David Cameron scandal: How shameless is British politics?


“We all know how it works. Lunch, hospitality, quiet sounds in your ears, former ministers and former advisers to hire, help you find the right path to big business. “So said David Cameron In a speech on lobbying shortly before he became the Prime Minister in 2010, Dr.

A decade of it has become painfully clear that the former leader really knows how it works. In recent weeks Cameroon has tarnished its reputation with its details Efforts to lobby on behalf of financier Lex Greensil. Last month, the relationship between government supplier Chain Finance and Greensil Capital received new revelations every day.

As prime minister, Cameron has given permission Greensil To work from Downing Street – where he has nominated himself as a senior adviser – has no obvious value to the government. After leaving politics, he joined Grensil as a pay adviser and in that role lobbied ministers for the now-defunct business.

His personal texts to Chancellor Ishii Sunak would have been worse if Treasury officials had not ultimately rejected the appeals. Former officials were outraged to hear that there was a senior civil servant in charge of government procurement. He was allowed to work for Greensil while at Whitehall. Faced with intense pressure, the government has said it will launch this week An investigation into the matter.

A Tory MP has publicly described Cameron’s behavior as “a tasteless, slapdash and worrying episode for any former prime minister.”

Former British Prime Minister David Cameron has left with current Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Both leaders have tried to change the culture in Whitehall © Getty Images

And yet perhaps the most annoying aspect is that it is not certain that anyone has broken any rules. Like the previous scandals, the issue has also been exposed in the gaps in the regulations. And while the detail is shocking, the underlying behavior exists in an almost simple sense. Above all, one of the primary purposes of hiring a senior politician or official is to open the door for them.

Care StarmerThe Leader of the Opposition, Boris Johnson, saw the opportunity to tie the knot with his predecessor’s abuse, saying the scandal was “just below the iceberg.” He added: “The Dodge deal, the privileged access, the jobs of their partners, it’s the return of Tory Sludge.”

So how deep is the instability? Most British leaders like to congratulate themselves for the general cleanliness of the country’s politics, especially when they look across the channel at the list of French politicians convicted of criminal offenses or look for the huge sums of money spent on American election campaigns.

Yet the UK record is better not to be great. UK out of Transparency International’s Global Corruption Rankings Out of Top 10 Clean Countries, Joint Ranking 11th out of 180, Followed by several European countries, including New Zealand, Singapore and Germany, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries. For Bernard Jenkin, a Tory MP and former head of the Public Administration Committee: “The XI is good, but we want to keep improving.”

Last year, community secretary Robert Genrick sat next to the scheme’s backer at a dinner and intervened to approve housing development.

He told the BBC about the current scandal: “Whitehall had a culture that has been around for a long time. . . This is a very informal way of managing relationships about important issues and the distribution of money to the people.

Duncan Hems, a former MP for Transparency UK, said: “When you look at public life for free, there are a lot of indicators around money and politics, lobbying, rolling doors and political donations. All three have Britain’s problems.”

Progress slowly

After the 1994 Cash-for-Scandal scandal, when a lobbyist asked parliamentary questions to help John Major’s government sink, the UK has increasingly updated previous informal rules but progress has been hampered. This led to the formation of the Committee on Standards of Public Life and the creation of stricter regulations on lobbying.

MPs had rules regarding personal expenses Tougher after the 2009 scandal Which was a manifestation of widespread abuse – again in Westminster it was unquestionable where the expenses were seen by the MPs as compensation for their basic fixed salary.

A floating deckhouse has been set up in front of Parliament as part of a 2009 scandal over MPs’ spending scandals. One MP’s demand for a deckhouse for his pond became totemic

Controls over political grants and election spending have been tightened several times, including the so-called Barney Ecclestone affair, in which Tony Blair’s Labor Party abruptly waived Formula 1 ban on tobacco advertising in 1997, just months after receiving a মিল 1 million grant from Labor. Motorsport expanded and soon after a meeting between the two. Mr Blair and his entourage faced a police investigation in 2007 – although it ended without charge – over the issue of “cash-honors” where several of the men nominated for the Miraj had approached the Labor Party.

Yet, as a crime of selling honors, donors and collaborators in the House of Lords (where financial disclosure is less stringent) continue to improve. Just like last December, Johnson dismissed a committee of inquiry after opposing one of Pierre, Peter Treudas, the former treasurer of the Turi team. Johnson’s most recent honors list included Peraz for two former editors and the proprietor of a newspaper.

