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Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Another blow for free speech

The rate at which this government makes really bad decisions is staggering.

In response to the MPs' expenses scandal, the government wanted to create an 'independent' Parliamentary Standards Authority to investigate MPs. The creation of this body relies on new legislation which Labour is attempting to rush through Parliament in its obscene haste to enshrine it in law before the summer recess.

Jack Straw's ridiculous bill reduces the amount of time that an MP can spend in jail from 10 years to less than 1 year, thus enabling convicted MPs to vote and run for re-election. That's right - convicted criminals would be able to run for office and govern this country!

Worse still, the bill allows MPs to be prosecuted for their utterances in Parliament. One has to wonder what the government is trying to achieve here. Is this a deliberate attempt to curtail free speech or is this yet another example of Labour's incompetence? My money is on the former. This government has form in the curtailment of free speech department. Jack Straw is also trying to foist a new constitution on us - which should be rejected outright!

Sir Philip Mawer, giving evidence to the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said the proposals could open the door to "a rules-based system which lawyers will have a field day with and which may well cost the public more". Sir Philip, one of Gordon Brown's advisers said that the government's handling of the expenses scandal was "confused" and "inadequate".

Michael Jack, the Clerk of the House warned that these measures threaten to undermine Parliamentary sovereignty over the judiciary and would dilute MPs' sense of responsibility for their own actions.

Fortunately, senior Labour backbenchers have said they will not support the bill so it is unlikely to become law unless the government bribes them to support it.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Police brutality due to "lack of training"

If Keith Vaz and a report by the Home Affairs Committee are to be believed, the police brutality witnessed during the G20 was due to "lack of training".

The reports says “It is troubling that the policing operation relied so heavily on untrained, inexperienced officers [...] Future events may not be so calm and some officers will be found wanting through no fault of their own. This is a risk the police must not run. We cannot condone the use of untrained, inexperienced officers on the front line of a public protest under any circumstances and this must be avoided at all costs.”

Really? They expect us to believe that the police need to be trained to recognise what is and what is not reasonable behaviour?

This report smacks of another whitewash to me.

Amazingly, the report goes on to praize the G20 policing calling it “remarkably successful”.





Sunday, 28 June 2009

Born Free

Do you recall a time when freedom was a given? How remote that time seems in today's database, surveillance state where our freedoms are granted by the state.

We need a constitution which limits the powers of goverments - not one which grants inalienable rights to citizens.

Vote this b*stard government out and reclaim your freedoms.




Let your MP know how you feel about ID cards.

Kill off the ID card scheme

No2ID has heard rumours that Home Secretary Alan Johnson is "reviewing the ID card" scheme, with a view to delaying or killing it off.  Any delay of a year or more will effectively kill it off because the Tories plan to scrap it anyway.

It would be a pragmatic move on the part of Johnson, since spending money the government doesn't have on an ID card scheme the country doesn't want, which will be scrapped anyway, will help plug the massive hole in treasury coffers.

No2ID says:
The Identity Cards Act 2006 was never a complete system. It left vast amounts about the card, and the database, enrolment and enforcement, to be determined in regulations. The first batch of those regulations has appeared and MPs will be able to vote against them at a debate scheduled for July. Together they are far longer than the act itself, and there are numerous points of revealing detail and sheer bad drafting which give scope for legal and political attack. If the regulations are not approved by parliament the whole scheme will be stalled.

Please write to your MP now, *particularly if you have a Labour MP* and ask them to vote against the new statutory instruments that would allow the ID scheme to begin.
The ID card requires of its holders a large number of personal details and many of those holders are compelled to acquire an ID card. It is a massive imposition on the privacy of individuals and should be stopped - it is the thin end of a wedge, instigated by the EU.

Write to your MP. Insist that he oppose the ID card scheme.

77% of Germans want referendum on Lisbon Treaty

Contrary to popular belief, Germans don't like the Lisbon Treaty any more than we do. In fact, on 30 June, the German Constitutional Court will rule on the compatibility of the Lisbon Treaty with the German Constitution. Open Europe, in collaboration with the Institute for Free Enterprise in Berlin, has published a new poll which shows that 77% of Germans want to be given a say on the Lisbon Treaty in a national referendum.

Voters were asked: "Do you think that German voters should be given the opportunity to have their say on the new EU Treaty in a national referendum?"

77.3% said yes, 20.7% said no, and 1.9% said they don't know.

OpenEurope publishes some surprising facts on the German stance to the Lisbon Treaty and the EU in general.

Drowning in debt

It is tempting to think that America's debt problems belong to America alone, but that would be folly. The G20 nations regularly meet to align their countries' policies.  So when a policy is implemented in one G20 country, you can be sure that the same or similar policy will be implemented in the others, within the space of a few years.

