Monday 26 April 2021

Greensill: Actually, The Treasury Done OK (Eventually)

Reading what is, presumably, only the first batch of Cameron messages we're to be regaled with, I'd say his email approaches to various players within Whitehall were succinct, eminently plausible-sounding, and all-in-all really quite adroit, given the mission he was set on to accomplish.  We'd probably expect nothing less.

In all the covid-chaos of the time when really big bad, panicky decisions were being made on an industrial scale, I'd further say that it was a bloody miracle he didn't get his way.  Not least, when you consider the dodgy vehicles that were being ushered into the 'VIP Lanes', left right and centre.

Let us now launch into pure inference.  It seems such a bloody miracle, one then has to suspect the Treasury had already got Greensill's number in no uncertain terms (eventually, after years of over-indulgence).  If that's right, we may be mightily glad of it.  Would that informed official skepticism always thus prevailed.

As regards Cameron, if this account is even vaguely true then he really has prostituted himself.  (To get one over on Osborne and the Blairs ..?)  Plenty of people aren't remotely surprised, but I rather am.  Getting naive in my old age.  



dearieme said...

My inference is simple. If Cameron expected that some e-mailing and phone-calling would induce a bit of corruption from HMG it is probably because in his day the policy would have succeeded.

In other words it now seems likely that the government he led was somewhat bent.

Which ex-PM would have been corrupting it? Who do you think?

Harsh but harsh said...

Theresa May earned £230,000 for two speeches.
That’s Theresa May.

That no one wanted to listen to for free.

Anonymous said...

ND - I've just read Dom Cummings' blog post

and it strikes me that it's a tad foolish (from a national interest perspective) to burn his boats with the PM - the only people pleased by this will be those who hate both DC and the PM.

And now we have the "thousands will die but lockdown must be lifted", which does sound like the authentic BoJo bloviating - see the Mayor in Jaws who kept the beaches open

but of course that IS the issue - we can carry on at arms length and all be very safe - currently running at less mortality than usual for April

or we open up and some people will get ill, and some people will die, even with the vaccines.

We all know BoJo likes to run his mouth and is a bit challenged in the principles department - that's not changed from a couple of weeks ago, when the Tories were riding high and Labour were confidently expecting to lose Hartlepool, or indeed form December 2019. But there does seem to be someone or some people close to government who are deliberately stirring things. I'm old enough to remember a Prime Minister, an intelligent man, who was convinced that MI5 were trying to stitch him up. Someone seems to be trying hard to stitch up this administration.

Briefing against Cummings, whoever was doing it, is pretty clever, because Dom will fire back, as he has. Shame, and I'm sorry he's gone - I felt about his departure the way Churchill felt about Eden's resignation in 1938

"There seemed one strong young figure standing up against long, dismal,drawling tides of drift and surrender, of wrong measurements and feeble impulses. My conduct of affairs would have been different from his in various ways; but he seemed to me at this moment to embody the life-hope ofthe British nation, the grand old British race that had done so much for men, and had yet some more to give."

Nick Drew said...

What you say is genuinely interesting in its own right ("clever, because Dom will fire back"), anon:

but also interesting that it has successfully taken Cameron out of your thoughts, and those of many others ...

Nick Drew said...

What you say is genuinely interesting in its own right ("clever, because Dom will fire back"), anon:

but also interesting in that it has, it seems, successfully displaced Cameron from your thoughts, and those of many others ...

Anonymous said...

ND - are you suggesting some kind of "stay-behind" Cameronian sleeper has been activated? That suggests dishonesty, foresight and competence, only one of which qualities Cameron exhibits*.

The Guardian/BBC axis will always go for the incumbent rather than yesterday's man - Cameron is to them merely a means to an end. The end being to paint the Tories as a dodgy bunch - which they are, but all the alternatives are worse!

