Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Politics of Right and Wrong

I've just seen Buff being interviewed by John Sopel on BBC News 24. Rather amusingly, the BBC clearly lured him onto the programme to discuss Cameron's bodged decision on withdrawal from the EPP. Buff went through his little party political broadcast and to be fair to him, he had a point. It doesn't exactly inspire confidence that Cameron's struggling to fulfil this promise to actually do something, particularly given how rarely the wonder boy actually makes a commitment to do anything at all.

But Sopel really wanted to discuss something else with Hoon. A paraphrased version (with added swearing):
Sopel: Moving on, could I ask you about another issue? Levy's been arrested. You guys must be crapping it?

Buff: The police are conducting a thorough investigation and it wouldn't be appropriate for me to comment at this time.

Sopel: That's understandable. I mean, you lot are clearly shitting bricks today. The PM's confidant, his chief fundraiser, his tennis partner no less, has been arrested on suspicion of a serious breach of the law. It couldn't get any worse, could it?

Buff: The police are conducting a thorough investigation and it wouldn't be appropriate for me to comment at this time.

Sopel: Fair enough. get legal advice before saying anything is my advice to you. On the wider point, the Labour party came to power promising to clean up politics and govern transparently. This government brought in laws which were promoted as being about making political party funding more transparent. Given that, do you think it was right for the Labour Party to accept secret loans to fund your 2005 election campaign?

Buff. We accept that there needs to be a change in the law. At the time the law was introduced, no-one spotted this problem, no-one complained.

Sopel: Yeah, very good, but could you answer my question. Was what the Labour Party did right?

Buff: We accept that there needs to be a change in the law. At the time the law was introduced, no-one spotted this problem, no-one complained.

Sopel: With respect, could you please answer my question. I'm asking why the Labour Party, the same party which claimed to be whiter than white and which claims to promote transparency, specifically rejected donations and prefered instead to be given secret loans. The only conclusion which can be drawn is that this was in order to stop their funding arrangements becoming available to the public and to the Lords Appointment Commission. Did your party behave improperly?

Buff: We accept that there needs to be a change in the law. At the time the law was introduced, no-one spotted this problem, no-one complained.

Sopel: You really are an arse, aren't you? I'm asking why did your party felt it was OK to exploit this "problem", you tit. At the very least, your own party has quite deliberately set out to circumvent the laws you yourselves set up. Now that you've been caught, do you have anything to say in your defence?

Buff: We accept that there needs to be a change in the law. At the time the law was introduced, no-one spotted this loophole, no-one...

Sopel: Oh for fucks sake. Get out of my studio, you odious little oik.
OK, I might have taken a little bit of liberty with Sopel's words. He did give Buff a good going over though. Buff's answers are a fairly accurate reflection of what he said.

And that seems to be the sum total of their defence of their own quite deliberate circumvention of their own rules. They did it because their wasn't a law to say they couldn't. They did it because the public didn't know that the party could get round the existing rules in this way.

And here was me thinking that human beings had this thing called a conscience and that they used this conscience to determine right from wrong. How stupid of me. What's right is actually much easier to define than that; it's what you can get away with. How wonderful to live in a society with such clear moral leadership...

At times, I really do feel like emmigrating away from this shit. But no, this is my country. It's these vile, hypocritical, self serving, morally vacuous, intellectually challenged arseholes who should be leaving, not us.

Tags: , , , , ,

3 comments:

. said...

Excellent post. The other main Labour excuse seems to be "Uh, well, the Tories were doing it before us, and seeing as no one other than rich businessmen who we could do favours for wanted to give us any money thanks to Iraq, what choice did we have? Would you rather have those nasty Tories in office than smiling fresh-faced Tony Blair? Well?"

Davide Simonetti said...

Bloody right! Especially the last sentence :)

Philip said...

Many human beings do have a conscience. It's just that politicians rarely do, and New Labour geeks never.