Tuesday, July 21, 2009

MPs Pour Their Hearts Out Over Expenses

Earlier today Radio 4 broadcast a half hour programme on the MP expenses scandal. It is a close look at the effect the scandal had on MPs and their families. Among others, it features Nadine Dorries, Ann Cryer, Denis MacShane and Andrew George. Nadine's daughter breaks down in tears when discussing the effect it all had on her, and Nadine openly discusses the fact that she has thought about standing down. She has also blogged about the programme HERE.

I suspect that many people will have an adverse reaction to the programme and accuse the MPs of shedding crocodile tears and think they deserved all they got. Many did. But several of the MPs featured in this programme were clearly driven to the edge of reason by what happened.

Listen to the programme HERE.


Anonymous said...

But several of the MPs featured in this programme were clearly driven to the edge of reason by what happened.

And no doubt many people currently sitting in prison for crimes they have perpetrated are driven to the edge of reason by what has happened to them. In fact, to judge from the huge suicide rate in prisons, that is exactly the case. Do you propose we should let them out and give them hugs because they're sad at being punished?

Here's a newsflash for you: if the MPs in question had not actively pilfered the public purse for years at a time, growing rich and fat from money they did not deserve and to which they had no moral claim, they would never have been exposed like this in the first place!

They stole from us. They were then exposed. The experience was unpleasant for them. Solution? Don't steal and then no-one will be able to expose you. Hence you will avoid the unpleasantness. Whaddya think, Iain? Or is the concept of cause-and-effect too hard for you to wrap your noggin around?

tapestry said...

I don't care how much money they steal as long as they govern the country well.

We hire one bunch of thieves to sit and do nothing in Westminster, while an even bigger bunch of thieves orders bunch number one around from Theft Central (Brussels), aided and abetted the Grand Thief Of The Millennium, one Anthony Blair QC, soon to be placed at the top table of Grand Thiefdom as President Of All The Thieves.

If MPs get rid of Theft Central, and the British parliament actually had something to do, would any of us be bothered if they earn GBP 125,000 or GBP 250,000?

Right now they are worthless, and deserve to be crushed to pulp for the destruction of a once great country, that they have over (under) seen.

If they would fight for Britain I would sympathise with their tears. But fighting for their grubby little egos and self importance, I'm sorry. Cry away.

In fact get out of the kitchen and let some real cooks get their hands on the stove once more.

Anonymous said...

The programme made me VERY angry and I emerged with zero sympathy for these blatant troughers. What came over loud and clear was the fact that THEY STILL DON'T GET IT!
Their arrogance knows no bounds. Talking of which, what do you make of Grope-it Opik's comments about Adam Price? LO now seems to have seriously lost the plot

Events dear boy, events said...

Did we really need two links to the same post from Nadine Dorries? How we would all like a month off!

Jabba the Cat said...

Obviously the troughing hoons are wholly unsuited to the jobs they fill as they are too thick to work out what they are doing wrong.

Anonymous said...

I can't add much to the first post really. It is pretty comprehensive in summing up my views on this (and I expect the views of many others).

All I will say in addition to it is that the mere mention of Nadine Dorries irks me. Her whinging throughout the whole sordid affair has annoyed me every bit as much as the opportunistic claims for bath plugs and IKEA bags.

She's very near the top of my list of disliked MPs. Considering the stiff competition, that's one hell of an achievement.

tankus said...

If my local MP got driven to the edge ...I would quite happily give him the final push

digger said...

have to agree with others that nadine whingeing has been annoying in the extreme.I used to occasionally dislike her,now it's become permanent.

as for her daughter moaning.is that the one that worked for her?

Anonymous said...

I suggest you read the great Christopher Booker to see what happens to the children of ordinary citizens who dare to take on the authorities. They generally get removed. Read and learn Nadine. If you were a single mother and non MP charged with fraud and subsequently remanded in custody then you would most likely lose those “girls”, who would be given a wonderful reception by the members of the underclass in their care home.

My neighbour was falsely accused of child abuse. He was a teacher of longstanding good reputation and a gentler man you could hardly hope to meet. One day he told a child off in class and they called childline and accused him of a perverted act with a girl in his class. She refused to join in the game but he was suspended. I told him not to take any prescription drugs but it was all to no avail and he ended up hooked on this and that. The police did not pursue the matter but he cannot go back to teaching because he has no trust anymore. He has had to have a psychiatric test and must be signed off by Ed Balls if he ever decides to try and teach again. He is now getting up at 1.30 or 2.30 pm. A broken man.

That is the society you have created my dear MPs. Look and learn.

The Grim Reaper said...

I have the same opinion of Nadine Dorries that I have of Tim Ireland. Namely consisting of a word which is banned on this blog. So forgive me if I laugh at all this rather than sympathise.

Simon said...

The thing that struck me about this programme was the sheer hypocrisy of the whinging MP's. One saying "We're innocent until proven guilty." A principle which they deny us for so many offences. A few of them were whining about it "not being worth it" and how they contemplated giving up politics. None of them did of course as it would mean an end to lining their pockets and they'd be lucky to get a job outside politics.

They generally came across as a bunch of worthless, arrogant, dishonest scroungers with no redeeming features whatsoever. Worse still, they're all still there getting more arrogant by the day as they begin to think they've got away with the whole scam.

Elby the Beserk said...

Sympathy bypass happening here. These same MPs who were saying "we only did what we were allowed to" are the same ones castigating thd vilifying the bankers for ... doing what they were allowed to".

A pox on all their houses. None of THEM are hit by the recession, are they? None of THEM are wondering just HOW poor they are going to be in their old age.

Serve them right for complete lack of moral fibre. They steal our money, and at the same time, steal our freedom. Fuck 'em all.

Glyn H said...

£65K pa is more than enough for an MP’s salary, and a great deal more than many of them could earn outside plus they get generous allowances for office/staff costs and the like. The spectacular abuse of the ACA which Squealer Martin fought tooth and nail to avoid being exposed tells us that he and they were rightly fearful of what its exposure would bring. And Blair was in it as well; forcing ministers to say their London place was 1st home was a hidden pay rise for his tribe of malevolent incompetents.

Steen always was a bit of a pillock in the mould of the late and equally silly Peter Emery. Nadine Dorries, a recent adornment to the Tory benches, has presumably wrecked her chances of preferment under Cameron with those wacko comments – and praise be for that. Someone whose private life is such a mess as to get divorced soon after getting elected should not have presumed to offer herself for selection in the first place. Jolly lucky to have that ACA and be able to pay your daughter from the taxpayer is well was it not?

Catosays said...

Iain, are you seriously trying to defend these thieves? for that is what they are....THIEVES!

Well, are you?

Raedwald said...

