Monday, January 22, 2007

Truth and justice: the Blairite way

At the moment it never just rains for New Labour it kinda storms coupled with 80mph winds. As a Labour Party member I can only describe what amounts to schadenfreude when reading about the latest one of Blair’s finest being hauled into the police station early one morning the other day.

Ruth Turner arrested for perverting the course of justice over the cash for honours scandal and now rumour has it that Jonathan Powell (Blair’s chief of staff) will be questioned under caution over the scandal. Lord Levy is also expected to questioned for a third time but hey, even a little problem of being out on bail didn’t stop him from negotiating the £2million donation from New Labour’s favourite asset stripper and exploiter of workers’ rights, Lakshmil Mittal, to drag New Labour out of the financial mire. And methinks sometime soon a knighthood beckons….

Blair has now said he will quit (fingers crossed btw!) if any of his inner sanctum get charged with any offences. But while we are reading about various Blairite “fall guys” being arrested and questioned another scandal is being ignored and that’s Blair halting the investigation by the Serious Fraud Office's inquiry into the corruption allegations that the arms company BAE supposedly paid bribes to the Saudi royals.

Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) have challenged the decision to drop the inquiry.

CAAT spokesperson: "The public expect BAE Systems to be subject to the same laws as the rest of us. But this decision shows that they are not. We are confident that this outrageous and unlawful decision will be overturned by the courts”.

This exposes the corruption endemic within the British establishment and the fact that Blair with a nod and wink can stop an investigation in its track.


AN said...

Yes - the sleaze and corruption is beginning to catch up with them, and in some ways is just as damaging as iraq.

It is very corrosive, as it feeds into a climate of cynacism about all politics.

BTW I thought the "Trial of Tony Blair" was brillinat on Channel 4 last week, and the scenario that lled to his extradition was plausible. Shame he could never be extradited to Iraq though.

Louisefeminista said...

Yeah, I was going to add that at the end of my post about having this "fantasy" of seeing a cuffed Blair being led away to a 4 Star cell at Belmarsh!

It gave you that nice warm tingling feeling watching the end of the Trial of Tony Blair and him being led away into a Group 4 van...... If Only...............

Jim Jay said...

It's interesting to me how the New Labour strategy of toughing out media storms have a short term utility for them - but in the long term are just ncredibly damaging for the party.

It may have a use for the them to say to the press you can't decide who is not in cabinet so Blunkett and Mandelson got to stay much longer than they had any right to ... but in the long term it just enrages the press and the public think of them as a bunch of corrupt fuckers.

Excuse my French.

Oh, and Ruth *shitting* Kelly

AN said...

Perhaps Jim, to a certain extent, Blair has little choice.

As his government comes increasingly unser seige, they probably value loyalty much more than competence or honesty.

Tawfiq Chahboune said...

Under all international law it is illegal for Blair to stop the investigation. The "national interest" (which MI6 deny) is not considered a justifiable reason to stop a bribery inquiry. Rightly so: everyone would just simply blurt out "national interest".

Nevertheless, everyone is missing the bigger issue. This is not about "bribery". It may well be for the SFO and the legal profession. This is geostratgic and political: it is about supporting and defending the Saudi regime from being overthrown. Concentrating on the bribery is a nonsense - how else is the arms trade going to work? As a former ambassador to the region recently admitted, this is about keeping the regime in power and then "recycling" the oil money into the Western economies.

Blair is as sleazy and corrupt as you can get. He's a worshipper of money. Ethically, he's the worst PM in recent history, possibly ever. But to put this down to Blair's sleazy way of doing things is to miss the larger picture.

Who remembers Blair's intervention to arm Indonesia when the slaughter in East Timor was at its height? That's not sleaze or corruption. That's the "national (imperial) interest".

AN said...

Good point Toff, in Said Arburish's book about the House of Saud, he makes the point that the saudis buy many more arms than their army can use, and indeed fear of a coup means that their armed forces are emasculated (only members of the royal family can be pilots, and no planes have live ammo, for example)

So Saudi arms spending is a huge bribe for political support from the West - the whole nature of the transaction is corrupt.

Louisefeminista said...

"So Saudi arms spending is a huge bribe for political support from the West - the whole nature of the transaction is corrupt".

I agree with both comments made by AN and Toff. It just seemed that there's a lot of emphasis on the cash-for-honours affair yet Blair was able to stop this investigation. Yeah, and it is simply not about bribery. It is about propping up various regimes.