I never liked Jack Straw, who along with another ex-British Foreign Secretary has been “stung” by the Daily Telegraph. Straw is standing down as a Member of Parliament and is looking for a new career. Meeting fake lobbyists (undercover reporters) he tells them he will make speeches….he gets £5,000 a speech. Thats considerably more than minimum wage levels and echoes the post-Parliament career of his former boss, Tony B Liar.
Of course it was a double sting. Patrician Tory grandee, Malcolm Rifkind, tells the undercover reporters that he is “self employed”.
But I am not really bothered by Malcolm Rifkind. He is a Conservative. I expect nothing from them.
Labour politicians…well I expect something. Of course Jack Straw was up to his neck in deceiving the British public over the Iraq War. Yet there is something uncomfortably careerist about Jack Straw. He first appeared on the News in early 1970s as a student firebrand.
Then disappeared from public view until he succeeded Barbara Castle as Labour MP for Blackburn. It was unlikely on two levels ….Blackburn is “grim up north”, Coronation Street territory and Straw is an Essex Boy. Also, the firebrand had settled. How did the good folks in the Blackburn Labour Party select him? Well, I daresay Barbara Castle helped. Straw worked for her as a Special Advisor.
Since becoming MP for Blackburn, Straw has re-invented himself as a gritty northerner. His “beloved” Blackburn Rovers often gets mentioned. I wonder if he owns a whippet.
But Jack Straw made it all the way to the British Cabinet table. As Home Secretary AND Foreign Secretary. The journey from Student Leader to Establishment was complete…except of course “firebrands” rarely become Home Secretary or Foreign Secretary. MI5 and MI6 have files. Safe to assume Straw passed the vetting.
So Jack Straw…it would have been bad enough if his legacy was Iraq. But appearing on a hidden camera talking about his lobbyinbg skills is appropriate.