I'm always on the look out for good political blogs, and I've just discovered this one - hope Craig won't mind me posting a section of his excellent blog here. When I discover how to do links I will post one up here to his blog.
January 26, 2009
Jack Straw's Corrupt Partner, Lord Taylor of Blackburn, Demands £120,000 to "Bend the Rules"
The disgusting Lord Taylor of Blackburn, who together with Justice Secretary Jack Straw forms the chief parliamentary support for the stinkingly corrupt BAE arms company, has been caught out demanding £120,000 to peddle his New Labour influence in the House of Lords.
As ever, this blog was there first - eighteen months ago. We have in fact been all over Lord Scumbag like a rash. These are essential reading as background to the current scandal:
I think this passage I wrote in 2007 has been roundly vindicated:
Straw's links with BAE are partly conducted through Lord Taylor of Blackburn, the former leader of the Blackburn with Darwen Council that includes Straw's Blackburn constituency. Lord Taylor, an archetypal New Labour apparatchik from Straw's constituency machine, has lived off the taxpayer in Labour Party appointed posts all his life. He is now chiefly known as the second highest claimer of expenses in the House of Lords. In 2005 Lord Taylor claimed over �57,000 of tax-free expenses, over three times the average claim of under �19,000. he spoke 15 times in the year.
But he doesn't really need that public money anymore, as the grasping creep Taylor is the primary conduit between the defence industry and New Labour. He has been a highly paid "Consultant" to BAE for over a decade. He also has used some of that money to make major contributions to Jack Straw's election expenses in his Blackburn constituency, declared by Straw in the Register of Member's interests. Lord Taylor also regularly makes large contributions to fund Blackburn New Labour. When I stood against Straw in Blackburn at the last election, Taylor was present with Straw at a black tie event hosted by BAE in the constituency said to be "unrelated to the election".
Interestingly, this year in the House of Lords' Register of Members' interests, BAE has disappeared from Taylor's list of eleven paid consultancies and two paid directorships. It might be interesting to dig for links between these companies and BAE. Some are certainly arms firms - including the highly sinister Electronic Data Systems.
EDS is another of the arms companies that has made many billions from the Iraq war. Among their many current defence contracts is a $12 billion project on electronic systems for the US armed forces. Presumably a well-plugged in New Labour apparatchik like Lord Taylor was of no hindrance to EDS in March 2005 when they landed a �2.5 billion contract from the UK MOD for a similar project. Indeed, if Lord Taylor cannot help swing that kind of contract, why are EDS paying him?
I do not have power of words sufficiently to condemn the institutional sleaze of a system where a scumbag like Lord Taylor can be put, unelected, by Labour into a seat for life in the national legislature. There, while a legislator, he can act as a well paid and highly connected lobbyist for the arms industry. As someone who has been deeply patriotic, I must now say that I find myself unable to have any pride in my own country any longer.
I do hope the old war profiteer finally gets put away behind bars. But with his long term partner Jack Straw as so-called Minister of Justice...
Allowing influence to party hacks like Taylor is of course exactly why New Labour is 100% against democratic reform of the House of Lords. Now your essay question: examine the facts about Lord Taylor in the light of the analysis of the control of policy by specific interests by J A Hobson in the blog entry below.