The Tory Party’s co-treasurer Peter Cruddas has been all over the media this weekend. The Sunday Times, greatly to its credit, uncovered a massive stink at the heart of our democracy which consisted of this gentleman being caught offering “Premier League access” for obscene amounts of money to events held in the presence of David Cameron and George Osborne. This led, of course, to his resignation. You can find out more background to this story today from the Observer newspaper here.
I am further interested by two elements of the story – two elements which lead me to believe that the mindset leading up to its circumstances has everything to do with Mr Cameron’s advertising background. Firstly, what Mr Cruddas says in his resignation statement contains a curiously turned phrase:
“[...] I have regrettably decided to resign with immediate effect.”
Surely “I have regrettably decided to resign with immediate effect” isn’t exactly what he meant to say. What he meant to say was “I have regretfully decided to resign with immediate effect”. For in the circumstances, not even Mr Cruddas could possibly believe he had the right to convince us his decision was regrettable in the least. Or could he? This, for example (the bold is mine):
In his resignation statement last night the senior Conservative official responsible for collecting donations for the party said he deeply regretted the repercussions of his “bluster” during the recorded conversations. He added: “Clearly there is no question of donors being able to influence policy or gain undue access to politicians. Specifically, it was categorically not the case that I could offer, or that David Cameron would consider, any access as a result of a donation. Similarly, I have never knowingly even met anyone from the Number 10 policy unit.
I love that “undue” by the way. How does he define “due access” I wonder?
Tobacco lobbyists usually assert that advertising does not increase the overall quantity of tobacco sold. Rather, the tobacco industry maintains that advertising merely enhances the market share of a particular brand, without recruiting new smokers.
So let me see. In much the same way as the tobacco companies argued that their massive advertising budgets only ever served to shuffle around existing consumers, you propose donating a quarter of a million quid to be in the same room as Mr Cameron or Mr Osborne in order not to achieve anything in exchange. How many hard-headed businesspeople who properly know their business would be prepared to countenance such a transaction?
Unless of course Mr Cruddas has been telling us a porkie.
This is clearly a set of excuses from the vaults of marketed madnesses. And clearly from the weasel-like thought patterns of those clever bods who know how to fool ordinary people all too well with words and ideas.
As I said on Friday, a case of fascism appropriating our state?