28 May 2009

Do politicians ‘get’ transparency?

If the expenses scandal is about anything, it is about the public’s right to know what politicians do in their name and with their money.

Yet as the parties attempt to purge the transgressors, all the indications are that the same secrecy and attempted cover-up that led to the leaking of MPs’ expenses to the Telegraph, is now dominating the political parties’ actions as they attempt to rid themselves of the mistrust in which they are now mired.

Yesterday, at a time we do not know, in a place that was never formally identified, in a process never detailed, a “star chamber” of Labour stalwarts met in judgement over the (so far four) miscreant MPs – Margaret Moran, Elliot Morley, David Chaytor and Ian Gibson. It seems none of the MPs turned up. We are not told if they are either allowed to be legally represented or if in the event they were.

The Labour Party has at least identified the panel investigating the MPs. Cath Speight is Chair of the NEC (the committee that notionally runs the party) – she’s a former union organiser (Amicus) from Wales but her identity and career, online at least, is subterranean.

Ann Black is known to me. She is a computer programmer at Oxford Brookes University (I served there as chancellor). She has a blogsite and tries to record Labour goings on it, but her latest entry is dated 2 April 2009.

Sir Jeremy Beecham is a big wheel in local Government, with a higher profile. I have retrieved these facts from the web.

Labour itself seems to have made no effort to profile the panel and there is no information whatever as to how it is carrying on its work, or where.

My presumption is that the Human Rights Act applies to these activities. To be candid this is a “hole-in-the-corner” process. Labour has promised “rapid and urgent action”. But are the rights of these very MPs themselves now being violated? Is the process itself in line with natural justice?

We know little more about how Tory MPs are being disciplined. Again we do not know when or where or under what rules any disciplinary committee may or may not be meeting.

The Conservative leader himself seems to have wielded the axe on occasion. Again we do not know whether legal representation has been involved, and whether what has been done conforms either with the human rights or the rules of natural justice.

In short we know very little detail about what these parties are up to on the matter of expenses, just as we knew little about what the MPs themselves were doing.

Even when it came to the House of Lords sitting in judgement over Labour peers caught in a bribery sting, we were never told when the inquiry panel met, never told what the process was. The outcome – two cleared, two guilty.

The former Lord Chancellor Lord Derry Irvine, and former spy mistress Lady Eliza Manningham-Buller were involved… but who else? Another hole-in-the-corner exercise?

And this is all supposed to be bringing transparency to bear on the expenses scandal. Don’t expect the restoration of trust in politicians if this is what they think transparency means.

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57 reader comments

  1. Morph366 says:

    I think transparency is one of the most over-worked ideas currently doing the rounds.
    Everyone pays lip service to the “concept” of transparency but the political, and especially the financial elite do not want it as it undermines their power base.
    No where better to look for evidence of this than on Wall Street where the dark arts of proprietary trading are systematically protected by the Treasury/Goldman Sachs axis.
    If you want a real story for your excellent newscasts – an investigation of the cronyism between the US administration and Government Sachs would be useful

  2. Richard Marsh says:

    Transparency is not just for politicians or bankers. It’s a cast of mind where the information needed to make informed judgements is easily and readily available. So it’s vital in areas where the public have a level of interest and ownership, for instance in charities. Overused? Maybe, but we have to insist that transparency is not a smoke-screen, it’s a healthy way of conducting public life.

  3. Saltaire Sam says:

    Perhaps as well as investigative reporting and incisive interviewing, our journalists should try the kind of simple, brutally honest reporting I came across recently.

    In researching some local history in the Leeds Mercury for 31 January 1807 I read under the headline IMPERIAL PARLIAMENT: ‘No business of the slightest interest has occurred in the House of Lords.’

  4. Briantist says:

    Until Dave Cameron actually says he will implement the D’Hont PR system as his first act as Prime Minister, then I certainly won’t think that he actually knows what transparency is.

    Seems to be lot of “spin” about sunshine being the best disinfectant, when what we need is the ability to have a parliament that reflects the people.

    He condescends about “young people are not interested in PR”. Point out to them that 95% of their votes don’t count at any election in their life and they might just “get it”, Dave.

