Liam Fox resigned as Tory defence minister last week as the reality of corporations’ corrupt influence inside the government was revealed.
A government inquiry said he made no personal benefit but had broken the ministerial code. True enough—the ongoing scandal shows that this government of right wing cutters is in the pocket of big business.
In February last year, David Cameron warned of the next scandal likely to hit Britain. It would centre on “secret corporate lobbying which has tainted our politics for too long”.
“We all know how it works,” he said. “The lunches, the hospitality, the quiet word in your ear, the ex-ministers and ex-advisers for hire, helping big business find the right way to get its way. In this party, we believe in competition, not cronyism.”
As an ex-public relations man, Cameron would know. So would Nick Clegg, a former Brussels lobbyist.
The lobbying industry is estimated to be worth £2 billion—making Britain the third-biggest market in the world for it, after the US and the EU. It is well-organised corruption.
Thousands of private sector lobbyists swarm around Westminster
jostling for access and influence. And the Tories are happily subservient to corporate power.
The multinational firms and the rich rely on lobbyists and pressure groups to push their cases for reduced taxation, regulation and increased attacks on the poor.
There is even the European Public Affairs Consultancies Association, whose sole purpose is to lobby against any attempt to make lobbying companies more transparent.
After the phone hacking scandal, the case has again shone a light into the murky world of lobbyists and “advisers” circling round Westminster, encouraging brutal governments—and cuts and peddling weapons of mass destruction.
But Fox’s departure has the government on the back foot. With one gone, let’s get the rest.