With that thought in mind, view the following video - and fear for the UK.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

More Labour LIES: Immigration

2012 Olympic fraud

From the Taxpayers' Alliance:

And the fraud Gold Medal goes to...
The 2012 Olympics have plenty of legitimate troubles (budget overruns, design problems, accountability vacuum etc) without criminal ones, too. However, today's press reports suggest that it may not just have been incompetence that has been costing the taxpayer so much money in the run up to 2012.

It seems that a "routine audit" ordered by Boris Johnson of the full Olympic operation has found that the Olympic Legacy Directorate, which is in charge of buying up the land for the Games, has got a £100 million black hole in its books.

As far as it is possible to tell from what has so far been released, the OLD should have money in the bank ready to pay the remaining companies who have not yet been compensated for their land. But a good chunk of the cash simply isn't there.

This is very worrying- as well as the potential loss itself, the need to compensate these companies remains and that could require money to be diverted from other budgets, many of which are already at breaking point or well over their limits.

As an aside, it is one of the oddities of quango nomenclature that the Legacy Directorate is actually a purely pre-2012 department and will be wound up in October of this year, rather than sticking around to oversee the post-2012 legacy after which it is named. Instead, it will hand over its budget to a separate legacy company which will be run at arms' length. This finding shows the importance of transparency, scrutiny and full, regular auditing. The Legacy company will be even less open to all those things than the OLD was - and look what's happened there.
Email Tessa Jowell and ask her what happened to the £100 million: jowellt@parliament.uk 

The TPA does a magnificent job on our behalf - free. Why not become a member and receive regular email updates?

Friday, 26 June 2009

And the Big Brother bogeyman is ... the EU

OpenEurope reports:
European Commission wants database for all 500 million citizens, raising "big brother" concerns

The European Commission has proposed to set up a new agency to oversee all its large-scale IT systems, thereby bringing together management of three key systems - the Schengen Information System, Visa Information System and Eurodac - plus other related applications, into a single operational structure.
Webwereld reports that human right groups have expressed fears for big brother implications, as this would mean that data on all 500 million European Union citizens and all illegal migrants would be merged into a database for "freedom and security". The cost of the system would be €113 million in the first 3 years, and later €10 million per year following that.
As if we hadn't already guessed that this government was kowtowing to its political masters, while attempting to hide the fact from the electorate.

For the uninitiated, now you see why Brown is not listening to you. He doesn't take his instructions from you, plebian. You are his serf, the property of the EU which is Brown's political master.

Unless we rid ourselves of the EU, democracy is dead in the UK.

Computing.co.uk, Webwereld

Bercow watch: Balls in breach of House rules

Today, a third test of Bercow's resolve presented itself in the form of Ed Balls, Brown's bruiser. Since Bercow's appointment as Speaker, he has passed one test and failed one; he berated Brown for pre-announcing his HoC statement in the press but showed his partisanship repeatedly by favouring Labour over heckling issues.

Balls announced the scrapping the government's National Strategies for Education in the media before giving a statement to that effect in the House.

Conservative MP for Christchurch, Chris Chope, in a point of order, called for Balls to apologise to the House for pre-announcing the scrapping of the policy in the media:
"On Wednesday Mr Speaker said when ministers have key policy statements to make the House must be the first to hear them.

"In clear breach of that ruling, today the Schools Secretary has announced through the Guardian and the BBC that the Government has abandoned its literacy and numeracy strategy.

"Either Mr Balls is himself illiterate or contemptuous of the Speaker's ruling - or both."
He asked the Deputy Speaker what powers she had to coerce Balls to apologise to the House and was told that the matter would be put to Bercow.

Balls had announced the scrapping of prescriptive teaching and oversight of literacy and numeracy periods in primary schools. The move is calculated to save £100 million per year.

Let's see if Bercow can improve his score.

Tom Utley's conspiracy theory


Tom Utley is 95% sure that Mandy is propping up Brown in order to secure the prize of the Lisbon Treaty - the deliverance of the UK on a plate to the EU, for his traitor's shekels. Brown is happy to oblige, so keen is he to cling to power and so keen is he to further the EU projekt.

Utley is not alone. Many of us have suspected this ever since the Prince of Darkness descended upon Westminster to revive the fortunes of McBean the walking dead. Dan Hannan weighed in with his belief that this indeed was the case.

How low can this government get?

It is clear that Brown intends to fight very dirty to cling onto power - there is no level too low to which the Prime Mentalist will stoop.

Labour lost one motion but won several others by a small margin to regionalise debates that should take place in Parliament. What is so disturbing about this is that the opposition parties first learned of Labour's plans when they were published on the House's order papers - without discussion or debate in the House.

This is a matter for Parliament to decide - not for an unelected, megalomaniac mental case!

Outf**kingrageous!

I was gobsmacked when Dhanda, one of the Speaker candidates, spoke of regionalising parliamentary debates and at the time, wondered where the hell that idea came from, right out of the blue.

Now it seems clear that this emanated from the Labour party - a sort of stalking policy looking for traction from the MPs' expenses scandal.

