OK, I will make this short. I've just finished watching Dispatches. What an uncomfortable hour for those of us who seem to spend half our lives defending politics as an honourable profession.
Watching Stephen Byers preening himself and prostituting himself was stomach churning. He went into too much detail for it to have all been made up or exaggerated. Presumbaly the national press are now looking into everything he has done since he left office in disgrace all those years ago.
Margaret Moran is a lying bitch. She makes out she is too ill to see any of her constituents, yet at the prospect of some filthy lucre she's as perky as Pinky. What a truly despicable woman.
Patricia Hewitt couldn't have been any more condescending if she had tried. To pretend that what she has been doing isn't paid advocacy is to defy belief.
Sir John Butterfill was as puffed up as is possible to get and dug himself a deeper hole with every word he spoke. Bye bye Peerage, I'd think. And hope.
Strangely, Geoff Hoon was the only one who acted with any degree of propriety. Yes, his openly stated desire to make money on the back of his political career grated, but he did seem to have a slightly more admirable values set than the others. Albeit only just.
I won't go on. I don't like 'sting operations', but these people did themselves up like kippers with little help from the Dispatches people.
And they deserve all the consequences which had better be coming their way.
As I said on your FB feed, Iain, I always kinda knew this went on but it was jaw-droppingly awful to see it on TV.
Weird to say, Hoon (and the baroness) came out best, but that is not saying much.
A disaster for Labour, sure, but also for politicians in general.
That was embarrassing, upsetting and disgusting.
Perhaps we are better of being run by Brussels after all Iain.
It beggars belief Iain... I watched with horror.
Could not agree more.... fair enough for ex-MPs to make moneyy after leaving... but this is not the way to do it.
As you say - at least Hoon was open and cautious about what he was prepared to do.
It was a bit shocking to watch... hopefully the new people coming in will not repeat this behaviour, for we have to rebuild trust in Parliament...
Yes, it's sickening. And all the more so for the feeling that nothing will be done about this scandal.
And tonight, the news from the BBC on undeclared interests sounds, if possible, even worse.
The BBC are claiming 22 MPs made paid for overseas trips but did not declare them. Then asked loads of questions on behalf of these countries
This perhaps explains why the BBC were not keen to give extra publicity to the Times' exposures.
We can expect 'others' to grow even bigger in the next opinion polls.
Its going to have an effect on the elections
Gordon held an inquiry today and decided that no further inquiries were necessary.
Just watching TV News at 10. The three ex ministers have been suspended, but there was an item earlier about the number of serving MPs who accept luxury trips abroad and then lobby for the various countries.
I wanted to be a Tory, and I joined Bournemouth West six years ago. I soon worked out that Sir John Butterfill was a thoroughly bad egg, and I tried to speak out against him.
He had a clique of people who stuck with him and nobody wanted to 'cause any trouble'. When I suggested that I wanted to oppose his reselection they moved the meeting.
I got deselected as a council candidate and I resigned from the party.
The fact that this man was not removed by the high command a very long time ago is a terrible reflection of the Tory Party. The fact that he got a knighthood shows how deeply corrupt these awards can be.
I wanted to serve the Tory Party, but this man has created huge amounts of damage, and has been allowed to do so for many years.
It's a disgrace, you're right. Although isn't it a little coincidental that all 3 main protagonists were the ones who led failed coups against Brown?!
And 'surprise surprise' McLabour narrow the 'Polls' even more.
Funny how the worse McLabour do and the more McLabour are hated, the 'better' they seem to do in the 'Polls', dodgy dodgy dodgy.
I wrote to John Butterfill years ago asking for sponsorship for some charity thing I was doing for my school. I recieved a very condescending reply telling me to get a part-time job (which I already had) and informing me that he did not approve of me writing to MPs in this way.
I can't think why you thought Hoon came out of it relatively well. He was saying that he was prepared to take information obtained from a role with NATO and supply it directly to American defence companies in exchange for money.
Jeremy Jacobs: "Perhaps we are better of being run by Brussels after all Iain."
Are you so naive as to think this does not happen throughout the EU? Try getting them nailed for corruption. Fat chance.
Fact is though, we need a far smaller State - you cannot bribe someone spending their own money.
I see no reason why Margaret Moran has not committed the criminal act of obtaining pecuniary advantage. She has received taxpayers money for a job she has not carried out and is clearly no unwell as she has claimed.
And you wondered why i chose the British National Party Ian, we`ve seen this for years.. the proof is in the pudding, by the way i just saw the evening debate with the christian party and the British National Party (Revelation tv), it was something totally different than the BBC Question time. with the corruption in parliament it`s a wonder the Her Majesty the Queen has not dissolved Parliament, or the Armed Forces walk on Parliament and Put all Members of Parliament up for immediate arrest until cleared!!, bet you dont put this on your Blog site, anyways hope you all the very Best Ian!! who say politics is boring.
regards the Blemster. as a voter i am really concerned about the way things are going...
