Greed triumphs over lust for power

Even the Tory blogs haven’t registered the full impact of the Dispatches sting operation yet. Are they worried about tempting fate? ConservativeHome’s webpage presents the cornucopia of stories that sets the scene of the most confusing pre-election period ever. Labour’s problem was getting caught on camera over lobbying. Polls are still narrowing, yet the Force seems with the Conservatives, who get a boost from the news under the Sun classic headline “Wham Bam” Sam Cam set to be Mam”. The three suspended former cabinet ministers make the usual pleas that they acted within the rules but yet again this makes no difference. Like expenses, paid lobbying has been a poorly concealed IED waiting to go off. And if you haven’t had enough, there are all those undeclared foreign jollies. Labour are desperate to share the pain with the Tories but I claim no originality in feeling that the stench is overpowering and whatever they do this could be the last nail in Labour’s coffin. Labour’s fading hopes rest with tomorrow’s Budget giving voters’ hope that payback time after the election mightn’t be as dire as they fear….

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London

  • The Tories may be soft-peddaling on this because of the reasons you’re outlining, but Tory blogger Tim Montgomerie has a more convincing reason:

    15% of voters says Labour MPs and 9% say Tory MPs are most sleazy. 60% say they’re as bad as each other

    As Hopi Sen says, there are going to be two elections shortly:

  • andnowwhat

    Is this not the xperience of living in a state that now has 2 tory/centre right parties?

  • andnowwhat

    British politics has so comfortably seguayed in to a brown soup of indifference and corruption why we all surrendered are innate personal senses of right and wrong, justice and clarity to the mass medias.

    Thank goodness we have hatred, bigotry and paranoia to keep NI politics alive in NI Lol

  • andnowwhat

    Our innate not are. lol

  • Despite the froth and fuss, I’m unconvinced that Dispatches said much more than Private Eye has been alleging for some long time, including three of these names. The difference is only the size of the audience and its impact beyond the chattering classes.

    More to the point, where is the evidence that the Great British Public vote against even proven reprobates?

    [As I’m saying elsewhere:]

    Many of us consider we are “good judges of character”, then put our X against the name of a known rogue: “Ah, he’s a real card, he is!”

    There is a glaring example. Andrew Gilligan, egged on by Veronica Wadley of the Evening Standard (then in the Daily Mail fold), manufactured serial Lee Jasper allegations (subsequently all rejected in a blitz of investigations, but still generally credited). That did for Ken Livingstone. Meanwhile, Boris Johnson rose steadily to the top of the cess-pit. Michael Howard, after all, sacked Johnson from the Tory Front, not for his shameless extra-marital shaggings and amorality, but for bare-faced lying.

    That episode should inform us of something about “honesty”, misrepresentation and how we chose to be represented.

  • DerTer

    MR – “Many of us consider we are “good judges of character”, then put our X against the name of a known rogue: “Ah, he’s a real card, he is!”” How true. Byers is not a surprise – he’s already made a fool of himself, but I’m actually quite shocked about the other two. Yet here in Ireland, to take just one example, the voters of Tipperary North have repeatedly elected Michael Lowry, a patent, public and repeated liar as TD. I suppose, like Willie O’Dea, he has been a rigorous attender at funerals.

  • andnowwhat

    Did anyone see Cameron on C4 news tonight being interviewed by a gay media group? They were addrssing tory MEPs abstention from an anti gay proposal by Lithuanis (I think that’s where it was).

    He really fumbled and made a total mess by contradicting himself. He then asked for the camera to be stopped which the interviewer magnifcantly declined with a smile.

  • andnowwhat