Posts Tagged 'Sleaze'

Will David Laws be prosecuted at last?

The year-long inquiry by Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, John Lyon, into David Laws’ deliberate appropriation of taxpayers’ money to which he was not entitled, is said by an ‘insider’ to be so ‘damning’ that it could make it impossible for Mr Laws to return to the Cabinet.

If true a ‘damning’ finding would be very welcome .  Laws’ actions were a deliberate effort to defraud the taxpayer because he felt too ashamed to let it be known he was homosexual and living with his partner. It is inexcusable and indefensible. As this blog said in December, David Laws returning to the Cabinet would be a contempt of taxpayers.

The Mail on Sunday piece goes on to say that:

However, friends of Mr Laws last night disputed that, saying they did not expect the Commons sleaze watchdog’s report to be as critical as claimed and suggested it would not block his eventual return to government.

These ‘friends’ are fish from the same Parliamentary pool who are determined to have their man returned to a Cabinet position regardless of his theft. Why do they not expect the report to be as critical as suggested?

It is an open and shut case and Laws admitted his wrongdoing.  The fact is Laws should not even be an MP now.  He has faced no sanction for trousering £40,000 of our money, was allowed to resign rather than be summarily dismissed in disgrace, and is being lined up for a new Ministerial job. All this demonstrates is the ‘new politics’ is no different to the old politics and the political class works in its own interest at the expense of ours.

If John Lyon has been able to establish a pattern of wrongdoing by Laws, we can but hope, then there is no reason not to call in the Metropolitan Police and have Laws join his former Parliamentary colleagues in the dock to answer for his actions before a Jury.

Secretive State serving its own interests

The Observer has a sickening story today about the actions of social workers and police in Kent who placed a 14-year-old girl into ‘foster care’ with a convicted paedophile, David Mason.

Having failed to complete the private fostering assessment and carry out statutory checks on the man’s background required by law – or even checking proof of his identity – the girl’s request to be allowed to stay with him was granted.  Mason, who had changed his name to David Matthews, went on to sexually abuse two boys and four girls aged five to 13, including the girl’s three younger siblings.

Then after leaving Mason’s home, Kent County Council’s social services department let her be fostered, aged 15, by her 21-year-old boyfriend, who claimed to have autistic spectrum disorder and who they knew was having sex with her.  The story, includes the admission that when the family had been moved into the area where the abuse took place, their case was not assessed due to staff shortages and high number of child protection referrals

But beyond this horrifying catalogue of failure, where presumably dozens of other high profile cases from which ‘lessons will be learned’ have not resulted in anything being learne at all, the story presents an even more shocking dimension to the case:

The “tragic story” of the council’s “deplorable breach of duty” has emerged from a high court judgment delivered behind closed doors last month, which has just been made public. The extraordinary case would have stayed secret had not the judge, Mr Justice Baker, decided in view of the “alarming matters” that emerged during the hearing to allow the “unusually extensive and troubling” wider issues it raises to be publicised.

Here we see the media with its prominent pulpit failing to go to the next level.  The anger, indignation and proposed solutions are left for non establishment figures such as humble bloggers to express.

In 21st century Britain, supposedly bristling with rules to ensure transparency and accountability, the Courts were content to cover up this litany of incompetence to hide the disgraceful failings of our so called public servants.  If it was not for this one Judge, an exception to a miserable rule choosing in determining that these failures should be publicised, the public would have no idea just how badly a group of vulnerable people have been treated.

What has been uncovered is not merely a story of sexual abuse, but another example of the lengths to which the authorities will go to hide their gross misconduct and just how far the system will go to shield them from scrutiny of their actions.  This is the system protecting itself rather than the people who pay for it to serve us.  That is more outrageous than anything else in this story.

To heap insult upon insult, we are once again served up the standard rhetoric from the public body (in this instance, Kent County Council) that has displayed negligence worthy of criminal prosecution, designed as usual to fob us off while business continues as usual:

What happened in this case is deeply regrettable and the council offers its sincerest apologies to the family. In recent months we have been absolutely focused on recognising our shortcomings and weaknesses and a plan to make sure substantial improvements are made to the services we provide to children in Kent is already being actioned.

These supposedly sincere apologies and empty promises to make improvements to reach the very minimum level of performance we should be able to expect are an insult.  They change nothing.

Things will only change when the refuge of secrecy in such cases is removed and those responsible for the welfare of vulnerable children who fail to do their job are properly held to account.  If it takes the threat of criminal prosecution to focus the attention of public servants on the proper discharge of their duties to vulernable people in their care, then our largely useless MPs should put it on the Statute Book.  Cases like this are all too frequent and MPs have the ability to put a stop to them.

We don’t need self serving apologies being trotted out that are designed to make those who have failed feel better and feel they have been excused, we need action taken to stop more failures.  We can but guess at how many similar cases have been covered up over the years and remain hidden from public view. It has to stop.

