Saturday, October 27, 2007

The gravy train rolls on

Private Eye reports that the diminutive "socialist" Ian McCartney, former Chair of the Labour Party, has taken a job with US nuclear corporation Fluor for £110,000 a year. Fluor is described as "essentially a Republican firm"; its president of "global public affairs" is an active member of Orange County Republicans, and the company has given financial support to Bush. And Martin O'Neill, a Labour MP until 2005 and a "friend of Gordon Brown" has taken a job as paid adviser to The Washington Group (another "Republican-oriented" corporation and one which has done well out of Iraq "reconstruction"). It is unclear what their duties are, or how onorous they are. I suspect a large part of it involves making introductions, Hoyle-style.

Of course, the one that takes the biscuit is Sir John Bourn, who has resigned as head of the National Audit Office after the Eye uncovered details of his profligacy with public money, in particular, it seems, a taste for expensive oyster lunches and numerous overseas holidays (sorry, "official visits"). The Guardian laconically reports that his job "...gave him unqualified powers of oversight over public spending, a position which required him to be watchful for signs of extravagance or corruption...".

It was Tom Leher, wasn't it, who said, after the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Henry Kissinger in 1973, that political satire was "obsolete"?


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