04 March 2007

We Don't Need Another Hero

The State Of Play

Guido offers a splendid summary of the state of play on "loans for lordships". Everyone (except the most blinkered Labour acolytes) agrees that Labour's funding of their 2005 general election campaign deserved scrutiny. This funding was by way of secret loan arrangements from questionable sources such as David Garrard - a man for whom the Conservatives had erected a plaque in his honour as recently as 2003 and former Capita boss Rod Aldridge. The saga reveals a breakdown in the traditional checks and balances we expect from British democracy and undermines the assumption that Britain has a free press.

Heroes

Angus MacNeil, the charismatic SNP politician who formally lodged the complaint with the Met in March 2006 will deserve his place in history no matter what happens now - Inspector Yates too will never have to buy a drink again should he secure convictions. And of course Guido and Iain. But, that's it chaps. There are no more prizes on offer. We're in the final straight and it is time to let justice take its course. The job's done.

And?

If anyone is writing a book on cash for peerages and needs a proof-reader, I'd be happy to cast my eye over it, but other than ridiculing Labour holdouts my days of commenting on this cash for peerages investigation are (fingers crossed) largely behind me. Now we need to turn to examine the likes of Mittal, Ronnie Cohen and state funding for political parties.

2 comments:

Tom Paine said...

Cash for peerages is irrelevant now. The real action is on the potential charges of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, for which the sentence is up to life imprisonment (although not usually more than 10 years). Destroying evidence and lying to the police about it, for example, might be CTPTCOJ. So might leaking evidence to the BBC with the intent of engineering a mistrial.

The question exercising my mind is what happened between 1600 on Friday, when the email was leaked to the BBC (by Downing Street, if you believe the News of the World) and a couple of hours later, when the AG was applying for an injunction.

Ed Clarke said...

I am seriously worried that the whole thing is going to bring the whole of politics into disrepute, meaning that people will start "fending" for themselves and largely ignoring rules and regs.

I think we're in for a bumpy ride.