So good old George Osborne admits he made a mistake in his dealings with the Russian billionaire. When he met him 5 times. And in no way, shape or form discussed how a donation could be channeled from him to the Tories. Osborne has stated that he will not be discussing individual donations with individual donors again. So at least the Tories have recognised the damage that this has done them, and that it has restored the issue of Tory corruption, added to other stories such as the money they have been receiving from a non-trading company that exists only for the purpose of providing them with cash. Cameron has supported Osborne, and said that the party has learnt lessons.
This is quite interesting. Cameron and his kitcken cabinet clearly realised that something needed to be seen to be done. But to have Osborne fall on his sword would seriously damage the credibility of Cameron’s Tories, and so they have come up with this halfway house. I really hope that the public is not as foolish as Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrats’ Treasury spokesperson, who said that Osborne’s “effectively apologising” drew a line under his involvement. This makes me wonder two things. Firstly, what have the Lib Dems been up to that they don’t want coming out to take such a lenient attitude. And secondly, how is it that the UK, which loves to boast how corruption free it is compared to the rest of Europe, has such a corrupt parliamentary elite.
I’ve suggested some answers in my previous post on the subject, and I cannot really see how this product of a nexus of personal links forged at school and university, and an identity of interest in financial terms, can be removed without a serious reconstruction of political culture. Can’t see it happening. A good first step would be the state funding of political parties.
As for Osborne. I suspect that unfortunately he will be able to recover from this with his reputation relatively well intact. Still, I am pleased that it came out when it did, and that Brown seems to be handling the current climate relatively well. Let’s just hope that Mandelson doesn’t derail things with more skeletons in his closet.
Tags: UK politics