Saturday, May 29, 2010

That went well, then

A couple of weeks after Dave heralded the coalition as a new type of politics and we're already hearing about members of the new Cabinet up to the same old tricks.

David Laws says it was because he wanted to keep his relationship with his partner secret - and in doing so decided it was OK to defraud the taxpayer out of £40,000.

This wasn't even a case of Laws working "within the rules" as it has been against the rules since 2006 to make payments to MPs partners. Laws tries to excuse this by saying that he didn't think it applied to him - a remarkable claim that suggests Laws is either very, very stupid or a lying, conniving git.

Either way, I don't think that sort of person should be serving in government let alone in The Treasury.

It'll be interesting to see what Dave will do now. After all, he's made a big thing out of cleaning up dodgy expense claims from MPs in his own party - except for close allies and himself of course - so it will be fascinating to see what he will do with an MP in his Cabinet from a different party.

It's crunch time for Clegg too. Laws is something of a rising star in Lib Dem world - which says a lot about the Lib Dem party - and Clegg will find himself somewhere between a rock and a hard place. Will he back the sacking of a Lib Dem colleague or will he defend the "next big thing" in Liberal Democrat politics? Either way he is going to upset some people in his own party.

Laws has been "credited" with being the chief architect behind the £6 billion of cuts introduced as if this is something of a good thing. Personally, I think that someone at such a high level in the government drilling down to such excruciating levels of detail is a signal that that person is too focused on micro-management and unable to see the bigger picture - something which is all too common in government today.

It's not surprising, though. I've been saying for years that the three main parties are the same in terms of overall policy and only differ on minor details - so it is likely that they will tend to focus on detail when they are in government.


JuliaM said...

I think the forces marshalling in his defence are making a big mistake by playing the 'homophobia' card. Would people be equally as incensed if his partner was a woman?

Yes, they would.

Stan said...

Of course they would - and they did during the original expenses scandal so it is clearly a false accusation.

It's funny how we're always being told that we shouldn't treat people differently because of their sexuality - until, that is, they can use that sexuality to their advantage when they demand to be treated differently.