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Will David Cameron ever be satisfied? Too many of our ex-leaders regard ordinary voters with disdain

David Cameron: an ugly portrait of entitlement. Credit: Dan Kitwood-WPA Pool/Getty

David Cameron: an ugly portrait of entitlement. Credit: Dan Kitwood-WPA Pool/Getty


April 15, 2021   4 mins

The biggest problem for a politician comes not when people merely dislike or disapprove of them. The biggest problem, as David Cameron’s lobbying scandal has confirmed, comes when the public sees through them.

His is a murky affair. After leaving office earlier than expected, Cameron scooped up a number of lucrative jobs. As well as accepting a role in a new $1 billion Chinese investment fund, he was signed up in 2018 by Greensill Capital. The finance firm was run by the Australian financier Lex Greensill, who had worked for Cameron during the time he was at No 10.

Last year, according to the Sunday Times investigation, Cameron attempted to lobby members of the current government to give Greensill access to state-backed pandemic loans. This included texting the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, arranging a private drink with Greensill and Health Secretary Matt Hancock to discuss a new payment scheme, and contacting a number of ministers at the Treasury about Greensill’s business.

Cameron’s lobbying was a spectacular failure: Sunak and others remained unmoved by Cameron’s pleas; Greensill was denied the government-backed loans and the company ultimately collapsed. The whole sorry saga appeared to be another demonstration of the former prime minister’s negotiation skills.

It is hard not to conclude that, while the fall-out of Greensill’s collapse will no doubt affect thousands of investors, Cameron is the biggest loser. For although it seems he neglected to inform his former colleagues, Cameron held significant share options in Greensill. And he reportedly boasted to friends that he stood to gain up to $60 million from his share-options, a figure he has since disputed.

But whatever the rough number, it seems Cameron expected to become very rich off the back of his involvement with the firm. Today that investment is worthless — and the former PM has proved himself not just incompetent, but also greedy, lazy and somewhat entitled: someone used to the idea that he can somehow make money easily without having to do much more than lift a finger and dial.

Yet as so often with scandals of this type, it is what it reveals about an underlying culture that is of more importance than simply one person’s behaviour. And that picture is even uglier.

In recent days, a number of Cameron’s predecessors have been careful to come out and highlight the importance of “integrity” in public life, particularly when it comes to former prime ministers cashing in on their connections. John Major, for instance, seems to be revelling in Cameron’s downfall, publicly calling for an overhaul of the ethics rules that bind former prime ministers.

It’s not clear why we should pay the slightest attention to what John Major thinks when it comes to post-prime ministerial ethics. He may have been one of post-war Britain’s worst and weakest prime ministers, but he has still managed to spend the recent decades quietly going about the business of self-enrichment.

It is surely undeniable that this enrichment has come as a result of the office that he held. If Major had not been able to make use of contacts that he made while in Downing Street, why, for instance, would he have ever been made European Chairman of the Carlyle Group, a global investment firm? For Major, as for others, his market-value after leaving No 10 came not just from his judicious insights but from the fruitful introductions and door-openings he could offer.

It is the same with Major’s successor, Tony Blair, who blighted his own legacy after leaving office by deciding to become as rich as his high-flying circle of friends. Like Major, Blair took up numerous lucrative roles after leaving politics. From the US to the Middle East and Kazakhstan, Blair and his entourage have made considerable fortunes from his Downing Street “expertise”.

And now Cameron. The cronyism and corruption of public life are obviously worrying aspects to this sorry saga. But there are other fears which are less often noted. The concern, for instance, that those who have held high public office in our country think that they are somehow “owed” for the service they have done. This may seem like an understandable instinct. But it is also an ignoble one — for the simple reason that it suggests that public service at the highest level in the land is not an honour or a duty, but rather some sort of burden. That after holding such an onerous position there is something not only right but justified in senior politicians finally being rewarded for their sufferings.

And then there is another, deeper, fear; one which is rarely spoken about. It is the fear that when former prime ministers behave as Cameron appears to have done, it is because they know something that the rest of us do not.

The prime ministerial salary is not small, and while it is true that the heads of many companies earn more than £150,000 a year, most British families can only imagine earning that kind of money. It is the same with the lucrative book deals that Cameron, Blair and others have received once they left office. Most people could be forgiven for thinking that after receiving a nest-egg of a few million for writing your memoirs, it should be possible to sit back for a bit, stretch your legs and retire.

Of course, one of the reasons that these scandals seem to descend on our recent political leaders is that in recent decades Britain has been subjected to a spate of youngish senior politicians, thrown out of office relatively early when they still have another act left in them. Nick Clegg, for example, chose to sell out by going to enrich himself at Facebook.

But a deeper, more disconcerting problem looms over a question about why, given there are so many ex-leaders knocking about, our recently departed politicians feel the need to be so rich. After all, David Cameron comes from a particularly well-off family, while the others were certainly never going to struggle. So why do they need so much money? What exactly is it that these ex-politicians think that they are escaping from?

Certainly these are turbulent times; the global economy, ravaged by a pandemic, has never looked so vulnerable. If a financial crisis were to occur, it hardly needs saying that one way to avoid it would be to pole-vault into a stratosphere of extraordinary wealth. There, one’s standard of living isn’t so dependent on day-to-day trivialities like the survival of Britain’s high-street banks and the introduction of negative interest rates.

Obviously we ordinary voters can never know Cameron’s true motivation. But either way, the Greensill affair seems to confirm a suspicion held by many: that a disturbing number of our former political leaders are willing to destroy their reputations simply in order to escape the rest of us.


Douglas Murray is an author and journalist.

DouglasKMurray

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Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

I have said countless time over many years that the UK is as corrupt as any country on the planet. These people embody this corruption. Brown was, perhaps an exception that he didn’t necessarily want to enrich himself, merely to impoverish the rest of us.

Tom Graham
Tom Graham
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The UK is corrupt. No country on Earth is not.
But corruption in most other countries is worse, and unlike with Cameron, doesn’t get found out and punished.
Examples – how about Nicolas Sarkozy – sentenced to jail for corruption?
Gerhard Schroder – selling his country out to Putin.
Look how rich Joe Biden is, compared to his salary as a public official since the 70s.
Nick Clegg’s current employer might be distasteful, but at the end of the day he has just taken a legitimate job in PR. Even Tony Blair seems to have realised that his legacy and reputation may be more important than how much money he can make.

Simon Newman
Simon Newman
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

Most countries are worse than us – not all, though. The scale of corruption in France is certainly more spectacular. The US has a lot of corruption plus a striking degree of imperviousness for Democrat corruption at least. In France or Italy you might go to jail if you are too blatant & your party loses power. In the USA the media will cover for the Democrat elite even when the Republicans are nominally ‘in power’.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

Surely the point about Sarkozy is that he is being investigated. Cameron isn’t. So that makes no sense when you say other countries don’t find out or punish politicians.

Schroder Is pro Putin. That’s not corruption.

Last edited 3 years ago by Franz Von Peppercorn
Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

Corruption in other countries does sometimes get found out and punished, as your first example shows! Cameron has yet to be punished (except in that his wealth has melted away), and I for one doubt he is the only corrupt politician in the UK.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

You forgot the Clintons in your list. Bill and Hilary are probably the most corrupt of them all.

Chris D
Chris D
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

I was amazed to discover yesterday that it is perfectly legal for members of US Congress to buy and sell stocks and shares using insider information gained through their position. Pelosi’s husband just invested millions in Microsoft, just before a multi-billion military contract was announced. If an ordinary person did this they would be arrested.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris D

Philip May works for Capital Group, the largest shareholder in BAE Systems, and the second largest in Lockheed Martin. Both firms’ shares soared following the UK airstrikes on Syria under Teresa May’s leadership.

Richard Powell
Richard Powell
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

BAe shares were at 537.00 three days before Mrs May took office and 533.80 three days before she left it.

Alex Delszsen
Alex Delszsen
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris D

Please explain how this is perfectly legal? I think that they just selectively prosecute, with favors up and down the system. The U.S. and the U.K., led by venal and third-rate leaders, have joined the other Banana Republics. The evidence is just too clear to refute this.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

Someone should mention stable doors to Mr Blair

Timor Maslow
Timor Maslow
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

Biden is particularly corrupt, but then so is a large part of his family it seems. His brother is under FB investigation, so is his son Hunter (who is also sexually corrupt by all accounts). Even his wife is a phoney doctor, having no PhD or Doctorate in any subject whatsoever.

opn
opn
3 years ago
Reply to  Timor Maslow

Mrs. Biden has an Ed.D. from the University of Delaware. It is a degree often held by school administrators in the United States.

David Platzer
David Platzer
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

British politics has become corrupt in recent times and was so in the eighteenth century but there was an interval in the Victorian age and the first half of the twentieth century when she was not so and was generally admired for her stainless leadership. Some of British politicians of that period may have rarely risen above mediocrity but they were not corrupt. I suspect that polticans reflect the general society;s general lust for lucre that emerged in the 1980s and 1990s Parellels could be found in Balzac’s France and the USA’s Gilded Age.

Last edited 3 years ago by David Platzer
Chris Hopwood
Chris Hopwood
3 years ago
Reply to  David Platzer

In “the interval” were politicians less corrupt or were they not subjected to the same degree of scrutiny as they are in this non deferential era?

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  David Platzer

Britain’s corruption in the relatively recent past was less in politicians taking bribes to do things, and more about looking out for other decent chaps (the UK version of Good Old Boys, perhaps).
Increasingly it is motivated by financial considerations, often in the form of decisions being made with one eye on the prospect of the lucrative board-level positions or consultancies which become available on leaving office (or even earlier, for a senior civil servant in the latest scandal).

David Platzer
David Platzer
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

Of course, there is Wilde;s An Ideal Husband of 1895 which tells of Sir Robert Chiltern, the ironicically named ideal husband who has based his fortune on a bit of insider trading early in his successful career as a politician. I once played the part on stage. It is the disadvantage for an actor of having plenty of emotion but being entirely lacking in humour,

Rob Alka
Rob Alka
3 years ago
Reply to  David Platzer

You’re so right. In the West in particular, today’s capitalism, materialism, immediate gratification and short-term-ism have rode roughshod over higher order more civilising values of a bygone age. This down-trend is accelerating and I don’t see an end to it.
Democracy isn’t in itself a solution when a population of declining quality are voting into goverment people like themselves

David Platzer
David Platzer
3 years ago
Reply to  Rob Alka

Exactly! In effect, people are now getting the leaders they deserve.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Gordon Brown inadvertently let the people know what politicians thought about them after his 2010 mishap with Gillian Duffy.

Rob Alka
Rob Alka
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

I don’t think Gordon Brown was corrupt. I think he was uncomfortable and inept in promoting himself and his views in an election. It’s sad that one needs a government to comprise senior decision-making politicians who, as a priority or necessity, have to be good at electioneering. Let’s face it, the Gillian Duffys of this world are a pain-in-the-a55 and perfect fodder for the media to make mischief and cheapen the election debate

Chris Rimmer
Chris Rimmer
3 years ago
Reply to  Rob Alka

Bank bail-outs?

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

No, that’s rubbish. However, there is a sort of smooth transition to a comfortable life based on what you know and who you know. It’s wrong, but avoidance of such a situation relies more on ethics than on law.
The Opposition are exploiting the theme of ‘cronyism’, which is a bit rich, seeing as one of the transformations wrought by Blair during his period in power was to get loads of cronies, that is to say people with a consistent idea of politics, installed in a multitude of positions in which they are seldom competent but hold a consistent political view. They are also now self-perpetuating and mutually supportive.
Meanwhile, he is as wealthy as any ex-politician.

Timor Maslow
Timor Maslow
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

True. Look no further than the current ‘Conservative’ government. Johnson has tried to wangle some kind of dodgy ‘donorship’ to enable turn the Flat in Downing Street to become a tastelss and weird faux bedoiun tent at the behest of his current girlfrien and Hancock pased lucrative coronavirus contracts to his publican mate and his siste. Nadawi is also on the list judging by the businesses he set up and renamed just before the coronavirus farce fell upon us.

Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago

Money is all their motivation because they are the proper people who deserve everything life should offer.
No shame in anything otherwise how could tony Blair become middle East peace envoy while starting a war in the middle east that cost, how many lives?
Obama who gets the noble peace price while bombing multiple countries in 1 weekend.
It’s because they are rich in everything not just money but deserve more

CL van Beek
CL van Beek
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Fun fact, Obama dropped dropped 26,171bombs on the Middle East in 2016 alone (his last year in office). You can look it up in your search engine of choice (preferably not Google). If you were to believe the media, the guy is a living saint. I wonder how much money he is making now from the fact he was a warmongering POTUS. Last year he bought a nice little beach house near the rising sea from his gathered wealth. Might be because he wants to see the effect of climate change from his bedroom window. Or does he not believe in any of that nonsense?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  CL van Beek

According to Jimmy Dore, the Obomber (sic) administration actually ran out of bombs in 2015, so addicted were they to killing brown people in the Middle East.

David Platzer
David Platzer
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The thing that was so annoying about Obama was that he portrayed himself as a man of peace and convinced others that he was. I remember reading an interview with Joan Baez in Le monde in 2008 in which she said that she could at last vote for a president because of Obama who had shown her his picture of Gandhi. People want they wish to believe and plently of people were happy to accept Obama on his own terms – Jimmy Dore is rare in looking behind the shining surface. I remember someone who spent his life watching James Bond and Star Wars films telling me he had faith in David Cameron and Barack Obama because they were “nice guys”. I was sceptical since I doubted they had reached their positiions by being nice. I infinitely prefer Donald Trump who didn;t pretend to be nice and was much more the man of peace than Obama. Of course, Joan Baez and most of the rest of the ’60s survivors hated him which showed how they really feel about “peace and love”.

Last edited 3 years ago by David Platzer
Rob Alka
Rob Alka
3 years ago
Reply to  David Platzer

I really appreciate you plucking out some essential truths from just a handful of telling examples.
It’s a shame that not enough people at the beginning of Trump’s reign were able to give him a sufficient benefit of the doubt based on his specific policies rather than Bidenesque vacuous promises or platitudes. Increasingly over time Trump became his own worst enemy. In the early days, in spite of his strange and limited vocabulary, he was infinitely better in live interviews with a small intelligent group rather than giving embarrassingly lengthy speeches in large gatherings of what Hilary Clinton unwisely and only partially correct described as the “deplorables”. When he tried to “perform” in a presidential TV debate contest he ruined what could have been an definite win. Towards the end, he seemed to a noticeable degree to have lost his mind and it is sad that his legacy is to remain that of America’s whipping post

David Platzer
David Platzer
3 years ago
Reply to  Rob Alka

Yes indeed Trump had a way of being his own worst enemy tho’ he had plenty of competition. Nevertheless, he managed to be the first really worthwhile US president in recent times. Somehow he manages still to steal the show in these comments to an article about David Cameron. Two well-informed commentators. Conrad Black and Victor Davis Hanson, havewritten favourable books about him and I wonder if posterity will give him a more frlendly appraisal,

RJ LONG
RJ LONG
3 years ago
Reply to  CL van Beek

One thing I think many people, regardless of general political allegiance can agree is that the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama, so early into his Presidency was absurd. Even if one is pre-disposed to like Obama, there can be no reason for such a prize only one year into his Presidency.
It seemed to be a “well done for not being George Bush Jr.” which regardless of if one is left or right is stupid reason for giving a supposed peace prize.
That Obama’s administration would go on to drone strike the hell out of the middle east just adds to the ridiculousness that has accompanied the Peace Prize for sometime now. WHo takes it seriously anymore?

Jerry Jay Carroll
Jerry Jay Carroll
3 years ago
Reply to  RJ LONG

The odd academic and NGO employee take it seriously, I suppose. And the think tank people waiting for government jobs to open up.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
3 years ago
Reply to  RJ LONG

Maybe it helped towards fulfilling a quota.
To be fair, Obama wrote in his book that he didn’t deserve it, although as I read it, I said to myself “but you accepted it nevertheless”.

Richard E
Richard E
3 years ago

It’s not just ex Prime Ministers, the whole public sector is leeching off the people of this country. So many in NHS management, Education, the corrupt Police, civil service, local government and their closely related cousins working for charities and Trusts are extracting the maximum while giving the minimum in return, while using their positions to push their politics.
The lockdown was very popular for these people, as in many cases they have been able to ‘work at home’, basically stop providing the services they are paid to provide and still receive full salaries, while the rest of us are forced to pay taxes to fund it all.
Those in the public sector are there, first and foremost to serve themselves. You are sent the bill, and you have to pay. So they continue, and will continue until the financial maths no longer adds up and the whole thing collapses.
I’ve always seen Cameron as one of the greatest Traitors, when he signed up to work agains’t this nation’s interests and work the for Chinese expansion.
How do we solve this – the early retirements for ‘ill health’ on full pension and the ‘working at home’, pay rises, non-jobs and exploitation of the taxpayer.
A root and branch weeding out of the whole system. Drastic cuts in pension payments, whether they are already retired or not. Drastic cuts in salaries and removal of people from office/jobs. Trial’s for those that have abused their positions – corrupt police, teachers who have pushed politics to pupils, people who have pushed politics into their job – police, teachers, NHS managers, National Trust, charities etc, police who took the knee to BLM and have restricted people’s freedom of speech.
We should invite complaints from the public who come into contact with these people and they should be investigated and then people should be put on trial.
Who would be complaining? – ex pupils who were indoctrinated by teachers, ex students indoctrinated and loaded with debts by universities, police who were not impartial, infringed people’s rights including free speech, civil servants and managers at all levels who pushed left wing politics and identity/victim politics in their work places.
Extensive damages should be paid, pensions lost entirely and some people put in prison.

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard E

We can dream….

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard E

Yes, all true. The criminality of the police, for instance, is simply off the scale. Alex Belfield, Voice of Reason, is particularly good on this, but you only have to scan the Daily Mail each day to see another story of another police man/woman having committed another serious crime.

Richard E
Richard E
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

For the criminality and incompetence of the police.
Go to YouTube. And search the following:
Live Free
Crime Bodge
Auditing Britain

Last edited 3 years ago by Richard E
Chris D
Chris D
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard E

Apologies for the pedantry, but it’s “Bodge”, not “Botch”.

Richard E
Richard E
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris D

thanks

Mel Bass
Mel Bass
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Mr Belfield is entertaining, but he’s only after likes and subscribers, so is he truly an unbiased source of information? Particularly when he believes that the police have some kind of personal vendetta against him? As for ‘the criminality of the police’, in a diverse set of UK police forces, employing tens of thousands of officers, it’s not surprising to encounter a few bad apples, just like every other profession – or do the likes of Beverley Allitt and Harold Shipman represent the entire medical community?

Michael O'Donnell
Michael O'Donnell
3 years ago
Reply to  Mel Bass

I once had a conversation with someone who pointed out to me that the police are recruited from the same pool that criminals come from, so it’s not surprising that they often turn bad.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Mel Bass

Well the police do appear to have a vendetta against him, having arrested him on numerous occasions without having charged him with anything. Alex Belfield brings me some interesting and accurate news and facts, and he is engaging, clever and funny. It is hard to think of anyone else in the media who does all that.

