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protein
22-05-2009, 11:06:01
a radio 4 presenter can't stop himself from laughing about a tory mp's claim for a "duck island".
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8062786.stm

tory mp (who claimed ninety grand in four years for the upkeep of his mansion) says ordinary people are jealous of his big house. he also says that the freedom of information act mucked everything up.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8062786.stm

protein
22-05-2009, 11:09:45
"you know what it is? it's jealousy. i've got a very, very large house. some people say it looks like balmoral. It does me nicely.

"i don't know what the fuss is about."
:lol:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8062205.stm

Provost Harrison
22-05-2009, 11:10:32
Yeah, how dare those pesky commoners stop them from squandering the country's wealth!

And that duck island thing cracked me up. What a fucking stupid waste of money!

protein
22-05-2009, 11:17:41
the duck island i can sort of see. well, i can't but i can see it more than spending ninety thousand quid on the upkeep of trees around your castle and then having a go at the people who elected you.

it's almost too good to be true for satirists.

Scabrous Birdseed
22-05-2009, 11:43:00
Nice accent as well. :)

But I think I'm largely with Stephen Fry on this one:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/newsnight/8045869.stm

fp
22-05-2009, 11:51:45
Originally posted by Scabrous Birdseed
Nice accent as well. :)

But I think I'm largely with Stephen Fry on this one:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/newsnight/8045869.stm

:lol

That interviewer must have felt about 2 feet tall after that.

protein
22-05-2009, 11:55:25
i don't think that expressing disgust at mp's frivolous expenses means that you forget about war. i think he may not quite have seen the bigger picture when he was quoted there.

personally i don't see anything wrong with mps having a reasonable level of expenses. if they want to steal a box of pens from the stationary cupboard or claim back their son's mountain bike or get a new fridge pr accidentally on purpose claim a nice meal, that's fine. that's a normal amount of expenses.

but when you get to moat cleaning and castle upkeep during a recession, that's clearly an important national issue.

Funko
22-05-2009, 12:08:07
He twittered after that that he wished he'd never opened his mouth and people had been quoting him out of context/he didn't quite say what he meant and had been getting hundreds of invites for TV news to defend the MPs.

Anyway, lots of people fiddle expenses, but would normally expect to get punished if caught.

Provost Harrison
22-05-2009, 13:16:06
I've never fiddled an expense...perhaps I should start :D

Beta1
22-05-2009, 21:16:24
I would love to try but theres no where to put a duck island on my milage form.

Maybe I could but 24000 on the parking costs section.

Sirius Black
23-05-2009, 04:21:04
Originally posted by Provost Harrison
I've never fiddled an expense...perhaps I should start :D

They aren't talking about a person named 'expense'. I thought you should know.

protein
23-05-2009, 09:46:23
i've got a huge pile of work taxi, equipment and software receipts that i haven't claimed for. i feel kind of guilty asking for money for things that have made my life better. i'll never be a tory mp eh?

Provost Harrison
23-05-2009, 10:08:50
Originally posted by Sirius Black
They aren't talking about a person named 'expense'. I thought you should know.

That makes no sense...

protein
28-05-2009, 09:57:57
A Tory MP called Sir John Butterfill from Bournemouth West, Dorset used his expense account to add a servant's wing to his country house. At first he denied that these people were servants, calling them his "gardener and his wife," but later, he said, "the mistake I made was that, in claiming interest [from the expenses allowance] on the home, I didn't separate from that the value of the servants' ... er the staff ... wing. I claimed the whole of that and the whole of the council tax related to that."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/may/28/john-butterfill-mps-expenses

King_Ghidra
28-05-2009, 11:32:58
i'll never be a tory mp eh?

regardless of the accuracy of this statement it seems fair to state that this is a cross-party scandal

Oerdin
28-05-2009, 11:37:23
Is this the guy who got the government to pay to clean his moat?

Funko
28-05-2009, 11:42:23
regardless of the accuracy of this statement it seems fair to state that this is a cross-party scandal

It is, but the Tory scandals seem to reinforce the stereotypes about them being posh and/or rich.

The labour ones are all about employing family members etc. the tories have moats, lakes with duck islands, servant wings.

So far I haven't seen if any Lib Dems have claimed for rent boys shitting in their mouths...

Of course, the media cherry picks the juiciest story... but still.

protein
28-05-2009, 11:45:44
i'm not picking stories on one side or the other, if someone finds an amazing labour one, post it! :)

MOBIUS
28-05-2009, 13:14:52
There's loads of amazing Labour ones, actually.

Try the Torygraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/) for the in-depth expenses bloodbath...

Funko is essentially right about the party lines, though whilst I am aware of Libdems' proclivities for rent boys - I didn't realise it went as far as shitting in the mouth...:brwncard:

Funko
28-05-2009, 13:43:46
AFAIK that's what the whole Oaten thing was about, but the papers didn't say that specifically. Some very funny sly mentions about it on HIGNFY.

MOBIUS
28-05-2009, 13:50:35
Should he change his name to Eaten instead?

MOBIUS
29-05-2009, 11:10:06
Apparently the safest MPs via the current First Past the Post system are also about twice as likely to be the most dodgy... (http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2009/may/29/mps-expenses-houseofcommons):rolleyes:

Also interesting how some people in Labour are starting to talk about how PR might be a good idea, now that they know they're going to get shafted in the next election.:cute:

Funko
29-05-2009, 11:28:36
Another one for the no shit sherlock files.

Funko
29-05-2009, 11:28:56
I forgot, I really hate that phrase.

MOBIUS
29-05-2009, 11:38:41
People only suddenly seem to be waking up to the fact that parliament is rotten to the core - when the two main parties have been standing in the way of real democracy in this country for decades...:rolleyes:

King_Ghidra
29-05-2009, 11:49:13
I'm not sure i agree with that assessment. People have always suspected the worst of politicians. In this case people finally have some proof of their suspicions.

Funko
29-05-2009, 11:51:39
If the MPs were voted by a PR system where the party got to pick their candidate shortlists wouldn't you end up with exactly the same situation where the candidates at the top of their party's shortlists were just as secure in their positions as anyone with a safe seat is now?

Why would it make them less corrupt?

I think the two issues are unrelated and whilst I like it in principle PR has it's own issues, one of which is that the bloody general public might actually get a say in how stuff was run. :eek:

MOBIUS
29-05-2009, 12:02:16
I'm not sure i agree with that assessment. People have always suspected the worst of politicians. In this case people finally have some proof of their suspicions.

True, except that some fiddling of expenses is really small change, compared to an ongoing and organised obstruction of the democratic process...

Funko
29-05-2009, 12:09:23
I don't think it'd really make that much difference.

MOBIUS
29-05-2009, 12:15:18
If the MPs were voted by a PR system where the party got to pick their candidate shortlists wouldn't you end up with exactly the same situation where the candidates at the top of their party's shortlists were just as secure in their positions as anyone with a safe seat is now?

Why would it make them less corrupt?

Definitely there would be the same risks, assuming the process was allowed to be abused by the relevant parties. However I see the lists as more of an order of merit, where the most able people in the eyes of each party are promoted to the top of the lists. Hopefully this would mean that you had people less likely to screw the system, but also, more importantly: if a party found out the MP was dodgy, it would be easier to quietly remove them from the list the next time around - than risk the publicity that a constituency deselection would attract now.

I reckon each party secretly knows of a few dodgy MPs at any time, but is often secretly scared of booting them out because of all the fall out.

I think the two issues are unrelated and whilst I like it in principle PR has it's own issues, one of which is that the bloody general public might actually get a say in how stuff was run. :eek:

Only if you let them. Past the actual act of voting, that is...

Also, PR detractors bleat on about how PR lets in tiny extremist minoriy parties into government, such as in Israel. But that doesn't have to be the case if you set limits on the size of parties that are actually allowed to form part of the government - such as in Germany for example.

Basically, it's all terribly complicated, and there's tons of versions of PR out there - but virtually any of them have to be better than the grossly undemocratic FPP system we currently have...

MOBIUS
29-05-2009, 12:20:32
I don't think it'd really make that much difference.

Of course it would! The moment you have PR - the Libdems are suddenly able to punch their weight!

The very first PR General Election in the UK would have a virtual 100% chance of a hung parliament. A chance for proper consensual politics where generally the good, common sense policies make it through - and the bad stuff gets voted down.

Also, parties such as the Greens might suddenly become a more attractive proposition and our govt might actually give a damn about green issues in this country - beyond seeing them as a handy form of stealth tax revenue earner.

Funko
29-05-2009, 12:30:40
On the other side parties like the BNP and UKIP would also become more attractive as people'd think they'd get MPs, which they probably would.

And ideally the common sense policies would get through but there's also the danger nothing would ever get through without being crippled by compromise to appeal to everyone.

MOBIUS
29-05-2009, 12:39:35
True, however everyone is entitled to a voice - however bad it is. If the BNP get a few MPS because enough people vote for them, then that is democracy...

It also means that politicians would really have to sit up and take notice of public opinion, than basically sweeping it under the carpet.

Anyway, as I said earlier, the German model would most likely prevent BNP and UKIP from actually becoming a part of government, as I believe the threshold is something like 10% - which then avoids the scenario you are aluding to.

Funko
29-05-2009, 12:46:17
Like I said, I broadly favour it, but I don't see how it'd necessarily address corruption, the current expenses salaries etc, are all voted for in free votes AFIAK so it doesn't matter what party you are in.

MOBIUS
29-05-2009, 12:46:21
Actually, the threshold to win seats in Germany is 5%.

MOBIUS
29-05-2009, 12:51:20
Like I said, I broadly favour it, but I don't see how it'd necessarily address corruption, the current expenses salaries etc, are all voted for in free votes AFIAK so it doesn't matter what party you are in.

The Libdems have been banging on about Parliamentary reform for ages. Most of those sorts of votes, they vote against out of principle. Stuff like the package of MP remuneration needs to be sorted out by an independent panel, for example. MPs cannot be seen to have an influence over how much they're paid.