What is it about Labour’s friends in the North?
Even when things are going well for a Prime Minister a Wednesday morning is probably not the best of times to be around Number 10. Over-shadowing everything when parliament is in session is Prime Minister’s Questions – the weekly ritual that has to be surmounted and where the post-holder can only guess at what he is likely to be asked.
Gordon’s usual day, we are told, starts very early with a look at the papers and these will not bring much comfort. The donations scandal involving Mr. Abrahams or Mr. Martin, whatever he likes to be called, has exploded as more names are revealed of people who have acted as proxies for him.
Also interesting are the revelations about the selective nature of his support.
Thankfully for Gordon his leadership campaign refused money from this source although at least one of the campaigns of those running for deputy were beneficiaries.
Then there was Labour’s campaign in July’s Sedgefield by-election to replace Tony Blair, which is said to have been bank-rolled by Abrahams/Martin via proxies.
To get a sense of what Abrahams is like there is an an excellent piece by Stephen Pollard on his Spectator blog which was referred to on the thread yesterday and which is well worth reading.
Pollard recalls meetings the Fabian Society, where he worked, from 1992-1995. “One of the regular – indeed, one of the most assiduous – attendees at those meetings was David Abrahams. He would mix, as would everyone in that milieu, with backbenchers, front benchers, NEC members and Shadow Cabinet members..Many of those people are now ministers. Others are Cabinet members, some very senior. It is possible – just – that when they say they have no idea who David Abrahams is, or cannot recall ever meeting him, they are telling the truth. It is, after all, possible that there are people in the country who have never heard of, say, Gordon Brown. Possible, yes; but very, very unlikely..Indeed, far from keeping himself to himself, as is being written, Abrahams was about the pushiest person I ever came across in my time at the Fabians – and in politics, that is saying something.
Abrahams’ explanation of his behaviour makes little sense. Can he really have gone from being one of the pushiest and most self-aggrandising people I came across to being so afraid of publicity that he channelled donations through other people? I don’t think we have got remotely to the bottom of the Abrahams side of this story.”
Meanwhile on the next general election spread betting markets the buy price for Tory seats is now above 300.