POWER-POLITICIANS AT WORK: Why Blair, Cameron and Hunt are not necessarily your friends

Be it Palestine, Tax or Whistle-blowing, the citizens are on their own

blairyThe final nail in Palestine’s coffin has been hammered in by US Secretary of State John Kerry: he has brought in Tony Blair to (and I quote) “devise economic plans to revitalise the Palestinian economy”. No doubt the next new helper in Father Kerry’s Grotto will be John Birt, charged with revitalising Palestinian television and Parliamentary procedures. Or how about Gordon Brown to advise on gold sales, Tessa Jowells on how to introduce alcohol into the mix, and Jeremy Hunt as a consultant proctologist advising on how to take it up the arse from Israel? In for a penny, in for a Pound – that’s what I say.

You see, when push comes to shove, it’s all about knowing who your friends are. Tony Blurrgh marched into Iraq to liberate its people from internecine violence, the success of which can be judged by the death in just one day earlier this week of 54 bomb-victims in Baghdad. Then Moral Tone took a whopping fee for moving the peace process forward following a war in which he’d been an illegal combatant. Now – following his huge success with British economic paper output – Teflon’s got the job of turning the art of firing rifles at clouds into a viable export business. I suppose if you fire scuds into the neighbouring country, that’s a form of exporting: they just need Tony to help them build on that idea.

That Mr Blair is a consistent supporter of the Arab cause can be evidenced quite clearly by reference to his history of perverting the course of British justice in the pursuance of BaE arms sales to fascist Sheiks. So despite the fact that many of those sheiks would happily see the Palestinians wiped from the face of the Earth, he’s seen as a good egg, and altogether the right man for the job.

Just in case you thought that all this kind of corrupt, money-grubbing sociopathy came to an end when Blair left the scene of the UK crime in 2006, I can also bring you yet more news today of just how adept David Cameron is at rewarding his friends. Mr Scameron is, after all, the self-styled Heir to Blair, so this is only to be expected.

hartnettDave Hartnett (left), until July 2012 the country’s top taxman, is to work for one day a week with Deloittes, the auditors for Vodafone and Starbucks, two aggressive tax avoiders who signed a grubby deal with were allowed to get away with murder under Hartnett’s HMR&C regime. For some reason I cannot fathom, Deloittes didn’t announce this coup in hiring the man who can most help their clients avoid as much tax as possible….during this period of falling tax intake which we are, naturally, all in together.

I’m told that the Prime Minister was perfectly relaxed about the appointment, and approved it enthusiastically. This despite the fact that it is, effectively, like Manchester United selling van Persie to Chelsea shortly before meeting them in the Champions’ League Final. A deal led by Hartnett with Goldman Sachs saved the world’s most prosecuted banking firm £20m in interest payments last year. In April, a Mr Justice Nicol described the deal as “not a glorious episode in the history of the revenue”. Hartnett also personally negotiated a deal with Vodafone, which saw the telecoms business pay only £1.25bn of an alleged £6bn tax bill.

But we shouldn’t grumble too much about this: given that Mr Hartnett was already clearly confused about which side he was on, this move into Black Hat territory should be viewed as, in many ways, an act of searing honesty. Who knows, he may even turn out to be a double-agent after all, and achieve further fame as a whistle-blower.

Whistle-blowing is, as we all know, seen by our Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt as an absolutely vital dimension of contemporary government. Indeed, his concern about it (coupled with a full-time job tweeting about what a mess the NHS is in) probably explains why he’d be unlikely to take the proctology job on offer in Palestine. But the fate of an NHS whistle-blower is not necessarily a happy one.

juliebaileyJulie Bailey (left), who fought to uncover neglect, disgraceful care standards and criminal interference with death certificates at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, is going to leave the town some time later this summer, because – among other things – she says “People have been coming into the cafe shouting that nothing happened at Mid Staffordshire, that I am lying and that there were no unnecessary deaths.” Julie runs the Breaks Cafe in Stafford (I met her there once while investigating links between the hospital and corrupt social services workers). Now former employees at the hospital have threatened her, and organised a boycott of the cafe. Her 86-year-old mother Bella died as a result of appalling neglect at the local hospital: this same bunch of nasties also desecrated Bella’s grave. Niyeeece, eh? The noble worker in action once more.

One particular arse, Murph Guest – a paramedic, no less – was sacked by West Midlands Ambulance Service following comments on Facebook expressing the hope that Miss Bailey would suffer “a life-threatening illness”. And guess what? Police investigating the messages said “they did not warrant criminal charges.” Ah yes, where’ve we heard that one before? Later today, you’ll be hearing about it here again: in the meantime, I wonder if Jeremy ‘Top Tweeter’ Hunt will do anything about all this. I mean, the comments were made on the ‘Support the front-line staff at Stafford Hospital’ Facebook page. He says he thinks whistle-blowing should be encouraged.

On verra. Just don’t hold your breath.

Yesterday at The Slog: Boris Johnson’s confusion on the public service/self-service issue