Adrian Maxwell
Adrian Maxwell
3 years ago
Reply to  Mel Bass

Belfield believes the BBC are pursuing a vendetta against him. The police as BBC lackeys.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
3 years ago
Reply to  Mel Bass

Of course there are bad apples, probably in similar proportion to every other area of activity. I think there is an additional problem in public service (and in big private enterprises) that of people creating non jobs for themselves that create almost zero value but allow them a few extra pounds. Diversity czars are my favourite example but there are plenty of others.

nick harman
nick harman
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Well yes, I mean the Daily Mail is an impeccable source.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Line of Duty ..Also BBC2 on 1970s london Police corruption.But Police &crime commissioners,Blair’s idea?..Has fully politicized the Police &Corrupt

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Lambert

Between the Lines is on BBC 4. Plus ca change…

andrew harman
andrew harman
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard E

Excessive, ranting, resentful, chip on shoulder nonsense. How exactly would you propose trials of teachers who have “pushed politics” be conducted? What, under existing law, would they be charged with? Should those who have pushed right wing politics be put on trial too? Who exactly should get damages paid to them? By what mechanism?
I am an ex-teacher (History) and I never pushed politics. There were those who, in a way, did but they were I believe few and far between in my experience and I am not aware of any who were “indoctrinated” I am now self employed as a private tutor (nearly 20 years in the classroom, in a tough school) and I pay my taxes. I have claimed my teacher pension early so do you propose to open an investigation into me? Good luck in tracking down the thousands of pupils I taught over the years.
I say all this as someone who is emphatically not a “lefty” but who is utterly disillusioned with our political classes. I tend to define myself as a libertarian rather than right or conservative and I actually do think the teaching profession and the public sector generally, and perhaps inevitably, dresses to the left. And yes, many of those most vocal for lockdown have been those guaranteed an income so there is a sense of entitlement amongst many. However, to make such sweeping assertions and to effectively call for a witch hunt is patent nonsense.

Last edited 3 years ago by andrew harman
Richard E
Richard E
3 years ago
Reply to  andrew harman

Teachers: ex pupils and parents of pupils could lodge official complaints and provide evidence through witness statements. Any teacher or lecturer who has used their position to push politics of whatever persuasion. They are paid to teach. The damages would be paid directly to the pupils and students who have suffered harm during their education.
It sounds like this wouldn’t effect you, as you did the job of teaching you were paid to do.
Pupils would not have to be tracked down. It would be the ex students and pupils who would start the process with their initial complaint.
Individual Police officers would also be processed on the same basis. Complaints would be filed for individual police officers and their chain of commend for not investigating grooming gangs because of political correctness, curtailing citizen’s free speech and other rights, taking the knee in capitulation to political movements etc.
For all these government officials the process would start with complaints from those harmed and impacted. It’s that simple. Damages would be payable to those harmed and would be unlimited in scope with property, assets and pension funds available for funding compensation.
Some cases would also result in criminal prosecution and imprisonment.
The media, BBC etc would also be open for claims too. If they have failed to report the news in a balanced manner, left stories uncovered or intentionally put an exaggerated focus on other stories and issues. Once again, compensation accessing all assets. pensions and property of an individual. Possibly criminal trials to follow for some.

Last edited 3 years ago by Richard E
andrew harman
andrew harman
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard E

This is exactly the same mentality as the woke lynch mob. Seeking out and destroying based on a preconceived notion of “sin” or “crime” It will simply lead to witch hunts with the additional whammy of score settling. Imagine the extent of malicious, vexatious complaints that would ensue. Madness. The judicial system would be very busy too…

Richard E
Richard E
3 years ago
Reply to  andrew harman

No No No. No witch hunt, no lynch mob, just justice. they need to be punished if they have misused their positions of power, while being paid for by the public. It would be based entirely on complaints, evidence and be heard by a jury in each and every case. Damages would be assessed on the basis of the damage they have caused. I guess there could even be class actions by thousands of claimants agains’t thousands of government employees where group responsibility and liability could be proven.

Last edited 3 years ago by Richard E
andrew harman
andrew harman
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard E

I really think it is delusional and naive to think it would end any other way. I guarantee you, no good would come of it.

RJ LONG
RJ LONG
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard E

Yeah sure, you could call all these “purges” and talk about a “revolutions” and maybe “a Great Leap Forward.”. Some state appointed commissars can make sure the BBC stays in line right?
I assume you have a five year plan for this right?

Richard E
Richard E
3 years ago
Reply to  RJ LONG

Just investigations and justice delivered by the people for the people. No more, no less.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard E

Ah – a people’s court, like we had in proper people’s democratic republics.

andrew harman
andrew harman
3 years ago
Reply to  RJ LONG

He will not be reasoned with – the rhetoric of the fanatic.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  andrew harman

I see what you’re saying, but at the moment politics are being thrust into the classroom via an ideology called Critical Race Theory. It divides children by skin color and its premise is that one set of children are victims while the other set must apologize for who they are. If I were an invader and wanted to demoralize a nation beforehand CRT would be the perfect vehicle to do so.

andrew harman
andrew harman
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

I left the classroom 12 years ago but through working with a high number of private students from a number of schools I have to say this has never come up – and I do question them about what goes on, partly out of curiosity! Does not mean it is not present at all of course but it is possible to overstate these things.

Chris D
Chris D
3 years ago
Reply to  andrew harman

It probably is overstated, but it’s also probably difficult for a school pupil to recognize. How can they measure normal when they only have one experience? Google deliberately manipulates the minds of every user of its services and most people are not even aware of it.

Richard E
Richard E
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

Anyone who could be proven to have pushed critical race theory or taken the knee would ideally lose everything including their liberty.

andrew harman
andrew harman
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard E

This is just stupid. I would never take the knee but do you think criminalising it would actually do any good at all?

Richard E
Richard E
3 years ago
Reply to  andrew harman

I am just suggesting that those that did should pay a price. public sector works, media people and sports people shouldn’t be able to work if they have taken the knee.

andrew harman
andrew harman
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard E

You also said they should be locked up. All a bit Orwellian. Attitudes like yours will do nothing to turn the tide, You do much more harm than good with your extremism.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard E

I imagine your policy would result in a massive increase in taking the knee to protest such a draconian measure, and students who have never heard of critical race theory would develop a sudden interest to find out why it was being banned.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard E

Sounds a little too totalitarian for me.
First a fair trial, then the hanging?

Last edited 3 years ago by Paul N
Alex Delszsen
Alex Delszsen
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

New boss, same as the old boss. Too many venal, power-hungry persons hoping for their place on top of the foodchain/gravy train.

Last edited 3 years ago by Alex Delszsen
Richard E
Richard E
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Delszsen

I would take no payments and live humbly.power is enough for me.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
3 years ago
Reply to  andrew harman

I’m a teacher and I think a bigger problem than the handful pushing political views is the general willingness of teachers and schools to think they can make the world a better place.

A teacher’s duty is to teach mathematics or history or literature as best they can. A bit of encouragement to a student who is struggling. Then they should go home.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard E

Ah yes, the approach of Pol Pot, Mao and Stalin. Purges, public denunciations and show trials.

Richard E
Richard E
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Valid complaints filed by those personally suffering damage, trialled by jury, holding people accountable for their actions, compensation duly paid and criminal charges where appropriate.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard E

Ah yes, all those who have personally suffered damage every time a sportsperson has taken the knee. Free speech must be curtailed if liberty is to thrive.

andrew harman
andrew harman
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Exactly – it stems from the same sense of certainty with a good dose of moral outrage, worthy of the wokest of the woke.

John Morris
John Morris
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

The French had the right idea. Off with their heads.

John Mcalester
John Mcalester
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard E

Who do we put in charge of this, politicians ?

Last edited 3 years ago by John Mcalester
Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard E

No mention in your rant of BANKERS?
Oh sorry, they are private sector, so worth bailing out with ÂŁ1.1 trillion while their donations fund the Conservative party and nudge its policies rightwards.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

That’s the cherry you chose to pick from that? Bankers, unlike politicians, do not pretend to care about our interests or claim to work on our behalf. And by the way, who’s bailing them out? The same politicians Murray is railing against, and those bankers are willing to support the left, too, if it serves their self-interest.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Northern Rock bailed out by Gorgon Brown. Iceland Jailed 27 Bankers…

Richard E
Richard E
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

The bailouts shouldn’t have happened. So I agree public bailouts of banks should certainly be investigated.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard E

You are right about the “crimes” but unfortunately there is no way to bring these people to book. These people, after all, are the Establishment or the Establishment’s supporters. Only the near-collapse of society would provide the opportunity of rectifying all the evils out there. I am sure it is coming but not in my lifetime. So we stumble on, cursing these parasites, because we are powerless to do anything more. Power is not interested in listening to the people, only in feathering its own nest.

Richard E
Richard E
3 years ago
Reply to  Jos Haynes

I honestly think it won’t start here. My guess would be Italy or possibly France. Salvini has proved already he will take action. Have you seen the polls in Italy recently? Salvini’s party has dropped in support but is still the most popular, 5star have declined. The thing that is not being reported is the rise of Brothers Of Italy. There could easily be a coalition of Salvini and Brother’s of Italy. If they could show by example that anything is possible, then others will observe and emulate. But the establishment will do all they can to prevent it – so Le Pen and Salvini/BoI will need people on the streets to do it, and they arm them once they have an excuse to do it. Then justice can begin to be handed out.

Last edited 3 years ago by Richard E
jim payne
jim payne
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard E

Like him or loathe him, Cummins was all for kicking the Civil Service etc. up the backside. As for corruption, look at the palaces of African statesmen, Putin, Bejin’s world highest number of billionaires and so the list could go on. Nail them all. As for Cameron helping the Chinese invest, he aught to be ashamed.

Richard E
Richard E
3 years ago
Reply to  jim payne

That’s why they were so eager to remove Cummins. And in the USA, they had to remove Trump.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard E

Agree with every word though there’d be a few nooses in my version. Ain’t, my friend, ever going to happen though.

