Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Pointless Rule - But Your Rule

I've never been a fan of PPERA (the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act). You know the one that made the simple process of elections and donations to political parties a whole lot more complicated. And doesn't know the correct word is actually referenda. And established that idiotically useless body The Electoral Commission.

I never saw a reason to have to report donations to parties. The vast majority of which have always been open, honest and done with no intention other than helping parties out. But the Labour Party in their infinite wisdom brought in PPERA and established the Electoral Commission. So despite me not really seeing a reason to it all I obeyed the law on reporting donations. And it was generally really simple to understand and comply with.

Which makes the Labour Party's knowing acceptance of donations via a third party from David Abrahams incomprehensible. There is no room for doubt in the law. No wiggle room.

The Act states that a donation is (among many other thing):

"any reference to anything being given or transferred to a party or any person is a reference to its being so given or transferred either directly or indirectly through any third person;"

OK - a bit wordy, but you get the gist.

When Peter Watt says he didn't know he couldn't take a donation through a third party he is either lying or so utterly incompetent he should never have been in his position. Either way he was quite right to resign.

The Labour Party has to realise that when it brings in these annoying and pointless laws they don't just apply to the evil Tories (who they were doubtless introduced to trip up) but to themselves too.

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