Friday, May 22, 2009

The Public Aren't In the Mood

Interviewed on the BBC' World at One, David Cameron, has now threatened to withdraw the whip from Anthony Steen if he steps further out of line.

"One more squeak like that and he will have the whip taken away from him so fast his feet won't the the ground. It's just incredibly frustrating when people say things like that".
The Telegraph is reporting that Cameron is also deeply displeased with Nadine Dorries for comments on the media today. That would be a very loose interpretation of his comments indeed. He actually said nothing of the sort. But his warning to other MPs who are minded to speak out was stark - in effect he said, do it, and prepare for the consequences.

I don't agree with all that Nadine said, or the way she said it, but the real point is that the public are not in a mood to listen to many of the points she or any other politicians have made, despite some of them being very valid indeed. Politicians would do far better to leave it to others to speak out in their defence. The Archibshop of Canterbury has done so this afternoon.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of what the Telegraph have done - and I remain of the view that they have done us a public service - the public is on their side and they want all politicians to acknowledge they have done wrong. It matters not whether politician A or politician B are totally blameless, the public regards them all as condoning a system which has been used to line their pockets. Of course Nadine is right that the ACA has been considered a salary top up by MPs, and the Fees Office and party whips encouraged MPs to view it that way. But it doesn't matter. The public view it as wrong, so there's little point in banging on about it at the moment.

It sounds an odd thing to say during an election period, but a period of silence is probably called for from politicians, and where better to start than a Bank Holiday weekend. No one wants to hear from them. The public don't want a running commentary. They don't want to hear any politician defending the past, defending the status quo or feeling sorry for themselves.

Along with hundreds of thousands of other people today, I got my postal vote ballot paper. I voted Conservative with some enthusiasm, largely because Dan Hannan is number one on the list in my region. But I know full well that many people will be giving the main parties a bloody nose, and relishing the experience. The die is cast for June 4th and there is little anyone can do about it. Let the party leaders take the strain, but for the rest of the political classes, they might as well zip it. And perhaps that goes for bloggers too!

65 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think if one good thing comes out of this it will be that people are less likely to be quiet. For me, if anything, it's reaffirmed that there are good people in all of the main parties (Via the Telegraph's good MPs lists they've been publishing).

I think people realise it's not all MPs, and that is one of the underlying reasons they're so annoyed. MPs had a choice, they weren't all maximising their benefit from a flawed system.

It wasn't systemic. The system is no excuse.

Best thing all parties can do for politics in the UK is housecleaning the dubious MPs ASAP followed by a general election ASAP. People are engaged. It's up to the parties now.

James said...

Unfortunately this expenses row is all too one sided and Nadine is right to tell the true, the way it was/is.She seems to be the only one prepared to do this, and on her birthday too. It seems to be an inconvenient true for many at the moment.

Plato said...

Are you seriously suggesting that bloggers shouldn't talk because it would inconvenience Party leaders???

"The die is cast for June 4th and there is little anyone can do about it. Let the party leaders take the strain, but for the rest of the political classes, they might as well zip it. And perhaps that goes for bloggers too!"

If so then a) bizarre and b) since when did you become the Blog Speaker??

Gareth said...

"Of course Nadine is right that the ACA has been considered a salary top up by MPs, and the Fees Office and party whips encouraged MPs to view it that way."

If it is a salary top up why is it tax free?

If it is a salary top up why are London MPs denied it?

They must get their story straight. If it is a salary top up they must all get it and they must all get taxed on it. If it is an expenses system it must be rigidly policed within the fairly clear rules of the Green Book.

They cannot have it both ways. If it is salary they they must be prosecuted for tax evasion. If it is expenses the items reimbursed that plainly do not meet the rules of the Green Book must be forfeit or the amounts repaid.

Anonymous said...

Here is another hypercritical troughing tory MP who is trumpeting his innocence to his local constituency: Tory MP David '4 Jobs' Ruffley condemns police for having second jobs. Shadow police minister David Ruffley MP says that the 4000 police who have a second job shouldn't be allowed to earn extra money, despite the Parliamentarian himself trousering directorship cash from no less than 3 other outside positions.

