They call me Mr Pitiful…

You’ll have to excuse me for a moment – must just slap PragueTwatTory down:

Political Donors Have Rights Too

From the Labour webpage relating to donations.

“If I donate more than £1,000 to a Labour Party unit (e.g. Constituency
Labour Party) or more than £5,000 to the Labour Party nationally in the course of a calendar year, I understand that my name and the amount of the donation
will be reported to the Electoral Commission for publication on their public
register of donations to the Labour Party. The information you have provided will not be shared with any organisation or individual outside the Labour Party without your consent, nor transferred outside of the United Kingdom.”

Infrequently Asked Question – If, for example a limited company donated £4,800 to the Labour Party nationally, would it be reasonable for stakeholders in that company to expect a Labour MP to publish a copy of the relevant cheque complete with details of the transaction complete with a sample signature for fraudsters to copy on to his personal website (thus making the private details of the transaction known to the entire world) ? And what would the company’s legal rights be should this occur?

Model Answer – Of course this is a clear breach of confidence and contravenes the Labour Party’s own privacy policy – measures are in place to secure the privacy of privileged information regarding your donation. If you have any questions about this policy or need further reassurance

  • send an email to: info@new.labour.org.uk or
  • telephone our call centre on 08705 900200 or
  • Melanie Onn Labour’s data protection officer can be contacted at the following address: Melanie Onn Labour Party 39 Victoria StreetLondon SW1H 0HA

Should the hypothetical situation occur, you should immediately consult a good lawyer about your legal rights and possible recourse. For your background reading, please browse through the Electoral Commission website, the Political Parties, Election and Referendum Act 2000 (warning it’s quite long and complicated) and of course the Data Protection Act. Whilst it is theoretically possible for this information to be mishandled, it is unlikely that an MP would behave in such a foolhardy fashion, especially one that has voted for MPs to be exempt from the Freedom of Infomation act. Such a person is in fact unfit to serve as an MP.
As usual, Praguetory is talking bollocks:

1. The web page disclaimer PT quotes applies specifically to donations made via the Labour Party’s website – it doesn’t apply to the purchasing of £4800 worth of tickets for a Labour Party fund-raising event.

2. Feel free to read through PPERA if you like, you’ll find nothing whatsoever about protecting the privacy/confidentiality of donors, only rules governing when political parties have to make mandatory disclosures of donations. Parties are actually free to make voluntary disclosures if and when they like.

3. Ah yes, the old Data Protection Act macguffin.

Without going into the full ins and outs of data protection – which can be pretty complicated – DPA only covers personal information and then only within certain limitations.

So say, for example, I go an trace not only PTs full name (which I already know) but also his home address, sourcing my information from a public register, such as the electoral register, then I would be perfectly free to publish that information because its already in the public domain.

As it transpires, because we’re dealing with a company cheque here, the only personal information disclosed by its publication is the signature on it, which the Telegraph has identified as being that of Avtar Lit, who happens to be the company’s chairman – and that information happens to be in the public domain already in a variety of places from Companies House registers to the Radio Authority ruling regarding the radio station’s breach of broadcasting/electoral law back in 2001.

So no breach of Data Protection here, either…

Still, as is well know to bloggers, when Praguetory gets on a roll and becomes determined to make a complete arse of himself, he rarely stints at going the extra mile to finish the job…

The Riskiest Blog Entry I Have Ever Seen An MP Post

Now, you know he’s talking bollocks from the title alone, which amounts to a pathetic attempt to blow smoke to cover his own party’s embarrassment over Lit’s attendance at a LabourParty fundraiser.

I’m no lawyer,

No shit Sherlock… D’oh!

but were you to decide to post something like this, you might like to think about the following potential actions that could be brought;

But you’ve just said you’re not a lawyer, so our expectations have already been set – you’re talking bollocks.

By Sunrise Radio Ltd for breach of confidentiality both in respect of the existence and value of the transaction and in respect of private bank details. If it could be shown that they suffered a loss as a result of Tom Watson breaking the law, they may be entitled to compensation.

What possible loss might Sunrise Radio suffer for having paid for its MD to go to a Labour Party fund-raiser? And who says Tom Watson has broken any laws here, Mr ‘I’m no lawyer’? – only you and you haven’t got the first fucking clue what you’re talking about…

By AIB Bank, who as payee bank are generally liable for losses arising out of fraudulent cheque payments. If it could be shown that losses arose due to the actions of the Labour Party, the Labour Party may become liable.

Fraudulent cheque payments? What the fuck are you talking about, PragueTwat.

What’s been posted is a black and white scan of a cheque on which all the numeric information relating to AIB that could, hypothetically be used by a forger, has been deliberately obscured using photoshop. to use that image as the basis for defrauding AIB you’d need to be more than a master forger, you’d need to be psychic as well.

Ok, so there’s Avtar Lit’s signature on there, but if that’s an issue then many leading politicians have more to fear, given the extent to which scanned signatures of leading politicians appear in policy documents, manifestos, reports leaflets and even e-mails, as a mark of their personal endorsement of the contents.

PTs problem here is that he’s desperately trying to spread a bit of FUD and no one’s buying, because he’s crap at it.

By the Information Commissioner and therefore the police for breach of Data Protection Laws. Here’s how Sunrise Radio Ltd could record a complaint.

By the Labour Party for breaking its privacy policy relating to donors.

Something for the Electoral Commission to look into. PPERA (2000) covers legal requirements relating to political donations.

