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Thursday, 19 May 2016

Cllr James Allie and Ethical Standards

Cllr James Allie has been appointed to chair Brent Council's Standards Committee, which is ironic given his notoriously boorish behaviour.  This dates back many years.

I first came across him, when as Lead member he was invited to the first Scrutiny Committee I attended as a councillor. He was astonishingly rude _ speaking over people, claiming that they weren't allowed to ask him questions, refusing perfectly simple information.  He seemed to have no idea of how to behave normally.  Nothing of my experience of him in subsequent years has led me to change the low opinion I formed of him back then.  I imagine his chairmanship of the Standards Committee will simply be chaotic. 

What makes the choice even odder is his well known involvement in the Templar Vintners case.  This featured in both the local and the national press at the time.  However the most detailed description comes from a blog written at the time.  In that, and a subsequent blog, it appears that Cllr Allie's name was used to entice people into putting large sums of money into a fraudulent business. As the blog comments:

"A concerned client of Templar Vintners, who had paid for two cases – 2008 Ausone  and 2008 Lafite – received an email purporting to come from Allie but it is likely that it was sent by Moruthoane. It is thought that Allie had no active involvement in Templar Vintners and no charges were brought.
Clearly it was, at the least, careless and foolish of Allie to have  unwittingly allowed his good standing and reputation to help persuade potential customers to invest in a fraudulent scheme."
Anyone who follows the links will see an extraordinary story about how shamelessly people were ripped off in scams.  Cllr Allie does not appear to have been particularly alert in this saga.

It sounds like the monitoring of ethical standards in Brent Council will be handled with a light, even gossamer, touch.

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