Order of the Bullingdon Elite

On Tuesday the Daily Mail led with the ‘story’ of David Cameron’s ongoing honours scandal (“Honours: The Stench Grows,” August 2). The Daily Mail — the newspaper that loves to hate all left-wing opposition to the ruling-class — raged about how Cameron was “rewarding… his political cronies with peerages.” Well I never!

One man in line for a Cameron OBE was former Tory treasurer, Michael ‘Lord Libor’ Spencer: “His ICAP City brokerage firm had been fined £55 million by regulators over the Libor interest-rate rigging scandal,” the Mail explained, although luckily for Cameron’s buddy, Spencer “was not personally implicated.”

Another in line for an Order of the Bullingdon Elite was Samantha Cameron’s personal advisor/fixer, Isabel Spearman, who is “said to know more about the PM’s life than any of his political confidantes”.

Like so many involved in “the chumocracy row” Spearman was born to privilege, and she and her “public school-educated friends [were] united by a conviction that they were born to rule.” Such credentials evidently put her in good stead for an OBE.

Born to fail, and then to be bailed out by working-class tax payers — would however be a more accurate descriptor of the specially educated members of Cameron’s chumocracy. Take the example of Spearman’s husband, Mark Crocker, “the stepson of the late Lord Oaksey, doyen of the horse racing world.”

In 2012, Spearman’s other half, Mr Crocker, failed in the public arena when he saw his beauty product firm collapse “with debts of £2 million”. As the Daily Mail reported, the business directors of this failed elite beauty firm included socialite Jemma Kidd and Lady Ghislaine Maxwell (“the daughter of the corrupt newspaper publisher Robert Maxwell”).

But why should the stench around Cameron be limited to the Tories?

Thus ever keen to drag the name of adamant opponents of the honours chumocracy through the dirt as well, the following day the Daily Mail quoted Jeremy Corbyn as saying “that as Labour leader he wants an honours system ‘that’s fair, that’s open, that’s more democratic’.”

The newspaper then makes a headline out of a “rumour” by alleging that he offered not a banker, but a civil liberties campaigner a peerage. Shock horror!

Daily Mail screenshot

Corbyn’s “rumoured” crime is that he might have offered such a peerage to Shami Chakrabarti “after she produced a report on anti-Semitism in the Labour Party which helpfully didn’t mention him by name.”

It is of course beside the point, as far as the Daily Mail is concerned, that Corbyn has a long and well-established track record of opposing anti-Semitism. So goes the Tory press… and the smear campaign continues…

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