I left a couple of comments...
Surely no-one can have any objection to the use of these powers to gather evidence against paedophiles?
Is that the sound of a dog-whistle that I hear? And have you not heard of the disastrous travesty that was Operation Ore?
Actually, yes, I do object to my communications being monitored in this way. And before you trot out the line about “having nothing to fear if you’ve nothing to hide”, I will respond with two points:
- Who I talk to is none of your business. It is never any of your business.
- Even if this government does not abuse these powers, can you speak for the next one? Or the next? Your government has put in place all of the fenceposts required to turn this country into a police state very, very easily.I believe that the aim of the terrorists is not to bring about a reduction in our civil liberties, but rather to kill as many people as possible - the more the better.
But to what end, Tom? Terrorists do generally have an objective — yes, even Islamist terrorists. Don’t they like the colour of our skin? Or is it that they believe our lifestyles to be unacceptably decadent, i.e. too liberal, and they wish to change that?
Anyway, thank you very much for pointing out that all of this monitoring is, in fact, initiated and controlled by an EU Directive that our elected Parliament can neither amend nor refuse: it merely confirms to us the fact that Westminster is little more than a rubber stamp for laws made outwith our elected Parliament.
So, remind me again: what do we pay you ludicrous amounts of money for?
But, like you, I suspect, nothing I’ve read so far causes me to change my mind.
Sure, but most of them won’t affect you, will they?
What do you care about having to ask the permission of police to protest outside Parliament? You are hardly going to protest against your own party.
What do you care if alcohol prices are forced up by the government? Your bars are subsidised by taxpayers.
What do you care if children are fingerprinted and put on a database? Yours are exempt.
What do you care that petrol prices are high — and that for every £1 spent, about 70p goes to the Treasury? You claim travel expenses, paid for by taxpayers.
What do you care that taxes are higher, that money is worth less? You and your cronies simply vote yourselves higher salaries and higher expenses limits (that you don’t stick to anyway).
What do you care that pensions have been destroyed (both by the current prices and Labour’s ACT)? Your pension is final salary and cast-iron guaranteed by the taxpayer.
What do you care about the soldiers — often for want of decent equipment — dying in your illegal foreign adventures? You aren’t on the frontline, and you need only mouth a few weasel words in Parliament when it’s one of your constituents that has died.
What do you care about any of this? If life gets more expensive, you and the rest of your Westminster buddies simply ensure that you are financially insulated.
What do you care for civil liberties? If you vote in more draconian and illiberal measures, you and your mates simply ensure that you are exempt.
So what do we care for you and your Parliamentary, Mr Harris? Not a lot, frankly.
What we see is a bunch of people, blithely acceding to the laws of an unelected EU Commission, and meanwhile shoving their snouts so firmly into the trough that they’ll soon be chewing through the bottom of it.
This is not a party issue, Tom, because the Conservatives will be little better (with all the EU laws on the statute books, they could not be if they wanted to): many of us loathe the lot of you.
There have been many surveys over the last few years, showing in just what little regard you and your corrupt chums are held. I repeat, this is not a party issue: the British public have little but total contempt for the lot of you.
This smug cunt deserves to be beaten like a fucking piñata. Especially since, after amassing a total of 248 comments on this subject so far (almost all of which are disagreeing with his stance in the most virulent terms), his response is sodding pathetic...
I think we’re all going to have to agree to disagree on this one, don’t you think?
Yeah, nice one, Tom. You fucking twat-monkey.
Just for the sake of interest, by the way, here's Tom Harris' voting record for this Parliament...
- Voted strongly against a transparent Parliament.
- Voted a mixture of for and against introducing a smoking ban.
- Voted strongly for introducing ID cards.
- Voted moderately for introducing foundation hospitals.
- Voted strongly for introducing student top-up fees.
- Voted very strongly for Labour's anti-terrorism laws.
- Voted very strongly for the Iraq war.
- Voted very strongly against an investigation into the Iraq war.
- Voted very strongly for replacing Trident.
- Voted very strongly for the hunting ban.
- Voted very strongly for equal gay rights.
and his expenses too. Last year...
- Additional Costs Allowance: £22,110 (joint 1st)
- London Supplement: £0
- Incidental Expenses Provision: £28,987 (23rd)
- Staffing Allowance: £78,576 (joint 484th)
- Members' Travel: £12,282 (123rd)*
- Members' Staff Travel: £864 (joint 147th)
- Centrally Purchased Stationery: £354 (joint 587th)
- Stationery: Associated Postage Costs: £993 (584th)
- Centrally Provided Computer Equipment: £917 (549th)
- Other Costs: £8,779 (15th)
- Total: £153,862 (55th)
*Car: £2,575 (359th). Rail: £2,052 (332nd). Air: £7,655 (62nd).
All of this is on top of a basic £61,820 salary plus, of course, since he was a Minister for a while, he got an extra big, fat cheque for doing—as far as anyone who has ever had to travel in this country can see—precisely fuck all.
It is worth noting, by the way, that if my company paid my expenses for my journey to the office, it would be taxed as a benefit in kind. Can anyone tell me whether MPs' expenses are taxed in the same way, or are they exempt (I seem to remember a blog post showing that they had a special exemption)?