The trouble with Government scandals is that they become too complicated.
They might start out simply, with CCTV footage of a minister robbing a cashpoint machine. But three days later Laura Kuenssberg is telling us about regulations and ministerial conduct and we get confused.
If the entire cabinet was found to be involved in the Hatton Garden heist, the report on the news would go: “The important issue is whether guidelines in the Ethics Report were breached by Michael Gove’s decision to blow up the safe.
“He insists the instructions handed to ministers don’t specifically ban dynamite, so ‘no rules were broken’.”
In the current story, clearly David Cameron used his former position as Prime Minister to make contact with the Government for the company he worked for.
Unless we believe we could all do the same, and if you run a local hardware store you can call Rishi Sunak and he’ll place an order for three million of your spirit levels.
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But now they’ve turned it into a debate about “unclear guidelines” and whether there should be an inquiry.
This is how governments get away with stuff. Inquiries take 10 years to arrive. Then they’re full of strange language like: “There may have been, modus operandi, a possible possibility of possible breaches of the breachment therein of the ministerial code, maximus decimus meridius.”
Similarly, no one will be punished for wasting £23billion on a test and trace system that didn’t work, or contracts worth billions given to neighbours, family members and mates in the pub. Because when you’re posh, using your connections comes naturally.
It’s as if you became Prime Minister, then announced: “The contract for building three frigates for the navy has gone to my mate Ted, who lives next door. He has no idea how ships work, but he’s a right laugh.”
Or there was the time Cameron admitted he benefited from his father’s offshore tax haven in Panama. In their world, this is so normal they can’t understand why there’s a fuss.
But you can’t do that. If you say in the petrol garage, “I don’t have to pay VAT or fuel duty because I register all my petrol in the Cayman Islands so I get 20 quid off”, you might not get away with it.
One other question must be why David Cameron needs all this extra money? How much does he need? He already has a £16million house in Notting Hill and his cottage in Witney.
The answer must be that he wants to buy Harry Kane.
This summer we’ll be told: “It was thought the Spurs striker might be heading to Barcelona but in fact he’s been bought by the ex-Prime Minister to play in his five-a-side team against his gardeners.”
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Cameron is so cheeky he predicted that “the next scandal” will be the “far too cosy relationship be- tween politics and money”.
That’s class, to forecast a scandal and prove yourself right by being the person that does it.
You’d almost have to admire him if it turned out he’d made a few extra bob by having 50 quid on that happening at William Hill’s and then said: “I’ve done nothing wrong.”