How bad do things have to get before the people of the UK say enough? The latest examples of sleazeballs on the take are bad but not a surprise. The remark, “I may have evaded the rules but I haven’t broken them,’ by one of the '3 Lords a Leeching' does take the biscuit. What is more disturbing is the extent to which our political leaders are in bed with big business. All the talk of tackling tax avoidance needs to be viewed in this light. The Murdoch connection with our politicians was well and truly aired throughout the Leveson Inquiry. Similar cosy arrangements exist today with Google for example.
“Rachel Whetstone, Google’s top global spinner, is married to David Cameron’s old barefoot guru Steve Hilton. She used to be director of communications for Tory leader Michael Howard and , before that, was Cameron’s deputy in the PR department at Carlton TV. The PM is godfather to her younger son.
Naomi Gummer, one of Google’s main ‘public policy’ executives, meanwhile, is the daughter of Tory PR adviser Lord Chadlington, the president of Cameron’s local constituency association. Dave and Sam Cam attended her wedding a year ago, as did the then culture secretary Jeremy Hunt –whose special adviser she was before taking Google’s shilling. Heading in the opposite direction, Google’s former European PR woman Amy Fisher now advises justice secretary Chris Grayling.
With Google, as once with Murdoch, the Cameroons have followed where the Blairites led. Sarah Hunter, the Rebekah Brooks-lookalike who was Tony Blair’s chief adviser on media policy at No.10, went on to become Google’s ‘head of UK public policy’. DJ Collins, a Whitehall ‘spad’ of the Blair era (and close friend of D. Miliband), has in recent years been Google’s European director of communications.
With so many chums in Whitehall, is it any wonder Google chairman Eric Schmidt is still welcome at Downing Street as a member of Dave’s council of business advisers?” Private Eye No 1341.
Should any innocents out there still think all of this is irrelevant consider the way ‘eminent’ political leaders have appeared on the airwaves recently exhorting us to accept internet intrusion (Reid/Howard), or to arm various factions around the world (Riffkind). All three of them are corporate whores - Reid and Howard for the security industry, Riffkind for an arms company.
These creeps are not an isolated example. This practice is widespread and is tantamount to corruption. It is this corruption which is all pervasive in our democracy. It goes from individual slimeballs on the take to corporations receiving incredible tax deals and ‘sweeteners’ not to mention the old boy network which has greased many a palm.
We used to look at corruption in other parts of the world and consider our system was better.
Not any more.