Light needs to be shone into the dark corners where the establishment lets its colleagues skulk and conceal instances of their rank incompetence.  We need to make the establishment serve our interests rather than its own. We need to end the establishment’s self serving secrecy.

Bile, hatred, moronic comments and the apologists of the Guardian

This could be a long one. Sometimes events occur that stir feelings and reactions in oneself that lead to a tipping point where frustration or annoyance spills over into genuine rage and the loss of self control. That has happened this afternoon.

I’m not given to writing profanity, but on this occasion perhaps it is understandable. Forgive me. Or don’t. At this moment in time I really don’t care. I’ll try to write in a lucid way but if the words make no sense try to understand I’m in a temper and writing this is an attempt to regain control.

The events in question put the puerile bollockspeak of a showboating moronic wanker like David Cameron into its proper context. Readers may recall Cameron’s grandstanding to the audience and his wooden theatrics when he declared that:

it makes me physically ill to contemplate giving the vote to prisoners.

Really?  We are to supposed to believe that Cameron felt the physical sensation of nausea in reaction to the prospect of prisoners getting the vote? Oh fuck right off. If you believe that bullshit there’s no hope for you. If something like that made Cameron feel ‘physically ill’ then no one should provide him with the details of what happened in Cairo to CBS television reporter Lara Logan. He will probably puke up all over this bloody Downing Street cat that seems to be the political story of the week. God knows, the details have made me feel physically ill. And unlike that useless sack of shit I’m not saying that for bloody effect.

For a couple of days the news has been circulating that Logan is recovering in hospital in the US after she was beaten and sexually assaulted by a mob while covering the Egyptian protests.  The words beaten and sexually assaulted covers a wide range of injuries and completely sanitises the extent of what happened.  Read on if you’ve got the stomach for it:

“60 Minutes” correspondent Lara Logan was repeatedly sexually assaulted by thugs yelling, “Jew! Jew!” as she covered the chaotic fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo’s main square Friday, CBS and sources said yesterday.

The TV crew with Logan, who is also the network’s chief foreign correspondent, had its cameras rolling moments before she was dragged off — and caught her on tape looking tense and trying to head away from a crowd of men behind her in Tahrir Square.

“Logan was covering the jubilation . . . when she and her team and their security were surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration,” CBS said in a statement. “It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into a frenzy.

“In the crush of the mob, [Logan] was separated from her crew. She was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers.

“She reconnected with the CBS team, returned to her hotel and returned to the United States on the first flight the next morning,” the network added. “She is currently in the hospital recovering.”

A network source told The Post that her attackers were screaming, “Jew! Jew!” during the assault. And the day before, Logan had told Esquire.com that Egyptian soldiers hassling her and her crew had accused them of “being Israeli spies.” Logan is not Jewish.

In Friday’s attack, she was separated from her colleagues and attacked for between 20 to 30 minutes, The Wall Street Journal said.

Her injuries were described to The Post as “serious.”

If these details are accurate, she was dragged away, terrified, by a hate filled mob in full view of the public, she was mercilessly beaten as they screamed ‘Jew’ at her and she was brutally raped time and again during that 20-30 minutes.  This is the the sort of story that makes someone feel physically ill.  We cannot begin to imagine what that poor woman went through, the fear, the pain, the violation, the loss of her dignity, the not knowing whether she would even survive.

But the revulsion I feel has been compounded by an American journalist darling of the left called Nir Rosen.  This self important bastard took to his Twitter account to indulge his desire to spew his bile and demonstrate what a free thinker he is, without knowing the facts.  This is a sample of what he is reported to have said:

The initial tweet by Rosen stated, “Lara Logan had to outdo Anderson [CNN journalist Anderson Cooper, who had recently been roughed up and threatened with beheading by a similar Egyptian mob]. Where was her buddy McCrystal.” From this tweet he went further, writing that he would have been amused if Anderson Cooper had also been sexually assaulted.

“Yes yes its wrong what happened to her. Of course. I don’t support that. But, it would have been funny if it happened to Anderson too,” wrote Rosen.

The two comments gave way to more. Rosen called Logan a “war monger” and expressed doubt that she was actually assaulted.

“Jesus Christ, at a moment when she is going to become a martyr and glorified we should at least remember her role as a major war monger” wrote Rosen

He carried on, probably after being cautioned by other Tweeters:

“Look, she was probably groped like thousands of other women, which is still wrong, but if it was worse than [sic] I’m sorry.”

Rosen clarified his initial reference to former American commander in Afghanistan Stanley McChrystal, writing that the assault should serve as a reminder of Logan’s “role glorifying war and condemning Rolling Stone’s Hastings while defending McChrystal.”

Then came a quasi-apology by Rosen: “ah fuck it, I apologize for being insensitive, it’s always wrong, that’s obvious, but I’m rolling my eyes at all the attention she will get.”

Oh yes, he’s sorry now, after that grudging and mealy mouthed excuse for an apology.  He wouldn’t have said it if he had realised how serious it was apparently.  Maybe he shouldn’t have said it in the first place.  Attention seeking wanker.  What a sick bastard he is, only thinking about his jealousy at the likely attention Logan would receive.  He clearly has some kind of mental issue. Needless to say this vicious and arrogant smear of shit has subsequently lost his job as fellow at the New York University Center on Law and Security.  Quite right too.  His comments are utterly indefensible.

At least I would have thought they were.  But no.  In my ignorance of the depth of camaraderie among left wing journalists I hadn’t reckoned on some other self important left wing blowhard acting as an apologist for Rosen and spewing forth in an attempt to deflect attention from Rosen on to someone else by way of an attack on a vicious and spiteful right wing blogger, Debbie Schlussel, for her own equally sick diatribe at Logan.

Step forward apologist in chief Michael Tomasky of the Guardian.  Quelle fucking surprise.  What is it about the people that work at that bloody paper?  It is a cesspool of disaffected, self satisfied hubris furthering its insipid agenda with a level of spite that exceeds human comprehension.

I expected you’ve heard the hideous news that Lara Logan of CBS News, above, was sexually assaulted in Cairo. And I expect you’ve heard that Nir Rosen, the left-leaning journalist who is like Logan a war correspondent, distastefully joked about it on Twitter. You’re probably less likely to have heard about Debbie Schlussel’s comments, more on which later.

Yeah that’s right. What Tomasky is saying is Rosen is evil, but look, I’ve found a right winger who is even worse. So you can’t be too hard on my fellow traveller.  He dribbles on:

Rosen, who has written for Rolling Stone, the New Yorker and various other publications, lost a prestigious fellowship at the New York University Center for Law and Security because of his tweets. He has been issuing apologies left and right, most notably in this interview with Media Bistro, where he went far beyond the usual bromides:

Oh stop, he was clearly so wonderful and all this is so unfair and you’re breaking my fucking heart. No one forced him to open his gobshite mouth.

There’s a great deal more in that vein. A great deal.

Rosen has some controversial views, but he is a reporter who goes into war zones.

You are fucking kidding me, right?  He goes into war zones?  So this gives him some kind of free pass to make the vicious, spiteful and contemptuous comments he did about Lara Logan?  Onto the Guardianista moral equivalence then:

Schlussel is a right-wing blogger whose specialty is fulmination, I believe from Michigan, about the subhuman qualities of Arabs.

And this lessens the sheer depth of bile Rosen doled out on Twitter does it?  Only a Guardian based conceited apologist wanker could have the brass neck to offer this up:

Rosen (whom I know very slightly, and ran into in the BBC Washington office not long ago) said some deeply unconscionable things and deserves a healthy stretch in the penalty box. But at least he’s remorseful about what he said. Schlussel is plainly an egomaniac and in an update to her original post just laid it on even more thickly.

So that’s alright then.  You ran into him at the BBC – where else would left wing tossers like you be? – so you’re qualified to act as his PR.  Both deserve equal condemnation, but the moral equivalence here is digusting.  And to defend him you have to draw parallels with a hate filled woman?  Doesn’t that tell you something?  No, you’re probably so far up your own arse you can’t rationalise that.  That’s why you have to resort to bullshit like this to defend your pal while attacking a competitor of the Guardian, a competitor of the BBC and a competitor of the New York Times, you opportunist bastard:

We live in an age in which every instant thought can be sent out into the world. Some people try to learn from it. Others take advantage of it for the purpose of spreading their name. What odds should I lay down that Murdoch properties Fox News or the New York Post, where Schlussel appears, will make her submit to any penalty?

Rosen is incapable of controlling himself but you try to defend him.  This is the kind of stuff that makes one feel physically ill.  Not one word of concern for Lara Logan from Tomasky, just a biased agenda to pursue.  I’m still feeling the nausea now. If there is a hell I hope the scum like Rosen, Schlussel and Tomasky end up there. Cameron can go there too for his pathetic exaggerations that cheapen the impact of stories of real suffering.

My thoughts and best wishes are with Lara after the appalling trauma she has suffered.  I hope that when her body has healed the psychological pain will be the least it possibly can be.

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.

Did The Guardian persuade Assange to publish WikiLeaks data?

If you have 15 minutes spare, do watch of this video clip. It appears to lay bare The Guardian’s less than passive role in the WikiLeaks release of US diplomatic cables.

Far from being a mere bystander that published the information, it actively pushed for the information to be exposed to further its continuing anti-American campaign while planning to get a world exclusive. The clip also reminds us of that paper’s track record of dishonesty and fabrication on other matters.

And The Guardian is second to none when it comes to hypocrisy, such as writing stories about companies that avoid paying UK Corporation Tax but not mentioning the fact The Guardian itself made a £300m profit in 2008 and paid £0 in Corporation Tax.

