Sunday, December 02, 2007


Odd-Ball Abrahams Spells Even More Danger for Future

What a mess! Talk about things going pear-shaped, Brown's government seems to have the patent on turning political gold into dross, though the emergence of David Abrahams from the murky swamps of Labour's North-eastern redoubt, is something few could have prophesied. As sources of party funding have dried up, it could be said that recourse to such dodgy geezers was predictable and, as Andrew Rawnsley suggests in today's Observer:

Every time there is one of these reputation-shredding scandals, even fewer people are prepared to donate to political parties. The fewer the donors, the less the inclination to ask questions of those who are still prepared to write cheques. Politics has become trapped in a downward spiral in which each funding scandal leads on to another.

Brown is currently locked into that spiral and further dangers are flagged up in today's papers.

It seems Abrahams, whose extremely odd-ball character should have set alarm bells ringing much earlier, had fallen out with Jon Mendelsohn, Labour's chief fund raiser, and his recent article in the The Guardian made it clear he blames Labour for their failure to apply their own law. In the circumstances his threat to release letters to him from grateful Labour recipients of his largesse, augurs not at all well for how this story will develop. And there is also the little matter of how Abraham's Durham Green Development- blocked for ten years by the Highways Agency- suddenly received a green light. Not a peerage this time, but maybe a lucrative shopping mall development? Alastair Campbell used to say that if no new developments have occurred in a story after 12 days, it is effectively over; personally, I can't see this one stop running this side of Christmas, unless, that is, something even worse crops up.

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