Unbe-fucking-lievable.

I guess this stands as proof that Justin was right on the money when it comes to Charles Clarke.

Fresh from having to apologise to Rachel North’s father – the full story behind the apology is to be found here – we now find dear old Safety attacking Labour Party Treasurer, Jack Dromey:

Charles Clarke says he has “serious questions about Jack Dromey’s capacity” as Labour treasurer after the row over the £14m of secret loans to the party.

The home secretary told a Westminster lunch the fact Mr Dromey did not know about the loans meant “you have to wonder how well he was doing his work”.

So the fact that the party treasurer was kept in the dark about a series of secret loans from millionaire business that, according to one of the lender, Dr Chai Patel, were specifically solicited as loans and not donations in order to avoid having to declare them to the Electoral Commission is a sign that Dromey may not be up to his job, not that the party leadership have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar?

So, Safety, as John Prescott was equally in the dark about these loans deals, does that call his capacity into question, or does it suggest that these loans were solicited on the strictly need to know basis and those responsible for soliciting them decided that Prescott, Dromey, the rank and file of the Party and the wider electorate didn’t need to know.

The longer this goes on, the more it starts to take on the character of there being what amounts to a party within a party – and we all know what happened last time that idea emerged.

But, of course, Clarke may his own, rather more selfish reasons for trying to smear Dromey – after all the company, Capita, headed up by one of the donors who bunced the party a cool million before the election, Rod Aldridge, is not only making a nice living out of outsourced government contracts but is also one of the 160 companies to have registered an interest in bidding for contracts for the ID cards system, should that ever break free from the current Commons/Lords games of legisilative ping-pong.

But of course, that has nothing at all to do with the donation – does it…

  • “You have to wonder how well he was doing his work” is a perfectly reasonable thing to say about Dromey, it just depends who says it. I mean, where the hell did he think the money was coming from to pay for the election campaign?

    From someone like Charles Clarke though it just comes across as a petty, vindictive smear – an exercise in blame sharing – to which you’d be forgiven for mentally appending “…while my boss was accepting secret loans from millionaire businessmen”.

    I also wonder if Clarke has had the courage to say it to Dromey’s face as well as saying behind his back at a supposedly off the record lunch with women journalists.

  • Spot on, Justin. “What the hell was Jack Dromey doing?” is a sensible question, but Charles Clarke is smearing a colleague. This was a predictable development. Martin Kettle in the Grauniad got the knife in first.
    http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/martin_kettle/2006/03/every_dog_and_jack_dromey_has.html

  • Clarke Vs Dromey – They’re both crap
    Honestly? I think it may be both

  • CAPITA

    Drop the T for Tony

    Rearrange

    and it becomes

    AIPAC……….. The US political Slush Fund

  • redpesto

    “The longer this goes on, the more it starts to take on the character of there being what amounts to a party within a party – and we all know what happened last time that idea emerged.”

    Ah, but this time, as Tony Benn has pointed out, all the members are in the Cabinet.

  • I’ve read what Clarke wrote to Rachel North’s father three times now, and I cannot see any apology. What Clarke is saying is that Rachel’s father was rude to him (which Rachael seemed to say in the original posting as his first words were to accuse Clarke of ‘fixing the meeting’ – incidentally, Clarke denies this in the letter), and that Rachel’s father wouldn’t listen to any response.

    He regretted the fact that this might have caused offence… but if that is your idea of an apology, it’s not mine. It means I can call anyone I like a complete fuckwit… and regret any offence it might cause.