Cancun – another nail in our economic coffin

“We’re talking about a [combined] reduction in emissions of 13-16%, and what this means is an increase of more than 4C.

“Responsibly, we cannot go along with this – this would mean we went along with a situation that my president has termed ‘ecocide and genocide’.”

These were the words reported by the BBC of Bolivian climate change conference delegate Pablo Solon. Do you notice the casual yet earnest way this man states as fact that CO2 emission reductions of 13-16% means global temperatures will rise more than 4C? It is not fact. It is a piece of guesswork based on flawed computer models that have failed to accurately project anything. The whole thing is about money.

Yet people who rely on the BBC and other mainstream media for their information, and are not aware of the significant body of scientific dissent from the supposed consensus, will accept such unsubstantiated comments as facts and as is intended, panic and press for a ‘solution’. This is what the climate change lobby, the pressure groups, the corporates and the governments want because they can then execute their political and financial – not environmental – plans. Plans such as the carbon trade and climate change fund that will leave ordinary people in the western world poorer, people in developing countries deceived and the corporates and their big business investors even richer than now.

The agreement in Cancun brings the UN’s plan to assume hegemonic control over the political structures of the world much closer. It takes another step towards the dismantling of democracy and places more power in the hands of the unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats in the supranational bodies that seek to control us. A global ruling elite is cementing its power in full view of a world of uncomprehending people who have been conned into believing this is being done for their own good.

And what of the environment? Around the globe climate will continue its natural cyclical changes, sometimes warming and sometimes cooling. Doomesday prophecies of catastrophing warming will not materialise. If anything the new cooling phase signalled by Joe Bastardi will destroy the credibility of the warmists, whose narrative will smoothly move on to ‘human overpopulation’ and ‘natural resources’ as the new justification for taking our money, undermining democracy and eroding our liberty. No wonder the BBC and its fellow inspid media parasites do all they can to keep inconvenient facts off the airwaves.

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.

Could Jon Snow start media focus on Hague – Myers nepotism?

On the subject of Hague-Myers there is at least one journalist who ‘gets it’.  Who would have thought that the irritating Jon Snow from Channel 4 would be the notable exception to the rule and correctly identify what the real story is here?  It’s a shame he has only done so on his blog.  Perhaps Channel 4 news will be the taxpayers’ champion and investigate further what Snow homed in on:

‘The issue in the Hague matter should have nothing to do with his sexuality. The only question is whether the aide he was “accused” of sharing a hotel room with was hired and employed according to whatever rules govern these matters,’

Snow excepted, the mainstream media in this country is behaving like a weapon of mass distraction.  What other conclusion can we draw when we see a concerted and determined attempt to discuss everything but the questions about Christopher Myers’ appointment as a special adviser to William Hague?

Instead we get the rubbish like this in today’s Guardian – “Does it matter who William Hague shares a room with?”  The paper has invited answers to that sideshow question from no less than Julian Baggini, Shirley Williams, Alastair Campbell, Anthony Seldon, Matt Wells, Mark Borkowski and Peter Tatchell.  What the hell?

The Independent focuses on windbag senior Tories supposedly piling pressure on William Hague over his ‘foolishness’.  Not the foolishness of appointing a completely unsuitable person as a special adviser, oh no.  No, this is the side issue foolishness about sharing a room with Myers during the campaign.  You can see the pattern emerging here.

The Telegraph is no better, with yet more tittle tattle about rumours of Hague’s sexuality, his friendship with Chris Myers and his voting record on same sex marriage and repeal of Section 28 being given their own special section!  If you’re looking for a serious bit of journalism from these overpaid Barclay Brother hacks, forget it.  The nub of the issue is being completely ignored.  How can the media let Hague get away with this assertion made in his melodramatic statement that:

“Christopher Myers has demonstrated commitment and political talent over the last eighteen months. He is easily qualified for the job he holds.”

without asking for evidence of what makes him qualified and probing into it?  Where is the proof to back up Hague’s claim?  Why is it being accepted at face value?  How many other cabinet ministers have a special adviser in their departments, paid for by the taxpayer, who is only four years out of college and whose background is constituency work and driving the new Minister around during the election campaign?  Just what great insight into foreign affairs does Myers possess that makes him a suitable adviser and offers the public value for money?

Thanks to the media it looks like our only hope of getting to the bottom of the issue that matters is Channel 4 news or the Freedom of Information request Guido Fawkes submitted asking for details about Myers’ appointment.  It shouldn’t be this way.  The media is failing us yet again.

Cameron helps with Hague’s strawman over Christopher Myers

Bravo CCHQ and the Tory’s media relations team!  They are successfully keeping our dumbed down press focused on the least relevant element of the William Hague – Christopher Myers story.

