Jack Straw Treating Again 76

I am in Blackburn on the trail of Jack Straw. Yesterday I spoke to several hundred local Muslims at a Blackburn fundraiser for CagePrisoners. I told them very directly that it was no good their salving their consciences by donating, if they then again gave their votes to the man who gave the green light to British cooperation with the extraordinary rendition policy, and who overruled the Foreign Office legal advisers to launch an illegal war in Iraq.

While I was doing that, Jack Straw was committing a lesser but still very important crime. He was “Treating”. Yesterday Straw fed 700 constituents with curry, nan, dessert, tea and coffee at Jan’s Conference Centre at an election rally in Blackburn .

Every political candidate and agent knows that this is illegal. It is a specific criminal offence known as “Treating”. It carries a jail sentence and disqualification for the candidate.

Precisely the same thing happened, at precisely the same venue, at the last general election. I swore out a complaint to the police,but no action was taken.


The extraordinary thing was that, not only was the criminal offence carried out in an open and blatant manner, but this criminal offence was actually aided and abetted by the police. Jack Straw arrived not only with his close protection officers but with escorting police officers who actually guarded the criminal act.

From the Electoral Commission’s Guidance:


A person is guilty of the corrupt practice of treating if they corruptly, directly or

indirectly, either before, during or after an election, give or provide (or pay wholly or

in part the expense of giving or providing) any food, drink, entertainment or provision

in order to corruptly influence any voter to vote or refrain from voting.


I genuinely despair of the deep-seated corruption of this country where a Cabinet minister is enabled repeatedly to break the law in this way.

It is worth noting that an independent candidate, Bushra Irfan, was reported to the police by the returning officer for an internet page that suggested that food would be given at a meeting. Irfan’s campaign apologised and removed the offending page; no food was given. However Jack Straw was able to actually give out seven hundred meals under the noses of the police, with not a word said by the Returning Officer, who by law should now disqualify him. A criminal trial should follow.

I have wriiten widely about the amazing corruption of the electoral process in Blackburn and its corrupt administration by Blackburn Council. I had hoped that this scrutiny might be sufficient to force them to behave more honestly. But theyareso arrogant and bressnecked in their power here, they really don’t give a damn about the law,


76 thoughts on “Jack Straw Treating Again

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  • Craig

    Abe Rene

    I genuinely cannot understand the motivation of you and MJ in resorting to increasingly convoluted causistry to justify Jack Straw’s illegal act.

    No, they most certainly were not all NuLab activists. And I am pretty sure you will find that whoever wins Blackburn this time will not have a majority of much more than 700 and probably less.

  • mary

    Yes Craig, whose side are they on? I studied C19 British History at ‘O’ Level and know about the Great Reform Act and the abolition of rotten boroughs. We seem to have returned to a pre 1832 state of affairs in Blackburn and probably many others.


    I see Mohammad Sarwar was there. Is he greasing Straw’s wheels too like Lord Taylor of Blackburn?

    ‘Sarwar has estimated assets of £16 million, mainly from the family wholesale cash and carry business, United Wholesale Grocers.[10].

    In 2007 his son, Athif Sarwar, was convicted of an £850,000 missing trader fraud in a company, United Wholesale (Scotland) Limited, of which he was Managing Director.[11][12] Mohammad Sarwar was a remunerated director of the company,[13][14] but not involved in the fraud.’ (Wikipedia)

  • ingo

    Thats what you need sons for mary, to stand up and be counted for daddy. Mohammed sarwar is dodgy and he can’t change his company, its obvious that there is an apparent deep bond between jack Straw and M.Sarwar, not just a working relationship.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Arsalan, after I’d penned the suggestion regarding the gonadic composition of the nosh served by Mr Straw, I feared that you would provide us all with an elegant and piquant recipe…

    Now, if it were Glasgow, it would be steeped overnight in that exclusive liqueur cultivated lovingly, by hand, by the monks of a certain abbey.

    Indeed, I had conjured-up an image of ‘hand-rolled testicle soaked for a long, Saxon summer in buckram-lined barrels of Buckfast’… this is a phrase which even the intrepid Leonard Sachs would have baulked at enunciating, though the great Ivor Cutler (or indeed, his soul-brother, I mean ‘ole ‘rothel, hobbly, hobbly, ho’ Stanley Unwin) would have iterated with enormous and rollicking aplomb.

    The vernacular, Buckfast-driven, early C21st equivalent of this long, winding, Iambic utterance would be to say, simply,

    “Jack Straw is a wanker.”

  • MJ

    I’m with you on this Craig. It’s obviously a corrupt practice. It’s just that the wording of the guidance is so peculiar that any lawyer could drive a horse and coaches through it.

  • Abe Rene


    The invitation was on a specially printed card for ‘Muslim friends of Labour’. Hence my belief that only Nulab active supporters were invited. I understand that a substantial proportion of Blackburn voters support Jack Straw because he has done their community favours, so it doesn’t surprise me that there should be 700 active supporters there.

  • ScouseBilly

    “Muslim friends of Labour” sounds like an oxymoron – unless of course, they have been corruptly bribed, or “treated”. I wonder if the invitation stated also that there would be free grub. If so, that would be good prima facie evidence, no?

  • ingo

    MJ has got a point scousebilly, its a long piece of rubber to stretch as you like it, prima facie evidence does not come into it.

  • Ruth

    From Mary ‘In 2007 his son, Athif Sarwar, was convicted of an £850,000 missing trader fraud in a company, United Wholesale (Scotland) Limited, of which he was Managing Director.[11][12] Mohammad Sarwar was a remunerated director of the company,[13][14] but not involved in the fraud.’ (Wikipedia)’

    Even though convicted in 2007 and jailed for three years the son was released from prison pending appeal. Since then I haven’t seen any information as to whether he won the appeal or not or even if the appeal actually took place.

    Interestingly there’s evidence that these carousel frauds are set up by government agents with billions of taxpayers’ money being channelled abroad and unsurprisingly never being recovered by HMCE/HMCR

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Funny how great minds think alike.

    @ Tom Welsh – ” But how can you prove it objectively? Only by finding people who were treated and who will testify that, in return for the food and drink, Mr Straw personally asked them to vote or not vote in a particular way.”

    Answer: Straw certainly did not invite 700 of the constituents to dinner just to have some Indian nosh. So, I guess if you play his after dinner speech, he must have somewhere in it said ” vote for me” – so there – now you have his intention.

  • Tony Greaves

    All it needs is for anyone (doesn’t have to be a candidate or even live in Blackburn) to make a formal complaint to the police that election law has been broken. They will then have to investigate.

    Tony Greaves

  • Matthew Forkins

    I hope you have raised this matter with the police and the elections unit Craig. I am sure they will be able to decide whether it is treating or not.

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