Posts Tagged ‘UK Parliament corruption’
In “Don’t Get Fooled Again” I argue that lying in public office should be made a criminal offence. But it seems that within the existing system, an ennobled British politician convicted under such a law (or indeed any other) would still be able to vote in the House of Lords. The current stock includes a convicted fraudster, a perjurer and an arsonist. George Galloway in the Daily Record has more:
And then there’s “Lord” Mike Watson, a former New Labour MSP. Not only does he still sit in the Lords following his prison term for arson – setting fire to the curtains of a hotel full of people because the staff had refused him any more strong drink.
But Lord Watson turns out also to be a Parliamentary lobbyist!
Now leave aside what kind of companies would want to hire a drunken ex-convict arsonist – the Acme fire alarm company, perhaps – the point is the House of Lords is full of crooks.
Lord Conrad Black, former owner of the Daily Telegraph, is still a Lord even though he is currently banged up in a US penitentiary.
Lord Jeffrey Archer is another ex-con on the red benches.
New Labour once stood for the abolition of this farce; now it stuffs its mediocrities in to stuff their faces and keep their mouths shut, except when they have to say Yes.
Privacy International gave Experian its “Big Brother” award for the company’s intense lobbying campaign to preserve its access to electoral roll data. Last year agencies such as Experian were banned from taking details off the electoral roll after a High Court judge ruled that a council taxpayer in Wakefield would have had his human rights violated if the register was passed on to organisations for commercial gain. But the ban was lifted after the agencies protested that the fight against terrorism and money laundering would be hampered if banks and the police were not able to verify the addressess of customers opening accounts.
From The Telegraph:
Lord Taylor: “Experian are the company. They have a terrific amount of intelligence and information. They are the people who advise banks on your credit worthiness and so on. For example I’ve been working with them on amending a statute that’s coming out, or was coming out, because I’ve got it delayed now, whereby it was going to be difficult for them to get certain information and so on. So I’ve got that amended and you do it quietly behind the scenes you see.”
Join the Facebook group
“I’ll pledge £5 to bribe a peer to table a rule-change outlawing corruption in the House of Lords, but only if 24,000 other people do the same.”
The Sunday Times this week revealed that members of the UK House of Lords are available for hire behind closed doors to help get our laws changed. Prices range from £24,000 to £120,000, depending on seniority, and proximity to government ministers.
The good news for those seeking to buy their own little piece of democracy is that there seems to be little in the rules to stop this from happening. The bad news for everyone else is that this means that arms dealers and corporate snoops are free to use hard cash to go behind the backs of our elected representatives, and buy themselves special favours from our government.
It’s time that this process – previously available only to the rich and cash-happy – was opened up so that ordinary people can participate. By banding together to hire our very own “consultant” in the House of Lords, we can seek to get the law changed in ways that benefit all of us.
For just £120,000 a year, we can buy ourselves a top-quality Lord with a direct line to government ministers, and a proven track record of getting legal changes fast-tracked on the quiet. But the evidence suggests that even as little as £24,000 could make a huge difference. The work can already begin in earnest if just 4,800 people join this pledge – but the more people join, the more we can achieve!