Journalist and author, Peter Oborne is, according to Wikipedia, "particularly known for his acerbic commentaries on the... mendacity and hypocrisy of today's politicians."
In exposing the dishonesty of the political class, he was always going to be someone I'd have time for.
On 12 December 2009, the following Oborne essays were published in The Daily Mail:
“THE PAST 13 YEARS HAVE SEEN AN EXPLOSION IN THE TAKE-HOME PAY OF INVESTMENT BANKERS, HEDGE-FUND MANAGERS AND PRIVATE EQUITY SHARKS. AS A DIRECT RESULT OF NEW LABOUR TAXATION POLICY, MASSIVE PRIVATE FORTUNES HAVE BEEN CREATED ON A SCALE NOT SEEN SINCE BEFORE WORLD WAR I…
But the gains of the richest and poorest members of society have come at the expense of a third, and much larger, group - middle-income earners… They are the ones who have been milked dry to pay for the massive increases in public spending over the past decade. And they are the ones to whom Chancellor Alistair Darling has turned again in order to balance the national finances now that Britain faces economic catastrophe…
Earn more than £20,000 a year… you can expect to be bled dry by the state. Labour MPs are so divorced from reality that they have become oblivious to what this means to ordinary, hardworking men and women… Labour ministers haven't a clue how hard it is to get by on £20,000 a year - the equivalent of around £300-a-week take-home pay - however much you scrimp and save.
Experts say rebuilding the shattered public finances will cost the average family £2,400 a year for a staggering eight years. Yet New Labour is so bloated and corrupt that the Government is supremely indifferent to what this means for individuals across the country… By a savage irony, it was these middle-income earners who voted Tony Blair into power in the Labour landslide of 1997. In return, Labour punished them from the start. Indifferent to their concerns, Blair preferred to rub shoulders with the billionaires of the undeserving super-rich, to whom he doled out tax rebates and peerages.
Meanwhile, the middle classes got clobbered by stealth taxes, NI rises, student tuition fees, fuel tax rises and all the other hidden levies that Gordon Brown used to fund Labour's massive expansion of the public sector. Labour became ever more inventive at finding ways to knock the hard-working people of Britain - and none of them was more invidious than Brown's immoral decision to abolish dividend tax relief on earnings from pension funds, which led to the gradual closure of occupational pension schemes.
Nor did Labour simply attack the financial interests of middle income people. The party also launched a surreptitious assault on their very way of life. Take, for example, their deliberate policy of allowing unlimited immigration into Britain. This was excellent news for members of the 'boss class', who could use the extra labour to drive down wages. And it was excellent news for the well-off, because domestic help became more plentiful, as well as cheaper. But for hard-working families struggling to make ends meet on £20,000 or £30,000 a year, immigration has been a disaster. For countless workers it has meant being priced out of the job market by cheaper competition from Eastern Europe. For families, it has meant children coping with larger classes and fewer English speakers at the local state school. For others it has meant being knocked off the housing list. And for everyone it has meant extra pressure on public services…
This summer the TUC published a devastating study entitled Life In The Middle: The Untold Story Of Britain's Average Earners, which showed how those on average income have lost out terribly in recent years. As TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber noted 'those on real middle incomes got left behind under the Conservatives, were left out of Labour's boom that has now busted into recession, and are now fearing for their jobs and homes as unemployment bites'.
Recently, Labour propagandists have been trying to spread the notion that there is a class war between ordinary decent people and David Cameron's Tories. In truth, there is a class war, but not the one Labour strategists have invented. THE KEY BATTLE IN BRITISH POLITICS IS BETWEEN A PAMPERED, COSY AND CORRUPT POLITICAL CLASS WHICH HAS LOST ALL CONNECTION WITH THE REAL WORLD - AND THE MASS OF ORDINARY PEOPLE BETRAYED BY POLITICIANS OF ALL PARTIES."
"Never has it been more generally agreed that the modern world is a 'knowledge economy'… And yet, does the average pupil end up knowing more or knowing things more deeply than, say, 50 years ago? COULD THE AVERAGE PUPIL OF TODAY DO LONG DIVISION, OR SPEAK FRENCH, OR WRITE AN ENGLISH PARAGRAPH, OR EXPLAIN THE GREAT REFORM BILL, OR FIND VALPARAISO ON A MAP, OR OPERATE THE LAWS OF THERMO-DYNAMICS BETTER THAN HIS OR HER EQUIVALENT HALF A CENTURY AGO?
