Are Israel’s 'Friends' still shamelessly swinging from chandeliers at Westminster?
Trimble is remembered for his connection with the fanatical and extremist Orange Order of Northern Ireland.
A hundred years ago people siding with a foreign power at British expense could have found themselves swinging by the neck. Three hundred years ago they risked their heads on pikes for what used to be called treason.
The Conservatives meanwhile are bulging with Israeli flag wavers. The prime minister David Cameron, has declared himself a Zionist. His foreign secretary and defence secretary are both leading Friends of Israel. Indeed, 80 per cent of Conservative MPs and MEPs are thought to belong to the pro-Israel lobby, according to a recent Channel 4 TV “Dispatches” programme.
After recent scandals the British people have been promised a major clean-up of politics. In the pipeline are constitutional changes that will give voters power to force an MP who engages in serious wrongdoing to face another election. All they’ll need is the backing of 10 per cent of constituents in a petition.
As well as the power to get rid of corrupt MPs, changes include a clampdown on lobbying in Parliament, a statutory register of lobbyists and a clean-up of party funding.
But could any of this bring an end to infiltration by agents of a foreign power?
The three main political parties in the UK each have a “Friends of Israel” lobby organization that ensures pro-Israel members are embedded at all key levels in Parliament and government. These adherents to another flag inhibit the government when it comes to taking a principled stand on issues such as Israel's murderous and unlawful blockade of Gaza and continuing illegal occupation of the West Bank.