Peter Hain is incompetent. That much is clear not only from his failure to register several donations, but also from his botched confession to the ones not declared due to ‘administrative error’: he told us about one last week and now owns up to several more. He is also in charge of our Pensions.

He has registered thus far ten donations worth £77,000 to his campaign for the Deputy Leadership. Then last week he confessed he had failed to register one more donation, this from Jon Mendelsohn, who just happens to be Gordon Brown’s chief fundraiser. This would have taken Hain’s donations to £82,000.

You would have thought that someone in his team might have checked the return to the electoral commission and realised it was also short of a several other donations to Hain’s failed campaign. But neither they nor he (who bears ultimate responsibility as the ‘regulated donee’) seems to have bothered to do the job of setting the record straight properly. And it is not as if we are talking about thousands of donations.

This nincompoop runs some rather important branches of the State which the Department of Work and pensions adumbrates on its website:

Jobcentre Plus

Provides an integrated service to people of working age. It offers help to people looking to move into work and support for people who can’t. Jobcentre Plus also provides a range of services to help employers fill their vacancies quickly.

The Pension Service

is a dedicated service for current and future pensioners. It provides state financial support to over 11 million pensioners delivered at a national and local level and in partnership with other organisations. It also helps people to plan and provide for retirement.

Child Support Agency

is responsible for running the child support system. It assesses, collects and pays Child Support Maintenance, ensuring that children whose parents do not live together are financially supported.

Disability and Carers Service

support disabled people and their carers, whether or not they work. It is responsible for delivering Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance and Carer’s Allowance.

The Health and Safety Commission and Health and Safety Executive

protect people’s health and safety by ensuring risks at work are properly controlled.

The Rent Service

provides a rental valuation service for housing benefit purposes, fair rent valuation for landlords and tenants, and advice to customers within the public and private sectors on these issues.

Debt Management Service

provides a debt management service to the Department, from overpayment calculation through to recovery of debt.

If he cannot manage to register a few donations or organize a proper confession to failing to declare them, how can we expect him to run the complexities of the, say, the Child Support Agency (an outfit notable for its blunders), or our pensions? After all, filling in a form and sticking your signature on the bottom is not too difficult, is it? Or perhaps it is………Makes a bit of a mockery of the concept of anything being safe in Labour’s hands, doesn’t it?

Still, I reckon Vanity Blair must spend large parts of his day laughing himself to death at his enemy’s discomfiture. How Christmas has come early for him and the ghastly Cherie!

UPDATE: Guido Fawkes has an interesting angle on this tawdry little tale here.

The Western Mail article is here. The sum of £11,550 is apparently a tithe which Labour party rules requires be paid as a percentage of such donations.