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Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Tony Blair is rewarded for the Iraq War

On Sunday, Tony Blair received the $1m Dan David prize for leadership at a ceremony at Tel Aviv University. The prize was awarded for “achievements having an outstanding scientific, technological, cultural or social impact on our world.” In other words, a $1m reward (bribe) for Blair’s pro-Israel foreign policy, including the invasion of Iraq.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Greatest Political Crisis in my Lifetime

The current political crisis in Britain concerning corruption in parliament is the greatest in my lifetime. It definitely compares to the 1929 crisis that resulted in the forming of a National Government. This enabled the ruling elite to retain control of the political system and it took a world war ten years later for the fortunes of the left to revive.

The media is reporting that the anger felt by the British people towards Parliament is greater than anytime anyone can remember. I would claim that the mood is close to being revolutionary. This mood will grow even stronger when the most important disclosure will be made – the payment politicians receive for second, third and in some cases fourth jobs. This will include details of how much those 28 former New Labour ministers have are paid for the corporate jobs that they do on the back of their Whitehall connections. The payoff for the companies is that these former ministers then help bid for government contracts. The Conservative Party will not get away from this aspect of this scandal as their MPs are already working for these companies and will therefore deliver when they expect to win the next election.

The problem is that at the moment people have no positive way to express their political anger at the ruling establishment. Our best hope is that some new anti-corruption political party, will put up candidates in the General Election. Given the current situation, I would expect this party to propose policies based on creating an equal society. If that happens, maybe we will have a successful non-violent political revolution.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Labour MPs and Peers are Suspended

The Lords Privileges Committee has recommended that two Labour peers be suspended from the House for up to six months after an investigation into allegations made against them. Ex-trade minister Lord Truscott and Lord Taylor of Blackburn were accused by the Sunday Times of being willing to change laws in exchange for cash.

Labour MP Elliot Morley has been suspended from the party after he admitted claiming £16,000 expenses for a mortgage he had already paid off. According to The Telegraph, Mr Morley claimed £800 a month for a Scunthorpe property for 18 months after the mortgage ended.

In a statement, Mr Morley said: "I accept that I have made a mistake in this case and have rectified it in full. I deeply apologise for such sloppy accounting in a very loose and shambolic allowance system but there is nobody to blame but myself and I take full responsibility for this," he added.

The Telegraph also alleges Mr Morley rented out a London flat designated as his main residence to another Labour MP, Ian Cawsey, a close friend and former special adviser. Mr Cawsey named the property as his second home, allowing him to claim £1,000 a month to cover the rent which he was charged by Mr Morley. In November 2007, the newspaper claims, Mr Morley "flipped" his designated second home from his Scunthorpe property to his London home and for four months the two men claimed expenses on the same property.

Of course, Morley is one of a large number of MPs who has been fiddling their expenses. If they did any other job they would be sacked and would face police prosecution. However, the MPs, took great care in drafting the rules in such a way that prosecution for fraud is highly unlikely. Of course, if they had been unemployed workers who had claimed money based on lies they would have ended up in prison.

Morley and most of his fellow MPs, including Gordon Brown and David Cameron, have fought like mad against Norman Baker's campaign since January 2005 to force disclosure of the details of MPs' expenses under the Freedom of Information Act. I the courts had not ruled against the House of Commons, this current political scandal would never have been exposed.

However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. When will the media tackle the fact that 28 former New Labour ministers have gained lucrative corporate jobs on the back of their Whitehall connections, and who then help bid for government contracts.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Tudor History

Here are some web-pages on Mary Tudor, Thomas Cranmer, Thomas More, Philip II and the Spanish Armada.

Norman Baker MP

It should be pointed out that if it was not for Norman Baker's campaign since January 2005 to force disclosure of the details of MPs' expenses under the Freedom of Information Act, this current political scandal would not have been exposed. It is said he is the most hated man in Parliament. It was of course Baker who published "The Strange Death of David Kelly" in 2007.

It is clear that MPs do need second homes in London if they represent an area some distance from the capital. The best solution to this is provide accommodation for them. What about Wormwood Scrubs? This is ideally situated in the London Borough of Hammersmith. The present inmates could be distributed amongst our other prisons. An alternative solution is a prison ship moored in the Thames opposite the House of Commons.