Tuesday 24 February 2015

Rifkind and Straw - guilty perhaps, but not for Cash for Access sting

As regular readers will know, we hold little candle for Politicians here. They are in general venal, usually corrupt in both morals and financial accument as well as viewing their career as one long ego trip. But there we are, only the type of person desiring of the above lifestyle would put up with the mendacious hassle of being a politician in the UK.

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.


Diogenes said...

Both men are products of the UK's political system. At every level within politics you see the same self-interest, greed and tribalism. Self interest is the currency. Favours are the product. [You may have even seen this first hand yourself]

But take heart, we are one of the world's least corrupt kleptocracies.

Electro-Kevin said...

Easily bought and easily fooled.

Why so expensive, is my question.

Nick Drew said...

Straw is one of the biggest, shiftiest sh*ts in public life

however, somewhat unexpectedly, as Home Sec he was highly regarded by his civil servants for decisiveness, consistency & political effectiveness

ho hum

Sebastian Weetabix said...

Probably because the FDA members in the Home Office are shifty authoritarian shits themselves; they recognise a fellow member of the club. The fact he bears a striking resemblance to Lavrenti Beria probably helped as well.

Jan said...

Interesting that the DT and Despatches chose one from Labour and one Tory and both previous Foreign Secretaries...in the interests of balance perchance?

CityUnslicker said...

Jan - more weirdly they picked a few but both these one the ones to fall for it - or perhaps were the highest profile for the muck raking attempt?

takes yer pick..

Steven_L said...

If there is anything in this, the real story would be the corruption of the bureaucrats, technocrats and serving ministers etc that allow themselves to be subject to undue influence from their powerless, has-been drinking buddies.

Budgie said...

CU, It is a sad reflection of your, and perhaps our, tired cynicism with UK politicians that the current sordid behaviour of Rifkind and Straw can be dismissed so easily.

However, as well as the political prostitution, Rifkind insisted he was entitled to more than an MP's salary. That sums up the odious establishment. Straw was far worse in being part of the admitted conspiracy by New Labour to force change British culture by mass immigration.

So, one with an inflated idea of his entitlements and the other a traitor. Not bad for a "poor sting attempt".

Electro-Kevin said...

Budgie - It's a measure of true levels of inflation. (MPs being disatisfied with their salaries.)

Mark Wadsworth said...

"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."

Two typo's in one sentence. Way to go.

dearieme said...

@Mark: I thought "heir progeny" was rather inspired.