Saturday, 15 October 2011

Reynard at bay - the tip of a stinking iceberg

The demise of Liam Fox, Cheyney acolyte, Thatcher worshipper, and apparently amoral Tory, is probably not cause for prolonged celebration, merely some small-scale gloating.  You can imagine the fuss that the Tories' preferred media outlets would have made if there had been an ambiguous hanger-on sponging off a Labour Minister, or if David Laws had not merely fiddled his mortgage.  So forgive me a lack of sympathy for this odious man's downfall (fingers crossed for George to be next!).

In terms of coincidences, the fact that this all happened the day Oliver Letwin was discovered leaving a paper trail across London's parks (it's all right, his Private Office have confirmed that there wasn't any confidential material reported missing) is a shame.  Fox is undoubtedly the more culpable of the two, but Letwin's smugness also deserves a severe puncturing.

The uniting factor is the contempt for probity that runs like a festering sore throughout contemporary politics.  This is probably a consequence of the "professionalisation" of the area - just as with doctors and other self-regulating parasites - and the removal of all ethical considerations in favour of "don't get caught and if you do it's because you're a victim not a malefactor".  The Tories have some spectacular examples, both at Westminster and in local government, but no party is unsullied.  However if you can find more snoutage than in London's flagship Tory councils and their acolytes at the GLA then I shall be surprised and might even be prepared to eat a few words.

Now Transport gets Justine Greening, a Tory on the make with unacceptable right-wing views, and the new Defence Secretary is a man whose priorities are clearly skewed if he thinks that his new role is a step up.  Britain, as a third-rate fringe European power, is very good at post-imperial posturing, but as with any of the other rightists, Hammond clearly harkens back to the days of tiffin and the rest of the world knowing its place.

It's been a good week.

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