Tag Archive: Politics Home

All Party Parliamentary Groups (3)

Writing on the Central Lobby’ section of Politics Home, we see today Mark Pritchard furthering the case for the existence of All Party Parliamentary Groups. This article follows Pritchard being ‘cleared’ by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, as a result of a Daily Telegraph article about his Albanian business affairs, the Commissioner ruling that there was “insufficient evidence” for an inquiry.

It is possible to make an argument both for and against APPGs and likewise trips abroad in relation to the work of an APPG, but there still remains questions related to the activities of such groups.

  • Should it not be mandatory that Minutes are kept of AGM’s and other meetings; and likewise should it not be mandatory that accounts are likewise available?
  • Should it not be mandatory that an MP using ‘his time’ while on an APPG trip  - as against ‘APPG time’ – to further his business interests, be asked to make a payment equivalent to the return airfare and accommodation costs?
  • Should it not be mandatory that where overseas trips are undertaken at the expense of UK taxpayers, there should be introduced an element of ‘Referism’?

According to the Standards and Financial Interests section of the Parliament website: MPs and Members of the Lords must declare certain financial interests, the purpose of which is to provide information on any financial or non-financial benefit received by a MP or Member of the Lords which might reasonably be thought by others to influence their actions, speeches or votes in Parliament or influence their actions taken in their capacity as a Member.

This raises the question of whether or not Pritchard on any of the trips abroad as part of his being a member of an APPG, conducted any business on behalf of his company(s); in which case, if he did, did he not receive a ‘benefit’? Yet one sees no mention of this in his recent declaration of interests (pp233-234) – and one also wonders whether any declaration of this ‘benefit’ was declared to HMRC. 

As part of his defence for the existence of APPGs, Pritchard makes reference to the need of MPs to be better informed about the world in which they live, pointing out that in his opinion MPs need to be local, national and global. A reasonable aspiration one would agree; but, I would suggest, a total waste of an MPs time at present when so much of their ability to affect all three have been outsourced to the European Union.

As can be seen the world of APPGs is one of ‘murk’ and ‘mystery’ – at which point one can only wonder what happened to another Coalition promise, one of transparency as embodied in the ‘Programme for Government‘. Did not the Foreward mention a shared ambition to clean up Westminster and extending transparency to every area of public life?

Turning to the 6 Demands it could be envisaged that the details of an MPs selection and conditions of employment may be decided by the electorate of their local area or county; and being embodied in a local constitution. It is logical that if MPs terms and conditions of employment are to be set locally then they should be paid from local funds, rather than a central ‘pot’. At which point it would then be for an MPs constituents to decide whether he or she should be allowed to supplement his/her income with a ‘bit on the side’. Now that would provide transparency!


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Puff-ball rugby

Following Barroso’s comments, during his State of the EU address about the Conservative party, Ukip and political integration, Politics Home writes that No10 tackles Barroso - do also read the linked articles that have appeared in the media.

Here we have the spokesperson for a party that wishes this nation to remain full members of the EU but, in effect, is arguing over the small print of said membership – said small print which is set in stone – attempting to show their macho side, is comparable to a comedy script similar to that of ‘Yes Minister’ . This writer is a tad surprised that we have not suffered the further insult of Andrea Leadsom inserting her foot into the mouth of this debate – yet. For one with a history of never missing an opening into which to insert her foot, her silence – and that of her cohorts, so far – is indeed puzzling. Mind you, give a girl time………. But I digress.

Likewise, here we have a member of the ‘Westminster Bubble’ attempting to draw our attention away from the basic question, namely who rules this country. That Politics Home cannot even touch on that point – and thus admit that if they believe in democracy per se – that it must be we, the people who are the only section of our society who can rule, would confirm that they are indeed part of the problem that bedevils our nation and one in which we are forcibly held in thrall.

It would seem that Politics Home, being a tad insular in their outlook, chose well when deciding on a name for their site, coupled with the fact their chief writer goes by the name of ‘Waugh’ shows that we who believe in independence of the people, are truly in one! As we all know rugby is a physical game in which tackles invariably are bone-jarring – Politics Home are shown to be playing soft-ball, one in which physical tackling is not allowed!

Just saying……….

 

 


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The news you won’t hear from the MSM

Richard North, EUReferendum, writes about the latest offering to the world of a love child and it appears that not only do we have a surfeit of bastards but the bastards are multiplying.

