Tuesday, February 05, 2008

MPs' expenses probe

So, an enquiry has been ordered over MPs' expenses.
A "root and branch" inquiry is to be carried out into all aspects of MPs' expenses, after days of allegations of improper use of public money.

Earlier, Commons Speaker Michael Martin said the estimates committee would seek a solution "as soon as is practicable".

But committee members Sir Stuart Bell, Nick Harvey and David Maclean are not expected to report until the autumn.

And who are these fine, upstanding MPs? Well, Guido has the details.
Monkey #1, Nick Harvey, a LibDem MP and former spinner for lobbyists Citigate Dewe Rogerson who still keeps his hand in as a consultant to parliamentary lobbyists Trimedia. Clearly the perfect choice to assess the shadowy influence of lobbyists given the tens of thousands he makes from the industry whilst a serving MP.

Monkey #2, David Maclean, the Conservative MP who tried to stop the Freedom of Information Act applying to MPs by using some very shifty parliamentary tactics. This provoked uproar and disgust leading to defeat after a few underhand shenanigans. Just the person to investigate calls for more transparency.

Monkey #3
, Sir Stuart Bell, a Labour MP who hired his son Malcolm as a researcher. But unlike Derek Conway's sons, Malcolm definitely used to turn up at Parliament. In fact, it was while working in Portcullis House that Malcolm broke into George Galloway's office, stole his chequebook and made off with £2,000 from Galloway's bank acocunt. Which must have been the first time Galloway was the victim of a fraud. Young Malcolm Bell got 60 days in a young offender's institute. So his father is just the person to look into whether MPs hiring members of their family can lead to fraud.

They must be laughing at us in the subsidised bars of parliament. Gunpowder is too good for 'em.

So's hanging. We'll just have to come up with some thing more inventive: it's time to sharpen the cockroaches and make sure that the Candiru fish are nice and lively...

UPDATE: The Nameless One covers this neatly, and finishes off with Cromwell [PDF].
"It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

"Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter'd your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

"Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil'd this sacred place, and turn'd the Lord's temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd, are yourselves gone!

"So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors. In the name of God, go!"

Isn't it amazing how nothing changes? Those who do not learnt the lessons of history...


Anonymous said...

Hidden in the BBC politics web pages:
'The BBC has learned an inquiry will be carried out by committee members - Labour MP Sir Stuart, Lib Dem Mr Harvey, and David Maclean, a Conservative MP who tried to stop the Freedom of Information Act applying to members of the House of Commons.'
So, the BBC have done a little digging but couldn't find anything on Labour MP Sir Stuart and Lib Dem Mr Harvey?

Newmania said...

You have missed the King of the swingers the Speaker himself who has misued funds to instigate Libel actions or the threat of them and dispenses god knows what goodies form this age encrusted position. It was he that has , in the past held out against the investigation so its an absolute farce from the word go.

Incidentally he is by common consent thw worst Speaker anyone can remember being weak on Parliamentary procedure ...ie his job.

Mulligan said...

I'm sure, in the spirit of keeping costs down hohoho, that Lord Hutton will be able to provide plenty of left over whitewash (unless Butler exhausted the entire supply with his spectacular effort).

Most of us could probably write the report ourselves today, given the obvious conclusions that will come out of the exercise.

Anonymous said...

Oddly enough, I've got some experience of Nick Harvey as he used to be my local MP a while back and I'd occasionally have to contact him for work purposes. As a constituency MP he always struck me as a pretty decent person and quite even handed. He was pretty good at getting back to people as well, which seems to be a surprisingly hard task for a lot of our elective representatives.

Whether or not his lobbying links make him the right person for this kind of inquiry is another matter and definitely questionable, although I've a lot more time for him than a lot of other politicians I've met.

David Maclean though? That's the equvilent of sticking two fingers up to everybody.

Anonymous said...

Citizens, here is the result of our root and branch purge of corrupt officials.

All are innocent and as pure as the driven snow.

Now citizens return to work as we need your tax money to continue working selflessy on your behalf.

Anonymous said...

In all honesty the amount of authoritarianism being displayed by this government and the leaders of parliament is astoundingly depressing. Are they making up for lost time or something, the news just keeps rolling in thick and fast of idiotic ideas and powers of the state increasing.

Gawain Towler said...

How can they learn the lessons from a history which they have never read?

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