According to the register of interests:

RUFFLEY, David (Bury St. Edmunds)
Remunerated employment, office, profession etc Adviser on economic affairs to Lotus Asset Management (with effect from 26 May 2005). (£15,001-£20,000)
Adviser to Dentons Pension Management Ltd, giving general strategic business advice. (£25,001-£30,000)
Adviser to Partnership Group Holdings Limited, giving strategic business advice (with effect from 19 April 2007). (£25,001-£30,000)

According to the Telegraph he also “flipped” his second home from a London flat to his Bury St Edmunds constituency before spending thousands of pounds on furniture and fittings. He successfully claimed for a £1,674 sofa – but was refused the full amount when he claimed for a £2,175 46-inch Sony widescreen HD television from Harrods. An attempt to claim £6,765 for the purchase of several bedroom items was reduced by £4,748.

But there is more….

In the sleepy constituency of Suffolk’s Bury St Edmunds where Conservatives would happily vote in Fluffy Bunny Flop Lugs if it sported a blue rosette (strange their Conservative Party web sight is down, and they have gone incredibly quiet) their MP is trumpeting how he will lead the charge on cleaning up Westminster scrap second home allowances and a whole range of measures to stamp out corruption at Westminster.

Clearly Mr Ruffley is a modern day miracle on the road to Damascus.

Alleluia!

You couldn’t make it up!

Constantly Furious said...

Off topic.

Many people have been harsh about your mate Nadine Dorries, but I think you'll agree, Tim Ireland goes over the top, here.Don't suppose you're that surprised though?

Daisy said...

By saying "The public view it as wrong", you imply there is some debate to be had - there isn't.

Miss Dorries' claim that MP's are underpaid is rubbish. They all know the going rate when they fight so hard to get the job, if you think you're undervalued, go elsewhere - what's stopping you?

70% of our law is now delivered, expensively wrapped, from Brussels. Power and responsibiity has been devolved to Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. More and more of Parliament's responsibilities have been handed down to quangos.

Parliament works a three and a half day week for 7 months of the year and if you look in the chamber at any given moment during this "work" you'll be lucky to see 15 people.

Underpaid? What planet are people like Dorries on? 95% of them are totally unemployable in the productive economy, yet their sense of entitlement and self-regard is bloated beyond satire.

By saying "the big boy told me to do it", which appears to be the excuse of the day, politicians like Dorries make a 6 year old look mature by comparison. Everybody was surely told by their mother when they were very small "If he told you to put your finger in the fire, would you do that too?"

No,Iain, equivocation will not do. Everybody, regardless of Miss Dorries' views to the contrary, must be equal before the law. These people are thieves, plain and simple, and their incapacity to appreciate that fact demonstrates the scale and nature of the problem.

Catosays said...

The Archbishop might find his time better spent communicating with his opposite number in Ireland.

I understand there's a problem there with which Cantab might be able to help.

Anonymous said...

I am a Labour Party member and I have to say none of the party leaders have covered themselves in glory.

Brown should have consulted the other party leaders with proposals earlier while Cameron and Clegg have responded with an arms race of trying to sound ever tougher - it's a game of diminishing returns. For instance why have MPs banned buying goods for their second homes? That is ridiculous - are they expected to sleep on floorboards?

Very few MPs have actually stood up and told the truth - which is that MPs are entitled to be paid well and live reasonably in two places.

If we pay people £65k it is presumably because we think they are entitled to live like people who are paid £65k whether in London or in their constituency. We shouldn't expect them to live like paupers in either place.

Yes, there have been rip-off merchants too - but instead of focusing on them the political leaders have created an environment where it is now legitimate to slag off politicians for having two homes at all.

I think Dorries has got a lot wrong in her tone but she is absolutely right in her description of the Telegraph's tactics. It's a shame that Brown, Cameron and Clegg are all such pigmies that they have all caved in to the populism.

David Steven said...

How do you feel about Nadine's allegation that the expenses controversy has been ginned up by the Barclays brothers to discredit mainstream political parties, and allow in the more Eurosceptic BNP and UKIP?

Tony Sharp said...

The question though, Iain, is whether leaving the party leaders to take the strain will result in appropriate action.

Anthony Steen's use of public money has resulted in him having to stand down at the next election. His TWAO outburst yesterday fully justified Steen having the whip removed. But David Cameron chose to give a final warning instead. It was a bad decision to leave a man who insulted his constituents in the Parliamentary party.

