Posts Tagged 'MPs’ Expenses'

David Cameron Monthly News Conference

Synopsis:

DC came out fighting effectively calling GB a coward with regard to the backing down over spending plans. Indeed he again explicitly said that the Tories will bring in spending cuts. This catches out the government who are hiding behind the “who knows what will happen to the economy?”

A pointed call for the release of the current years expenses to have less blank ink, revealing addresses.

A clever call to retain 2nd jobs for MPs using the argument that career politicians is not what the people want. I am of the opinion that it should be compulsory for MPs to have had two years experience in a job OUTSIDE politics. Get out of the Westminster bubble folks!

No date given on spending specifics. This is the correct approach to play. One cannot show ones hand when the government have said nothing. Channel 4 tried to corral DC into an autumn deadline and asked about the housing plan brought in by the govt. DC batted this away.

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Cameron on R4 and R5

An accomplished performance from Cameron obviously mostly about the expenses farce. It’s always uncomfortable dealing with the rants, sometimes rambling, of John Humphreys and of the great British public. He was very quick to respond in a reasonable fashion. Clearly welll coached but I was impressed.
The interview/phone-in moved on to the general election. Cameron pressed again for a July election, an event not seen since 1945 (clearly an extraordinary time) and before that 1902. He also refused to criticise the Speaker. It’s not clear if this is a case of disinterested, uninterested or Machiavellian.

Cameron launches Europe Manifesto

Somewhat dwarfed by the Speaker’s speech, David Cameron launched his manifesto for Europe today. He impressed with the first half of his brief oratory. The euro sceptics of the country have long called out for a representative who is not a europhobe. There is a clear distinction to be made between reform within Europe and leaving the cosy club (but that should always be retained as a possible outcome should change not take place). The direct connection of the rebate to CAP reform is vital if a CAP solution is to be found. It is a collective disgrace that farmers of wealthier nations receive more than farmers of poorer nations in what is supposed to be a club of equality. A commitment to attack the gravy train of the Eurocrats was also welcoming.
The second half of the speech was less inspiring. The call for a general election seems ill timed. The reaction of voters in a general election at this time is very much an unknown. Whilst DC has responded well to the expenses debacle, the Conservative vote is still down in polls and may lead to less seats than expected. In twelve months, DC’s reaction will be seen to be a sign of a man in touch with the nation but general disdain for politicians will have subsided resulting in a withering of the votes for the minor parties ensuring a smoother election result. Mr Cameron’s desire for government is understandable but in this case, patience is a virtue.

MPs’ Expenses: Crime and Punishment

One must congratulate the Daily Telegraph on its ability to spin so much out of its outlay. This has been helped by its fellow media outlets who are still content to feast on the tawdry but irresistable nuggets. The initial reports were of breaking the spirit of the rules and I am not inclined to have MPs pay the money back. Like the public apology, I see no true purpose in it. What is needed is patience and a full redrafting of the manner in which MPs are remunerated and compensated for extraneous expenses.  Don’t blame the players, blame the game.

However what we are now faced with are two clear cases of fraudulent activity. It is astonishing that Ray Mallon, the mayor of Middlesbrough has had to ask for a police investigation to be instigated. Former minister Elliot Morley has been suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party after claiming £16,000 expenses for a mortgage he had already paid off. But when did he pay this back? If recently, then clearly there is a case for arresting and charging him for fraud. Equally husband and wife MPs Andrew MacKay and/or Julie Kirkbride have police questions to answer,

The MPs’ Expenses Farce continues

An incompetent government seemingly led by events rather than leading, an emboldened opposition, the trickle of public backing being lost being turned into a flood. They say that history repeats itself but thirteen years seems like an awfully short time.

One wonders why, when an independent enquiry is due to report before the year end on the comprehensive issue of allowances, the government would seek to pick a fight now. One can only think that Gordon Brown has lost touch with all reality! The damage to his reputation and that hint of sleaze is done but deferring to an independent body would surely lead to this story slipping away. His insistence on meddling has kept this story in the news far longer than would otherwise have happened.

Gordon Brown’s government is a dead man walking. June 2010 cannot come too soon.


November 2017
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