Andrew Mitchell's "Pleb" recent outburst at Police Officers outside Downing Street has been "very damaging" to the Tory Party. So says Defence secretary Philip Hammond today in a further attempt to "draw a line" under the whole affair.
But it wasn't just Mitchell's "F*cking Pleb" outburst which caused the damage, it was the fact that he lied and lied again over what was actually said and to what extent leading to the point where police officers had to to publish their own witness statements in a national newspaper.
His absence from the Tory Party conference in Birmingham (where his constituency is) this week on the grounds that being there would be a distraction, is an admission if ever needed that his current position is untenable and his authority as the Government Chief Whip shot to pieces.
Meanwhile Tory Party chairman and previous Housing Minister Grant Shapps will also be causing a distraction this week after it was revealed that he used a "Nom De Plume" Mr Michael Green to help sell a get rich quick scheme for a company he ran and then passed onto his wife. A probe into Mr Shapps is now focusing on his claims to be a self-help guru
called Michael Green on a website called howtocorp.com.
Mr Shapps continued to use the name
Michael Green for his business interests throughout the 2005 election
campaign and his early years as an opposition MP. ‘Mr Green’ charged
clients £183 an hour for advice on how to make money from the web as
well as offering tips on how to beat the recession blues, including
splashing out on a jet-ski or learning to play the guitar.
A complaint to the ASA alleges that the website misled the public by
presenting Michael Green as a genuine businessman with a personal fortune of
£17 million, who would share the secrets of his success for a fee.
So what it is with politicians and their "pen'chance" for what Churchill described as
"terminological inexactitudes" which most of us refer to as "Porkie Pies" and how do our local Cllrs compare with their national counterparts in comparison?
Well in my promised second expos'e of the quality of current Cllrs at NBC I ask you to consider the following tale of business dealings and then decide if this is the calibre of representative we really need at the Guildhall.
A few years ago a businessman based both in Northampton and also the North took a court action out against a large Northern Council supposedly for non payment of asylum seeker rents on properties he managed.
The claim for a large sum of public money was disputed by the Council, not surprisingly at the time as the Council doubted whether or not whether some of the properties had indeed been used for this purpose and also whether or not the asylum seekers said to have stayed there actually existed in the first place.
As part of the hearing a company in Northampton was made aware of their involvement in the action and also informed that their company name had been used as part of the claim and some of their properties involved in the invoices which had been submitted in their name and on their headed note paper. This was news to them, most notably because they had no business or properties in the North.
So they attended the court, to give evidence that they had no involvement whatsoever in the action and didn't now how their name had been used in such a way, and were very surprised to see a well known Northampton businessman in court putting forward the case, at this point the businessmen apparently got quite upset, and asked for an adjournment, immediately afterwards he and his lawyers immediately withdrew the action against the Council and dropped the case.
The businessman then concentrated on bringing an action on the Northampton Company to try to prove that he was as he had expressed to the court a partner of the said Northampton firm and had been working with them all along on the letting of properties in the North.
This case was heard by Leicester Crown Court. The Northampton company had to spend a considerable amount of money proving that papers submitted to the court by the businessman were in fact forgeries, they were in many cases false documents constructed from their headed notepaper a copy of which the businessman was in possession of. The judge during the hearing become increasingly frustrated at the inability of the businessman to offer any concrete evidence of the partnership other than continuous here-say and photocopied documents. A handwriting analyst had also submitted condemning evidence to the court informing them that in their view the signatures on the documents submitted by the businessman had been forged.
In a last minute attempt to quash the overwhelming evidence against him and change the direction of the case the businessman finally came up with an original document to back up a photocopied already submitted. This he presented to the court. Comically, but with serious consequence the dates on the original submitted and the photocopy produced from it were then seen to not be a match.
The court understandably found in favour of the Northampton Company and the Judge it is said expressed a that view a fraud had been committed and suggested that the Police investigate the matter.
No police investigation took place as the businessman immediately afterwards had incredibly appealed against the courts findings prolonging the case, with little hope of success The appeal was as expected subsequently dismissed.
In addition to his dealings in court and despite being a businessman of supposedly considerable income and wealth an application for Housing Benefit was also submitted to Northampton Borough Council during this period. But having been elected to the Council the Housing Benefit Application at the businessman's family home seems to have been "withdrawn" or "not processed"
Does the above sound like a fit and proper person to hold office as an elected Labour councillor?
I have not named the individual and as always offer to them the opportunity to contact me to correct anything above that they feel is not accurate, but my concern here and also above at what is happening at national level in the Tory Party is that I believe we should expect a higher level of integrity and business practise from those who then go on to stand for election?
And shouldn't those elected to office also consider what effect their past dodgy business practises (when revealed) will have on the overall standing of politicians and other party colleagues that may be affected by the "all tarred with the same brush" mentality.
We deserve far better from our national and local politicians, and it was George Orwell who told us that "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act" So long live the revolution
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