The ‘Fantastically Corrupt’ David Cameron and The Great Lobbying Scandal.
The supremely tragic irony of the former British prime minister.
Back in 2016, there was a footage of David Cameron speaking to her majesty, about the cabinet meeting of the day and the impending meetings with the Afghan and Nigerian heads of government, whom he described as being ‘ fantastically corrupt’. Those comments, at the time, went down very badly, with Nigerians all around the world, but those words have returned in 2021, to bite Britain’s former prime minister, in the derriere, in the most extraordinary way, imaginable.
Recently, it emerged that David Cameron, had been lobbying senior cabinet figures such as the Chancellor of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak(whom he sent text messages)and the health secretary, Matt Hancock, on behalf of his paymasters — Greensill Capital.
Lex Greensill, took an unpaid job as an unpaid adviser, with the Coalition government, back in the early 2010s. But by 2018, two years after leaving office, Mr. Cameron, had taken a job with Greensill, on a reasonable wage and not to mention, a capaciously generous stock options package.
Greensill capital, prior to its financial problems, was looking to go public, with a valuation of 7 billion pounds. Had this gone through, Mr. Cameron would have been in a position to walk away with about 51 million pounds — enough to secure him for life, instead, he is fighting desperately to hang on to his almost irreparably tarnished image.
The supremely tragic irony of this, is that, in the aftermath of the fall out of the parliamentary expenses scandal of 2009, the former prime minister said that “corporate lobbying would be the next big scandal”, not knowing that, he, would be its biggest culprit, thus far.
With what we know about Cameron and Greensill, how has this played out with the current conservative government, led by his old school mate, Alexander De Pfeffel Boris Johnson?
The current prime minister, Boris Johnson, has announced an inquiry into the Greensill scandal, but the issue here is that Nigel Boardman’s inquiry has no power to summon witnesses nor can it make any recommendations on the broader issues around lobbying in British politics today.
This now forces the question, why announce an inquiry, if it lacks the power to institute proper structural reforms and call powerful people to account?
It’s because a number of civil servants and front line politicians will be implicated- Bill Crothers, the government’s former chief procurement officer was working for Greensill Capital at the same time as being her majesty’s civil servant. Matt Hancock and Rishi Sunak may be forced to disclose what they did to support Greensill, when their former boss got in touch with them.
British politics, for those who know their history, will appreciate that extraordinary levels of corruption in political life, isn’t something new; From the opium wars with China, to the cruelty and exploitation of Indians under the British Raj; from signing forged treaties with the locals under the Royal Niger Company to the importation of indentured Chinese and Indian slaves to work in the diamond mining industry in south Africa, the pervasive stench of ‘fantastic corruption’ in British polity has never left —It’s simply reinvented itself through the ages.
It is with this perspective in view, that we must return to David Cameron, who has further reinforced the notion, that not only is he ‘fantastically corrupt’ and profoundly misguided in pointing the finger at other countries, but also, he is pure poison and no government, however compromised, will want to be seen anywhere near him.
Thanks very much for reading.