail, unlocking the inside secrets that would never have reached public attention were it not for them.

Members of Parliament, never shrinking violets at the best of times, made the erroneous assumption that they were important and were underpaid! The incoming Labour Government in 1997 were anxious to maintain peace on their benches and it became the practise to expand the interpretation of the ‘Green Book’ to allow significantly larger claims. Eventually all relationship with the original intention of the rules broke down and by all accounts there was a free for all!

Those MPs given to greed, were practically give the green light to fiddle their expenses. Labour members were advised to ‘fill your boots’ and as we now know they most certainly did! Speaker Martin and his crew bear a heavy responsibility too, the Fees Office were so undermined that any objection from them fell on deaf ears, they stopped checking claims properly, which only compounded the problem. Many MPs made ‘arrangements’ with the Fees Office to pay invoices, believing this would ‘cover them’ if questions were to be later asked?

As we know, with claims for Duck Houses and moat cleaning, the free for all had become so absurd it was surreal! As this story has unfolded it became clear that there was more than evidence of greed to be exposed but, amongst a group of MPs, actual fraud by means of deception! Not having the required receipts did not stop them either, they used the ‘friendly printer’ route or even made their own up, often in the most amateurish way. Propelled by an overwhelming sense of entitlement amongst this group of MPs they ceased to realise the significance of what they were doing. Equipment purchase, office rentals, computers, laptops, printers, council tax, mortgage payments, food, dry-cleaning and many other third party services such as printing became fair game in the rush to supplement their salaries.

There is an important difference between making up a claim with a false invoice and the greed involved in moat cleaning! The moat cleaning actually happened and the invoice paid, Devine’s printing did not! Moat cleaning is an example of outrageous greed, not dishonesty.

The fact that fictitious invoices can be checked through bank account records of transactions many years old simply did not occur to this group of greedy MPs. This is the problem with this crude deception, it is so easily verified!

At the time of the General Election in May 2010 Eric Illsley and Denis MacShane survived scrutiny because we didn’t know they were even under any investigation. Disgracefully there was a conspiracy of silence before the elections last May to keep this knowledge from the voter. How many more of these greedy and dishonest MPs, still enjoying an entirely undeserved reputation, are there remaining? An important question, that will be answered eventually, no doubt!

Rotherham Politics Opinion:

All public representatives are required to practise the Seven Principles of Public life.* It is time for MPs to live up to these principles and to demonstrate their leadership, openness and honesty in practical ways to restore trust in politics and politicians.

Members of Parliament serving through this period of excess, who are still MPs, should now voluntarily submit themselves to investigation by means of a proper audit of their expenses and undertake to publish the audit report along with all relevant information on their websites! We deserve nothing less than this rather modest attempt at transparency.

Perhaps in this spirit, Kevin Barron, no less than, the Chairman of the Standards and Privileges Committee, a Privy Councillor, member of the General Medical Council and long serving member for Rother Valley, a true pillar of society, should now show his leadership by volunteering to be the first to clear the air, in this open and transparent way?

Notes:

*THE SEVEN PRINCIPLES OF PUBLIC LIFE
SELFLESSNESS
Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.  They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.
INTEGRITY
Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.
OBJECTIVITY
In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.
ACCOUNTABILITY
Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
OPENNESS
Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take.  They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
HONESTY
Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
LEADERSHIP
Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

Another One Bites The Dust – Devine Guilty!

The jury trying Jim Devine at Southwark Crown Court delivered their verdict this morning. They found him Guilty on two counts of fraudulently obtaining £8,385 by the use of deceptive documents.

Seeing through Devine’s threadbare defence the jury of six men and six women took two hours and 45 minutes of deliberation before reaching their verdicts.

Jim Devine will be sentenced at a separate hearing at Southwark Crown Court in a month. A prison sentence is a distinct possibility, better pack a bag for that one then!