It's all very well excoriating our politicians for having their snouts in the trough, but this is to ignore the elephant in the room that is former Prime Minister Tony Blair who is swanning around (elephantly and porcinely, if I am not to mash my animal metaphors) picking up millions on the lecture circuit off the back of his illegal war in Iraq.
Not only this, but Blair is collecting megabucks from JP Morgan, the bank that made more than any other in its capacity as central banking body co-ordinating the looting of Iraq, as well as being paid seven-figure sums by Israel and Kuwait.
And now we learn from Private Eye (1236, 15 May 2009) that Alan Milburn (above) is yet another former minister receiving payment from companies who profited from legislation they pushed through. Reporting on the failing New Labour independent sector treatment centres (ISTCs), it transpires that the man who once ran the "Haze of Dope" bookshop now collects £30,000 a year from" the private equity firm Bridgepoint that owns the ISTCs through Alliance Medical." And yet:
"The £5bn ISTC programme was pushed through by the Department of Health's commercial directorate, set up in 2003 by the then health secretary Alan Milburn ..."
The government hands over our public funds to the banks, protects the rich while bringing in draconian penalties for the weak, frail and poor, and cheats the public purse. James Purnell, the Work and Pensions Secretary who has pursued the poor with a demented vigour, should have the full weight of his own laws thrown at him for claiming expenses on a flat partly owned by his girlfriend. He made over £10K. How's that for benefit scrounging?
The current revelations are only symptomatic of a greater moral, ethical, philosophical, and even spiritual breakdown in our political system in a world where the notion of public service has gone to the porkers and brute power is the objective.