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...