Hain's Woes

Peter Hain has long been one of the smuggest, smarmiest, most unbearably self-righteous of the New Labour mob, so it's difficult to feel anything other than genuine rejoicing over his current come-uppance. Lacking humour, self-deprecation, or stellar ability, this tediously tanned apparatchik is now splashing around in a little financial scam - namely, the inability to declare £103,000 in donations to his deputy leadership campaign. His justifications are typically self-serving and require real efforts at a suspension of disbelief - apparently he is such a committed public servant, and so uninterested in his party ambitions, that he really didn't pay much attention to the little matter of where the money was coming from. We should really stop hounding such a fine public servant.

Hain should probably resign, although the thought that he might do so quickly and voluntarily won't have occurred to him, so we'll have the unedifying spectacle of yet another cabinet minister clinging to office for dear life while their integrity and credibility get smashed around them. This is the new doctrine of ministerial irresponsibility.


consultant said…
Grubby and squalid. Rather like the Tories, who are bankrolled to an enormous degree by a man who doesn’t even see fit to pay tax in Britain. He sits in the House of Lords, having promised to begin paying his way when he took up his seat, but he’s so busy being a committed public servant (mostly from a beach in Belize) that he, erm, forgot to. Probably. We don’t really know because he’s naturally quite cagey on the issue.

And this isn’t small amounts of money either. Lord Ashcroft’s annual tax liability, were he to do the honourable thing and keep his promise to pay tax here, would be enough to fund a couple of hospitals. Probably forever.

Which rather explains why the Tories are keeping as quiet as possible on the whole party funding thing. They know they’re in it just as deep. So much for an opposition which keeps the government honest; this is one area in which I find myself agreeing with the hideous phrase “they’re all as bad as each other.”
DCarnell said…
Althoug I entirely agree with "consultant" - the Tories are equally as rotten on this sort of thing, I am for once Giles, in complete agreement with you.

Hain is an obsequious turd who deserves to be flushed from the politcal system. For too long he has hung on dearly to the coat tails of his South African exploits during the apartheid era as if throwing some bricks at rascists makes you immune from prosecution on all other issues.

He did nothing as a Minister in NI and now fronts a Dept which does nothing.

He must resign for the cleansing of the party (ooh, that sounds a bit Maoist doesn't it?) and will not be missed.

The only problem is that his pace will be filled by yet another smug, young New Labour ex-wonk. Bring back Frank Field.
future tory PM said…
The truely worrying thing is that this whole issue is being rather overshadowed by the British press' fascination with the presidential nomination and whether Hillary is going to cry again.

But yes it is a depressing fact that the funding of political parties has become this shadowy affair. Both the main parties indulge in it to varying extents at varying times with Labour having the disadvantage of being the more high profile target if caught at it.

Hain needs to go to not only restore a small amount of faith in politics and politicians, but also because he is a hypocritical and profoundly irritating man.
benross said…
One question.

What does a deputy leader candidate need £100,000 for?! And thats what he didnt declare. Who on earth would give away that much money! Its a pointless position that is decided somewhat like a raffle ticket. Am just baffled, and why has no one asked that question?!
C H Daly said…
If we could brush all the ad hominem aside for just a second then I’d just like to raise the question, who actually cares about political party members having to declare donations given to them during internal leadership campaigns.

Don’t get me wrong I am not excusing what Hain has done for a second but I can’t help but think that there are more important things to get angry about out there. I can understand the need for donations to have complete transparency during elections that include the entire electorate but this was an internal party affair for Labour and should surely be dealt as such?

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