Sunday, July 17, 2005


The case is of massive significance to the integrity of British politics.

Thank all the gods for Sir Simon Jenkins

Here he is today in the Sunday Times on the subject of Stephen Byers. "This is a good week to bury the ministers with a licence to steal"

As one of the very minor shareholders who supported the Class Action, (shareholders were described by Mr Byers as "grannies" not having the nerve to risk their "blouses",) it is with a certain grim satisfaction that I see him finally have to admit that he lied. My father gave me the few shares he had, saying kindly "Don't lose these! There is no way that these will fail you."

Lying is something more than a minor peccadillo. If, to feather my own nest, I say that something is true - knowing that it is untrue - I am denying my own integrity. I'd be showing myself to be as unworthy of respect and trust as a madman who really cannot tell the difference between right and wrong.

Our parents and elders rightly warned us that it was foolish as well as wicked.

When politicians do it - as they do in the way of an arrogant colossus assuming that stamping on the little ants of democracy hardly matters a jot - they are demeaning politics and making everything around them shabby and low. Time and time again we have seen that they think they can get away with it. "Accountability is nowhere. Parliament is nowhere. Were it not for bold shareholders we would know nothing of it..." But the truth will out - even if the tabloids, as Byers' aide, Shriti Vadera hoped, have lost sight of the story.

It is also worrying that the London bombs have so usefully taken the public's attention away from this case. Sir Simon's article must be read in full. He concludes

Strong words. Justified I think.

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