Watching Michael Gove defending the indefensible tonight was a treat. “Gove, someone’s got to go round the studios and take it on the chin for the party. Lord Ashcroft has released a statement admitting that he is a non-dom and has avoided paying taxes in the UK. David has chosen you! Do not let him down. Remember, David is pleased this has happened.”
The fact that a Freedom of Information request had been granted (for tomorrow) and that this information has had to be dragged out of the Tories over ten years following unseemly wriggling and sophistry to justify using a tax-exiles money to influence a General Election. Buy an election mister? Six million quid for 60 marginal seats? Bargain.
So poor Gove had an unenviable task and he clearly did not relish it. Blink rate high, gulp factor palpable and sticking to a single line of defence namely, “Labour do it too.” And they do, but they do not call their donors, ‘Vice-Chairman.’ That 'Vice' is just so appropriate.
Labour put up Jack Straw who contrived to make shooting fish in a barrel difficult. However, his problems became clearer when it was revealed that the law that Straw recently got through Parliament only makes it illegal for non-doms to contribute to elections, after the next election. Labour need the money and are prepared to forego any semblance of principle to get it.
Squirm upon squirm. Shame upon shame.