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Monday, June 04, 2012 

Ah, consistency.

Jeremy Hunt: acts as effective minister for the Murdoch BSkyB bid, having originally shown "acute bias" in favour of it, and then swaps emails/texts with both James Murdoch and News Corp lobbyist Fred Michel once in his "quasi-judicial" role. Was also apparently unaware that his special adviser Adam Smith exchanged over 500 texts/emails with Michel, including information about the process before it was announced to parliament. Cameron refuses to refer his case to Alex Allen, the official who oversees the ministerial code, for the reason that Hunt is an effective firewall for both him and George Osborne.

Sayeeda Warsi: Fails to declare some slight income to the Lords register, and allegedly claimed £2,000 in rent for a room she was staying in gratis. Also "forgets" to declare her shared business interest with a friend who travelled with her on an official visit to Pakistan, although it appears he didn't gain financially in any way. The claims are hardly on the scale of those against Adam Werritty and Liam Fox, when Cameron called in the cabinet secretary and not Allan to investigate. Warsi just so happens to be unpopular with the Tory grassroots, making her expendable, so this time Allan has been called in to adjudicate. If only Warsi wasn't about as likeable as a vomiting cavalier, there might have been some Tories willing to defend her and attack Cameron's Blair-like hypocrisy.

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Agree with all you say, but also fits with the wider British lunacy about petty personal corruption versus massive institutional corruption.

The one which is bringing Warsi down (as far as I can make out) is the rent claim, which if it's proven is legally fraud.

As the MP expenses scandal showed, that makes everyone far angrier than Rupert owning policy, despite the fact the sums are trivial and the impact on the state is zero.

Exactly. I can only explain it in the terms that most people are already cynical about establishment stitch-ups; when however specific evidence of corruption about individuals comes out, especially at the moment when politicians are asking us to make sacrifices and are slashing benefits, it's the hypocrisy that enrages everyone.

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