David Cameron has written his latest “love letter” to the remaining – and dwindling – members of his party; and yet again one has to ask just who is this “We”? Perhaps if he and other political parties did not interfere so much in our lives, we would indeed be able to get on in life and be more willing to work hard.

He is also of the opinion that life outside the EU would not be disastrous for Britain, but ponders if that is what we really want. Once again, just who is this “We”?

Iain Martin reckons that Nigel Farage is on the verge of pulling off a remarkable coup. As Allister Heath writes, the only thing Nigel Farage has pulled off is to promote himself as a Knight in Shining Armour riding to the rescue of our nation with a bag of policies full of more holes than a colander.

Eric Joyce has obviously reached his cell-by-date.

The Politics Home front page today has an article headlined “Cam + Clegg committed”; if only they were, along with MilibandE.

 

 

 


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Two fails in one day? Tsk, Tsk.

When I saw an article by Miles Saltiel on the Adam Smith Institute website, one entitled: “And end to zombie politics” and which began:

“When economists speak of “zombie banks” or “zombie companies”, they mean outfits so overwhelmed by debt that they cannot turn to the future. So too the current generation of UK politicians, with a zombie coalition and a zombie opposition. The poor beggars are weighed down not just by debt but also by duff ideas from the past, just like the man down the hole who hasn’t worked out that first he needs to stop digging.”

understandably my interest meter rose – but then promptly subsided, which is hardly surprising as Saltiel read PPE at Oxford and naturally believes in the status quo where our system of democracy is concerned.

On the subject of democracy it would appear that twixt now and the beginning of June we aren’t getting much. According to Paul Waugh, Politics Home, there will be only two PMQ sessions – details here. Now some may say that is a blessing in disguise as PMQs is but a side-show; but on the other hand it is part of what passes for representative democracy. Bearing in mind yet another Parliamentary recess is coming up coupled with the fact that representative democracy as a system is not fit for purpose, methinks we are due a rebate.

Just saying………


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From HBOS to XBOS

According to PoliticsHome,  James Crosby is offering to give up his knighthood and forfeit 30% of his pension entitlement in recompense for wrecking a bank and causing untold misery to thousands? Wow, how magnanimous!

Mark Garnier, Conservative, is reported as stating that Crosby’s move was “small consolation” and wished to see some personal accountability. Fine, but can we see some personal accountability for the misuse of public funds – aka Expenses? Can we see some “falling on swords” for blatant misuse of said funds? Can we see some “personal accountability” by members of the last government for the crap decisions made? Can we see some “personal accountability” by members of the present government for the crap decisions they too have made? Will we see some of Garnier’s colleagues from all parties doing the “honourable thing”?

Until such time as the people get to decide who receives honours of whatever description, perhaps the appropriate phrase to Garnier is: “ta gueule!”


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Now, this is “interesting”…..

According to Politics Home Ed Miliband has called on the Government to stop threatening to restrict EU migrants access to benefits with ”windy rhetoric”, telling Radio 5live’s John Pienaar that David Cameron should not “start floating things unless you know that they are actually possible to be done”. This comment by Miliband is obviously as a result of May and Duncan Smith taking to the airways about immigration from the EU.

And the reason(s) that it is “interesting” is what, dear reader? C’mon, thinking caps on please – I’m not doing all the work round here (grins)…..

 

 


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Fear not, debt and deficit are safe

Politics Home has extracts from Cameron’s post-EU budget press conference, from which:

“Cameron: The best way to protect the British taxpayer is to get overall spending down, which we’ve done,”

“But Mr Cameron confirmed the UK’s net contribution would increase, despite the cut in the overall budget.”

“Under a deal agreed by former PM Tony Blair in 2005, the UK’s rebate – the amount of Britain’s contribution paid back to London – will shrink.”

“The Prime Minister said that deal meant the UK’s contribution “was always going to go up”

“Cameron: Attempts to undermine the rebate were made again and again, at almost every meeting there’s been on this subject. As ever, it was attacked from every side. I fought off these attempts. The British rebate is safe.”

Now it must be obvious from the above that two and two do, most definitely, not add up to four. Our rebate is safe, there has been a cut in the budget, yet our contributions will increase

Confused from Witney, he say WTH is going on here?


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The EU Debate (2)

Today, in the first of the posts in this “series” I had what may be termed a “mini-rant” at the distortions that are being applied to the topic that, contrary to the wishes of David Cameron, appears to be the “subject du jour”.

