Wednesday 1 October 2008

It's all about character

So says Dave. Well, he would wouldn't he, as he doesn't have experience on his side. It was quite a decent response in some ways - now there's a battle on.

But I can't help thinking about character. What do you say about the character of a party leader whose two main funders have broken promises, and clearly intend to continue breaking them, and he can bring himself to do nothing about it?

Lord Ashcroft promised to be a UK tax payer if he became a lord. He is very secretive about his movements and his businesses. He's entitled to be. But when David Cameron makes noises about cleaning up the mess in British politics he needs to ensure that his own party's receipts are squeaky clean. So is Lord Ashcroft a UK taxpayer? Ashcroft recently grudgingly confirmed that he pays tax in the UK, but wasn't specific about how much,or on what basis, when it would have been easy to do so. His behaviour leaves open the assumption that he is still hiding something. And those donations wend their way to the Tory party via a chain of companies, according to Channel 4, ending up with a British based company which donates more to the party than its own turnover. Why the stealth? It invites an assumption that there is something fishy about the origin of the money. But Dave isn't bothered about that in the slightest.

Lord Laidlaw made a written promise in 2003 that he would become a UK taxpayer if he became a Lord. He clearly never intended to keep that promise. Does Dave care? Apparently not. Lord Laidlaw has now apparently taken leave from the House of Lords. But he's still a Lord, and a broken promise continues to lie on his silver salver.

And what about Ian Oakley? He conducted a sustained, vicious, deliberate, premeditated, three year long campaign of hatred, harrassment and intimidation of political opponents while he was the Conservative candidate for Watford. He has admitted to 75 offences committed over that time. And Dave has not uttered one word of condemnation.

Yes. I do wonder about character.

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