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March 29, 2009

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Graham Marlowe

Yes Paul: It may well have been there that I read it. Nice that I can now acknowledge the source properly. I would love to have seen the look on our beloved spiritual leaders face when she said it!

Paul Flynn

`Hen `Ferchetan, Happy to be critical of Peter hain when he deserved it on the fiddled election of Alun Michael. Happy to defend him when he is unjustly accused which he was on his deputy leader campaign

Paul Flynn

Graham, I believe I used that story in my book Dragons led by Poodles. Did you read that?

Graham Marlowe

Just on a lighter note, I read in one of the Blair books some years ago (Can't remember which, I have it might have been a title like Servants of the People or some such) which suggested Blair took against Rhodri, because Mrs Morgan, his mum, on being introduced to Blair said to him "I know you - you're that Lionel Blair!".

You can understand the old lady's confusion. I think I would probably have got on well with Rhodri's mum!

Hen Ferchetan

"Tory speaks posh English" shocker!

Paul Flynn

Thanks for acknowledging a success at last, Hen Ferchetan.

Did you notice the reaction of the Tory Assembly leader. It provides more evidence that he is an alien. He said that the video left him "HOLDING HIS SIDES IN MIRTH". No-one has spoken like that for a long time. Possibly he has learnt his English from an ancient book - possibly 18th century.

patrick

And as everybody knows -

Rhodri is living proof of the resurrection!

Hen Ferchetan

Yes Paul - huge success. That's why Rhodri has disowned it and Paul Murphy is apparently fuming at the own goal.

At least there's some Labour politicians able to call a spade a spade and an own goal an own goal.I do remember how important defending Peter Hain is to you though so please continue, it keeps us all entertained!

Graham Marlowe

According to the Guardian "Gordon Brown told bankers today they should stop behaving recklessly with other people's money and should instead uphold "family" values of honesty and fairness."


You can tell that Brown is almost done for when he starts preaching "family values", just like the old relics of the Tory party.

I have no love for bankers, but I have the greatest contempt for people like Jacqui Smith, Tony McNulty and Dawn Butler, not to mention Anne and Alan Keen and all the other spongers.

What a pity that Brown doesn't talk to these people and "honesty and fairness" and then sack them, and prove that he is a man and not a jelly.

I know I have said it before but ahain i ask the question, just how much longer is the PLP and wider party going to allow that pompous old windbag to carry on as leader bringing shame and embarrassment on a once great party.

Paul Flynn

Jolly Roger. It's the Spam filter that blocks your verse. I override it as soon as I find the problem.

Paul Flynn

Hen Ferchetan, some sour grapes here on the success of the Aneurin Glyndwr site. 9.000 hits for the first day of political site in Wales is a triumph. Of course it was thanks to the trap that Tories and PC fell into by rushing to publicise the site. Diolch.

Paul Flynn

Thanks for the comments of my call for Jacqui to go. They were much appreciated. I will expand on them in the next blog.

DG

"Brown's woefully inadequate response - that this is a "personal matter between Jacqui Smith and her husband". It is nothing of the sort"

Damn right. The porn thing is personal - the funding of it is not.

DG

Yeah, I saw the resignation call just after I posted here. Good on you sir :) But even if she went, I think it's too little too late. I'm not going to go on a rant, suffice to say people are disappointed with Labour and a period out of office might do the party good.

Graham Marlowe

I don't want to make him blush, but Paul showed great integrity and honesty. Compare that to Brown's woefully inadequate response - that this is a "personal matter between Jacqui Smith and her husband". It is nothing of the sort, and he shows himself to be extremely weak. He should sack her - and McNulty.

John

Good on you Paul you were the lone MP named on radio 4's News at 5 this afternoon as demending Ms Smiths resignation But I suspect the reason you were the only one is that almost everyone else is scared at what will be revealed over the coming months

Hen Ferchetan

How on earth is the number of hits a website has a good indication of what effect it has on people? Can't you see that the Tories and Plaid WANT people to go to that website and watch that video?

Thinking that a lot of hits on that website is good for Labour would be like the Tories thinking that it's great that so many people has looked at the video of John Redwwod acting like a fish!

Kay Tie

"I totally believe him when he expresses his disgust and disbelief in this matter."

Ditto.

Graham Marlowe

As he has been too modest to say so himself, DG, Paul was frank enough today to call on Smkith to resign - this was reported on Radio 4's World At One at lunchtime, during an interview with the somewhat oleaginous keith Vaz. Vaz didn't agree with Paul (but I seem to remember Vaz had embarrassments of his own just before the 2001 election so I suppose glass houses and stones come to mind).

I don't agree with Paul all the time, but give him the credit of being brave enough to put his head above the paraphet, and I totally believe him when he expresses his disgust and disbelief in this matter.

DG

A million pounds... sounds like a lot of money, but to pay for itself in one year, it would only have had to reduce expense claims per MP by £1547 each. In two years, £744 each. Not to mention the damage to Parliament's reputation (or what's left of it), which you surely can't put a price on.

Sounds like y'all missed out on a bargain.

Paul Flynn

Fair point DG. I voted against a new £1million pound new bureaucratic system that can be avoided with the simple reform of collapsing the expenses system and replacing with lower flat rate payments.

As I have said I do not think anyone MPs outside of London knew how second homes expenses were claimed in London. I certainly did not know until the recent publicity.

Kay Tie

What a long list of Labour MPs. I wonder if the media "bias" towards reporting on troughing Labour MPs vs. troughing Tory ones merely reflects the incidence of troughing. Snuffle munch grunt!

DG

"I have said previously that if the claims for London second homes are within the rules, then the rules are barmy and must be corrected."

Why did you vote against correcting them, then?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/7488639.stm

Kay Tie

"That was the system Kay Tie. An MP elected 15 years ago told me that he told by an official that the system was to divide his annual allowance by 12 and claim that amount every month."

It's wrong that MPs are paid that way, but it's also wrong that MPs are paid that much: these are huge salaries, way more than a reasonably well-paid manager in London gets. Don't you think that Harry Cohen as a hard core socialist should be showing solidarity with his electorate and not taking such huge sums? I cannot understand why when avowed socialists obtain power (as MPs or trade union leaders or whatever) they are completely comfortable with self-enrichment (at the same time as preaching according to the Gospel of Redistribution). Hypocrisy doesn't even begin to describe it.

Worse than the self-enrichment is the way the allowances are structured: it means that the daily difficulties of meeting rent or mortgage payments or Council Tax bills or dealing with inflation or the costs of commuting to work hardly impact an MP. Surely we can expect our politicians to suffer the consequences of their legislation in solidarity with the rest of us?

Paul Flynn

That was the system Kay Tie. An MP elected 15 years ago told me that he told by an official that the system was to divide his annual allowance by 12 and claim that amount every month.
That's the system that has grown up to judge the second home expenses as part of the salary.

I have discussed this with many outside London MPs in recent weeks. It was beyond our wildest nightmares that anyone would claim that their main home was a bedsit in a relative's home or a room in their parents' home.

The porn element is not a central objection.-although it does undermine the authority of a cabinet minister. Even if it had been Bambi or a Harry Potter film it should not have been claimed as a parliamentary expense. It should certainly not have approved by the Commons.


Jolly Roger

I daresay Jacqui's husband will thank her,
For exposing his 'handiwork' to public rancour.
I'll not even bother with the obvious rhyme,
Labour's much more adept at this 'handy' time.
Snouts in troughs and ***** out of trousers,
Emblazoned across the internet's browsers.
Leaks against Labour?? You're having a laugh.
It's time that Labour took an early bath.

Thank goodness for moles, both Labour or Tory,
Who enlighten the public with the fuller story.
With details and scams Labour'd prefer hidden,
As they sink to the depths of the deepest midden.
I agree that all Party sleaze should be exposed,
And that the guilty be immediately deposed.
Unfortunately, Labour just want to move on,
With weaseled apologies. No, you're not on.

A footnote for those who sent a good wish,
And with our host's gracious permish,
Just a word about the Black Dog,
Who's curled up in his basket, like the proverbial log,
He's having more surgery, thanks to the Vet,
Whose thinks it's not Black Dog's time just yet.
The Vet's quite confident, so we'll see how it goes,
And hopefully Black Dog'll soon be back on his toes.


Kay Tie

"I heard one Labour MP (can't remember his name) saying that it was the Tories who told him to claim as much as he can 10 years ago."

That's Comrade Harry Cohen talking about his dacha on Mersea Island.

“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

Jolly Roger

Oh dear, another verse denied,
It's hard to keep Paul satisfied.
A dissenting word or merry quip,
Is hard past the spam-filter to quietly slip.
Perhaps it was just one word that offended,
So I'll try it again, suitably amended.
I'll substitute the roguish word,
For the medical term that's frequently heard.


