Yet More Labour Sleaze

With the reputation of politics at an all time low, the vocation as whole could do without today’s revelations that former Labour cabinet members openly admit to being like ‘cabs for hire’. Former Trade and Industry Secretary of State Stephen Byers, Defence Secretary Geoffrey Hoon and former Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt are exposed as offering services and access in return for fees totalling thousands of pounds per day. What’s most interesting in the joint Sunday Times and Channel 4 Dispatches investigation is that the protagonists are all arch Blairites. Considering that the former Prime Minister has reportedly amassed a £20m fortune since retiring, we shouldn’t at all be surprised that his disciples are all cashing in before the downfall of the New Labour Empire in little more than a months time.

Most worryingly of all the investigation uncovered how former Government Ministers claimed they could change Government policy for a fee. We are therefore quite right to question in whose interests have the Labour party been governing for the last twelve years. Uncover the dodgy ‘lobbying’ deals and we have a scandal that far outweighs the expenses shame in terms of its consequences for democracy.

Byers, Hoon and Hewitt of course were key players in the attempted putch against Brown earlier this year which succeeded in nailing Labour’s election strategy to a cuts agenda demanded by the casino capitalists of the Square Mile.

In abandoning all principle for power Labour has lost its moral purpose as a political force. Without a guiding mission it’s hardly surprising that is has become rotten to the core as its ranks have been swelled by chancres and opportunists.

The Budget this week offers an opportunity for the party to leave some sort of lasting legacy. I have campaigned since my nomination for a 10% corporate social responsibility tax on banking profits. It’s only fair that those who caused the recession now pay their fair share. The tax that will generate between £2bn – £6bn, should be used as an economic development fund to regenerate the poorest parts of the state, such as Carmarthenshire, and help fund the sort of support services needed to address the growing human cost of the recession. The Budget should also be used as an opportunity to reform the UK taxation system from one of the most regressive in the EU to one of the most progressive.

I’m not holding my breath. Government spin doctors are already briefing in the Budget as ‘business like’. What they mean is business as usual for the economic elite. The lobbyists on behalf of the super rich have ‘invested’ their money wisely!

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