When comparing the informed information that is being provided by Richard North, EUReferendum, here and here, compared to that which is appearing in our media here, here, here and here, can anyone argue that my frustrations at the lack of informed debate are unfounded? It is probably little known that a couple of years ago Richard North’s posts were regularly linked to by, for example, Politics Home. Now, since he has become an avowed critic of ‘matters political class’ and ‘matter EU’, links to his articles are few and far between. For what purports to be an information source for all matters political, one would have thought that all views, no matter their “alignment”, would be worthy of inclusion – which leads one to question whether censorship is practised by PH and, if so at whose instigation.

It is well-known that “journalists” read blogs – from whence else would they get their “news” – yet rarely, if ever, do we see an article that is “au contraire” the accepted view and certainly not – if one does appear – with any attribution.

Why is it that detailed opposition to the news that is put out by the MSM never gets mentioned? Why is it that the detailed rebuttals of those that are considered “accepted voices” never make the output of the media? Why is it that the authors of articles such as this never return to that which they have written and answer their critics? The only person who so does, among those who believe they are the “great and the good”, is Norman Tebbit.

That a fair and reasoned “debate” can be held on any subject, let alone this country’s membership of the European Union, is but a dream. What price Leveson when considering the independence of the media? The media has no independence - like those in whose pockets they are, thee media have “vested interests”!

 

 


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The dye is cast

The Coalition government has today published what it calls it’s Mid-Term Review and the section on “Europe” is telling when considering all this “renegotiation” meme that Cameron keeps repeating. The first sentence of this section neatly encapsulates how any negotiations will be conducted; how William Hague’s Audit will be carried out; and what little choice the electorate will have come the time for them to cast a vote in any referendum:

“The Government is committed to membership of the European Union.”

In other words, dear reader, the decision on the UK’s membership of the EU has already been taken – and it matters not whether it is this government or one led by MilibandE.

That the forces of the media have been engaged to ‘form’ the opinions of the British public is already becoming obvious, with article upon article all appearing and which warn of the dangers of involvement in any exit. The most obvious of such articles is that by Mats Persson, one that appeared in the Daily Telegraph – and similar have appeared in the Guardian (Mandelson); the Financial Times (Norman Blackwell); and others in the media repeating the lies of David Cameron, especially those lies on the status of Norway and Switzerland viz-a-viz the EU.

In the context of the formulation of peoples minds and there being no difference in the attitude of whether our government is one formed by either Conservative or Labour, the article on Politics Home by Danny Alexander is a prime example, from which:

“And even if he thinks it is: is an in/out referendum really the biggest issue we have to face in Europe today?”

Throughout the history of the UK’s membership of the EU, the political class have gone out of their way to ‘play down’ the importance of said membership – and this is but another example of that in yet another attempt to diminish it in the minds of the electorate. It never ceases to amaze me that a member of a body that is continually attempting to emphasize the importance of parliamentary sovereignty is so keen to overlook their own subversion of that privilege.

Politicians of all political parties are ‘signed-up’ to the need for transparency, a word that implies an intention to be truthful, yet none of them are so doing – not one, not even the “Darlings of the Media” such as Douglas Carswell, Daniel Hannan and Nigel Farage. The only “meme” to which those three, along with every politician, is “signed-up” is to that of power and control of the people.

Because of that it is essential, for the good of this nation, that the 6 Demands of the Harrogate Agenda are accepted and adopted by the British people – and even then the British people will have a fight on their hands. These Demands are based on the premise that the future of any nation belongs to those of that nation – it does not belong to a group of elected representatives that then decides to act as a dictatorship.

And those last few words can but emphasize all that is wrong with that which is presented to us by our political class as democracy.


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What a difference a word (or two) can make

It would seem that a difference of opinion is breaking out twixt ex-minister Paul Burstow and David Willetts, Universities Minister, over the question of applying a means test to the Winter Fuel payments. Unfortunately Politics Home, through what may be called a typographical error or lack of proof reading, compounds the problem. According to Politics Home, Willetts said:

“We made a very clear pledge on that during the election campaign and the Prime Minister quite rightly believes in sticking his pledges.”

Now either Willetts said the Prime Minister quite rightly believes in sticking to his pledges; or that the Prime Minister quite rightly believes in sticking his pledges in the wastepaper bin (or similar receptacle).

It is difficult to decide which is the greater cause for mirth: Politics Home for sloppy journalism and editing; Willetts for attempting to defend the indefensible; or the clown in Number 10.


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