I daresay Jacqui's husband will thank her,
For exposing his 'handiwork' to public rancour.
I'll not even bother with the obvious rhyme,
Labour's much more adept at this 'handy' time.
Snouts in troughs and penises out of trousers,
Emblazoned across the internet's browsers.
Leaks against Labour?? You're having a laugh.
It's time that Labour took an early bath.

Thank goodness for moles, both Labour or Tory,
Who enlighten the public with the fuller story.
With details and scams Labour'd prefer hidden,
As they sink to the depths of the deepest midden.
I agree that all Party sleaze should be exposed,
And that the guilty be immediately deposed.
Unfortunately, Labour just want to move on,
With weaseled apologies. No, no, you're not on.

A footnote for those who sent a good wish,
And with our host's gracious permish,
Just a word about the Black Dog,
Who's curled up in his basket, like the proverbial log,
He's having more surgery, thanks to the Vet,
Whose thinks it's not Black Dog's time just yet.
The Vet's quite confident, so we'll see how it goes,
And hopefully Black Dog'll soon be back on his toes.

John

I have no problem with any adult watching legal porn. Unless they then go on to pontificate that it shouldn't be allowed for others. The moral hysteria surrounding this is hypocritical.
What I do find offensive (besides the fact he watched Ocean's 13 TWICE which is far more repugnant to me than watching Porn as its such a terrible film) is that it was claimed on expenses. This is the issue.

As Paul says lets get all the dirty laundry of MP's expenses out there for us all to see. Maybe by having this blinding light of publicity it may make our MP's think twice before they claim for something that we ultimately pay for.

As for Ms Smith again we see the Hypocrisy of our MP's do as I say not as I do. Cannabis smoking Jacqi wants to put others who do the same thing into jail for 5 years. Jacqi's husband watches Porn which she would have us believe leads to Prostitution and the evils of the sex slave industry.
Its about time Politicians didn't try and moralise for the rest of us.

Paul Woodward

I agree completely that this needs to be driven from the top. What I'm saying though is that this abuse will be shown to be widespread across all parties regardless of seating position in the house.

I heard one Labour MP (can't remember his name) saying that it was the Tories who told him to claim as much as he can 10 years ago. From memory I think the allowances came about because of a pay freeze and this was a way around it. He has a conscience, why can't he think for himself and realise that it was wrong and abuse of the system? Instead he tried to get as much as he grab and then blame the opposition.

I’m not sure which way I’ll be voting next time but you can be sure it’ll not be for a party which has Wacky Jacky on the front benches. Apart from being as dodgy as the next front bencher she is on a grand scheme to implement a big brother society all in the name of security.

Kay Tie

"The complaint is about the partial leaks. The whole lot must now be published."

I cannot see why if all the claims have been scanned they can't be put up on the net en masse. That it's going to take until July beggars belief: what are they doing with all this time? Trying to put out a multimillion pound contract for the web site development? Selectively shredding sensitive claims? Or paralyzed with fear about what's in those claims and the reputation of Parliament?

You're right. Publish now and be damned. Our political class is held in contempt, yet we will need sane politicians in the social unrest to come. Let's lance this particular boil now, accept that the political system needs rebuilding, and get on with it.

Graham Marlowe

Mr Woodward, I don't think you can blame backbenchers for this continuing. Brown (and Cameron) could do something quite easy. In these cases Brown should make a severe example of Tony McNulty, Jacqui Smith and Dawn Butler by sacking them and making it abundently clear that anyone else exploiting the system will face the same treatment. This would at least stop ministers and shadow ministers from taking advantage. Backbenchers could be removed from any committees or PPS positions they hold. It really does need IMMEDIATE attention from the top.

Paul Woodward

Personally I don't care which party the MP belongs to. This entire allowances fiasco has to be bought under control.

The fake shock and dissaproving nods coming from MP's is disapointing when they know the system is abused and will do nothing to bring about reform. All they will do is commision another report which won't come back until after the elections.

Why not make is simple and say that MP's within the M25 cannot claim second home allowances and for those outside the M25 the main home has to be in the constituancy. Then give a cap on the cost of rented accomidation within London. If MP's wish to purchase a second home in London and want it paid for by the taxpayer then they must be willing to share the profit from it if they sell it.

Party politics achieve nothing. MP's are here to represent the people who voted them. Until MP's realise this again and stop with the obsession with databases/ID cards and start being honest then the public will continue to distrust them.

Paul Flynn

The complaint is about the partial leaks. The whole lot must now be published.

The first question I had answered from Tony Blair as PM was a 'NO' on May 20th 1997 (the first possible date for an answer from him as as PM) to a request that he publish detail of all meeting between Ministers and lobbyists. That would have established our government as a purer than pure.

Kay Tie

It's a bit rich to complain about leaks of information that the courts ruled should be published and that the authorities have been busy shredding.

It's also a bit rich to complain that the ruling party is in the spotlight more - the Labour Party made hay with the press over the Tory scandals in John Major's day. Now the boot is on the other foot. I wonder if David Cameron will promise to be whiter than white to complete the circle?

Graham Marlowe

I have great respect for people like Paul and John McDonnell, who speak out plainly and openly about this sort of thing, and I am sure they - and many others of both main parties do not take advantage.

It is sad that certain people are besmirching the whole of their profession by their greed and stupidity.

What really angers me is that McNulty, ten days ago, stood up in Parliament defending Purnell's hideous welfare reforms, and spouted the government line about "people exploiting the system". I believe the basic rate of benefit is round about £60 per week. Three days later we found that McNulty himself had - (quite legitimately) been "exploiting the system" for all it is worth by claiming expenses on his parents home where he has not lived for six or seven years.

Similarily, last year we discovered that Smith's husband who is employed by her (again quite legitimately) as her secfretary/assistant, was writing letters to his local newspaper, praising Ms Smith to the skies, and policies like I.D. cards, without mentioning that he was both her husband and her employee. So we already knew he was a sponger and a wicked old fraud - now we know he is a dirty old man as well.

As Ms Smith tut-tuts all the time about the "sex industry", I think her position and that of McNulty are untenable.

They could stop all this today by resigning - but of course we know neither will: they will hang on like dirty glue and in the meantime, the reputation of the party they claim to love is sullied by their presence.

If Mr Brown doesn't act and either sack them or tells them to resign, he is putting Labour in the same position that the Tories were in back in 1996 - that of a sleaze-ridden bunch of hypocrites. This is unfair to the decent majority.

I also think those Tories who are moralising should also make sure their colleagues are not up to the same tricks, and if they are, expose them.

Tony

If the MP's are really shocked then why is it that attempts at changing the system seem to go nowhere?

Paul Flynn

This is not just greed, Graham. It's abject stupidity. Why was the amount reimbursed? There is no system that allows claims for watching additional TV films. Did the mole lay a trap?

How ever many times we say it few believe it but the vast majority of MPs are as shocked as any oneveryonee else by these greedy claims.


Graham Marlowe

Whoever leaked the story, Paul, has done us a favour. It shows, if nothing else, what a ponce Ms Smith's husband is. he has even had the cheek to claim for an 88p bath plug among other things!. Now we hear he expected us to pay for him to watch dirty films.

The question remains how much longer is Brown going to allow Blunderwoman, McNulty and co to remain in cabinet posts?. These sort of stories are doing no end of damage and unless he exerts such authority that he has left, Brown is going down to a massive defeat, and as we all know, the bigger the defeat the longer it takes a party to stand any chance of getting back in office. I reckon Labour will be out of office for a decade the way things are going.

Poor old Smith seems to be married to a very "colourful" man - in a slightly different context it's Tessa and hubby all over again.

I read yesterday the sort of stuff he claims for Smith for, and with the sort of salary she is on she ought to be buying her own 42 inch TV sets - especially if she wants 2 of them. She, though, signs off the receipts, so she cannot even claim she knew nothing about it.

Greed has always been the Achilees heel of New Labourites, and it will do for them.

Jolly Roger

I daresay Jacqui's husband will thank her,
For exposing his 'handiwork' to public rancour.
I'll not even bother with the obvious rhyme,
Labour's much more adept at this 'handy' time.
Snouts in troughs and d*cks out of trousers,
Emblazoned across the internet's browsers.
Leaks against Labour?? You're having a laugh.
It's time that Labour took an early bath.

Thank goodness for moles, both Labour or Tory,
Who enlighten the public with the fuller story.
With details and scams Labour'd prefer hidden,
As they sink to the depths of the deepest midden.
I agree that all Party sleaze should be exposed,
And that the guilty be immediately deposed.
Unfortunately, Labour just want to move on,
With weaseled apologies. No, no, you're not on.

A footnote for those who sent a good wish,
And with our host's gracious permish,
Just a word about the Black Dog,
Who's curled up in his basket, like the proverbial log,
He's having more surgery, thanks to the Vet,
Whose thinks it's not Black Dog's time just yet.
The Vet's quite confident, so we'll see how it goes,
And hopefully Black Dog'll soon be back on his toes.


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