That Malcolm Rifkind is shown to be a pompous fool should surprise nobody. That he feels ‘entitled’ to a lifestyle beyond the means of a mere parliamentarian, (circa £67,000 pa plus expenses) is only one sign of the vainglorious assumptions made by those who have clung so long to the coat-tails of power. Rifkind, who speaks a hideous sort of posh scots, was foreign secretary under John Major and served in the cabinet under the belligerent Margaret Thatcher therefore being instrumental in selling our nation to the rich (to whom he aspires to belong and to whom of course it has always been owed) and destroying the Conservative Party in Scotland. More recently he has chaired the entirely decorative (that is to say “not useful” rather than “attractive” in any way) parliamentary committee on intelligence and security matters, a committee which has nodded its grey head in complicity with every attack on privacy, freedom and good sense which the rising tide of spooks has sought. Rifkind and his colleagues have truly demonstrated that while security matters, intelligence is in short supply – I do not know what hold the secret services have over politicians (I suspect it involves threats and blackmail) but no politician seems in the least willing to oppose the slightest whim of the intelligence community who trample determinedly over ancient freedoms and decent privacy yet are consistently unable to prevent schoolgirls from fleeing their protective families in order to become the sex slaves of jihadis.
Rifkind makes various preposterous claims. He says that falling victim to a ‘sting’ operation has no relevance to his work as head of the security and intelligence committee when any self-respecting spy’s bread and butter would surely involve entrapping influential figures in corruption and deceit in order to exert influence over them. He still expects to be ennobled, as generations of traitors, fools, windbags and opportunists have before him. He describes the allegations against him as ‘contemptible’ when it is surely the behaviour which reveals him to be a money-grubbing over-privileged fathead which better deserves the epithet. “You’d be surprised how much free time I have” he says. The allegations may be contemptible, but they are true.
All this is not even to mention another former Foreign Secretary, equally exposed, Foreign Secretary at the time of various ill-advised campaigns, who, it is alleged, misled the House of Commons over ‘extraordinary renditions’, Diego Garcia, and weapons of mass destruction and was involved with such notable criminals as Colonel Gaddafi, Condoleeza Rice, George dubya Bush and Tony Blair; the famous Jack, man of Straw. This former student radical sacrificed any principle he might have held long ago in order to rise up the slippery ladder of Labour politics, eventually hitching his wagon to that of the eerily smiling populist Blair, the man who dragged the consensus of British politics further to the right than at any time since WW2 by aping Margaret Thatcher’s economic policies and adopting the glottal stop. Jack Straw will be prosecuted I think, whereas Rifkind will probably just be consigned to some political netherworld, a limbo or designed for politicians…. I have it. The House of Lords.