The regionalisation smacks of the sticky, all-pervasive hand of the EU, which would like to see England disappear, and the English parliament made into an irrelevance - all the easier to take over and control the land and the people of England.

The evil freaking b*stards!

Amazing coincidence that these debates are to take place during the weeks of the opposition parties' autumn conferences - not a single one schedule during the Labour Party's conference.

Cameron, Clegg, Farage - I hope you are ready for a knock-out fight. Brown is a dangerous man and has to be taken out.

Full story from the BBC:

Chamber of House of Commons
The idea is to hold more committee meetings outside London
The government has suffered a defeat in the Commons over part of its plan for MPs to hold debates across England.

Tory and Lib Dem MPs attacked the plans for so-called Regional Grand Committees to meet in September and October.

They were annoyed there had been no debate on the timings and location of the sessions.

A proposed session in Nottingham on 9 September was rejected by 104 votes to 98. Seven other regional meetings were approved but voting was close.

The first vote, for a meeting of South West MPs in Exeter on 3 September was passed by just nine votes, while a committee held in Reading of South East MPs went through by just seven votes.

'No debate'
The Nottingham meeting would have involved East Midlands MPs discussing the economy.

But the government's plans - which have already been criticised by opposition parties for being too costly - came under fire in the Commons when a series of dates and locations were listed - but there was no opportunity to debate them.

Tory chief whip Patrick McLoughlin questioned the timing, adding: "Indeed, some of these regional grand committees are taking place when both the Liberal Democrat party conference is and the Conservative party conference, yet none are taking place when the Labour Party conference is taking place."

It now appears after the recent defeat of the government that this policy is in complete disarray
Alan Duncan
Conservatives
He was told there was "no possibility of discussion and debate, merely a vote" as the items were on the Commons order paper.

Conservative Yorkshire MP Greg Knight was annoyed a meeting of the Yorkshire and Humber committee was scheduled for Barnsley when he said it should be in Bridlington.

And for the Lib Dems, David Heath said MPs had been "given no notice of these motions beyond the fact that they were on the order paper today" - he was told no amendments could be added.

The government narrowly won the first vote, for a South West committee, by nine votes.
But it then lost the Nottingham vote by six votes. The following five votes were narrowly won by majorities of seven, eight, 15, 19, 21 and finally 25 votes.
Among those opposing the proposal was Alan Duncan, Shadow Commons leader and MP for Rutland.

He called for a statement from Commons leader Harriet Harman and urged her to withdraw the motions and go "back to the drawing board".
"It now appears after the recent defeat of the government that this policy is in complete disarray," he said.

A spokesman for Ms Harman said Labour MPs had not been instructed to vote for the government's policy.

He said: "These are matters for the House to reach a decision on. The leader is disappointed at the outcome. She feels that the grand committees could have engaged in valuable work in September."

The committees were set up last year in an effort to improve accountability and as a forum for ministers with responsibility for economic development in the English regions to outline their strategies.

But some MPs opposed the idea, saying it was too costly and would further increase government patronage.

Michael Jackson has died, aged 50

Michael Jackson died of a heart attack, according to TMZ.com.

He suffered a massive heart attack at his home in Los Angeles and called 911 at around noon, Los Angeles time.

Paramedics tried to revive him after he stopped breathing. 

Jackson had postponed his gigs a number of times having been warned that he wasn't fit enough to take them on.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

The truth is back in business

Lord Elvis of 10 Drowning Street is back in business after his epiphany. Thank heavens.

If you agree with him:
There is a rotten core in this country that is eating away at our rights and our democracy. It is well hidden and well disguised, but it is there nonetheless. In my opinion the whole expenses scandal has been a deliberate and well-planned attempt to undermine our sovereign Parliament and allow the unelected and unaccountable forces of darkness to sieze control. Of that I am sure.
... please visit his blog.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Brown's green shoots

At PMQs today, Brown droned on about spending his way out of recession, trying to justify his incontinent spending with claims that inflation isn't a worry.

Yet.

Meanwhile, Mervyn King, Governor of the BoE bore witness at the Treasury Select Committee hearing:
“The speed of which the fiscal stimulus should be withdrawn has to depend on the state of the economy. …The scale of the deficit is truly extraordinary. 12.5 percent of GDP is not something that anybody would have anticipated even a year or two ago. And this reflects the scale of the global downturn.

But it also reflects the fact that we came into this crisis with fiscal policy itself on a path that wasn’t itself sustainable and a correction was needed.

There will certainly need to be a plan for the lifetime of the next parliament, contingent on the state of the economy, to show how those deficits will be brought down if the economy recovers to reach levels of deficits below those which were shown in the budget figures.”
... which blasts a hole right through McMental's cunning plan to flood the country with money we can't afford. Clearly, King knows that the UK's fiscal woes are home grown. Let's see how Gordon wriggles on this particular hook. King predicted that the second-quarter's growth will be negative and that we might not return to zero growth until the new year. He said we can't wait for the next parliament before spelling out how the budget deficit will be reduced.