  5. Disorganised1 says:

    How much tranparency is there in your workplace ? In mine it is a disciplinary offence to reveal your salary to another member of staff. When grievance or disciplinery procedures are invoked the discussions take place in secret, once again revealing what has taken place is a disciplinery offence.

    Labour have, as ever, closed ranks. We hear nothing about their MPs, they are in the papers one day saying “it was all in the rules”, then silence. Conservative washing is being done in the media, Julie Kirkbride has fought back against several revalations, compare it to the behaviour of Jacqui Smith ~ whose reputation has been more tarnished ? Which was the better MP ?

  6. ceedee says:

    Aren’t all these disciplinary hearings just an attempt to convince us that the remaining MPs are worth voting for?
    The decision will (eventually) be made by each constituency’s electorate and there’s little the party grandees can do about that.

    Will Jon be looking into Clegg’s 100-day reform plan?

  7. Ray Turner says:

    The uneasy thought that I have, is that we could probably pick a random sample of the population from all backgrounds, put them in the same lax system that the MP’s had with the same temptations and I’m quite sure that the same abuses would happen. It’s human nature…

    Yes. The MP’s are supposed to be honourable and should have known better, but would you have succumbed if in exactly the same situation…?

    1. Evie Murray says:

      All the more reason for a radical change to the system- wouldn’t you think??

  8. Michael Donnelly says:

    If anything, the introduction of the PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION electoral system would create real transparency. For centuries the Conservatives have been ever-present in the Parliament. While the Liberal Democrats claim to be the ‘real’ alternative, the FPTP system makes this impossible. The truth of the matter, is that with transparency, Cameron’s Conservatives would be nowhere near Clegg’s LibDems if the system was truly democratic. Hence why Clegg has written an essay in the Guardian, which the paper itself brands ‘provocative.’ Yet this is an example of self-interest by Clegg, and in the case of Cameron, self-preservation.
    Finance only becomes a murky issue further down the line. If PR was in place, the electorate could trust the real favourites from each region would sit in Parliament and could be ousted easily at the next election if found to have their fingers in the coffers.

    In essence, FPTP provides the greatest safety net of the whole murky affair.

  9. J B says:

    The problem is for politicians is that the more transparent they are the more they show how incompetent and out of touch with reality they really are.

    The problem goes far deeper than young voters don’t “Get It”. I’m 27 and I like most of my friends have never voted in my life and it’s not due to apathy it’s down to the simple fact that people of my generation don’t trust, like and don’t respect the political parties.

    So taking this very cynical view of politics. Politicians will act in the same corrupt and self righteous manner, while presenting a false blanket of transparency in the hope the majority of people will buy it and vote for them in the next election.

    1. Evie Murray says:

      What shall we do then?

    2. robert a. brown says:

      You might go a long way to find a more cynical cynic than me but I still vote so shame on you mate!

    3. Peter Reeman says:

      It is atitudes like this that lead to extremists gaining power. And yes it is apathy and disconnection however you dress it up!
      If you are not part of the solution, then YOU are the problem!

    4. J B says:

      Is it so shameful to abstain fom voting when you sincerly believe your vote is powerless? One would agrue that to vote when one feels like this, only appeases the systems that makes them feel so powerless.

      I remember going to vote in the last general election (not voting and not going to the ballot, are two seperate things) I was insensed and I wanted to be heard. So I go in with the intention to vote Lib Dem, only to look at the ballot to find that there was no lib dem candidate running in my area.

      So I would ask you and everyone to look at how much your vote really matters in the present system? A collection of safe seat after safe seat and that the power of the nation is decided by 300,000 odd voters who live in the magical marginals.

      So to Robert and Peter I feel no shame about not voting and I respect your views and would agree I am a problem, but a problem that has been born of a broken political system and of politicians dishonisty and failed policies. I am a person who protested the war and like so many millions wasn’t heard, I am a student like many many others, who is in a life time of debt because of a system that discriminates against young adults from poor backgrounds wanting to learn.

      So I don’t endorse a political system that has failed and entire generation of people. So yes I really am the problem and I need to be solved.