Political grants remain a weak spot. “Raising funds through the opportunity to get close to senior politicians is a common practice among political parties and it even happens formally at events at dinner clubs or party conferences,” Hemes said. “It’s basically cash for access. Those who are involved consider it valuable for their time. ”

Former Boris Johnson chief strategist Dominic Cummings promises ‘heavy rain’ to Whitehall © Charlie BB / Financial Times

The concept of cash for access was highlighted last year Community Secretary Robert Genrick, After sitting at the back of the scheme at a dinner and next to a Tory donor, intervened to approve a housing development. He was later forced to reverse his decision.

All parties agreed that business and interest groups must be allowed to sue, but Cameron’s reform of lobbying was narrow enough to exclude the individual who followed him. (Cameron was hired by Greensil instead of working as an outside consultant, so he didn’t need to register as a lobbyist.)

Ministers are expected to maintain records of meetings with lobbyists and interest groups, while records of informal text messages and calls are not preserved – a method Cameron himself often used.

Old political practices of other ages have remained common. Johnson has drawn renewed criticism for funding public funds for electoral benefits, most recently for £ 3.6 billion in funding for cities, for which the criteria appear to be sufficiently supportive of conservative constituencies.

John Major, left, lost the election in 1999 because of allegations of murder surrounding his MPs. His successor, Tony Blair, is facing a police investigation into a ‘cash-for-money’ scandal involving 200 cash, although there was no final complaint.

Value change

But now the final issue is the closed door between the government and the private sector, it has hurt a lot of countries, but it has been further complicated by the changing nature of public service.

Government officials Growing business experience is encouraged when ministers ’careers often end well before retirement age and seek their more lucrative second law. Lord Eric Pickles, chairman of the Business Appointments Advisory Committee for Veteran Politicians and Civil Servants, warned this week about a culture where “the existing group has taken care of exactly what the Left left, will take care of them according to this idea”. Acoba is widely seen as toothless, and Pickles noted that last year it tested 108 of the 34,000 civil service discharges.

The impetus for the current scandal lies in the efforts initiated by Cameron and Johnson has continued to change the culture of Whitehall. The move to bring in outsiders to shake up what was seen as an incompetent and obstructive Whitehall was led by Francis Maud of the Cabinet Office under Cameron. The background was an era of austerity and the need to find adequate savings.

There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing for this purpose, but in the words of a senior civil servant of the time: “Those who manipulated things did not have a culture of contempt and contempt for culture like long-term civil servants. In the civil service Whitehall has created a defensive crouch and self-respect that refuses to challenge their misconduct. ”

Its cows The civil service under Johnson has accelerated. His former chief strategist Dominic Cummings promised to read “hard rain” on Whitehall, while the Allies made a hit list of top officials.

The change has also led to a new class of people, civil servants and even traditional political advisers, often without mention. Rules on external interests. As a result, Johnson called critics “kissers”, where jobs, contracts and public funds are given to friends and associates. This trend Accelerated during the epidemic When ministers were defending that life and death decisions should be made quickly.

Former Civil Servant Jill Rotter ©WikiCommons

Jill Rotter, a former senior civil servant and former head of the government institute, noted the risks: “The success of the Vaccine Task Force has eased some of the cynicism debates, but you have these jobs – crown representatives, ad hoc roles, departmental executives and our uncontrolled appointments. We’ll see if you manage conflicts of interest. “

This is seen as fundamental because the leadership of the Prime Minister and his close ministers is at the heart of the government’s criteria. A former official note from both Cameron and Johnson: “They have a sense of entitlement that these rules are right but they are for others.”

Concerns about the process, hiring and contracts have made the Good Law Project creative, a group that sees the process as an abuse of power in the courts. We have a set of cultural norms overseeing the civil service but the civil service feels deprived and therefore has lost the ability to observe these rules. ”

The supply chain finance company, led by Lex Grensil, which collapsed last month, each Ian Total / Shutterstock, seems to be making new revelations every day about the relationship between the government and Greensil Capital.

Johnson blew up a number of conventions during the Brexit talks, including when it came to approving violations of international treaties. Most recently he was found to have personally sought a grant for the reconstruction of his Downing Street flat.

All of this reinforces a statement made by Bob Carlslake, the former head of the Home Civil Service: To ask that. ”

One can only increase the depth of frustration. But the will of practitioners like British politics is not so tainted. The first step toward clearing this is probably to take a closer look at the behaviors that occur in most cases.



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