The world of politics was literally not rocked to its foundations this week at the revelations of the Sunday Times & Dispatches programme that washed up government ministers were prostituting themselves to any company with some spare cash.
Literally nobody was surprised at secret undercover footage of Labour MPs offering to do favours for three grand a day to potential clients willing to bribe, er inves,t their way to privileged access to key decision-making government departments.
Sir Sydney Freedosh, acting chair of the Parliamentary Privilege Whitewash Committee said: “Of course we are aware that Stephen Byers, Geoff Hoon & Patricia Hewitt have offered to give a leg-up to certain companies in exchange for cash, but in the current climate businesses need all the help they can get. Frankly, what did surprise us was the particularly low rates they are charging. Three thousand pounds for a day’s hard work, ringing old mates & getting them to amend laws in favour of struggling businesses seems very low indeed. At least Byers was touting for up to five grand a day. Way to go!”
Secret footage, due to be aired on Channel Four’s Dispatches, shows the MPs boasting about what they’d previously managed to get away with for cash.
Matthew Isitmyturnagain, from the Taxpayers Alliance, said: “We weren’t in the least bit surprised at the documentary’s revelations. MPs lining their own pockets is nothing new. It’s what they do. At least this time it’s business footing the bill, not the taxpayer.”
Stephen Byers has sought to clarify matters. In a statement released when he realised hed been caught, he said: “I wish to make it clear that when I told the very attractive undercover journalist that I had ‘facilitated a better deal for National Express by speaking to the Transport Minister’ what I actually meant was ‘I have never lobbied ministers on behalf of commercial interests’. When I said I ‘was like a cab for hire’ – at between three five thousand pounds a day – this was taken out of context. What I really meant was that’ in the light of recent revelations about corruption in Parliament the furore of MPs expences, it would be totally inappropriate for me to accept or even seek more free cash to carry out sleazy Spanish practises, please pick up your hidden cameras microphones be gone’. I trust this sets the record straight won’t delay my elevation to the Lords unduly.”
Gordon Brown was unavailable for comment as he was attending to important matters behind his desk at number ten with his head on his hands.