The whingeing of corrupt MPs fails to stir any sympathy in me. If you can't do the time, don't do the crime, as the crims say. And which of them was it that said there's too much sympathy for criminals and not enough for their victims? Well, we're the victims of their troughing and corruption. And when one of the most blatant troughers, a woman who rightly faces the prospect of a private prosecution, had the nerve to say in a speech last year;

"And where we can demonstrate that different arms of the state can tackle those who wilfully persist in crime or anti-social behaviour – like checking persistent offenders against TV Licensing and DVLA databases, and running checks for benefit fraud and council tax payments – I think there are few who would argue that it was not common sense, proportionate or public-spirited to do so."

There you have it. The exposure of parliamentary corruption was both common sensical, proportionate and public spirited. For any MP to declare otherwise brands them as self-interested rather than public interested and there's no place for them in Parliament.

And as the others, I'm fed up to the gills with Nadine's whining.

DespairingLiberal said...

I felt sorry for family members, but then again, some of them have done rather well from our taxpayer largesse as well. Nadine's pathetic whining left me cold. I wanted to throw bricks at the radio when they played the tape of that Tory b*s*ard going on about people being envious of his big (lavishly taxpayer-assisted) house.

I couldn't help thinking "the only thing they are suicidal about is the thought of losing all that free money".

Anonymous said...

I have not listened to this program but I intend to, however, I find it bizarre that MPs cannot 'deal' with this kind of scrutiny. Put to one side the argument that they 'deserved all they got' and that 'they brought it all upon themselves'; a lot of people have to put up with difficulties in life and it is how they conduct themselves in these trying times that reveals their strength of character and it would appear most MPs have been found wanting. I do not know which is more troubling; the rampant abuse of the system and the lack of integrity it reveals or the lack of depth of character displayed in dealing with the fallout. By any analysis most MPs have been revealed as not being up to the job. Thankfully many will disappear at the next election either by choice or by the will of the electorate. Let's hope the next bunch will be up to the job.

Anonymous said...

Iain if I may off subject?

Labour trolls for you in Labour Britain today posted elsewhere

5p€d0☻5h0rt5| says:
July 22, 2009 at 3:54 am

Jonty’s Mate – I take my hat off to you…..I’ve tried (Oh God, I’ve tried) but I just cannot educate these fools on my own. PLEASE go and get some reinforecements for the cause coz I fear the ignorance level here is so high it might take more than just you and I. Andy Amnesia Coulson is really good an so is Mr BcBride esq but what we REALLY need is somebody that can really fookng dominate them – they like that. Don’t you ya tory fascist bastards?"

ken from glos said...

I have kept my copy of "The Daily Telegraph, The Complete Expenses Files".

This should be required reading for all voters.It should be put on the internet in full and put in every library in the land together with the M.P,s own redacted (CENSORED)release of expenses.

They robbed the tax payer blind and did their best to hide it.

I am a law abiding man who voted at every election since i was 21 and i am now 66.My wife was right all along. They are in it to see what they could get out of it.

The B.B.C. is no better either.

No Society said...

One word. Dignatas; ill buy their ticket and take my punishment like a real British law abiding citizen.

Julian Gall said...

I would have thought the first rule of being an MP is "never do anything you wouldn't want to see on the front page of the papers". If nothing else, all these MPs are guilty of forgetting this. I don't think they have any reason to complain.

And I agree with the other commenters who say "they still don't get it". Many of us would like to be able to claim tax free expenses for things we consider necessary for our work, but we're not allowed to because of the laws and regulations created by MPs. These same MPs have exempted themselves from these laws. Why is there a question on the tax return asking if you're an MP? It's so you can be subject to a more lenient tax regime. Not only is this wrong, it's incredibly wasteful to have tax rules (and no doubt a special department) which apply only to a few hundred people.

Barnsley Bill said...

Iain, I am sorry but you are hopelessly compromised on this topic. Your desire to become an mp is clouding your judgment when commenting on this subject. That in no way suggests your wish to be an mp comes from anything but a desire to serve.
But....... When you start saying things like "edge of reason" I laugh.
I don't give a shit if these troughing pigs are fraught because we are angry. Moral outrage is what they are suffering from.
Those who claimed expenses immorally should be run out of office.

Anonymous said...

So what happened to the suicides we were promised?

I'm still looking forward to dancing on the grave of one or two of the troughing hoons; but it seems that promise was as worthless as any other pledge from a politician.

Anonymous said...

Wow Iain, you've called this one wrong haven't you? Talk about barking up the wrong tree.

Nigel said...

While I deprecate some of the more extreme comments here ('Dignitas', 'dancing on graves' etc.), I agree wholeheartedly with those who have little or no time for the whingeing.

As for 'driven to the edge of reason' - two words:
heat, kitchen.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"But several of the MPs featured in this programme were clearly driven to the edge of reason by what happened."

Hear that? It's the world's smallest violin playing for hard-done-by, greedy, mendacious, bullying, thieving bastards.

Anonymous said...

That's twentyfive nil Iain. Get out a bit more.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see people are still not capable of distinguishing some MPs troughing from everyone troughing.

I thought that when the hysteria had died down a little, people might have been capable of telling the difference between around 100 troughers and 650.

john miller said...

They don't seem to understand that this whole episode has to be considered in the light of the society these MPs have created for us in the last 12 years.

There are innumerable jobsworths appointed by politicians whose sole purpose in life is to spy on the general public. Dropping litter is pounced upon by police and council officials with the utmost zeal. Get burgled and you might get a policeman round the next day to take some notes. You will, however, be offered counselling.

So the public feel harrased and targeted and above all, not trusted. Parliament has passed 2 laws a day on average to tell us what not to do. Thousands of statutory instruments have been passed with no debate.

Into this febrile atmosphere step our dear politicians. Their excuse is "Whilst we have dreamt up many thoughtcrimes for which we can try to make you guilty, we have made the laws that apply to us incredibly lax. We can smoke in our bars, the race relations and sexual equality laws do not apply to us. Above all, we can say one thing to the taxman and another to the fees office - and this is within our laws".

Such eye-watering hypocrisy is the reason that the backlash was so fierce. Now they know a bit of what it is like to be an ordinary person in their 21st century Britain. They have been judged by us in the same manner that their hired toadies judge us every day of our lives.

Horshamite said...

There are indeed some MPs who feel harshly judged because they were only "following the rules". But the rules were corrupt and every MP knew that for years they have been party to keeping the public in the dark. It would be interesting to know whether any of the current whingers actually voted in favour of previous (albeit limited) proposals for reform. Sorry, there is no sympathy for any of them they were not forced to claim a penny!

Alex said...

Anonymous said...
"Nice to see people are still not capable of distinguishing some MPs troughing from everyone troughing."

Guilt by association. MP's are responsible for policing their own behaviour. Individual MP's are answerable to the Fees Office, the Fees Office are responsible to the Speaker and the Speaker is answerable to the House of Commons. If the system is rotten then the whole of Parliament is responsible for its rottenness.

I have no sympathy for any MP's over this. If any of them were considering resigning, then they probably aren't up to the job and should go anyway. The same probably applies to many who didn't consider resigning.