Perhaps not, the defenders of current education would say, but modern pupils know much more about saving the planet, safe sex, Eid, and challenging racism, not to mention things not even thought of in the 1950s, such as the internet. They learn more that is 'relevant'. They also, modern educationalists argue, acquire more 'skills'. Instead of being crammed with sterile facts, they know how to engage with a subject. They learn less mere 'what', but more 'why' and 'how to'…
For all the patter about diversity, EDUCATION HAS BECOME MORE HOSTILE TO THINGS THAT ARE OUTSIDE THE IMMEDIATE EXPERIENCE OF THE PUPIL. Much less pre-20th-century history or literature is taught. Fewer pupils learn foreign languages, let alone dead ones. Individual sciences have been conflated into the easier 'dual science' paper. We heard this week that A QUARTER OF PRIMARY SCHOOLS NEVER TEACH PUPILS THE LORD’S PRAYER…
ONE OF THE WORST THINGS ABOUT BEING BADLY EDUCATED IS THAT YOU ARE EASILY BORED. If somebody asks, 'How could Jane Austen/Plato/Mozart/William the Conqueror/Einstein or whoever be relevant to inner-city kids?', the answer is surely that it is the kids, not Jane Austen etc, who have the problem. It is the job of teachers to help them out of it.
There is a nice bit in Boswell’s Life of Johnson when Dr Johnson stops a poor boy and says, 'What would you give, my lad, to know about the Argonauts?' 'Sir, I would give everything I had,' the boy replies. But we have given up teaching poor boys about the Argonauts. WE HAVE DESPAIRED OF THE TRANSFORMATION WHICH EDUCATION CAN BRING ABOUT.
Schooling is now effectively compulsory from the age of four to 18. But TOO OFTEN, THE PEOPLE WHO EMERGE FROM THOSE LONG YEARS HAVE NOT LEARNT THE 'WHAT' OR THE 'HOW TO' OR THE 'WHY'.
You can see this in the practical things of daily life. HUGE NUMBERS OF DRUGS, IT TURNS OUT, ARE WRONGLY ADMINISTERED IN HOSPITAL BECAUSE NURSES HAVE NOT FOLLOWED THE INSTRUCTIONS PRECISELY. NO ONE TAUGHT THEM THE HABIT OF ACCURACY.
How many people can draft, unaided, a letter or email that coherently makes an argument? How many people can calculate their own tax, or work out whether they are choosing the right pension? How many people can begin to understand the legal system or argue successfully with a bureaucrat or comprehend with any accuracy what their doctor is telling them?
More important still, HOW CAN PEOPLE ENJOY THE RICHNESS OF OUR CIVILISATION IF NO ONE HAS INTRODUCED THEM TO ITS GLORIES?”
On 27 November 2009, the following Oborne articles were published in The Daily Mail:
“Mandelson now only seems truly at home in grand country houses or on the yachts of billionaires such as his Russian oligarch friend Oleg Deripaska, whose guest he was during the summer of 2008.
The truth is that his attendance at a shooting party with Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi's son is a perfect parable of the decadent Left's embrace of everything it claims to despise. Nor is Mandelson an exception.
PRACTICALLY EVERY MEMBER OF TONY BLAIR'S CABINET WHICH TOOK OFFICE IN 1997 HAS SINCE SOLD OUT TO WEALTH AND POWER. BLAIR HIMSELF IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE. SINCE LEAVING OFFICE, HE HAS BECOME A POPULAR MEMBER OF THE INTERNATIONAL PLUTOCRACY; A CONSULTANT TO AN INVESTMENT BANK WHO HAS EARNED AN ESTIMATED £15 MILLION SINCE LEAVING DOWNING STREET. WHILE AT NO 10, BLAIR WAS SHAMEFULLY ATTRACTED TO EXTREMELY RICH MEN…
Numerous ministers from the Blair years have exploited their Whitehall experience to go on to earn fat fees in the private sector. Indeed, SOME OF THOSE WHO BOASTED LOUDEST ABOUT THEIR WORKING CLASS CREDENTIALS, SUCH AS JOHN PRESCOTT, HAVE BEEN AMONG THE GREEDIEST.
Nor should it be forgotten that MPS' CULTURE OF CHEATING OVER THEIR EXPENSES TOOK ROOT DURING THE NEW LABOUR YEARS (although, of course, many Tories were just as bad…
THE LABOUR PARTY HAS LOST ITS MORAL CENTRE. ITS LEADERS HAVE NAUSEATINGLY SOLD OUT TO THE ARISTOCRATIC LIFESTYLE AND WORLD OF HIGH FINANCE THAT THEY CLAIMED TO ABHOR.”
