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Tory sleaze

So, they've been back in power a bit more than a year, and already we are mired in standard Tory sleaze. (Yes, I know other parties have their sleaze too, and Cherie Blair was friends with Ms Brooks.) Cameron has got away with a lot of stuff in the last year and pushed most of the opprobrium onto Clegg. But this time, he hasn't got the option.
Yes, I am enjoying this. What do you expect? I'm Old Labour.


( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 18th, 2011 01:10 pm (UTC)
Alastair Campbell has been uncharacteristically quiet about the whole affair. I'd hazard a guess it's not entirely out of ignorance.
Jul. 18th, 2011 01:37 pm (UTC)
Ditto Lord Mandelson, indeed.
Jul. 18th, 2011 01:49 pm (UTC)
I would guess he not only knows where the bodies are buried but still has the spade.
Jul. 18th, 2011 01:45 pm (UTC)
Plainly, you have not been listening to Radio 5 or the World Service, where Campbell has been pontificating at length.
Jul. 18th, 2011 01:50 pm (UTC)
No, I've been following BBC and Guardian newsfeeds for the most part. I'm curious. What has Campbell been saying?
Jul. 18th, 2011 02:26 pm (UTC)
Oh, how everyone in both major parties was in bed with Murdoch, and how he did warn both Blair and Brown to be a tad careful - but his analysis of how Murdoch and his cronies were trying to spin the stories was to the point and very enlightening.
Jul. 19th, 2011 12:01 am (UTC)
But everyone in both major parties was in bed with Murdoch. I thought that was obvious, particularly after the first leaders' debate.

What was Campbell's analysis?
Jul. 19th, 2011 08:44 am (UTC)
Murdoch has rather created that situation, though, so there is blame on all sides. (And there is some hint that pressure tactics were used, at least on Brown. Blair doubtless loved the attention.)
Jul. 18th, 2011 01:28 pm (UTC)
I am torn on this one.

I think he showed lack of judgement in employing Coulson.

On the other side,at least this is a failing that might be generated partly by compassion and friendship rather than prejudice and fear.

I think Clegg was an expectation gap victim - people expected less of Cameron and were less disappointed.
Jul. 18th, 2011 01:39 pm (UTC)
You may be right about Clegg. On the other hand, I am rather enjoying seeing Cameron face the music.
Plus, if he's making this kinds of decisions out of friendship and socialising in those circles, what does this say about the influence such people have on him, even unconsciously? I am deeply unhappy about the closeness of many Big Business types to all our political leaders.
Jul. 18th, 2011 03:27 pm (UTC)
I don't think big business (or even politicians) are automatically bad.

But I do think we need a sensible middle ground for people in public life between "everything goes" and "screw up once and you must resign". The inevitable consequences are that a big mistake is no riskier than a small one and the most important rule becomes not to get caught.

Jul. 18th, 2011 03:56 pm (UTC)
Yes indeed. The current culture makes that very hard to achieve, sadly.
Jul. 18th, 2011 05:08 pm (UTC)
Agree on the dangers of demanding infallibility from those in public life.

Also agree that big business isn't automatically evil (though amused that Google needs to remind itself not to be so). But still feel it's corrupting to public life when our politicians get close to corporations and corporation men: the interests of big business are frequently at odds with the needs of the wider population. And in what still purports to be a representative democracy, I think politicians have a duty to avoid the temptation to feed their egotism by socialising with the powerful, and remain loyal to the interests of their voters.
Jul. 18th, 2011 08:43 pm (UTC)
I feel rather sorry for Nick Clegg - he couldn't possibly win, no matter what happened. And he probably went into the coalition deal with at least some honest intentions, most of which have now been compromised beyond all redemption...

If politicians had souls - or at least some self-awareness - they would probably be traumatised by the thought that most (but perhaps not all) of their "friends" were only there for the influence. But since any successful politician couldn't have got there without selling his or her soul, that probably isn't an issue for them.
Jul. 19th, 2011 08:41 am (UTC)
I think he wore out my sympathy a few months ago, but yes, I think he meant well. He is, perhaps, a bit too comfortable with the whole 'old boy network' thing, and I still find the Lib. Dem. attempt to undermine the safety of rape victims in order to protect men repulsive.
Jul. 19th, 2011 10:01 am (UTC)
Trust me, a lot of the LibDems were repulsed by that one too. A friend of mine wrote this last year:

Jul. 19th, 2011 04:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the link: our local LDs seemed rather shifty about the whole thing.
Jul. 18th, 2011 04:32 pm (UTC)
Oh, this isn't standard Tory sleaze. This is the story of how a single powerful elected individual with a pernicious right wing agenda kept the elected politicians of both major parties supine and biddable for 30 years, and, hopefully, the story of how he and his organisation fell from power because of his hubristic belief that he and his organisation were above the law. It's more important to break the Murdoch press's stranglehold than it is to get rid of Cameron IMHO, because the long term effects will be greater.

Did you know the New York Times has been calling it the British Spring?

Edited at 2011-07-18 04:32 pm (UTC)
Jul. 18th, 2011 04:55 pm (UTC)
Agree - much as I'd like to see the back of the unintelligent destructiveness of our current administration, I'm hoping even more fervently to see Newscorp implode.
Jul. 18th, 2011 04:57 pm (UTC)
edit: In second sentence for elected read unlelected. Oops.
Jul. 18th, 2011 05:04 pm (UTC)
I do hope it's the end of that empire, certainly.
British Spring? Well, it's wet enough.
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 18th, 2011 08:25 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately I have to agree. Except that I would suggest "Cameron will still be Prime Minister" - I'm not sure he's actually running anything...
Jul. 18th, 2011 05:39 pm (UTC)
I'm gloating more about Murdoch than problems it might cause Cameron.

I really hope that it makes a difference in the long-run.
Jul. 19th, 2011 01:07 am (UTC)
To quote an commenter elsewhere, "Damn! I don't think I can eat any more popcorn."

If only we could count on this inconveniencing Newscorp and its tools here in the US.
Jul. 19th, 2011 07:25 pm (UTC)
So, Vince Cable - roundly slapped for declaring war on Murdoch - was right after all, then? Haven't noticed anyone queueing up to say so.
Jul. 20th, 2011 10:01 am (UTC)
Well, I've heard that in this house. Cable is the one member of the Lib Dems in government roles that I still have some respect for.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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