The Denis MacShane Prize

by craig on November 3, 2012 11:22 am in Uncategorized

This is a genuine offer. I will pay £100 to any person who can provide a convincing reason why Denis MacShane’s expense fiddling, involving his creating false invoices, was not a criminal offence. Your argument does not have to be unanswerable – merely respectable. Up to three prizes will be given, for the three first and not essentially the same convincing arguments.

This competition specifically is open to employees of the Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service; we would love to know their reasoning. It baffles me. I confess I can think of no single circumstance in this case that would prevent MacShane being convicted for theft and fraud. What is the answer?

Denis MacShane is a criminal. If he wants to try his chances with a jury, the libel courts are open to him and I am here.

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  1. There is no place for Macshane to hide from the law now, Craig. I think you are safe from the libel lawyers as well as the Labour Friends of Israel.

  2. Tony –

    Thanks. Problem is he doesn’t have to hide from the law. The Metropolitan Police have said they are not investigating him.

  3. Try as I may the only arguments I can even conceivably come up with would be blatantly fraudulent on my part in the attempt to win the money. lol
    Its a strange old world, when the working class falsify benefit claims, which are very similar to expense claims in essence, then it is called “fraud” and not foolishness as MacShane self described it. Just how did this soft language and response for deviancy committed by those in privileged positions evolve whilst far harder language and judicial response remains applicable to the great unwashed?

  4. My post on face book and

    This parasite has stolen money from the British Taxpayer. He escapes prosecution because evidence is protected by “parliamentary privilege” It should not be that parliamentary privilege can protect acts of criminality by members of parliament .

  5. Crimes of dishonesty require the guilty mind (intent), to be proven beyond reasonable doubt, so if I were his lawyer I’d be making a case that it was negligent rather than deliberate… I don’t know enough about the facts to know whether that would be a runner though. Just playing devil’s advocate!

  6. A few facts about MacShane that will tell anyone all they need to know –

  7. The Crown Prosecution Service and the Metropolitan Police are obviously not bringing a prosecution simply because they have the public interest in mind. They know that the second there is the whiff of a prosecution he will do a Lady Porter.

    They are thus saving us the tax payers hard earned dosh for us. Gawd bless ’em!

  8. Long ago I read somewhere a Western view of why communism was a flawed system. It went a bit like this. If Ivan Nikoleievich a party member in, say, Bratsk, did something wrong, the local committee would summon him and most likely ban him from attending party meetings, or even withdraw his party membership.
    However, Russians are human, and the remaining members were still friends with Ivan. So after a couple of months, someone would propose that he be reinstated. And very often he was. He then returned to his old party tasks just as before, having effectively had a light slap on the wrist for whatever he did wrong.

    This failure to effectively discipline wrongdoing within the party ranks was central to the fall of the USSR, or so the article claimed.

    Compare & contrast with Macshame. He committed a criminal offence -theft from the British taxpayer he sas supposed to represent and, allegedly because of parliamentary privilege, he cannot now be prosecuted.

    I’d like to believe the moral of the story, but I’m not holding my breath for the imminent collapse of our fundamentally corrupted plutocracy.

    Seems to me that it’s the same old mutual back scratching in both cases.

  9. Pauline Barten.

    3 Nov, 2012 - 12:12 pm

    The only reason i can think of for him not being prosecuted is = corruption.

  10. Dick the Prick

    3 Nov, 2012 - 12:13 pm

    Yer money’s safe. I reckon he’ll go for the Margaret Moran defence – blub blub blub penguin. Even the CiFers aren’t too upset – seems he was a bit of a bully to some of his interns but gave away taxpayers laptops to others – nice boss!

    That he didn’t respond to John Lyon for 4 months is akin to a child just ignoring it so it’ll go away.

    This guy could have easily got away with it if he wasn’t such an ejeet. I bet the IPSA clerk just sat there, slack jawed thinking – ‘and what the fuck do you call this?’ as he was handed an invoice in crayon. It’s truly staggering that an MP can reach 60ish years old and be so mind bogglingly useless as basic admin.

  11. Tony’s link includes a statement issued by MacShane in the last 24 hours in which he claims he’s been ‘judged harshly’ !

    This man’s sense of entitlement, and implicit contempt for his constituents, and the UK taxpayer, is boundless.

    Johnf- the Law of Return doesn’t apply to MacShane (a gentile) so the Lady Porter option isn’t available to him.

  12. Surely the reason that it is not an criminal is that the amounts involved were so large as to cause our allies to rethink intelligence sharing and put pressure on the Govt to clear this whole mess up PDQ. Nothing to see, move along plebs.

  13. Also wasn’t the Parliamentary Priv excuse rejected by the courts when the last lot ended up in jail. What has changed in this case?

