The Westminster extortion racket
Published in: Daily Mail
Our politicians have been caught with their hands deep in the electoral till. So what's their reaction? Why, to get out their crowbars and smash the till!
The cash for peerages row has exposed the way in which the political class has been merrily subverting democracy. Now that the scam has finally been dragged into the light, the politicians' reaction is not to own up and face the music but to put the enfeebling of democracy onto a statutory footing.
Thus while a police inquiry is going on which might result in criminal charges over loans for peerages, the Government is dredging up the shelved issue of reform of the composition and powers of the House of Lords. And for 'reform', read emasculation.
This is surely chutzpah on an epic scale. The Metropolitan Police (which, heaven knows, has its own problems at present) appears to be taking the alleged sale of peerages commendably seriously, widening its inquiry to take in Tory as well as Labour funding and talking about possible corruption charges.
Has this prompted a new humility by politicians who are now piously talking about the need for greater transparency in party funding? In your dreams!
Last Friday evening, the science minister Lord Sainsbury slipped out the admission that -- contrary to his previous claim -- he had not after all disclosed to his Permanent Secretary a loan of