Covered all this earlier on – all a complete load of bollocks…

Sunrise Radio Ltd exists as a separate legal identity and a £4,800 donation does not need shareholder approval. Anyone actually saying Tony Lit donated to Labour has probably committed a libel. I believe the Lit family is financially solvent.

Anyone actually saying that Lit had donated to Labour last night would have made such a statement in good faith and in the reasonable belief that he had, based on the photograph of Lit at the Labour fund-raiser with Tony Blair (oooh, bit like Cluedo, that…) and on the knowledge that Lit was, at the time, the Managing Director of the company making the donation, from which one would all-too-reasonable presume he would have been aware both of the cheque and of where its being paid to.

UPDATE:

PTs now running around posting idiotic ‘warnings’ like this (from Pickled Politics – see comment 2) 

May I introduce you to the concept of a company having a separate legal identity? From a legal point of view, you may wish to amend the wording of your post. A friendly warning.

Of course, what PTs ignoring is the little matter of corporate responsibility (and liability) under which directors share equal responsibility/liability for the actions of any company of which they are a director, and as Tony Lit was still managing director of Sunrise Radio at the time the cheque was issued, legally-speaking its as much his responsibility as that of any of the company’s directors, including his father who actually signed the cheque.

And let’s also not forget the little matter of the £4,000 that Lit’s table at the event currently owes the Labour Party, in lieu of the two tickets to a Hillary Clinton fund-raising event in the US that Sunrise successfully bid for during an auction at the event…

…or is PT going to try and claim that Tony nipped out to the toilet while the auction was on and didn’t know anything about that either.

Let’s face it, as a wannabe spin doctor Praguetory is a quack and unfit to be considered a halfwit.

And with that, time for me do my Sunday morning DJ bit, and this next song goes from Praguetory to David ‘Davey-Dave’ Cameron and the Bullingdon boys…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSN-Y1W4Jm4

Oh, and remember PT, whining only makes it worse…

  • Your attempt to distinguish this donation from ones made on the Labour website cuts no ice. I shall be drafting an email to Labour’s data protection officer for clarification about under what circumstances party donation details can be published on the internet. You’re defending the indefensible.

  • Pingback: Bob Piper()

  • PT…

    1. Unlike you I spent five year as a registered data controller with full responsibility for dealing with DPA so, also unlike you, I know what I’m talking about.

    2. Knock yourself out – I’m sure the party already has a junk mail filter set up for dealing with insignificant Tory twats.

  • epsilon

    I meant to comment on this, Unity, but I knew that you would do it so much better….

    Sickbag at the ready, I found I had to read Praguetory’s excuse for a website; whereupon I found a piece about a Sandwell Councillor being suspended because of his racist behaviour on the Internet.

    Although a child of 4 could tell you that was Simon ‘Steve Freedom’ Smith that the original story was referring to, Praguetory must have the IQ of a child of 3, as a picture of…Bob Piper was placed alongside it.

    ‘Now, I’m no lawyer’- but I think that the average person might just think that Bob was the suspended, racist councillor.

    Some people might even think that our Bob might just have a case for a libel suit for this posting.

  • Brilliant work.

  • Unity, apart from the fact that I am going to come back to you on my blog over that Frank Field article you wrote, can I just point out that I can see loads of people just queuing up to donate money to Labour.

    After all, they should enjoy being in the company of a convicted rapist, whilst any donation or other information will be used against the donee if Labour feels like it and then they go and put sports personalties names all over Labour party invites when they not only have not only got nothing to do with Labour by actively don’t want to.

    I must say a brilliant couple of days work by Tom Watson. I am both pleased and impressed.

  • Benedict:

    You and other Tories can try and spin this as much as you you like but the fact remains that Cameron and crew have made a complete fuck up of this whole campaign from start to finish – in fact from before the start if you count Shapps’ lie about the LD’s poster lottery.

    As for Frankie Boy, that was a quick overview, if you want to get into it I’ll do the detail and it’ll still come out much the same.

    Field’s problem is that he’s too concerned with chasing headlines rather than presenting the actual data.

  • Unity, it may well be the case we have made a cockup, time will tell, but Tom has made a huge one by essentially telling all donors that he will try to embarrass them if it is politically expedient.

    I would love to see what your fund raisers are saying right now, it can’t be pleasant. pass on my thanks to Tom.

    On the Frank Field note, you neglected housing benefit which definitely makes you the fuckwit not Frank. The reason why 16 hours a week is important is that if you work 17 hours a week or more you don’t get it.

    See my blog for more.

  • Benedict:

    You’re forgetting that Sunrise owe a further

  • There are statutory reporting processes that deal with the sensitive topic of political contributions for a reason. There is no justification for these processes being short-circuited – which they have been. As mentioned above and on my post there are several legal recourses that may be available as a result of Tom’s blog post.

  • There are many legal recourses, just none that are applicable in this situation.

    I seem to recall you’ve spammed this somewhere else – did you write it or you get Donal – who from his comment at your place seems to be struggling with the concept of locus standii despite being a solicitor, write it for you.

  • All my own words. I enjoy the fact that you under-estimate me.

  • PT.

    It is impossible to underestimate your stupdity, childishness or capacity to act the sanctimonious cunt without merit, not to mention your inability to recognise when your making a complete twat of yourself or when you can fuck off for all that anyone gives a toss about your incessant whining.

    You would, without doubt, be considered the biggest twat in the Tory blogosphere were it not for C4, so I guess you’re a failure in that too.