Power running amok as voters can only look on

The latest nauseating case of that curious species, the Westminster troughing hog, has seen Maria Miller ordered to repay we taxpayers £5,800 she wrongly claimed.

The story had me primed to write a post demanding that taxpayers must get back the other £38,000 that the Standards Commissioner said Miller should repay.  But then yesterday the Chair of the Standards Committee of MPs, which voted to ensure Miller got to keep the rest of the money, and the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards who originally said Miller should repay £44,000, issued a joint statement which had the effect of circling the wagons.

But while that was circulating and pouring copious amounts of mud into already murky waters, the former editor of the Telegraph, Tony Gallagher, was telling the BBC that one of Miller’s special advisers had leaned on the journalist writing the story of her claiming money she was not entitled to, effectively threatening that Miller had the ability to exact legislative retribution for the Telegraph running the story.

At the time I thought, if there is anything in this claim – and the wording did seem very specific – the journalist would surely have the comments on tape.  Having given Miller’s aide sufficient time and space to deny the story, the Telegraph has now released a recording showing that Miller’s SpAd did exactly what she was accused of.

In the same way I refuse to believe someone in the UKIP press office made up and issued a policy reversal on gay marriage without it being sanctioned, I refuse to believe Maria Miller’s SpAd acted without Miller’s knowledge or authority.  While Miller might have just about unjustly survived paying back a tiny amount of overclaimed money from our hard earned cash, and for giving an ungracious 32-second apology that was the equivalent of flicking two fingers to MPs (the public of course get no apology, despite being the party offended against), the actions of her adviser should have her clearing her desk by Monday.

No Cabinet Minister has ever made such an apology in the Commons and clung to their job.  She should have resigned this week.  But now we can add what amounts to blackmail in an effort to silence a media that is already shockingly poor, she should be sacked. No ifs, buts or maybes.  This abuse of office cannot be allowed to stand.

But of course, this is the state of our ‘democracy’ today.  The decisions will be made by MPs and men in grey suits.  The voters who have been offended against and who should have the ability to have Miller removed from office for what has happened, can only look on.  In this case it’s just as well the media decided to take an interest, otherwise Miller’s wrongdoing and the corruption in her office would not have come to light.

Just imagine how many more falsehoods, truths and corruptions could be exposed if the media chose to take notice and report them…

5 Responses to “Power running amok as voters can only look on”

  1. 1 jeremyp99 05/04/2014 at 11:08 pm

    One of the things I remember about John Major’s time in Number 10 was “Tory sleaze”. One of the things that characterised this was that when ministers got fingered, they at least h\ad the good grace to resign.

    The advent of St. Tony of the Dead Babies put an end to this. I tried to hope that this would change in 2010. How gullible am I?

    It’s us against them.

  2. 2 Derek Buxton 06/04/2014 at 10:31 am

    We can only assume from the defence of the indefencible by MPs, that there must be all too many of them involved in similar practices. One then has to wonder what is Cameron’s position in it all?

  3. 3 Poppa bear 06/04/2014 at 11:07 am

    If you feel as outraged about all this as I do then write to your MP. There is a site called ‘WriteToThem’ which will provide you with your MPs email address as well as a basic letter for you to fill in the message. The more people that do this and threaten Not to vote Tory again, the more chance there is of something being done about it.

  4. 4 Sackerson 06/04/2014 at 11:48 am

    Yes, some MPs have lost their compass. They now think themeselves invulnerable and immune from criticism.

  5. 5 Autonomous Mind 06/04/2014 at 12:35 pm

    Derek, literally half of the standards committee that sat in judgement on Miller have had expenses issues of their own.

    Gamekeepers turned poachers.

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