Socialist Worker

The crooks in Brown’s new cabinet

Issue No. 2155

Ten ministers have gone from Gordon Brown’s corrupt government – so far.

Some claimed that they wanted to spend more time with their families. All have been involved in the expenses scam.

Hazel Blears, James Purnell and Geoff Hoon all shuffled off after making sure that their avoidance of capital gains tax on their second homes was “within the rules”.

They should be facing criminal investigations and jail, as should a number of their colleagues.

Brown has announced a “national council for democratic renewal” to clean up politics.

But a quick look at who he has promoted and brought into the cabinet suggests that his promise to “get on with the job and finish the work” simply meant it would be business as usual for his government.

Brown appointed celebrity boss Alan Sugar as an “enterprise tsar”.

The media have raised concerns about whether there is a conflict of interest in appointing him to the government because of his role in the BBC TV programme, The Apprentice.

There is indeed a conflict of interest – but not because of his media appearances. Rather it is over government contracts.

Viglen, the British computer maker, has won an office of government commerce contract worth up to £30 million to supply public sector organisations with 70,000 PCs.

Its chair, Sir Alan Sugar, is no doubt very pleased indeed.

Alistair Darling and David Miliband kept their jobs as their murky expenses because Brown is too weak to move them.

The odious right winger James Purnell skulked off from the Department for Work and Pensions and was replaced by Yvette Cooper who was promoted to work and pensions secretary.

Yvette Cooper and her husband Ed Balls nominated three different properties in two years as their main residence.

We paid for their million pound property portfolio plus a few of the usual “accidental” double claims.

Jack Straw kept his position as justice secretary, despite having admitted that he had over-claimed for both his council tax and mortgage bills.

Peter Hain returned to the cabinet as Welsh secretary.

He had previously resigned from the cabinet after forgetting to declare £100,000 in donations and attempting to claim for two mortgages in his constituency.


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