“In his infamous Commons speech, Blair conjured up an apocalyptic vision of the danger that a bomb composed of nuclear materials might pose on the streets of London. The implication was clear — in order to avert such a threat, Iraq had to be invaded as soon as possible. Yet THE IDEA OF IRAQ BEING ABLE TO PLANT SUCH A DIRTY BOMB ON THE STREETS OF LONDON WAS PURE FANTASY. SUCH MENDACIOUS BEHAVIOUR FROM A PRIME MINISTER IS BREATH-TAKING. If the chairman of a leading company which was being floated on the London stock exchange had been as cavalier with the truth about his firm’s financial wellbeing, there is no question that the fraud squad would have mounted an investigation and that the chairman would have been arrested, tried and, in due course, sent to jail.
The irony is that Tony Blair has since moved into the City, where HE WORKS AS A CONSULTANT TO THE INVESTMENT BANK MORGAN STANLEY.
Meanwhile, Blair is not alone in his complicity in spinning lies in the run-up to the war with Iraq. How many of his senior Cabinet ministers — who are still in government — knew what he was doing, yet failed to lift a finger to stop him? For instance, JACK STRAW WAS FOREIGN SECRETARY AT THE TIME. HARRIET HARMAN, LABOUR’S DEPUTY LEADER, WAS IN A SIMILAR POSITION. Back in 2003, she was Solicitor General and would have been aware of all the details of how Blair brought pressure to bear on the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith to make the crucial judgment that the war was legal. She, too, must have at least suspected that Blair was lying.
The biggest question, however, relates to the position of Gordon Brown. At the time of the invasion he was Chancellor and by far the most powerful member of Blair’s Cabinet. The Chilcot Inquiry must now find out what access Brown was given to intelligence material. Most vitally, WAS HE PRIVY TO THE CONSPIRACY TO DECEIVE THE BRITISH PEOPLE ON THE EVE OF WAR?”
On 21 November 2009, Oborne opined thus in The Daily Mail:
“There are three main areas where Blair may have committed illegal acts while in office. The first concerns corruption, whereby BUSINESSMEN OR LARGE CORPORATIONS WERE ABLE TO INFLUENCE GOVERNMENT POLICY OR GAINED OTHER FAVOURS IN EXCHANGE FOR DONATIONS TO THE LABOUR PARTY (for example, the change in policy over tobacco advertising secured by Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone after he gave £1million to the party).
But the most shocking aspect of the Blair administration - which is ironic, since it introduced the Human Rights Act - was its apparent indifference to human rights. Fresh evidence is emerging every week of the alleged COMPLICITY OF THE BRITISH STATE IN THE TORTURE OF TERRORIST SUSPECTS, particularly after President Bush's White House took a much more brutal approach to such enemies of America after the bombing of the Twin Towers in 2001.
It is inconceivable that British intelligence agents would have been involved in the torture of terror suspects without explicit ministerial sanction. The question is how much did Blair himself know - and THE EVIDENCE HE DID IS GETTING NEARER HIS DOOR ALL THE TIME. A Human Rights Watch report into British complicity with torture is to be published on Tuesday and will add to the pressure.
The third area of potential illegality concerns the still highly controversial decision TO GO TO WAR WITH IRAQ in March 2003. A number of legal experts argue that THE WAR WAS ILLEGAL AND TONY BLAIR IS THEREFORE GUILTY OF WAR CRIMES. This is why the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war, whose public hearings finally get under way in London next week, is potentially SO DANGEROUS FOR BLAIR. The key question under review is whether THE FORMER LABOUR PRIME MINISTER LIED TO THE BRITISH PEOPLE…
Now that he is a private citizen, and his dreams of the European presidency have evaporated, he is vulnerable as never before.”
On 4 November 2009, Oborne told us this in The Spectator:
“Judging only by its electoral performance, the Communist Party of Great Britain was a near-total failure in the 20th century. It only secured a tiny number of MPs at Westminster, while the party membership peaked at just over 60,000 at the height of Soviet popularity during the second world war. But this public lack of success was misleading. THE COMMUNISTS EXERCISED CONSIDERABLE SECRET INFLUENCE IN UNIVERSITIES, PUBLISHING HOUSES, JOURNALISM AND EVEN THE CIVIL SERVICE FOR DECADES AFTER 1945.