  14. The labour party elected as its leader Tony Blair, what more do u need to know about these clowns. How many died under the US/UK/Israeli sanctions on Iraq? The proper way to deal with this is look at the pro israeli voting record and make this transparent to his constituents, how many know they are electing Israeli puppets as their MP’s

  15. Relevant material is in the public domain. How can it be privilege-protected?

    See #19 -25, (enclosures), in particular.

    The only thing standing between MacShane and court is the intentionally ill-defined notion of parliamentary privilege. If this ensures that an MP is immune from prosecution under criminal charges, it is time the system is overhauled and put into legally valid form.

  16. doug scorgie

    3 Nov, 2012 - 1:17 pm

    The reason, Craig, is as follows:
    The Director of Public Prosecutions is a political appointee and is a puppet of the government. If you look at some cases dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service it would appear that political considerations are taken into account after the police have submitted their files:
    Guardian 31/10/12
    The City of London police have dropped their year-long investigation into whether Adam Werritty committed fraud by posing as Liam Fox’s official adviser.
    The police said the case against Werritty had been dropped after the Crown Prosecution Service advised that there was insufficient evidence to justify criminal charges.
    Regarding Simon Harwood, the police officer that assaulted Ian Tomlinson before his death:
    The Crown Prosecution Service had initially ruled out prosecuting the officer because of conflicting post-mortem reports.
    Jimmy Savile and the 2 year police investigation file submitted in 2009:
    Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service said in a statement that the case was dropped because a crucial witness declined to testify and because there was “insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction.”
    From the Daily Telegraph 2/11/12
    Regarding the report on MacShane
    “In the report, the standards commissioner John Lyon said the investigation was suspended for almost two years because of the police enquiry.
    However, although Mr Lyon reported Mr MacShane to the police in October 2010, he noted in his report that his evidence was not requested by the police, raising serious questions about the police investigation.
    The enquiry was dropped after the Crown Prosecution Service concluded that the file passed to them by the police in December 2011 contained insufficient evidence to try Mr MacShane.”
    Though the other way round. From the Sunday Times 29/07/12:
    KEIR STARMER, the director of public prosecutions (DPP), stopped his staff from dropping a case against an accountant who joked on Twitter that he wanted to blow up an airport, it was claimed today. Chambers was later found guilty of sending a menacing tweet. Crown prosecution service (CPS) lawyers told Chambers they saw no public interest in opposing his appeal, but Starmer allegedly overruled them at the last minute. Chambers won his appeal.
    I believe MacShane will be re-investigated and maybe charged now that it seems politically expedient to do so.

  17. Spend your money on launching a private prosecution.

    (As an aside, all prosecutions brought by the RSPCA are private prosecutions; what I’m suggesting is not without precedent).

  18. The present DPP is also i/c of the Crown Prosecution Service, Keir Starmer QC. ‘Baroness’ Scotland appointed him (enough said) and in his previous life as a barrister he worked for ACPO (a private limited company and not a state organisation as many people believe)

    ‘He is generally seen as supportive of the Labour Party.[6]’

    He came from Doughty Street Chambers. There you can see the names of Geoffrey Robertson and Helena Kennedy. Also Gavin Millar, brother of Fiona Millar, wife of war criminal Alastair Campbell.

    The whole set up of the establishment is an incestuous nest. Not what you know but who you know. Justice? What is that and where is it in this country in 2012.

    It seems that it is down to Attorney General Grieve to proceed but look at his record including throwing out the request for an inquest for Dr Kelly.

  19. Craig, I believe you owe Doug Scourgie 100 smackers.

    PS – I love the frequently-trotted line “..has decided that a prosecution would not be in the public interest” – precious!

  20. “Atos doctors and nurses raise concerns over signing of Official Secrets Act”

  21. Mr MacShane is rather well-known on the continent, so permit me to comment. I don’t think he’s an especially evil man, and certainly not a stupid one, and a (rare) open pro-EU voice in the government was appreciated. What strikes one is the smallness of the amounts in question; the man has sacrificed his political life and general reputation for a few thousand pounds. Toutes proportions gardées, of course, but he seems to be almosrt a Shakespearean tragic figure, a person brought down by a tragic flaw in his character. I leerave the question of what that flaw was to tohers to judge.

  22. David McCann

    3 Nov, 2012 - 2:21 pm

    The theft of public money by members of parliament, including government ministers is nothing new. Alasdair Darling, made four second home designations and charged the taxpayer for accountancy fees to work out his complicated financial affairs. The taxpayer also footed the bill for stamp duty and legal fees on his £226,000 home in South London. He then began claiming £900 mortgage interest payments on it. The cost of furnishing followed, to the tune of £950, which he claimed along with a chaise longue, sofa and oven mitt, as well as a 75p Ikea carrier bag!
    Harriet Harman, spent £10,000 of taxpayers’ money on “media training”. The list goes on.
    At the time of these expense scandals, not one political reporter or Westminster commentator, revealed a shred of this scandal. It took a whistle blower and the Telegraph to reveal the depth of the widespread theft of public money.
    Alasdair Darling is currently leading the ‘Better Together’ campaign to save the Union.
    They are well named!