Richard Lambert, Director General of the CBI and former member of the BoE's MPC, said that the treasury's current plans are not sustainable and we need plans to get the economy back in balance.

Even "figures close to Gordon Brown" said that the Labour spending / Tory cuts gambit is unsustainable and an inadequate platform on which to fight the next election.

Sneery Paxo on Newsnight last night alluded to friction between No. 10 and No. 11 and that King supported Darling's stance. King defended Darling robustly on the TSC, so it would seem that Brown is out-flanked.

Opposition motion to hold Iraq inquiry in public fails

After impassioned speeches from all parties, the motion to hold the inquiry into the Iraq war failed by 299 to 260 votes.

After much criticism, Brown to his earlier decision to make the inquiry private, he said it was up to the inquiry's chairman, Sir John Chilcot, to decide whether to hold some sessions in public.

As usual, the government's arguments were specious and wooden - the same lame arguments it uses for everything else. And yet, it defeated the motion.

Of one thing the Labour government can be sure - if the inquiry does not satisfy the public that it is fairly, openly and honestly conducted, the public will not let this rest and neither will the Conservatives.

Once Labour is out of power, it can expect another Iraq inquiry, over which it will have no control. Labour is putting off until tomorrow what it should do today and they will regret it.

Brown takes you for a fool

Bercow watch: Is he true to his pledges?

Iain Dale and Donal Blaney have highlighted Bercow's failings - on his first day.

23rd June 2009:
  1. Brown improperly revealed the contents of his parliamentary statement to BBC's world at One before he announced it in the House. (Originally reported by Paul Waugh)
  2. Although Labour MPs were guilty of heckling and unruly behaviour, Bercow chose instead to berate only Tory MPs for the same - Daniel Kawczynski, Bill Cash and Sir John Stanley.
Let Fausty know if you spot further evidence of Speaker Bercow's failure to act in accordance with his manifesto pledges.

Email me at faustiesblog@googlemail.com

Update: In today's PMQs, Bercow made a statement to the House insisting that the house must be the first to hear information from ministers who are due to make a statement to the House "and they must not be released beforehand" to the media.

The PR middleman, the Barclay brothers and the expenses scandal

Henry Gewanter, interviewed on Newsnight last night, is the middleman who was asked to field the MPs' expenses data to news outlets, with strict conditions attached.

The newspapers were to publish the expenses of members of all parties but not to expose the identity of the source, even under threat of legal action.

Most of the newspapers approached were eager to obtain the data but sought to impose conditions that were unacceptable to Gewenter and the leak's source. One paper wanted to use the data to destroy the Labour Party (if only) - a detail that has not been reported in British newspapers.

Gewanter said: “This was clearly the biggest exclusive that any journalist on any newspaper I’ve ever talked to would ever get,” Mr. Gewanter said. “And yet I still had to go to more than one newspaper. I was amazed at the lack of vision.”

Nadine Dorries postulated that neither Labour nor the Conservatives were sufficiently eurosceptic for the Barclay brothers who had a hidden agenda in publishing the expenses data. She wrote on her blog that the Telegraph “set upon a deliberate course to destabilize Parliament” by making members of both parties look bad, with the aim of benefiting far-right groups that want Britain to pull out of the EU".


The Barclays' lawyers are alleged to have demanded a retraction, causing Nadine to take her blog offline temporarily while she removed from it the offending bits. The lawyers described Nadine's allegations as “absolutely untrue and highly libelous.”

Whether or not the allegations are true, the Telegraph has done the country a great service, allowing the scandal to flush out the troughers and herald a new dawn in politics. Potentially.

It remains to be seen whether or not Speaker Bercow will push for the needed changes and whether or not MPs, the ultimate deciders, will sanction such changes.

Their judgment of late has been little short of dire, so I don't expect anything but the most superficial changes - and then, business as usual ... until the next election, when we pass our judgment on them.



The island of Sark,
home of the Barclay Brothers.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

The hypocrisy of Labour - smearing again

Labour MP Salter, John Bercow’s campaign manager, called Bercow's critics “intolerant” and “bigoted”. He claimed that Dorries's assertion that Mr Bercow received only three Tory votes was "a lie and a smear".

Asked about the Conservatives' attitude to Bercow, Salter said: “I think they should grow up. The election of the Speaker is above party politics.

“It’s a shame that these people are so intolerant, so bigoted, that they cannot give the new Speaker at least a few weeks.

“There’s no way that this was organised by the front bench of either political party. No Speaker has achieved such wide support."

He then went on to smear Dorries, saying that she has: “clearly got severe personal problems with John Bercow. She wrote a disgraceful attack on him in the Mail on Sunday of all places. She said that he’s unfit to serve as Speaker because his wife is a Labour voter."

“I did the numbers and to get 321 votes we would have needed at least 15 to 20 Conservatives. So that is a lie and a smear, along with all the other lies and smears.”


