Looks very much like ‘honest’ John’s memory is starting to go.
Fair’s fair, he has a point with his observation that:
“It does point out the hypocrisy of what they said at the time: ‘purer than pure’, ‘whiter than white’, ‘tough on sleaze; tough on the causes of sleaze’.”
Sure enough, there’s been Mandelson, Vaz and Blunkett plus Byers telling porkies to a select committee plus a bit dodgy stuff with Ecclestone and the ban on tobacco sponsorship and some iffy stuff with peerages and donations.
Against that we have – just from memory…
Stephen Milligan – death by auto-erotic asphyxiation plus self bondage and cross-dressing.
Jonathan Aitken – perjury and perverting the course of justice, sentenced to 18 month imprisonment
Jeffrey Archer – perjury and perverting the course of justice, sentenced to four years imprisonment
Neil Hamilton, Graham Riddick, David Tredinnick, Ian Greer and Tim Smith – cash for questions.
And that’s without getting into the nocturnal activities of David Mellor, Tim Yeo and dear old Steve ‘Shagger’ Norris.
All of which puts to the sword his comment that:
“This Government has not only had more of what loosely one might call ‘sleaze’, than the previous government – or any previous government – it actually has been much closer to the prime minister and most of the people who have been in difficulty would be those who call themselves Blairites rather than Old Labour.”
By my count that still puts us two prison sentences and a death straight off the pages of the collected works of the Marquis De Sade short of own government’s record.
And what of John himself – while he was lecturing the country of getting ‘Back to Basics’ it later transpired he’d been getting down to basics with Edwina Currie and possibly, if Max Hasting’s comments in ‘The Editor’ are to be taken as gospel, Sarah Hogg, a colleague of Hastings at the Daily Telegraph.
Remind me again of that saying about people in glass houses…
4 thoughts on “Major Bullshit”
There are significant differences though. Most of the Tories were not Cabinet ministers, nor was their punishment merely to go and stand in the naughty corner for a few weeks or months before being allowed back in to do the same sort of thing again.
And while Major may have been playing away from home (though not one assumes in a Chelsea shirt), that again is a little different from “dodgy stuff with Ecclestone and the ban on tobacco sponsorship and some iffy stuff with peerages and donations” I think.
So while this may be something of a relative albedo discussion between the pot and the kettle, he does have a point regarding the closeness to Blair, and Blair’s seemingly flexible attitude to honesty and propriety.
When did Major try to give himself the power to lock us all up for three months without trial, compile insane amounts of information on us all on a central database or advocate sending people he didn’t like off to dingy holes overseas to be tortured? “Sleaze” isn’t the word for Blair’s lot – it’s “Scary”. I couldn’t care less if the whole lot of them were shagging everything that moves as long as they continue to run the country safely and responsibly.
To witt: I hate Blunkett not because he shagged another man’s wife and then tried to destroy a family by claiming another man’s child to be his own – while fiddling expenses, manipulating the system and ignoring ministerial employment guidelines – but because he’s an illiberal bastard who did his utmost to destroy pretty much every liberty and right we’ve got in the UK. Give me sleaze any day.
“this may be something of a relative albedo discussion between the pot and the kettle”
It’s a credibility thing – fuck all to do with an genuine concerns about sleaze and everything to do with shilling for votes by claiming your opponent’s are a bunch of dirtbags.
If any of them genuinely gave a shit about this they wouldn’t have cut the shabby deal which passed the Inquiries Act without a full debate or third reading vote.
To paraphrase an old joke:
Q. What do you think about standards in public life?
A. It would be nice if there were some.