The Curmudgeon


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Upright Citizens

The Reverend Blair's proto-Israeli predecessor, as we know, was much criticised by his enemies for dining with sinners and publicans; and it appears that our own Saviour, during his earthly ministry, may have suffered similar difficulties in choosing his chums. The first major New Labour scandal, some years before his reverence took on the sacred mantle of poodle and joined the White House chimpanzee in butchering Asians, was much the same sort of thing as Lynton Crosby has landed Daveybloke in this week. Bernie Ecclestone, a wealth creator with ties to Formula 1 motor racing, switched his political allegiance from the Conservatives to New Labour, apparently on the sensible grounds that New Labour were in office and the Conservatives were not. Ecclestone then donated a million pounds to Labour party funds, and offered another million which, in a quaint throwback to more innocent days, the chair of the commission on standards in public life advised Labour to refuse. Labour was in the process of introducing a ban on tobacco advertising, which Ecclestone opposed; and by the usual benign coincidence it later happened that Formula 1 racing was exempted from the ban. Tessa Jowell, the health minister whose husband did so much to help Silvio Berlusconi with his finances, argued in favour of the exemption, and it seems the Reverend Blair was swayed. It was even alleged later on that his reverence had said the thing that was not about the donation; which, in light of his later record, just shows how mean people can be. Even now, some ghastly foreigners are indicting Ecclestone on, of all things, a bribery charge. Imagine that.


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