Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Above the Law

Yesterday Yates of the Yard made it perfectly clear in his evidence to the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) that he thinks there is a trade in honours and that the police inquiry was deliberately obstructed by Downing Street. He didn’t say so in so many words, but that without any shade of doubt was his meaning. But it looks to me as if Yates is being set up as a patsy. The PASC exudes a world-weary phlegmatic tolerance vis-a-vis the illegal sale of honours; what they are outraged about is the police investigation. The rozzers have strayed onto their patch; apparently unaware that it is a “no go” area. Is Yates really such a bloody fool as to imagine that the rule of law applies to Government Ministers? Tony Wright, the PASC Chairman, smugly presides over this distasteful farce. Shame.


Blogger skipper said...

Bit unfair to Tony W. P'holic, in my view. 'Trading' in honours has gone on since medieval times and most political systems have some kind of patronage. Targeting Blair, when every PM this century has been more or less as guilty merely reflected his political weakness at the time. I thought the whole thing a farce right from the beginning and am glad Blair was not publicly impaled on this absurd charge. Sure it's not a practice compatible with democracy and it's now been banished for al time I'd say. Tony Wright, has indeed seen it all and probably thinks it's all been a waste of time.

10:46 pm  
Blogger Politaholic said...

Sorry, Skipper, but "it's always been done" doesn't seem a very persuasive defence to me. A burglar wouldn't get away with it. In addition, Blair changed the rules of the game by introducing fresh legislation governing donations to political parties and then systematically went about evading the same legislation. I always thought the police investigation would not lead to a prosecution but it doesn't follow that it was a waste of time. It made it very difficult for the politicians to sweep it all under the carpet (which appears to be Tony Wright's preferred option)and if things do change it will in part be due to the rozzers. What I find distasteful is making Yates the fall-guy when it is Blair and Levy who are are the villians. Yates is going to pay a heavy price for this, while Levy goes free. It is not, for me, a pleasing spectacle. The principle here is that our Lords and Masters should not be above the law; that they have behaved as if they were for aeons is not the point.

9:47 am  

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