Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Labour's abrupt 'U' turn on no impropriety claim

The clunking fist Gordon Brown, was busily dismissing demands for a Whitehall investigation into the Byers, Hoon, Hewitt, etc. and the secret political influence for cash scandal, one strongly suspects hoping to sweep it under the carpet as soon as possible.

"Nothing to see here folks, move along please..."

He was desperately claiming it was not necessary to have a formal inquiry into whether Government ministers changed policy after being approached by bought colleagues.

Amid demands that the Prime Minister order a formal enquiry Brown let it be known he was "satisfied" that there had been no impropriety on the part of ministers in the Transport and Business departments. A spokesperson said "The Prime Minister has seen the statements from the departments and is satisfied that there is no impropriety."

Well it seems that after Byers and his chums were outed by the Channel 4 programme which secretly recorded the former ministers and everyone could make their own minds up directly the pretence could no longer be kept up.

One wonders how happy Mandleson and Adonis were to have been implicated in the matter, and how much truth there was in the original claims.

One wonders if Byers is now falling on his sword having belatedly realised he has transgressed against omertà. It must have finally dawned on him they know where he lives...

Those involved have finally been suspended from the Parliamentary Labor Party. Apparently the party's chief whip, Nick Brown finally decided enough was enough after back bench pressure, probably largely motivated by fear of the electoral damage Labour might suffer over the matter if they carried on pretending such behaviour was acceptable.

Maybe one day these so-called honourable gentlemen Wouldn’t that be refreshing…

Meanwhile... I am also contemplating the acquisition of a reinforced umbrella against the day geneticists develop a winged pig :-) In the previous case I am not planning on holding my breath waiting as the need for that umbrella is sadly probably far more pressing.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Crooked influence peddler's looking for buyers?

Well Labour’s former Transport minister the Honourable Stephen Byers along with some of his colleagues, Former Labour ministers the Honourable Geoff Hoon and the Honourable Patricia Hewitt have been caught in a sting operation touting for business.

Pedalling what political influence they have secretly to the highest bidder.

In his own words he was like “A cab for hire”.

He had boastfully claimed during a sting operation that he had surreptitiously engineered a deal with Transport Secretary Lord Adonis over the termination of a rail franchise contract. And that he had persuaded the Business Secretary Lord Mandelson to alter food labelling regulations on behalf of a major supermarket chain.

The chance of these being the only former ministers currently doing this are, one suspects, vanishingly small.

In an echo of the moral ambivalence MPs so amply demonstrated at length when caught fleecing the taxpayer by dubious expenses claims that would have resulted in any normal employer suspending the miscreants. Certainly reporting likes you or I to the police, probably followed by sacking.

He and his colleagues are insouciantly claiming they have done nothing wrong and they had complied with all the rules.

If that is the case it is simply another example of how endemic the failure of MPs moral compass is

After being confronted Byers tried to claim he was not actually like “a cab for hire” after all and that he had in fact “exaggerated”. Well we know that - his lips must surely have been moving when he was speaking after all. It is a polite way of putting it.

Those less inclined to be kind to him might interpret this to mean that the man is a self confessed liar..

The problem is deciding exactly how he is lying.

Lying to cover up his secretly influencing legislation for money?

...Or lying to all comers about how he can, for a sufficient bung, influence legislation to his potential customer’s advantage?

Difficult call...