It's laughable that a Labour MP who accuses Dorries of a smear, then goes on to smear Dorries! The hypocrisy of Labour seems to know no bounds.

Grubby MPs do it again

Just when you think you're at a turning point in depressing times - that things can only get better - Labour MPs indulge in grubby politics and elect the most unsuitable of all candidates to be Speaker.

Did anyone notice that during Speaker Bercow's acceptance speech in the Commons, he addressed mainly the Labour benches? He fawned. It was as though he were affirming some pact which he had made with them.

Tory MP Nadine Dorries accuses Labour of playing party politics with the vote and says it is "almost a two-fingered salute" to the public.

Not that Nadine's star shines much. But she's right.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Bercow is Speaker of the House

The first Jewish Speaker in Parliament's history.

From PoliticsHome:

Third ballot
John Bercow 322
Sir George Young 271
Second ballot
John Bercow 221
Sir George Young 174
Margaret Beckett 70 (withdrew)
Sir Alan Haselhurst 57 (withdrew)
Sir Alan Beith 46 (withdrew)
Ann Widdecombe 30 (eliminated)
First ballot:
John Bercow 179
Sir George Young 112
Margaret Beckett 74
Sir Alan Haselhurst 66
Sir Alan Beith 55
Ann Widdecombe 44
Parmjit Dhanda 26 (eliminated)
Richard Shepherd 15 (eliminated)
Sir Patrick Cormack 13 (eliminated)
Sir Michael Lord 9 (eliminated)
Did anyone notice how Bercow, in his acceptance speech, addressed mainly the Labour benches?

He has the responsibility of resurrecting Parliament to the respectable institution it once was. Let's hope he succeeds.

Speaker - results of first voting tranche

594 votes cast in total - one spoilt.

Bercow

179 30%
Young

112 19%
Beckett

74 12%
Hazelhurst
66 11%
Beith

55 9%
Widdecombe
44 7%
Dhanda

26 4%
Shepherd
15 3%
Cormack

13 2%
Danda

13 2%
Lord

9 2%


Candidates are deciding who is to drop out - those with less than 5% automatically drop out.

Voting for the resumes at 18:00.

The Speakership election schedule can be found here.

Updates:

19:08: Only Sir George Young and John Bercow in the race. Next voting round at about 19:25 and the final result probably out by 20:30.

Young Iranian woman bleeds to death in protest

A young woman, shot by police during the Iranian protests dies on video.  This video is unsuitable for under 18s and people of a nervous disposition.

Immigration up 57% on last year

This government likes to tell us, ad nauseam, that it is listening.

Why then will it be issuing a record number of passports this year to migrants?

54,615 applications for citizenship were approved in the first three months of 2009 - a 57% increase on the same period in 2008, says the Mail. Should approvals continue at this rate, 210,000 will have been granted citizenship by the end of the year, each having full rights to:
  • child benefit,
  • income support,
  • sickness benefit,
  • council and housing tax benefits
  • council housing,
  • NHS care,
  • their partners and offspring living in the UK.
How many of them do not claim? How many of them pay tax? How large are their families? Do these benefits extend to polygamous applicants and the multitudes of offspring of their many wives?

How much will that cost the taxpayer?

In 1997, the 37,000 applications were approved - over the entire year. That's one fifth of the current level of immigration, not even counting the illegal immigrants.

The government can't even claim that they are powerless to stop this migration as most of these these migrants hail from India, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia and Zimbabwe!

I expect Phil Woollas to retort "it wasnae me", like so many of his fellow hoons.

Chris Grayling's wet response was: "This is yet another example of the Government's incompetence in managing our immigration system."

You don't say!

Police: who watches the watchers?

Emily Apple, a single mum from Cornwall was manhandled and arrested by police in Kingsnorth, for asking for a police officer's number. He wasn't wearing his badge.



Courtesy of the Guardian

Blears' tears - the Ginger Chipmunk feels the heat

The Ginger Chipmunk looks fraught, poor dear.  Pity she keeps repeating the same old guff, over and over, no matter what question is asked.



Hat tip: Old Holborn

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Procedure for the election of Speaker tomorrow

From PoliticsHome on 12th June:
9:30: Michael Martin is no longer Speaker of the House. The Chair is immediately assumed by the Father of the House, who is currently Alan Williams - the Labour Member for Swansea West since 1964.

09:30 to 10:30: There is a one hour window for nominations to be Speaker to be formally lodged with the clerks at the Table Office. Nominations must be in writing, and must consist of a signed statement of intent by the candidate, accompanied by not fewer than twelve and not more than fifteen signatures of other Members, of which at least three must be from a different party than their own. No Member can nominate more than one person.

11:00: Lists of the candidates are placed in the lobby and published.

14:30: The candidates are permitted each to address the House. The order of speaking will be decided by lot (arranged by the Father of the House). After all the candidates have spoken, proceedings will move directly to the first ballot. The presiding member (Alan Williams) will not be allowed to vote.

