New Labour’s ‘whiter than white’ is now stained with Brown
Labour introduced new rules on party funding in a conceited, holier-than-thou, pharisaical manner. The sight of that party now breaking its own laws is sleazy indeed. When Tony Blair promised that his Party would be ‘whiter than white’, he would never have expected that these words would come back to haunt his party.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness (Mt 23:27). .
Power corrupts, so it is said, yet the plea from those senior Labour figures who are protesting their innocence is that they did not know the law. Well, it is also said that ignorance of the law is no defence, and their conceited smiles ought to be wiped from their faces. It is somewhat incredible that those officials whose very job it was to know the law in this precise area are insisting that they did not know it. And it beggars belief that the man who now occupies No 10 knew absolutely nothing about £650,000 worth of donations from property developer David Abrahams.
So why was Mr Abrahams using other people’s names to make his donations? And if he truly wanted anonymity, why does he feature in so many photographs mixing with the great and the good?
And the real tragedy of this saga is that whole sleazy story is being spun to persuade the electorate that the only way of dealing with the issues is to reform political funding. This is, apparently, the only way to rebuild confidence in the political system, because the perception is that all politicians lie, and that is unacceptable. So those same politicians pass further laws to dispel the perception, and then they break the very laws they pass, and then lie about breaking them. And then they complain further about lack of trust in politics and the erosion of people’s trust in them, and so the case for state funding, we are told, is inescapable, for it is the only means of eradicating the political parties’ reliance on donations.
The arguments for funding reform have nothing to do with the donations row, which is essentially about deception and corruption. If a wealthy donor is gifting £650,000 of his own money by using the names of real people who know nothing about the transactions, it is clearly and self-evidently a fraud. The truth is that New Labour had tried to reform funding through legislation, and then proceeded to attempt find ways around it.
And the real damage to the political process and the real erosion of trust comes not because of one man’s donations, but because Gordon Brown is about to follow Tony Blair as only the second serving prime minister to be questioned by the police. It is that stark reality which symbolises the rottenness, arrogance, pride and conceit which is at the heart of New Labour, and the real state of decay of this corrupt, hypocritical, pharisaical government.