In a better world, the only true resolution to the matter would be an election now to allow the voters to have their say, but that ain't gonna happen.

Unsworth said...

It's very disturbing to think that MPs were 'driven to the edge of reason' etc. Most people would know and understand if they were doing something which is illegal or immoral or even slightly dodgy - and would make a conscious decision to continue or desist.

Why do these elected representatives not have that capacity? They are not that stupid, surely? Are we sure that they are not some sort of alien beings? They do not seem to operate by or understand the rules and ethics that obtain in the rest of society.

As for Nadine, well anyone can turn on the tears, can't they? What on earth does she think she's doing in exposing her daughter to the media? Next she'll be demanding privacy for her family - in much the same way as she does about her own 'private life'. Such actions are contemptible. At best, she is confused - if not duplicitous.

VotR said...

If MP's are truly sincere then why weren't expenses scrapped? In these hard times when families, businesses and public services are finding the cupboards bare, it seems a little insensitive to carry on with business as usual with a watered down parliamentary standards bill. And then letting the gravy pour forth once the trough has been dusted off.

Quentin said...

As one of Nadine Dorries constituents, I have little sympathy for her.In a recent Mail on Sunday article and in the local rag and even on her blog she stated she had NEVER claimed for items such as food. When the expense claims were posted on the parliament website they showed she had indeed claimed for such items.Following these revelations she then stated that her PA had put in ALL her expense claims and she had never even seen them (strange considering that the MP has to sign the declaration on each claim form). At least I have the opportunity NOT to vote for her at the next GE.

Anonymous said...

Agree with most of what has been written so far. The only thing I would add is that I would much rather MPs had outside business interests, directorships etc. rather than seeing their role as a profession which entitles them to salaries on a par with executives at BP. They just don't seem to get the idea of public service, instead, sadly, most seem intent on climbing the greasy pole and lining their own pockets.

What do we have MPs for anyway? Policy is decided by civil servants and special interest groups, initiatives are generated by Number Ten as a reaction to a bad news cycle, and laws are spewn forth from an unelected European Commission.

Joe Public said...

Was that the same Nadine Dorries who thought that I, a mere Taxpayer, should contribute to reimburse her for the few £grand she claims her landlord owes her?

Bl@@dy trougher.

Comment #1 should be forwarded to all MPs.

Next said...

I don't know what galls me most. MP's corruption, or opologists like you. You seem to regard it as a minor misdemeanor, rather than treachery of the worst kind. In a position of trust, the highest standards should be adhered to. Your blase attitude to this affair shows that you are not fit to be allowed to hold any responsible position. Nothing personal, you understand, but your moral compass also needs recalibrating

Penfold said...

I can't get any sympathy going for them, even Nadine whom I know you like.
Anon 11:52 and Tapestry 12:11 sum it up very well.
We should in all honesty be getting rid of the lot and starting again from scratch. Indeed, if McBroon did have an ounce of morals, this son of the so-called manse, he would have dissolved Parliament on the first publication of the Telegraph list.
He didn't which just goes to prove that he has no moral standing, no ethics other than power, has no dignity and courage.
He is just a scabby politician on the make.
Bah humbug and a pox and plague on the lot, swine flu may just be the start.

wapping boy said...

Pathetic. MPs have become so used to the perks, the gold-plated pensions and expenses claims and, for most of them, the absence of any real responsibility that they gave forgotten why they are there in the first place. I completely agree with the sentiment expressed here that these people have aggrandised and enriched themselves whilst simultaneously taking away our freedoms, wasting our money and doing their best to make our lives more miserable.

The expenses scandal was the straw that broke the general public's back. Now they are all paying the price for the country's capitulation to a European superstate, Labour's 12 years of wasted money and galluping debt, the betrayal of our armed forces, the erosion of civil liberties and the collapse of decent society in this country.

If they are so utterly incapable of doing their jobs, then they don't deserve any sympathy for any reason. They need to grow a collective backbone and those who can't deal with it, or whinge about their families suffering, or can't take the pressure and are "on suicide watch" should clear off and realise that life outside the gold-plated Westmionster bubble is actually a hell of a lot worse, largely thanks to them.

DiscoveredJoys said...

Driven to the edge of reason? What a shame that they didn't take one more step - into reason.

Their bleatings remind me of people who are incensed at getting a parking ticket... just because they parked on double yellow lines!

I expect more of my MPs; they are permitted many privileges, so I expect exemplary behaviour in return. I wonder how much of the disaffection with politics over the last 20 years is actually disaffection with the behaviour of politicians?

Anonymous said...

What fascinated me about the programme was the MPs' surprise at the intensity of the public fury. Many, many people out here have long loathed the plump complacency of the professional political classes. The Telegraph merely handed everyone the rhetorical cudgels they needed to beat the ones whom they hated most.

Among my Labour friends anger had been building for years, they didn't abandon first local activism and then even party membership out of boredom or shortage of time. Each cracked, some sooner, some later, as the government they had worked to put in power overstepped the limits of their tolerance: Ecclestone, Kelly, Iraq, Surveillance, banning music in pubs, ID cards, 10% tax, the repeated resurrections of Mandelson, each finally snapped. Betrayed by their own, everything they believed of the Toffs' party vividly confirmed, they are without exception furious.

All this seemed to come to Denis MacShane and Joan Smith out of a clear blue sky. Has Denis never listened to anyone but himself?

Then there was Sir Nicholas Winterton explaining that, after this, only the rich would be able to enter Parliament. To a population half of whom live in households with an income of 25k pa or less?

Iain Dale said...

What a lot of vicious and nasty comments. First of all, most of you appropriate arguments to me which I just did not put.It is a fact that many MPs were driven to the edge of a nervous breakdown, whether you want to acknowledge the fact or not. Whatever they had or had not done, that ought to be a matter of concern to anyone with half an ounce of humanity in them - something which clearly doesn't apply to most of you who have commented here. Try looking in the mirror before you write some of the things you do in future - especially those who do not write under their own names. You may not like what you see.

They don't like been found out said...

Are these the same MPs who lined up to accuse all Incapacity Benefit recipients as being 'frauds', 'cheats' and similar words?

The reality is that it is THEY who have been sponging.

Sympathy? - well I'll show them the same sympathy that they showed the sick in their bravado spoutings, ie none.

The Lakelander said...

MPs tell us that they are only getting paid what they could easily earn if they offered their talents in the private sector.

Very soon many of them will find out just how much their broad range of talents are valued outside Westminster....

I wonder if there is a collective noun for a large group of unemployed former MPs?

Next said...

Mr Dale.
But a lot of us don't aspire to one of the most responsible positions in the land. A lot of us don't sanctimoniously lecture others on why we need to spend your money on vital schemes, whilst thieving vast sums for personal gain.

Barnacle Bill said...