16:00: The first secret ballot takes place in the lobbies. Each member will be provided with a ballot paper with the list of candidates listed in alphabetical order. After half an hour the ballot shall be declared closed.

16:00-17:00: Counting takes place by the Clerk of the House, and as soon as possible the results of the first ballot are announced to the House.

If any candidate has received more than half the votes cast, the Presiding Member will put the question to the House that the member becomes the Speaker.

If no candidate has received more than half the votes cast, the candidate who received the fewest votes is removed, as well as any candidates who received less than 5% of the votes, and any candidates who have voluntarily withdrawn.

There is then a second ballot, and so on, until a candidate gets more than 50% of the House's support.

Dragging to the Chair

Once a candidate is agreed, they will immediately become the Speaker-Elect, and will be conventionally dragged to the Chair by their supporters.

The appointment needs to be approved by the Monarch, through the commissioners in the Lords. If the Lords is still in business at the hour that a candidate is agreed on, he or she can be confirmed straight away, and can ascend the Chair as Speaker.
Who will win? My hope is for Sir George Young, but Ben Brogan favours Sir Patrick Cormack and the Labour whips are trying to whip up support for the discredited Margaret Beckett or John Bercow.

It would be ridiculous for MPs to vote for anyone implicated in the expenses scandal, but MPs haven't shown great judgment so far.

John Rentoul tries to dig Labour out of its own hole

In the Independent, John Rentoul tries to paint the Tories as being more wicked than Labour regarding the expenses scandal, when in fact it is the other way round.

He says:
In the haste shown by both parties to set up procedures to judge the misdemeanours and hold back the tide of mob justice, mistakes have been made. But there seems to be a larger, systemic injustice, which is that those treated harshly tend to be Labour. Yes, I know many Tory MPs feel hard done-by. Last week, they circulated a letter accusing David Cameron of "Stalinism" – one of the least wounding insults in politics, fixated as it is with the idea of strong leadership. But the striking difference is between Blears and Ussher on one hand and Osborne on the other. There is, of course, one other difference, which is that the sums of money involved on the Tory side are much larger – according to the Daily Mail, Osborne made a £748,000 profit from the sale of his London house three years ago.

It may be only by his speed and decisiveness that Cameron has headed off awkward questions about why Tory MPs, including him, have done so well out of taxpayer-funded property investment. As the Government, Labour is obviously more exposed, but Gordon Brown's clumsiness has made it worse for his side.
Firstly, we have no way of knowing whether the accusatory letter was even sent by a Tory. As far as we know, it could have been sent by the likes of McBride. He has form.

Secondly, There were more Labour MPs who 'suffered' than Tory, simply because more Labour MPs transgressed! And their crimes were of a greater magnitude.

Why is Alistair Darling not facing sanction, when he was guilty of the worst of the offenses - flipping in order to maximise his monthly income, and to avoid paying inheritance tax? Why should such a man be in the Cabinet, let alone in charge of the country's finances, if he can't be trusted with his own expenses? He should have been axed!

Making a profit on the sale of your property is not a crime. Were it a crime, why have we not seen the likes of Hoon prosecuted? He, after all, made a fortune, financed by the public.

Gordon Brown was at the heart of creating this expenses fiasco in the first place - do you not recall that he was the worst Chancellor ever, before he became the worst Prime Minister in British history?

Take off your rose-tinted spectacles Rentoul. We've all had ours torn off with a vengeance, years ago.

Make no mistake - Brown will be the ruination of the Labour Party. He destroys everything he touches. And he won't go unless he is prized out of No. 10 with a crowbar, even if it destroys the Labour party and Britain.

Quote of the day

"So the next time a ‘Eurosceptic’ presents himself to you for election, ask him why he won’t go the extra yard (not metre), and if he won’t do so, find a man who can. The time for scepticism is long past. What is there left to have doubts about? The thing is as bad as we feared. The time for secession has arrived."
Peter Hitchins

Recommended Reads

Britain's assassins

Brown, Mandy or their lackeys are putting it about that Brown will step down before the end of 2009.

Simon Walters says of Brown that "despite his unpopularity in Britain, his economic skills have won him international plaudits".

Brown? Economic skills? The man whose lax regulation coupled with low interest rates brought about the near collapse of the economy?

Brown will cling on until the Lisbon Treaty is signed, because that's what Mandy and his EU masters want him to do. He won't go until the Lisbon Treaty is ratified to ensure that the Tories can't bin it easily.

Let's not forget - the Scots have no love for the English or the English way of life. The EU doesn't much care for them either. Between the Scottish Mafia and the europhiles, England has been given a nasty dose of swine flu. Brown and Mandy want to ensure that the disease is fatal - they can't allow Cameron to resuscitate the patient they have brought to near death.

