THE selling of peerages is an old tradition in England that goes well back before the days of Lloyd George. He had an established rate for the job. Any bourgeois could buy a barony for £50,000, a baronetcy for £25,000, or a knighthood for £15,000.
With today’s main bourgeois and Labour parties requiring very large sums to carry out their election campaigns and privatisation programmes, governments and their fundraisers are always on the prowl for large donations, and for loans at commercial rates of interest that do not have to be publicly declared.
The storm about the £14 million of secret loans to the Labour Party is still raging. The party treasurer, Jack Dromey, was completely unaware that major big business figures were making secret big loans to the supposedly Labour government, under which their companies were flourishing as never before.
Typical of them was Rod Aldridge. He resigned as chairman of Capita when his loan became public knowledge. Under Labour his company had won massive public contracts from the privatisation of the public services, out of which it had made billions.
He had merely been anonymously supporting his government, and workers were disgusted by this news.
However, there was also the revelation that four of the big lenders had been nominated by the Prime Minister for peerages but had been vetoed by the House of Lords appointments commission.
The cash for peerages allegation then re-emerged once more in connection with privatisation, this time the privatisation of education and the creation of a health market.
This happened after a Mr Des Smith, who joined the council of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) – the quango set up in 2005 to get capitalists to sink millions into Blair’s city academies programme by setting up their own academies, over which they would have a major say in what was taught.
The SSAT was set up by Blair’s chief fundraiser Lord Levy whom many now call Lord Cashpoint.
A reporter posing as the PR assistant of a potential donor to the SSAT allegedly recorded Smith making him an offer to help him make his donation.
Smith allegedly told the reporter the ‘prime minister’s office would recommend someone like. . . for an OBE, a CBE or a knighthood’.
Asked if it was ‘typical’ to get an honour for a donation, he replied: ‘Yes’.
He was then asked if investing in five academies could guarantee a peerage and he told the reporter: ‘Well, almost certainly.’
Smith quit his post with the SSAT and was arrested last Thursday under the 1925 Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act.
Yesterday, the bourgeois media was agog with rumours that Smith would be given immunity from prosecution, under the new style Labour plea bargaining justice regime, if he would name those allegedly further up the honours sales trail.
We note that it is the Labour government’s privatisation programme that has attracted the millionaire donors, like bees to profit producing honey. This is the criminal activity as far as we are concerned. Any alleged additional sales of baubles, garters, wigs and black tights is a sick joke, an expression of a decrepit, senile, out of date and dying system.
The task in front of the working class remains the bringing down of this bosses’ Labour government and the bringing in of a workers’ government that will carry out socialist policies, including the ending of the privatisation programme and the abolition of the House of Lords.