I worked bl**dy hard for my wages, spending half of the year away from family and friends for this robbing offspring of the unmarried to rob from my pocket.
I have no sympathy for any of them, should any of them feel like doing the honourable thing I would be more than willing to help them.

Anonymous said...

My heart bleeds for them...

They don't like being found out said...

I've just read your comment Iain.

You think we are rotten to them. I can imaging that some are driven to distraction. But this is true of genuine IB claimants who are being hounded by the legislation which those MPs lined up to approve - claimants' lives are being made hell as well.

Two wrongs may not make a right, but "what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander", so perhaps they might now have an incling of the misery that they have uncaringly poured on others.

Iain Dale said...

You are all writing as if all were as guilty as each other. If that were true I'd have more sympathy with what you are all writing. The fact is that some MPs deserved all they got, and others didn't. Andrew George, who features in this programme, I would venture to suggest is one who was traduced with very little reason. Don't tarr them all with the same brush - that's all I am saying.

Anonymous said...

Iain, I will side with you over this up to a point. The unthinking rants above are making a big mistake in saying that all MPs are the same. NOT all MPs troughed.

Of course, those who falsely claimed on mortgages etc should be prosecuted.

The others who claimed excessively are in a different category altogether. Who among you who is allowed to claim expenses in the course of your work have not put in your claims at the maximum allowed? You argue to yourself that it is within the rules.

Anonymous said...

Well wide of the mark Iain.

Some of the comments may well be callous and I am not endorsing everything that has been said. I personallu never wanted to see breakdowns, less still suicide. Why on earth would I?

Some contrition, however, would have been nice. Better still, some justice.

Many have rightly pointed out that these MPs have inflicted a society on us whereby we are effectively guilty until proven innocent, then they complain when similar standards are applied to them.

Where is the evidence that many MPs were driven to the edge of nervous breakdown? You claim it to be fact,so you should have some proof. At least The Telegraph had receipts to verify its claims.

Lastly, looking in the mirror can be an unedifying experience. Some of us may see a human staring back with myriad flaws; certainly, no-one will witness perfection.

I imagine many MPs see reflections of greedy thieves. How about you? On the basis of your comment, I presume you see a self-righteous, condescending bore.

Shame, I always quite liked your blog. I thought you understood public opinion better than many other bloggers and you actually bother to engage on occasion.

Iain Dale said...

See, you're at it again, tarring them all with the same brush. I have condemned many MPs who have broken the rules and indeed the spirit of the rules. What I won't do is jump on this bandwagon of public opinion which says the whole lot of them deserve a public flogging. Unlike some of you I believe that laws of natural justice should still operate. I don't believe that Andrew George deserved what happened to him. Yes, I think Nadine went over the top in some of the things she said - as I have told her - does that mean I believe she deserves all the opprobrium that has been heaped on her? No I don't.

Yes, I do understand public opinion. That doesn't mean to say I have to follow it.

And I may be a bore, but at least I put my name to what I say, unlike you.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous@ 11.04 said

Many have rightly pointed out that these MPs have inflicted a society on us whereby we are effectively guilty until proven innocent, then they complain when similar standards are applied to them.

These are Labour MPs. Conservative MPs have played no part in this.

Barnacle Bill said...

Iain it is more a case of varying degrees of guilt.
Some may not have actually dipped their hands into our pockets, but they stood by raising no protest whilst others did.
So I'm afraid it is a case of they are all guilty, just a case of whether some should get community service, or the ultimate sentence.

Anonymous said...

Iain's right, let's get this in perspective:

How many MPs have actually committed suicide? None.

How many bankers and farmers and (allegedly) government advisers have committed suicide? Several.

Amount of sympathy directed by MPs towards said dead bankers, farmers and government advisers? Not nearly as much as they seem to expect for themselves...

VotR said...

People are angry, Iain. Very, very angry. Tomorrow will be interesting, as will the results.

Anonymous said...

Politicians lie to us.

They vote how the whips tell them to vote and pick up remuneration which only the top few percent in society can aspire to.

The system is inherently corrupt, our supposed representatives do not vote out of principle but out of fear of deselection or being overlooked for an even cushier number in some department somewhere.

The people that need to look in the mirror are those who take 65k a year plus unimaginably generous pensions plus huge parachute payments if unelected and still claim for their groceries.

Don't forget some might get into trouble for claiming for non-existent mortgages, but they're really no different from those who took out a mortgage they didn't need to so they could fleece the nation one more way.

Destroy the corrupt parties, vote for independents.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to have to make this a long response........

I think John Miller above has it right. Bad though the expenses scandal is, and it is very bad, the fury of the public is driven by the way they are governed in general. It is this that Ms Dorris fails to appreciate and why she feels a sense of injustice.

The public has had enough of politicians refusing to waver from the whips line no matter how ridiculous. Furious at careerist MPs, with no real life experiences, telling us (worse legislating) how we to live our lives in the most minute detail, what we can say, where we are allowed to say it. Furious at being portrayed as latent criminals by every new restriction and law.

Furious that we are powerless, we have no say in who is parachuted into the seats, furious that we have no constitutional protection from desperate politicians trying to save their bacon

I could go on, but in this context - when we finally see that they have, on the quiet, developed a system that effectively forces MPs to follow the whip or lose benefits we see they have finally killed off the noble , public spirited, role of MP - it really does not matter who we vote for, what meeting we turn up to, what we say, collectively they have killed it off. THAT IS THE REAL CRIME

They did it collectively, I did not hear from Ms Dorris prior to the scandal that she had a problem with the system. I am sorry for the family pressures she has been under, but she should worry if she has the right stuff to be a (real ) MP. I think it better for her daughter to live in a society with clean responsible politics than live quietly with unresponsive, morally corrupt ( but within the rules) party machines. She has been done a service by the public and Ms Dorris should tell her so rather than allowing her to bathe in victim-hood.

Iain you introduced me to Nadine's blog - I had admired her for standing firm on her views on late term abortions, and so I decided to follow the blog.

The experience has been infuriating. I appreciate that all the views expressed in many cases are in response to events and not as well thought through as a speech but even so, they seem to lack much by way of a principled, thought through, position ( beyond late term abortion )

She has, it appears, disabled comments. I think it means she misses the point - we can hear from our politicians, but they just do not want to hear from us. ( yes some will be loony but... )

So now she is deserving of a full four weeks off in August, which happily she can arrange to fit with term time. For so many unemployment will remove this as an option, will have brought real pressure on family life, possibly brought children to tears, will have extended the working life to replenish pensions.. etc.. etc....

and Ms Dorris is arguably one of our better MPs.... oh calamity !

Anonymous said...

It hasn't escaped my attention or talking to my friends last night that whilst these MP's sit on their arses discussing expenses our soldiers are dying in Afganistan virtually every day

Anonymous said...

Whatever they had or had not done, that ought to be a matter of concern to anyone with half an ounce of humanity in them - something which clearly doesn't apply to most of you who have commented here.

