How wonderful

Two former foreign secretaries are exposed for their involvement in a new “cash for access” scandal.

Jack Straw and Sir Malcolm Rifkind offered to use their positions as politicians on behalf of a fictitious Chinese company in return for payments of at least £5,000 per day.

Mr Straw, one of Labour’s most senior figures, boasted that he operated “under the radar” to use his influence to change European Union rules on behalf of a commodity firm which pays him £60,000 a year. He has been suspended from Labour following the disclosures, described by the party as “disturbing”.

Sigh.

And there will be calls that MPs must stop doing outside work in order to beat this. So, our political classes will end up with even less bloody experience of the real world.

Oh, and they’ll claim a pay rise to make up for it.

Finally, this gives you the clue about why people do bribe politicians. They’re so fucking cheap….

14 thoughts on “How wonderful”

  1. When pols have the power to decide what can be bought and sold, the first thing that will be bought and sold is the pols.

    Wise man, that O’Rourke.

  2. In what sense is “consulting” for a select lobby “experience of the real world”? I mean, that form of “consulting” is even more detached from real life than “management consulting”, if that is possible.

    And since politicians are so fucking cheap, we can indeed ban them from having any outside work, during their term in parliament, and for 5 years thereafter – on an MP’s full salary of course, as a “wind down payment”. Any form of corruption, “consulting work”, expenses fiddling (gross ripoffery rather than the odd missing receipt obviously) and so on means thirty years in the slammer without parole.

    After all, the lure of politics is all about making a difference for the rest of us, isn’t it?

    The problem isn’t MPs having no “real world” experience while in the commons, it’s them coming in to the commons with no prior real-world experience.

  3. It’s being called “Cash for access” now because “Cash for questions” is such a no no, too reminiscent of the many years of sleaze under the Conservative government of the 1990s.

    It’s a good thing Bill Cash has never got mixed up in this kind of thing or we’d have the Cash for Cash scandal. 🙂

  4. I think they are so cheap because of the laws of supply and demand. There are simply so many people in the Eurocracy who are taking bungs that it’s a sort of zero sum game.

    And if anyone is seriously expecting Straw to influence anything, when he’s spent his entire adult life licking arse, is beyond me. “Below the radar” is Straws modus operandi alright, but not quite in the sense that potential buyers are hoping. “Behind and below” is probably more accurate.

  5. A US politician whose name I forget was asked about his habit of accepting contributions from diametrically opposed interest group. Response:
    “If you can’t take people’s money and screw them, you shouldn’t be in politics.”

    Is it better or worse if Straw/Rifkin provide value for money?

  6. What is the specific offence? Failing to declare on the register of members’ interests money they haven’t received yet?

  7. you say cheap, and in some sense they are, but its a sliding scale – The interesting question – is it how far up the greasy pole that matters, or the network. I always imagined that the expensive ones were expensive because they understood how to keep their activities out of the public eye!

  8. ‘And there will be calls that MPs must stop doing outside work in order to beat this. So, our political classes will end up with even less bloody experience of the real world.’

    Have the Lords chosen by lottery. Would bring in a whole bunch of life-experienced members and put the tiger amongst the pigeons.

    Can you imagine the Commons dealing with people with a version of common sense who haven’t been inculcated into obedience?

  9. Wot BiG said.

    What “experience of the real world”? They aren’t being plumbers or window washers on the side, they’re promising meetings with TGATG for cash!

  10. What john miller says: the market is flooded with crooked politicians and so their price has crashed. From which it follows that UK parliamentary democracy has gone the way of all other outdated institutions.

  11. Just a thought.

    In the event that these two ludicrous, puffed-up cunts had been involved in genuine meetings, and had gone on to do stuff, presumably they would do so (or claim to do so) only if they believed what they were doing to be both in the interests of their clients *and* of the general public.

    In which case, why do they need £5k a half day to do it? Why not do it out of the goodness of their ‘public service’ hearts?

  12. And Another Thing: Rifkind is a chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee promising paid-for influence to a fictitious Chinese company. A good thing it was a sting by British journos, not a front for Chinese intelligence.

  13. Well, I was like the rest of you, thinking “what another pile of shit.” But I have to say, my eyes have been opened and a wonderous bounty I have beholden.

    Having been self-employed since Moses was a kid, I thought it was crap for benefits.

    Not so!

    Malc (for it turns out he is self employed too and apparently not an employee of the State) has shown me all the perks!

    I get a cheque for nearly £4k a month for doing fuck all. I get a pension of £3k a month, indexed linked. I get to claim loads more expenses than I ever thought was possible, and the tax man WILL NOT ask me about them! Best of all, that second home I bought, the State will pay for it to be done up and when I want to sell it I just tell HMRC it was my main res and bingo! no CGT!

    If it weren’t for Malc, I’d never have known…

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