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ckn

The Coalition and their ethics

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Just seen a news report where an old woman died and left £500k to the "government of the day to use as they see fit" (or something similar).  The Coalition in their wisdom decided that "government" really meant "political party in charge" and split it into the party coffers of the Tory and Lib Dem parties, essentially pocketing the money.

 

Now, correct me if my constitutional law is rusty but there's a big difference between a political party and the government.  The leader of the party that wins the general election (or in this case the coalition) is invited by the Queen to form a government, she doesn't invite the parties to form a government.  The political parties are an arm of the legislature, the government is the executive, constitutionally separate.  For me, it's a no-brainer, they had no legal basis to take the money and certainly no ethical or moral claim to the money.

Ah well, there goes the £500k in legal fees with the inevitable challenges in court.  At least the lawyers will be kept happy.

 

What it does say to me is that there's some seriously challenged ethics and morals within the Coalition parties' leadership if they think that this is acceptable or in any way right.  (Note: I've few doubts that the other parties would have joined in with the grab if they have a chance so it's not a party political point on behalf of Labour or UKIP).

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They had no legal basis for the money, I think you're right there.  But whoever drafted that in the Will needs to be re-educated.  Awful and vague, with no legal direction, meaning it's highly unlikely to ever have the benefit the woman wanted.

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see http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/biggest-and-most-bizarre-party-donation-ms-joan-edwards-leaves-520000-to-whichever-government-is-in-office-8760153.html

 

and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2392343/Grasping-politicians-pocket-Joan-Edwardss-500-000-legacy-bequeathed-government.html

 

one is more histrionic than the other.

 

Certainly on the surface ( and possibly all the way through) it is absolutely disgraceful.  But the Independent report seems a little more balanced. In any case, giving it to "the government is a complete waste as they'll just ###### it down the drain. 

 

Of course, it is always possible that  the press don't have the whole story

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There's a couple of lawyers arguing that the wording suggests that it is meant for the parties not 'Government'.  I'm not sure I see it that way.

 

joanedwardswill460.jpg

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Certainly " absolute discretion" is a bit wooly....NOT.   A missed opportunity for coalition PR, though. Could have used its "absolute discretion" to give the money to charities related to  her cause of death. That would do far more good than just giving it to the fat cats at  the top of the NHS.

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There's a couple of lawyers arguing that the wording suggests that it is meant for the parties not 'Government'.  I'm not sure I see it that way.

On the fine legal points, the simple point that political parties are part of the legislature and "government" is part of the executive makes this a fairly easy point to win if you're an interested party.  As a point of proof, Gordon Brown's extended government cabinet contained people who were not Labour Party members in his "Government of all the talents".

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And just as I typed, a ticker came up with the Lib Dems saying they've given the money to the Treasury.

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And just as I typed, a ticker came up with the Lib Dems saying they've given the money to the Treasury.

 

The government giving the money to the Government.

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Surely the executor interprets the wills intention? If they give it to the parties then it's their decision?

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And just as I typed, a ticker came up with the Lib Dems saying they've given the money to the Treasury.

 

#####. now no one will benefit.

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The Tories have now done the same.

 

£500k in the Treasury coffers is better than £500k in the political parties'.  Although in terms of the overall government budget it's quite trivial, it's still a fairly sizeable sum that most government departments could find a good use for.

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The Tories have now done the same.

 

£500k in the Treasury coffers is better than £500k in the political parties'.  Although in terms of the overall government budget it's quite trivial, it's still a fairly sizeable sum that most government departments could find a good use for.

 

The government will, in their absolute discretion, do precisely all of note with it.

 

A very naive and pointless legacy.

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The government will, in their absolute discretion, do precisely ###### all of note with it.

 

A very naive and pointless legacy.

On your last sentence, I agree.  If you've no family or friends you wish to have your money then it's far better to pick something that suits your lifestyle and donate to an appropriate charity or organisation.

 

That said, it was her money and she can do as she sees fit with it.  If she wanted it to be stuffed in her coffin and cremated with her then that's her call.

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If I'd done that, my relatives would have replaced the  cash in my coffin with a  cheque.

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They will probably pay a consultant on £25k a week to investigate where it should be spent. Then it will be decided that it should be spend on employing a project manager incharge of waiting time targets.

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So after all that it seems that she did intend to give the money to the parties.

 

Wonder if the Tories and Lib Dems will get an apology?

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 'At the time of the instructions received from the late Miss Edwards, the Solicitor specifically checked with Miss Edwards about the unusual nature of her proposed bequest and it was confirmed by Miss Edwards at the time of her instructions that her estate was to be left to whichever political party formed the Government at the date of her death.'

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The lawyers need a beating then about producing such an unreadable and imprecise legal document.

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 'At the time of the instructions received from the late Miss Edwards, the Solicitor specifically checked with Miss Edwards about the unusual nature of her proposed bequest and it was confirmed by Miss Edwards at the time of her instructions that her estate was to be left to whichever political party formed the Government at the date of her death.'

 

Sorted.  They can have the money back then.

 

A non story becomes even more non.

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The lawyers need a beating then about producing such an unreadable and imprecise legal document.

 

I disagree strongly!

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.The lawyers need a beating for being lawyers.   :hunter:

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Its a shame she didn't leave her money to the NHS. They could have used it for THIS

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A bit of an August political non-story from the Daily Flail for me, with Labour politicians expressing their faux "astonishment." It might have been a story if the parties had turned down donations from this lady...

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