Cameron disowns Clarke's remarks on Lisbon

Last week, Ken Clark alarmed prospective Tory voter by proclaiming:

"If the Irish referendum endorses the treaty and ratification comes into effect, then our settled policy is quite clear that the treaty will not be reopened.

"But it has also been said by David Cameron – and he means it – that it will not rest there, and he will want to start discussions on divisions of competence between national states and the centre of the EU."

Now the Telegraph "understands" that Cameron and Osborne have sought to assure MPs that Clarke's remarks were not in accord with their "strongly eurosceptic" stance on Europe which is to reduce the power of Brussels.

Cameron has still not pledged to hold a referendum on the treaty should all member states have ratified it when the Tories come to power, as articulated by Tory MP, Philip Davies:

"We need to bring powers back from Europe but I don't think it's clear at the moment how we are going to do it. What happens if the Irish vote 'yes', which they probably will? That is when William Hague's problems begin. We are pinning our hopes on it not being ratified but it looks as if it will be so we desperately need a plan B. I don't think there is one."

"I don't see how we can repatriate a few powers here and there unless we are prepared to use the nuclear option which is to say 'if you don't allow us to have these powers back we are going to leave the EU altogether'. That is the only way you can negotiate."

None of which is reassuring.

We can be sure that Brown intends to cling to power until the treaty is ratified - which could happen by October, should the Irish vote Yes. The Czechs have said they would ratify the treaty only if the Irish vote Yes.

Dan Hannan believes that Mandelson is prepared to destroy Labour, by propping up lame-duck Brown, until the treaty is ratified, knowing that Cameron would kill it if he does not. Hannan says:

"European Commissioners are obsessed with the need to keep David Cameron at bay until the Lisbon Treaty is ratified."

... and that "Mandelson is their agent, their man in Westminster."

Dan Hannan's article suggests that Brussels is pulling Mandelson's strings, exerting its influence over a sovereign state. That it is subverting our democracy via an unelected Mandelson, to gain power over Britain.

The EU lavishly rewards leaders and politicos of sovereign states who sell their countries for lucre. The EU is a cancer, each of its mutant politico cells spreading their corruption through nation states, laying waste to all that is healthy in democracy.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

MPs' expenses: differences between raw and unredacted versions

The Telegraph's Ben Brogan takes you through three examples of raw and unredacted versions of MPs' expenses to show how the Commons' version entirely fails to highlight the serious abuses of the system perpetrated by MPs.



Update: See 25 further examples of abuses you wouldn't have known about had they not been published by the Telegraph.

My choice of Speaker: Sir George Young


Sir George Young, Chairman of the HoC Standards and Privileges Committee, is fair-minded, has a steady hand and displays an even, polite temperament. He has gravitas, is an experienced parliamentarian, intimately acquainted with the workings and history of Parliament.

His manifesto pledges respect the institution of the HoC and he doesn't threaten to throw the baby out with the bath water as a few of his trendy contenders intend to do. He doesn't kowtow to the weather vane of public opinion although he takes it into account in his considered proposals.

In brief, his manifesto for Speakership:
  • PMQs moved to Thursday to give more time for parliamentary debate during the week.
  • Select Committee Chairmen to present reports to the House and to take questions and invite debate.
  • Permit backbenchers to chair Select Committees.
  • Speaker as catalyst to reform and management of the House, acting more as referee than player.
  • Act as ambassador for the House, hosting seminars on constitutional change, strengthening links with the Lords for a more holistic approach to government.
  • Formulate a procedure to get rid of an undesirable or unpopular Speaker.
Who is your choice of Speaker, and why?

Friday, 19 June 2009

McBride revisited

Scotland on Sunday reported that McBride was back working for Brown - which seemed plausible due to the various McBride-like smears which have occurred since. Stealth and deception are Brown's favoured tools, it seems.

Then, at this week's PMQs, when challenged on McBride's 'employment' by a Tory, Brown answered a different question to the one he was asked. Slippery.

Alex Singleton suspects McBride is on the payroll - MarkReckons, too.

Today's top articles and blogs

On Sunday, the Telegraph plans to publish full details of all MPs' expenses and correspondence with the Fees Office, only blanking out telephone numbers and bank details. Next week, it will make available an online searchable version of this information.

MPs may now face a legal challenge, as Parliament stands accused of subverting a High Court judgment which ordered the full disclosure of the taxpayer-funded expense claims last year.
The Telegraph's Leader is scathing about Parliament's handling of the expenses scandal

In the Mail, Tom Utley catalogs Brown's lies

Dan Hannan gives the Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Yusuf al-Barroso a verbal biffing

Ben Brogan highlights the confusion sewn by MPs on the redacting culprits

Brown agrees financial regulatory framework with EU

From PoliticsHome:
Gordon Brown, speaking in Brussels following the European summit, has said that a framework for financial regulation in Europe has been agreed, and stressed that stronger cross-border financial regulation was good for Britain.

The Prime Minister, answering questions from the media, said "today we've moved forward on Lisbon. We've moved forward with stronger financial supervision".