  23. “While we working on the documentary he told me that he had become interested in political conspiracies because of his experiences at the BBC and in government. He had been appalled about how the BBC had quashed great stories while he was working as a political journalist. He told me one story that involved a paedophile ring in the British government in the 1980s.”

  24. “Clearly I deeply regret that the way I chose to be reimbursed for costs related to my work in Europe and in combating antisemitism, including being the Prime Minister’s personal envoy, has been judged so harshly.”

    There is the defence: he needed the money to combat anti-semitism. He didn’t like to bother Tony Blair, who was too busy, fighting anti-semitism himself, so he forged a few invoices.

  25. Good point, Gyges.

    Maybe we should found the RSPCT (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Taxpayers).

  26. Spend your money on launching a private prosecution.

    Leave it. E ain’t wurf it. There’s bigger fish to fry. Like bringing a 19th.century parliamentary protection system, designed to prevent the law embarrassing the squirearchy, kicking and screaming into the present day.

  27. ‘What strikes one is the smallness of the amounts in question; the man has sacrificed his political life and general reputation for a few thousand pounds.’

    Jerome: MacShane’s wikipedia entry includes this description of him (by Ian Buruma)- “one of the few British politicians with a deep knowledge of France.” Your take on his actions (and MacShane’s own perception that he’s been treated ‘unjustly’)could reasonably be termed ‘typically French’.

    Another example of the Jerome/MacShane mindset here-

  28. Fooldefencecounsel

    3 Nov, 2012 - 2:51 pm

    A subject of the crown is not deemed to have committed a criminal offence until he has been found guilty. Mr McShane has not been found guilty and therefore he has not committed a criminal offence. I claim £100 and if you agree to pay I will nominate a charity.

  29. Because the system is utterly corrupt of course

  30. Fooldefencecounsel

    3 Nov, 2012 - 3:02 pm

    Craig, you will no doubt agree that you will have a more convincing answer than mine and therefore please send £100 to The Prison Phoenix Trust, which is a charity teaching yoga and meditation to prisoners.

  31. Fooldefence – need I point out there is a subtle difference between describing MacShane as a convicted criminal, and postulating (as Craig did) the criminality of what he did? As I see it, m’lud, Mr.M. cannot be described as a criminal until he is found guilty of a crime. This is not in dispute. My client is entitled to know, however, why Mr.M. cannot face trial on a criminal charge, and that is the basis of his inquiry. Snapplepacket vs Drudgeworthy (1886) provides….etc, etc…

  32. MacShane’s blase approach to small time fraud, when far greater rewards for his affiliations are surely coming his way, simply reveals normalised political corruption and impunity. Again.

    Wanting incorruptible politicians is just banging our heads against a brick wall. Might this explain Vronsky’s headache and visions?

  33. To “OldMark” (or perhaps Jeune Imbécile?) : what is the “take on his actions” which you infer from my post? Approval? A shrug of the shoulders? Wrong! To explain again : it is a Shakespearean tragic flaw in the man’s character which led him to throw away a political career and reputation for the sake of a few thousand pounds. I said nothing more than that.

    And please, don’t get into this stupid, insular mindset of suggesting Mr MacShane’s behaviour and the reaction (or non-reaction) of the authorities is typically French; I seem to remember that quite a few UK politicians are not prosecuted – and rehabilitated after a short interval. Latest example – Mr David Laws.

  34. I actually searched for “Snapplepacket vs Drudgeworthy (1886)”. Duh!

  35. @Phil: You can fool some of the people some of the time, and ain’t it great when you do? Thanks for the feedback. :-)

  36. I saw him interviewed in French on the telly once. I think he was some sort of UK Euro-Minister at the time.

    Talk about smug. And he clearly thought his French better than I did. Langue et Civilisation how are ya.

  37. larry Levin

    3 Nov, 2012 - 5:10 pm

    the houses of parliament prove you can fool all the people all of the time.

    So parliamentary privilege means MP’s can commit crime and not be prosecuted but would that only apply if he was doing acting in the normal course of being an MP? what is the case laws on this, can the people who put him forward as an MP be sued for injury/loss or harm due to a criminal MP? also when he was making laws he would have to declare an interest since he was a criminal this would mean he was in the business of crime will legislating about crime? and angle there to be followed?. can we trawl through the law files and find if any MP’s have ever been convicted?