    5. phil dicks says:

      Maybe we need to stop thinking in terms of ‘constituencies’ – what exactly does that word mean? Would PR be anything more than a re-jigging of the current geographical notion of representation. Is it daft (especially in this net age) to be thinking geographically, even topographically, about political representation?

      Where is you constituency, your village, your community? Where is your allegiance, where is your concern, where is your involvement?

      Is it simply a bricks-and-mortar, down-your-street thing? If it is, then how are we having this chat???
      Maybe reality tv, far from displacing our electoral sytem, is actually providing it with a new model.

  10. Dr Karl Brennan says:

    As both a public servant and taxpayer, I welcome the opportunity for greater transparency into how our money is spent. Revelations of MP’s expenses has made intoxicating reading, although the explanation by individual MP’s justifying their personal circumstances is often less appetizing and hence less reported.

    The news of Julie Kirkbride’s resignation was inevitable. She has made mistakes in both claiming expenses and managing the subsequent furore although the explanation of how to balance work life as an ‘effective MP’ and a mother had merit.

    We cannot expect a House of Commons to be full of hugely dynamic, hard-working MP’s, representative of real people with real problems, successfully balancing a healthy family life and yet spending all their hours fighting hard for their constituents. Then pay them £64,000 to live simultaneously in two places and complain when they claim expenses.

    I feel my MP demonstrates value-for-money. I cannot say the same of all publicly-financed journalists such as those at the BBC. Far more of my taxable income is spent on their salaries and expenses than on MP’s. When will we have greater transparency into BBC funding, detailing incomes and expenses of their employees?

    An audit of that I suspect would save rather more taxpayers money than the shallow pursuit of MP’s indulging in a trouser press.

    1. Evie Murray says:

      Well let us take on the BBC after we deal with the MPs.

      The point is with the MP’s surely….is the hypocrisy!! Their wages compared with the rules set for the rest of society, c’mon!!!!! National minimum wage – hello!! I think hard working parents are admirable also they have to juggle much to get through the day. I’d rather do it at £64:000 than on the national minimum wage.

  11. Jamie Cottrell says:

    “The Labour Party has at least identified the panel investigating the MPs…Cath Speight is Chair of the NEC (the committee that notionally runs the party)… BUT HER IDENTITY AND CAREER, ONLINE AT LEAST, IS SUBTERRANEAN.”

    Hi Jon, I think you’ll find that the ‘identity and career online’ of most journalists and commentators (not the same as a public persona) is also quite ‘subterranean’ or at least oblique. And with it, their possible links to public relations organisations, lobbyist and other groups. Should this be made clearly available to the public (as I assume you’re implying the MPs should), considering their undoubted influence?

  12. robert a. brown says:

    Political leaders ask our forebearance,
    They tell us all about transparence,
    This cynic believes its all tosh,
    We’ll get yet another whitewash,
    And return to status quo in an instance.

    And, fellow bloggers, try not to be so po-faced about everything, it could be a hell of a lot worse!

  13. frank stanley says:

    nothing new about sleazy politician? why are people shocked?They have been at it for years.
    Lloyd George and his fiddles.

    Aristocracy in the house of lords and most of the right honourable members were all for Adolf Hitler until doing a deal with Russia (hurrah fro the blackshirts)
    The title of Right Honourable should have been abolished over fifty years ago

  14. Phil Kay says:

    I would have been more sympathetic to MPs if most of them had had the courage to say what is true; they are underpaid!

    But to try to ‘pull the wool’ over our eyes by writing ‘slack’ rules for allowances that a sycophantic fees office can interpret liberally lacks integrity at best and is criminal at worst.

    The ‘within the rules’ defence fails totally when measured against the principles contained in the ‘green book’.

    MPs with ‘dodgy’ claims had intended to permanently deprive the public of its money. Oops, isn’t that theft?

    Of course our politicians ‘Get’ transparency. That’s why they mostly tried to block it!

    1. Annie says:

      NO MPS ARE NOT UNDERPAID nearly 65K [triple the national average] per yr and 100k+ for running their office, all from the public purse. I would like to see how many hours of actual work is put in by these spivs – then we’d see if they were worth their salary at least let alone the rest they think they are entitled to

  15. robert a. brown says:

    Some have gone down, several more to go,
    Politically green, green bottles all in a row,
    Where will it end? we don’t really know,
    It is in danger of becoming a right royal show,
    And bringing us the news is our inimitable Jon Snow!

  16. Mark Jepson says:

    The MPs who have been implicated in the expenses scandal are all ‘standing down at the end of the Parliament’.in being allowed to so do,they will be paid a re-settlement grant and winding-up monies of c£100000 and a handsome pension. They should not be allowed to further profit and should be forced to stand down with immediate effect.

    1. Steven J Humphrey says:

      they should be arrested, jailed ‘on remand’ and put thru the same prosecution as 100,000-odd, often dyslexic, kids go thru that deprives them of their liberty!

      3 months down the line, these disgraced, thieving often fat, greedy ex-landlords should be summonsed to a humble magistrates court and given a free and fair trial of their peers…
      something most of the World’s prison population NEVER get!!!

  17. Kylie Lochalsh says:

    WTF is a “star chamber”? Labour hubris again. Three folk behind a table near the naughty step, apparently. None of them, not even the so-far un-tarred ones, “get” anything – I saw Hattersley on Newsnight last night (pace, Jon) banging on about how it was the good old Labour Party he felt sorry for, which didn’t deserve this betrayal. Sorry? What about those of us who refuse to toe any party line or membership, the majority of taxpayers (or “people”) in this country? It was exactly this sort of “my party right or wrong, we must win at all costs” attitude in the parliamentary Labour party that allowed Blair to drag us into an illegal and immoral war, never mind illegal and immoral petty-cash finagling. After March 2003 I vowed I would never vote labour again, so all the trough snuffling, although the extent is a bit of a surprise, makes no difference. When’s Eric Joyce going to get his arse felt, by the way? Highest expenses of anyone.

  18. Iain Hill says:

    People want revenge before reform. We must all be careful that the new mood that “it has gone far enough” , emerging either as a result of journalistic boredom, or as a deliberate ploy by the political parties, does not distract us from the fact that hardly any MP has as yet suffered real financial consequences.

    Before the public will be willing to move on, it needs unequivocal evidence of:

    A proper non-partisan scrutiny process which will ensure that ALL claims not “wholly, exclusively etc” are repaid without exception. What we have at the moment is piecemeal pursuit of MPs, with some egregious dithering from the political parties, particularly when court favourites are the culprits. Tokenism will not assuage public anger, but full accountability and refund will.

    A clear assurance that all MPs having to pay back more than an agreed sum [£5000?] will be automatically deselected. The current approach is again piecemeal and not credible. Margaret Moran has apparently agreed today to stand down, but the public would have wanted her sacked by her party on the day the facts first became known.

    Cabinet ministers should be dealt with without exception as a first priority under the above measures.

    The police should be encouraged to be less dilatory about their enquiries. A member of the public who tried to get a court summons against Jacqui Smith this week was directed by the court to the Metropolitan Police, and felt rightly that he was being fobbed off.

    Lastly, as soon as the fruits of these processes become properly visible, a general election should be called. Then, we will have great appetite for reform.

  19. wilma miller says:

    It worries me a great deal that the media seem to be in charge of who gets targeted next. We’ve had day after day of Julie Kirkbride and nothing more about memebers of the Cabinet who’ve been up to all sorts. What does that tell us??

  20. Cliff says:

    Jon. I was on the edge of my seat during your interview with Nick Clegg…it seemed that he just MIGHT have been heading toward the conclusion that the fraud squad should be called in, but no; yet again we heard that we really MUST get ‘an independent body to oversee MPs expenses’. Sorry to be so tedious but it has to be said again: THEY JUST DON’T GET IT, DO THEY? If asked, I bet 99% of the British public would object to Moran, Kirkbride et al ‘standing down at the next election’. Why have they got the luxury of choosing when to go? We, the people, want them out NOW. No perks, no golden handshake – OUT!