He added that the progress made on the Lisbon Treaty "does not affect the relationship between the Union and the member states" and said "the House of Commons will have a say when it comes to the next accession treaty".

He also said European leaders had agreed that “Jose Manuel Barroso is the right man to lead the European Commission…for the next five years. Europe is and will be a better Europe under his leadership.
There's plenty wrong with the above:

Firstly, prior to this summit, McMental was allegedly against the framework as it meant that the EU could order Britain to pump more money into banks, thus ceding control of our financial authority to the EU. He had complained that since UK banks had interests around the world, Britain would in effect be propping up world-wide assets.

What happened to that argument in the space of two days?

Secondly, his acknowledgment that we've "moved forward on Lisbon" suggests that this was his intention all along.

Thirdly, "the House of Commons will have a say when it comes to the next accession treaty" is simply untrue. The Lisbon Treaty is "self-amending", meaning that the EU needs no consent from us via an inconvenient referendum or treaty for "ever closer union" - it can go ahead and do what it likes to make closer union a reality.

Finally, Barroso is the "right man to lead the European Commission"?!

Update: Nigel Farage outlines the gravity of the decision Brown has now taken:



Brown will be responsible for killing off Britain's life blood - its financial industry.

That's treason, Mr Brown. Sleep well.

Help the Taxpayers' Alliance to help you - MPs' expenses

Matthew Elliot of the Taxpayers' Alliance needs your assistance:



Dear Taxpayer,


I'm writing to you to thank you for signing the petition that the TaxPayers' Alliance and Heather Brooke jointly launched a month ago to press for full transparency in MPs' expenses. Your support for the campaign to find out exactly how our elected representatives have been spending our money is very much appreciated. I'm pleased to say that we are making progress, but there are several ways that you can help to keep up the pressure for full transparency.

As you will have seen, today Parliament has released partial details of MPs' expenses, but the crucial second home addresses remain secret. We will of course continue to campaign for the publication of second home addresses, but in the meantime we need your help to scrutinise the information that has been released. While the Daily Telegraph has done a great service to us all, it has only published information about a minority of MPs. With your help, we can ensure that every MPs' expenses are properly scrutinised.


What to do

  1. Please follow this link to access the expenses details.Pick an MP. Please start with your local MP, no matter how obscure they are - this will help us to cover the greatest range of Parliamentarians.
  2. Scrutinise all of the available documents. Three types of expenses details have been released: The Additional Costs Allowance (second homes), the Incidental Expenses Provision (office costs) and the Communications Allowance (a £10,000 fund for "communicating" with or propagandising constituents).
  3. Please note any absurd, dubious, petty, greedy or amusing claim, noting the link to the relevant document and the page the claim appears on. Secretive MPs, such as those who have blacked out the details of what they have claimed for, are also of interest.
  4. Please send your observations to us as a response to this email.

Barely facts


The Independent

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Conservatives' vote losers

There are two issues about which the public feel very strongly - Britain's debt and a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty/EU.

Inheritance tax -v- Britain's borrowing:

By 2013, Britain's debt* will be just under £3 trillion, given McMental's spending commitments which include current borrowing, PFI (off-balance sheet), public sector pensions and bank bailouts. So far. This could rise if Brown decides to purchase public affection with more debt or if further bank/business bailouts are 'needed'.

The markets rightly view this vast debt with alarm, as it saddles the taxpayer with the equivalent of a second home mortgage. There is only so much the average household can afford to pay in extra tax. To service this debt, the government will therefore have to borrow. That's right - borrow more money to pay the interest on what it has already borrowed. When it becomes clear that nobody is prepared to purchase our debt, the cost of borrowing will rise, so increasing our debt cost in a vicious upward spiral.

This economics from the mad house is where Brown feels right at home.

The public is deeply uneasy about our prospects - especially those in fear of redundancy and on low incomes because they don't have sufficient disposable income to build up a safety net should the financial floor crumble beneath their feet.

They worry about the basic services and do not want to see their taxes spent on people who are comfortably off - the category into which they would put people faced with inheritance taxes.

Cameron should promise to reduce inheritance tax only when the threat of job redundancies and falling living standards has slowed or reversed. It's no good promising to fund inheritance tax decreases with efficiency savings, because those savings would be better spent paying back our debt and improving our credit rating.

Referendum:

The Tories have been wriggling and writhing on this for years. We are almost at crunch point at which the wretched treaty is in danger of being ratified by all member states. When that occurs, the vast majority of people will want a referendum on it, or on our membership of the EU.

Our sovereignty is at stake here and along with it, our freedoms. The ruling classes have to realise that life for them as the 'elites' is vastly different to life for the rest of us.

If Cameron doesn't tackle this decisively and openly, he will find his stock falling to the point where he is in danger of winning the general election with an awkwardly small majority.

He can't say he hasn't been warned.

* See Taxpayers' Alliance.
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