The daily pummeling of MPs emotions continues.
Good, trusted friends are disgraced. The fear of unfair smears from the Telegraph is ever present. There is laughter at the ridiculous claims on duck islands and moats. The shock at the chutzpah effrontery of the mad claims is breathtaking. Real too is the enjoyable Schandenfreude at the downfall of the crooks. Uppermost at the moment is a sense of injustice at the smearing of some of our best MPs.
“A public mood in which Dr Ian Gibson, a decent, thoughtful, independent-minded Labour MP and one of Parliament's few trained scientists, can find himself the top story in yesterday's news because he let his daughter live in his London flat, is a public mood with which there can be no reasoning.
Extravagance, genuine mistake, sly acquisitiveness and outright criminal fraud are now jumbled together in the national mind as though there were no moral differences. Judgment has fled. This is the worst possible climate in which to consider root-and-branch reform of our system of representative democracy.”
I am baffled. The flat is owned by Ian Gibson. He has bought it with his own money. The taxpayer has not paid the mortgage payments. Ian has. He lives in it for three nights a week. The only problems are payment for utility bills that should not fall on the taxpayer except those that are Ian’s. The details are not clear but any breach of the rules is minor compared with the outrages of the Tory Grandees. The evidence may prove that there been no breach of the spirit or letter of the law.
Ian’s face is plastered over the front of the Telegraph. Not for his magnificent work in galvanizing parliament on cancer treatment. Nor for leadership of the Commons scientific community. Ian has achieved a great deal as a fine unambitious MP. It’s incredible that he has been singled out for the Labour Star Chamber Inquisition. I presume this is based on the size of the Telegraph coverage rather than the perception of any offence.
He has been disgracefully maligned in a McCarthyite attack.
"To say that being able to tell the difference between depressives and mild manic-depressives is the test of a psychiatrist's true skill is no exaggeration."
The absence of any empirically valid diagnostic tool in psychiatry puts patients at risk of trial and error --i.e., Russian roulette--diagnostic and
She indicates that The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has investigated news reports about antidepressant users "who developed increased feelings of hostility or anxiety, and have even committed sudden acts of violence against others."
After its investigation, the Ministry decided to revise the label warnings on SSRI antidepressant stating, "There are cases where we cannot rule out a causal relationship [of hostility, anxiety, and sudden acts of violence] with the medication."
So, why are millions of American children being prescribed a class of mind-altering drugs that in some people INDUCE VIOLENCE against self and others?
See, SSRI Stories, a website that chronicles news reports about violence, murder and suicide in which SSRIs were implicated. So far there are 3,000 news reports posted: http://ssristories.com/
BBC reporter Bethan James has kindly sent me a link to an interview I did with her on the 13th. That was the day when there were three names on the Speaker’s 'no confidence motion.' We did not know what the outcome would be. We were exposed and vulnerable if it failed to lift off. Part of the interview was broadcast on Newsnight.
The latest figures are listed below. The significant comparison is the ranking out of the 645th MPs. My overall ranking is 404th which means the 403 MPs have higher claims than I have.
Almost all my claims are in the lowest quarter.
The unpublished figures for 2008-09 are:
Claimed Allowance maximum Percentage
£10,008 £24,000 42%
£9,192 £22,193 41%
£8,762 £10,400 84%
Staffing Allowance (Five staff employed, three fulltime time, two part time)
£97,006 £100,205 97%
The total allowances that I could have claimed was £156,798. The total claimed was £124,968. That means the sum for which I did not claim was £31,830. There are many other items such as my website for which no claims are submitted. It is funded entirely by me. There are no rankings available yet but my annual claims have been on the low side - the second lowest of Gwent MP in 07-08.
Figures in brackets are ranks. Parliament's explanatory notes. Total number of British soldiers killed in Afghanistan = 160
2007/08 (ranking out of 645)
2006/07 (ranking out of 645)
2004/05 (ranking out of 659)
2003/04 (ranking out of 658)
2002/03 (ranking out of 657)
2001/02 (ranking out of 657) Additional Costs Allowance
£22,110 (joint 1st)
£15,180 (336th) London Supplement
£0 Incidental Expenses Provision
£19,325 (joint 11th)
£18,799 (joint 13th)
£8,518 (558th) Staffing Allowance
£65,596 (joint 179th)
£48,639 (232nd) Communications Allowance
N/A Members' Travel
£7,277 (357th) Members' Staff Travel
£323 (joint 267th)
£477 (joint 223rd)
£1,188 (114th) Members' Spouse Travel
N/A Members' Family Travel
N/A Centrally Purchased Stationery
£807 (joint 433rd)
£1,320 (219th) Stationery: Associated Postage Costs
£510 (joint 613th)
£1,582 (joint 477th)
N/A Centrally Provided Computer Equipment
£983 (joint 441st)
£1,528 (joint 454th) Other Costs
Figures in brackets are ranks. Parliament's explanatory notes.
Total number of British soldiers killed in Afghanistan = 160