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Prime Minister questioned in cash-for-honours investigation

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posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 08:28 AM
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Source: BBC News
Prime Minister Tony Blair has been interviewed by police investigating cash for honours allegations. Mr Blair was not interviewed under caution and he was not accompanied by a lawyer, his spokesman said. The probe was sparked by revelations Labour was given secret loans ahead of last year's election. Some donors were subsequently nominated for honours.


Full story can be found here.

So, thoughts on this? I don't think there has been any other case of this in British political history, but I might be wrong. Still, remember that Mr. Blair has not been questioned under caution, which indicates that - at the moment at least - he is not being treated as a suspect.




posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 10:49 AM
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But still, this is a Prime Minister that has been interviewed by the police. That is not right. He should do the right thing now and just go, if he wants Labour to turn things around and gain the trust of the public he should leave office during the Christmas period.

It will be the best thing for his party and the Country if he leaves now.



posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 10:50 AM
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No surprises here IMO.

.....and there's certainly no surprise as tory supporters feign 'outrage' at a sitting PM merely being interviewed by the Police (something they were just beforehand calling for) and then after the interview calling for him to just go.


I can see this being dropped eventually; I would bet the house (hell, I'd even give you odds on top of that!) on there never being a Ministerial or Prime Ministerial conviction on this matter.

It's absurd, the whole British 'honours system' is one based upon patronage and favour - and it always has been
(Maggie Thatcher's tory party donors too, funnily enough, ended by as a hugely disproportionate number of those given various honours etc).

There's also the whole business regarding 'political appointments' - something that some have chosen to ignore entirely in this matter.

The fact is that the British 'honours system' has specifically party political appointments as a perfectly normal and public part of the 'system'.
It simply isn't all just about 'public service', party political service is expressedly catered for
(political appointments have been a feature of the British system for decades if not over a century).

This is all purely a part of the domestic political machinations, nothing more IMO.
The cops are making a meal of it so as not be be accused of favouring the sitting Gov - just as the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) might very well chicken out of taking the correct decision to throw this out and thus leave it for the Attorney General (a quasi legal/political figure here) to take the political flak if he throws it out.

By all means do away with this 'system' if you like (one does wonder what or by whom it might be replaced with) but let's not pretend that 'service to the country' is all the honours system is about
or ignore the fact that 'political service' is and has always been a perfectly normal feature of the honours system; it is not 'corruption'.


Mr Blair's spokesman said: "The prime minister explained why he nominated each of the individuals and he did so as party leader in respect of the peerages reserved for party supporters as other party leaders do.

"The honours were not, therefore, for public service but expressly party peerages given for party service.

"In these circumstances that fact that they had supported the party financially could not conceivably be a barrier to their nomination," he said.

news.bbc.co.uk...

- So, with this statement of the facts surrounding appointments the whole issue is, IMO, clearly exposed for what it is, a total waste of Police resources arising purely from an exercise in political mischief-making.

The truth is that if we're seriously going to call the right and proper business of public political appointments 'corruption' then perhaps we need either to face the truth that, no matter how much people wish to claim otherwise, that this is not corruption...... or else we need a new definition for 'corruption'!

When they haul people over the coals and force a resignation for people for hiding the fact that they have personally been taking money or expensive and exorbitant favours (as happened to one tory Minister in the last tory Gov), or arrest, charge, put on trial and secure convictions for lying in court under oath (as happened to two other tory Ministers in the last tory Gov) that is one thing
but this business of publicly funding a political party and maybe (publicly) getting a gong of some kind is nothing like the same thing.


[edit on 14-12-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 11:48 AM
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Originally posted by Ste2652
I don't think there has been any other case of this in British political history, but I might be wrong.


David Lloyd George was questioned by police in the early part of the last century in connection with...

...the sale of honours. (Surprise surprise.)

It was this investigation that led to the current legislation of the matter.

The simple fact is that honours and peerages have been bought and sold for hundreds of years by various means and if anyone is vain enough to pay vast sums of cash in order to place a few meaningless letters after their name then more fool them.

Life peerages are more of a concern but I find it quite amazing that the Tories, (who have sold more peerages than Walls have sold ice creams), should protest about the practice but consistently voted against the removal of hereditory peers holding political power in the House of Lords.

[edit on 14-12-2006 by timeless test]



posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 02:46 PM
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Originally posted by timeless test
David Lloyd George was questioned by police in the early part of the last century in connection with...

...the sale of honours. (Surprise surprise.)


Interesting. I suppose he wasn't charged over it?

Going back to the current PM, I don't think it was really a surprise he was questioned. I mean, if it was to be a thorough investigation he had to be questioned anyway being the leader of the party in question.

Michael Howard was questioned in a similar situation (by police but not under caution) earlier in the year, and I believe that Menzies Campbell might have been questioned in a similar situation. These are/were all potential Prime Ministers, so the major parties should really be wary about using this as a political issue. I have no doubt, however, that the first Prime Minister's Questions after Christmas David Cameron will be on his feet making jokes about it. So much for getting rid of 'Punch and Judy' politics



posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 03:04 PM
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Actually, I think after a bit of further reading that DLG was questioned but not by the police as such. (Not sure who formally quizzed him yet).

However, he certainly was under some degree of suspicion for involvement in what was a very public scandal.

Currently this is a no win situation for the politicians, mutterings of scandal if senior figures are questioned and cries of whitewash if they aren't. Victory appears possible only for the red tops.



posted on Jun, 28 2007 @ 11:34 AM
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Here we go again.


The Police submitted their case to the CPS and have since had it sent back because they have nothing like a sufficient case/evidence to justify going to trial.

So cue the Police interviewing TB again.

When is this ludicrous and wildly expensive 'investigation' going to be exposed for the empty politically-driven farce it so plainly is?


Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has been questioned for a third time by detectives investigating allegations of "cash-for-honours", it has emerged.
Mr Blair, who left Downing Street on Wednesday, had already become the first PM to be interviewed by police in the course of a corruption inquiry.

Prosecutors had asked Scotland Yard to carry out further inquiries before deciding if charges should be brought.

news.bbc.co.uk...



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