Saturday, 15 October 2011
Liam has shot our fox
Let me be quite clear, I wish Liam Fox hadn't gone...... because it was just starting to get interesting.
Not that I mind the demise of a far right minister, but by jumping before he was pushed we may never get to the bottom of what looks like a scandal designed by Central Casting.
Lets also be clear about why he went. It wasn't because he had been helping an old chum feather his nest, nor was it because he's secretly gay. Instead it seems Fox was the conduit for the loony tunes US Neoconservative movement into British politics.
The Neocons, the force behind George W Bush and the invasion of Iraq, have largely morphed into the Tea Party; a wonderfully named movement that to US patriots suggests heroic men tipping horrid English herbs into Boston harbour, but to the rest of the world summons up images of Mad Hatters and March Hares.
Behind both though stands money, lots and lots of money. That's why this is more than about bungs to flat mates - Werrity is very well paid by his US backers and doesn't need any favours from HMG.
Fox's charity, The Atlantic Bridge, was wound up on 30 September, just before the scandal broke, which is a bit of a miracle of timing. By going into voluntary liquidation it has also avoided having to answer any awkward questions from the Charity Commission.
With Thatcher as its patron and Gove, Hague, Osborne and Grayling on the board Atlantic Bridge was no more of a charity than the Monday Club. But what's perhaps more interesting are its friends on the other side of the pond.
It was funded by Lehman Brothers for one thing, and Karl Rove and many other less charismatic US right wingers, pop up to speak to it, receive awards from it or give it money.
Atlantic Bridge also worked closely with the American Legislative Exchange Council, a Koch Industries funded Climate Change denial front group.
I could go on, but I think the get the point.
The question is though, what were they after?
Money obviously, but was this just for personal gain, or where they after more serious political change, the sort of paradigm shift that would open up Britain to big US corporations. Convenient was it not that Fox, formerly Shadow Health Minister, was hanging around with the sort of Neocons who regard the NHS as the spawn of Satan just at the Tories introduce legislation that will pretty much see off the idea of universal public health care?
Which leads on to the next question; was Fox running a parallel foreign policy here, or was it merely convenient for a Prime Minister leading a coalition with the LibDems to have this stuff done at arms length? A Prime Minister who has also previously warned about the dangers of too much lobbying?
By resigning he is clearly hoping nobody will ask these questions, which must not be allowed to happen.
We are pretty cynical about our politicians in the country, and most people will probably just regard this as a scandal about personal financial gain and possible sexual high jinx.
When it comes to the Tories though, we are possibly not nearly cynical enough.
More on Atlantic Bridge and their Neocon links here.
Here's Greenpeace on ALEC and Climate Change denial.