  21. Mark Settle says:

    It’s all well and good having a go at MPs for making claims, but somebody somewhere has approved these claims. Shouldn’t they be put under the spotlight, perhaps even more so than the MPs themselves?

  22. Dave Sadler says:

    I have like many others heard how these MPs, have justified their oversights etc. We are all now supposed to feel sorry for their plight! At the end of the day however they have shown just how they have treated the electorates trust,investigation will only go back 4 years? Will they make the same rule with tax returns for the common man ?Has everyone forgotten the scandals of over payment of family credit?

    These people are supposed to be setting standards and this standard is quite obviously how the disconnected of governance see the rest of our country! a double standard nation “It’s ok for us to do it but if you do it you will pay”. So lets see some ruling drag government into the 21st Century and show us all with crystal clear view that you can make yourselves fully accountable and transparent!!.

  23. Christopher Dixon says:

    Transparency is about real, total honesty and having the confidence to agree, in advance, to reveal any aspect of one’s business affairs, without first knowing in what area. It requires a completely clear conscience about how one operates – otherwise you would never agree to it. MP’s ‘get it’ all right, that’s why they avoid it like the plaque!

  24. James says:

    On C4 news your questioning on the TWO women MPs ,who will not stand again , focussed on Kirkbride only , as did Poly Toynbee. What happened to “balance” ? No mention of G Brown’s lack of action with his MPs?

  25. Hairyjack says:

    I agree absolutely with the sentiments of Morph366: ‘transparency’ is a term that really grates with me. Those of us of a certain age will remember that line in the Scritti Politti song- “Things aint clear, they’re just transparent”- but in this world of Newspeak that we now live in, ‘transparency’ is valued over truth and clarity.

  26. John Cowell says:

    I totally agree with Jon Snow. If we don’t see the process by which MPs are condemned by their own parties, we shan’t know whether some favoured members are scraping through to continue their careers, who have done almost the same as those who are being thrown to the wolves by their parties. And in all fairness, surely even someone who has simply claimed everything they could, has the right to mount a self-defence, however unconvincing. Jon should keep pressing for these secret panels to publish the full reasons for their decisions and allow the MPs to bring in legal representation – at their own expense, of course.

  27. Richard Liddle says:

    I am a support worker for disabled service users, about two years ago all supporters, carers, enablers who are employed by charities to do contract work provided by Social Services had their expenses stopped. In comparison to the expenses being claimed by MPs our expenses were absolute minimum, and then we had to provide receipts. MPs probably make weekly expense claims for travel costs alone that are possibly greater than our expense claim for the entire month. I would hate to think that an MP who has been abusing their own expenses had something to do with our expenses being stopped.

    As things are now the service users have to pay for our support, but even still, colleagues and myself find ourselves in situation where we have to incur costs that cannot be reimbursed. I’m sure MPs would be in an uproar should they have to work under similar circumstances.

    I do believe MPs should be able to redeem any costs that enable them to do their job, but each claim should have proof and should follow a set of guidelines that are transparent. As for claiming for a second home, I’m undecided, but like the army barracks, MP barracks has a certain ring to it.

  28. Geoff says:

    I was extremely disappointed to see David Cameron backing Julie Kirkbride to such an extent. Since when has ‘media scrutiny’ been a consideration when it comes to such wrongdoing? Also William Hague gave a lacklustre performance on BBC Question Time last week. It reminded me of the hopes there were when he became leader some years ago and then the way he just caved in to the old grandees and in the end it was the same old ‘nasty party’.

    Having started out with an edge in the way they tackled this, the Tories are fast losing that and looking just as dodgy as Mr Brown & Co.

    £22,500 spent on dry rot treatment at Ms Moran’s home. Wouldn’t that be an insurance claim for a normal person? Otherwise it would be a disaster. How many can find £22,500 for something like that?

  29. Anthony Martin says:

    Self regulation is the scourge of institutions. Removal of rot can only be effective when root and branch are pruned & systemically disinfected.

    There’ll never be trust in politicians all the time wealthy people have their corrupt influence setting the rules. Trust isn’t what we should have to give. The system is deliberately geared round secrecy and blatant arrogance. Britain is one of the most secret governments in the world and, we see why.