Then I fully expect you to begin campaigning for an end to the imprisonment of convicted felons. Using your logic, if you commit a crime and are sad at being punished for it, everyone with "half an ounce of humanity" should rush to free you.

Iain, you do neither yourself nor your argument any favours by taking this sanctimonious self-righteous high ground. Your little friends got caught with their fingers in the till. Now they have to live with the consequences. Deal with it.

Or is the problem that you're bitter that the best troughing was done before you got a chance to join in?

Iain Dale said...

1. No MP has been convicted of a criminal offence, so your analogy falls at the first fence.

2. I have not taken the sanctimonious high ground. I have condemned politicians who have transgressed as strongly as anyone. What I object to is those who have done no wrong at all being tarred with the same brush as those who have patently done wrong. If you really disagree with that you're a fool or worse.

3. Your last comment is not even worth a retort and says more about you than it ever can about me.

Anonymous said...

Don't tarr them all with the same brush - that's all I am saying.

No, that is not what you're saying. It is not what you said in the post or in any of the comments before this. What you *have* said, repeatedly, is that the guilty MPs are sad and unhappy and therefore we should all shut the fuck up and forget their fraud and their theft.

I understand that you're a careerist and that you have been fixated on acquiring political power since before you popped a pube. I fully understand that you have contempt for the public who, in your worldview, exist only to further your personal ambitions. What you need to understand is that neither you nor your friends are entitled to power. You receive power (well, not you personally, because you're only a failed politician) from the electorate. You exercise it on our behalf. We have the right to be angry when you abuse the power we have given to steal from us.

If you do not like the anger, do not steal. It's really very simple and it baffles me why you're having such a hard time understanding a premise that primary school children can grasp.

Anonymous said...

Judge Dale: You are accused of defrauding your employers of £10000. How do you plead?

Unprincipled Lobby Fodder: Blub, blub, but it's not fair, I'm going to have a breakdown, my daughter couldn't get a summer jib at Tescos, blub blub, it's not fair.

Judge Dale: Oh that's OK then. Maybe we should sort you out a pay rise. Case dismissed.

Anonymous said...

Iain - ah yes anonymity - Nadine posted on her blog that she was saving all the email addresses of those that had posted to her site during the peak of the expenses scandal and with a veiled threat - ( yup she was under real pressure - if she regrets it let her post about it)

Given the power of our MPs and the increasing fear of us trolls - I think you should be more sympathetic. ( but you are right we should be bolder)

Raedwald said...

Like many of your commentators I want to see strong and independent MPs in a strong and independent Parliament.

Strong and independent MPs don't practice corruption 'because everyone else was doing it' or because 'the Whips told me to claim'. Ergo it's not the individual MPs I hold responsible - talentless fools and witless lobby-fodder though many of them are - as much as the party machines that have filled Parliament with such risibly sub-standard material.

Cameron's open primaries are a major move to the good, and I applaud him for taking this step. But the catharsis for the collective betrayal by parliament of the trust that we the public reposed in them will not be complete until we have had a general election.

Iain Dale said...

Anonymous 11.43. It baffles me as to why you can't read simple English and try to attribute motives to me which aren't even remotely in my mind. You wrote...

"What you *have* said, repeatedly, is that the guilty MPs are sad and unhappy and therefore we should all shut the fuck up and forget their fraud and their theft."

I have never said that and I don't believe it.

Anonymous said...

1. No MP has been convicted of a criminal offence, so your analogy falls at the first fence.

No, it does not, you puffed-up buffoon. Large numbers of MPs have defrauded the public; they now must take the punishment. By the same token, when a criminal commits a crime, he must take his punishment. Cause. Effect. Embrace the concept.

2. I have not taken the sanctimonious high ground.

Then you must be a different Iain Dale with a different blog because on this one, your response has been to talk down to anyone who suggests that Dorries has done wrong and to traduce us as lacking humanity. That would meet most people's definitions of sanctimony and self-righteousness.

And it is interesting that she's the focus for your White Knight shenanigans, Dale. You certainly haven't been so forthright in defending the honour of many Labour thieves.

I have condemned politicians who have transgressed as strongly as anyone.

Not Dorries you haven't.

What I object to is those who have done no wrong at all being tarred with the same brush as those who have patently done wrong.

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire. This post is not about the traduction of innocent MPs; it's about guilty MPs who now feel sad at being exposed for their crimes. The innocent MPs - the ones who've done no wrong - never were exposed in the first place because there was nothing *to* expose!

If you really disagree with that you're a fool or worse.

And you are a liar who constantly misrepresents both your own position and those of others. You shift like a snake, with five different contradictory positions in a single thread.

3. Your last comment is not even worth a retort and says more about you than it ever can about me.

Given that your political career is more theoretical than actual, I think I'll just let it go. You'll never be in a position to collect a taxpayer-funded salary so why should we worry?

Anonymous said...

It baffles me as to why you can't read simple English and try to attribute motives to me which aren't even remotely in my mind.

Throughout this, you have constantly fallen back on the accusation that BADD PEEPUL are attributing to you views that you don't hold. Bullshit, Dale. Bullshit.

You said in the original post which we have all read that you were chock-full of sympathy for MPs driven to the "edge of reason" by their experiences. Repeatedly posters have stated that MPs would not have been driven to the "edge of reason" if they had not enriched themselves by defrauding the public.

What, for the love of Christ, is confusing you here? Where is the imputation of these false motivations? You said that you pitied them for their suffering; everyone else said that they had created their own suffering. You then throw a screaming hissy-fit.

Grow up, Dale. Grow up because every single time you act like this, you push your political ambitions just a little bit further out of reach.

Anonymous said...

When justice is done and all 650+ troughing, immoral self-serving traitors are forced to file in shame through every town and village in the country you're right, I may save the rotten tomatoes for a select few, but they all need to be booted out.

Some are worse than others, but they are all touched by a collective responsibility which means we have no sympathy.

Anonymous said...

A few thoiughts:

1. they chose this career.

2. they chose to claim the expenses.

3. they should think of the impact on their families of their choices. If I had a daughter crying on radio as per Dorries, I would dump the job pronto. She is storing up serious issues in their relationship by her selfishness and desperate ambition, not to mention use of her family as marketing tools on, inter alia, her blog.

4. they seek and crave publicity constantly so cannot complain if it is directed back at them.

5. Iain, why on earth would you want to be an MP? you have a great career now, with little hassle, frequently asked to comment and MUCH more power than you would have as an MP. Perhaps your thought is that you want to help people - if so, get more involved in your charities. seriously politics is a total diversion of your talents and you will end up regretting it. Please listen!

Iain Dale said...

No, it is you who should grow up. You've shown yourself (whoever you are - and believe me I have my suspicions) of being incapable of rational, polite debate. So it stops here. Collect your refund on the way out.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Iain Dale said...

Comment deleted for swearing.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:50, Snake? But of course. Apprentice politician you know.

Anonymous said...

No, it is you who should grow up.

Neat comeback.

