Today Gordon Brown has stated his belief that George Osborne should be investigated over the ongoing scandal surrounding the alleged soliciting of money from Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska. No surprise that these calls also came on the day that he decided to finally admit that the country is heading for an economic recession
Although the cheap tactics are obvious, there are a couple of questions that need addressing
1) Can we take the high ground on such political maneuvering?
2) Was Gordon right to call for such investigations to be made?
Only a couple of weeks ago, a Conservative MP leaked a smear story about Peter Mandelson to a number of newspapers which revolved around a number of disparaging comments Mandelson had made about Gordon Brown.
This story undoubtedly came from Osborne originally, as he was on the yacht with Mandelson at the time the said comments were made. This will then have made its way around the Commons, before hitting the press. It is however, uncertain as to who exactly leaked the Mandelson story to the press in the first place.
We know it was overtly stated by the Times as a member of the shadow cabinet but not necessarily Osborne himself. Either way, we might assume that DC himself had a hand in, or at least knew of, the attempts to smear Mandelson. (If he didn’t know that a senior MP was going to be releasing such information to the press, then he certainly isn’t in control of what is going on in the shadow cabinet which is perhaps even greater cause for concern!)
Bearing this in mind a serious damage has been done to the party and we need to either stop this secret smearing or stop criticising the Labour Party every time they manipulate events too.
When considering the issue of an investigation, we should surely consider what the Conservative Party would have done had such allegations come up against Labour. Indeed, for the past few years the Conservative Party have called for investigations on every possibly shifty donation to Labour, ranging from a few hundred pounds in the Wendy Alexander scandal to tens of thousands for Peter Hain. So why should we be any different?
I have every faith that Osborne will be exonerated by any investigation so we stand very little to lose. Moreover, if we chose to open up to the authorities on this matter we could gain the moral high ground and lose nothing in the process. It might at least be some means to regain some of the standing we have lost as a result of the smear campaign against Mandy