Monday, February 18, 2008

Why The Speaker Will Get Away With It (Again)

The Speaker of the House of Commons has cost the taxpayer more than £2500 by using airmiles to pau for flights for his family. These airmiles were clocked by him and should have been used to pay for his own future flights. Could anyone please explain how this is different to the Conway case? One difference is that The Speaker is unlikely to be referred to the Standards and Privileges Committee? Why? Because only MPs can refer cases to the Committee, and turkeys don't generally vote for Christmas. Norman Baker, on the other hand...


Anonymous said...

Great post Iain! This gives DC some great material to use against the Speaker in PMQs next time he's the victim of Speaker bias. The Speaker of the House with his nose in the trough: can UK politics sink any lower?

Newmania said...

What do you mean Norman Baker on the other hand .... I am so sick of the credit he gets for being a part time secret squirrel when he is an absolutely useless MP who does not represent my interests or the countries. Why doesn`t he sod off and get on with his parallel career as an author of stupid conspiracy theory pot boilers and “investigative journalism ...( in his dreams )
He has spent the last year droning on about the 'appalling' Conservative plan for an incinerator ignoring the fact it is pretty much the only alternative that will comply with EU regs which are inflicted by unaccountable super national faceless bureaucrats as supported by him.
Meanwhile he is exceedingly quiet about the fact that having told us he supported a referendum he has lied outright to his electors and is assisted in this lie by the network of strategic Baker placemen in the local press who suppress all criticism .He is also pretty quiet about his childish Beatrix Potter animal rights obsession and general lack of interest in the rural life
He is a member of the Beveridge group and therefore a high tax big state supporter and yet all he does when we have this thing is show boat about the place uncovering the waste that is the inevitable result of the very policies he supports .
All in all he is one of the worst examples of the incoherence and self promoting cant of the Liberal Party. He does not do the one job he was elected for which was to represent the views of his constituency who , over the Lisbon Treaty ,he has treated with contempt and indifference.
He is foisted on Lewes by the constituency you acquire by being the administrative HQ for the County and overspill twee housing estate for the University employees . In other words he is elected by non productive people living at everyone` else expense and a great example of how democracy does not function when too many people init are voting for other people’s money to be given to them .

Moreover he is a lifetime politician with no experience of anything except being the assistance Our price records . Whats the betting that he will disappear into some sinecure in the EU.

Norman Baker is a pox and a blight . Jason Sugarman ( The excellent Conservative PPC) is , on the other hand , a really decent candidate and would like to do something for the people that actually live here . For example getting some investment into New Haven which , as it is not a Brown Northern client region gets ignored as do the desperate infra structure problems iof a part of the word that gets nothing from the Government Baker plans to support for PR as Nick Clegg has admitted

Norman Baker is about the worst MP I can imagine .

Anonymous said...

In contrast with the parallel thread, why not use this as a trigger for a motion of no confidence in the Speaker? One of our retiring heavyweights like Michael Howard would make an excellent proposer, particularly having little or nothing to lose if he was deliberately not called in future debates.

Anonymous said...

You say 'turkeys don't vote for Christmas' which is absolutely right.

But surely, someone, somewhere, who is not going to be fighting next time and who has already been threatened with deselection etc. might be able to mount a kamikaze operation and get his or her name in the history books?

What about Patrick Cormack, or even the brave Patrick Mercer ?? Tension is building up - they don't have to remove him, just embarrass him so much that the 'men in grey suits' have to 'have a word'.

Anonymous said...

Pretty much everyone in the country who travels on business, makes use of their airmiles themselves. Although some companies state that they should be handed back to the company, I don't know anyone who does this. It's seen as a partial compensation for the hassle of traveling on business and being away from home. It may seem as though business trips are a fantastic perk but just ask anyone who travels a lot what they'd do if they had the choice.

David Boothroyd said...

Oh my god, Newmania has posted something that I pretty much agree with. Norman Baker's conspiracy minded beliefs negate any credibility he may have acquired.

Anonymous said...

Iain, before you jumped in with criticism of the Speaker, did you find out what other MPs do with the air miles they have accumulated on official business?

Anonymous said...

An unmitigated shyster and disaster.

He has brought the office into disrepute and must be ejected.

Iain Dale said...

Yes, of course I rang all 659 of them. Idiot. This allegation has been made by newspapers over the last 2 days. Grow up.

Anonymous said...