  38. Found this very good website Search the Money which lists corporate and private donations to MPs and their outside remunerations. Cons only at the moment. Hope they extend to cover the other troughers.

    You can click on a donor’s name and the total that they have donated appears.

    Look at Gove, over £462k and someone called Geoffrey Cox, Torridge and W Devon £756,000k+ !! WTF.

  39. Jerome, 3:23pm, 3.11.12:

    Agreed. And another is Peter Mandelson. And another, Stephen Byers. And what about Jeremy Hunt?

  40. He was a Straw protégé as Europe Minister.

    Denis MacShane Labour 28 October 2002 – 11 May 2005

  41. Another WTF! His record has been deleted from TheyWorkForYou unless I am going blind.

  42. larry Levin

    3 Nov, 2012 - 5:29 pm

    how about doing an e-petition

    “we demand the criminal prosecution of the 100% guilty Dennis McShane after a lawful and fair trial that he be stripped naked and hand =cuffed and left in the bbc car park”

    something along those lines.

  43. Jeremy Hunt got promotion! Incredible arrogance. Nowadays, they only resign, you see, when not doing so would expose the core mechanics of war and power and so, the lesser trope of a ‘scandal’ serves to obscure the greater, systemic political pathology. It is the mechanics of the hard state.

    Oh, they also resign if they openly insult a policeman and remind people that there is a thing called social class in this country and that it is actually still the main structural inequality. And so, in a bizarre and convenient Swiftian inversion, the police become class warriors in the UK.

  44. The law (like taxation) is only for small people; for big people there are merely suggestions.
    This has been pointed out ad nauseam, but nothing changes.

  45. KingofWelshNoir

    3 Nov, 2012 - 5:50 pm

    I can’t claim the prize so, instead, I propose a toast to a man who had the right idea. Guy Fawkes.

  46. Suhayl ‘…..the police become class warriors in the UK.’

    Back to Thatcher’s Army at Orgreave. Do you remember the Scottish Yank she got in to mastermind the breaking of the NUM?
    Sir Ian McGregor.

    Within that link there is a sentence that says
    ‘BBC edited a film to make it look like strikers had attacked police when, in fact, just the opposite was true. Six years later, the BBC finally offered a weak apology for its duplicity.’

    Nothing changes.

  47. English Knight

    3 Nov, 2012 - 6:23 pm

    [Mod/Jon: removed whole post. Using “Jewish” as an explanation for criminal behaviour in the political classes, or as an explanation for getting away with it, is not permitted here.]

  48. Why Denis MacShane should not be prosecuted.
    Under the criminal law, in common law jurisdictions, there is an established code of ethics in charging and punishing those who are at the lower end of the criminal spectrum. Even those at the upper end of serious crime are still likely to be punished – but there are provisos:-
    1. No punishment for some who clearly are scoundrels and/or dishonest but are within a special category. One can readily note the “banksters” and “fraudsters” who escaped any criminal sanctions for their transgressions in the City and on Wall Street. These are “special criminals”.
    2. There is an age limit for criminal responsibility – but unfortunately Denis MacShane is a bit past it and can’t rely on this defence.
    3. High Office does confer certain privileges – and – this, I believe, serves Denis well in this case.
    4. The crime may also be so lowly for MacShane’s high office that it simply does not merit the serious attention of the Crown Prosecution Service. Consider for a moment – nineteen false claims; yes – nineteen fake invoices; not one or two – nineteen – and all he was able to cheat was a mere 12,900 pounds. Derisive and stupid and his conduct should not be rewarded with official and serious attention of criminal charges. He submitted an invoice twice for computer charges amounting to five thousand nine hundred and sixty eight pounds. Did someone say stupid? Only eight computers – come on Denis – a hundred would have been more in keeping for a man of your stature.
    5. I could submit that the client was negligent nineteen times over.
    6. And – evidence submitted to parliament is not admissible in court. But now that the report is published there should not be this barrier, so we have some work to do on this case.
    Truth is that this is not a hard case to prove and really, from a lawyer’s point of view, is open and shut:-
    The law reads as follows:-
    Section 17 of the Theft Act 1968:-
    “False accounting.
    (1)Where a person dishonestly, with a view to gain for himself or another or with intent to cause loss to another,—
    (a) destroys, defaces, conceals or falsifies any account or any record or document made or required for any accounting purpose; or
    (b) in furnishing information for any purpose produces or makes use of any account, or any such record or document as aforesaid, which to his knowledge is or may be misleading, false or deceptive in a material particular;
    he shall, on conviction on indictment, be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years.
    (2) For purposes of this section a person who makes or concurs in making in an account or other document an entry which is or may be misleading, false or deceptive in a material particular, or who omits or concurs in omitting a material particular from an account or other document, is to be treated as falsifying the account or document”
    A. There is the wrongful act ( i.e. “actus reus”) of having taken the 12,900 pounds.
    B. He used a nom de plume, so clearly he wanted to conceal something and in so doing it is absolutely evident that he was hiding conduct that he actually knew to be dishonest and did falsify. This comprises the mens rea – the next of the two elements to secure a criminal conviction.
    C. A conviction should easily be obtained on the known evidence. If a person acts knowingly and with fraudulent conduct, so as it disguise the benefit of fake invoices – is he guilty? Is the Pope Catholic?
    But – you still have to prove it.
    Denis – we could still fall back on 3, 4 and 5 above as defences – couldn’t we? Don’t forget, the ol’ boys network and a solid sense of entitlement. Stiff upper lip – ol’ chap.
    Craig – where is my hundred quid?

