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Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Corruption Bill moves forward at a snail's pace

On 19th October the Corruption Bill is due for a second reading in the Commons. I'm betting it won't get this far. This Bill is about as welcome to Brown as genital warts. And for why? Well, it applies penalties for corruption against ministers for the first time for one thing.

The world is now coming to recognise the years of Blair's premiership as the sleaziest and most corrupt in living memory; Blair's only advice to his ministers, it seems, was 'don't get caught'. Brown's affectation of Presbyterian piety can't distance him from being mired in the same ordure up to his eye. Byers, Mandelson, Blunkett, Reid, Prescott, Vaz and the sundry minor corrupt and dishonest minions of the Blair years might well have been facing criminal charges in court under a Corruption Act rather than a mild wrist-slap and sideways move.

And the BAe bribes case could have seen Blair himself in the dock.

The Bill has crawled through Parliament since its introduction in 2006. The Commissioner for Standards, Sir Philip Mawer, criticised the slow progress on the Bill in his last report. It would give the Commissioner the teeth he currently lacks.

Watch this space, as they say.

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