When the Labour party were pointing at us in the 1990s and screaming "sleaze" they were referring to individual acts of stupidity or greed by a few Conservative MPs.
Peter Hain's admission that he failed to declare a substantial donation just adds to the feeling that Labour politicians are the perpetrators of a much more professional style of sleaze. And the list of people involved goes to the very heart of this government.
Why should we be surprised? The Ecclestone affair came to light in 2000 and showed a blatant disregard for the rules of part funding even then.
What I find particularly galling is the fact that these very people are looking to change the law to prevent Lord Ashcroft from making substantial, but perfectly legal and transparent, donations to the Conservative party.
I think I understand why this is. There is a strong seam of hatred for the Conservatives running through the Labour movement, a hatred which isn't reciprocated. Conservatives may well think that Labour activists are wrong, misguided, blinkered possibly even stupid in some cases but there isn't anything which matches the deep visceral detestation which informs much of the Labour movements actions.
Many people have said that Brown and Balls' desire is not just to beat the Conservatives but to destroy us, it's like a crusade to them. Because they are blinded by their own sanctimony they feel that breaking electoral law is justified.
Like so many on the left of politics they feel that the ends justify the means, in this issue as in so many others.
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