    P.S. Ichancho has the right idea:-

    ” The law (like taxation) is only for small people; for big people there are
    merely suggestions.

    This has been pointed out ad nauseam, but nothing changes.”

    But – I still want the prize Craig.

  49. TheyWorkForYou still has MacShane’s report page live here:

    The speedy removal of dismissed MP from the Index seems at clear odds with the sites purpose.

  50. Craig, I wished you were more generous. 100 quid gets you nowhere nowadays. The question is easy to answer. That creep is a friend of israel. As everyone in the UK seems to be a friend of Israel in these days (those who are not yet are on the way of becoming friends) we and they are all great friends or “amici dei amici” and one does not do certain things to friends.

    Please let me know that I won the great prize as soon as possible. Otherwise, I will have a sleepless night.

  51. Ah, I found MacShane’s page through , but they have another search form on their index – “Search by name (including former MPs)”
    – so no need to wonder who TheyWorkForYou works for :)

  52. Thanks ThatCrab. That explains it. I looked through the list and he was not included.

    Debbie Abrahams Lab Oldham East and Saddleworth

    Dennis Skinner Lab Bolsover

    Derek Twigg Lab Halton


  53. technicolour

    3 Nov, 2012 - 7:17 pm

    Suhayl, yes, again! Social mobility, my foot.

  54. O/T completely, and somewhat belatedly -to Guano, Suhayl, (?)Mark,(?)Uzbek and non-vegetarians everywhere…

    Or Kurban Bayram, if you prefer…

  55. “U.S. Elections: Will the Dead Vote and Voting Machines be Hacked?”

    “He who casts a vote decides nothing. He who counts the vote decides everything.”

    -Joseph Stalin”

  56. Nice to help you, to help you, nice Mary.

    And the Eid… I want to join in, after discovering Komodo’s greeting card, a belated ‘happy Eid’. But it occurs to me that an occasions purpose might not simply mean to ‘be happy’. Like, Happy Birthday, happy Holidays etc. “Many Contrivations!” But I dont know the lingo so Happy Eid it is.

  57. His response would be that he is part of the state within the state where the law doesn’t apply. The law is there to contain the plebs particularly when they rise up i.e. six months for stealing a £3.50 case of bottled water

  58. I think we wish ‘Eid Mubarak’ to our Muslim friends if we are not too late.

  59. I fear there is a misconstruction of D. MacShane’s contempt to plebeians (derivative plebiscite) shown through his submission of the infantile invoices; as his “flawed character”, or his “lack of imagination”. Alas his obvious and almost blatant attempt in false accounting is part of the “freude” or bravado that is born of his certainty that his obvious fraud will be going unpunished, and he will not stand to account for his almost amateurish attempt in defrauding the tax payers funds. This fact has held true, because despite the public knowledge of the fraud, D. MacShane has not faced any consequences for his fraudulent conduct and by the looks of it is not likely to do so either.

    The Bush/Blair era, will surely be remembered as the golden age of the fraudsters, cheats and liars, whence the discriminatory application of law became to be the normal course of conduct of the state affairs, and lies, and bribes as normal currency and stock in trade of the power elite to be applied copiously without any fear of reprisals.

  60. The blessed Eid does seem rather a tardy diversion – it could be savagely critiqued. I

    Exiled – I wish that you could be right and the Bush/Bliar era was “the golden age of the fraudsters, cheats and liars” , but it seems to be becoming more and more normal. I find Obama dazzlingly sophisticated and likeable, but he too is a blatant liar.