ITS GREATEST POWER, HOWEVER, LAY INSIDE THE LABOUR PARTY AND THE TRADE UNIONS. It was perhaps especially strong in the National Union of Mineworkers and the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers. This strength survived long after the catastrophic Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956. WE KNOW THAT THE TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS UNION LEADER JACK JONES — WHO RECEIVED EFFUSIVE PRAISE FROM PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN WHEN HE DIED IN APRIL THIS YEAR — WAS A PAID AGENT FOR THE USSR, AND IN RECEIPT OF CASH HANDOUTS FROM HIS SOVIET HANDLER OLEG GORDIEVSKY AS LATE AS THE 1980S.
The merit of Anatoly Chernyaev’s diaries is that they show that… by the 1970s, AN ALTERNATIVE GOVERNMENT WAS IN PLACE, HANDPICKED BY MOSCOW TO TAKE OVER THE APPARATUS OF THE BRITISH STATE ONCE THE COLD WAR WAS LOST. THERE WOULD BE A SOVIET-STYLE POWER SPLIT: REAL POWER WOULD REST IN THE CHAIRMANSHIP AND THE BUREAUCRACY, WITH THE POLITICIANS SIMPLY THE FRONT MEN. Some of the Labour men the Soviets were grooming were paid agents, others fellow travellers. Yet EVEN FRONT-RANK POLITICIANS WERE PATHETICALLY ANXIOUS TO REACH SOME KIND OF UNDERSTANDING WITH THE SOVIET REGIME.
Even today we still do not possess anything like a clear picture of how far this penetration stretched… It remains quite staggering how many aspirant Labour politicians were either members of the communist party or, like the Justice Secretary Jack Straw, influenced by the CP at a time when it was controlled by Moscow. The former defence secretary John Reid, for example, was a CP member well into the 1970s, while Peter Mandelson was an influential Young Communist.
Indeed THE NEW LABOUR GOVERNMENT WHICH HAS GOVERNED BRITAIN SINCE 1997 CANNOT BE UNDERSTOOD UNLESS THESE COMMUNIST INFLUENCES ARE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT. MANY OF NEW LABOUR’S CHARACTERISTICS — ITS DEEP SUSPICION OF OUTSIDERS, ITS STRUCTURAL HOSTILITY TO DEMOCRATIC DEBATE, ITS SECRECY, ITS FAITH IN BUREAUCRACY, EMBEDDED PREFERENCE FOR STRIKING DEALS AWAY FROM THE PUBLIC EYE, ITS RUTHLESS RELIANCE ON A SMALL GROUP OF TRUSTED ACTIVISTS — RESULT FROM THE EARLY CP TRAINING OF REID, MANDELSON AND OTHERS…
Soviet infiltration of the Labour movement remains a neuralgic subject on the left. ONE OF JACK JONES’S BRIGHTEST PROTÉGÉS WAS GORDON BROWN. And WHEN I APPROACHED DOWNING STREET TO ASK THE PRIME MINISTER WHETHER HE WOULD WITHDRAW HIS OUTSPOKEN PRAISE FOR JONES IN THE LIGHT OF THE RECENTLY DISCLOSED FACT THAT HE WAS A KGB ASSET AND LONG-TERM TRAITOR, THE PRIME MINISTER DITHERED AND DAWDLED.
At length Downing Street came back with a robust ‘no comment’.”
On 30 September 2009, Oborne said this in The Daily Mail:
“Several years of Labour government has again left Britain in a financial shambles. Like in 1978, a general election is just around the corner – and again it is one that the nation expects Labour to lose.
But there the similarity ends. Compared with Callaghan’s responsible approach, Brown placed short-term party political advantage ahead of the long-term British interest. In other words, HE CHOSE TO SAVE HIS OWN SKIN RATHER THAN DO THE RIGHT THING BY BRITAIN.
An honest speech would have set out the grave economic problems this country faces and spelt out the true size of the financial shortfall – some £200 billion next year, representing a terrifying 14 per cent or more of national output. He would have then explained the painful but necessary measures needed to rein back this spiralling national debt and warned about the level of future public spending cuts and the prospect of painful job losses. Such candour would have been the statesmanlike act of a politician with integrity – preparing the country for the dark days that lie ahead. Instead, though, BROWN CHOSE TO IGNORE THE TRUTH AND DELIVERED A CYNICAL DECEPTION. He claimed he could make the swingeing cuts in spending without reducing front-line services in health, education, and law and order.
