Sunday, April 16, 2006

Blair may look busted but he’s going for the jackpot

Michael PortilloFormer Cabinet minister Michael Portillo is worried that Tony Blair will turn the current loans for lordships scandal to his advantage, using it to force through state funding of political parties and the reform of the House of Lords into a compliant government poodle in the mould of the House of Commons:

Blair now sees that the unwelcome by-product of the appointed Lords is that it allows in experienced people of independent mind. Being life peers they are not reliant on Labour for re-selection. An elected Lords will be different.

It will not attract those scientists, High Court judges and academics who have stood up for civil liberties and repeatedly rejected the government’s populist and authoritarian bills brought forward in the name of fighting terrorism. No retired field marshal will step forward at the polls, and so the government will in future be spared the embarrassment of valiant men who have commanded in battle attacking its policy in Iraq…

As the outcome to his latest political scandal, that would be truly shocking.

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