Saturday, 12 January 2008

When is a think tank not a think tank?

Peter Hain at Maesteg's new Tesco, a company linked to his campaign manager Steve Morgan

Peter Hain is wriggling like a worm on a hook and despite his defiant words about just wishing to move on (I bet he does) and getting on with his two jobs(double salary?), his days are surely numbered.

There was a time, believe it or not when public figures would resign their positions when they brought their party or office into disrepute. But that was a long, long time ago. These days they hang on for dear life and try and squeeze every last penny from the taxpayer before finally being dragged out of office. And boy is Peter squeezing.

But what about this little-known think tank that was established in 2006 and whose sole purpose seems to have been to bung money, with no questions asked into Peter's back pocket?

The Stink Tank, Progressive Policies Forum, with just one director, John Underwood, employs no staff and has not published any work since it was created. And yet amazingly there are still donors who pump money into it to help fulfil its objectives.

So what are its objectives? Well John Underwood had this to say:
"The Progressive Policies Forum - PPF - was established to promote progressive policies and to support the work of progressive politicians.

During 2007 it received donations from a number of individuals to help fulfil its objectives."

Now I have not yet tracked down the names of the individuals who made the donations to the PPF but what I would like to know is just what Peter Hain spend £180,000 on. Five times more than the winner for the job he was after. Were promises made if he was successful?

"After the Labour Deputy Leadership campaign it became clear that Peter Hain's campaign had significantly overspent and it was decided that contributions made to PPF should be used to help meet this overspend."
"Curiouser and Curiouser" cried Alice. And the reason the PPF has given for not being involved in any work in the form of new policy initiatives - the traditional activities of Stink Tanks is:
because its resources were put behind Peter Hain's deputy leadership campaign

Wriggle Peter wriggle. We are all enjoying this.

UPDATE January 13

Every Little Bit Helps. Right Peter.


1 comment:

IVAN said...

FULL DECLARATION OF DONATIONS FOR PETER HAIN

Date donation banked Donation amount declared Donor

04.06.07 £10,000 Mike Cuddy

Status: individual

06.06.07 £2,000 Patrick Head

Status: individual

06.06.07 £1,500 TM Communications

Status: company

12.06.07 £5,000 Bill Bottriell

Status: individual

14.06.07 £5,000 David Goldstone

Status: individual

14.06.07 £5,000 Robert Davies

Status: individual

14.06.07 £2,500 UCATT

Status: trade union

25.06.07 £5,000 Ronnie Harris

Status: individual

09.07.07 £5,000 Willie Nagel*

Status: individual

09.07.07 £1,990 Christopher Campbell*

Status: individual

08.08.07 £5,000 Steve Morgan*

Status: individual

04.09.07 £10,000 GMB

Status: trade union

13.09.07 £10,000 Isaac Kaye*

Status: individual

10.10.07 £25,000 (interest free loan) Willie Nagel*

Status: individual

19.11.07 £4,623.75 Isaac Kaye*

Status: individual

23.04.07 £1,346 (in kind) HRA Ltd

Status: company

June 2007 £4,197 (in kind) GMB

Status: trade union