Cruddas 'cash for access' causes Cameron problems!

Posted on: 26 March 2012 by Anthony Page

Conservative Party Co-Treasurer caught in Sunday Times lobbying sting - resignation prompts calls for reform on political party funding

Cash for access scandal

One thing I love about Yiddish is the way the words describe vividly in the mind the meaning and sense. Take for instance the word schlemiel - as you say it you get it - awkward, stupid, bungler! Another one is chutzpah – audacity, bravado. So it goes on.

Well not to be beaten, the English language now has its own; Cruddas – meaning: full of bullshit and prepared to do anything for money! Sadly, poor Mr Cameron has only just found  this out with the help of The Sunday Times (one of Mr Murdoch’s papers – Oh, the irony of it!).

Boastful Peter Cruddas is out talking to prospective donors and explaining just how with the payment of a mere £250,000 they can have fish fingers and chips in the private flat of 10 Downing Street along with the children, tomato ketchup and sundry pets. If by chance they can drop a few of their  ideas to the PM about crucial policy matters all to the good. 

Now, of course, this has all been denied by Downing Street (although they won’t release a list of such happy dinner treats and who attended), but it has given the press a field day – headlines everywhere!

Let’s get real – how do we think government is carried out in this country and any other for that matter. Influence has been bought since societies started – there is nothing new to this. What is new in Cameron’s case is how the hell he let Peter Cruddas get into the position he was in – Conservative Co-Treasurer! A quick look at his Wikipedia entry would tell you that as well as being very, very rich (about £1 billion) his claim to fame is that he started and owns a very large spread betting business ! His company Currency Management Consultancy basically allows punters to take bets on international currency movements – so by any other name, he’s a bookie.

What process do the Conservatives go through in making their key appointment selections (other than how much money has the candidate donated – Cruddas is a big donor!). They certainly don’t do any ‘risk analysis’ on who they appoint.

The sage-like Mr Cameron identified in 2010 that in the wake of 'cash for questions', political lobbying was the “next big scandal ! He now has to clear up this mess now ... and he was doing so well.

David MilibandOf course, this has given a field day to the Labour Party – we had David Miliband on the Andrew Marr Show on BBC1 damning Cameron and telling us all how terrible it was for democracy. Marr was at pains to point out the vast sums the Unions pay to Labour coffers but was parried by David (Tony Blair look alike – just watch those hand gestures!)  that union members only pay a few pounds a year to support the party so it’s not the same. Oh really – he should remember how the Leadership of the Labour Party was snatched from his grasp by the block votes of the trade unions. You can see the full interview on The Andrew Marr Show here.

So where does this all get us to - well, not far! What is needed is the long promised reform of political party funding. Until this happens, we will see more and more of these stories and the outcomes will always be same – a five minute feeding frenzy on the front pages and TV news!

I think Peter Cruddas should quickly get those ermine robes back to the shop – I don’t think he will be ever having the opportunity to wear them!

Macmillan Dictionary of the word Crud

  1. Dirt or similar unpleasant substance
  2. Something you dislike or consider unpleasant

 

 

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