Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Shocked and stunned by labour arrogance

The other night, I was driving home from London, listening to Peter Allen interviewing Diane Hayter from the Labour Party's National Executive on BBC FiveLive.

In the first of several similar interviews I've heard since the Party's general secretary resigned over the latest sleaze allegations to hit Westminster politics, Hayter played a straight bat to Allen's questioning, completely denying any knowledge of wrong-doing by the party in accepting major donations passed through third parties. Her smarm was matched only by the power of her insincerity.

I was incensed. I'm still incensed. In fact I'm outraged at the gall of the woman in her arrogance at taking the public for granted. First that we're gullible enough to believe the political crock of shit that she and her colleagues are spouting; and second that she and her colleagues think it's enough to hang one junior party official out to satisfy the media witch hunt.

Hayter's defence of the indefensible turned a clear lens on the Westminster bubble. Somehow those on the inside have lost the ability to treat the rest of us as thinking adults, and have completely lost the plot on the fact that they are supposed to represent the best of the nation.

What Hayter and co. are amply demonstrating now is the craven nature of political power. Labour's in, and will do all it can to remain in. that means expediency. That means, in a system where we have no state funding for political parties, and all operate at huge financial deficit, accepting the readies from shady figures such as David Abrahams and covering their tracks as much as possible.

Politics aren't clean and never have been - and now Westminster seems much more a punch and judy show than ever before. But what really stinks is the sanctimony of the likes of Diane Hayter . she's truly swan like. Her head may be making the right noises above water-level, but down below the surface she's pedaling through the mire. And you know what? It's starting to stick.

Of course, Labour could have avoided this by talking honestly, admitting their failings and making quick reparations. But, as ever, a political establishment has attempted to pass the buck. We see it in business with great regularity - and here it is again emerging in public life. Wake up Westminster - we don't believe you.

So where would you put party politics at the moment on the scale of honesty-at-work? in my book, probably just below estate agents.

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