They know that if you want to get the press’ attention you just have to keep the story centred on supposed allegations of illicit sex.  Throwing in a message of unqualified support from David Cameron’s spokesman adds to the distraction effort.  The media voyeurs lap it up and it gives the hypocritical hacks a chance to portray themselves as righteous and suitably indignant about such terrible and gossip. Just see the ludicrously sanctimonious Michael White in the Guardian for a fine example of it.

In fact White actually nods to the real meat of this story, but then vacates it swiftly in order to continue his childishly self indulgent war with Guido Fawkes (Paul Staines) with plenty of innuendo of his own for good measure. Yet despite his own comments, White has the gall to talk about the shaming of Fleet Street.  You couldn’t make it up.

Meanwhile, as our fearless press corps swarms around the contrived and overblown emphasis put on the nature of the relationship between Hague and Myers, and Hague’s indulgent tearjerker about heartstring-tugging events in his marriage, the real issue is completely ignored and questions that must be answered are left unasked…

  • Why was Christopher Myers appointed to the position of Hague’s special adviser at the FCO?
  • What specialist knowledge or in depth expertise of foreign affairs does he have?
  • What was the job description and requirements for the successful candidate?
  • Was he better qualified than anyone else for the role?
  • Was the role advertised to give suitably qualified and experienced people a chance to apply for it?

And those are just for starters.  For an open and above board appointment these questions should be easily answered.  But the dogged determination to divert attention away from these questions and keep attention fixed firmly on innuendo about extramarital sexual relations can only mean there was something inappropriate about Myers’ appointment Hague and his CCHQ friends are trying to keep hidden.  There is a rotten smell around this story.

Given the personal friendship between Hague and Myers a reasonable person would be within their rights to deduce that Myers’ appointment was an example of nepotism, of naked political patronage, where the taxpayers were left to pick up the tab for a favour done by Hague for his friend.

This has nothing to do with sexual conduct, orientation, miscarriages or personal tragedy. That is all a smokescreen.  But it does have everything to do with potential unacceptable behaviour in treating the taxpayer as a cash cow so employment can be provided for someone demonstrably lacking in knowledge and experience for the role, for no other reason than they are a mate.  The media is failing us yet again and the political class is laughing at us for being able to abuse the system for its own ends.

Myers quits but Hague warrants intense scrutiny over appointment

Everyone has a right to a private life, as William Hague said in his media statement a short while ago.  But that does not preclude scrutiny over the questionable appointment by Hague of his close friend Christopher Myers as a special adviser on the government – therefore taxpayers’ – payroll.  Therefore this story isn’t going to go away in a hurry.

Despite Hague’s trademark eloquence and masterful use of language in his statement the fact remains he has not provided the public with an explanation about how Christopher Myers came to be hired as a special adviser at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.  There is no evidence Myers was in any way a foreign relations specialist, or even an expert in business and trade, which is what the FCO is being tasked with promoting.  His experience was in constituency matters and acting as Hague’s driver and bodyman during the general election campaign.

So just how did this 25-year-old friend of William Hague warrant the position of special adviser at the FCO?  What special knowledge or in depth expertise did he offer to justify his appointment to a role that should only be open to the brightest and the best?

A smokescreen is being thrown up around this issue by Hague and his media advisers in a desperate attempt to focus attention on the innuendos about a possible physical relationship between the two men.  People should not focus on this strawman being constructed by the spin doctors.  It is nothing more than a sleight of hand.  They want people to focus on the left hand, a very narrow, implied and unfounded allegation that can be easily denied, in the hope people do not focus on the right hand, in which we could find the real wrongdoing that matters to us.

That wrongdoing is the conferring of political patronage – where someone is put on the government payroll for no other reason than they are a friend of a person in a position to hire them.

It is the sort of thing one expects to find in undemocratic fiefdoms run by tinpot dictators.  But such is the power of our political elite these days, it can easily happen here too and we are powerless to do anything about it.  This matter remains one of public interest because until today Myers’ wages were paid from our tax pounds and the matter raises questions over Hague’s judgement and probity.  The fact remains that Hague has questions to answer and his lengthy statement has doggedly avoided going any close to addressing them.

William Hague has questions to answer as Tory mouthpiece starts to circle the wagons

I’m not interested in what goes on behind someone else’s bedroom door. Despite the insipid efforts of the political class, this is still supposed to be a free country and people should be able to act as they see fit within the law. However, following the posts on Guido Fawkes’ blog about the curious pattern of behaviour of William Hague, starting with these questions last week, it is clear Hague has questions to answer.

What qualifies Christopher Myers, a man whose job was simply driving William Hague around during the election campaign, to be added to the public payroll at our expense as a Special Adviser to Hague at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office?  Until we have a definitive answer people can be forgiven for drawing the conclusion that Myers is nothing more than the recipient of patronage as a reward for close friendship, which would be completely unacceptable. It is fair to describe the friendship as close because we have learned Hague and Myers shared a hotel room on at least one occasion.  For those not familiar with this story, this observation by Guido Fawkes puts things into context:

Myers has a second class History degree from Durham University, the Foreign Office press release announcing his appointment describes him as “a lawyer”. If you imagine this might somehow qualify him to assist with treaty negotiations or in matters of international law sadly this is not so. He is not a qualified solicitor nor does he have any experience having only just completed a law course.

