Justice Minister Jack Straw said earlier today "It appears that former cabinet ministers are putting making money ahead of meeting their constituents...There's anger... and incredulity about their stupidity... getting suckered by a sting like this." He's refering to the Dispatches Channel 4 programme, but Hoon, Byers and Hewitt who have been suspended pending investigations have denied any wrong-doing. The decision to suspend them was taken after they were shown being approached by a fictional US firm looking to hire them for lobbying work.
The reason for this is strong evidence of Gullibility. As Barnum alledgedly said There's a Sucker Born Every Minute and it looks like high ranking government ministers are no exception. There is of course the issue of 'intention' and also 'permissable practice'. That aside to even touch this issue given the political climate over the last couple of years must rank a gross stupidity and lack of judgement.
Talk about shooting yourslef in the foot and giving the initiative to the opposition. Labour party HQ must be fuming. £3000 a day for using your position of access to wield social influence. Nice work if you can get it. Nice work if you can get it whilst being paid to represent local constituents. Nice work if you can get it when thousands of other in country can't.