Tuesday, 24 February 2015
Rifkind and Straw - guilty perhaps, but not for Cash for Access sting
So to the latest 'scandal' around Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind. Mr Straw has has a poor career as a politician, thought holding high office he never did so with any aplomb and as a man of weak character has bowed to his masters' wishes, be their political or electoral, at every turn. As such his policy making was a mess and his best lines were saved for justifying whatever iniquitous decision was that he had just made. Malcolm Rifkind would come out better, but for his stewardship of the complete collapse of the Tory party in Scotland, including his own seat, which has then led to a chicken run to the safety of Kensington and Chelsea.
And finally, it is noticeable that heir progeny both seem to have benefited nicely from the nepotistic opportunities provided to them by their father relative fame.
All in all, so typical and formulaic of many a politico.
Yet, I watched this 'Dispatches' programme last night which was supposed to indict such men so badly. Both were keen to stress the rules about how they could help this Chinese company, both were also prone to over-playing what effect their small efforts might make - whilst making clear their demands for filthy lucre were substantial. What is there to see here? Nothing. Neither offered to actually make a real difference, a few introductions here and there is hardly the stuff of which conspiracy is made. Also, to what end those introductions, it was hardly offering to suggest changes to direct legislation.
As an election approaches both men will be hung out to dry for fear of further pushing the anti-Politics message of UKIP to the detriment of both Labour and Tory parties. But in truth this is a poor sting attempt and the Telegraph/Channel 4 should be ashamed that this is the best they could do - clearly showing the programme and over-doing its findings in the newspaper for effect rather than legal reality.
Of course, neither man deserves peerages or guarantees of nice future earnings due to their poor performance in office, so perhaps hubris has found its own winding way in the end.