  30. Kate Begley says:

    It used to be called “due process”, and it is conspicuously absent from the current treatment of MPs, some of whom would appear to have broken the law, some have shown little or no integrity, though their behaviour is probably not actually criminal, and some are either innocent of any offence or have committed such small-scale breaches of the rules as to not be worth making such a big fuss about. And all this on the basis of stolen information which was offered to the highest bidding newspaper.
    How are we supposed to analyse all this, and reach a sensible conclusion? Clearly, we are not supposed to do any such thing.
    The first thing that needs to be done is to separate out the behaviour of (some)MPs from the behaviour of the press, who have done more to confuse the issues than to clarify. Then a proper – transparent – procedure needs drawing up, by which ALL MPs suspected of dishonest or unscrupulous behaviour can be assessed.
    What is going on now is a travesty of justice, a disgrace quite as significant as the bad behaviour of some MPs, and we should be ashamed of it.

  31. Philip Grimason says:

    The arrogance extends to taking no responsibility whatsoever and blaming the fees office.

    We have a another examle today with the “honourable member” for Upper Bann, David Simpson MP, who blames the fees office for being paid £1,500.00 twice:


    Yet this was overlooked until the recent scrutiny.

    The more revelations which emerge the more questions start need to be asked. What about previous years? Why have thousands annually been claimed in travel expenses for your spouse and your family?

  32. frank stanley says:

    all of the disgraced brass necked right honourables will remain on the gravytrain until the next election able to earn a few hundred thousand quid and still finish up with a very hefty pension. Like the bankers they will be laughing all the way to their overseas bank accounts.

  33. Anthony Martin says:

    Jon, don’t let up on the Tony Blair expenses issue. Also, when MPs stand down (albeit reluctantly) and, those who get booted out (which should be 90%), these bast…s should not be getting resettlement fees, golden ‘goodbyes’ and lucrative pension pots. They should get nothing and, be forced to pay back all their ‘perks’….yes the ones ‘within the gentlemens club rules’ (flaudulently put together by fat-cats)

  34. Geoff says:

    It’s just unbelievable. After 14 minutes of listening to Bill Cash I still don’t understand how he thought it was OK to rent a flat from his daughter and claim for the rent while letting his son live rent free in one he owned himself.If Mr Cash has to pay rent to his daughter, why doesn’t the son have to pay rent to Mr Cash?

    1. Steve says:

      It really is as simple as that, why indeed did he need to rent a flat from his daughter in Notting Hill, in order to perform his duties in Westminister when his own flat is situated in Pimlico. Jon Snow couldn’t have put it better to him when he stated that “this was about giving his son somewhere to live for nothing while enabling his daughter to make some money from a rent on her flat”. Bill Cash was just set o circumventing the honest answer that he should have given, YES!!

  35. Gery says:

    Why are M.Ps queuing up to return taxpayers money, and quit their seats, whilst at the same time claiming that they have done nothing wrong? Is anyone else as puzzled as I am?

    1. J B says:

      It’s called a pension with all the trimmings! the ammount they pay back will be very small in comparison to the money they will get for leaving…

      They know this and are more than willing to abuse the tax payer one last time.

  36. Steve says:

    Alot of the talk regarding the expenses row is now turning to the thought of mob justice with both Julie Kirkbride and Margret Moran agreeing that they will stand down. In certain corners of the media it is begining to be suggested that wome of the weight of public feeling is nothing more than a band waggon, a vehicle with which to ram the social class barrier and deliver a bloody nose to the ruling classes.

    It as to be said though this is not just about outrage at our political parents having treated themselves instead of us. This about the wider issue of trust or the lack of it. Whilst they regulate nearly every aspect of our daily lives, handing down the rules that must be obeyed, they in turn ask to regulate themselves, even in the face of such greed and self indulgence and deliberate missues of public resources.

    Futhermore they continue to spin and work the media, answering questions with a question when being asked something that feels a little to uncomfortable. David Cameron is one of the worst offenders, initially stating that public perception is what matters, that if the public percieve the use of expenses to be offensive then, he will deal with thematter as if policy had been broken, however, opts to try to support Julie Kirkbride, and punish other MP’s guilty (by his definition) of similar offenses.

  37. phil dicks says:

    Don’t (vote, that is),

    yours sincerely.


    1. Annie says:

      no phil voting is the only say we get – i’m moving away from party politics and at elections i’ll be checking out the independent candidates – martil bell turned out a pretty good independent – nobody to whip him about

    2. phil dicks says:

      Annie – you’re right. Have to stay positive; voting (even a spoil) is a positive-thing-to-do. Don’t know much about them, but I like the sound of that ‘Jury’ party – even if it is a ‘group of independents’ (can there be such a thing???)

  38. phil dicks says:

    JS – it does sound like a very British Guantanamo Bay. No representation, no precedent, no mandate.

  39. Steve Willis says:

    In the interests of transparency; I do not understand why the Metropolitan Police and HM Revenue & Customs have not been visibly active investigating the revelations about expenses of Members of Parliament. Jon, can you to call those organisations to account? In particular, you may wish to remind the Metropolitan Commissioner of Police of a piece of case law, notably; Blackburn vs Regina, which established the police cannot set aside the law and may be the subject of litigation if they do.

  40. Dennis Junior says:

    I hope that politicians….Get the “transparency” thing…Because, most citizens are getting tired of the ongoing scandals…

    [Not accusing any current politician of wrongdoing…And, all are presumed innocent until proven guilty]

    ~Dennis Junior~

  41. Jon says:

    Obliging MPs to sit for a constituency in which they have lived (I mean properly lived) for at least two years BEFORE being adopted would go some way to bring accountability and transparency to the process; this idea that some party grandee ought to be given a “safe” seat is perhaps an element that has encouraged the outrageous behaviour we have been reading about… Dream on!

  42. Ferdinand says:

    I’ve had enough. Let the tumbrils roll!

  43. Steven J Humphrey says:

    thusly proving that the Metropolitan Police are part of the conspiracy to defraud and pervert the course of Common Justice and therefore dishonours his Constable’s Oath, making his position untenable!!!

    You’re right: the police are legally a seperate entity from both the People AND Parliament, whose only job is to protect and serve The Law, which is, or supposed to ‘free and fair’, and therefore totally independent of political influence or they used to be…

    Each police constable also swears an oath to uphold the Law, so by not arresting any MP or Lord suspected of any crime, they are breaking that oath to HM Queen and that’s the greatest tragedy!

    even our police cant even do their jobs properly today!!!

    Oh and MP’s are subject to the same Laws as the rest of us, even the Human Rights Act, so I dont know where these ‘idiots’ get the idea that they are immune or ‘above the Law’ as some commentators have suggested…

    The Chief Superintentendent of the Metropolitan Police should be told this as soon as possible: anyone got his contact details and I’ll do it myself??

    Oh and tomorrow I’m sending off my own ‘first_affidavit’ accusing this Parliament of Treason to HM Queen at Buck Palace and at least then Her MAdge will know of my ‘discontent’ with this Parliament and the ‘idiots’ who falsely and treasonously purport to govern us…

  44. Steven J Humphrey says:

    here’s an except from a letter I wrote to Peter Haine MP, in 2007, then Secretary State for Employment at the DWP, with regard to the Welfare Reform Act 2007, way, way before he himself was asked to resign from his post:

    “So let me get this straight: there are 2.7 Million sick people out there that you want to rob, just so that you look good good on Teevee?
    “You want to steal Benefit Entitlement from sick people?
    “Why don’t you all look closer to home first? Like, why don’t you start means-testing Members of Parliament before you rob even more cash from British Citizens who, for decades, have been denied above inflation pay rises; British Citizens who have been kept in poverty; who live in poor and substandard housing and, who, frankly, need all the help they can get, including the help from their Government!
    “A Government frankly, that have been proven incompetent, corrupt and bankrupt of any moral fibre for more decades than I’ve been alive!
    “Instead, you Sir, are proposing to make the lives of the poorest, most deprived and most vulnerable Citizen’s lives even worse!!” [by imposing on us, benefit claimants, the Welfare Reform Act, 2007]

    Interesting prophetic history, hey??

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