Wednesday, March 11, 2015

When James Palumbo gave the Lib Dems "fantastic expertise"

Reform on this scale needs to be across the board. But it’s unfair to expect politicians to do it as they don’t have the skill set. In a democracy 2.0 they would. 
Taking the politics out of politics may sound perverse. But it could restore our fortunes - and, ironically, our faith in politicians.
James Palumbo's silly article has been rightly panned today in the Liberal Democrats and beyond. It seems that the use of "skill set" is a marker of idiocy well beyond The Apprentice.

But there was a time when we Lib Dems were supposed to take Palumbo extremely seriously.

Back in 2013 Palumbo received his peerage in the same honours list as Rumi Verjee. Quite by coincidence, both men had recently made substantial donations to the party.

When their elevation to the period was questioned, a "party spokesperson" defended them in these terms - the eccentric spelling is the responsibility of the Huffington Post:
"Having myself gone out and leafletted with Rumi, I can guarantee that he has done campaigning and leafletting like the best of them. 
"Support for the party shouldn't just entirely be based on how many leaflets you put through the door. 
"As for Palumbo, when we were in difficulty moving from opposition into government, he gave us fantastic expertise. The party would not be where it is without their efforts."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mr Palumbo has given over £10,000 to Mr Alexander’s Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey branch of the Lib Dems, and has reportedly given more than £500,000 to the party over the past few years.

The donation was accepted on March 17th – but not declared in Mr Alexander’s register of interests until July 30th. Mr Palumbo was made a peer two days later.

The revelations follow a similar row about Domino-s Pizza entrepreneur Rumi Verjee, who was also made a peer at the beginning of August. Mr Verjee is reported to have donated around £800,000 to the Liberal Democrats.

In the run up to the 2010 General Election, the Lib Dems said that if they acheived power they would make a priority of cleaning up the discredited system of party donations and peerages being given to large donors. In a policy document published in 2009, the party stated: