MPs could face criminal charges over expenses

Discussion in 'Politics' started by dong20, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. dong20

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    "Criminal charges could be brought against MPs who break new rules on expenses and allowances.

    Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said he wants the new Parliamentary Standards Authority Bill, published on Tuesday, on the statute book by the time MPs break for the summer recess next month.

    The Bill will create a new independent watchdog to regulate MPs' expenses, backed up by criminal sanctions. It is expected to have the power to fine, suspend or expel errant MPs from the House of Commons.

    Mr Brown said: "There are indeed criminal offences in this Bill so that if an MP misleads deliberately or if an MP does something like, without reasonable excuse, fails to register a relevant interest, that is a criminal offence and that would then be investigated by the police."

    I wonder how the reality will pan out ... it will be interesting to see what penalties may [theoretically] be imposed for infractions, and how vigorously transgressors will be persued.

    Despite talk of 'jail time' for offenders; nothing much, and not very would be my [cynical] guess. But the bill should be an 'interesting' read.

    MPs could face criminal charges over expenses - Yahoo! News UK
     
  2. jason_els

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    Goddamn piece of shit Firefox ate my post when I pressed the delete key to delete some text and it backspaced the entire page on me instead. I WISH TO FUCKING GOD that Firefox would disable that USELESS function because it eats far too many of my fucking goddamn posts!!
     
  3. jason_els

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    OK, let's see if that works. type type type type type typo type

    Yes! It works! I have changed the configuration file for Firefox and now the evil "delete" key can't work its mischief. God I love it when machines do what you tell them to. If anybody else wants to kill this unloved and vile function, read this article in the Mozilla forums.

    Now I shall recompose my original post and have it up in a few hours.
     
  4. Drifterwood

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    Isn't Viagra quicker?
     
  5. jason_els

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    I wouldn't know. I've never needed it. :cool:
     
  6. Drifterwood

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    But twelve hours, and you still haven't got it up :eek:
     
  7. Jason

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    Seems to me that making false expense claims for significant sums of money is already a criminal offence - called theft. Imprisonment surely already exists as a possible punishment. There are also issues of tax evasion. I feel that the bill is little more than an effort to grab the headlines.

    We've seen our MPs exposed as (in many cases) individuals with a slim perception of what is right and wrong. However they are entrenched in that culture, and it is rather concerning. Presumably even the worst transgressors will argue that they made a mistake, and perhaps that the fees office was not doing its job properly in not spotting these mistakes. Somehow I doubt we will get convictions. Surely it would be better to pay MPs either a salary or salary plus some sort of set rate expenses for those living outside the M25 and be done with it.

    We now have a new Speaker who is up to his kneck in expense irregularities and unable to comand respect of all in the Commons, so no progress there. Labour MPs in supporting this guy have shown again just how out of touch with people they are.

    It is hard to overstate the problems of Labour at the moment:
    * the worst local and European election results ever.
    * lost in every single Euro-constituency save the NE. Even lost in Wales!
    * almost no-one now believes what they say. They could be 100% right and it would do them no good.
    * Labour are just about bankrupt as a party.
    * LibDems not doing well and may be facing bankruptcy if they have to repay an illegal donation. At the moment disenchanted LibDem voters more likely to switch to Con than Lab.
    * Iraq inquiry. If it says the govenment acted well then no one will believe it.
    * Unemployment rising and realisation that the recession is deep.
    * Fragile nature of UK economy - risk of run against sterling.
    * lots of strikes starting. Is next winter a winter of discontent?

    We seem to be seeing more and more desperate measures from Labour:
    * Lame duck government determined to hang on to bitter end
    * probable ratification of Lisbon this autumn - desperately hard for an incoming Conservative government to untangle
    * possible efforts to link the election with a reform in the electoral system making a joint Lab-LibDem government likely in six years

    Hard to escape the view that Labour are in a hole, and seem to be doing more digging. With our electoral system it all points to a Conservative majority next time (though not a masive one). It could point to a Labour collapse (they have almost no local council powerbase, and as a party are all but bankrupt). It could point to the Conservatives doing something drastic on Europe (eg threatening withdrawal to get Thatcher style concessions). Industrial unrest now makes it easier for the Conservatives to bring in public sector cuts without taking the blame. There is also plenty of muck for the Conservatives to rake over and provide the media with a steady round of horror stories. Have we really heard the end of the David Kelly affair? Or the Damian Green affair? Or the lies Labour had invented about the personal life of leading Conservatives? Or cash for peerages? Or Labour-leaning metropolitan police?
     
  8. jason_els

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    When you're the only person watching that's no surprise.
     
  9. Drifterwood

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    :smile:

    I have a thing for history. :tongue:
     
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