    Anyway, ive thought of a “Denis MacShane’s expense fiddling, involving his creating false invoices, was not a criminal offence”
    – It is because politicians are not payed in accordance with their importance and ability and demands of their position. An MPs salary of 60 odd grand, does not attract the caliber of people we expect to govern highly. To become a politician involves sacrificing much earning potential -in theory. Politicians have to legislate for and against all groups, the rich and the poor, but they are neither. They must resist the temptation of riches and govern without being corrupted by personal greed. Their salary does not satisfy the lust we many have, to be immune to financial worries, yet their rare skillset would trouser great bonuses in that parallel world of financial power. They settle for the soulful rewards of serving their country in its political engineroom. So when such as Denis MacShane steals money from his employer, the employer is merciful, recognising his difficulty with the saintly sacrifices of political office, and rather than press criminal charges, expects that the shameful fall from saintly political grace will be punishment enough. After all, its not about the money, it is about power with potentialy unlimited effect.

    Its complete bollocks designed to make politicians corruptable to extra financial incentives – the artificial low salary and artificial claims about politicans motives. But i propose it as the reason he is not to be prosecuted.

  61. Ahh! – Charles Crawford has the answer to fiddling:

    “By comparison these British Parliamentary scandals are embarrassingly microscopic, banal in their parochial prosaic pettiness and sheer lack of ambition. Good grief! He bought several laptops! And books! Down he goes.”

  62. The essential test is a persons status(?). Given McShanes middle class status troughing is seen purely as a misdemeanour! Heaven help the sub-class single (for whatever reason) mother who fiddles a few pounds from the DSS to feed her children though.

  63. Didn’t I tell you?:-

    “High Office does confer certain privileges – and – this, I believe, serves Denis well in this case.”

    So – Charles Crawford says…

    “Author – Charles Crawford

    Full disclosure: I know Denis MacShane quite well on professional colleagues terms. I worked with him on a wide range of difficult policy issues when he was Minister of State at the Foreign Office and I was British ambassador first in Serbia then in Poland. Latterly we have been on friendly Twitter terms”

    And Charles Crawford will be my character witness for MacShane.

    Still fighting to get that 100 quid.

  64. Hey !- Courtenay *my* trawl came up trumps -oh well I like you – fifty fifty I say…

  65. Well off topic. Nothing to do with expenses, I apologise. Please listen to Melanie Phillips arguing the moral advantages of drone warfare in the Moral Maze.


    Great bit of philo-losophy.

    Big materialistic,individualistic,selfish,selfserving,destroying.

    Lead by example.

    Simpe life really!

  67. @ Karel at 6.48pm : “amici dei amici” ?? Shouldn’t that be “amici degli amici” ?

    Sorry to sound like Denis MacShane.

  68. As Charles Crawford says in defence of fair play and honest conduct:-

    ” Good grief! He bought several laptops! And books! Down he goes.”

    Well – come on now – he fiddled some 19 times over – just a little misdemeanor = 1 + 18 times over – but still just stemming from an initial misdemeanor…duh…huh?
    Repetition is the mother of learning, I was taught. So – theoretically he started with just one transgression – but – realistically he learned well and did it 19 times over.

  69. A small number of MPs were prosecuted, shown on TV going to court, given short jail sentences and let out well before the full term was completed, given a shed load of money when they left the Commons. Justice being seen to be done!

    Some like Hazel Blears for example, said very sorry, paid some of the money back and even appeared contrite on TV, and then as in her case even got re-elected by a loyal Labour working class electorate, the type who would be prosecuted for benefit fraud, no doubt about it.

    So what more do you want ?
    Job done and now back to normal business.
    You weren’t really expecting justice, honesty or integrity now surely ?

  70. Israel’s Best Puppet Shamed like greville hello sonny janner.
    they are all doin it for the homeland while doin it for the kids

  71. Come on Murray. Christmas is on the way.

    Mark Golding and I have agreed that we both win – and the split of the winnings is therefore 50/50.

    I am contented to have my half share in the form of your book ” Murder in Samarkand…” autographed and sent to me for arrival before Christmas. You can give the rest of the 100 quid to Mark. We worked hard for that prize.

  72. ‘it is a Shakespearean tragic flaw in the man’s character which led him to throw away a political career and reputation for the sake of a few thousand pounds.’

    MacShane’s downfall isn’t Shakespearean in the least, Jerome; his crude forgeries and wheedling self-justification resemble instead a seedy character from a novel by Graham Greene or Eric Ambler.

  73. It’s like Ken or Larry From St Louis never left…

  74. David Lawley-Wakelin appears in court on 16 November for calling out “Excuse me, this man should be arrested for war crimes” when Blair was giving ‘evidence’ to Leveson.

    The law is a travesty.

  75. OldMark, of course you’re right when it comes to the details, but isn’t it rather Shakespearean to see the career of a man who had “everything”, so to speak, who was riding high, brought crashing down because of a personal flaw (greed? overwheening pride allied to a sense of immunity?…)

    (Toutes proportions gardées, comme toujours)

  76. Hang 'em High

    4 Nov, 2012 - 9:12 am

    Denis McShane’s name can be added to that of Liam Fox.