For someone who was Chancellor for ten years and is well versed at handling departmental budgets, BROWN MUST KNOW THAT THESE CLAIMS ARE NOT EVEN REMOTELY TRUE. Indeed, he failed to outline a single spending cut – an omission which reeks of personal cowardice and a culpable refusal to deal with the dire circumstances created by the worst recession in 60 years. Nor was that all. With reckless irresponsibility, Brown then launched himself into a long list of spending commitments as if Britain were enjoying an economic boom.”
On 6 June 2009, Oborne opined thus in The Daily Mail:
“The brutal truth is that THE CHANCELLOR IS THE MOST SENIOR MEMBER OF THE ARMY OF EXPENSES CHEATS - from all parties - who have destroyed trust in politics by milking the Commons allowances system so ruthlessly over the past few years.
Besides double-claiming his expenses, Darling has 'flipped' his main residence no less than four times in four years, enabling him to claim thousands of pounds towards the cost of his family home in Edinburgh, as well as to purchase a flat in London, with stamp duty and the mortgage paid for by the taxpayer.
So Gordon Brown was agonisingly aware that keeping Darling in the pivotal job of Chancellor meant that HIS GOVERNMENT WOULD REMAIN DESPERATELY IMPLICATED IN THE SHAMEFUL PARLIAMENTARY EXPENSES SCANDAL that has caused public outrage. That is why it was so important to sack him.
At his press conference yesterday, Gordon Brown said his primary mission was to 'clean up politics'.
But SUCH AN OBJECTIVE IS A BAD JOKE WHILE THE KING OF EXPENSE CHEATS REMAINS IN CHARGE OF THE NATION'S FINANCES...
The plotters may strike again, and it still has some very senior and well-placed supporters. AMONG THEM IS TONY BLAIR, who told friends last week that he would not be speaking out in support of Gordon Brown… Many of Blair's closest allies are still determined to take the final revenge.”
On 3 June 2009, Oborne said this in The Daily Mail:
“The total administrative paralysis is a direct result of THE MORAL SHAMBLES OF THE BROWN GOVERNMENT.
Yesterday, it became public that the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, who was caught claiming for her husband's porn movies at taxpayers' expense, has asked to be relieved of her duties. MS SMITH WILL GO DOWN AS THE LEAST COMPETENT HOME SECRETARY OF ALL TIME - though the porn movies may at least ensure that she is memorable.
Meanwhile, ALISTAIR DARLING, CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER, HAS BEEN REVEALED AS A SERIAL 'FLIPPER' AND AN EXPENSES CHEAT AND IS MERELY AWAITING EXECUTION IN THE CABINET RESHUFFLE expected next Monday at the latest. In other words, TWO OF THE FOREMOST HIGH OFFICES OF STATE - HOME SECRETARY AND CHANCELLOR - ARE OCCUPIED BY DISGRACED POLITICIANS who are waiting to learn the date they will depart from office. They are therefore incapable of making decisions and are TREATED WITH UTTER CONTEMPT BY OFFICIALS…
Smith is the biggest blow of all because only two months ago, the Prime Minister personally begged her to hang on until his reshuffle - only for her to defy him at the last moment by jumping the gun. But these displays of defiance, though desperately damaging, are nowhere near the worst of Brown's reshuffle problems.
Most dangerous by far is the powerful rebellion gathering strength yesterday among Labour MPs against his… controversial choice as replacement Chancellor, Ed Balls. BALLS IS SO HATED THAT SOME MINISTERS ARE THREATENING TO RESIGN IF HE IS APPOINTED - thus precipitating a revolt that would bring down Brown himself… It is gradually dawning on observers that the scale of the problem facing Britain this week is far greater than anything seen in recent history.“
On 28 May 2009, Oborne wrote this in The Daily Mail:
“There are just two categories of Briton who have done well out of New Labour. THE FIRST, IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING, IS THE VERY RICH. THANKS TO GORDON BROWN'S TAX BREAKS, NEW LABOUR'S ELECTION LANDSLIDE OF 1997 PRODUCED PRIVATE WEALTH ON A SCALE NOT SEEN SINCE THE PLUTOCRATS BESTRODE EDWARDIAN ENGLAND ON THE EVE OF WORLD WAR 1...
THE FECKLESS HAVE BENEFITED AS WELL. But… those men and women who are neither poor enough to benefit from New Labour handouts, nor wealthy enough to exploit GORDON BROWN'S TAX GIVEAWAYS FOR THE RICH, SUCH AS SLASHING CAPITAL GAINS TAX TO 10P IN THE POUND FOR PRIVATE EQUITY INVESTORS. THEY HAVE LOST OUT MASSIVELY.
