Monday, February 05, 2007

Why I Hope Tony Blair is Innocent

First of all just let me say - I can't stand Tony Blair. I think he's arrogant, smug, is destroying civil liberties in this country and is the most appalling whore around "celebrities" (see the dreadful Cool Britannia phenomenom for proof).

I would also be lying if I didn't feel a little bit of Schadenfreude at Labour's current problems. I remember the hell it was to be a member of the Conservative Party in the mid 90s. I saw people that I knew and cared about having their lives pulled apart in the tabloids. I saw the impact this had on their families, extended families and friends. It was a horrendous time. I also saw members of the Labour Party gloat quite hideously over people's personal misfortunes. It showed the horrible side of politics and the Labour Party and there is a part of me that feels a certain justifiable vindictiveness. And sympathy for those good, hard working members of the Labour Party who are working hard in their communities and are despairing at the antics of their party leaders. I've been there. It's tough.

Having said all that, I hope Tony Blair and his advisors are innocent in the Cash for Honours debacle. Not because I like Blair or because I want to see the Labour Party have an easy ride. I just don't want politics in Britain to have sunk to this level.

I think all parties (with the possible exception of the SNP) have been guilty in the past of nominating their donors for awards. Now this was always wrong, but the Labour Party would appear to have taken this principle (or lack thereof) and walked to extremes with it. To reward a donor with a K is one thing, but to blatantly sell honours is quite another. If true this undermines democracy as a whole in this country in a number of ways.

It makes people much less inclined to become involved in politics - either through donating cash or their time. If the public don't donate to their favoured party we have to start looking at the dreadful possibility of state funding for political parties.

It makes people less inclined to even trust politicians. Virtually every MP or councillor I have met or dealt with has been in politics for absolutely the right reasons. Most would never do anything which could be seen as corrupt, yet all are being tarred with the same brush. If the public aren't inspired to even vote then democracy suffers.

It undermines the achievements/capabilities of people who are in the Lords due to their experiences and expertise.

And perhaps in a stunning show of how naive I am - I just don't want to believe that a Prime Minister could be so corrupt and crooked. Arrogant, slimy, wrong, conceited are all fine, but a criminal, nope. Don't want to see that.

I think my hopes are misguided, I think Blair and his gang are as guilty as hell. If they are they should go to jail - perverting the democratic process is one of the worst crimes in our society as it destroys the very basics of our society. I hope I'm wrong.

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