Flirting with disaster: Labour's next scapegoat

In the past nine months David Blunkett has resigned from the Cabinet for a second time; Tessa Jowell, the Culture Secretary, split from her husband after allegations about his business interests; John Prescott was stripped of his department after an affair with his secretary; Tony Blair’s wife Cherie Booth has been caught for the second time dabbling in questionable financial matters, Patricia Hewitt was heckled by furious nurses, Charles Clarke was sacked over ‘lost’ criminals and hits out at the PM for his poor leadership and the Police have arrested Lord Levy, the Prime Minister's chief fund-raiser and tennis partner, and two ministers over party funding.

Blair's 'New' Labour party is in melt down. It is hardly surprising, therefore that the public now regards the Blair Government as sleazier than John Major’s Tories. It has now got to the stage whereby, now, coming up to a decade after New Labour came to power that there are many parallels between the regimes. Something that I have pointed out in a previous column 'Cameron could snatch victory from Brown' (The-Latest, Columnists section) that could mark the end of Labour’s tenure in power.

Since 1997 Labour's reputation for honesty and integrity has been shattered, allegations of sleaze, slack departmental organisation and the Iraq war - all culminating in the cash for peerages scandal has put paid to the phrase “we pledge to be whiter than white,” and have made Blair a laughing stock.

Labour promised to clean up politics, end sleaze and reform party funding. But Blair and his close associates are at the centre of the storm over peerages because they tried to exploit the funding rules that Labour themselves have laid down in their own legislation - taking secret loans instead of declarable donations.

It is no wonder the public are disillusioned with politics and politicians.  

Blair and the Labour party are in political turmoil – who is going to be the next scapegoat? Sorry but the buck stops at number 10. It stops with Blair

Dirty Dealings

Two hundred years ago, many MPs entered public life with the sole purpose of securing themselves a government hand-out. But it is not a problem systematic of British politics.  This is a point I most vehemently stress in conflict with Boris Johnson MP – who calls this sort of thing as quintessentially British”.

More than 1,000 elected representatives in France have been convicted of illicit funding. Having said this, many of them were subsequently pardoned by President Chirac. In Germany, Chancellor Kohl's regime was brought down in a typical movie-like fashion involving briefcases full of used notes. Politicians in Italy, Austria and Belgium have been involved in even worse party-funding scandals.

1 Response to "Flirting with disaster: Labour's next scapegoat"

chris's picture


Tue, 07/18/2006 - 06:51
As the good old saying from ageing&nbsp;Michael Corleone&nbsp;&nbsp;in the Godfather Part 3 said: 'Politics and Crime, they're the same thing.'</p><p>Politics is unfortunately a dirty business and that is its convention. That doesn't make what they do right, but unless reforming the system, which wont happen because the politicians have created a system to work for them!</p><p>'power corrupts absolute power corrupts absolutely' - as far as politicians are concerned if it ain't broke don't fix it! why spoil a good thing?</p><p>Scapegoats are everywhere in public life - But Blair will get his just deserves! as you say the Labour party is in turmoil and destroying itself - you don't need an opposition when that is happening? </p><p>Informative piece!</p>