OK, perhaps I should zip it. But it is hard to stay quiet when someone who brings the party into disrepute so disgracefully gets nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Voters in Totnes and elsewhere may decide the Conservatives do not take behaviour such as Steen's seriously enough.

Pete said...

Very thoughtful Iain, I do hope MPs take your advice

Paul Halsall said...

Look the Telegraph is practically gloating - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5364829/MPs-expenses-David-Camerons-dream-party--will-come-after-the-nightmare.html

At this stage I don't care about Duck Houses. I worry about oligarchs using a newspaper they own to destabilise a democracy.

It was a fair enough story to begin with, but what these people are about has nothing to do with democracy. It's about using newspapers to enrage a public in against a fundamentally decent system.

For all those who defend the Telegraph - tell me, how accurately did the Telegraph report it's own owners shenanigans in Sark in recent months?

Paul Halsall said...

@Daisy

Where do you get that Statistic that 70% of our legislation comes from Brussels.

And tell me, how much of Norway's legislation, over which it has no say (after all its an EEA country but not an EU member - if you don't know what that means, just go away) comes from Brussels?

Cite sources. And Cite what you mean by "legislation" and "regulation".

CommonDog said...

We expect our MPs to recognise what is wrong within their constituency, what is wrong within legislature and what is wrong with this country and then campaign to put things right. Admitting that all MPs knew the expenses system was wrong but that the Fees Office briefed them in a wink wink, nudge, nudge style that it was in lieu of 'poor' pay only goes to highlight their failure as our representatives in parliament. We want MPs to identify the issues and have the courage of their convictions to stand up against corruption and failing policies and sort it out.

Anonymous said...

Vote Jury Team - you know you want to.

Anonymous said...

MPs might commit suicide? Oh, I do hope so.
As for that greasy creep who said people were jealous [who knew what his house looked like anyway?], I can't believe Cameron didn't sack him there and then. Or maybe I can.
They're all playing politics still and we can see right through them.

Nigel said...

>>Of course Nadine is right that the ACA has been considered a salary top up by MPs, and the Fees Office and party whips encouraged MPs to view it that way. But it doesn't matter. The public view it as wrong, so there's little point in banging on about it at the moment...<<

It bloody well is wrong.

If Ms Dorries is incapable of reading and understanding the Green Book, which sets out the details of how the ACA works, then she is simply not qualified to be an MP.

It may well be true that custom and practice had developed by which MPs treated the ACA as a lump sum entitlement, but that practice was and is clearly wrong.

Just because nearly everyone was cheating doesn't make cheating right.

Just because most backbench MPs are a waste of space doesn't mean that the public don't have a right to expect more of its representatives.

rob's uncle said...

Steen should take the initiative by resigning the Tory whip and sitting out this Parliament as an Independent Conservative.

Silent Hunter said...

Anonymous (funny that) said . . .

"..caved in to the populism..."

So the 'will of the people of this country' is merely "populism" is it?

How surprising that you're a LABOUR supporter - a supporter of the party that brought us all UBERSLEAZE, repressive laws, the removal of our basic freedoms of speech and the right to protest and ushered in the most CORRUPT GOVERNMENT this poor country has ever seen.

There's a reason it's populist dufus! It's because the majority of us want to live in a DECENT & HONEST country . . . . . NOT the repressive Stassi state that you appear to support.

Thank God that Labour are going to be annihilated at the General Election and we won't then have to put up with any more of the Labour Ungerzeifen.

Raedwald said...

Vince Cable had it almost right on QT. A small number of MPs have behaved criminally - perhaps one in twenty - and deserve to face the full force of the law. There are a much larger number whose cupidity and avarice overcame their moral scruples, and these should rightly become a laughing stock and be removed from Parliament. A small number have behaved with honour and rectitude, and they should be lauded.

We have a way to go before Cameron's disinfectant Sunlight reaches every dark corner, but this more than Brown's proposed Parliamentary Stasi is the healthy remedy.

Over many years MPs have come to believe that the British people no longer valued virtue. They imagined that low culture had eroded the expectation of probity, of honour and of diligence amongst those who we offer as role models to our children. That they were mistaken is evident. Now we face a hard climb back to a Parliamentary culture in which guilty ministers resign and lying to the House is a cause of shame and obloquy as well as political exile.

We want MPs whose integrity we expect to be unimpeachable; men and women of worth. Not saints, but upright and meritous. The best amongst us, not the greediest or most manipulative.

And for this the central Statist parties, the big three of which I expect to shortly fall below an aggregate membership of 1% of the electorate, must change if they are to survive.

Hushberlin said...

Yeeuch! I just read Nadine Dorries' blog and I feel like I need to wash. I've never read such self-serving, childish, pitiful, myopic, insensitive, and self-indulgent whining in my life.

And what's more, she's evidently plain wrong in her constant insistence that MPs were encouraged - almost forced - to draw down their full allowance to make up for pay. It's a fact, she says, you have to believe it, everyone knows, everyone was doing it. Except of course, as we now know, everyone was not doing it.

If it's a fact, then how come plenty of MPs didn't give in to this pressure to enrich themselves? How come the Green Book spelt out that expenses had to be used wholly and exclusively in support of parliamentary duties? How come the fees office regularly returned claims as ineligible?

Nadine, your arguments are like those a child makes when caught out - "everyone does it, they told me to do it, it's not my fault, and anyway it's OK to do it".

Pitiful. And to think that this is the calibre of person who sits in our parliament. The standard of argument dips below that of the playground.

No wonder she's turned off the comments function on her blog.

Anonymous said...

Hi Iain,

Have you ever thought about using a proof reader before you post your comments? Your level of grammar and spelling leaves a lot to be desired!!

Anonymous said...

So we're told that the ACA was a replacement for salary increases that the MPs/PM didn't award themselves, so really there is no scandal here, since they've been spending their own money.

Balls. If they felt worth a salary increase they should have fought for it rather than implement this secret system. If they weren't ashamed, or didn't realise that the public would consider it unacceptable then why fight so hard to keep it secret.

MPs are not underpaid. Gold-plated pensions the like of which is unknown in the private sector. Generous redundancy if they get chucked out. And a pretty decent basic salary. The acid test is that the there are plenty of applicants to become MPs, so clearly the compensation is adequate.

Politics shouldn't be a profession anyway, we need to get back to the ethics and behaviour of public service.

Anonymous said...

I used to be a fan of Nadine.

No more.

Many of my friends feel the same.

She is coming across as arrogant and some miserable bleating sheep.

Nadine, zip it, you are damaging the party with your pathetic comments.

God she must be dumb if she cant sense public mood.

Any more of this and us bloggers will start a campaign to have the party whip withdrawn from her

Malcolm Redfellow said...

So, where did the Telegraph's take on Dorries come from, if not from the horse's mouth?

And which bits of Dorries's' outburst do you find unacceptable? After all, your piece from the work and wisdom of Gyles Brandreth [@ 2:49 PM today] seems similar in tone to her essential complaint.

That leaves either the "former nurse" intuiting that Westminster is on full suicide watch, or the hysterical comparison with the late and unlamented Senator for Wisconsin.

So, head honcho of Total Politics, which is it?

In passing, how could a State which elected numinals such as Bob La Follette and William Proxmire go for a shit like Joe McCarthy?

It was the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, held at Clones, in 1964. The crowd parted, and I found myself face-to-face with 6ft 4in and the prominent Adam's Apple of Pete Seeger. That must be about the second time, after years of persecution by his own Government, he had been allowed out of the US. Now, that's McCarthyism.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

Anonymous @ 7:13 PM fails to recognise how far things have improved.

There was a time when my alter ego resided and worked in Bury St Edmunds. The Constitutional Club cheeringly chucked its empty broken bottles into said alter ego's garden,in Whiting Street, because he dared to stand as a Labour candidate in the Borough election. The Tory MP was Eldon Griffiths, then early in his 28-year span. Griffiths, famously, became known as "the Honourable Member for Orange County".

<Sigh.>

Nowadays it's duck-houses. Beyond which, not a lot has changed.

Anonymous said...

