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Nothing to see here folks? Not so fast! July 17, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

I’m not sure I agree with Newton Emerson in regard to the NI political donations row. He argues that:

Pressure is building for more disclosure on political donations in Northern Ireland. A long-standing exemption to the UK’s donor transparency law was lifted two weeks ago by James Brokenshire, the secretary of state.


The media smells a rat and is focusing on a £425,000 donation made last year to the DUP, which was spent on a pro-Brexit ad in a newspaper that circulates only in Britain.
Donor secrecy was apparently used as a conduit for Brexit campaign funds and now the British government stands accused of covering that up. All this pressure is a result of the DUP-Tory deal. The UK spotlight has turned on Northern Ireland politics in a way it never has before – even during the Troubles, which were reported at the time a security story.

He notes that there has been movement. But he continues:

If the intention was to head off further demands for openness, it has not worked.
The opposition and the press sense weakness and believe they can force more disclosure back to 2014. They may be right – but they are likely to find any results disappointing.

Sure. And he notes that donations have largely been in line with the rest of the UK, albeit smaller because the scale of NI politics is smaller.

But that’s not the point. The real point is the £425,000 donation to the DUP – money which as the IT itself notes was spent in part on advertising in favour of Brexit in London’s Metro newsletter, a publication unavailable in Northern Ireland.

And this is something that exercises those in England and Scotland and Wales greatly as evidenced by media and political interest.

That’s the real story here – albeit one would imagine he would welcome greater transparency all around, I know I would.


1. Phil - July 17, 2017

It’s a free daily (Monday to Friday) newspaper, and it’s distributed in a whole range of British cities as well as London. Not in NI, though, which makes that donation look either remarkably altruistic or a bit smelly.


WorldbyStorm - July 17, 2017

I didn’t realise it appeared in other cities than London. Interesting.


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