15 November, 2006

Cash for honours: the empire strikes back.

The government has clearly launched its counter-offensive in the cash for honours scandal. On Sunday, by way of an opening barrage, it was a political attack on the police investigation. Today, reports the Daily Telegraph the legal forces are preparing to to over the top and challenge the legality of the police investigation. Downing Street has denied the claim to the Evening Standard.

Meanwhile, some of the businessmen involved have been blowing holes in Tony Blair's defensive line, spun to Labour's National Executive: that the loans were kept secret because the donors asked for secrecy.

Both the Telegraph and the Daily Mail have stories that a Labour member of the Scotch parliament is danger of being dragged into the police inquiry into the affair.

I have no doubt that Tony Blair will never appear in the dock. If it was in the US, he might, but in the UK the legal system is an integrated part of government and the upper echelons of the country's political and social life. Although, under the influence of the European Union, the British judiciary is slowly developing a genuine independence from the politicians, in highly charged political cases such as this Governments can always find a friendly judge when they need one, an old school chum perhaps.

No comments: