Monday, October 30, 2006

Doing The Honours

In Britain, the peerage has come to be awarded less to recognize the nobility of the person being so honoured and more for the honouree's service to the political party in power.

If you thought the Liberals were corrupt for selling government ad contracts to their pals for kickbacks, imagine if they'd been able to make Chuck Guite a lord:

LABOUR’S chief fundraiser has implicated Tony Blair as the key figure in the cash-for-honours scandal, a well-placed source has revealed.

Lord Levy, a close associate of the prime minister, told Scotland Yard detectives last month that he was acting on the direct orders of Blair when he secretly obtained £14m in loans from businessmen to fund the party.

He has been questioned twice in the past four months after it emerged that four businessmen who lent Labour money were also recommended by Blair for peerages. The honours were blocked by an official watchdog.

Levy’s potentially incriminating testimony could prove crucial to the decision to question Blair — the culmination of a seven-month inquiry. Police hope to interview the prime minister within the next five weeks.

A prosecution source said: “Levy told the police that everything he did was for the top man. It wasn’t for anybody else, just for Blair. That’s why the PM has to be interviewed.”

The Sunday Times, which exposed the scandal, has established that Blair hosted dinners and meetings with those who went on to lend money to Labour. He personally approved the controversial loan scheme.

The sale of honours brought down Lloyd George back in the day. Will it bring down Tony Blair too?

Source: Times Online

No comments: