Thursday, July 13, 2006

Watching the mighty fall

Tony Blair's top fundraiser, Lord Levy, has been arrested and bailed in connection with New Labour's "cash for peerages" scandal. This doesn't just signify that the British police really are serious about pursuing political corruption within the government, it also (as The Independent points out) lays a trail that leads all the way to Blair. Levy is one of Blair's closest friends, and his tennis partner. It is unlikely that he would be making promises of peerages in exchange for large loans to the Labour Party without Blair's approval.

The BBC's Nick Robinson speculates that this might finally be the issue which brings Blair down (a view shared by The Guardian's Jonathan Freedland). I'd like to see it, but I really expect him to simply brazen it out and pretend that nothing wrong has occured, just as he has with Iraq. It all depends really on whether his fellow MPs are sick of the rotting smell emanating from Downing Street, or whether they once again fall for the argument that "Tony wins elections" and are willing to look past even a criminal corruption probe in the hope of electoral victory. In the meantime, Lord Levy is a pretty big fish, and I'm goign to sit here and enjoy the glee of watching the mighty fall.


Hmm, the idiots over at Just Left who constantly accuse the NZLP of "corruption" should look closely - this is real graft.

As much as I dislike the British Tories and would not like to see them elected, anything that knocks Blair's god-complex has got to be good for Britain (and the British Labour Party for that matter).

Posted by Anonymous : 7/13/2006 05:13:00 PM

The problem for the British Labour Party is, as I/S alluded to above, that they've been quite happy to squint past funny money fundraising for over a decade as long as the landslide election results kept coming. While it's been amusing watching the rats abandon the sinking S.S. Blair over recent months, I think Labour is going to learn the same hard lesson the Tories did back in the 90's - 'sleaze' is such a persistent stain.

Posted by Craig Ranapia : 7/14/2006 07:48:00 AM

Craig, as someone who lived in the UK from 98 to last year I can report that the drover's dog could have won an election against the combined incompetences of Hague, Duncan Smith and Howard. Perhaps Brits still remember the sleaze and incompetence of the early 90s as well? Blair has long held himself above the will of the people and it is about time he fell.

You're right, Blair's government has been as sleazy as the last lot. The question is whether that has infected the rest of the party or is just perceived as being a disease of the leadership of the Party. It will take a major example of corruption to bring down Blair, whether he gets out in time to save the rest of the party is to be seen (Of course that won't fix the problem).

Posted by Anonymous : 7/14/2006 11:13:00 AM

A sleazy and incompetent govt nonetheless retains its hold on power. Now, by viewing Blair, you appreciate how some on the right feel about Clark's administration.


Posted by Anonymous : 7/15/2006 05:56:00 PM

Nope, M'Luddite, I still don't.

All I can seee & hear is sour grapes

Posted by Anonymous : 7/18/2006 10:14:00 AM