Saturday, February 02, 2008

Shock. Horror: I agree with Amanda Platell...well, almost!

I've seldom agreed with a word uttered by ex-Conservative press officer Amanda Platell...But I have to admit that her offering on the Derek Conway scandal in today's Daily Mail is spot on...well, almost.

Here it is in full:
More than a decade ago, when I was managing a national newspaper, I discovered an employee was stealing thousands by paying family members for work they had never done.

He was sent to jail for two years - quite rightly. So I simply cannot see why Derek Conway isn't facing jail after diverting tens of thousands of taxpayers' money to his family. Full marks to David Cameron for swiftly sacking him, but what an outrage that Conway is continuing as an MP, on his £240,000 package, for another two years.

If he had even a sliver of integrity, he would stand down immediately. But, of course, that might jeopardise his gold-plated pension.

Is it any wonder politicians have never been held in such contempt?
I agree with almost every word - except Amanda's 'full marks to David Cameron for swiftly sacking' Derek Conway.

Amanda conveniently doesn't mention the fact that on the day we learned that Derek Conway had paid his son £40,000 in public money for doing virtually nothing, David Cameron responded by making it clear he would NOT remove the Tory whip from Conway.

Cameron flip-flopped the following day - only after the damaging media headlines. And only after multi-millionaire Tory donor Stuart Wheeler went on the BBC Today programme demanding that Cameron take tougher action against Conway.

I've just listened to the Saturday version of Radio Four's Any Questions. Former broadcaster John Tusa made an excellent point on the Conway scandal along these lines:

If he's wrongly paid over £80,000 in public funds to members of his family for doing nothing, how come he's been ordered to pay back just £13,000?

Why indeed...?

No comments: