THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain

Posts categorized "Corruption" Feed

One law for them, another for us.

Labour politician resigned after admitting taking cocaine - Telegraph.

If a dealer told the drugs squad that you were a user, how would you expect them to react? It seems that the answer is "it depends." Most of us could expect them to seek corroborating evidence and prosecute us. A member of the Labour Party however, can expect to be tipped off, warned of the possibility of blackmail and advised to delete any incriminating images on his mobile phone. Perhaps someone should remind the officers of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency that they are employed to serve justice, not Labour politicians. Being brought to trial for conspiring to pervert the course of justice might do the trick.

I don't care that Steven Purcell took cocaine. Frankly, I wish every statist busybody would drug him or herself into addled harmlessness. But for so long as the law controls drug use, it should be applied equally to all. After all, I seem to recall reading somewhere that the Labour Party favours "equality." If he had a gramme of intellectual consistency, Steven Purcell would present a signed confession and insist on being prosecuted. Then he might (though I still doubt it) aspire to treatment "equal" to that the SCDEA would give the mugs who vote for him.

Again, Wat posts the graph that matters

Burning our money: Pathetic Autistic Castrates.

As everyone and his dog prattles on about the politics of the Conservatives and the EU, Wat Tyler (link above) keeps his head and posts this graph (click for the full misery);

Eu contributions net 2007
He observes, drily;

UK withdrawal would hurt them a lot more than it would hurt us
Given the graph he posted the other day, by what logic is Britain such a huge net contributor? Why is Poland, doing better in the crisis than most other EU countries, taking so much from the Germans, Brits and Dutch? I lived there 11 years and love the place dearly, but do they think we have some moral obligation to compensate for their years of suffering under Communism? Though they like to blame it on the Russians now, let's not forget the KGB was founded by a Pole. As for the Greeks, really guys! A few millennia is long enough for anyone to rest on their laurels, however magnificent. It might be time to roll up your sleeves and do a bit again.

200px-Felix_Dzerzhinsky_1919Britain's glory has long since faded and it's time to face the truth. We are a poor country with a lower standard of life than the other net contributors to the EU budget. Don't blather, please, about our relative GDP. It's what our money can buy us that matters for this purpose. My friends and colleagues in Stuttgart, Paris or Berlin earning less than half what my partners in London earn can live far better on it. Their direct taxes are roughly the same; they have fewer stealth taxes; their public services are actually usable and for what it will cost me to buy my daughters a studio flat in London, I could buy them five in Berlin.

Whatever the (massively undemocratic) politics of the EU may be and regardless of its murky accounting to conceal its shameful corruption, it is an enormous rip-off for the British. The crowing EU-philes* enjoying David Cameron's (well-deserved) embarrassment should instead be doing something about that. Whoever is the next Prime Minister, I suggest Margaret Thatcher sends him her biggest, heaviest handbag and he takes it to Brussels with a house brick in it.

If you want us to love this bastard child of yours, at least get its hands out of our pockets!

* I really object to them stealing the word "europhile." I am a europhile. I holiday in France in my Italian car while wearing my Swiss (or sometimes my German) watch. I drink only French wine and would prefer only ever to eat French food. I speak French and Polish and understand German and Russian. I am no Little Englander, yet I completely detest the EU. I see it as a threat to all European freedoms, not just those of Britain.

MPs' expenses: still not getting it

MPs' expenses: pay rise for MPs to stop rebellion - Telegraph.

Unlike angrier members of the blogosphere, I would be happy for a reasonable number of MP's to be paid a handsome salary. We have too many for the size of country and the scope of the role, given that 60-70% of legislation comes from Brussels. As electors make strange choices, I know this will mean a lot of overpaid oafs. It is certainly galling to contemplate the likes of Dennis Skinner, Michael Martin and Jacqui Smith on, say,  £175,000 a year, when they have barely the talent to command a minimum wage between them in "real life." On the other hand, it would be sensible to make a career as a legislator an attractive option for non-oafs, and the salary enough to remove all temptations for corruption.

The expenses scandal has blown away the last shreds of the pretence that politicians are disinterested, noble souls. Many - perhaps even half of them - are clearly amoral chancers. The truth is, it's a job like any other and employers need to be alert to bent employees with their hands in the till. The electors, as employers, should really consider the qualifications of the candidate, not just to what political conspiracy s/he belongs. Perhaps the realisation that s/he would command a serious salary might make voters think before electing the more obvious media-friendly buffoons, with no talent for reviewing and amending complex legislation. Full CVs of all candidates should be available on-line in a standardised form, so that voters can compare and contrast what they would be getting for their money. I suggest all candidates should take psychometric and IQ tests and those results be published too.

MPs exist to serve their employers and should live in their constituencies so as to be accessible. Expenses for that should be their own. Everyone has to live somewhere, and people move when they get a new job. They should get a modest, public, equal allowance for a London apartment (which they can supplement if they want something grander) and travel vouchers for travelling between constituency and office. London MPs should not get even that. The allowance should pay rent, not finance a purchase. Office and secretarial services should be provided by the Civil Service and all other expenditure on parliamentary business should be published, as incurred, on a public website, so that electors can monitor their employee's conduct in relation to "jollies" etc.

The idea that they could monitor themselves as "honourable members" was a crock. So is the idea that they can create an "independent" body to monitor them. No-one can monitor them but their electorate and this should be made as easy as possible.

Damage is being done to democracy now. Not because the public is angry; we are entitled to be. It's because the MPs and the party leaders in particular are responding to this as a political, not a moral issue. Many more MPs should be expelled from their parties for the crooks they are. Party leaders should be informing the police of the conduct of the more egregious offenders. Their whingeing and moaning is destroying democracy. It's time for them to bite the bullet.

No pay rises, ladies and gentlemen please, until the stables have been cleaned.

It gets better

MPs' expenses: parliamentary privilege could hamper police inquiries - Telegraph.

If they use (spurious) claims of parliamentary privilege to interfere with police investigations, even the densest voters will know them for what they are. Our elected representatives seem intent - for the first time - on solving the problem of apathy in the UK. Keep it up, chaps. You may not be justifying your expense claims, but you are finally earning your salaries.

Could we really be this lucky?

Labour MPs may sue over expenses | Politics | The Observer.

If these aggrieved gentles act on their threats, the effects will be wonderful. Some lawyers will make an honest living. The corruption of our members of parliament will be kept in the public gaze throughout the next election campaign. Labour will have its resources sapped to deal with the litigation. Some might even win, forcing the worst enemy ever known to the British working class to divert money from its election war chest to the payment of their damages. Some of them will undoubtedly lose, to further humiliation. Best of all, I would not put it past a high quality civil court judge to berate the Crown Prosecution Service for not having brought them to justice.

It would all be just too delicious. Please do it guys. Pretty please.

Pay it back, Ms Smith. It's not yours.

Jacqui Smith Request for Payback.

The Sunlight Centre for Open Politics has written a very fair letter to Jacqui Smith. Ms Smith has cheated the taxpayer and an apology will not suffice. If you or I cheated our employer of £4,000, let alone £42,000, an apology would not absolve us. Perhaps if we paid it back, with interest, a kind employer might drop the charges after dismissing us. More likely he would call the police anyway. If he realised that our whole family had become so accustomed to living at his expense that they were carelessly including bills for their porn movies in our claims, I am pretty sure he would.

Ms Smith should pay the money back. Then her employers can decide what to do with her. As various MPs are showing, including the God-bothering Ann Widdecombe, they still don't get it. Not yet, at least. With an election looming, the party leaders are "getting it" though. They are digging into their own pockets to pay back their own unjustified claims.

It was only a proper expense, ladies and gentlemen of Parliament, if it was wholly and necessarily incurred in the performance of your duties. Lying about your main residence to score tens of thousands towards mortgage payments and/or household expenses you would have had whether an MP or not, was not. "Flipping" your homes so as to claim expenses on each in turn, was not. Flipping, claiming expenses to refurbish and then selling for a profit was property development at the taxpayers' cost, not a legitimate expense.

Your every protest now just condemns you more in the public eye. So, "get it" finally. Shut up. Pay up. All of you. Now. And never let us hear a slimy, hypocritical word about your vocation for "public service" again.

Only a Kennedy could get away with it

Airbrushing out Mary Jo Kopechne by Mark Steyn on National Review Online

I had hoped never to mention that odious family again, but the continuing lionisation of, arguably, the worst of them prompts me to refer you to the linked article by Mark Steyn in America's National Review.

