Gordon Brown reckons Peter Hain to be the right person, with the requisite skills, abilities and education to be in Cabinet as Work and Pensions Minister, (the latter brief being a subject dear to Brown’s heart as an object of pillage, you may recall). Yet this nincompoop cannot, apparently, fill in a simple form listing donations to his Deputy Leadership Campaign.

It beggars belief that this individual, who, in a Cabinet full of second-raters with enormously inflated views of their own self-worth, rates as low on the scale of competence to be called a third-rater, and whose perma-tan provokes more than just the odd snigger as he passes by, is incapable of taking out a pen and transferring the details of all the donations made to him for his run at the Deputy leadership of the Labour Party. Mind you, he is, like that other second-rater Des Browne, a part-timer, doubling up as Welsh Secretary, so perhaps he is finding the workload too much, as plainly Browne does.

Thus far he has managed to register just eleven such donations with the Electoral Commission, reflecting a total of £82,000 given to him. The most recent date of acceptance is in November last year from a Mr. Bottriel in the sum of £5,000. This individual had already given him £15,000 early on in the contest.

We now discover from the Guardian and the Times that there are yet more declarations to come including a possible one of £10,000 from the GMB Union. Mr. Hain has issued a statement:

“As I said in December, as a result of administrative failings within my campaign there were donations to my deputy leadership bid which were not registered within the normal time to the Electoral Commission.

“Since December I have undertaken a full audit of all donations to the campaign and have agreed with the Electoral Commission to provide the details of these late declarations to them, by the middle of January.

“I reiterate that this is deeply regrettable and I sincerely apologise.”

This simply does not add up. Even if he has failed to register another twenty donations, say, the obvious question is: does he do joined up writing yet?

Just how difficult is it to keep a record of thirty or forty donations and then record them on a form which is then submitted to the Electoral Commission?

And if he finds it so difficult to obey the law by keeping proper records of such a numerically small list of donations and then filling them in, how on earth can we expect him to do a competent job at Work & Pensions?

Or is it because he had been deliberately concealing these donations because he feels there is something dodgy about them?

And why is he being given such latitude by the Electoral Commission that he has now been given until Mid-January to do what he should have done months ago?

And what exactly cost more than £100k in this singularly inept campaign? It seems like a lot of moolah to me to run a campaign on which the winner spent only half that sort of money.

At best this reveals, if it needed revealing, that Peter Hain is a nincompoop. At worst it reveals he has been ‘well at it’ and has some serious explaining to do. Either way, why should this incompetent fool be in Cabinet looking after the nation’s pensions?

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