His snout has been in the trough along with all the other greedies and pond-life that inhabit westminster. What do you expect anyone principled enough to refer the matter when this unpleasant and vindictive man has it within his authority to ruin that member's career.

Brown will do nothing about it, so it's only pressure from sources that the ex Glasgie sheetie can't get at that have the slightest chance of getting a change.

What a sad indictment of the mother of parliaments...

David Boothroyd said...

Casual observer, it would be quite wrong for the Government to intervene in any way over the Speaker, and it might produce a constitutional crisis if they did. The Speaker is not accountable to the Government.

Incidentally 'the mother of Parliaments' is the country of England, not the Parliament at Westminster.

humbug said...

It would be a good cause celebre if it struck any kind of a cord with anyone who is not a politician. I travel a lot on business, its not fun and yes I spend my airmiles on my family as part of the reward for spending weekends etc away from home. In fact everyone else I know who travels on business does the same. Now if a politico puts up with the same grief and spends his airmiles on his family, everyone recognises themselves in the picture. So by attacking the foul mouthed jock on this point makes everyone outside the westminster village feel they are being attacked too, are our airmiles going to get requisitioned by our employers!!! It just makes people think that politicians raising such points do not live in the real world.

So the fact is that we must find a serious point to attck the speaker on, not something that could backfire and make us look stupid.

10/10 for creativeness 2/10 for realism.

Anonymous said...

Iain Dale said...
"Yes, of course I rang all 659 of them."

659 MPs. Which Parliament is that?

Anonymous said...

anonymous 10.35 said "Pretty much everyone in the country who travels on business, makes use of their airmiles themselves." I'm sure this is true. However, unless they have been instructed otherwise, they are doing nothing wrong. With Speaker Martin, however, who has laid down the rules for other MPs - or at least ministers - it is a case of "do as I say, not as I do". And, as is usual with this government, it is the taxpayer who loses out.

Anonymous said...

From the blog of Paul Flynn MP Newport West.

Hello Paul, Roger calling,
And with no intention of appearing galling.
I'll stray an inch, just off topic,
To assist your quest to be less myopic.
The Sunday Mirror, within it's paper,
Exposes Gorbals Mick's new caper.
He's clocked up a million Air Miles now.
For travel between London and Glasgow.
He's given them to his snouting brood.
I really think that it's quite rude.

He should be using them for 'business' only.
But his family use them, he must be lonely.
Why should I pay for his kids?
When my life is lived upon the skids.
His wife's £4,000 taxi fares,
For shopping with her graces and airs.
I'm paying for her private car.
Just who the Hell do they think they are.

Many a mickle macks a muckle,
I can just hear his family chuckle.
This is the Speaker who builds up defences,
Against the exposure of MP's expenses.
Hypocrisy's, the best decryption,
Of your anti-myopic prescription.
Let's hear you challenge him in the House.
Or will you just sit there, quiet as a mouse?

We should send the trough snouter back over the border,
And the rest of his brood in double quick order.
He gets right up my nose, Paul, old chum.
He needs to knocked right back on his bum.
Pitchforks and heads on pikes are needed.
'Til Parliament's garden is thoroughly weeded.
And while you enjoy your succulent roast.
Guess what I'm having.........beans on toast.

Jolly Roger.

Johnny Norfolk said...

The difference is that Labour attack and the Tories are just far to timid. Imagine if it was a Tory speaker and labour were in opposition. They would attack at every oppotunity. Instead we have Cameron who does not want yah boo politics. Soft soft soft. wet wet wet.

Wake up the party and attack. dont let them get away with it.Life is just too cosy.

Chris Paul said...

£2500 of air miles? I have no idea what the parliamentary rules on air miles are Iain. Many employers do allow work travellers to get personal benefit from air miles as part of their terms and conditions.

If that is not the case at the HoP speaker Martin has some explaining to do perhaps. What do other MPs do with any air miles they earn?

As DC flies Ashcroft and routinely hides or distorts the true cost of that he may not get any benefit but what about the rest of them.

Putting this possible discrepancy in the same bag as Conway's million pound family fortunes just goes to show what a lack of proportion you have when it comes to defending your best mates.

For the record: £2,500 is 0.25% of £1 million. The principle would be the same if and only if what MM has done is against the rules or custom and practice of the house. But the quantum is quite different.

Anonymous said...

Humbug - 1:08pm - lunchtime. What did you order for lunch? A large bowl of stupid?

Anonymous said...

No. A large bowl of verity.

Anonymous said...

Simply not true, Iain. Anyone can complain to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. Go ahead.