Saturday, 28 May 2011

An MP we can be proud of? (Er No)

In the latest issue of Private Eye there's a letter from Lee Skevington who was the Labour Candidate for Yeovil in 2010. In  he made a claim for Liberal Democrat  MP to be given he most hypocritical MP award and providing the leaflet shown  below as evidence.

In May 2011 the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards reported that Laws was guilty of breaking six rules with regard to MPs expenses, but that he had not intended to benefit himself or his partner directly. In addition to finding against Laws with regard to the payment of rent to his partner, the investigation had also found irregularities in payments for phone bills and building work

It had been reported that Laws had claimed over £40,000 on his expenses in the form of second home costs, from 2004 to late 2009, during which time he had been renting rooms at properties owned by what the paper claimed to be his "secret lover" and "long-term partner", James Lundie. They were not in a civil partnership. The Daily Telegraph also said that it had not intended to reveal his sexuality, but that Laws had himself done so, in a public statement shortly before the newspaper's publication of the story.[ Lundie is a former Liberal Democrat Press officer and now works for the Political Affairs team of public relations and lobbying firm, Edelma

Laws claim that he acted in the way he did in order to hide his sexuality from his family may have some relevance: but: If he had allocated his constituency home as his second home he would not have got himself in such a mess. However then of course this would not have gone down so well with his constituents,

What brought me to refer to this was a piece on  Vaughan Roderick BBC Blog on the current disqualification of Libdem AM Aled Roberts and John Dixon. It has been suggested that Assembly members can overturn this ruling interestingly by Blogs which tend to back Plaid here for example  but as Vaughan Points out. (I used google translate)

The argument heard most often by those who want to shut the door on John and Aled is this: "everyone knows exactly what the Liberal Democrats would do in similar circumstances." To be blunt about it, politicians of other parties who have been outraged for years by the campaigning tactics of the Liberal Democrats see an opportunity for a little revenge. All the "two horse races", the bar charts and claims that "only the Lib Dems can beat XXX here" has returned to bite the party on its rump. 
All parties fight dirty but over the years the Libdems have attacked others whilst constantly claiming
 the moral highground. They have often portrayed themselves as an anti establishment party and as Law's leaflet shows tried to take advantage of public anger ant the parliamentary expenses scandal. But his own fall from grace shows that of you claim to be more moral and honest than your opponents then you dam well better be.


1 comment:

  1. You mentioned a "fall from grace". I'm afraid the fall has not been very far. There has been talk of Laws getting a cabinet seat again. He is still receiving the generous salary of an MP.

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