Friday, May 14, 2010

Bloggeration: Left and Right Pincer Movement on Farm Gate

Back at his Order Order blog (right) - now benefiting no doubt from scores of LOL readers checking out his Caption Compo - there is also his very first attack on a cabinet member in the crowd-pleasing Cam-Clegg coalition.

Who would Staines be going after you wonder? A woman surely? Narrows things down a lot that. The ridiculous tiger feet Home Secretary? The unelected and mediocre Baroness Token? Or would it be one of his own and indeed Labour of Love's previous targets for scrutiny? Ah yes, it's Nanny Spelman alright.

This former Conservative sleaze buster Lady Chairman, caught in the sort of expenses-gate that might have ended her career in 2009 but was shrugged off in 2008, appears to be the first Condemnative Minister to breach the Ministerial Code - on her very first day.

Here's the basic narrative.

Mrs Spelman and her husband Mr Spelman are big wheels in the agricultural lobby business. Living off the fat of the land. She's given her shares in the family business to her Sugar Daddy hubby - also a Tory candidate - but it's been registered at at least two (count 'em) tax-payer funded addresses. Guido concludes for now by asking in his colourful way:

Did Cameron know that she was so recently a shareholder in a lobbying firm focused on Defra before he appointed her to the position? Because the whole thing taints politics and shows the far-too-cosy relationship between lobbyists, government, business and money…

Little over an hour later Political Scrapbook had been rooting about too, looking at the chapter and verse of the code and finding that this appointment ought to be subject to assessment for conflict of interest, potential conflict of interest and perceived conflict of interest for both Mrs Spelman and her relatives:

PSBook concludes by asking:

The new minister’s interests in this area are well known. Did she raise them with DEFRA Permanent Secretary Helen Ghosh?

Or has Spelman broken the Ministerial Code of Conduct in record time?

LOL will add two more questions:

  • If so what did Helen Ghosh have to say about this rather obvious issue of making hay while The Sun shines? and
  • Did Mr and/or Mrs Spelman or their employees, associates, agents or partners have a previous lobbying relationship with DEFRA Permanent Secretary Helen Ghosh?

    UPDATE Sat 01:47: Our chums at Sunlight Centre for Open Politics have sent another of their letters. Not as in the olden days of Damian Green's mole following some leaden broadsheet expose but actually ahead of the MSM. Hurrah!

  • 1 comment:

    Political Scrapbook said...

    "Baroness Token". Love it!