Sunday, December 17, 2006

Our delusions of propriety gurgle out their death rattle

"In this self-styled greatest country on earth, the suspicion that cash donations might have had something to do with peerages has been studiously ignored for decades. It barely raised an eyebrow when Lord Sainsbury, one of New Labour's most generous donors, was given not simply the right to wear ermine, but the right to make policy as a government minister. But if the noxious stench emanating from Scotland Yard's current inquiry has not terminally laid our delusions of virtue to rest, then the attorney general's breathtaking halting of a major international criminal investigation on the nebulous grounds of 'security' - what else, in this wretched day and age? - should see them off for good.

As they gurgle out their death rattle, we can only wish the PM bon voyage on his Middle Eastern lecture tour, and remind ourselves not to begrudge him the air miles. There may, after all, come a day when Mr Blair is unable to travel outside the country without having his collar felt on another matter entirely, and finding his destination altered to The Hague. In the meantime, tales of such days as Thursday should be just the sort of push toward idealism his pupils require." —Marina Hyde

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