Several recent events have cast Cameron in a new light. He constantly denounces Labour as subservient to its union paymasters, when in fact over the last 30 years it is almost impossible to identify anything that Labour governments have done to please the unions. There is almost nothing on the other hand that Cameron won’t do, no commercial interest he will disdain, no policy he will refuse to alter if it will ingratiate himself with the sources of money and power. He was quite prepared, indeed determined, to keep Andy Coulson the phone hacker at No.10 and to hand over BSkyB to Murdoch in order to buy the support of the Murdoch for the next election. It is now clear that via Lynton Crosby he has prostrated himself before a wide range of commercial interests by changing government policy to suit them in order to recruit their money and power for himself and his party in the lead-up to 2015. Five examples of this have come to light in recent weeks.
Most notoriously it has emerged that Crosby Textor, the company of his ‘adviser’ Lynton Crosby, has lobbied on behalf of the tobacco giant, Philip Morris International, and suddenly the government has changed its position and ditched plans to require companies to remove branding from their cigarette packaging. Then we find that Crosby’s Australian company has represented a drinks industry group campaigning heavily against plans to introduce a minimum alcohol price there. Soon after Crosby was hired by the Tories, Cameron decided to drop his plans for a minimum alcohol price. Crosby Textor also represents the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, an oil and gas lobby group that campaigns aggressively for fracking. Now the UK government has just promised measures to encourage fracking across the country, including tax breaks for the companies involved. It has now further emerged that CTF Partners, Crosby’s UK arm, represented the rebel forces in Syria for 6 months before bidding unsuccessfully to continue to do so for a fee of £180,000. That might well explain the otherwise surprising and unexpected decision of Cameron to send weapons to the rebels, though he was later forced to renege on this by the almost united opposition of the Commons.
Then there is the Litvinenko affair. Cameron has decided to deny his widow a public inquiry into how he was poisoned in London in 2006, almost certainly by Lugovoi, now a member of parliament in Moscow and protected by Putin. Again it is a disreputable decision playing into the most cynical Cameronian instincts – that there is no such thing as the rule of law, and that the only things that ultimately matter are power, fear and money.