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If Labour didn't have a position of Deputy Leader Blair would probably have got rid of him by now.

I am glad you have not speculated about JP's private life Tim. Iain Dale and Guido are almost certainly generating traffic but they have lost my respect (actually Guido did not have it in the first place). You are right to focus on the policy failures of this Government. The public already think every politician is sleazy. How long will it be before Labour blogs are throwing mud at Tory politicians? Some fair. Some unfair. A Pandora's box has been opened and it won't get any prettier from now on.

I have written my thoughts about how this incident will effect politicians, the media and bloggers on my BLOG.

Feel free to have a look

Prescott was not backward in condemning Tory sleaze and 'he who lives by the sword dies by the sword' unless you can brazen it all out more than the average member of the public can bear.Only the Labour party could support a man so incompetent on the grounds he is 'one of us'.

Oh come on CCHQ spy, Labour blogs would have (and have) done that already. Labour broke the rules in the 90s when they painted us as the sleazy party and themselves as whiter than white. We have to do this as taking the moral highground is not an option. I applaud Iain and Guido for what they have done. James sums it up on his blog. MP's now have to be open and honest. What's wrong with that?

It never was pretty CCHQ spy.The difference being that Tory sleaze was caused by a few errant MPs (and others) Labour sleaze goes right to the top.
I would admit though that all British politics is besmirched by these events and the task of the Conservative party is to try and prove to the electorate that we're better than them.

Infamy, infamy everybody's got it in for me!

I can't have a look at your blog CCHQ spy, because the link is to your email address. i would like to have a look though.

If Prescott survives all this and all his programmes run on untouched, will people then believe that we truly no longer live in a democracy - including the rigging of elections, and rule by a foreign power in alliance with barons of the media, and those like Prescott who live above and beyond the law of the land.

I've been musing recently about whether British politics is any less institutionally corrupt than that of our continental partners. I was always, it seems with the media and much of the country, of the view that it was. With all that's come up recently with Labour though I'm not sure any more. Was it ever? Or, to be partisan, is it just that Labour being so comfortable for such an unprecedented period in office has given that party an unprecedentedly "bad lot"?

Edward - corruption has been more discreet because of the centralised party system.

Look up Reginald Maudling - Home Secretary - Operation Countryman - John Poulson - Freemasonry - Commissioner Robert Marks......................and tell me Britain does not sometimkes resemble Sr. Gelli and the P2 Lodge in Italy

I'm just picking myself up at the comment,
'That Tory sleaze only involved, a few Tory MP's, this goes right to the top,'

I hold no brief for Prescott or any politican who does this sort of thing, regardless of which party.

There was plenty of evidence to show that many senior Conservative politicans were involved in dubious behavior, in that period. Even Mrs T was dragged into it, due to her son's behaviour.

The lowest of the low as far as I'm concerned was Jonathan Aitken, a man who forced his own 16 year old daughter to commit perjury on his behalf, to hide his sleaze. That will take some beating.

re Blogs being a double edged sword.
I notice that there is mention about the 'Russian' business connections on Guardian Comment of a Tory MP Gregory Barker. There's going to be a lot of this sort of thing before the next GE: I'm sure.

Who are the 'many senior Conservative politicians'David?.

Have you lost your copy of the "The Little Blue Book of Old Tory Sleaze?" Malcolm? ;-)

Didn't know it existed Chad.I did resign from the party in 95or96 because of the activities of Aitken and the 'cash for questions' MPs.But compared to New Labour we were rank amatuers in the sleaze stakes.

I know what you mean, but I would suggest that Labour are the amateurs as they are the ones who keep getting caught.

The Tories would have got away with the loans/donations scam if the amateur Labour lot hadn't messed it up.

Let us say that there were a lot of questions about the 'Harrods' situation. How approval was given to the present owner etc. Allegedly

Didn't a certain treasurer of the Conservative Party admit to returning from Hong Kong with 'suitcases of money' at the time of the hand over. I can guess what it was for.

But then Malcolm I'm sure it's all just tittle tattle,everything is all above board it's just nasty cynical people who can't say anything good about anyone.

As with all governments certain people will use their power for favours, sexual and financial. All political parties will produce their blacksheep, it will always happen. For the supporter of any political party to say, that their lot will be better than the other lot is nonsense. Tony Blair please note.

Don't get distracted by some labour shyster trying to compare sleeze, spend your time posting on sites like the bbc, pointing out the unbelievable cost to the economy of labours' managerial incompetence - apart from Browns' stealth taxes.

CCHQ spy -

the die is cast, and has been for years; private lives are in the public domain. The public decides whether to exact a penalty or not, depending upon the general integrity and usefulness of the individual concerned.

In Prezza's case, the fact that he is an ignorant offensive oaf, comfortably the stupidest man ever to have held such high rank in our democratic history, means that the public will give the thumbs down. A decent, honest minister with no history of offensive behaviour gets a thumbs up.

C'est tout.

No Roger, I'm still waiting for David to come up with the activities of many 'senior Conservative politicians'.I'm waiting to see if he thinks they are in any away comparable to those of Mandelson,Byers,Blunkett,Prescott,Vaz,Campbell but most of all Blair himself.

David is just taking shots in the dark with all this. Think he's getting his info from the scripts of the New Statesman.

Tim and William - thanks for an excellent article on the pointless, immoral + unnecessary statism of John Prescott

Thank you Taxcutter - I'm glad that someone has appreciated our work!

Really I think that what Aitken/Hamilton/Archer all of those who took money from the owner of Harrods. According to Tom Boyer, there were 28 Tory MP's on Fayed's payroll, this has never been denied.Equal to anything going on now. Mrs 'T' actively supported her son's business interests in the middle east, using her position on his behalf.