    Israeli agents who got caught red-handed breaking the law but remain immune from prosecution because of something called ‘anti-Semtism’ – which protects the criminal, the corrupt, the polluter, the debaser and the liar from such mundane trivialities as civility and justice for fear of insulting fellow co-religionists (and their invented history) who constitute 0.002% of the Earths population, or 0.05% in the UK.

  77. Mrs Balls-Cooper does not want to preempt any decision by the police to investigate further! but she does think that it is a very serious matter. What a hypocrite. She has sat alongside MacShame since 1997 when she was first elected as one of the Bliar babes. MacShame arrived in the HoC 3 years earlier in a by-election following the death of the previous MP James Boyce thus:

    On Christmas Eve 1993 he was put on the transplant waiting list for a new heart after what he thought was a respiratory problem. He turned out to be suffering from an enlarged heart. On Burns Night 1994 he suffered a fatal heart attack at home in his living room. Over 500 people attended his memorial service at which a speaker was the then Labour Party leader John Smith, who, coincidentally, would also die of a heart attack later that year.

    !! You can see that haggis and whisky is not good for you. :)

  78. Hang 'em High

    4 Nov, 2012 - 9:41 am

    “There had been widespread surprise at comments by a senior Commons official who said correspondence from Mr MacShane to the standards watchdog were protected by parliamentary privilege and so could not be used in a criminal prosecution.”

    Translation: the level of chutzpah displayed by MacShane and his supporters has not been reflected in the response from the (anti-Semitic) public so we need to be seen to be doing something.

  79. How pathetic of Yvette Cooper to be so typically cowardly and evasive of an answer when asked of Craig’s leading question [re McShane’s criminal actions] on Andrew Marr a few moments ago.

    Tell us all everything we need to know about her values and suitability for future honest office. ….. William Hague in the paedophile spotlight? …… which is a valid enough question whenever the truth of suspicions are being suppressed and such shenanigans are always counter-productive and concentrate attentions, and also put innocent parties into the frame, which is reprehensible.

  80. Hang 'em High

    4 Nov, 2012 - 9:54 am

    Friends of Mr MacShane said the politician privately acknowledged that he always “sailed close to the wind” during his parliamentary career, but complained his treatment seemed unfair compared with others accused of misusing the MPs’ expenses system.

    Translation: Everyone knew that Mr MacShane was corrupt from head to toe because he so frequently paraded it around like a badge of honour, what has really upset the criminal is not that he has betrayed the voter, stolen from the tax-payer and destroyed peoples faith in politics, it is that he is not being treated fairly’ compared with the other criminals.

  81. MacShane is not the only one, of course. I see that Salmond is at it, too. Here we go again. Let’s ask Liam Fox and Adam Werrity, shall we?

  82. That – the SNP establishing deep links with Israel – suggests that following on from the failure of instigate an investigation into the CIA/MI6 fix that was the Lockerbie trial (as Vronsky astutely pointed out) and the decision to remain part of the warmongering NATO military alliance, now the SNP are sending a signal to the Pentagon/CIA. This is Labour, reprised.

  83. It was actually an elaborate long-running sting operation for a newspaper to uncover how far one could still go with blatantly inappropriate invoices for expenses. As their undercover journalist he is able to claim exemption from illegality due to it being done for a greater public good, etc. etc… (ask Rebekkah for the finer details on how that works…)

  84. Totally off topic…I will be in UK next week so will give you a ring….picking up a bottle of the favorite at Nairobi duty free…

  85. @Courtney…I quite agree, but rather ask for the Catholic Orangemen as I think it a lot funnier and a better read !

  86. “Ken Clarke defends ‘secret courts’ plan”

  87. Guest, isn’t it apt to bring this debate into the news, just now, when probity of Government and establishment are stressed to the ninepins over a massive scandal.

    National security only says Ken Clarke, well that is a term you can stretch from here to Oz.

    could that possibly include an exposure of Royals?

    Now let me ask you all this question, was Denis Mac Shane pushed into the lime light as a diversion? The known bent Labour politician, mere tabloid fodder whilst the memo’s and warnings against disclosing these long standing paedophiles are being handed out?

  88. @Suhayl

    Your link is to an article by Kevin Wiliamson, not a member of the SNP and a well-known radical writer. You may have read the piece a little hastily – he says that the meeting was innocent, but spun to seem otherwise by the Israeli propaganda machine.

    There are certainly strong right-wing elements within the SNP but there is also a strong radical element. The latter have been a little too quiet of late, but showed up well in the NATO debate, although they lost it. At present appeals to comfort mainstream opinion in advance of the referendum will probably continue to trump concern at the recent rightward turn of events, but there will be a reckoning. A sample of anti-NATO speeches at the 2012 conference here.