You've shown yourself (whoever you are - and believe me I have my suspicions)

AHAHAHAHAHAAAA! The hilarious thing about this is that I have no connection whatsoever to politics. Have never belonged to a party and have generally swung back-and-forth between three parties over my political lifetime. And yet here you are - dreaming up conspiracy theories and planting drama-bombs the very second that anyone challenges your little Westminster Best Friends' Club. Pathetic.

of being incapable of rational, polite debate.

The irony.... It burns.....

So it stops here. Collect your refund on the way out.

Gosh, aren't you masterful? Do I mean masterful? Maybe I mean "petulant self-absorbed narcissist with a sense of entitlement the size of the Gobi Desert".

Anonymous said...


No sympathy what so ever, nothing, none, zilch, nada…

Lord Parasite said...

Iain, if it gets too much you can take refuge at my place. The oiks'll never get past the moat. We can hide in the duck house together.

Anonymous said...

I made Iain cry. My life is now complete.

Next said...

Mr Dale.
The money they stole was taxpayers money. Not just wealthy individuals and profit making companies, but pensioners, the sick and disabled, war widows and low income wage earners that struggle to make their meagre resources stretch far enough.
Your attitude shows you to be made of "The right stuff" A place in parliament cannot be far off.

Unsworth said...


"It is a fact that many MPs were driven to the edge of a nervous breakdown, whether you want to acknowledge the fact or not."

Any evidence - apart from their own protestations, of course? What might drive an innocent to the 'edge of a nervous breakdown'? And if these innocent people are so susceptible should they be politicians at all?

Now, would you like to address the real question, the morality of what these people have done and/or what they have witnessed without the slightest demur? Let's not make the basic mistake of confusing legality (and that's dubious in many cases) with morality. After all, many of the claims were 'legal', it is said.

As you personally know, politics is a rough old game but these people are not contractually (or in any other way) obliged to stay in it. Nonetheless what is obvious is that all MPs, with just about one notable exception, were prepared to observe and tolerate such behaviour in their peers. Are those the actions of honourable people?

That said, I concur with many of your views as to the more extreme contributions here. However, it takes all sorts....

As to "You are all writing as if all were as guilty as each other" well please don't tar us all with the same brush, eh? However, my point (above) about MPs' silent complicity still stands.

Sue said...

Boo Hoo!

They´re an immoral bunch of self serving, useless individuals with absolutely NO HONOUR!

The Grim Reaper said...

Catosays said "Iain, are you seriously trying to defend these thieves? for that is what they are....THIEVES!"

Well, Iain has held ambitions to be one of them. An MP that is, not a thief. Although judging by what many of them have been up to, there seems to be very little difference between the two these days.

tankus said...

well... at least Iain hasn't (yet ) deleted anonymous ..

bitingly concise .

Just what gives with you and Nadine anyway's

Anonymous said...

Before I retired I was a solicitor. For the whole of my working life I was subject to snide comments and innuendo. Latterly we were subjected to a so-called regulatory regime that made the gestapo look like bleeding amateurs. Most of us were blameless, but we still got the stick and sometime the rubber truncheon. We didn't let it drive us to the edge or moan. So no, I've no sympathy for them. They imposed similar pressures on others. There's nothing like experience.

Scrumper said...

I've got sympathy.

When I was a kid I nicked apples from some old granny's apple tree. She didn't use them and wouldn't have missed them if noone had told her. I too felt bad when I was caught.

Mind you, I didn't set up half my family with free apples as well. Guess I'm not MP material.

Anonymous said...

I'm struggling to see why who you are stealing from should make any difference - see Next's comment. Perhaps some of the struggling pensioners are struggling because their pension funds invested in those so called profit making companies. I suspect many of the shareholders in those companies would be just as interested in the level of directors and senior management expenses as many have been in MPs expenses. And believe me, as someone who knows, most MPs are pretty amateurish when it comes to troughing compared to many in the Corporate sector.

Perhaps we should have a long hard look at the levels of greed in society as a whole which has increased steadily since Mrs Thatcher,s days under both parties before we start to use the MPs expenses as a means for trashing representative democracy. We should perhaps ask the question as to whether the level of corruption is likley to be lower under political systems? And also what those who are doing the current trashing are seeking to achieve - some may want to hand control over to the likes of Murdoch and other business interests - but does anyone really think that their methods are any better?

For those of us who believe in democracy, or at least think that it is the least worth alternative, perhaps what is needed is a little more grown up thinking about how MPs should be paid going forward. Anyone who believes that the Tory Party will be able to attract high calibre MPs who support its ideals with a salary of £65k and no expenses - and who are then not beholden to other sources of income as a result - clearly is out of touch with reality. It certainly wouldn't be attractive to Mr Dale!

trevorsden said...

Iain is a tender hearted soul - but there is a lot of sanctimonious piffle here.

MPs were encouraged to treat their expenses as an allowance - all due to politically motivated restrictions on pay rises - they (or mostly) did not 'steal', they did very nicely thank you out of expenses.

The expenses allowed may be too generous, may be just right or may be not enough. The shocking possibly illegal behaviour is when some people claim for non existent mortgages or claim for a boarded up second home.

ie the blatant illegality seen by many labour members - led by its then Home Secrretary no less.

A far greater scandal is the govt slipping out vast reams of info on the last day of parliament without scrutiny, its Brown giving MPs 80 days break so they are not around to scrutinise his govt.

So in broad terms I do not give a toss about expenses - I care more about this govts incompetence which puts our soldiers lives in unnecessary jeopardy.

Anonymous said...

These weren't sales reps filling up their wife's car on expenses (they would get fired on the spot by the way, nervous breakdown or not).

These were our representatives in our democracy systematically stealing from the nation. Their punishment? 12 weeks off and ongoing paypacket triple the average wage.

Now where did I leave that ounce of sympathy?

Savonarola said...

The excellent Mr Raedwald says it best.

Mr Dale is a bit of a blouse.

Would make a good shop steward for MP's not to mention an efficient amanuensis for the dodgy Ms D.

Joe Public said...

Iain, I'm surprised you still "don't get it".

Real workers have been sacked for fiddling expenses.

Some MPs have plainly, unambiguously & clearly fiddled expenses.

Please advise your readers: How many MPs have been sacked?

How many MPs have lost their Golden Goodbye, how many have lost their pension?

Next said...

Mr Dale.
You are twittering that you are hacked off at anon blog idiots and are thinking of going back to pre registered only. No doubt you wish to be cocooned from views that don't match your own, and would wish to surround yourself with sycophancy. Yet another example of how you would be at home in parliament

Iain Dale said...

If that were true I wouldn't allow comments at all.

Try again

Oliver Drew said...

I pity the families of the exposed MPs - after all, it wasn't their fault.

I also pity the MPs who have made mistakes that have been blown out of proportion - and there are some.

I don't pity the serious thieves, the ones who had fake mortgages or home swapped. They are the crooks who should be removed from office as soon as possible.