* don't ask me to score Boris by that metric! But he has a priceless asset - he's a card, a cheeky chappy. Inshallah he'll front this latest "piles of bodies" stuff out, the Guardian will have kittens over his shamelessness (lots more Rafael Behr in the Guardian), and they'll win Hartlepool to precipitate another Labour Party crisis!

Nick Drew said...

There's a suitably devious account here

It's not just the Guardian/BBC axis, anon - the Mail is going for it full-bore

You know what I think

that was 1st Jan. To his "legacy" at that point - defeating Corbyn / passing the Brexit Act - I could have added "prsiding over the vaccine triumph". I suppose if the Tories shortly force a(nother) Labour crisis, as you suggest,, he could bank that as well**. But it looks like downhill all the way from here: what sort of a figure will he cut at COP26? (which he intends to be a personal triumph) - and at what cost? We may get a harbinger at G7 this summer

Also, plenty of serious shit to come flying out which, even if it doesn't stick directly, still piles up in big mounds around his ankles

For me, biggest question is: could Boris possibly be the one to see off the SNP in a productive way? Can't see it meself

**But actually, another Labour crisis right now might see off Starmer, which isn't necessarily helpful

Anonymous said...

The Mail since Dacre left isn't what it was, while still (mostly) The Paper Of Record.

But who on earth can you see as a Boris replacement***? There is 3.5 years left of this Parliament, I can easily see the BBC/Guardian** axis going into full "an election now is the only constitutional option" mode if he goes.

*** Boris's main job is to get Ulster sorted asap - I imagine this is just the kind of thing that Dom would have been good at - in the sense of sorting the paperwork/bumph issue for exports to single market - this is crying out for a good, intelligent IT implementation, which is free to use for exporters. Get a tiger team together, one end talking to the civil servants who (hopefully) understand the rules, one end talking to exporters/people on both sides of the Irish Sea, both ends talking to each other and to the guys in the middle who'll build the thing. Don't for God's sake hand the whole project out to Crapita or Serco.
Do that and you've got
a) probably 80-90% of a whole-EU solution
b) lots of good data on who's exporting what

** I really don't know how much to be bothered by what the Guardian and BBC think is news these days. The BBC news totally ignored what was probably over 100,000 people* in London on the weekend (imagine if they'd been BLM or climate protesters), just as they totally ignored a year of Gilets Jaunes protests just across the Channel. They aren't news reporters, they're narrative merchants. I can't understand why they can't see their coverage (or lack of) is eating away at license fee support.

As for the Guardian, they have been into suppressio veri and suggestio falsi for much longer than the BBC. Never forget the "Only 13,000 people will come when A8 join" report.

* who I mostly disagreed with, but it was a huge anti-lockdown protest and should have been reported, probably as the main story, not totally ignored.

Jan said...

Following on from anon above, we do have a serious problem with the BBC. It is supposed to be a source we can rely on but increasingly it just pushes it's own line and resorts to the "he said the said" tittle tattle narrative. We all know Boris has a flambuoyant style and is prone to hyperbole so no-one takes the line about bodies in the street as a serious viewpoint yet the BBC on the Today programme this morning went on and on about it with Therese Coffey defending Boris and being rudely interrupted by Justin Webb every time she opened her mouth. In an interview which I think was about 5 mins long she had 4 minutes of defending Boris and probably less than 1 minute at the end to talk about the DWPs new scheme to help young people back into work which was presumeably why she was there and I for one would have liked to hear more about.

We are paying to receive the BBC TV output yet for news coverage I now rely on AlJazeera for the most neutral output and also RT who at least covered the "gilets jaunes" protests ignored by the BBC. If on occasion I feel able to stomach the left wing woke bias I watch Ch4 or Sky

E-K said...

If Boris gets us out of lockdown quick all problems will disappear... Cummings, Cameron ... the lot. He will be a hero.

If he doesn't then the Tories are dead and buried.

100,000 protested against lockdown at the weekend.

It was ignored by the state broadcaster (on the BBC XR and BLM command airtime with a few hundred) which tells you all you need to know.