Sunday, March 26, 2006

Liberal-style corruption in the UK

Surly Beaver has a good run-down of the Tony Blair scandal. As Surly say, it all sounds vaguely familiar.

A little while back I reported that Mr. Blair stood accused of appointing financial supporters of the Labour Party to the House of Lords. Since then more details have emerged. Blair initially claimed that there was no link between the honours, and the donations to the Labour Party. As it turns out, he appears to have been lying. It has since come to light that the three men in question had loaned huge sums of money to the Labour Party. You see, according to the political financing laws in the UK, any donation over £5,000 has to reported, but that rule doesn't apply to loans. The way the system operated basically was that one of Tony's Cronies, Lord Levy, would hit up wealthy Labour supporters for large loans, to be repaid post-election. After the election, the donor would write off the loan (in effect making it a donation but one that evaded the reporting rule). It appears that some of these donors at least were appointed to the House of Lords as a reward. The selling of peerages is illegal.

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