Nadine is so far out off touch it hurts. Cameron needs to tell her where to go. She doesnt get it. she thinks its just about expenses. its NOT. the country are sick of spinning politicians, there is such a disconnect between Parliamentarians and us. Politicians of left and right think that Parliament belongs to them. More corrosive, the Political parties think Parliament belongs to them. There is no sense that it is a representative House. Right wing bloggers such as yourself assume that Parliament should be `controlled' by the Tory party, just as left wingers assume it should be controlled by the Labour party.
The reality is most of the population vent their enormous fustration at MPs -not simply because so many have fiddled - but because most dont represent us. the democratic deficit is embarrasing. MPs and their bag carriers stick to tired party lines, and hope for some promotion from their party boss. If they appear remotely normal or independent - such as Vince Cable or Bercow they are ridiculed or dismissed on these and other bloggers pages (Bercow has already had the Iain Dale treatment today) The tired old politics of lab,lib,tory should die alongside the hideous expenses system. A much looser system of party whipping has to be introduced, Parliament should hold the executive to account, rather than parliament being the recruiting pool for the executive.
party anoraks who read and write this blog, will rain derision on this - it will take power away from your tiny little political cabal and hand it back to the people, but frankly politicians will never be representative if they care more about their party than their electorate.

Anonymous said...

the removal of our basic freedoms of speech and the right to protest and ushered in the most CORRUPT GOVERNMENT this poor country has ever seen.A deranged lunatic writes.

By the way, Stasi, is spelt with one s. Dufus.

Grytpype-thynne said...

Nadine Dorries has been carried away by her recent "celebrity blog "status.She is in fact a loose cannon and has removed the comment part of her blog, presumably because of hostile comment.Surely a candidate for deselection after her dishonesty and stupid comments?

Anonymous said...

Poor old Nadine. She really should keep quiet. Now she has admitted using the allowances as a salary top up. I wonder what she will do next.

Daisy said...

Halsall

"Cite sources. And Cite what you mean by "legislation" and "regulation"."

Cite? This is a blog, not a doctoral thesis. Do your own research.

I never used the words
"legislation" and "regulation".

And if I need lessons from the likes of you, I'll whistle.

Joe Public said...

Nadine is so hypocritical.

She still hasn't explained why she thinks Taxpayers should pay her £2,190, for the deposit she claims her landlord owes her.

Joe Public said...

Can someone tell me, just how crooked does an MP have to be, to get sacked?

RW said...

(a) The Telegraph has done the entire country a great public service, is continuing to do so, and in the process is going some way to redeeming itself after its recent, very noticeable temporary misplacement of its Conservative principles.

(b) Nadine Dorries is hysterical and self-serving and no regard should be paid to her.

(c) It is a relief to note that Rowan Williams still inhabits the far-distant planet on which he was born. Long may this continue.

(d) If Members of Parliament wish to top themselves then they had better do so, and decrease the surplus population.

Anonymous said...

Please don't tell me Djanogly went to Eton and is going to get away with it.Repayments for these millionaires is meaningless.Assume Viggers didn't go to Eton.

Anonymous said...

steen and nadine are very weird,are there more in the party as strange as them?????

Anonymous said...

As the best chance of stopping the id card system I'm probably a reluctant tory voter. I better stop reading your blog before I change my mind.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to say that Ms Dorries has done a great disservice to herself and the Conservatives today. Many of us will be slogging our guts out for the party over the coming weeks in the run-up to the 4 June and she is doing a great deal to undermine that work.

I was appalled by the tone and substance of her comments on the media today (coming after her lamentable and laughable performance on Question Time a few weeks back). She just doesn't get it, does she?

I heard Stephen Pound later on the Today programme this morning commenting on Ms Dorries' interview and for the first time ever I was in full agreement with what he said. That says it all.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, Iain, but in this post you still display the Know-it-all condescension that has got the political class into its current mess.

You are fixated with the idea that only you and your friends in Westminster see the big picture and that the public's anger is basically the result of simply not being clever enough to understand why your chums deserve even more money than they've been troughing.

Your friends have shown themselves to be largely incapable of doing the right thing. You have demonstrated, time and again, that you believe politicians deserve medals for doing the most basic parts of the job they are generously paid to do.

Iain, you are the problem. If you actually get that Conservative seat you've been slavering over, you will continue to be the problem in parliament. Your arrogance and your ambition have completely trumped any possibility of public service - just as they have with all the other Westminster troughers.

Begone! said...

"Of course Nadine is right that the ACA has been considered a salary top up by MPs"

That doesn't excuse MPs - it just means that they have spent years carrying out a fraud on taxpayers.

Paul Halsall said...

Anonymous 10:27

As long as you post anonymously, your words are worthless.

Anonymous said...

I disagree vehemently with all of Dorries' misguided rant, but shall comment on only one aspect of it, namely her assertion that MPs are underpaid.

