Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bought and sold

Via The Englishman, I see that more information about NuLabour's first significant sleaze scandal has come out under a long FoI battle.
The documents - released to The Sunday Telegraph after a two-and-a-half year Freedom of Information battle - reveal that Mr Blair personally intervened to secure Formula One's exemption from the tobacco advertising ban just hours after meeting Bernie Ecclestone, the motorsport's billionaire boss.

The Government has always maintained that the meeting with Mr Ecclestone, a major new Labour donor at the time, did not influence the final decision to offer the exemption.

However the previously secret papers show that Mr Blair did order ministers to find ways to implement the "derogation" for Formula One after the meeting.

The revelation casts doubt on the version of events given by officials both to Parliament and to lobby journalists when the sleaze scandal first broke in 1997. The documents also show that civil servants believed draft statements on the affair, which were about to be made public, were "disingenuous".

The Ecclestone Affair was New Labour's first major scandal and a test of Mr Blair's leadership and his claim to be cleaning up British politics after John Major's government.

As the affair deepened with the revelation that Mr Ecclestone had donated £1 million to the Labour Party just months before the tobacco advertising climbdown Mr Blair faced calls to resign.

The Prime Minister appeared on the BBC's On The Record Programme to defend the exemption and to insist he was "a pretty straight sort of guy."

By the standards of the rest of the charlatans in his government, he may well have been (though I sincerely fucking doubt it). However, the Ecclestone affair set the tone for the NuLabour decade that has followed.

Whilst John Major's Tories were mired in allegations of sleaze, these were generally personal foibles, and the odd bit of minor corruption. This is not to excuse this disgusting behaviour, of course, but as we have found, it seems to be par for the course that just about everyone in the House of Commons is on the make one way or another.

What has set the NuLabour scandals apart is the fact that, from the very beginning, it has been government policy that has been for sale; there is a world of difference between a minor MP personally accepting large wads of cash in a brown envelope to ask questions in the House and the highest echelons of the government changing policy in exchange for donations to their political party.

The Ecclestone affair is just one incident that will ensure that NuLabour will be renowned as one of the single most corrupt executives that this country has ever seen. And the fact that it was this government that put in place the FoI legislation that has allowed the full details of such schemes to come to light will contribute to the entirely correct perception of NuLabour as one of the most incompetent too.


Patrick said...

Judging from the latest bank bail out schemes currently being implemented...

NuLabour's earlier corruption scandels will seem like small fry compared to this monumental theft in the form of massive inflation, borrowing and future taxation...

The filth that is the state has indeed managed to corrupt the many minds of good people throughout the world...

Anonymous said...

Could someone please contact Bob Piper and tell him that the labour party are a bunch of bastards, and to open his eyes at least every other day to see they are.

I cannot as I am on a `yellow card` for posting the word Bollox in relation to gordons/labours fiscal ability,.

chris said...

It was always the way; Labour scandals come from somebody with their hand in the till. Tory scandals come from somebody with their hand in the shop assistant.

Alan Douglas said...

Is there no way Blair can be charged under the criminal law, even now ?

Alan Douglas

Dick Puddlecote said...

FoI my arse. If it took the Sunday Telegraph and, no doubt, its lawyers, 2 and a half years to get to the truth, it's hardly Freedom is it?


James Higham said...

Not one word of untruth here.

Anonymous said...

Why write it then James..

Anonymous said...

James expects as much from the (Labour, of course) Prime Minister as he does from a blogger. In his words, if you once told a fib then you are no different from the Prime Minister changing government policy after receiving £1m.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of President Fernando Collor of Brazil 1990-92.
He came in all bright and bushy tailed and full of Blairite cr-p - was going to change the world etc

and lasted just under 2 and a half years after being found and indicted for " influence peddling "

ie selling favours and pocketing the lolly.

In this case the Brazilian party and governmental machine worked very effectively to see though the bullshit, nail the souce of corruption,ie Collor, and eradicate it.

He was voted out of the presidency by a massive majority of all parties.

Which makes me think the British system has become a whole lot more degenerate than the much derided Brazilian system.

Jones said...

Blair: Straight as a corkscrew bent double. Case proven.

I'd convict.

Anonymous said...

None of this should be any kind of surprise to people reading or commenting on this blog.

Blair always was, and always will be, an air-headed starf*cker. Him and Mandy made quite a pair of rentboys.

Oh how they love to service their gentlemen callers. Such enthusiasm, such discretion, such filth.

Of course, McDoom was a willing fluffer at Blair and Mandy's high-roller soirees. Never going as far as to take a spicy footlong up the deductibles, but still making a worthwhile contribution to the well-oiled goings on.

A working definition of socialism:

"Ugly kids giving away other people's stuff to make themselves look good"

Letters From A Tory said...

I cannot believe that Tony Blair has been allowed to get away with his behaviour as Prime Minister - surely he broke some rules along the way?!

Anonymous said...

Did you ever read Mary Anne Sieghart's account of how Prescott ordered his civil servants to investigate and then smear her after she wrote an article suggesting he wasn't very intelligent?

He lied, bullied and misused his department's resources in response to an unflattering comment by a journalist, the sort of thing every politician ought to deal with every day. He even issued the directive on Local Government investments. And he was right at the top for 10 years.

They should face punishment for such misuse of power, not merely loss of generous entitlements. Their legacy will be disastrous and enduring. They should be made to suffer for it.

Anonymous said...

No real surprises there then...

I can't believe the wanker spends all his time in the Middle East, shuttling between Israel & Palestine, and no fucker's yet had the competence to cap the war-mongering, pocket-filling, self-loving twat.

Very disappointing..

Anonymous said...

Biometric Martyr:


"Ugly kids giving away other people's stuff to make themselves look good"

That's made my day. Thanks. Admittedly, it's been a slow day....

Anonymous said...

Its worse than corrupting public policy. It is taking money in order to allow the deaths of innocents.

After all, if banning tobacco ads and sponsorship did not save lives, Labour would not have proposed it would they?

NHS Fail Wail

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