Does Paul Flynn mean this?
Paul Flynn is one of the Labour MPs I respect. However, about the Labour Party's donation scandal he says:David Abrahams wanted to give money while protecting his privacy. He did not want to hunted and hounded by the jackals of the national press.
Labour party supporters are right to be furious that again we are being portrayed as the bad guys. Idiotic administrative failures of this kind do not compare to other scandals. Buying peerages is a utterly wrong. So is stuffing £50 notes in brown envelopes to ask PQs. Lobbyists treating politicians to buy votes is abominable.This is perceived to be worse than it is because it comes in the wake of other scandals involving party funding.
The point about the register of substantial donations is to identify where rich people (eg David Abrahams) are giving large sums of money and to identify if it is something which could be thought of as buying favours.
David Abrahams is a developer. Hence the fact that the government did him the favour of removing an objection to planning permission
for a £60m development could be seen to be easily worth £400,000.
The rules on donations are clear in that people should declare if they are acting as an agent. The Labour Party clearly knew what was going on (and would have a duty to check in any event).
The big question is who was involved both in the donations process and also in the Highways Agency's change of mind. This sort of thing only needs a quiet word in the right place. Finding a thread of emails will take some doing, but it stinks to high heaven.