As a most revealing new report published this week from the TUC demonstrates with hideous clarity, THEY HAVE SUFFERED AN IRREVERSIBLE DECLINE IN SOCIAL AND FINANCIAL STATUS OVER RECENT DECADES. THANKS TO 12 YEARS OF NEW LABOUR GOVERNMENT, THE BRAVE PEOPLE OF MIDDLE BRITAIN ARE NOW STRUGGLING JUST TO SURVIVE… THEY ARE THE ONES THAT PAY THEIR TAXES, OBEY THE LAW, DO THE RIGHT THING, CARE FOR THEIR FAMILIES AND WORK THE LONGEST HOURS. THEY ARE THE VERY PEOPLE WHO ARE MOST LIKELY TO BE FOUND DEVOTING WHAT LITTLE SPARE TIME THEY HAVE TO SERVING THEIR COMMUNITIES. AND THEIR REWARD HAS BEEN TO BE TAXED ALMOST OUT OF EXISTENCE BY A GREEDY AND AMORAL POLITICAL CLASS INTENT ON FEATHERING ITS OWN NEST AT THE EXPENSE OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC...
Middle managers, workers on the factory floor, craftsmen, teachers and nurses, shop managers and small businessmen have all paid a very heavy price for belonging to the hardest-working sector of society…
THEIR FUNDAMENTAL ERROR HAS BEEN TO STAND ON THEIR OWN TWO FEET. HAD THEY CHOSEN TO LIVE ON BENEFITS AND BECOME CLIENTS OF THE STATE, THEY WOULD HAVE DONE FAR, FAR BETTER - AND HAD A MUCH EASIER AND LESS STRESSFUL LIFE...
WE ARE A SOCIETY THAT PUNISHES ITS MOST CONSCIENTIOUS AND HARD-WORKING MEMBERS, WHILE REWARDING THE VENAL, THE CRIMINAL, THE GREEDY AND THE INDIGENT...
HOW LONG CAN A SOCIETY PUNISH ITS MOST DECENT AND RESPECTABLE MEMBERS, WHILE EXALTING THE MOST WORTHLESS CLASSES OF SOCIETY, WITHOUT FALLING INTO TERMINAL COLLAPSE?"
On 22 May 2009, Oborne opined thus in The Daily Mail:
“THE POLITICAL CLASS FINDS ITSELF LITERALLY UNABLE TO UNDERSTAND THE VALUES THAT APPEAR ADMIRABLE TO MOST PEOPLE, SUCH AS HONESTY, PATRIOTISM AND RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE.
THIS NEW ELITE HAS BEEN GROWING IN STRENGTH FOR SEVERAL DECADES, yet its key moment came in 1997 with TONY BLAIR'S LANDSLIDE ELECTION VICTORY. There was a fundamental paradox inside the Blair administration. On the one hand, the Blair government claimed to represent ordinary voters and indeed defined itself as 'the political arm of the British people'.
On the other hand, IT FELT A DEEP AND VISCERAL HOSTILITY TO TRADITIONAL BRITISH VALUES. So it faced a choice. It could either tell the British public what it genuinely believed and try to win a public argument. OR IT COULD LIE. TRAGICALLY - AND THIS DECISION LIES AT THE HEART OF THE EXPENSES SCANDAL - THE BLAIR GOVERNMENT CHOSE TO MISLEAD THE PUBLIC ON AN EPIC SCALE...
NEW LABOUR FAVOURED MASS IMMIGRATION, IN PART BECAUSE ITS ALLIES IN BIG BUSINESS WANTED TO INCREASE THEIR PROFITS BY DRIVING DOWN WAGES, AND IN PART BECAUSE IMPOVERISHED INCOMERS TO BRITAIN ARE MORE LIKELY TO VOTE LABOUR. But... it knew that voters were opposed. So, in public, Labour home secretaries would denounce immigrants, recklessly accusing them of 'swamping' British culture... But IN PRIVATE THE GOVERNMENT ALLOWED MORE OR LESS UNCONTROLLED IMMIGRATION.
The Iraq debacle was another case in point. TONY BLAIR WAS DETERMINED TO STICK BY HIS ALLY GEORGE W. BUSH COME WHAT MAY - BUT HE DID NOT DARE SAY THIS IN PUBLIC.
British democracy now faces an historic crisis. THE GULF BETWEEN THE CORRUPT RULING ELITE AND THE GREAT MASS OF ORDINARY BRITISH CITIZENS IS TODAY GREATER THAN AT ANY TIME SINCE THE EARLY 19TH CENTURY. This means there is one great burning question in our public life... Will there BE SOME KIND OF REVOLUTION?”
