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Tag Archives: cash for access

Cash for Access (Part 94) – The Answer Will Still Be Wrong

You just know that whatever answer they come up with to the latest cash for access scandal, it’ll be the wrong one.

Number 10 is now publishing the details of who Cameron entertained on government premises. Like it will make a difference to anything. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be done – of course it should; it’s public property so we have a right, within the usual reason (national security, etc.) to know what’s going on there. Apparently, Francis Maude , soon-to-be-reshuffled Cabinet Office minister, had gone some way by publishing details of meetings between ministers and lobbyists … up to June 2011, but then it stopped (though probably more through incompetence than conspiracy). Strangely, so eagerly awaited and pored over were these reports that no-one seems to have noticed that they had stopped until now.

Anyway, back to the point. There are calls for limits on the amount of donations, bans on non-individual donations (which might get traction, as it could – rightly – also include unions) and of course, the old chestnut, state funding of parties. The latter will hopefully not come to fruition, if not because of the current fiscal situation, then the fact that there is apparently no cross-party consensus on the issue … yet.

But the real issue is this – all this is mere tweaking. The fact is that the more areas that government insists on sticking its nose in, the more scope there will be for said government – of any colour – to be lobbied, cajoled, wined and dined, or otherwise pushed by the competing interests involved.

The more pies the state sticks its fingers into, the more people that will be wanting to lick said digits.