The Curmudgeon


Thursday, September 15, 2016

More Dim Than Devious

It is, of course, the kind of innocent minor mistake anyone could have made. As a member of the Commons public accounts committee, a Conservative junior minister was so possessed with righteous passion over the need to control loan sharks that he leaked a draft report to the biggest loan shark in the country and asked for its opinion. He used his private email address in case some underlings gained access to his parliamentary emails and used them for nefarious purposes. The story was "further complicated", though doubtless quite innocently, by the fact that the junior minister had helped arrange for the loan shark to provide £30,000 in sponsorship to the local football club, and that after the wholly innocent email exchange the chairman of the club made some highly innocent donations totalling about the same to the junior minister's constituency party. Although he had leaked the report to the loan shark and solicited the loan shark's view, the junior minister did not believe that the views emailed him from the loan shark's employees were the views of the loan shark; which doubtless is why the junior minister did not actively seek to ensure that the views shaped the report. He has apologised to his fellow MPs for failing to follow standard procedure in protecting corporate chums from public scrutiny, and may yet receive a two-day suspension despite the mitigating circumstance of his belonging to the Not Particularly Bright Party.


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