It will come as no great surprise to connoiseurs of the Conservative Party’s love of money (and complete disregard of what anyone else thinks) that Zac Goldsmith has once again appeared at the centre of a Tory financial scandal. You will remember that Mr Goldsmith recently came under the most fleeting scrutiny for his ‘non-dom’ status as a parliamentary candidate. Now it turns out that the Conservatives have been covering up cash donations he’s channelled to the party through the ‘wealth management firm’ Unicorn Administration.
None of this shocks me in the slightest, nor should anyone else be surprised. What does disappoint is the fact that, once again, the story only merits the merest of mentions in the news media (although I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised about that either).
Let’s not forget that this last week we’ve had wall-to-wall coverage of a half-hearted attempt to unseat Gordon Brown by two obscure former ministers, a relative non-story that even managed to shunt aside the media’s current obsession with levels of snow regarded as perfectly normal in the rest of Europe.
In contrast the Tories (who, it should be remembered, are the bookie’s nailed-on favourites to form the next government) once again escape any real examination of who is paying their hefty campaigning bills and what those donors might hope to receive in return. I guess I should probably accept that the tone was set a year or so back when Gideon easily managed to sweat out that grubby business on the yacht with Nathaniel Rothschild, Peter Mandelson and Oleg Deripaska, but that last remaining part of me that I can still call idealistic does rather hope that someone (anyone) sees fit to find out what type of people might be running the country come June.