John Morris
John Morris
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard E

Lee Quan Yew showed the way. Absolutely no tolerance no matter who you were.

rhugheslustleigh
rhugheslustleigh
3 years ago

I have a different theory – it is they have all these fawning underlings and peers telling them how wonderful they are and they come to believe it and start compring themselves to real entrepreneurs and wealth creators

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago

Yes, I think you’re right.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago

He is all those things you say, but I still voted for him. I had no choice. It was vote for a man everybody hates or a party that hates me.

Ann Ceely
Ann Ceely
3 years ago

The answer is that our politicians don’t SERVE. They take.

General morals have gone downhill as religion has been devalued.

Mark Stone
Mark Stone
3 years ago

DC has never done a real days work in his life. Sure, he’s held jobs, the sort that the privileged walk in to all the time. But has he started the day wondering how he’s going to perform so that by the end of the day he has more than he started with. You don’t need a MBA in business to know how hard that feels. Cronyism is made for the likes of him.
Born wealthy, living wealthily, will die wealthy. This holds back UK plc more than Brexit, more than the EU, probably more than the unions or even a shrieky response to a pandemic.

JACK Templeton
JACK Templeton
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

Not to mention married wealth also. Perhaps he’s just trying to keep up with Sam’s relatives the Astors and the Chipping Norton set..

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

I used to live in Cameron’s constituency. All the ‘work’ was done by his agent, whom he attempted unsuccessfully to have selected as the MP after his resignation mid term.
as far as we could tell, he did nothing for his constituents, but he did shut the very successful and much used refuse site, because it was within a mile and a half of his friend Lord Chadlingtons house ( you couldn’t hear or see it, but you know, a dump! In the village! Where ordinary people bring their hedge trimmings! )
So now anyone in that part of West Oxfordshire has to drive ten miles to a commercial and quite dangerous site instead.
and yes, it was Cameron. All the various levels of councils tried desperately to keep it open, but to no avail.

John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago

It is deeply repulsive but what about all our present and ex-leaders sucking up to Klaus Schwab, the WEF, Gates etc. Cameron poured billions of public money into the Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) in 2011 at a meeting with Bill Gates. I was there with no more than 8 people outside a a City of London hotel demonstrating against it – where was everyone else? OK, it sounded philanthropic but it was just a boondoggle: the rich getting our money for their purposes. Johnson is still sucking up to Gates – the government hands out contracts, Gates simpers. Johnson chaired the GAVI meeting with Gates last summer and suddenly our mainstream news sources became obsessed with Madeleine McCann for the day.

Last edited 3 years ago by John Stone
Giles Chance
Giles Chance
3 years ago

Get-rich-quick has become a dominant theme in our society. It’s the result of several things: a bit of Milton Friedman from the 1970’s; a bit of Ronald Reagan from the 1980’s; a bit of ultra-low interest rates post-2008, followed by the admiration we are supposed to feel for extremely wealthy hedge fund and real estate people. It’s like: if you’re an ex-PM and you’re not getting very rich, there must be something wrong with you. Cameron, a rather weak and unexceptional person who found himself in the right place at the right time, just got on the bandwagon.

cjhartnett1
cjhartnett1
3 years ago

Can hardly complain Douglas can we?
The adults left the room round about the Callaghan/ Thatcher transition. We monstered the noblesse obliges types and sought amoral pygmies to run public offices. Gummer? Currie? Kinnock and family?
And ,following the Kennedy cult, things like legacy, foundations etc became the grifters mausoleums of brain-dead kids who weren’t happy simply to leech off their ejectors in office. But sought to sail the gravy boat to hell afterwards.
These are evil know nothings. We voted then in and let them keep their bookdeals and expenses without a reckoning. We got Bercow.
So, let’s be fair. The electorate approved, connived and didn’t take revenge for treason like we should have done . Ian Ferguson STILL gets to talk lies,on Radio 4, no comeback, any more than Campbell, Blair or Blunkett.
Would we have been as godless and venal in their red slippers?
Depends doesn’t it? After this Covid collusion, don’t think it’d have been different for the 95% of dopes and dupes who don’t mind Harry flying home, don’t question Philip and the vaccine. Getting what we’re due, I fear.

T Arn
T Arn
3 years ago

Usually enjoy Mr Murray’s articles but the end of this is conspiracy-speak fear-mongering; it sounds like the author thinks that politicians are privy to information about an oncoming armageddon that the rest of us are unaware of. I think the more likely reason for ex-PMs wanting more money is that, as countless studies and examples show, the desire to earn more money is never satisfied.

Julian Flood
Julian Flood
3 years ago
Reply to  T Arn

Armageddon? Why do you think multi-billionaires are investing in their own space programmes? And they are altruistic as well — they let little Dicky Branson make the tea.
JF

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  T Arn

The desire to acquire more money is never satisfied. Earning it is another matter entirely.

Ellie Gladiataurus
Ellie Gladiataurus
3 years ago
Reply to  T Arn

Interesting. I read it as politicians having advantageous insider-knowledge, which they could make available to the highest bidder. I never even thought about an oncoming armageddon!
Not that wealth would do them much good, if that were to happen!

T Arn
T Arn
3 years ago

Perhaps I misinterpreted the third to last paragraph:

But a deeper, more disconcerting problem looms over a question about why, given there are so many ex-leaders knocking about, our recently departed politicians feel the need to be so rich. 

“Armageddon” was hyperbolic I admit, but Murray appeared to suggest that politicians are in the know about a major financial crisis that is about to happen.
I agree about the insider-knowledge about the highest bidder point you raise though!

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  T Arn

We may be due another crash, not least because the causes of the last one were not dealt with – that bit could be true enough.

Chris Rimmer
Chris Rimmer
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

Completely agree. The insolvency disaster which flared up into a liquidity crisis in 2008 was never dealt with. Instead the problems were all hidden behind vague statements along the line of “don’t worry – we’ve spent 1 trillion unspecified units to make sure the problems will go away”. I’m convinced there’s insolvency everywhere.

nick harman
nick harman
3 years ago
Reply to  T Arn

That’s not how I read it, Murray simply pointing out that anyone who can always puts money away for a rainy day.

T Arn
T Arn
3 years ago
Reply to  nick harman

I disagree, I think that the third to last paragraph suggests politicians are aware of a major financial crisis that nobody else knows of:

But a deeper, more disconcerting problem looms over a question about why, given there are so many ex-leaders knocking about, our recently departed politicians feel the need to be so rich. 

Chris Rimmer
Chris Rimmer
3 years ago
Reply to  T Arn

I disagree, I think that the third to last paragraph suggests politicians are aware of a major financial crisis that nobody else knows of:

Some of us are aware of it, but it’s too subtle for most people to get their heads around, even though they could understand it intuitively if they would just stop trusting that “the authorities” are looking out for them. I’ve been trying for years to tell people about it, but I just get blank looks.
Insolvency can be hidden for a very long time.

How did you go bankrupt?

Two ways. Gradually but then suddenly’.

  • ‘The Sun Also Rises’ – Ernest Hemingway

The “gradually” stage involves becoming more and more insolvent i.e. getting further and further from being able to pay all the debts you owe with the assets you have. The “suddenly” stage is when people start demanding that you pay up. That tends to happen not when they suspect that you can’t pay, but when they notice that lots of other people suspect that you can’t pay.
In the short run, confidence (trust that debts will be paid) is completely dominant, but in the long run, reality wins every time.
Everything done in 2008 seemed to be about restoring a feeling of confidence, rather than doing anything to justify confidence. When there’s insolvency, someone is going to take the losses. It’s best to get it over with as quickly as possible, so that people stop doing things which are unsustainable, and everyone can stop playing musical chairs where the music could stop at any time and the ones left standing don’t get paid what they’re owed.
As it is, it looked to me that most of the bad debts were hidden in various ways, the music started up again, and more chairs were taken away. The unsustainability has only got worse with the government taking on vast debts to pay people to stay at home and not produce anything for a year.

Toby Josh
Toby Josh
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Rimmer

You are ignoring the fact that here in the UK we can create more wealth for ourselves any time we please – by simply selling each other our houses at ever higher prices.

michaelbeadley
michaelbeadley
3 years ago

Former PMs are very well off. However during their term in office they meet very rich people and so feel poor and try to enrich themselves afterwards.
The BBC once called this the Martin Johnson effect after the former rugby player. In real life he is a giant but when playing with other tall people he doesn’t look so tall.
In short the problem is lack of contact with normal people- no idea how to fix that.

Last edited 3 years ago by michaelbeadley
hugh bennett
hugh bennett
3 years ago
Reply to  michaelbeadley

I was once a senior civil servant working as a health professional adviser for the Welsh Assembly. Every Friday morning the Chief Medical Officer would hold a “prayer meeting” where the weeks issues were aired. To build myself up for this grind I always got up early and had a full Welsh breakfast in a greasy spoon in a down to earth part of Cardiff. All human life was there, as the saying goes,all the health and social issues facing Wales sitting all around you… then I sat through the prayer meeting with highly educated, highly paid, highly experienced health professionals and other civil servants,well meaning by enlarge, but most totally lacking in greasy spoonness!!.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  hugh bennett

And what did you say or do about it? You and all the others in the room seem to have been a big part of the problem.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

‘Greasy spooners’ can often point out things that never occur to those who live exclusively in more rarefied circles. Had hugh bennett not been there, perhaps more policy decisions with unintended consequences would have been made.

Andy Yorks
Andy Yorks
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The maxim of the Law is ‘Qui facet consentit’ – Silence gives consent.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

‘Qui facet consentit’
I think that might mean jokers consent, or perhaps the productive give consent.

Last edited 3 years ago by Ian Perkins
Chris Rimmer
Chris Rimmer
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

tacet?

