Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/429/5036
Tessa Jowell and government sleaze:
Corruption and lies
In the wake of the financial and extra-curricular shennanigans of Peter Mandelson, David Blunkett, and the gongs handed out to millionaires for services rendered, now comes the creeping hint of sleaze linking David Mills, the husband of government minister Tessa Jowell, with Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s extreme right-wing prime minister.
Tony Mulhearn, Liverpool
It is by now an all too familiar scenario involving New Labour, whose chief advocate Blair judges success not by how society can be organised to raise the level of culture and well-being of the majority, but by how rich you are and, particularly, how many CEOs [chief executive officers] can enrich themselves by diddling the taxpayer through buying privatised public services at knock-down prices.
Tessa Jowell naturally denies that she acted improperly by raising £300,000 against their property so Mills could take advantage of an investment opportunity that had opened up, after all working folk do that sort of thing every day of the week. Mills denies charges in Italy that he received £350,000 from Berlusconi in return for evidence he gave in his support in an earlier corruption trial.
Mills says the amount of money identified in his bank was payment from millionaire shipping magnate Diego Attanasio for his services. Attanasio claims he was in prison at the time.
In this maze of charges and denials, and the demand by the Tories for an investigation into Jowell’s complicity, it’s a case of the crocodiles battling with the alligators. And, unlike Blair and his friend Bush and the obscenities of Belmarsh and Guantanamo, I believe people are innocent until proved guilty. But, irrespective of the outcome of these proceedings, the fact of Mills’ link with Berlusconi and a crooked shipping magnate is not in dispute, nor the raising of an amount by Jowell and Mills which coincides with the amount of the alleged bribe.
Once again an oil slick of sleaze and corruption oozes towards the heart of New Labour. Further evidence, if any more was needed, of the need for a new party of the working class.
In The Socialist 2 March 2006: