Posts Tagged 'MPs'

Met Office 1 Public Purse 0

And so, one year after MPs doggedly refused to examine the evidence of Met Office lies and deceptions, a group of them have determined that supercomputers are required because they want the Met Office to produce seasonal forecasts but be clearer about the chances of getting them wrong.

The long running saga of Met Office distortions, whitewashes and cover ups covered on this blog last winter started as a result of Julia Slingo bleating about the need for yet more public money to ramp up Met Office supercomputing power.  Thanks to the Parliamentary equivalent of the three wise monkeys, we have come full circle and her wish is almost certain to be granted.

Ignorant of the fact the Met Office does create seasonal forecasts (click on ‘lies’ link above for documentary evidence) and only renamed them and changed their location because of their poor accuracy, and ignorant of the fact that all the supercomputing power in the world is useless if the models used are populated with assumptions and biases that do not reflect the reality of natural and chaotic climate system, the politicians are readying themselves to hand over millions of pounds more of our money on a whim.

We know why it is happening, and that it suits corporate interests but that doesn’t make it acceptable.  Not one MP (and I engaged with a number of them at the height of the Met Office winter forecast scandal and provided them with evidence of Met Office lies to parliament and the public) has stood up for truth and probity, or defended the interests of the public.

When our elected representatives continue to set aside the facts and ignore reality there is no hope that we can prevent this raid on the public purse.  We can confidently forecast one thing, even with the new supercomputing power we will not see any improvement in Met Office predictions.  Their determination to push the AGW narrative and the man-made CO2 scapegoat means their models are biased towards rapidly increasing temperatures.  It’s why they got forecasts badly wrong before and why they will continue to do so.  At our expense.  Nothing has changed.

Taking the wind out of their sails

It’s another cold one in the UK today, with temperatures barely getting above 5 degrees celsius (41F) on mainland Britain.  And as Richard North points out on EU Referendum, coal fired power is providing most of our energy.

But the real story here is that at 11.30am, wind power was providing just 51 megawatts of energy.  That means wind is contributing a derisory 0.1% of the UK’s current energy.  Since Richard posted his piece, it has got even worse as you can see below:

At a measley generation of just 45MW wind power is contributing virtually nothing to the grid.  This is what we get for £400m per annum on top of the money that has been lifted from our pockets to facilitate the installation of the turbines.

While the wind generation companies are getting rich soaking up huge amounts of our money and the politicians are busy supping the kool aid,  the turbines are failing to make energy exactly when we need it.  But this is no surprise to those of us who have long argued against the – there is no other word for it – insanity of increasing our reliance on wind as part of the energy mix, at gigantic cost.  It is the politics of delusion.

It seems to have only recently dawned on some MPs that this fetish for wind energy is not only fundamentally flawed by incredibly damaging.  But as Richard points out elsewhere, even this recently acquired awareness is tempered by a startling lack of knowledge:

But, if these 101 Dalmatians MPs are so concerned about consumers having to pay subsidies, why are they only talking about in-shore turbines, when off-shore windmills get twice the amount, and are set to take the greater proportion of the subsidy pot?

Lavishly paid, well expensed, and deeply immersed in the trappings of imagined power, even when they grandstand to give the impression of heading in a worthy direction they still manage to demonstrate their ignorance of the situation they and their predecessors have dragged us into.

Big Society Bank will plunder English money to fund UK activity

Back in July last year the always enjoyable patriotic Englishman Toque explained for the sake of clarity to his readers that Banque Camoron the Big Society Bank is an England-only scheme as only dormant English bank accounts will be robbed by the government to part capitalise the new gimmick.

In February this year Toque highlighted that in a speech on the subject David Cameron was failing to make clear only English bank accounts would be raided to fund the Big Society Bank.

There has been no explanation as to why dormant accounts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be left untouched by this outrageous and intrusive sequestration of funds.  Like most people, Toque had been labouring under the assumption that only English bank accounts are being plundered because the Big Society Bank will only fund English based projects.  But then he saw a comment made by Francis Maude in the House of Commons saying that:

…money put in by the banks will be for UK purposes, but the money coming into the big society bank in due course from dormant bank accounts will be for England only, unless the devolved Administrations decide to put their share of that money into the big society bank,

However a Parliamentary Written Answer published on Thursday doesn’t say that. In fact despite there being an ample opportunity to give a detailed response the answer gives the impression that as with so many pledges the government might be in the process of moving the goal posts.

When asked by Jonathan Edwards MP what arrangements the Minister for the Cabinet Office plans to put in place to fund the big society bank; and whether he expects there to be any differences in the operation of the bank in each nation or region, the Minister for Civil Society (yes, I know) Nick Hurd MP explained (my emphasis):

The Government have committed to using 100% of dormant accounts funds available for spending in England to set up the big society bank. In addition, four of the UK’s main banks have agreed to support the establishment of the bank with the injection, on a commercial basis, of £200 million of capital over two years, commencing in 2011.

We expect that the independent big society bank will have the ability to operate across the UK.

There is no sign of Maude’s caveat.  Not content with the English taxpayer being ripped off by the Barnett Formula of funding in the other home nations, we could now be seeing the Conservative-Lib Dem government taking money from English bank account holders and using it to fund Big Society initiatives outside of England after all.

No matter what happens, the message to the English from the Con-Lib coalition seems to be the same as the one from the last Labour government, shut up and pay up.

Savour this in all its brilliance

There is nothing I can say that will add any value to this outstanding post from Peter North on EU Referendum.  How many of us would love to pin an MP against a wall and recite North’s sentiments?  Witty, insightful and entertaining, I hope he will consider it a compliment when I say he is definitely his father’s son.

Update: And the old man is navigating his tumbrel around the political landscape in particularly fine fashion too…

Escape and evasion

Readers may recall this post on 25th January concerning the report from the Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee inquiry of the reviews into the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit’s (CRU) e-mails (Climategate).

It was noted that one of the Committee members, Graham Stringer MP, had proposed an amendment to the report that was rejected by the other three members, excluding the Committee Chairman, who could be bothered to show up.

One of those three members, Stephen Metcalfe MP (pictured), was contacted by a member of the public to find out more.  The story has been posted as a comment on Climate Audit in the screenshot below, and mentioned in a comment thread on the Bishop Hill blog (click to enlarge):

It seems some ‘Honourable’ members from the 2010 intake have been receiving training in escape and evasion techniques that the lads at Credenhill would be proud of.

Public interest 0-1 Vested interest.  Another poor showing for public interest, which remains languishing at the bottom of the UK Establishment League and faces relegation to the Politico Ignore List League.

SciTech committee – who was pulling the newbies’ strings?

Bishop Hill explains the ‘findings’ of the Science and Technology Committee’s inquiry into the reviews into the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit’s (CRU) e-mails, a key part of the Climategate scandal.

To describe this latest report as another bucket of whitewash is an understatement.  Andrew Montford, the author of the Bishop Hill blog, covers some of the assertions of the Committee members and sums it up thus:

The best that can be said of the report is that it is marginally better than expected. This, I suppose, is the great advantage of low expectations. My impression is of a group of people who know they are raising two fingers to the general public, and feel forced at least to admit that there is something amiss, but the overwhelming need to hold the line on global warming gets the better of them and leaves them looking at best foolish and at worst outright criminal.

Once you have read Montford’s post on this, do take a few moments to absorb his follow up post that shows a proposed amendment to be included in the report.  Despite this amendment being proposed by the only MP on the committee with a scientific qualification and understanding of scientific rigour, Graham Stringer, it was voted down by the other three MPs present, all of whom are wet behind the ears having been elected for the first time at the 2010 General Election:

There are proposals to increase worldwide taxation by up to a trillion dollars on the basis of climate science predictions. This is an area where strong and opposing views are held. The release of the e-mails from CRU at the University of East Anglia and the accusations that followed demanded independent and objective scrutiny by independent panels. This has not happened. The composition of the two panels hasbeen criticised for having members who were over identified with the views of CRU. Lord Oxburgh as President of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association and Chairman of Falck Renewable appeared to have a conflict of interest. Lord Oxburgh himself was aware that this might lead to criticism. Similarly Professor Boulton as an ex colleague of CRU seemed wholly inappropriate to be a member of the Russell panel. No reputable scientist who was critical of CRU’s work was on the panel, and prominent and distinguished critics were not interviewed. The Oxburgh panel did not do as our predecessor committee had been promised, investigate the science, but only looked at the integrity of the researchers. With the exception of Professor Kelly’s notes other notes taken by members of the panel have not been published. This leaves a question mark against whether CRU science is reliable. The Oxburgh panel also did not look at CRU’s controversial work on the IPPC which is what has attracted most [serious] allegations. Russell did not investigate the deletion of e-mails. We are now left after three investigations without a clear understanding of whether or not the CRU science is compromised.

This paragraph should not be forgotten, it is a damning indictment that should be trailed as widely as possible.

What possible reason could the three MPs, Gregg McClymont, Stephen Metcalfe and Stephen Mosley have for rejecting this paragraph proposed by an experienced scientist and parliamentarian?  We seem to have moved on from ‘hide the decline’ to ‘cover up the truth’.

David Chaytor jailed for 18 months

It is a great pleasure to see that the former Labour MP for Bury, David Chaytor, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison. Justice sometimes works after all.

Chaytor pleaded guilty to three counts of false accounting – in which he stole around £20,000 from the taxpayer. He was prosecuted under section 17 of the Theft Act 1968 after making claims for IT consultancy work he was never charged for and for renting two homes which were owned by him and his mother.

He was one of four parliamentarians – the others being Jim Devine, Elliot Morley and Lord Hanningfield – who fought tooth and nail to avoid prosecution in the Courts by claiming parliamentary privilege. They had hoped to be treated differently to everyone else in society, as if they were above the law, and as a result only get a slap on the wrist from parliamentary authorities for criminal offences.

Now Chaytor has been sent down after pleading guilty, the others must be feeling very worried indeed. We can look forward with relish to seeing what happens to the other defendants who deny wrongdoing but nevertheless treated our money as their own.

David Laws’ return would be contempt of taxpayers

‘He was forced to resign as Chief Secretary to the Treasury over revelations about his expenses claims, but there was widespread sympathy for him at Westminster.’ That is the Daily Mail’s summary about the disgraced former Lib Dem minister, David Laws.

Just seven months after he had to resign for defrauding the taxpayer and lying about his personal circumstances over his expenses claims the political class is preparing to parachute David Laws back into a ministerial position as if he had done nothing wrong. It has been coming since the week he took his extended break from the front bench. There is no clearer example of the contempt in which the taxpaying public is held by the politicians in Westminster. There is no clearer example of the moral bankruptcy that permeates Westminster.

Where in the past dishonourable conduct and wrongdoing could have been expected to result in a shamefaced resignation from Parliament and a by-election, now it only attracts a short spell on the backbenches before a triumphant return to the trappings of power. It is seen as a minor inconvenience on a politician’s career path and the short suspension is merely a small and utterly resentful sop to the public. MPs think they are a special case. They have an arrogant sense of entitlement and convince themselves they are a special case and should live by rules that suit them.

In any other occupation David Laws would have been summarily sacked by his employer for knowingly claiming money to which he was not entitled and telling lies to make it appear his claim was within the rules. But in the Westminster bubble these pompous, overblown egomaniacs can do what they like and know there will be no consequences, or consequences so trivial they are not worthy of being applied.

£40,000 of taxpayers’ money was claimed fraudulently by David Laws. Regardless he kept his seat and MP’s salary and perks. Now it seems he will shortly get more money in salary and a ministerial car and have a degree of influence over people who have been honourable and not taken what is not theirs. It’s sick and it’s wrong.

It is time the Westminster swamp was drained and the parasites removed.

Is Denis MacShane considering a moonlight flit?

It was interesting to note whipless Labour MP Denis MacShane tabled the following question in the House of Commons:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether Ministers of foreign governments have immunity from arrest during visits to the UK.

Could EUfanatic MacShane be considering all possibilities for securing diplomatic immunity to avoid prosecution in the UK for claiming £125,000 in office costs for this?

MPs fail in craven attempt to avoid justice over expenses

The three former Labour MPs facing criminal charges over their expenses have lost their final appeal at the Supreme Court to avoid trial.

Jim Devine, David Chaytor and Elliot Morley argued they shouldn’t be put on trial in a criminal court because their expenses are covered by parliamentary privilege. Their desperate attempt to be treated differently to other alleged criminals because they are part of the political class has underlined the ‘them and us’ sense of entitlement that pervades Parliament.

The three troughing attempted justice evaders have denied theft by false accounting in relation to their parliamentary expense claims. Thankfully in this instance the law has avoided being an ass and the Supreme Court – only surpassed in power by every cross jurisdictional court in Europe – ruled the MPs were not protected by their ludicrous claim of parliamentary privilege.

Trials will now follow at Southwark Crown Court beginning later this month. They should be open and shut cases and the three men should be hoping fellow politician Kenneth Clarke can wreck the prison system before they are invited to become guests of Her Majesty.

This case, as mentioned previously on this blog, highlights the need for a written constitution for this country. It also confirms the need for a political revolution to turf out the political class and confer real power to the British people.

MPs’ Parliamentary privilege defence underlines need for written constitution

It’s no surprise to see that Labour MPs Jim Devine, David Chaytor and Elliot Morley, along with Conservative Peer Lord Hanningfield, are running scared and seeking to evade due process within the criminal justice system by claiming that Parliamentary privilege removes the Court’s jurisdiction over them.  It is spurious nonsense.  It is a desperate and cowardly effort to avoid being brought to trial for offences they are alleged to have committed.

Parliamentary privilege in this country pertains to the freedom of speech on the floor of both Houses in the Palace of Westminster.  It no longer protects MPs and Peers from civil actions and therefore it most certainly does not protect them from criminal proceedings.  The four Parliamentarians are hoping that an intepretation of privilege dating back to the 1685 Bill of Rights will enable them to dodge charges of false accounting under the Theft Act of 1968.

Julian Knowles, the barrister representing the MPs, said a trial in a criminal court would breach the constitutional separation of the legislature and judiciary.

“My clients should not be understood as saying they are above the law. That would be quite wrong.

“Parliamentary privilege is part of the law, and it is for Parliament to apply the law in their cases. The argument which they will present concerns the process by which the allegations should be determined; not whether they should be determined.”

That is utter rubbish.  Where a crime has been committed a trial in a criminal court must take place.  All citizens of this country must be equal before the law.  These men are saying they are a special case because they are MPs and that the charges relate to accounting matters that only came about because of their status.  It is a claim deserving of the same kind of contempt they themselves are demonstrating through their craven behaviour.

Every other citizen of this country would have to face a Court if such charges were brought against them, so these men must also be subject to criminal proceedings and trial by jury.  Anything less would position them as unequal in society and undermine the rule of law.  But we would not be experiencing this ‘make it up as we go along’ nonsense if this country had a clear written constitution setting out the rights and responsibilities of every citizen of the United Kingdom.  It is ridiculous that in this modern era our politicians are allowed to get away with applying arbitrary and self serving interpretations of rights and responsibilities by preventing them being cemented in writing and enshrined in law.

The fact we are now seeing the people who make the law trying to use their status as our elected representatives to avoid being subject to it, makes the need for a written constitution all the more urgent.  As citizens – or subjects if you will – of the United Kingdom we see our democracy being undermined, our national sovereignty being subverted and our political class positioning itself as beyond the law it imposes on the rest of us.  This state of affairs cannot and must not continue.  We must have a written constitution to protect our rights and prevent abuses of power.

It’s so cold…

This was too good not to shamelessly plagiarise and adapt for Autonomous Mind from Tony Hake at CC Examiner.

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