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Thursday 12 February 2015

Fink Spin Digs Him In Deeper

Whether it was his own idea, or it came from someone within the Tory Party, Stanley Fink’s belated retaliation against Mil The Younger has left him covered in more than embarrassment, after an excursion into the arena of creative spin went so wrong that even the Guido Fawkes blog was unable to give him its unequivocal backing. The result is that Miliband will, once again, find his ratings boosted by the encounter.
Fink, as I told earlier, took exception to Miliband saying “Let us take Stanley Fink, who gave £3 million to the Conservative party. The Prime Minister actually appointed him as treasurer of the party and gave him a peerage for good measure. Will he now explain what steps he is going to take about the tax avoidance activities of Lord Fink?”. He asserted that the Labour leader’s remarks were “untrue and defamatory”.

Then he wrote to Miliband stating “I find it extraordinary that you have made claims against me that are without foundation or without contacting me. I challenge you to repeat your allegation outside the House of Commons – or to withdraw it publically [sic]”. The Labour leader proceeded to do just that in a visit to his old school this morning. Fink also admitted he had indulged in tax avoidance. So was that the end of the matter?

You jest: clearly the Tories had decided their man needed to fight back, and so back he fought, claiming “Yesterday I challenged Ed Miliband to repeat the accusations he made in the Commons – that I used an HSBC bank account to avoid tax and that I was a 'dodgy donor’. He did not. This is a major climbdown by a man who is willing to smear without getting his facts straight”. And, as Jon Stewart might have said, two things here.

Miliband did not say that Fink used an HSBC account to avoid tax, and nor did he call him a “dodgy donor”. So it was hardly worth whoever dreamed up the spin turning up. The record in Hansard is clear: the questioning of Young Dave over Fink, and the comment about “dodgy donors” are separated by Cameron’s answer to the first point. That has not stopped the more faithful Tory supporters trying their best to pile in in support.

The Mail claimed “Ed Miliband believes his row over 'dodgy' Tory donors avoiding tax is a 'Millie Dowler moment' where he can stand up for the public against the rich and powerful” (no he doesn’t - ask BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson) and that he had “pointed the finger at former Tory treasurer Lord Fink for holding a bank account with HSBC's private Swiss arm”, which was also wrong.

So when the Mail then said “The remark is reminiscent of Mr Miliband's politically-toxic revelation that he hoped to 'weaponise' the NHS to win votes at the election” (hacks may care to run that one past the Beeb’s man, too), no it isn’t. Even the Fawkes blog had to admitFink/the Tories are now focussing on the word ‘dodgy’. Which was not mentioned in his letter yesterday”. Make your mind up, m’Lord.

Miliband had already won the battle. Then the Tories let him win it all over again.

1 comment:

rob said...

Someone on Twitter has come up with the idea that "everyone" not a tax avoider should sue Lord Fink for defamation.

Suggest any potential "winnings" be donated to the NHS, as having been deprived for decades of investment from a percentage of wealthy tax avoiders income.

Perhaps the Tory Government could do it as agent for the plebs (hah!).