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  michaelbeadley

Rubbish martin Johnson 6ft 8inches and 19 stone,was A brilliant Captain of Leicester tigers(My favourite Team) and England,Only Captain England to Winning the World Cup..He Coached England 2009-12?..

David Whitaker
David Whitaker
3 years ago

I find the most sickening aspect of this affair is to be reminded of the way that these people make disgusting amounts of money without doing any actual work. What fools they must think the rest of us are! And what fools we are!

John Lamble
John Lamble
3 years ago

“…while it is true that the heads of many companies earn more than ÂŁ150,000 a year, most British families can only imagine earning that kind of money.”
The heads of most companies have some relationship between their remuneration and the visible financial success of their firm. Infinitely more sinister is the huge number of local government officials and quango bureaucrats who syphon off more than ÂŁ100K despite adding no discernible value to their organisations or the public. As a parasitic class, ex-prime-ministers are a small group, but the bureacracy which battens on every aspect of British life at egregious cost really needs pest control.

Andy Yorks
Andy Yorks
3 years ago
Reply to  John Lamble

One of the things that has happened over the last 30 years has been the ability of the executives of companies to reward themselves in excess of their achievements. They have basically been able to loot companies to the detriment of their owners: the shareholders.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

The reality is vast numbers of upper middle class people have no skin in the game. They earn several several times average wage but if they make mistakes they neither die ( ships skipper when ship is sunk )or lose assets. There is well abover average reward for well below average risk.Even if the company goes bust or are sacked or take early leave, their pension provides a level of comfort beyond most people.

Christopher Thompson
Christopher Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Very true. You make an excellent point.

Last edited 3 years ago by Christopher Thompson
Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago

Thank you, I was paraphrasing Nicholas Taleb who wrote Black Swan.

Hilary Arundale
Hilary Arundale
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Yes, my dad was quite high up in a British national industry in the sixties and in a big private company in the seventies and he didn’t have a very high salary. Things have changed.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

the ability of the executives of companies to reward themselves in excess of their achievements
Executives in the financial sector receive substantial bonuses despite their roles in crimes and crises.

Wulvis Perveravsson
Wulvis Perveravsson
3 years ago
Reply to  John Lamble

I recently found out, via FOI request, that the highest paid state school head is on ÂŁ210k per annum. In anyone’s book, that is insanely overpaid. The problem is, these people actually believe they are worth that much.

John Sansome
John Sansome
3 years ago

Indeed, why do they want to be so rich? Although they once pretended to be driven by noble instincts for the well being of all, their fall from power shows their true weakness and neediness. When all the rhetoric and feigned idealism of their time in the spotlight is behind them, they leave it all for paltry nest-feathering, which, beyond a certain degree of comfort, should be low on the list of priorities for a human being of any integrity. Certainly in politics we seem to be living in a time of exceptional mediocrity.

Andy Yorks
Andy Yorks
3 years ago
Reply to  John Sansome

‘Why do they want to be so rich’? Oh that’s easy. Because they start to hob nob with millionaires and billionaires and they get a taste for that sort of life. Most of them seem to be friendly with what I call the ‘nouveau riche’, resplendent with Med villas and mega yachts, and they soon forget that envy is a Sin. But Douglas hits the nail on the head when he says we’ve had many ‘young’ leaders. Young by 20 years actually. They are far too young when elected and far too young when they gain office. Most are not really mature and if you look across the channel to Paris there is a man who is actually arrogant and childish. So we need older politicians who have had careers and made their money and are there to serve the State not themselves.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

To be fair to wee Bonaparte he will be childish and arrogant until he dies, so not all grey beards have benefitted from the additional experience.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

Older politicians may be more mature, but is there any reason to think they will be more likely “to serve the State not themselves”?

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
3 years ago

Sounds like a pat on the back for Rishi is in order. Being a former hedgie, he is well able to spot the toads and vipers.
As for “call me Dave”, if you look at the before, during and after is any of this latest affair a surprise?

Last edited 3 years ago by Adrian Smith
Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago

Historically Britain had very low levels of corruption due to Non Conformist Values and figthing in two world wars.” I did not fight the war for this ” was common phrase by those faced with corruption. The post WW2 period was severe on corruption.
We have lost both aspects these influences on British character. Since the 1960s , the idea of ” if it feels good, do it ” can be applied to aspects of life.
There is a saying one can have champagne budget and beer taste ( Tony Benn ) but if one has a champagne taste and beer budget one will become corrupted. It would appear many politicians develop a champagne taste while in office, even if they started with a beer taste.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago

The central gist of this article – that politicians seem to feel like they are owed something once out of office having ‘escaped the burden’ is a really good point. Also the direct criticism of Cameron in this instance is good journalism
However I’m not sure on the more general points…
Whilst politicians are pretty damn low on my list of people I feel sorry for, least of all vapid show ponies like Blair and Cameron, I don’t see what Douglas proposes as an alternative. Awful or not, having been Prime Minister will open doors whether you want them to or not.
What low level of career would be adequate? It seems daft to expect former PMs to don a hair shirt and live out their days tending a garden or any other suitably humble activity just to not upset media hacks.
Part of the reason our politicians are so awful is because politics only attracts the sort of people who are happy with the level of overblown scrutiny. Remember the ridiculous criticism Cameron got for daring to upgrade the UKs diplomatic and official aircraft?

Last edited 3 years ago by A Spetzari
Claire D
Claire D
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

But surely the choice does not have to be between retiring to a suburban garden or chasing ÂŁmillions across the globe. I’m no fan of David Miliband but his post political career is a good example of what an ex PM with integrity could choose to do with their experience and skills.

I think Blair’s and Cameron’s dishonourable money grabbing behaviour is indicative of our age, how Blair squares it with his recent conversion to Catholicism I just don’t understand. They both seem to suffer from delusions of grandeur.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

No I don’t disagree with you as such.
I just question; what is the solution? As Douglas points out, 150k is an excellent salary, by most people’s standards. But we don’t want most people to be Prime Minister, we want the best person for the job.
And whilst salary should most certainly not be the principle driver for people wanting to be PM, it is not that much compared to what the vast majority of people earn that the Prime Minister mixes with day in day out.
It’s not about enrichment of the individual, it’s about the prestige of the role. There’s a reason that government buildings are suitably grand, that the PM still lives in 10 Downing Street rather than a cheaper, less fancy gaff that’s just as near to government. Power and responsibility.
This is why I mentioned the ‘Air Force Cam’ mini scandal. As people were arguing that spending millions on a plane for politicians and figures to fly about on was a waste of taxpayers money. I would argue it’s not fitting for public servants of the 5th richest country in the world to fly about in a 1970s piece of junk.
(edit: missed the “not be”!)

Last edited 3 years ago by A Spetzari
Claire D
Claire D
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

Yes, I see your point. I don’t know what the solution is either, but perhaps a better salary for PMs should be considered.

Last edited 3 years ago by Claire D
mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

TBH i think salaries as paid to CEOs of larger firms would be fine, ie ÂŁ2-4m pa for a PM, BUT without the obscene pensions, benefits etc AND with a restrictive covenant that they never do business with any contacts from their years in power. You can then slide the scale down for the lower level operators.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

1912 ”Paying MPs will attract ,the detritus of British Society”, or Similar Quote by Lord Acton also per ”Absolute power Corrupts absolutely”..

David Whitaker
David Whitaker
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

It’s almost enough to make you think that the best arrangement is to have someone doing the job of ruling the country who is not attracted to it, who doesn’t have any alternative, who is not in it for the money and who can’t leave it or get kicked out until he (or she) dies. A King or Queen in fact!

Tom Graham
Tom Graham
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

David Miliband and his extremely highly paid sinecure as the boss of a “charity”, that doesn’t appear to be over taxing?
Nick Clegg is the one of that generation of politicians who does at least appear to have a legitimate job.
Doing PR for Facebook may not be the most noble job description in the world, but at least he does genuinely work.

Michael O'Donnell
Michael O'Donnell
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

Remind me… How much do International Rescue pay David Milliband?

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

see my Post around half a Million dollars…

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

David Millipede ,Arch Europhile,Still racks up $500,000 per annum with being CEO of USA ”Charity”

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

So one more member of the political class who presumably wanted to do good but wound up doing well. It’s practically a clichĂ©. Our Congress is full of lifers who have somehow managed to become multi-millionaires on salaries of less than $200K while living in one of the country’s most expensive cities. Some Congressional spouses have done exceedingly well.
I doubt many of these people care much about either their reputations or “us;” they remain as self-serving after office as they were while campaigning for or holding it. On occasion, you find one whose walk manages the high-minded talk, but those people are the exception.

John Mcalester
John Mcalester
3 years ago

Basically because they can, the public has come to expect it as the norm now. The modern species of the professional politician has little to offer outside politics except enriching themselves when they leave/ get kicked out of office.

You aint seen nothing yet, just wait till our current PM leaves office, it all ready looks like he took the job not for what he could do for the country as PM but what the position of PM can do for him.

Pauline Ivison
Pauline Ivison
3 years ago
Reply to  John Mcalester

Never a truer word spoken, Johnson is a chancer heading up a bunch of self serving liars.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
3 years ago

This reminds me of the adage of the once noble politician, he started off doing good but ended up doing well.

Last edited 3 years ago by Franz Von Peppercorn
Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

Did Cameron attempt much of the former?