Mary Jo Kopechne, according to John Farror the diver who found her body, lived for at least an hour, maybe more, in an air pocket in Kennedy's car while the late senator slept it all off. At best, we can assume she would have died anyway, even if he had called for help. At worst, we have to imagine an innocent star-struck girl taking her time to die.

She did not have long to realise what most misguided young leftists take years over; that her heroes were scum.

Any doubts I had about President Obama died as he gave his funeral oration for Kennedy. Any doubts that the American Left was quite as toxic as our own died when I read this (and headed disbelievingly to the source to check it):

At the Huffington Post, Melissa Lafsky mused on what Mary Jo “would have thought about arguably being a catalyst for the most successful Senate career in history . . . Who knows — maybe she’d feel it was worth it.”

Right. She would have died willingly, so that Ted Kennedy could be the Democratic Party's king maker. I am sure she thought that during her wait to die. As for Kennedy, he thought it was funny. He asked his friends for the latest Mary Jo jokes. And he named his dog Splash.

MoD ‘missing’ £6.6bn of hardware / UK - MoD ‘missing’ £6.6bn of hardware

In answering a comment recently I wrote that I would not trust the British government to clean my shoes, let alone be responsible for critical aspects of my healthcare. I pointed out what a bad job it did of running other institutions, including the army.

Some readers may have thought me harsh. Yet, in the linked story, we read that one-sixth of the British Army's equipment (including weapons) could not be accounted for by auditors. The Ministry of Defence has "lost" a whole year's worth of defence spending; the best part of £7 billion. How many cities full of Britons worked for a whole year to contribute such a sum?

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the organisation you trust to educate your children, provide for you in sickness, unemployment and disability. You may hope that it will (more or less) support you in your old age. If it were, say, a bank or an insurance company, would you trust it? Of course you wouldn't, but in this case you have no choice. The money you give is extracted by threat of force. You are, in effect, its slaves for months of every year. See how much it values your labour!

Of course, this is beyond mere incompetence. Those valuable items still exist somewhere. Who has all those guns, grenades and other lethal kit? Our enemies, of course; whether foreign terrorists or native criminals. Who else would want them? They have stolen them or bought them from corrupt government employees. Trust me. £6.6 billion of military hardware is not down the back of a sofa. So, not only has "your" government lost your money, it has delivered your foes the means to kill you - at your own expense.

Still inclined to trust it? Still inclined to vote to extend its sphere of activity? If so, you deserve all you get.

Political gratitude

BBC NEWS | UK | Porritt parting shot at ministers.

Time and again, outgoing government employees criticise the administration that employed them. Jonathon Porritt has sucked at the public teat for nine years, without ever a word of criticism, but now he has come over all brave. If the government had taken his advice, presumably it would now have a strong record (as it claims) on environmental policies. If it was not taking his advice, why did he continue to take our money from it? Why was he not principled enough, this paragon of the green virtues, to resign?

Porritt is one of those who claims that green issues are of paramount concern; that the end is nigh for the world if they are not addressed. Yet, for taxpayers' money, he was prepared to keep silent for nine precious years when - as he would now have us believe - the government was failing to address them. When he sneers that Britain is a " leader in green rhetoric..." and accuses the government of hypocrisy, does he not see the irony of that?

In a mildly indignant tone, a government spokesman is quoted as saying;
Jonathan Porritt last week praised our Low Carbon Transition Plan which is backed by active steps to make sure firms in the UK grab the growth and job opportunities in nuclear, renewable, electric car and other growth industries.
Ah but yes, dear boy, last week you were still paying him with money looted from us. Prime Minister Balladur of France once cynically observed;
In politics there is only gratitude for favours yet to be received

It seems the insufferable, holier-than-thou Greens are more like their political opponents than they pretend.

Bringing Jacqui to Justice

Sunlight COPs Will Prosecute Jacqui Smith | Sunlight Centre for Open Politics.
The Sunlight Centre for Open Politics is going to do what the Crown Prosecution Service will not; prosecute Jacqui Smith for her fraudulent expenses claim. Nothing could do more to restore confidence in British justice than to demonstrate that the political establishment cannot protect its members by political direction of the police and Crown Prosecutors. The Centre is raising £100,000 to fund a private prosecution. I have donated today. Now it's your turn, gentle reader. Please click on this link to contribute by PayPal or credit card. Guido and other far more influential bloggers than me are putting their weight and money behind this.

Let's bring Jacqui to Justice. It's a start.