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Oracle sullied by political shenanigans

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Oracle - that most conservative of IT companies - has been dragged into the rather messy and sleazy world of politics.

According to the FT an Oracle "advert" that appears on the Labour Party Web site is now subject to an investigation by the Electoral Commission - the body that oversees fair play during elections.

New rules introduced earlier this year prohibit the acceptance of gifts or donations (in cash or kind) from foreign companies.

UK companies, UK subsidiaries of foreign companies and some EU-registered companies are allowed to make political donations.

Oracle UK signed a deal with Labour to support its Web site in 1999. Notwithstanding the fact that today's stuff and nonsense pre-dates the new rules it seems the problem stems from the fact that the "advert" (if you take a look, it's just a logo and a link but there you go) links to Oracle's US site - not its UK subsidiary.

So here's one answer: simply change the link on the Labour Web site so that it takes punters to Oracle's UK site and not its US dotcom.

A spokesman at Labour Party HQ was fairly unimpressed with the whole affair.

Not wishing to miss one electioneering trick he finished with his assessment of both Labour's and the Tory's Web sites.

"Our site offers rich localised content," he said. "The Tory's site is just an online leaflet." ®

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