Considering that the prestige of the Foreign Office attracts the cream of Britain’s graduates his appointment does seem a strange choice given that Hague could have chosen a foreign policy specialist from CCHQ or the staff of a think-tank. To instead hire an inexperienced, poorly qualified young man over and above more qualified candidates does raise the question: what special talent, unseen by the rest of us, does Mr Myers possess?

All we have at this time is innuendo about the Hague-Myers relationship and confirmation that a twin bed hotel room was shared.  I don’t care if Hague is gay, straight or bisexual. It’s none of my business. It wouldn’t have been an issue if there was just a physical relationship going on between Hague and Myers, save that it would provide us with yet another example of hypocrisy in a politician.  But there is an issue here because taxpayers’ money is being spent on Myers’ salary following his questionable appointment. This makes the story a matter of public interest.  The statement that:

‘Any suggestion that the Foreign Secretary’s relationship with Chris Myers is anything other than a purely professional one is wholly inaccurate and unfounded.’

just isn’t going to cut it.  Meanwhile, against this backdrop we now see Tory ‘insider’ commentariat in the form of Iain Dale, rushing forth in an attempt to shut down the story. Describing the story as “petty and spiteful vilification of William Hague”, the increasingly censorious Dale plays the man rather than the ball by trying to smear Guido in backhanded fashion, by saying:

Guido Fawkes is not a homophobe, but the way he is writing about this allows those who think he is homophobic to confirm their own prejudices.

From Dale we see not one word of query about the suitability of Myers for his job or any question of Hague’s judgement in appointing a man who is plainly less experienced, capable and suitable than a raft of foreign affairs experts who could be providing the Secretary of State with the kind of political advice he might need. The lack of objectivity from Iain Dale is stunning though not surprising.  After all, he raced to the defence of David Laws and opined that the Lib Dem didn’t have a “dishonest bone in his body” and in any case had been “hugely impressive” during his short time at the Treasury.

Dale has simply gone native.  He sees himself as part of the political furniture and is more concerned with making and keeping friends in the Westminster bubble than standing up for probity and honesty.  Rather than being a fearless blogger immune to seeking favour, he is setting himself up as the first line of defence against politicians whose behaviour and actions fall well below an acceptable standard.

Many people find Guido sometimes boorish and distasteful and a sizeable number of his commenters foul-mouthed and abusive. But at least via his blog he tries to deal with matters of public interest, while others try to use theirs as a self serving cudgel to silence criticism and justifiable probing of the actions of our political masters. I know which one I prefer.

Huhne affair signals end of Lib Dem moral superiority

Little more than five weeks since the formation of the coalition government a second Cabinet Minister is about to have his private life trawled over in the media as a result of his actions.

The political editor at the Sunday People is trailing tomorrow’s edition’s main headline, that the Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne, has left his wife for another woman.  That other woman seems to be Lib Dem Publicity Consultant, Carina Trimingham given that Huhne has been quoted by Nigel Nelson as saying:

“I am in a serious relationship with Carina Trimingham”

It wasn’t fast work, as the People will reveal Chris Huhne has been cheating on his wife, Vicky, for over a year.

The news is certainly going to attract some publicity, so maybe it’s job done for Ms Trimingham, but it’s probably not the kind of publicity the morally superior Lib Dems would have wanted – especially after the David Laws affair.  It is probably not the kind of publicity Ms Trimingham’s other employers, Amnesty International and the Electoral Reform Society, want either.  That probably explains why her Twitter page (where in her few contributions she mainly retweeted Chris Huhne’s tweets) has been deleted and her Facebook page has been deactivated.

The emerging story has already been briefly picked over by ConservativeHome, with its co-editor Tim Montgomerie publishing an editorial seeking to tell readers how a grown up society should react to such events.  Tim refers readers back to a two-year-old editorial on his site that asked and answered the following questions:

Does a politician’s private life matter? Yes.

Should a questionable private life prevent a politician from achieving high office? No.

We agree on question one.  But there are obvious circumstances when a questionable private life should prevent a politician from achieving high office – and Chris Huhne’s apparent extramarital affair is an example of one.  Behaviour in politician’s private life that suggests he or she has a questionable character or a propensity to deceit or deception should preclude them from high office.  If the public cannot rely upon the politician to be honourable and truthful then that person has no place in government.

I have every sympathy for anyone whose relationship has broken down.  We are only human after all and sometimes things and people change.  But I have no sympathy for someone who remains in their relationship and establishes one with another person behind the back of their partner.  That is deceit, a lie, a betrayal of trust.  When a politician has the capacity to do that to the person closest to them they clearly have the capacity to be equally deceitful to an electorate of strangers.  Huhne has broken a trust and cannot be relied upon to be honest or honourable.  In short, he has no place in government.

