The United Kingdom, a revolving door paradise: the ‘Greenselgate’ explosion

The British have always been this way The great “lobby” masters, The art of “influencing” is a much better term than “pressing”. Everything in life is, after all, connections. Former Prime Minister David Cameron knows this. And he always has the best. She comes from an aristocratic family originally linked to King William IV, Which makes him a very distant cousin to the current Sovereign, Elizabeth II. Just one piece of information: When he gave his first job interview with the Conservative Party, the political formation I got a call from Buckingham Palace – Who has not been identified before – asserting that he was a “really promising young man.”

Anyway, in February 2010, the party leader was already a few weeks after the general election that would transport him to Downing Street, Cameron. He warned that the pressure would be the “next big scandal” in the UK. What he probably didn’t imagine was that he would be the one to be in for later. Not only is he remembered as the man who called the Brexit referendum, the former leader of the Conservative Party is at the heart of the great controversy that spread in Westminster.

The current executive branch has requested an investigation into the role the former prime minister played as an advisor Greensel Capital – the financial company that he advised after leaving his position and which is now bankrupt – after sending text messages and emails to the current head of the economy, Rishi SonakAnd two other cabinet members so that the company can obtain certain loans.

But it doesn’t stop there. The big scandal has opened Pandora’s box, To highlight the controversial turnstile system found at the top of the “civil service” itself. The civil service body that advises executives is supposed to be impartial. But who was one of the most responsible people, Bill Crothers, It was Work part-time at Greensill Capital while still at Whitehall, which is where all the ministries are.

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To put it in context: Crothers spent three years as a commercial director of the civil service, overseeing nearly £ 40 billion of taxpayer money – a position he was earning £ 149,000 a year; Meanwhile, the company has advised that for years, He was the spoiled star of town. In November 2015, he formally left the Civil Service to become Director of Gensel.

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When asked for the explanations, Crothers came to say so This is the order of the day Because senior officials can act as consultants for private companies under an agreement authorized by the Cabinet Office itself. inaudible. The big question is: How do the ins and outs of British politics really work? How far is the “lobby” scandal that Cameron himself warned about?

The current “prime minister”, Boris Johnson – Cameron’s rival from his years at Eton and Oxford – has refused to support his old colleague, claiming that the independent investigation has an “absolute mandate” to get to the heart of the matter. After leaving Downing Street, Cameron wasn’t particularly kind to Johnson by posting his diary and now he’s the current tenant at number 10. It seems he wants to take revenge on him. He will chair the committee Nigel Boardman, A legal expert who has been for years a partner at the international law firm Slaughter and May, and is currently a non-executive director in the Department of Trade, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Of course, Johnson rejected the workers ’opposition initiative to form a parliamentary committee to examine cases of pressure and potential influence between officials and members of the executive authority because he believed it“ will not contribute any good ”.

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When he became prime minister, Cameron promised that A. ‘Transparency revolution’, Arguing even in 2013 that open government “was critical to the potential success of any nation in the twenty-first century.” Now he broke his silence to admit that he had learned “important lessons” and to explain it You should use “more formal channels” Instead of telephone messages to ensure “there is no room for misinterpretation.” But he made it clear that he had never violated “the rules of conduct or governmental rules.”

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This is the key to everything. If the current system allows for actions of this type, it is because things are not working as they should. Despite being a former world leader with a list of contacts many would die for, Cameron – who resigned in 2016 after the Brexit victory – He did not have to notify his recent work on Greensel With any of the major Westminster observers.

The rules established by the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACUPA), which oversees new positions for former ministers and senior officials, It covers only two years after leaving the government immediately. Cameron’s new job at Greensel began in 2018. Although the head of the finance company, Lex Greensel, was previously an advisor – without pay – to Cameron’s cabinet.

Former prime minister of work Gordon Brown (Cameron’s predecessor) called for an extension of ACOB’s oversight period to five years and also demanded stricter rules for lobbying groups. “Retired Rulers Scene Use its prestige and influence to benefit private companies And obtaining private income sinks politics into disrepute, “he asserts.

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Lobbyists’ registry office – Cameron himself set up in 2014 to ensure “transparency” – It also does not provide any data on “previous” activitiesLeading ‘. While outside advisory “lobbyists” in Westminster are required to disclose their activity with the regulator if they do not wish to face a fine, Cameron was not required to detail his influencing work because of He was a direct employee of Greensill. This is one of the big gaps that groups that have long advocated for regime transparency have warned.

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Steve Goodrich, of Transparency International in the United Kingdom, confirmed to “Politico” that Westminster is one of “the few advanced Western democracies that He does not have a complete record of these activities“It covers everyone from consultants to internally employed, with clear information about who is trying to influence who, what and when.”

While in the US and Canada there are very strict rules on this matter, in the UK everything relies on very general descriptions of the “business conversation” or “introductory meeting” style.

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The controversy does not only shake the former prime minister. Another big question that is emerging now is what is the current practice of “civil service”. The controversial performance of Bill Crothers, who was once a senior official, It might just be the tip of the iceberg.

Crothers revealed to ACOBA that he took on a part-time role as an advisor to the board of directors of Greensill Capital in September 2015, while still working in public administration. Explain that the date was previously agreed upon Internal Conflict of Interest Policy From the Cabinet Office and with the support of the agency leaders at the time. Therefore, he did not need to report on his new role.

ACOBA has also now opened its own investigation to request clarifications from the Cabinet Office and request a complete list with details Civil servants who have worked or previously worked part-time in the private sector.

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