On 25 April 2009, Oborne said this in The Daily Mail:
“When Gordon Brown became Prime Minister he promised to end the squalor, sleaze and dreadful culture of cronyism that disfigured Tony Blair’s government. He also pledged to restore the integrity of the Civil Service, return power to Parliament and bring back the traditional form of collective Cabinet government.
I must admit that I believed him at the time — something which led to me receiving a large mailbag of criticism from Mail readers who attacked me for being so gullible. Now, however, two scandals which emerged over the past fortnight have finally, I must admit, destroyed any pretence that Gordon Brown is an honourable politician. The first of these concerned the foul smear campaign which DAMIAN MCBRIDE, THE PM’S MOST TRUSTED PUBLIC RELATIONS AIDE, sought to launch against Tory leader David Cameron and his colleagues.
The second scandal centres on the abuse of taxpayers’ money through MPs’ allowances system. Despite recent protestations to the contrary, GORDON BROWN HAS LONG BEEN ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT DEFENDERS OF THIS DISGUSTING AND CORRUPT SYSTEM OF EXTRA PAYMENTS TO MPS. The truth is that Gordon Brown has had ample opportunity to show his distaste for the system by sacking those ministers who have been caught abusing their expenses.
The two main offenders are HIS SHAMELESS HOME SECRETARY, JACQUI SMITH, AND HIS WRETCHED EMPLOYMENT MINISTER, TONY MCNULTY, WHO LAST YEAR CLAIMED £12,600 WORTH OF EXPENSES ON A PROPERTY WHERE HIS PARENTS LIVE, 11 MILES FROM WESTMINSTER. Instead, THE PRIME MINISTER DEFENDED THESE TWO THIEVES.”
On 28 March 2009, Oborne informed us thus in The Daily Mail:
“At the end of 2006, the Bank of England pension fund made a sudden and very extraordinary decision. IT SOLD ALL THE EQUITIES IN ITS PORTFOLIO AND INVESTED THEM IN INDEX-LINKED GILTS - even though it realised that such a move would increase the annual cost of the pension fund by some £45million.
Looking back, THIS WAS A BRILLIANTLY FARSIGHTED DECISION BECAUSE SHARES HAVE SINCE FALLEN IN VALUE BY ALMOST 50 PER CENT. It seems clear THE BANK OF ENGLAND FUND MANAGERS UNDERSTOOD THE NATURE OF THE LOOMING ECONOMIC CRISIS WELL BEFORE ANYONE ELSE. At the time, they said their decision was based on concerns about 'unsustainable' positions in credit markets and the consequences of a possible credit crunch…
The move from equities to gilts raises a very awkward question:
Did the Bank of England foresee what was coming as early as 2006 - YET DID LITTLE ABOUT THE IMPENDING CRASH, APART FROM PROTECT ITS STAFF'S OWN PENSION FUND?”
On 9 February 2009, Oborne said this in The Daily Mail:
“The revelations concerning Home Secretary Jacqui Smith come as another jolting reminder that FAR TOO MANY BRITISH MPS ARE, QUITE SIMPLY, CORRUPT. She is claiming tens of thousands of pounds to which she is not entitled. In doing so, THE HOME SECRETARY IS SURELY BEHAVING NO BETTER THAN A COMMON THIEF.
These are the facts. Her family home is a £300,000 detached house in the West Midlands, where she lives with her husband, and where her children go to school. Smith also spends, on average, three or four nights a week in London, where she stays in her sister's house and financially contributes, as she puts it, 'to the household budget'. The Home Secretary has told the Commons authorities the blatant fib that her sister's home, where she happens to camp on certain weekdays, is her 'main residence'. But THE LIE IS A VERY PROFITABLE ONE. It means that she can claim the Commons' additional costs allowance - which is only payable on so-called second homes. IT'S WORTH £24,000 TAX FREE - AND THE HOME SECRETARY CLAIMS EVERY LAST PENNY. It's all legal - after all IT'S MPS WHO MAKE THE LAWS - and approved by the Commons authorities.
AT WESTMINSTER, THOUGH, SHE'S AN OBJECT OF SYMPATHY RATHER THAN DISGUST. THERE WAS NOT A SQUEAK OF PROTEST FROM DAVID CAMERON'S TORY PARTY YESTERDAY. The reason is obvious. CAMERON KNOWS THAT HIS OWN SHADOW CABINET ARE EVERY BIT AS CORRUPT AS JACQUI SMITH. SO THERE'S A CONSPIRACY BETWEEN THE MAIN POLITICAL PARTIES TO STEAL FROM THE POCKETS OF THE TAXPAYER.
