Another Westminster lobbying scandal further devalues the British State
POLITICS and big money are never happy bedfellows, writes Jonathan Edwards MP.
The first question any politician should ask if they are offered financial incentives or hospitality is what do the providers want in return.
When Prime Minister, a part of David Cameron’s appeal was his clean-cut persona, ‘Call me Dave’ was incorruptible.
He brought forward the Transparency of Lobbying Bill to try and provide a narrative of propriety and to decontaminate the Tory brand, with a hidden agenda of neutering the Trade Union movement.
In my speech to the Commons at the time, I pointed out that the measures in the Bill would not deal with any of the great Westminster corruption scandals of recent decades – namely donations for dinners; cash for honours; cash for questions and the ministerial cab for hire of the last Labour Government.
Half a decade on and Mr Cameron is himself embroiled in the latest great Westminster corruption scandal involving opening the doors to the heart of Whitehall to an investment banker named Lex Greensill.
Mr Greensill ran his own company called Greensill Capital, which specialised in so-called supply chain finance – essentially the repackaging of debt.
From what I can understand as a mere mortal these types of companies offer a solution to credit supply problems in the real economy. As often in life, if it seems to be too good to be true, it probably is.
On leaving Office, Mr Cameron was offered a formal role in the company with an estimated shareholding valuing £60m.
Needless to say, the company found itself in difficulty.
The problem with over clever finance systems is that it takes only one link in the chain to get into trouble for the whole system to collapse.
Hence. calling in the £60m shareholding, Mr Cameron was deployed to covertly lobby the current government for bailout support.
The hypocrisy of the financial elite has always intrigued me.
Whilst they favour Hayekian laissez-faire capitalism for the real economy, they believe – as masters of the universe – they deserve public underpinning for their own industry.
We know Greensill received Coronavirus related support but have no idea of the sums involved.
Whilst Mr Cameron hasn’t broken any rules. However, the scandal raises all sorts of questions yet again about the incestuous relationship between big money and Westminster politics.
It is easy for these misdemeanours to be swept under the carpet; however, they underline rottenness at the heart of the British State.
Over the Easter recess, I have been reading the excellent book by the journalist Peter Oborne ‘The Assault on Truth’.
Oborne talks about the emergence of moral barbarism in the political tactics employed by Boris Johnson and the Conservative party where lies, deceit, smear and fabrication are endemic.
The normal rules of political engagement have been disregarded without challenge from a complicit London media, whom Oborne contends are now a mere propaganda arm of the government.
The new political norms have been spectacularly successful for Johnson.
He resembles the great Roman agitator Clodius, a member of the elite who chose a populist path to enrich himself by undermining the Roman Senate and institutional structures of power.
Inciting the mob in politics can be a very powerful tool, but the problem is it can unleash forces that can’t be controlled.
As Oborne stipulates, Johnson is undermining the very viability of the British State, for if a state is not a structure of political order what is it?
The time has come for us in Wales to forge a different path, where we can create an honest political discourse based on the noble aspiration of public service as opposed to Westminster’s promotion of personal enrichment.
- Wales’ longest station name: How it got its name, and what it means by Doug Evans
- Warning of serious disruption on M4 and M5 today due to fuel prices protest by heraldwales
- Abergeirw: The last village in Wales to get electricity by Doug Evans
- Top ten famous Welsh people by Elfed Jones
- Welsh Government paid £1m over asking price for farm by Jon Coles
- Wrexham complete first summer signing by James Hemingray
- Indigo Premiership fixtures released for 2022/23 season by James Hemingray
- Swansea Building Society marks milestone by donating to food banks by Cerys Lafferty