The case of Hoon, Hewitt, Moran and the execrable Stephen Byers in the journalistic sting operation around “cash for influence” is being used as a stick with which to beat Labour. Probably something to do with the seven Tories who steered well clear of the operation. What strikes me, however, is that surprise in any form just demonstrates ignorance.
If we look at the Tory Shadow Cabinet for a moment, Andrew Lansley, in charge of the Tory drive to increase privatised healthcare provision, accepts donations from the chairman of Care UK. Alan Duncan, one-time energy spokesman, took money from the chairman of oil traders Vitol. Osborne is in it up to his neck with hedge funds.
Grant Shapps, housing spokesman, was funded by mortgage brokers. Theresa Villiers, once shadow Chief Treasury Secretary, was backed by investment banks.
And, when they leave office, after a term of government, they’ll be rewarded with positions on the boards of various companies. More dignified than Hoon etc trying to pimp their ‘achievements’ for money, certainly, but no different in principle at all. These companies aren’t recruiting parliamentarians for philanthropic reasons.
Both parties are in this up to their necks. There’s no use the Tories using the opportunity to make a partisan point – there’s no partisan point to be made. Ex-politicians go to work for private industry. From shadow cabinet to cabinet to PM to the President of the United States himself. It just turns out that Labour hacks are a little more gullible.
I’m just shocked Hoon hasn’t pulled out the “patriotic duty” card.
On Radio 4 this morning, Hoon was queried as to his use of “inside information” to help American arms manufacturers take over European companies that would be made vulnerable by a reduction in EU defence spending.
It seems like there’s an easy answer to that: European jobs and security depend on this American “investment” and “research expertise” if European governments decrease spending, don’tchaknow!
As for Stephen Byers helping price fixing companies to “get around the law”, well there’s two options. On the one hand, he could claim that his is a revolutionary exposition of the basic monopolistic drive of capitalism.
Or he could attack “meaningless regulations” for holding back the spirit of British enterprise and causing British business to fall behind the rest of the world. There’s perfectly acceptable corporate guff public policy narratives for all situations.