I pity anybody who as a result of what happens is suffering from some form of mental illness, it is never good and hopefully they will be able to get help...but in no way does that absolve them of their transgressions.

At the end of the day, we'll all get our chance to pass judgement on our MPs at the next General Election. Until then we'll have to be patient and take note of what is happening...important it is to note that we are not going to get the widespread political reform that we all want.

Some of the stuff in here is frightening to read though - personal attacks etc etc...never nice to read this stuff. I think that some people need to take a step back and take a deep breath personally...

Devil's Kitchen said...


"See, you're at it again, tarring them all with the same brush."

All of them are complicit. Those who did not actively steal from us failed to stand up and denounce their colleagues—and don't tell me that they didn't know what was going on.

I have no sympathy for them at all—and especially not Dorries. Not only is she a proven liar, she has shamelessly smeared her opponents—and then reached for the lawyers when someone smeared her. I wonder, does Nadine Dorries think that she may be driving Damien McBride "to the edge of reason" with her lawsuit?


P.S. To all the commenters: Iain does not defend politicians because he wants to be one (although he may do)—he does it because he runs a political magazine that depends on MPs agreeing to be interviewed, etc. He needs to maintain the goodwill.

The Grim Reaper said...

Devil's Kitchen said "P.S. To all the commenters: Iain [defends politicians] because he runs a political magazine that depends on MPs agreeing to be interviewed, etc. He needs to maintain the goodwill."

Ah. I hadn't considered that. Fair point.

Iain said "If that were true I wouldn't allow comments at all."

People can say what the hell they like about you, but I've never seen you censoring people. Some of my comments have been dangerously close to the bone and I've never seen any of them deleted.

Iain Dale said...

DK, with respect that's rubbish. My magazine is irrelevant to this issue. And so is the good will issue, frankly. If that were true I wouldn't write half the things I do on here.

Right Honourable Fang said...

Must be counterproductive. These guys should shut up and just eat humble pie (and then claim the pie on expenses).

They don't like been found out said...

Iain, I trust you accept the notion that all are equal before the law. Moreover if people 'get creative' with their expenses, they are dismissed and possibly taken to court for theft.

I think that the anger you are seeing on this blog item relects the fact that this equality does not seem to apply to MPs.

To the extent that MPs 'rubber stamp' insideous legislation without a second thought, so it is fitting that they should experience what it is like on the other side of Parliament's walls to be on the receiving end of such legislation.

Anonymous said...

Iain's main contention seems to be that we shouldn't tar all the troughers with the same brush.

This may be true. If a gang holds up a bank does the getaway driver get the same sentence as the robber who killed the security guard. Does the gang member who planned the operation but didn't go along get the same treatment as the one who cracks the safe?

How about this.

They're all guilty, some deserve a longer sentence than others.

DaveA said...

As someone who is peripherally involved in politics as a member of a pro choice smoking group and having met a number of senior advisers, MPs and Junior Ministers, I have to say I am sincerely impressed with them as professional people. Hence I can understand Iain's empathy.

However rather than put their hands up and say I have probably done wrong and we need an entirely transparent expenses policy. As many have said, all we get is self justification, whinging and look at me, me, me suffering.

As a smoker and the public face of an organisation I get accused of being smelly, a child killer a selfish addict and many other epithets. Sir Liam Donaldson has stated on public record that smokers are to be denormalised (link below) and ostracised from society. Criticism is not pleasant, nor personal abuse. If you put yourself in the public eye it goes with the territory.

You won't find me looking for pity, I just get on with it.

'But if we want to go further we have got to reinforce all these other tobacco measures and denormalise smoking completely,' said Donaldson."


Joe Public said...

Iain, I note you've posted replies to other commentors since my post of 13:42.

Why will you not acknowledge the fact that NO MP HAS BEEN SACKED?

Its one rule for the proles (who pay the taxes out of their productive efforts, to pay the politicians), and another for the troughers.

The Norwich North By-Election is caused by a trougher who should have been sacked, yet was allowed to resign (& keep his Parliamentary Benefits Package.

Anonymous said...

Joe it's Politician 101, when you're in the wrong don't address the salient points of the argument.

Desperately thrash around for any straw man argument you can find and address that instead.

If we were French then there'd be a lot of impromptu sheep roasting. Being British we just bend over a bit further and take a little more,

Benji said...

It amazes me that we can be lied into war,with huge loss of life and vast sums of money spent and the public accepts it with a grumble and a whimper,yet this expenses scandal has people incandescent with rage.

An interesting choice of priorities!

Anonymous said...


You are so wide of the mark on this one it's pathetic. You need a holiday and some time in the real world, well outside of your little media/Westminster village bubble.

Your blog has turned into a sanctimonious, whinging joke. See you later.

Hugh Jorgen said...

I wrote to my rural MP asking how he could justify 9K a year on the taxpayer for 'gardening and mole control' on what is known to be his main home, where he has lived for decades with this family, and which he claims on his website is where he lives. I got back three pages of angst-ridden self-justification, "I never thought I would be caught up in this", "I have to have someone to take my wheelie bins down the drive" etc etc. I replied that it does not wash, it is so obviously not a second home, if he claimed for a London flat fair enough and no mole problem either. Back comes an even longer spiel, saying that in business the cost of a second needed abode would be covered. I'm too worn down to respond that business executives do not generally use their company home to also service a clutch of outside jobs and directorships......

trevorsden said...

"NO MP HAS BEEN SACKED?" -- how do you sack an MP? Parties have deselected them, not sure what more they can do.

Where there is suspicion of illegality - the police are examining the issue. Don't you see the dangers in concocting reasons to remove an MP from office?

The hard fact that people have to swallow is the rules mostly allowed the MPs to do what they did. Even now Brown himself is calling his real hope in his constituency his 'second' home. I believe the excuse behind this is that its a rule.

Having a John Lewis List is not illegal - it was the rule used by the fees office. The limit on expenses is not illegal.

Oh the expenses farrago is pathetic and in some cases quite clearly deceitful possibly illegal, MPs cannot expect mush sympathy - but I reserve my self righteous indignation for other things.

Next said...

Mr Dale.
Forgive me, but you have just stated that you are thinking of only allowing approved commentators. Which is it to be? An open floor, or carefully vetted admirers

Iain Dale said...

False choice. Registering a blogger/google account does not imply admiration for me. Try again.

tankus said...

then again ...is this thread a troll knowing the indignity it would cause ?, bumping up your posting numbers , see the testicle post didn't !

Next said...

Mr Dale.
Surely the whole point of pre registered accounts means that you have the ability to block those that you deem to be unsuitable. By all means, delete those comments that are obscene or defamatory, but part of the appeal of your site is that is easily accessible. As you are well aware, i am not one of your greatest fans, but i respect your willingness to stand and argue your case. As in the often quoted "open government", healthy disagreement should not be silenced

Anonymous said...


