Sunday, March 21, 2010

Taxi To Westminster? MPs For Hire

Three greedy ex-cabinet ministers and a disgraced expenses-riddled New Labour MP on the take have been caught out in a lobbying sting. Up for hire to the highest business bidder. Taxi to Westminster, gov?

“I’m a bit like a sort of cab for hire,” blurted ex-transport minister Byers, keen to spill the beans on Westminster's dirty little lobbing secret with bare-faced cheek. One bit of bad news he didn't seem bothered to bury.

An undercover Sunday Times/Channel 4 Dispatches probe reveals how four stung New Labour MPs - former cabinet ministers, Byers, Hewitt and Hoon, along with expenses MP, Moran - prostituted themselves in the lobby at the going rate of thousands of pounds a day.

It's now 16 years since Phoney Pharaoh, Mohamed al-Fayed, burst the cosy, crony Westminster bubble claiming he can “hire an MP the way you hire a London taxi” while stuffing wads of cash into brown envelopes and helping to bring down a sleaze-ridden Tory government.

Now Blair boy Byers, who quit in disgrace after helping to bury bad news, has been caught sitching up secret deals over National Express and food labelling. While mild Curry House plotter, 'Healthcare' Hewitt, has been filling her Boots.

Fellow failed plotter 'Buff' Hoon has been feathering his nest living up to his name, living off immoral defence industry earnings. While 'Dry Rot' Moran has been singing the praises of her sister act.

Any hope that MPs with their snouts out of the trough might have been learnt a few lessons by the sordid expenses scandal have evaporated in the lobby.

It's still all aboard the gravy train steaming around the corridors of power and influence, bent on changing policy on behalf of big business. Quelle surprise.

Even Smeargate's Dolly Draper boasted he could make shed loads of dosh from his dodgy dealings before disappearing down his own disgrace.

When did real people last see a skinny, gaunt, New Labour MP - pale, malnourished and on their beam ends? Something in the Westminster air has left well-dressed MPs, plumped up, puffed up and freshly scrubbed up.

And even after the stench has been purged in a promised expenses clean-up, for the first time, ex-MPs will be allowed a free run in the House of Shame for the rest of their luxury lifetime, under a ruling made by expenses disgraced speaker Martin last year.

Investigative reporters for The Sunday Times 'Insight' and Channel 4 'Dispatches' teams have been working undercover for some time, knowing full well that secret lobbying on behalf of businesses is the "next big scandal waiting to happen" in Westminster. And so lobbygate came to pass, sure as eggs is rotten eggs.

A sting waiting to happen. The disgrace of the 'MPs for hire', who seem happy to take the media hit, as long as it doesn't get in the way of feathering their own nests.

'Politicians for Hire', C4 'Dispatches', Monday 8pm.

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