What utter tripe. Circa £65,000 is roughly three times the national average, while expenses are also provided for (all too leniently, as we have seen recently). They also get a handsome pay-off if they are voted out of office.

Further, MPs do not require a degree and professional training, like lawyers and doctors, thus seeing these professions as comparable is an error. Many 'honourable' members are, in fact, cretins (take, for example, Margaret Moran) who would struggle to command half their current salaries in the private sector.

Many have other jobs outside the House and hence are able to earn yet more. That they are able to undertake another job in addition to their duties as MPs is indicative of the fact that their jobs are not as strenuous as they make out. Lengthy periods of parliamentary recess bear testament to this.

Raising MPs' salaries significantly would represent reward for failure, which they themselves condemned with regard to bankers. Still, some animals are more equal than others, I guess.

Basically, Dorries is defending the indefensible. She is trying to garner public sympathy when thieving members deserve nothing but scorn. In short, her attack on the press was a poorly-executed diversionary tactic and her remarks regarding MP's salaries were, in my view and, I expect, the view of the wider public, well wide of the mark.

Anonymous said...

What is it about the Mid Bedfordshire Constituency ? The previous Tory MP , Jonathan Sayeed , was forced out due to allegedly arranging tours of the Commons and charging for his services , eventually sitting as an Independent for the last few months until the 2005 General Election.
His successor , the rather strange Ms. Dorries , appears to be well on the way to rival his notoriety.

Not the famous Paul Halsall said...

@Anonymous 10.27pm

"Iain, you are the problem. If you actually get that Conservative seat you've been slavering over, you will continue to be the problem in parliament."Nail on head.


ID: The public view it as wrong, so there's little point in banging on about it at the moment.Those last three words convey so much...

Daisy said...

Halsall

Because someone comments anonymously, their words are worthless?

What witless drivel is this? Just because you spend your days and nights endlessly appending your inane, bland, regurgitated, unoriginal graffiti to this site, you mustn't think it gives you proprietary rights.

Nor, so far as I know, have you been appointed Iain's comment monitor.

I don't normally remark on other peoples comments but, encouraged by your arrogance, I will do so in your case.

You are an idiot. If there were a contest for idiots, I could win prizes with you. Your IQ hasn't yet reached room temperature. If you were any more stupid, you'd be a fencepost, but minus the utility. Given a penny for your thoughts, you'd have to find change. The full frontal lobotomy clearly hasn't worked.

Originality, wit and literary elegance are obviously strangers to you. You could bore for Britain.

Take your sanctimoneous, nitpicking, po-faced, recycled rubbish and blog off.

Fauntleroy said...

It's not just the comments that have gone from Dorries' blog, the whole darned thing has vanished.

Not surprising after shooting herself so spectacularly in the foot.

As Charles Arthur put it, she has succeeded where Damian McBride failed: her reputation is in tatters.

Paul Halsall said...

@Daisy,

You clearly are a know-nothing. And if you feel talked down to, I'm sorry. But then you repeat falsehoods, expecially about the role of the EU.

This is what Tom Harris, who did do his research, dug up.

I’ve been intrigued to read, occasionally, comments on this blog from the wild-eyed tendency insisting that 70 per cent of the UK’s legislation is decided in Europe. As far as I have been able to ascertain, this claim is, in political terms, a huge big pair of stinky pants.

The claim seems to have originated from an article by Roman Herzog, German President from 1994 to 1999, who wrote in German newspaper Die Welt that 84 per cent of legislative acts adopted by the German Bundestag were of EU origin (anyone know the German for “a huge big pair of stinky pants”?).

But the American academic experts on EU affairs, Andrew Moravcsik, and Annette Elisabeth Töller, found that, as a percentage of all (state and federal) German laws, those implementing EU directives were 34.5% in 2005 and 34.6% in 2006. Even on laws adopted by the Bundestag, a further study undertaken by Töller between 1983 and 2005, looking at Bundestag laws with a “European impulse ” (a wider concept than EU directives) produced a figure of 39.1 per cent — less than half the figure claimed by Herzog.

As for the UK, two studies exist: a paper by Edward Page in 1998, which analysed the effects of EU legislation on British law between 1987 and 1997, and a paper by the House of Commons library looking at the period between 1998 and 2005. Both papers take their figures from the statutory instruments passed with references to European legislation, with the library justifying this by asserting that “The vast majority of EC legislation is enacted by statutory instruments under section 2 (2) of the European Communities Act.” Page’s study produced a figure of 15.8 per cent whereas the House of Commons library gave a final figure of 9.1 per cent.

