THE GREENSILL affair does get murkier still with the news that a top Government civil servant, Bill Crothers, was allowed to become a part-time adviser to the company while still working in No 10.
People at the heart of government are not like people on the minimum wage who need two jobs to survive. They are extremely well paid. They should be devoting their full time to the benefit of the country in return for their full time salary.
This also goes for MPs, who should not be paid for doing second jobs unless they can really prove that they do them in their personal time.
There are many aspects of this affair that need looking at, and Labour will be keen to politicise it so that the bad old days of “Tory sleaze” are seen to return. The inquiry must therefore explain why Greensill’s plan – which was a banker’s clever attempt to get his hands on a large dollop of public money so that he could be paid for manipulating it – had such an extraordinary hold over David Cameron and his officials. The tentacles seem to stretch through many layers, like a Line of Duty plot.
While this becomes a headline-grabbing political battle, the real victims of the Greensill collapse are forgotten. They are the 3,000 who work in what’s left of Britain’s steel industry, including 250 at Hartlepool. We also need to be investigating how we can keep alive a strategically important industry without it falling to the financial sharks who have brought it to its knees.