Some Things Never Change

As is oft mentioned, when Tony Blair came to power in 1997, he promised government than was “whiter than white”. Now in the closing days of his premiership it is more evident that ever before that what we have gotten is blacker than black.

His chief of staff is hours away from being charged in the cash-for-honours scandal. For those on the other side of the Pond still not clear on this, it goes like this, “Loan the Labour Party some money and then write it off as a gift and we will give you a seat in the House of Lords. If you don’t have quite enough millions to fork over, we can still get you a knighthood – no legislative seat, but really looks good on the company stationery.”

It looks like his chief fundraiser and his director of government relations are also still in the crosshairs of the Crown Prosecution Service.

But Tony still has one dirty trick up his sleeve. The Attorney-General (yes, a hyphenated term here) Lord Goldsmith, Tony Blair’s appointee, has the final say in the prosecutions. And the funny thing about Lord Goldsmith is that he is a former Labour donor who was given a peerage by Tony. And he is a member of the Cabinet. Some people think that’s just a bit of a conflict of interest. Unfortunately those people aren’t in power.

The best comment on this comes from Thomas Roderick Dew, who said, “Trace the history of all nations, from the Patriarchs down to present times, and you will find almost all governments to present one continued series of blunders and follies.” (from Lectures on the Restrictive System, Delivered to the Senior Class of William and Mary College, 1829)

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