Corruption: noun, lack of integrity or honesty (especially susceptibility to bribery); use of a position of trust for dishonest gainOnce upon a time there was a Prince who had a problem. The police were asking all sorts of bothersome and impertinent questions about where he got all of his lovely presents (and free aeroplane) from.
So the Prince asked Lord Blairimort (who was Prime Monster), and Lord Blairimort asked Lord Goldfinger (who was Attorney General), and Lord Goldfinger asked the police and all the questions went away.
And they all lived happily ever after. Or possibly not.
But, begging your fluffy pardon, doesn't using one's POSITION as, say, a Prince of a Middle Eastern Country for the GAIN of getting an inconvenient police investigation off of one's back sound pretty much like evidence of CORRUPTION anyway?
Now, it turns out that when the Serious Fraud Office, on the orders of Lord Blairimort, dropped their investigations into the alleged BRIBERY going on between BAE and assorted Saudi Arabian Princes, not only were they behaving like the puppets of a cowardly quisling and jumping to obey the dictates of a foreign dictatorship, they were also BREAKING THE LAW.
So Liberal Democrat Leader Mr Clogg is calling for their inquiries to be reopened immediately and investigated properly!
Mr Denis McSHAME, former junior minister at the foreign office with special responsibility for oleaginously thanking the Ambassador for the Ferrero Rocher, came on the The Today Programme protesting that he was a PARLIAMENTARIAN and judges should not seek to overturn the WILL of PARLIAMENT.
News flash, Denis: Parliament expressed its will QUITE CLEARLY when it made bribery and corruption ILLEGAL.
But never mind the SELF-SERVING hypocrisy of a member of the party that has a majority of seats on the House of Commons based on a minority of support in the country saying that they should use that leverage to overturn the law whenever they've broken it. And never mind the ludicrousness of his thesis that courts should ask Parliament to decide first what outcome they are allowed to reach – should there be a division of the House for every case of shoplifting, Mr McSHAME? Or expenses fraud, perhaps?
No, never mind all of that, the whole POINT about democracy is that it is NOT just decided by who has the most votes in Parliament. We have LAWS so that minorities are protected from majorities, and so that the weak are protected from the powerful. Of course it is FAR from perfect but a system with even SOME checks and balances has got to be better than Mr McSHAME's "electoral might is right" scheme. Typically of the Labour, Mr McSHAME clearly does not understand that the Law is there to PROTECT us, including protecting us from governments that have gone MAD WITH POWER.
In the hope of some SANITY, Mr Clogg has written a letter to Mr Frown, asking him to live up to the promise he made on inheriting Lord Blairimort's crown to mend our constitution and restore people's trust in the political system.
Mr Clogg is QUITE RIGHT!
There are two things that NEED to be done:
First we must sort out the state of our law so that OTHER ongoing corruption cases don't end up getting BOTCHED because our laws are full of loopholes. The Labour should LIKE that, because they are ALWAYS making laws, but the problem is that they are always so BUSY spewing out legislation like sausages and always in such a RUSH that they are always making a really BAD job of it.
We need the law to be up to the HIGHEST STANDARDS set by the OECD, not the lowest that the government can get away with. Because otherwise how are people to know that they are being treated fairly and equally? And how are our entrepreneurs supposed to do business abroad if the government is making them all look like Arthur Daley types?
Second, we have to remove the TAINT of government interference in criminal investigations. Lord Blairimort was able to order his Attorney General Lord Goldfinger to pull the plug on the SFO Bribes for Bandar inquiry; that can't be right!
The Attorney General is the Government's chief lawyer, both advising and representing in court the Prime Monster and all government departments.
BUT the Attorney General is ALSO responsible for overseeing all criminal prosecutions.
So when Mr Clogg says: "the role of the Attorney General is fraught with conflicts of interest", what he means is what happens when the government has an interest in the criminal not getting prosecuted?
Quite obviously, people are going to be a bit SUSPICIOUS that maybe – just maybe – the AG is putting on his "I work for the Prime Monster" hat BEFORE putting on his "I serve the cause of justice" hat. Especially since "Justice" doesn't do his PAY REVIEW.
What you need to do is SEPARATE this office into its two distinct roles: one is the government's chief lawyer, a politically appointed position for the party in charge to decide; the other is the INDEPENDENT head of the Crown Prosecution Service, who should be answerable to Parliament (yes, Parliament, NOT the executive) but appointed by a non-partisan panel, like the way the Judicial Appointments Commission picks High Court Judges.
(You could even build in Mr Frown's suggestion of US Senate-like oversight committees in Parliament approving the appointment.)
That is why it is all the more CROSS-MAKING that Mr Frown is doing the EXACT REVERSE and trying to give the Attorney General MORE powers: specifically the power to squish any investigation on the grounds of "that's too embarrassing" or "our chums from the thirteenth century say 'No!'" or "I don't really feel like telling you why".
When Mr President General Mustbehavingalaugh of Pakistan didn't like what the Pakistani courts were deciding, he had the judges rounded up and put under house arrest. And we called him a DICTATOR and said he was VERY NAUGHTY for doing so.
Now (and I call Daddy in evidence!) it seems that the Labour want very similar powers for themselves.
Still, it all ended in HUMILIATING DEFEAT for the General… So Mr Frown has THAT to look forward to, I suppose.
And then we can ALL live happily ever after.