Jamie Kenny watches the Lebanese elections and asks if the Saudis could spend so much money on British politics. The answer is simple: they already have.

Consider the original Al-Yamamah contract, and the famous National Audit Office report that was shown to two MPs and then buried for good. We’re still not trusted to see it. Consider all the many, many people around the 1980s Conservative Party involved with them – Aitken, Archer, Hart, Calil, Thicky Mork himself. Consider the whole complex of turds that was the arms-to-Iraq affair.

Then consider the BAE Systems case and, of course, Anthony Bailey, the lobbyist who integrated the Labour Party’s finances, the City Academies program, Prince Charles, BAE, and the Saudis in one dubious political kebab.

And look at this; Aitken clearly still wants to be an MP.

I may even receive some relief from the tabloids. Under the act it is ­defamatory to report a spent conviction if done maliciously. I shall not be ­rushing to instruct Messrs Sue Grabbit and Runne for breaches of this law, not least because I so often speak and write from the perspective of an ex-offender. Yet I hope that fair editors will think about their obligations under the act towards all ex-offenders before ­regurgitating, pejorative labels such as “disgraced ex-jailbird”.

How dare you threaten us, you old bastard.


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