Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Proud to be British

The scandal around the 1 billion pounds paid by BAE to the Saudis to help the former sell planes to the latter is spreading and spreading. It would seem that the UK Ministry of Defence actually countersigned the bribe payments.

Call me simple, but what has a government to do with a commercial, and as far as I can remember, a private company and its business? And under what power did the MoD countersign these payments? And exactly out of whose coffers therefore did they come? The Government's or BAE's? Does the Government have the right to countersign the cheques of BAE? Whose else's cheques can it countersign?

Apparently Blair has said he'll take the blame for it. That's all right then. He's going in a fortnight anyway, so he is now free to take the blame on anything - what does it matter to him? Is he likely to land in prison?

For some reason the US Department of Justice is thinking of opening an investigation - it's amazing how far US legal powers stretch. But of course the British legal powers were kyboshed by the Attorney General in the interests of national security. There goes someone else who has covered himself in glory. Will all those people who did these things, and who have a knighthood or whatever, be forced to give them back, like the late Anthony Blunt?

I remember that Labour first got in because people were sick and tired of the sleaze associated with the previous Tory government (in 1997). Nothing has changed, has it - though I wonder if I would not have trusted John Major a smidgeon more than Blair who I have always found totally insincere and untrustworthy, and even more so after working in his government for a while. What can we Brits do with our government?