I fail to see what the problem with anonymous comment is, nor why retaining anonymity should render a person's view worthless, as is the implication in some of your comments.

I understand your frustration when someone anonymously issues threats against you (which I have seen on this blog and, for the record, find totally out of order) but what is the problem with someone making a fair point without providing either their real name or a false moniker?

Would my views suddently become more relevant if I set up a google account under a pseudonym, say 'Gordon's U-Turn'?

As a parallel question, does a poem or other work of art cease to be considered a classic merely because it is written or produced anonymously? Perhaps, by your logic, that person is a coward. Or maybe, just maybe, that person isn't vain enough to want to see their name all over the shop.

Final question (I promise): was all content on Guido's blog irrelevant or unworthy of comment before his identity was revealed by the press?

Iain Dale said...

Wrong again. This is becoming a habit.

I have no ability to be able to block people. If that were the case Tim Ireland's comments would never get through. On Blogger you can't do that. You can on Wordpress.

Registration does not mean you cannot comment anonymously.

Iain Dale said...

Anonymous 4.34
There is nothing at all wrong with anonymous comments. I appreciate why some people cannot give their real names, which is why I allow it. Unfortunately it encourages trolling and abuse. It doesn't happen immediately, it usually takes several weeks to build up but it's getting to an unacceptable level again and if it continues I am not going to put up with it. As usual, it's the few that spoil it for the many.

Next said...

Mr Dale.
I give way to your knowledge of the bloggersphere which is above mine, but the point i am trying to emphasize is that, as a free man, i do not want to have to "register" to voice an opinion.

Iain Dale said...

That is your prerogative in a free country. But it's also my free choice to decide how to run my blog, and if I find that anonymous people are abusing my hospitality then I think you will understand if I feel obliged to take action. As I say, I am perfectly happy to engage with anyone, even if they are anonymous, if they play by rules of polite debate. If they don't, they have no rights.

Joe Public said...

Sorry to labour the point (no pun or political innuendo indended), but was any MP sacked for fiddling expenses?

Seems they have a 'cosy' arrangement whereby everything short of a proven-in-court criminal act leaves their pension & parchute intact. Unlike 'normal' workers.

Anonymous said...

Iain is always going to call this sort of stuff wrong. The simple fact is that he is one of them, and had he been elected would have been troughing with the rest of them. They really do believe the public are just there to be screwed, by these useless mediocrities.

This blog is nothing more than a PR exercise for MPs that Iain likes. It's nauseating in the extreme.

cherami said...

I wonder if any parliament in history has been as despised as this one?

Mandelson's greatest achievement - to make ninety per cent of MPs members of the most loathed species on the planet.

It will take years, if ever, to recover.

Anonymous said...


Please don't go back to the pre-registration system. I'm sure some of the anonymous trolls here are a pain but this isn't the answer. I'm a civil servant who has to comment anonymously - I know you will tell me that's still possible under a registration system, but I can't afford to take the chance that I could be traced further down the line. There are probably others in the same boat. Please don't let a few sad anonymous idiots (and non-anonymous idiots like Tim Ireland) ruin it.


P.S. Even though I'm not a Conservative supporter, this blog is great for anyone who cares about politics, in my opinion. Don't listen to the knockers and whiners!

Anonymous said...

Iain, you are doing yourself no favours with your attitude here. Ask yourself why this thread consists of You vs. Everyone In the Entire World Ever. Is it really the case that you're so much better informed and wiser than the rest of us? Or is it that maybe we have a legitimate point? Is that maybe we're right?

As for banning anonymous comments, go right ahead. Knock yourself out. If you're going to do it, do it but to me it looks like you're only raising the issue so that everyone will rush to your defence in an attempt to persuade you to not to do it. Do it or don't do it but stop faffing around.

One point, though: right now, pretty much the only reason why this blog gets traffic is because of the comment threads. Your posts, as I'm sure you recognise, aren't very good anymore. If you end anonymous comments, you effectively end your blog's dominance in the Conservative blogosphere. You're too selfish and too career-centred to risk your blog's position in such a way which is another reason why I think you're just trying to generate drama in a desperate attempt to get attention from your fans.

Anonymous said...

My magazine is irrelevant to this issue. And so is the good will issue, frankly.

And because you say this is so, that automatically makes it so.

Your livelihood relies upon politicians (whose number you aspire to join). You repeatedly defend indefensible behaviour by politicians. In this thread, as in many other similar threads, you have shown that you are not so much swimming against the tide of public opinion as drowning Canute-like in the tidal wave of public opinion.

You don't have to hold the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics to be able to add up two and two.

Iain Dale said...

Collect your refund on the way out and close the door behind you. I'd say no one comes here for the comment threads, because they're sick and tired of reading inane rubbish from anonymous tossers like you who have nothing better to do with their time than slag me off but won't actually engage in any kind of proper debate.

Now, go and play with your toys.

Joe Public said...

Wrong again, Iain.

Remember the very first comment on this thread. That is from (an) "Anonymous". It is cogent, and reflects the majority of public opinion. (Remember Harman's infamous quote that will repeatedly return to haunt her.)

And it reflects probably 95% of the subsequent contributors to this thread.

Simon said...

I see Julie Kirkbride may be "reconsidering" her decision to stand down. I doubt that she'll be the last. The rich pickings of Westminster and being exempt from laws which apply to the rest of us will prove hard to resist.


I expect a few of them have been sniffing around for jobs and found that the claims that they "could make far more in the private sector" were wildly optomistic. Re-boarding the gravy train will be a much more comfortable option. Let's hope the sentiments expressed in this thread are reflected in the population at large and every one of the 646 who stand again are voted out at the next election.

tapestry said...

Iain I look in the mirror and I don't care if an MP is driven to a mental breakdown if they have fiddled their expenses.

Parliament sends soldiers to die in wars, and they are expected to deal with the psychological trauma. Why should dishonest MPs have special psyche protection?

If they had half a brain they would turn this to their advantage.

''Come here voters and examine my expenses claims and my honesty record.'' If this is what you desire, here I am. Oh and by the way, I have also done this this and this to represent your interests etc

Like the candidate in Norfolk is doing right now. Using her brain.

MPs who are not in it for money like e.g. the late Lord John Biffen would win respect while those like your friend the trougher would be cast out.

There is a country to run, a world to put to rights. Are we likely to be interested in MPs who want to defend the indefensible?

Nervous breakdown.... it's about time many of them encountered something to get a reaction. Why it has to be about their expenses before they will talk openly about what they feel, god only knows.

If they were not slaves to their whips and beaten into silence, then they would be doing a better job.

Any MP who speaks out on a subject that they believe in and against their own party leadership, now they will win respect.

Again remember Biffen speaking against Maggie, and paying the price in loss of his Leadership Of The House. Respect was his for doing so.

Self sacrifice in a cause. Talk to another of your friends about that, David Davis ? Now I doubt he would be fiddling his expenses, right?