Hasn't this Dame done well?
THERE she was on our telly again tonight, Dame Pauline Neville -Jones, in her new job as David Cameron's shadow Security Minister, saying the government ought to come clean about what it intends to do about Guantanamo Bay prisoners returning here.
The Guantanamo prisoners have never faced trial. Whereas the man who Dame Pauline and her old boss Lord Hurd did business with , Slobodan Milosevic, did not live to see the end of his trial. And neither of the Tory duo was called as a witness for him.
But I mustn't keep raking up the past.
The current Private Eye(no.1199) wonders "Why are the Conservatives so reluctant to make political capital out of the QinetiQ scandal?"
It is referring to a report from the National Audit Office (NAO) saying that the public got a raw deal out of the sale of what used to be the government's Defence Evaluation Research Agency(DERA). A third of it went to the US-based Carlyle Group, nicknamed the President's club, in which the Bin Laden family used to be involved, for £42 million. The deal cost the taxpayer more than that in legal fees and consultancies. Then QinetiQ, as the DERA had become, sold off land and assets.
Privatisation was lubricated by fat salaries and juicy share options for top management. Former civil servant Graham Love, now chief executive of QinetiQ, saw his £110,000 invested in the firm soar up to nearly £22 million when QinetiQ was floated on the share markets last year.
Taxpayers were short changed, according to Tory MP Edward Leigh, while senior managers had "won the jackpot".
But while Tories have been making hay with Labour embarrassment over missing files and mystery donors, David Cameron has been muted over this one. You'd think he might have said something about Gordon Brown as Treasury head and then Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon failing to ensure the deal bolstered the Defence budget. Defence chiefs have been saying Labour is not spending enough.
The Eye says Dame Pauline, the former Foreign and Commonwealth Office political director who took a second career with NatWest Markets, advising Milosevic on how to privatise Serbian telecomms, - a task in which she was joined by her former boss Lord Hurd - and did well for herself then, has been "one of the jackpot winners".
From 2001 to 2005, on top of her little position at the BBC, Pauline Neville-Jones was part-time non-executive director at QinetiQ. Given the chance to invest in the company she made more than £350,000 from a £60,000 investment.
Good money. I guess you have got to be there. And it probably helps to have the right friends, whether for sound advice or that ring of confidence when talking to the media.