Pierre Pendre
Pierre Pendre
3 years ago

Maybe it’s partly to do with prime ministers nowadays gaining the office in their 40s and retiring in their 50s when they still have an active life ahead together with a host of high level contacts. Older PMs used to go into full retirement when they left office. Their idea of cashing in was writing memoirs that nobody read. The Clintons said they were broke when they left office and are now multi-millionaires. Obama who said you reach a point when you’ve made enough obviously hasn’t reached it despite having millions shovelled his way and owning luxury houses at all four corners of the US. The Blairs’ housing alone is breath-taking.

ben sheldrake
ben sheldrake
3 years ago

Unfortunately this is top to toe throughout the Westminster system. A good read that covers it is ‘Parliament Inc’
It explains the how it is done and how much is ongoing. The practice of lobbying, second jobs for corporates and charities goes pretty deep. Once it can be seen how far this has gone it offers explanation as to why so many of our critical institutions make such poor procurement / bad decisions.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago

Why is Douglas Murray writing about this now? Its been a constant feature in Private Eye since the early 70s. 50+ years of extracting an awful lot of taxpayers’ money. Sure there will always be corruption in any society but in UK its extractive and systemic – always the same people or their descendents playing the same tricks. This makes UK very different from say US or Australia: They have their corrupt cabals too, but once exposed they are generally jailed and disgraced. Here the thieves, their mates and their cheerleaders in the press including this website just let it pass with a wink and a nudge. On a separate note if we paid politicians and civil servants a decent wage it would help reduce the numbers on the take. In the case of Cameron or Blair etc they clearly don’t need the money, so they are RICO level gangsters compared to the lower level politicians and civil servants who are more like addicts using crime to pay for their poor lifestyle choices. Either way if civil society doesn’t stop them its likely uncivil actors will step in to do the job. With 12m of lies and shenanigins over the SARS-CoV2 outbreak i hear so much distrust, disrespect and hatred of politicians etc from people who are normally apolitical. This is a golden chance for a demagogue to leverage the distrust into power. Then the likes of Cameron will find out what its like to run afoul of real gangsters, the sort of guys who ran things for Pinochet, Franco or the NSDAP. Whilst they will clearly be as bent as the old crowd we can enjoy retributive justice much more than the likes of Cameron will enjoy his ill gotten wealth.

Last edited 3 years ago by mike otter
Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

Our decidedly non-conservative president at the time, that guy named Obama, was all in on Libya, too. So was his then Secretary of State, the also non-conservative Hillary Clinton, who laughed at Qaddafi’s death and who has pretty much escaped any criticism for the decision she heartily endorsed. If you to blame the plan, fine; I’m with you. But painting it is a purely partisan event is nonsense. And both Obama and Clinton have famously enriched themselves post-office, too, which directly ties into the theme of this piece. The article is about honor, not policy decisions.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

I’m in no way trying to paint Obama or Clinton as anything but what they were, savage and bloodthirsty warmongers. But this article is about Cameron, and in my view, his bombing of Libya was vastly more dishonourable than his lobbying and financial activities, if you wish to consider his career in terms of honour. It’s a gross stain on the UK’s reputation abroad, in countries that have their own corruption, to be sure, but don’t engage in reducing other nations to chaos.

Last edited 3 years ago by Ian Perkins
Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Surely, someone has written about that ill-conceived move. I took Cameron’s inclusion in this piece as just one more example of the sale ole, same ole among politicians.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

I am intrigued as to why you single out this particular bombing. The physical effects of bombing are always proportionate the the size and number you drop in terms of the craters they create. The political effects depend on who you kill. Creating political vacuums by killing evil leaders more often than not allows a different evil to come in to fill it in the process doing more evil than would have been done in the first place – basically what happened in Libya and other places where the objective was regime change. Loads of leaders who have dropped bombs to achieve the removal of other leaders have made that mistake so why single out this one?
How does it compare to the bombing of Syrian “Chemical Weapons” under Trump and May which they were suckered into by evil people, opposing the far less evil leader of Syria?
How do those compare to the illegal war phoney Tony suckered us into in Iraq?

Last edited 3 years ago by Adrian Smith
Jeff Mason
Jeff Mason
3 years ago

We treat politicians like movie stars instead of what they are – our employees. They get paid to do a job and when that job is over we should stop paying them. We give them awards they didn’t earn, million dollar deals for books they didn’t write and few people we read, and them pay them small fortunes to make phone calls to cronies they hope are just as corrupt as they are. Everyone is entitled to earn a living but doing so by corrupting the institutions they used to be in charge of is borderline criminal.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Mason

Can’t Agree Most of UK Politicians are of the ilk ,ie Prove
”politics is showbiz for ugly people”.. The Fact at General Election hustings I can hold my own or even derail lib lab-Con candidates ,shows they aren’t up to snuff…I left School at 15 , never been on more than ÂŁ16,000 pa…Just Saying

Rob Alka
Rob Alka
3 years ago

Cameron’s problem was to be born with a silver-plated spoon in his mouth, able to mix socially and to the manner born with the upper classes but lacking the financial means to keep up with them materialistically. With inherited social status but without enough inherited money, and lacking commercial nous to earn any by fair means or fowl, Cameron’s only choice was to find some other way to financially buttress his social status. He needed that extra boost to get into orbit, above and beyond the mediocrity of the masses. This entailed monetising his previous arrogant, lightweight and ultimately unsuccessful performance as Prime Minister, which he naively presumed would still grant him access and influence to political and commercial high places. Embarrassingly, he gained the access but not the influence, such is the superficial two-faced politeness of the political establishment in which a simple yes or no is camouflaged in a language of different types of yesses.
So the story ends with Cameron overplaying what he thought would be a winning hand. The epilogue is the howls of faux rage from Westminster and the media about corrupt lobbying and conflicts of interest of politicians and civil servants. But the truth is that the outrage is one lack of decorum.  Lobbying Government, if done right (as opposed to the Cameron way), is just part of the art of soft sell.  Why would any salesman or lobbyist forsake an inside track to a decision-maker or influencer? No harm in trying.  The only victims were Greensill, who wasn’t bankrolled sufficiently, and Cameron, a clunky salesman / representative / promoter / lobbyist, out of his league right from the start, and now forced to adopt a low profile with egg on his face.  Bottom line, no one in government bought Greenill’s iffy proposition, which smelt too much of using Other People’s Money.  I doubt whether someone of greater finesse than Cameron would have got it over the finishing line. Rules on lobbying, conflicts of interest and acting with professionalism are too qualitative and ambiguous to pin down. Maturity and integrity can’t be achieved by rules; you’ve either got it or you haven’t.  A more pressing challenge for Westminster is to never underestimate the incompetence of Government, which doesn’t need the help of Cameron to make ruinous decisions, all too often responding to a problem by “throwing money at it” rather than remedying or jettisoning it.

Last edited 3 years ago by Rob Alka
Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Rob Alka

Nailed it.
The other problem for Cameron is that he is lazy. He was lazy as a constituency MP (before he was in office). He is intellectually lazy, that is why he adopted political and social attitudes which he thought would boost his appeal , without realising that everyone would see through them at a glance. He alienated his Conservative voters, and the people whom he naively believed would be attracted just laughed. Does anyone remember the declaration for whatever Shepherd’s Bush was called then? The labour candidate who was elected looked shell shocked, he never thought he was going to be in Parliament, you could see him frantically working out his life as he uttered his unprepared acceptance speech (I believe he did a good job though, so the voters were right). And of course Cameron lost a top safe seat by installing one of his chums’ wife as the candidate, a woman of no political appeal, experience or substance.
My point is that he has not realised that even in politics, you have to try a bit. Cameron is so lazy that he can’t pull the wool over anyone’s eyes, he just hands them the knitting needles and a pattern and expects them to do it themselves. And he wants to take the credit for the jumper as well. Sorry for the excessive metaphor.
At least Blair wasn’t lazy, although the world would probably be a better place if he had been.

Stewart Slater
Stewart Slater
3 years ago

Part of the issue with Cameron, I think, relates to his background. I say that not in a resentful leftie way, but simply because, given his family and his education, he was, after leaving Downing Street, probably one of the poorest people he knew (the same goes for Osborne). Many of his contemporaries at Eton and Brasenose will have had lucrative careers in the City or the law, and I suspect, at some level, he wanted to catch up. This obviously does not justify his actions, but I think they are understandable – your ability to call yourself “Rt. Hon.” probably does not make you feel much better when your best friend is showing you his new swimming pool…

Chandra Chelliah
Chandra Chelliah
3 years ago
Reply to  Stewart Slater

Was not the Cameron family till recently paid remuneration from slavery?

Last edited 3 years ago by Chandra Chelliah
steve horsley
steve horsley
3 years ago

why not get a job with a decent salary instead of raking about for this dodgy cash?

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  steve horsley

Because he is not very smart, and quite lazy, just look at the memoir saga, the publishers must have thought they would be getting the first draft when he was dead.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
3 years ago

There is a difference between Major and Cameron. Major had worked in banking before becoming an MP, albeit at calamity prone Standard Chartered. He was Chancellor of the Exchequer before becoming PM. We can presume that Major knows his way around a company balance sheet. He also won an election he was expected to lose and, though his position as PM was weak, this was down to the circumstances more than the man. Cameron on the other hand worked in PR, before becoming an MP. He became Tory leader by fooling Tory MPs into thinking he was the Tory Blair. He didn’t fool the voters though and he failed to win an election against the architect of the worst recession since the war. It is possible to believe that Major has skills to offer the world of business other than his contacts. Saying the same of Cameron (or Johnson) would simply be incredible.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago

Psephologically Cameron was never going to get a majority win over Brown. Since 1945 there’s only been one occasion when a sitting government with a majority was defeated by an Opposition that won its own majority. It was in 1970, but the franchise had just changed to include 18-year-olds.
When Heath’s majority government was defeated, it gave way to a Labour minority. When Labour lost in 1979, they were in a minority at that time, as was Major by 1997. In 2010 Labour still had a 60-seat majority from 2005. There was nil prospect of this being overturned in one election. It was always going to take two heaves to get to a majority, which happened in 2015. That 2015 majority duly did not permit an incoming majority for Labour in 2017.
So Johnson’s win of 2019 guarantees Labour defeat in 2024 and its size pretty much ensures the Conservatives the win in 2024 as well. Depending on how well they win, 2024 probably secures 2029 for the Conservatives as well.
To break this pattern, you would need some sort of wild card, like the franchise change of 1970. I can’t envisage any that’s potentially good for Labour. Joxit could be the wild card but the Conservatives would barely lose a single Westminster seat and why would the electorate a/ care enough to punish the Conservatives for it and b/ do so by voting Labour?
If you look at matters by this yardstick, and ask yourself what is currently going on in politics, it is clear that everything is duly falling into place for another thumping Labour defeat in 2024. Dud leader; cranks, loonies and anti-semites still rampant; the party associated with crazy preoccupations like what’s the definition of ‘woman’, etc.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Nightmare Coalition of SNP,Labour &Greens Could happen..VOTE INDEPENDENT May6 2021….I have some time for Aims of SDP &Reform,but join I doubt it..Political arties exist for Themselves..Not US

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

Major also Was Europhile obsessed PM, ..ERM entry in october 1990 with Most of the Tory Cabinet,bar Thatcher Showed he believed in Ponzi scheme such is Euro ,(Ejection in September 1992 )Membership (Greece,Italy)…..he went to deliver worst tory defeat since 1935 in 1997, bringing in Another snakeoil Europhile,Tony blair

Ben
Ben
3 years ago

What was the point of David Cameron?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Ben

Well, he wasn’t Gordon Brown. And perhaps he did ‘de-toxify’ the Tory brand to some extent. I think he did less damage than any of the PM post-Thatcher, and he did, inadvertently, enable us to be free of the EU.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

One or two people I know who aren’t political have observed to me that they thought we were quite well governed under the Coalition. Cameron didn’t come across as messianic, crazed or malevolent like his two predecessors, and had he been, the LDs would have been there to restrain him.

Chandra Chelliah
Chandra Chelliah
3 years ago

If I am not mistaken when Tata bought Jaguar and Land Rover, the company was at the point of collapse with thousands of British jobs at risk. Tata stepped in and wanted a short time loan from the government under Cameron. Cameron refused but Tata was not hindered and saved the two companies, Now this not only secured those jobs but is a very successful innovative motoring company bringing in much need export earnings to UK. Now Cameron is caught seeking financial help for the company he is involved in, Greensill, through the back door and standing to gain about 60 million pounds in the process. But was caught out in the sleaze..

Peter Scott
Peter Scott
3 years ago

Or there is just greed.
A feature of the current saga which I find interesting is the fact that John Major and Tony Blair have behaved at least as badly as Cameron, on leaving office.
Yet, unlike Cameron, they have not been ‘thrown under the bus’ by their former colleagues.
My own suspicion is that Major and Blair, being trumpeters for remaining in the EU, have acquired a pass for most types of bad conduct from the awful Ruling Caste Establishment.
There are limits to the efficacy of this passport. If you are caught out like Harvey Weinstein or Jeffrey Epstein, doing things about which the wokerati will never stop screaming (justifiably in those cases), then you get trampled on without remission.
Otherwise you can be as sleazy as you like and the Establishment will not let any hounds rip into you.

Simon Baseley
Simon Baseley
3 years ago

We do not pay our politicians enough. I know ÂŁ80k plus expenses for Member of Parliament is a lot more than the average income, but the truth is if we want MPs who are a lot better than the average, we have to reward them properly. If we gave them a decent salary and made it a condition of their office that they could not accept any outside income both whilst holding their seat and for a period after leaving government, we might not end the problem of corruption, especially where the big fish are concerned, but we might ameliorate much of it. 

Andy Yorks
Andy Yorks
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baseley

It’s not just money. Just look at how they are treated, not just by the press, but by us. We might sh*g around like there is no tomorrow, but look at the sh*t a politician gets if he does the same. Let he that is without sin etc. As no lesser person than Her Majesty the Queen said to Boris Johnson when he went to ‘kiss hands’ on his appointment as Prime Minister “I can’t imagine why anyone would want the job”. Quite Ma’am, quite.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

Peter Oborne’s book on the political class made the point very clearly that politicians hold themselves to a much, much lower standard of personal conduct than the rest of us. Normal people absolutely do not fiddle their expenses or their driving penalty points or molest children.
Paying them higher salaries would attract even worse chancers than now while still not being high enough to attract high-achieving people from normal life. It’s also often overlooked how gold-plated these salaries are. Who in the real world gets a five year contract with a redundancy payment at the end? It would be more rational to make their salary a multiple of whatever they had previously earned. If their salary over the previous 5 years had been 100k then they’d get that plus say 50%, to reflect the fact that their latest earnings were probably higher than the average. Everyone would get a pay rise but nobody would be made either rich or poor. It is not the case that they all do the same job so the salary need not be the same.

Christopher Thompson
Christopher Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baseley

When the median salary in the UK is ÂŁ31,461 per annum, ÂŁ80k plus expenses and benefits is ample reward.

James Rowlands
James Rowlands
3 years ago

I knew that the CP and Cameron in particular, treated the voters with distain when they voted through gay marriage without either a referendum, a manifesto commitment or indeed a pubic debate.
Of course they did not put gay marriages in their manifesto for a good but cynical reason. Enough CP voters might decide not to support them so they might have lost the election.
No brainer thinks Cameron and the CP. Lie…. don’t give the public a say.
it is the same with every other major issue from capital punishment, drug enforcement, immigration, taxation ( we can make quite a list here)…
Say they will do what the voters will vote for then do nothing or indeed, the very opposite.
Then they wonder that nobody thrusts them……

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago

One angle not discussed may be Cameron’s insecurity. – not just simply greed.
The only way he can partially salvage his justifiably pitiful personal reputation, is to show that despite being rubbish while in the job, he can rake in cash as well an any other.
He wants to be considered a statesman (never going to happen) and he sees wealth as the only route to be being allowed to play with the big boys.

Michael McVeigh
Michael McVeigh
3 years ago

Agreed, Douglas. The bigger question is – What is the answer?

Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson
3 years ago

Interesting thoughts. You would actually hope that a former PM or chancellor (or someone who had held both positions) would be of the caliber to be desirable in other senior positions. It would, however, be better if such people stayed in public service (excluding Tony Blair of course) rather than making a buck outside it…

nick harman
nick harman
3 years ago

Chap helps out another chap by having a word with some other chaps. Can’t see what all the bally fuss is about old boy.

Otto Christensen
Otto Christensen
3 years ago

I thought the story was about Cameron not Trump? That said, since when did Unheard become a home for lefty whiners that don’t like people to get ahead?

Peter KE
Peter KE
3 years ago

Good article. However fails to address the issue of the civil servants with 2nd and 3rd roles and the contempt they hold for the tax payer. They are definitely parasites, how can they give their best to the civil service role when engaged in other activities, this why our country underperformance is so great.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

I remember the fuss,When Harold wilson received ÂŁ25,000 for his memoirs..I am glad Cameron is ”Disgraced” As a former member of ukip he gave sobriet ”Fruitcakes &racists” whilst paving the Way like Major,May & Blair for Cultural marxism, led to abuse on my canvasses in london ..So its schadenfraune?…..Politicians Feather their Own nests..shock horror..The Lords is worse, 95% on Payroll of EU lobbyists & Chinese Companies

Ann Ceely
Ann Ceely
3 years ago

Sterling Currency can’t be devalued as we don’t have a Gold Standard any more.

That’s why our Treasury only worries aboutinflation.

johnconorosullivan
johnconorosullivan
3 years ago

Our Prime Minister’s salary may be only ÂŁ150.000 but his grace and favour homes, transport costs at home and overseas, and the many other perks that go with the job are “free”. Taken over all, not bad remuneration.
Apropos Trump. Before (I think) he became Potus several of his businesses went bankrupt but he didn’t become a poor man then or subsequently

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
3 years ago

I have always thought there was something a tad porcine about Cameron’s shining little face. Seems like it is the outward visible sign of an inner insatiable greed.

Andrew Baldwin
Andrew Baldwin
3 years ago

Not sure why Douglas thinks Major was “one of post-war Britain’s worst and weakest prime ministers.” Charles Moore’s over-rated third volume of his authorized biography of Margaret Thatcher failed to mention “inflation targeting” anywhere in its vast bulk. For all her greatness, Thatcher never really did put an end to double-digit inflation in the UK, but her successor, Major, did. The inflation targeting regime of the Bank of England, which his Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont introduced in October 1992, has not achieved the goal of price stability that Lamont hoped for, but has kept inflation under much better control than in the past. Following the introduction of housing depreciation in the RPI in 1995, the new regime also offered the promise that monetary policy might help curb the recurrent housing booms and busts that have plagued Britain. Unfortunately, the Blair government, more specifically his Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, took house prices out of the Bank of England’s target inflation indicator in 2003, setting the stage for the bank run on Northern Rock. Major is an underrated PM, and Lamont an underrated Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Paul Goodman
Paul Goodman
3 years ago

My favourite piece of trivial information is that if you look back in the list of members interests you will find a donation to David Cameron’s conservative party leadership campaign in 2005 from a bank formerly known as Insinger de Baufort. At the time of the donation the chairman of that bank was one Nicolas Clegg father of the Lib dem leader. Do you think his son knew?
https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmregmem/051214/memi06.htm

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
3 years ago

I’m perplexed by the situation which has come to light.
First of all, it doesn’t seem to be new.
Secondly, when I was in business, employers were usually worried about divided loyalties, and employment rules usually forbade other employment, or else specified that written permission should be obtained.
Also, consideration was given to employments ex-employees might take up. This was admittedly difficult to define and enforce, but to a government, less so, although if it had a policy of encouraging more interchange between government, business and academia, the difficulties multiply. All the more reason, then, to establish a fair and honest way of ensuring that unfair advantage not be exploited by those already better off than most.

