||[May. 29th, 2010|12:14 pm]
So here they come, the first scandals of the coalition. Number one: some silly spat with the BBC over the composition of a discussion panel. Number two: the revelation that the chief secretary to the treasury has been funneling public money to his lover in breach of parliamentary rules. Not big scandals either of them- but enough to signal that the rainbow has faded from the rose garden. |
And then- not scandalous exactly, just dispiriting- is the announcement of the names of the deadlegs who are being kicked up to the House of Lords, there to reign over us, happy and glorious. It demonstrates- yet again- that no matter how disgusted the British people may be with your ugly, compromised mug- John Prescott, Ian Paisley, Ian Blair- your fellow establishmentistas can be trusted to see you right. I'm a fan of the House of Lords- sort of- because of the very many occasions on which it has saved us from horrible, ill-thought-out legislation- but this is absolutely not the way to fill up its benches.
Ian Paisley?? Senior, I presume... Aargh!!
What a numpty Laws has been, especially as the BBC report says they did not consider each other to be spouses. Maybe he should stand down and Uncle Vince can get the job he should have had.
I don't understand why gay politicians feel the need to be so secretive these days, it han't been an issue since the 1980s. It hasn't done Mandelson much harm, and didn't an MP celebrate his civil partnership in the House of Commons just the other week?
If he hadn't been deceitful on the finances, his gay secret would have stayed in the closet where he wanted it - so more fool him.
O what a tangled web we weave...
Someone was saying he comes from a catholic family- and didn't want his mother to know...
Or his auntie
Or his priest.
It doesn't really matter what his excuses are- or how touching his story is- the fact is he misappropriated public money. A chief secretary to the Treasury- like Caesar's wife- has to be above suspicion.
Exactly. If he wanted it all kept secret, that's fine, but then he shouldn't have claimed money for the rent. If their lives were as separate as he's trying to claim, then he should have lived elsewhere and paid the money to a bone fide landlord.
There's also the simple matter of competence. He must have known he was sailing close to the wind, but chose to do nothing about it. Why- when he's shown such poor judgement in a matter like this- should we trust him with the public finances?
Wasn't Thatcher kicked up to the House of Lords? Who could possibly be uglier than Maggie? That old harridan publically felated Ronald Reagan for years. Morrally and intellectually, you can't get any more "compromised" than that.
The Lords is a crazy institution- an offence to democracy. Its membership is made up of bishops, hereditary aristocrats, ageing politicians, party donors - who effectively buy their way in- and a smattering of people who have been honoured for genuine achievement.
The twist is that it often, nonetheless, serves as a check on the government's barmier ideas.
The Senate is supposed to serve a similar function in the US. Originally, the senators were elected by the state legislatures and it was intended to act as a brake on the directly elected representatives of the people in the House.
The whole idea of responsibility and collegiality, once the hallmarks of the Senate, seem to have gone out of fashion generally and these days it seems like just another ring in the circus.