Tory prime minister David Cameron will have dinner with you and you can tell him what you want the government to do—if you’re rich.
The Tories’ cosy links to big business are again coming out.
Former party treasurer Peter Cruddas was secretly filmed selling meetings with the prime minister in return for donations of £250,000 a year.
Multi-millionaire Cruddas said donors who paid the cash could lobby Cameron and other senior ministers.
He said, “It will be awesome for your business.” And so it was.
The budget last week saw the Tories throw money at the rich. They did it in precisely the way that their rich donors asked—by cutting tax on profits and for high earners.
This week the Tories relaxed planning laws. Coincidentally a number of the dinner guests run supermarkets.
Other donors run academy schools and are buying up the NHS.
The networks of corruption at the very top of British society are poisonous. And this is far from the first lobbying scandal to hit the government.
Last December executives at the lobbying firm Bell Pottinger were recorded telling journalists that they could get access to Cameron.
Bell Pottinger’s clients include Rebekah Brooks, the disgraced former chief executive of Rupert Murdoch’s News International.
And the Murdoch scandal, involving Cameron’s former spin doctor Andy Coulson, has far from run its course.
This is a government mired in filth. Behind the donations racket stands a network of big businesses spending huge sums on lobbying for their interests. Lobbying is organised corruption.
It is a big business in itself. There are over 50 such firms dotted around Westminster, with an estimated turnover of £10 million a year.
This corruption is not out of the ordinary. It is the way the bosses expect the system to work. Backhanders, bribes and payoffs are how they get things done.
Defence minister Liam Fox left government because of his dodgy deals with lobbyists. The first minister to resign from the government, David Laws, went for fiddling his expenses to cover up his relationship with a lobbyist.
Both Cameron and Nick Clegg are former lobbyists. They know the game inside out.
But full disclosure of this rotten corruption could bring them down.