We have just returned from sun-kissed Snowdonia. Several of us share ownership of a holiday home which stands on the edge of the beach. Our usual experience is of a Scott’s last journey vintage with gale-force winds rattling our false teeth, this weekend was somewhat different. Even our fellow Welshmen were too drained to sing along with the Eurovision Song Contest, surely the utimate cure for insomnia.
We left Albert and several other chickenmen in charge. Albert has never been involved with the Welsh ventures, he regards us as a bunch of Welsh gits. We take no offence since his racism extends to most other parts of the Kingdom. Anyone not born in Lancashire is personna non-grata with titchy Al.
It is always interesting to chat to the villagers in North Wales. At the best of times they are less than keen on what they see as posh boys in distant Westminster. Now they are finally alienated. They may dwell in what our friends regard as God’s country far removed from English hell, but they read the same newspapers. And this weekend has finally confirmed their worst prejudices. We used to scorn their comments about posh boys as bent as hairpins, but suddenly that is exactly how it appears.
The political scandal over Murdoch’s battle to buy BSkyB moved closer to David Cameron yesterday after new evidence undermined the prime minister’s claim that his Government was scrupulously even handed in deciding on the £8 billion deal. A memo, released by the Leveson Inquiry, revealed for the first time that Mr Cameron already knew his Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt was in favour of the bid, before he handed him quasi-judicial power to rule on it after Vince Cable had been mysteriously trapped in to revealing his dislike for the Murdochs. In the private message to the PM, Mr Hunt told that James Murdoch was furious at the delay and stressed the importance of the deal going through.
It has also emerged that Mr Hunt may have misled parliament by claiming that contacts with his sacked adviser did not involve him. In fact Hunt himself exchanged personal texts with Murdoch’s adviser, even to the extent of personal chat about their respective children. In total more than 1000 texts were exchanged between News Corp and Mr Hunt’s department.
Both Cameron and Hunt have great PR skills, but even their verbal sleight of hand cannot explain away the mass of revelations that show that they were both hell-bent on waving through the bid. Had it not been for the Millie Dowler affair the planned emasculation of the BBC would now be underway. Web of deceit hardly covers what has been going on. The so-called Chipping Norton set was perhaps the first indication that the Prime Minister was inappropriately involved with vested interests. Now we know that the stories of regular parties and get-togethers were but the tip of a corrupt iceberg.
In most organisations such a state of affairs would by now have been referred to the Chairman, someone who can normally be relied upon to stand apart from any misconduct. But the Conservative Party chairman is Baroness Warsi. This morning’s Sunday Torygraph has front page headlines that feature her, and for all the wrong reasons. The Baroness has admitted that she failed to declare a source of income for more than a year. And on this evenings’ BBC news a GP landlord has claimed that she paid no rent for accomodation on his proerty yet claimed expenses.
The Telegraph headline related to income from a London property she had bought and rented out. In normal times the Baroness might have escaped too much attention, but after so much talk by both her and our dear leader of a “commitment to be one of the most transparent governments in the world” it is very bad news indeed for the coaltion’s credibility.
Mr Hunt’s position is already untenable, the idea that he is not responsible for what his adviser does is ludicrous, especially since we now know that he condoned what was happening. And the web is beginning to close around the dear leader who still faces revelations at the various criminal cases being lined up by Knacker.
The latest polls show that the public now trusts Miliband and Balls more than Cameron et al. It isn’t that they have done anything to earn that trust, but they need do nothing given that ministers are sinking quickly into a quicksand from which escape looks as likely as the Welsh Nationalists lining up to applaud them!