    The Lockerbie Case is to me the most concerning issue. The SNP had much to gain politically by revealing the corruption of their predecessors – and yet they did nothing. That can only mean external control.

  89. Courtenay,

    Yes, money has no memory – I would like a framed, signed photograph of the Craig family please – that would be splendid. Clark has my address.

  90. O/T (on Savile)

    Tom Watson: “I’m not going to let this drop despite warnings from people who should know that my personal safety is imperilled if I dig deeper.”

    |z| ≥ 0, |z| = 0 iff z = 0?

    You’re kidding …

  91. Imagining the research materials:

    Dear Moniker,
    Well I know what you mean – he is one of the other side but, at the same time, he’s still a member of parliament and, well, it’s the thin end of the wedge isn’t it. If people start thinking we’re going to prosecute MPs every time they break the law, where would it stop? I mean, we can sacrifice one or two for the sake of PR every now and then. There’s still plenty of us left to receive the lobbyists but if we were all in jail, it’d get quite difficult to organise things.
    A Tory

    Dear Moniker,
    But he’s one of ours! We want people to think the *tories* are all criminals. We can’t keep finding our lot in court.
    A Labour Party Person

    Dear Moniker,
    What, do something that’s against *both* the other lots? Don’t be daft – where’s the gain in that?
    A Liberal Democrat Person

    Dear Moniker,
    But I thought it was a done deal. I’ve already booked my holiday!
    A person in uniform

    Dear Moniker,
    Why didn’t we prosecute? You see, it’s well known in the worlds of science and philosophy that you can’t easily prove a negative and the same rule most certainly applies in politics and law. I could explain why we *do* prosecute, when we do. It’s to maintain the general belief that if ordinary people break the law, they’ll get into trouble.
    There have been several examples in recent years of important peole being prosecuted. This is sometimes because they’ve proved to be unsound (ie, they’ve started telling the truth to people) and sometimes because we need to avoid looking biased – but as we haven’t prosecuted in the case you mention, I cannot answer without having to explain a negative. So, sorry, no can do. Good luck with your research.
    A Civil Servant

    Dreaming up a report:

    Dear Craig,
    I think the MPs have got so used to the idea that proper people have the option of resigning or retiring to avoid annoying things like being sacked or arrested that they have quite simply forgotten prosecution is a possibility. As to the MET and the DPP, I don’t know, but I suspect that anyone who has a deeply held wish to maintain the spirit and the efficacy of the law would have long since succumbed to a strong desire to give up public office and take up kicking lamp-posts instead, because it’s more satisfying. as a result, a generation are now in action who don’t understand the concept of the law at all. Witness the many news-munchers who’ve responded by saying ‘well, he’s lost his job and he’s not all bad.’
    They’ll tell you anarchy and disorder are bad things, and yet they have no concept of how the law’s supposed to work, which is: you make the law as fair as you can, then scrupulously apply it to everyone, otherwise it won’t work.
    (I added that last bit in case anyone who’s slipping off the edge reads it and thinks, ‘oh yes, that’s how the law should work!’)

  92. The blessed Eid does seem rather a tardy diversion – it could be savagely critiqued.

    I hope those celebrating it will not be too harsh. That’s Eid-al-Adha, btw,
    not Eid al-Fitr (Sheker Bayram), which ends Ramadan. I was reminded of it by a Saudi friend (a native of Najd) who gave me sweets to mark the occasion on his way to the mosque last Friday. And, incidentally, a handshake, of which his Imam might not have approved…heck of a nice guy.

  93. Habbabkuk,
    I feel honoured that my insignificant contributions are perused with such a care. You are right that one can also write “amici degli amici”. But “dei” is the more common abbreviated form of “degli” like “isn’t” is an equivalent of “is not”. Unfortunately, no prizes will be won for your attempted interlocution.

    Having waited a whole day for a call from Craig informing me that I have won his wonderful prize, I am a bit edgy. Somehow, and because of a tragic flaw in my character, I feel like committing a crime of Shakespearean proportions. Just like that McDonald, or whatever his name was, must have felt when he was riding high in the parliament, as someone called “Jerome” let us know in his marvelous explanation of the expenses cock up. The problem is that fellows like Macbeth do not usually survive such a fall. What are prisons built for, if not for those with some tragic flaws. Can you explain that Jerome, or are you in fact harry from StLuis who has recently attended some French lessons?

  94. Thanks, again, Vronsky – for your superb analysis at 11:34am, 4.11.12.

  95. Oh come on any outfit that is preparing to move its entire HEADQUARTERS to SAINSBURYS NINE ELMS “disabled toilet” with a linked secret entrance at CLAPHAM NORTH “DEEP SHELTER” is very likely to make other incredibly “iffy” decisions.

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