So although the exact figure can’t be calculated, it’s clear that the vast majority of British legislation is drawn up here. In Britain. As it should be.
- http://www.tomharris.org.uk/2009/05/14/uk-laws-made-in-the-uk/

el-sid said...

My jaw just dropped with that radio interval. She's not accountable to the BBC, it doesn't matter that the BBC "knew". She works for us - her salary and expenses come from our taxes, and if she were to become part of a government she would be spending billions and billions of £s of money taken unwillingly from the people. It doesn't come from the money fairy; every £3,791.80 spent by government - on her salary, a duck-pond or a teacher - represents the income tax paid by one voter on median earnings. That number should be seared on the brains of all our politicians.

Thus Nad's basic salary is just over 17 voters' income tax and that £152,318 of expenses she claimed represents 40 voters' income tax. I've no problem with spending money that she genuinely needs to do her job - but she is accountable to those 40 voters for everything she spends, and she should begrudge every penny that she is reluctantly obliged to take from them. If she doesn't understand that, then those voters have the right to pass judgement at an election - and she certainly ain't fit to spend a jot of their taxes as a minister.

She's on a complete loser with any sentence that contains the word "Telegraph". MPs were given plenty of time to publish their expenses voluntarily - it should have happened decades ago, as part of the basic contract between MPs and their voters. The way they're coming out now is the "punishment" for not being honest with voters decades ago. They had their chance to be open - and repeatedly blew it. This isn't McCarthyism - it's karma.

I'm bothered by Cameron's response too - not contesting the next election seems appropriate for a lot of the taking-the-mickey-but-not-actual-fraud cases, but these people mouthing off to the press are bringing their parties into disrepute - and a waggy finger isn't good enough for the likes of Steen, they should have the whip removed. Rather supports the thesis that Cameron is a lot of mouth and not much trousers. Can see a campaign now building for Nads to go - all they need is a snappy slogan....

Rik said...

It's all pretty simple really people just want the polictians to take a reality check. To remember that they are our servants and not the other way around. They are granted their place of prominence to serve not to master.

Anonymous said...

Iain, have you seen the DT video of the supposed 'whistleblower'? Have I seen that bloke on a TV advert?
Does anyone know why Nadine's blog has been obliterated hours after she mentions the BArclays Brothers? For F***s sake, has anyone seen her?

Anonymous said...

She is trying to give us the wider picture. Which was enlightening. I don't think she was defending the dishonest MPs.Far from it. I am however, just a little uncomfortable with the fact that the Telegraph are making 1 mill a day from this so called expose. Why doesn't that feel quite right?

Anonymous said...

She is trying to give us the wider picture. Which was enlightening. I don't think she was defending the dishonest MPs.Far from it. I am however, just a little uncomfortable with the fact that the Telegraph are making 1 mill a day from this so called expose. Why doesn't that feel quite right?

dalesman said...

It's no wonder that people are getting turned off politics and politicians when they hear people like Steen & Dorries bleating on.

Nadine obviously doesn't understand that McArthy's witch hunt was against INNOCENT people, MP's such as Steen are certainly not innocent.

Where in the Green Book does it say that ACA is part of an MP's salary?

Nadine has lot the plot recently, it was only 2 weeks ago on Question Time that she told us "Trident is not a WMD".

Cameron should shut her up, and he should have given Steen the boot immediately.

DespairingLiberal said...

The latest revelations about the SAS man John Wick's involvement (a Tory party member) tend to suggest that this was all originally intended as a vote winner for the Tories. A lot of what's going on also strongly suggests - well, you can hardly look at Mr "Wick" (his real name?) - without thinking Five Plot!

I think this whole thing was a plot by Five involving Cameron's black ops people and the Torygraph as stooges. The original plan was a jolly good wheeze to make Labour look awful.

Broadly, it is going to plan, but aspects of it have backfired on the Tories.

Thames House has always been stacked with ultra-right-wingers and the latest goings on are a return to their actions in the 70s.

javelin said...