Last edited 3 years ago by Colin Elliott
agsmith.uk
agsmith.uk
3 years ago

The problem is not that former ministers and prime ministers go on to have lucrative ‘careers’ after leaving office but that those ministers and prime ministers currently serving are prepared to engage with their lobbying activities. In Cameron’s case it came to nought but companies must think it’s worth signing them up. It needs to be shown that it is not worth it!

Last edited 3 years ago by agsmith.uk
Steve Craddock
Steve Craddock
3 years ago

How many decisions are made today not with the best outcome for their constituents and the public in general in mind but how it will help their prospective future employers and how it will look on their CV.
I wonder if the parliamentary lobby is merely a long standing jobs fair for our more venal and grasping politicians and civil servants?

David Lewis
David Lewis
3 years ago

The thing that astounds me (if I understand it correctly) is the central premise of this wheeze, which hasn’t been highlighted by the main commentators. I can imagine Lex explaining it to his mate, Dave, over an easy-drinking Chateauneuf:
Lex: “I was speaking to a Poor Person last week and do you you know that they live almost hand to mouth? Quite often they run out of money with which to buy their fags, drugs and junk food before they get their wages at the end of the month.”
Dave: “Well why don’t they go to the cashpoint?”
Lex: “Because they don’t actually have any money in the bank.”
Dave: “Gosh! Well, why don’t they sell a few shares or cash in an ISA?”
Lex: “They don’t have shares or ISAs.”
Dave: “Golly, gosh. Why don’t they sell a family portrait or some silver?”
Lex: “Dave, they don’t have those things!”
Dave: “Cripes. Why don’t they ‘phone mater and pater and touch them for few thou?”
Lex: “Because their parents are as poor as they are. And so……my idea is to create a clever app such that these Poor People can draw out their wages a day at a time, if they wish. We can then take a cut as money sloshes around the system. We won’t actually charge the NHS for ‘rolling this out’ to all their Poor People, but we’ll then be able to sell it to organisations that employ Really Poor People, by demonstrating how well it’s gone down in the NHS.”
Dave: “Golly, that sounds brilliant.”
Of course, the central premise also fails because most NHS employees don’t consider themselves poor, even though their monthly salary might not cover Lex’s and Dave’s wine bill. They also take pride in managing their finances competently, so probably viewed this ‘Earnd’ racket as a bit of an insult. No wonder it didn’t take off.

Richard E
Richard E
3 years ago

Ask him and Boris about the Fox in the barn.

tmglobalrecruitment
tmglobalrecruitment
3 years ago

Enrichment was always the plan for both himself and Osbourne.
They looked at what Blair had earned and they wanted a part of that
Hanging around in office was just part of the process of enrichment as can be seen from their quick departures when the going got rough.
The country gets poorer as clowns like Cameron get richer

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Of course David Cameron is greedy. He’s a Conservative. Looking after themselves and their privileged kind is the whole point of the Conservative party and the Conservative mindset. The same with Major, while Blair was a public schooolboy whose Father tried to become a Tory MP and the son took the Labour party to the right. It’s only Gordon Brown who hasn’t enriched himself post-office. And Jeremy Corbyn won’t be doing so either, from his lesser position as a former leader of the opposition. Spot the pattern?
It’s particularly galling that Cameron should have tried to enrich himself with $60 million of share options, while it was under his leadership that food banks mushroomed because of the poverty he created through Austerity. And to divert attention from the Tory-party-funding bankers and hedge fund managers who created the global financial crisis, his sidekick George Osborne indulged in rhetoric about welfare claimants lying in bed while other people were passing their houses on their way to work.

Last edited 3 years ago by Chris C
Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

So since Blair wrecks your little hate-rant by being a Labouroid who’s proved the corruptest, greediest, most mendacious of the lot, you deal with the cognitive dissonance by deciding that he’s actually a Tory too.
You are such a child. Wouldn’t you be happier shrieking hate on Twitter, with the other cranks, loonies and envy monkeys?

Chris Rimmer
Chris Rimmer
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Remind me who it was who bailed out the banks?

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Lord Mandelson (Twice) Lord Ahmed , Liverpool mayor Anderson? Prove New Labour is as Corrupt as lib-dem-Tories-currently SNP plaid etc

mac mahmood
mac mahmood
3 years ago

Is D Murray a secret Bolshevik? What does he have against people enriching themselves legally? While politicians may indeed fear the people seeing through them, but the real danger is that they will not see through them in time and act accordingly.

Alison Houston
Alison Houston
3 years ago

I am looking forward to the day when Major, Blair, Brown Cameron, Johnson and Matt Hancock (standing in for the May creature) are all put to death by firing squad.

In the small hours of this morning I was imagining driving my XK8 at top speed into Boris when I saw him visiting my locality. I imagined reversing over him several times to make sure he was dead.

I consider myself to be a practising Christian, last year I stayed up for hours in prayer when he was supposedly in intensive care with Covid. I am shocked by how completely I have lost faith in the morality, scruples and truthfulness of these people. They are truly evil.

John Mcalester
John Mcalester
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

I think you’re a bit conflicted there in your views of Christianity.

nick harman
nick harman
3 years ago
Reply to  John Mcalester

Not to mention his choice of car

Richard E
Richard E
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

I am amazed that Hancock, Gove, Cameron, Johnson, Patel can walk without fear on the streets. They are the greatest traitors and incompetents in history.

andrew harman
andrew harman
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

I think you need to read the New Testament a bit more closely.

Alastair Romanes
Alastair Romanes
3 years ago

Characteristically lazy Murray piece – tells us what we already knew and then wrings his hands but offers no solution. Accepting that ex-PMs must earn a living but offering a set of rules and a means of enforcing them is too much like hard work for Doug.

Philip Burrell
Philip Burrell
3 years ago

Are you living in a parallel universe? The Trump family spent the whole 4 years working on ways to monetise the Presidency.

David J
David J
3 years ago
Reply to  Philip Burrell

Not through taking a Presidential salary though.
He took just $1 a year from a possible $400,000.

Paul Savage
Paul Savage
3 years ago
Reply to  Philip Burrell

Evidence for that claim?

Jonathan Barker
Jonathan Barker
3 years ago

You gotta be kidding!
The orange haired monstrosity was always an in-your-face professional parasite, grifter and serial liar. While he was the Potus he extended his grifting, or feeding from the public trough into his principal occupation thus enriching himself and his even more obnoxious family members

Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago

Not as obnoxious as hunter biden.
And at least he tried to bring back jobs while the democrats offshore them.
When the other side speaks to the working classes and your puzzled why your does not maybe your not paying attention to what they are doing correctly.
Hence why labour no longer represent the working classes just the middle and upper middle clases

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Hunter Biden wasn’t elected. If you are going to comment on the unelected children of major politicians, look at Mark Thatcher.

Andy Yorks
Andy Yorks
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Mark Thatcher was a rank amateur compared to Hunter Biden. And it is clear that the corruption of which Hunter is a symptom went all the way to Biden himself.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
3 years ago

First comment at the top of the page is about Trump….! And he wasn’t mentioned in the essay. Everything I have read said that Trump lost a pile of money before and during his presidency. Whether that is true or not I don’t know, but he certainly is not top of the long list of leaders who are enriching themselves on the back of their former jobs.

Last edited 3 years ago by Lesley van Reenen
Andy Yorks
Andy Yorks
3 years ago

I agree. Trump left office far poorer than when he entered it. Nor did he start any Wars, unlike Obama who was rather fond of bombing things. I suppose that was the reason Trump had to go. Anyway least we are back to ‘business as usual’.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

Afghanistan: US troops entered under George W. Bush and are leaving under Joe Biden.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Leaving, if they do in fact leave as advertised, plenty of contractors, special forces and CIA.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

First thing Biden did was bomb Syrian Villages ..Trump brought peace deals with North korea, and middle East..biden is a senile War monger like o’bomber.. trump also drained a lot of Washington DC Swamp..which is why he wouldn’t promote Mitt Romney or Mitchell mcConnell

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

I find this squabble about which recent POTUS was the most belligerent futile. The USA has been waging war on many countries for decades, regardless of whichever party or frontman is in the White House.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

He’s so toxic that no-one wants him.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

The monstrosity had the unique standing of needing neither the money nor the trappings that the professional political seeks. Like him or not, Trump earned his money by running an actual business. His flaw was in first, recognizing the grift that surrounds DC and second, trying to address it. You really should seek help for your TDS.

nick harman
nick harman
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

TDS cuts both ways if you cannot see the man for what he is.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  nick harman

His supporters are quite aware of his flaws; his detractors are incapable of noticing any of his attributes.

Christopher Thompson
Christopher Thompson
3 years ago

Trump derangement syndrome. One reason he was elected is that despite his obvious flaws he was still a better choice than the vile Hilary Clinton.

shannon
shannon
3 years ago

Wow. Excuse me but are you areal human? Because I genuinely cannot comprehend how a functioning human could ever think that Trump had anybody’s’ interests at heart beside his own. I mean, even his crowd funder was repeat-charging people deliberately without their realising it. Lol.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  shannon

He actually lost a lot of personal wealth by being president. However, I do understand your ire. Donald Trump has many character flaws and the media focused exclusively on the bad things he did. The thing is other politicians are just as bad or worse, and continue to get a free pass by the media. Whatever his faults Trump was able to tap into the frustrations of his voters. He has been the only politician to do so. The others are careerists just climbing the greasy pole.

Mark Stone
Mark Stone
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

Trump has lost wealth his entire life. He is the epitome of a rich kid inheriting his father’s wealth. The last persons who should inherit a business empire are the children of the founder – they have no idea of what it means to make money. Privilege is good but its not a breeding ground of business acumen and success.

Anjela Kewell
Anjela Kewell
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

Rubbish, ignorant and downright wrong.

Jeff Mason
Jeff Mason
3 years ago </