What Will Happen to Cameron?
Posted on April 15, 2021
When it was announced that Boris Johnson was to order an
investigation into David Cameron and Lex Greensill, my first thought was this.
“He’s going to throw Cameron under the bus!”
Whilst this still could be the case, once you look deeper into who is conducting this enquiry, you realise it should really be a case for Ted Hastings and AC12 (as suggested by Keir Starmer at PMQ’s). Johnson answered questions about Greensill today by saying when he was Mayor of London, he halved crime. A bit like me getting a golden duck at cricket and saying, “But I did score a hat-trick for Sporting Baughurst in 1989”.
So, heavyweight city lawyer, Nigel Boardman, is heading up the inquiry, which on paper, would appear to be the right thing to do. However, Boardman worked as a partner for Slaughter & May until 2019 and remains on the board. Whilst doing nothing illegal, Slaughter & May were the lawyers who sucked the last few million out of collapsing construction giant, Carillion. Love them or loathe, it’s what city lawyers do and always have done.
Chairman of Carillion when it went bust was Philip Green (not the retail one). Green, who took responsibility for the collapse of Carillion (but said it wasn’t necessarily his fault) also had another job. From 2011 to 2016 Green was (now, don’t laugh, this is a serious matter) ‘Corporate Responsibility Advisor’ to then Prime Minister, David Cameron. These people are lobbying each other all the time. They see it as normal behaviour.
There is no doubting that David Cameron is dodgy, but I can’t work out is whether Johnson is going to finish him off, or save him? To make it even more complex, the MP’s who Cameron lobbied are in Johnson’s current cabinet (Rishi Sunak and Mat Hancock). Is Johnson prepared to see them go down with Cameron? Some say it could allow Johnson to erase the threat of Sunak becoming PM.
Protection or Stitch Up?
Opinion in political circles is split. Some say that a long-standing dislike of each other has resulted in Johnson taking the opportunity to finish Cameron off. Others say that he (Johnson) wouldn’t dare and is more likely to protect Cameron. Why? because it is thought Cameron could potentially go to town on Johnson with counter-allegations of corruption. It must be assumed that, unless he is stupid (which certainly he isn’t) Cameron has ammunition of his own and plenty of it.
Whatever, the case, the allegation is that Boardman would not be wholly independent in this mess. He is part of what is known as the ‘magic circle’ and as no law has been technically broken, it could just be a case of “move along, nothing to see here!” My hunch is that is what will happen and there would be no challenge from an apathetic public.
An Ideal World
What it should do, in an ideal world at least, is alert the public to high level cronyism. When all is said and done, we are talking about a former Prime Minister who was lobbying members of parliament in a bid to take vast amounts of taxpayers’ money out of public services. That is not a good look. Some allege that Cameron stood to make up to £60 million.
Ultimately, it is not really about the whether it is technically illegal or not. It is about moral judgement. As someone said (Gordon Brown, I think?) “If no law has been broken, then the law is broken”. It looks like industrial scale corruption at the very top of politics. I just hope the people who voted for these self-serving charlatans can unchain themselves from denialism and never vote for them again.
Whatever happens, I would still rather Johnson went down rather than Cameron.