The only surprise for some people is that in a government comprising Conservative and Lib Dem ministers, the dishonest and sleazy exposés  that have twice undermined it have concerned the minority Lib Dem partners.  Given the moral superiority frequently displayed by the Lib Dems, having two of their five cabinet members dragged over the coals for sleaze in the first six weeks of the administration’s life points to existence of hypocrisy of the highest order.

Perhaps now the Lib Dems have made it into the greenhouse they will stop throwing stones and portraying themselves as somehow more reliable than their political rivals.  As for Huhne, he should resign.  A man who casually lies and cheats in his personal life is more than capable of doing the same in his professional one.  This country deserves better.  After all the talk of a new politics let’s see it made real with the removal of an untrustworthy man from office.

Update: This might seem a minor story when set against issues such as Afghanistan, the economy and numerous other major topics.  But if this country is ever to move beyond political pygmies and to enjoy honest and responsible government, liars and cheats like Huhne need to be weeded out of positions of responsibility.

Matthew Parris – an example of Britain’s declining values

Matthew Parris was always on the wet side of the Conservative Party.  But as time has gone on and the Tory left has tightened its stranglehold on the rest of the party, Parris has become increasingly hydrated.  The rise of Cameron has seen Parris graduate from walking past a mist spray to ‘bombing’ into the deep end of the pool off the high board.  He is now so sopping wet his previous good sense on many matters of principle have been consigned to the dustbin.

This explains why such an exceptionally talented writer now turns out so much claptrap in his column.  Parris is, in my humble opinion, one of the best columnists in years.  But being a great author does not render the man immune from possessing questionable values and a warped sense of what is right and wrong – something that is very much in evidence in Parris’ missive in The Times about the David Laws affair, in which he tries to shoot the messenger rather than the wrongdoer, as he opens thus:

There’s something sick about this country. We’ve spent a weekend arguing about whether David Laws should go when we should have been trying desperately to persuade him to stay.

There is indeed something sick about this country.  It is the endemic corrosion of values that sees people, like Parris and so many others in the political class, incapable of recognising wrongdoing for what it is.  It is the inability to differentiate right from wrong and subsequent wailing about a supposed unfairness of appropriate consequences being applied to a wrongdoer.  It is the sickness of hypocrisy and double standards that surface from within the political to defend the deceit, cheating and theft by one of their own, after they have spoken gravely of the need for the severest punishment for ordinary mortals who similarly cheat the system for their own ends.  A crass self service where theft is downgraded for political purposes as ‘an error of judgement’.

David Laws’ actions were not a mere cock up as Parris would have his readers believe.  This was a genuine conspiracy.  It was a well thought out and executed plan to hide his personal circumstances.  To pull it off Laws needed to claim money to which his true personal circumstances meant he was not entitled.  He knew it, but he put his self interest before doing what was right and in so doing claimed hard earned taxpayers’ money which he gave to his long time partner – a man who was not his landlord, but his lover.  The public purse was used to further Laws’ ongoing cover up of his realtionship and sexuality.  Neither were our business, until he wrongly took our money.  But, wails Parris, it was within the rules.  How many times will we hear that defence of the indefensible?  Where do the public have any say over those rules?

The problem is that many people follow the line set by those such as Parris, because they consider such commentators to be wisened sages.  But Parris’ views of the matter are anything but wise.  Rarely can I remember a time when so many people who had been wronged had been manipulated into stepping forward to defend the wrongdoer who took from them.  But then, fools and money are easily parted, which perhaps explains why these people seem comfortable with the idea that although David Laws cheated the system, diddled them out of the tax pounds, for nothing more than vested self interest, he should have remained in post without consequence or punishment.

When Parris speaks selectively of ‘foul hypocrisy’ he should take a look in the mirror.  Some vicious morons have tried to make it such, but this matter isn’t about gay or straight, it is about the misuse of public money.  Period.  It is about this sense among many in the political class that because we fork over our tax pounds they are in some way entitled to them to make their oh-so-difficult lives more bearable without dipping into their own pockets.  Despite Parris’ hysterical moral outrage, it is he who is an example of this country’s declining morals and values.  He should learn to recognise the difference between right and wrong before lecturing us.

Talent is the new immunity in politics

Never mind that you have taken taxpayers’ money that you’re not entitled to.

Never mind that you have lied for years about your circumstances to Parliamentary authorities.

Never mind that your self serving actions have required you to resign from the government benches in disgrace.

David Laws, as you are considered to be more talented than most others in the shallow pool of talent in the Westminster bubble inhabited by those of us in the political class, not a difficult feat in all honesty, take comfort from the pledge of this country’s leadership that the wrongs you have committed against the public will be set aside shortly and there is every expectation that you will be able to resume your government career before too long.

You’re concerned about public anger?  Pah, forget about that, David.  The public do not matter.  We are the political class and we will do what suits us best, a bit like you did actually.  We make the rules.  Notice how we pointedly diverted attention from what you did and talked you up with lavish messages of support?  We look after our own.  Our political needs are more important than the views of a few uppity voters who still think this is a democracy.  It’s rather quaint actually.  But it’s the order of things, you see?  Once you’re in the club, the committee will take care of you and the members will see you right.  Outsiders are of no relevance here.

If you’ve got talent then you are immune from being banished to the backbenches for the rest of your Parliamentary career.  We’ll just say bringing you back is in the national interest and the minions will fall into line.  Dave will see to it.

Chin up old chap.  See you back at Cabinet soon!

David Laws: Insipid political class circles the wagons

Any ordinary taxpaying voters feeling anger at the response to the David Laws matter by David Cameron and Nick Clegg are completely justified in feeling that way.  The response of the Prime Minister and his Lib Dem deputy to Laws’ resignation has been extraordinary, but unsurprising.

This is the political class at its worst, lauding one of its own who has defrauded the public, maintained a deception and demonstrated appalling judgement.  Consider this part of Cameron’s letter of reply to Laws:

The last 24 hours must have been extraordinarily difficult and painful.

You are a good and honourable man. I am sure that, throughout, you have been motivated by wanting to protect your privacy rather than anything else.

Your decision to resign from the government demonstrates the importance you attach to your integrity.

Cameron is clearly living on another planet.  Yes, that 24 hours must have been difficult and painful for David Laws, having had his sexuality discussed in the media in such lurid terms and seeing his partner turned into an object of media interest.  I sympathise about that.

But it wouldn’t have been an issue if he had not used taxpayers’ money to maintain his cover up, claiming for rent payments that were only made to give the impression he was renting a room, rather than cohabiting with his partner.  That was unacceptable.  How can Cameron describe Laws as good and honourable when the man has admitted misusing public money to serve his own interests?  It is nonsensical doublespeak from Cameron and it dismisses the wrongdoing against hard pressed taxpayers.  If David Laws had acted with integrity he wouldn’t have claimed taxpayers’ money as part of his cover up of his sexuality in the first place.  He wouldn’t have accepted the ministerial position knowing he was fleecing the public.  It is a funny kind of integrity that only surfaces after being caught out doing something wrong.

Cameron’s comments reveal the depth of the contempt his has for ordinary people he considers to be lesser individuals.  Harsh?  Well, you’ve seen the comments yourself.  How else can his comments be read?  But he is not alone in his dismissal of ordinary people who have been wronged.  His clone in the Cabinet, Nick Clegg, is no better, saying as he did in his response to the resignation:

When all is said and done, this has come about because of David’s intense desire to keep his own private life private.

Again, where is there acknowledgement of Laws’s wrongdoing?  In fact, Clegg, like Cameron, is talking about a desire to have Laws return to the government in the future.  He even says his admiration for Laws has increased in the last 24 hours!  These are people who were critical of Peter Mandelson’s in-out in-out shake it all about Cabinet career after his two resignations for wrongdoing.  Yet when it is one of their own, they exhibit a contradictory mindset.  Wrongdoing is black and white.  This is utter hypocrisy.  And let’s devote a moment to that fool David Steel, who said:

His mistake did not cost the taxpayer a penny since he could have been paying to rent a room elsewhere.

Oh give me strength.  This wasn’t a mistake by Laws, it was a calculated action to achieve a particular end.  It did cost the taxpayer money because the property he lived in was owned by his partner where he could live rent-free.  He wasn’t renting a room, he was cohabiting and the rent expenses were abused to maintain the cover up.  Steel is building a strawman by suggesting Laws’ choice was either pay rent to his partner to cover up his sexuality, or he would have had to live elsewhere at cost to the taxpayer.  Laws could have simply been true to himself, lived with his partner and not claimed rent at all.  Why should the public have to foot the bill for such personal decisions?

Despite all the words spoken by the political class about cleaning up politics, not misusing public money, reforming Parliament and being demonstrably open, accountable and transparent, we are seeing the top of the political class revert back to their troughing type.  Their interests are not the same as our interests.  We are just expected to fork over the money and shut up.  The political class is every bit as sleazy now as it was before.  Nothing has changed.  They are pretending that no wrongdoing has taken place.  The political class is talking down the fact tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money have been wrongly claimed by David Laws and instead spinning a line to the public that this man really didn’t do wrong by us.  But the fact is our money was misappropriated and we were wronged.  There is no honesty from the insipid climbers inside their insular, self serving Westminster bubble.

David Laws resigns and panic replacement arrives >>>

David Laws: very sad, very wrong, completely unacceptable >>>

They just don’t get it, or just don’t want to get it >>>

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.


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