Iain I don't think Cameron gets it at all either. Unless an MP can justify that his expense was necessary then they have committed fraud. Pure and simple. I've been commenting on your and Guidos blogs for years now so I hope Dave reads these comments. This isn't about political morals or rules. This is about law makers being law breakers. The police must be called in. Even if it means 100 MPs get criminal records. If the CPS won't prosecute the public will bring private prosecutions.

Bottom line Dave doesn't get it. This is criminal fraud. Wake up and smell the coffee.

Rightwinggit said...

Slightly OT, who IS her landlord?

How come the press hasn't gone after them about the missing money?

DespairingLiberal said...

I wonder if Andrew McKay's targeting by the ex-Tory-graph might have anything at all to do with his previous stated opposition to tax havens. Given that the owners of the Telegraph live in one? I quote from Hansard.

"
Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department: Spring European Council (23 Mar 2009) has video

Andrew MacKay: The European Council deserves our support in putting pressure on unco-operative tax havens. Why did the Prime Minister not mention Bermuda when naming the various countries that are tax havens? Has it anything to do with representations from Lord Myners?
"

Anonymous said...

Listening to the BBC this morning one might be forgiven for thinking that the Internet (Blogs) were responsible for the death of "Baby P" and not the authorities incompetence.

Clearly the Auntie's political mushroom farm has lost its roof, horror of horror the mushrooms can see daylight and the soft comfy thistledown is in fact a bed of rotting poo.

Enter stage left, Auntie's "informed expert" Carter Ruck legal experts on gagging the competition to add weight to the BBC's flat earth argument that the Internet is a danger to society, and free speech.

Nothing to do with MP's being caught out in a perfect shit storm.

No nothing at all, mere coincidence old boy!

Terry Hamblin said...

The allowances system was a salary top-up, but introduced is a way to fool the public who thought MPs did not deserve one. Now the public has realised to subterfuge they are naturally annoyed that they have been fooled. Nadine may be right that it was a trick to fool the public but that hardly satisfies the same public, does it?

Weygand said...

MPs cheated the electorate when knowing a pay rise would not be tolerated, they awarded themselves the money by way of a system of allowances.

They cheated further by making the system impossible to monitored by the electors.

They cheated again by resisting attempts to reform the corrupt system they had put in place.

This was a conspiracy which affected all parties and implicated even those MPs who did not exploit it personally - they still colluded in it by not denouncing it.

MPs as a group need to keep getting a kicking until they understand what they have done wrong and that it is irrelevant that there was a tacit understanding between them - it was still cheating the public.

My estimation of Nadine Dorries has plummeted. She still has the 'entitlement' mentality and I hope she is deselected before the next election.

Gelert said...

However much they may protest otherwise, being an MP is by definition a part-time occupation (how else does a minister find the time to be a minister). I have no problem whatsoever with MPs having other interests/occupations especially if it gives them greater exposure to the real world the rest of us are forced to inhabit.

English First said...

Dorries comment are absolutely pathetic! It just goes to show how terribly out of touch these people really are!

Come on your Majesty, dissolve Parliament now!

jafo said...

I've always liked Nadine but this particular argument is nonsense. She appears to be suggesting that because MPs are being "stressed" by the revelations of how they are spending our money, we shouldn't be hearing those revelations. Someone might commit suicide because the public discover what they've been up to? I wouldn't want anyone to commit suicide over anything - but it's their decision, no one else is to blame.

What's she saying then - we mustn't have enquiries into possible corruption or criminal behaviour in case the enquirees top themselves? In case they are "stressed"?

The Officers policing the G20 demos have been accused of all sorts, including murder - didn't hear her saying she was concerned about the Police Officers' state of mind.

Haringey Social Services have been pilloried in every tv station and newspaper in the country (in some cases, I think, quite rightly) but not everyone who works there is careless or incompetent - but they've still been "stressed", no doubt. Is Ms Dorries saying those enquiries shouldn't have been carried out?

The only difference is that MPs are involved - and they've got used to thinking of themselves as extremely special, with a sense of entitlement so strong you could sail it through a hurricane.

Now we've got the Archbishop involved! Wasn't life much nicer when all those irritating people called the public knew their place, paid their taxes and shut up about how the money was spent.

Anonymous said...

The Archbishop of Canterbury is nothing but a furry faced PC prat who is a joke to most people what he says means absolutely nothing to the majority of the people so quoting his tree hugging rant really is a waste of time