I am inclined to agree with Wibbler Iain - although all comments here are spot on. It was essential, if not horrifying (but then again, expected)
Labour knows it's a sinking ship and as it sinks why not deny lifeboats to the like of Hoon, Byers and Hewitt? Have some final revenge. Throw a few bent Tories in too (esp that vile fat shit Butterfill) - I smell something; someone keeping one eye on proceedings.....
Butterfill is my MP. Thank God he is standing down so I can vote Tory.
Unlike most of the commenters, I thought all the MPs I could bear to watch on that programme had at least a vestigial sense of honesty. It could, just, have been even worse.
I still think it might be a good idea to shoot a few.
After all, from past experience, however screamingly badly this lot have behaved, nothing much will ever happen to them. And that's a bad system.
Interesting that Brown only suspended these bastards after a rowdy meeting of the Labour MPs where the back-benchers (mostly with very slim margins) gave it some stick. Not prepared to move before then - even to the point of saying no investigation was necessary. Wonder what Harman thinks of the volte face, having only a couple of hours before faced the Commons with her communique from the Great Leader.
How utterly disgusting. They cannot even get the cover-ups done properly.
@ Dave H
'System'? What 'system' is that? These people are totally amoral scum. They have no integrity, no honour - not even any dignity. What 'system' will ever rectify and control that?
Do we really need 'systems' for us to be able to distinguish right from wrong, decency from depravity? Clearly these monsters do.
What particularly struck me about the whole lot was how bloody average they all were. Actually below average whilst boasting.
In my life I have interviewed many people for jobs and with few exceptions they all performed rather better than this bunch.
Makes it very clear why the country is so badly run.
What these people were selling was nothing more than contacts and at a ridiculously high price. So even in the Labour Left it seems to be a matter of who you know rather than what you know. "I could do that gis a job".
I also seriously wonder what Patsy and Byers actually bring to the Board meetings other than their name! Non-exec Directors seem to be paid highly for little it seems. Hope they understand the legal responsibilities of such positions. Byers ought to since he was a Law Lecturer but he is so puffed up with his own importance and value that I seriously wonder if he sees much other than £££££££££££
An afterthought. If I heard Patsy correcly it seems that in earning her £180k she already spends about half her time on paid work - but still claims as a full-time MP.
Hoon has Dr David Kelly's blood on his hands and he should never be allowed to forget that.
Fair comment .. you absolutely hit the nail on the head. But .. don't, please, use words like "bitch" or "Moron" (a later post). I very much respect your blog but if I want politics handled in that way (and I don't) I'll turn to Guido ..
Back in the early '60s, when he was emerging from the jobbing-reporter chrysalis, National-Treasure Michael Frayn wrote columns for the Guardian and the Observer.
One of his running themes involved the Rt Hon Christopher Smoothe, Minister for Chance and Speculation.
[For illustration, Google throws up -- sic -- just one gem, the televised parliament gameshow.]
The point then, and now, is not the nature of politics, but the nature of politicians, and how and why they climb young ambition's ladder. Were we permitted to vote ideologically (right, left or centre), we would cease consistently to elect a Parliamentary majority for the Cynical Opportunist Party. There would be far fewer Chris Smoothes time- and self-serving, with empty hand-wringing gestures of public concern:
A small nuclear device has removed Swindon from the face of the planet.
The Rt Hon Christopher Smoothe, Minister for Expressing Public Concern, expressed public concern.
[Sorry: that one's nowhere near the quality of the great originals.]
Nor would we have both major parties headed now or recently by the heir to Frayn's other creation, the PR man Rollo Swavely.
Blimey - all these people from the Bournemouth West constituency...
Well, me too.
I wrote to Butterfill, the only time I've ever written to an MP, at the time when MPs looked set to exempt their expenses from the FoI act. I made clear my wish for him to object to them being exempted, before the plan collapsed anyway... I got a rather terse reply from him, basically telling me that it wasn't my place to tell him what to do - but there was nothing he could do anyway as the vote wasn't going ahead.
The guy is a twat - sooner gone, the better.
What are any of these people actually good at? What is Blair good at, come to that. He is now immensely rich, by contributing what exactly? If you promote yourself successfully you become a commodity that other people invest in, and the money rolls in. No need for any talent or moral worth. The income is self-generating. These people ought to be destroyed.
Edward said "But please don't use words like 'bitch' or 'Moron' (a later post). I very much respect your blog but if I want politics handled in that way, I'll turn to Guido..."
If it was me writing about this, she'd be lucky if I only described her as a bitch and not much worse...
Indeed a disgrace to Politics. Also a disgrace was Straw's response which implied that the only they they really did wrong was to be caught out.
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