By failing to protest about Jacqui Smith's sordid financial arrangements, Cameron is sending out the message that when the Tories win the election they will be every bit as sleazy as Labour.”
On 6 February 2009, Oborne said this in The Daily Mail:
“The Foreign Secretary's very public denunciation of George W Bush's so-called war on terror may be exploding in his face. For it appears that the very youthful David Miliband may become part of a conspiracy to cover up evidence that suggests that British intelligence agents agreed to the torture of terrorist suspects.
THIS IS AS FOUL AS IT GETS - for one of the most important distinguishing mark of a civilised society is the refusal to countenance torture. The British authorities hold key American documents that cast a very disturbing light on this cruel and illegal mistreatment, and the British courts want to publish this material.
It is over this that DAVID MILIBAND HAS INTERVENED TO STOP PUBLICATION, citing 'national security'. The judges had no choice but to comply with this edict - although they made clear their fury, insisting that there was 'very considerable public interest' in publication'.“
On 28 January 2008, Oborne said this in The Daily Mail:
"For centuries the Lords has been a beacon of integrity. Now it is a byword for sleaze. This is Blair's REAL legacy... Back in 1997, as the new prime minister, he was contemptuous of the traditional system of hereditary peerage which had served Britain for centuries and, instead, pledged to create a second chamber ‘fit for the 21st century’…
BLAIR INSTALLED AN ARMY OF PLACEMEN AND POLITICAL STOOGES ON A SCALE UNPRECEDENTED IN MODERN BRITISH HISTORY. Astonishingly, ALMOST HALF OF THE CURRENT 732 STRONG MEMBERSHIP OF THE LORDS WERE CREATED BY TONY BLAIR — A TOTAL OF SOME 357 PEERS IN ALL…
He rarely, if ever, appointed distinguished men and women who would add to the stock of national wisdom. Instead, SELECTED CRONIES WHO WOULD SERVE HIS OWN NARROW, SHODDY, PARTISAN INTEREST WERE REWARDED WITH A PLACE ON THE RED LEATHER BENCHES.
THE FIRST CATEGORY OF THESE CRONIES AND PLACEMEN WERE THOSE WHO PURCHASED THEIR PEERAGES WITH GENEROUS DONATIONS TO LABOUR PARTY FUNDS...
OF SEVEN MEN WHO GAVE MORE THAN £1 MILLION TO LABOUR DURING BLAIR’S DECADE IN POWER, SIX WERE HONOURED. In fact, SOMEONE WHO GAVE THE PARTY MONEY STOOD A 7,000 TIMES HIGHER CHANCE OF SECURING A PEERAGE THAN AN ORDINARY PERSON, HOWEVER DESERVING...
THE RED BENCHES OF THE UPPER HOUSE SWIFTLY BECAME INFUSED WITH THOSE WHO EPITOMISED THE VENAL VALUES OF THE MARKETPLACE… It was during this period that Blair henchmen hinted privately that A £500,000 DONATION WOULD NORMALLY SECURE A PEERAGE.
The Downing Street policy chief Geoff Mulgan — a rare man of honour in the corrupt Blair entourage — complained after leaving No 10 that ‘THE SCARCELY CONCEALED SALE OF PEERAGES TO WEALTHY PARTY DONORS AND THE APPOINTMENT OF THE PARTY’S TOP DONOR — LORD SAINSBURY — TO MINISTERIAL OFFICE, DID LITTLE TO RESTORE THE BRITISH PUBLIC’S CONFIDENCE’.
THE APPOINTMENT OF SCORES OF THESE VERY RICH MEN TO THE LORDS FITTED VERY WELL WITH THE CULTURE OF GREED AND SLEAZE THAT RAN RIGHT THROUGH BRITISH GOVERNMENT DURING THE BLAIR YEARS IN OFFICE. THESE BLAIRITE CRONIES, MEANWHILE, USED THE LORDS AS A PLACE FOR CARRYING OUT BUSINESS... THE HOUSE OF LORDS HAS — IN LESS THAN A DECADE — BECOME SYNONYMOUS WITH SLEAZE AND CORRUPTION. INSTEAD OF BEING LOOKED UP TO WITH ADMIRATION AND RESPECT, THE BRITISH POLITICAL SYSTEM IS TURNING INTO AN OBJECT OF INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPT.
WE HAVE TONY BLAIR TO THANK FOR THAT.”