Sunday, 25 March 2012

Cash for Access: Reaction to the Scandal

by Tim MacBain

On Saturday, the Conservative co-Treasurer, Peter Cruddas, resigned in disgrace, following the Sunday Times’ secret filming of his offer to gain potential donors a seat at the Prime Minister’s dinner table. This, frankly, is amusing, but not illegal. It is Cruddas’ claims that he could get policy discussions altered in favour of these donors which is outrageous.

Now, surely it is not just left-leaning liberals such as I but people from across the entire political spectrum who should be uniting in condemnation of such an act. Distancing oneself is not enough. An inquiry, as David Cameron has proposed, is a start. All parties must find it within themselves to question the motives of their donors, and show a real desire to root out any corruption or murky dealings in terms of their policy.

I also think it is worth taking these events surrounding Peter Cruddas in perspective – George Osborne has just released a budget which, from some perspectives, seems to favour business and the better off. Could it be that the Chancellor, the man who is supposed to be guiding Britain out of the worst recession since the Second World War, has been influenced by wealthy Tory donors, going through Peter Cruddas?

Quite honestly, this seems unlikely at this stage (although further information will undoubtedly be revealed over the next few days). However, it does serve to remind us that politics is not always squeaky clean, and must always be policed. But, as Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons once wrote, who watches the watchmen? A question for another time, perhaps…

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