Cash for questions, 21 MP's were approached by the Sunday Times the only ones to take the bait were Tories.

Johnston Mathey affair, Abdul Shamji was involved with many Tory MP's. that went right to the top.

I'm sorry I don't see the difference, what you are pretending is that there is something more moral about one party over another. I don't see it that way.

By the way the New Statesman has been in the forefront of exposing New Labour sleaze.

And don't even get onto sexual misbehaviour, I'm sure Boris Johnson of the Spectator might be interested in that one, if he isn't getting his latest mistress an abortion.

Who David who?

Well Og, here's a start - Cecil Parkinson, John Major, Harvey Proctor, Ian Harvey, Stephen Milligan, Jeffrey Archer, Graham Riddick, David Tredinnick, Neil Hamilton, Jonathan Aitken, Michael Ashcroft, Edwina Currie, Shirley Porter, I could go on, no really, I could but I'm inclined to agree with Chad, it's just inevitable, governance is what's important.

I'm sure John Prescott will continue as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party until Tony Blair stands down - I still reckon Tony Blair will go as Deputy Leader in Summer recess 2008 and as Prime Minister December 2008\January 2009, however I think that John Prescott will not be allowed to fulfill his intention to see out the next Leadership election before standing down and will be made to go at the same time, whether he hangs on as Deputy Leader depends on how the ongoing Parliamentary Report on the latest scandal goes and if it goes heavily against him I think that would be the end, if it's merely a slap on the wrist I think he'll hang on at least into next year.

I was thinking more of the programme than the magazine David.

Can I just throw the phrase 'whiter than white' into the argument.

Sexual impropriety / sleaze is not only unavoidable but is merely the flip side of those virtues that make politicians electable. Take for instance Bill Clinton, he charmed voters with his charisma in the same way that he had his wicked way with Ms Lewinsky, by sheer force of character. Government by saints was attempted during Cromwells time. It was a disaster, a lesson that modern day Puritans like the Taliban reinforce.
Financial impropriety / undue influence/ cronyism etc is just money talking, something it does whoever is in office.
Hooray for sleaze , virtue is for cranks who will never govern , like the Lib Dems for example.

A very good summary of Prescott's political reverse midas touch. But I would just say in his defence that some of the failures with which Prescott has been associated down the years were not so much down to him as down to Blair's refusal to allow him to pursue policies to their logical conclusions. The integrated transport strategy and Kyoto in particular fall into this category.

Similarly, in a wider sense, people must not make the mistake of thinking that the sleaze and incompetence now surrounding this government will somehow be addressed by John Prescott's departure. The buck stops at No 10, and nowhere else.

According to Tom Boyer, there were 28 Tory MP's on Fayed's payroll, this has never been denied.

It has never been denied that Elvis is living on the Moon, either. Mr Presley's silence on this matter is surely conclusive.

Elvis , as is well known, presently resides at Sunny Acres caravan park in Tenby. Allegations that he lives on the moon fail to take into account that Buddy Holly first colonised the moon during an intergalactic plane ride. He was joined at a later date by Jimi Hendrix.

Ok, so what do you all think? How long can Prezza hang on?

Loved the Elvis one

First of all if any one out there can find anything I have blogged that in anyway supports the present government in general or John Prescott in particular please point it out to me!

The attitude of politcal activists, supporters of all political party,s is the same 'IF you are not with us, your against us,' not me. I take a sceptical view of all political party's.

Because political activists/supporters have fallen in 'love' with their political party they become irrational and defensive.

Its a bit like the following joke.

There was this man who loved his wife, really really loved her. Then he got a whisper from a close friend, that perhaps she might be 'playing away' So he hired a private detective, to watch her. After a week the detective produced his report. 'On wednesday she met a man. They went for a meal, drank a lot of wine lots of billing and cooing, then off to a motel. I watched from the back when the light went on looked through the window. They took their clothes off and got on to the bed.' The man looked crestfallen, 'And what happened then.' said the man, 'The detective shrugged his shoulders, 'Then they switched out the light, so I couldn't see anymore,. The man brightened, 'So there's still that element of doubt,'

So it doesn't matter what evidence of wrong doing you ever produce about the party they have fallen in love with, there'll always be that element of doubt.

read the 'Phoney Pharoh' by Tom Bowyer a rattling good read I can highly recommend it.

Aren't we missing the point here? Neither Party comes to the sleaze debate with clean hands but above all, the public should note that politicians are essentially demanding the right to be a law unto themselves. Their ethical standards are still back in the Edwardian era. They regard tax-free perks, dodgy expenses claims, kickbacks, favours, the right to peddle influence for money, etc etc as their birthright. Time and again, there has been cross-party collaboration to limit disclosure of favours and conflicts of interest; and to defang any watchdog.

These are of course the same politicians who have legislated to ensure that the same behaviour by company directors would incur an income tax bill and/or be a one-way ticket to jail. At least the upper echelons of Edwardian society were consistently corrupt.


Why not run a sweepstake on the date/time of Prescott's departure as you are doing with Blair?

Persoanlly, If the "five shags" stories are confirmed by the Sunday Red-Tops, (as rumour has it), he's toast on Monday at 11.06am.

He'll also have a very large lump on his head from Pauline's rolling pin as well.

I agree that all politicians are as bad as each other. That's why they should give some of the power back to us.

Tim, I can't see a trackback link, so will comment instead. Excellent article, and I agree with the sentiments expressed. Prescott is an utter incompetent. Unlike you, I'm broadly sympathetic to the ideals behind his policies, but he's messed them up so badly that it's worse than useless. I've added a few of my own thoughts to your list here

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