Alan Duncan Gets Lucky

Alan Duncan has been dealt an interesting hand. The Transport brief is not the sexiest portfolio from which to launch a leadership bid, but it could be if the Railtrack scandal plays out badly for the government this summer.

He says: “It’s now clear that whatever the verdict in court, the government will still have to face the verdict of parliament. I make no judgment about the court case, but it seems from all the evidence that is emerging that this is a growing scandal of government from which Stephen Byers and Gordon Brown have no escape… If, as it seems, Stephen Byers lied to a parliamentary committee, not only is that a disgrace in itself but it shows that their plans for Railtrack were deeply devious and could be a scandal of enormous proportions. This is a £10bn deceit based on secret plans and lies to parliament from the chancellor downwards.”

Duncan would be wise to set his sights lower than taking Gordon’s scalp, compare how Basher Davis took out Blunkett – stealthily – wary of damaging his own reputation by failing to force Bonkett’s resignation after publicly demanding that he go. The Railtrack scandal is very real and it spreads widely, but Guido suspects that the Special Advisers are being lined up to take the fall. Some of the testimony of the Sir Humphreys was taken straight from the script of Yes, Minister, those mandarins are very skilled at the game of cover-up and blame diversion, that’s how they got where they are today.

Guido predicts the SpAds will be blamed and go on to enjoy lucrative lobbying contracts and safe seats in the not too distant future. The dishonourable Byers will probably shamelessly hold on to his large majority as well.

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Quote of the Day

Expelled Tory MP, Richard Benyon, on the short three-day Programme Motion for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill:

“Whether you had three days, three weeks or three months debating this, you would not hear one original argument that we hadn’t otherwise heard in this process…”


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