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Cameron granting peerages for party donations is as corrupt as Lloyd George

House of LordsIt really stinks that Cameron’s latest list of peerages includes so many Tory party donors like the Asian jewellery tycoon who either personally or through his company has made 20 donations to the Tories in the last six years, and the Tory co-treasurer who has donated over £2.3 million to the party. This rancid exchange of status for lucre not only disfigures politics, but demeans the whole purpose of the second chamber as a more thorough and effective scrutinising forum than the Commons.

It would be far better if there were an agreed ban on political honours as representing an incestuous means by which politicians can entrench their own power and position. But what is really needed is for the Labour government after this next election to abandon the present cronyism of appointment to the Lords and replace it by an electoral system geographically based on Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the major English regions.

There is another dimension to this as well. The present nepotism of cash for honours which is being so blatantly flaunted by Cameron throws a very sharp focus on the values and principles of the modern Tory party where anything can be traded for money if the price is right. This was even more dramatically on show at this year’s Tory summer fundraising binge. It brought together, not people who had made an important contribution to this country or even cared about its future, but the big money men who want to protect their non-domicile status and to continue to exploit Britain and London in particular as the latest fashionable tax-haven-on-the-Thames. It included Russian property developers, a Greek shipping tycoon, an Iranian investment banker, a Slovenian private equity mogul, and Bermudan and Dubai-based financiers. This was about money and markets on the grand scale, allegedly assembling guests worth £11bn, and bringing together a gaggle of plutocrats that would make the traditional icons of the Tory party turn in their grave.

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