Tag Archives: #MPexpenses

Does a perceived distrust of politicians justify redistributing an image meme that was discredited 14 months ago?

Meme debatesThe image meme above went the rounds of social media in November 2014. It was roundly and conclusively fisked by Isabel Hardman on the Spectator Coffee House blog. I noticed that the meme was getting re-distributed a week ago. I pointed out to the people sharing this meme that it had been thoroughly discredited well over a year ago. Interestingly, several replied saying that “most people” think that’s how parliament behaves so it’s not a problem distributing it.

My indignation hit about twelve on the Richter scale.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 21 Comments

Jeremy Browne wins expenses appeal – acted “openly and honestly”

The BBC has the story of how Lib Dem MP Jeremy Browne has won his appeal against repaying £18,000 of expenses.

Taunton MP Jeremy Browne complained after auditor Sir Thomas Legg ruled he must repay the cash claimed for mortgage interest on his second home.

Sir Paul Kennedy, who was appointed to hear appeals, said he had acted “openly and honestly” when making his claim.

Mr Browne said he felt “relieved” and “vindicated”, but “not elated”.

He is the first of the 80 MPs who challenged Sir Thomas’s requests to repay money to make the results of his appeal public.

Labour’s Frank Cook, Frank

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

Revisiting Jo Swinson and the Telegraph’s #mpexpenses stories

Remember the Telegraph’s hatchet job on Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson during their series of revelations about MPs’ expenses? (Lib Dem blogger James Graham has followed-up the issue on his own Quaequam Blog! HERE).

Well, on Monday evening, as billed here, I had the chance to put these points direct to the Daily Telegraph’s assistant editor, Andrew Pierce, at a debate posing the question, A triumph for journalism? (You can watch the debate online here – worth watching in full, but the section focusing on Jo starts about 29 minutes in).

The issues of dodgy …

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged , , , , and | 6 Comments

What Nick said to Gordon about political reform

At 12.30 pm today, Gordon Brown stood up in the House of Commons to make what was billed as a “wide-ranging statement on proposed changes to Britain’s constitution and voting system.” As so often, the feature didn’t match up to the trailer. Here’s Nick Clegg’s response, as recorded by Hansard, to Mr Brown’s statement:

Mr. Nick Clegg (Sheffield, Hallam) (LD): I thank the Prime Minister for his statement. Of course everyone agrees that the political crisis requires big changes in the way we do things, so I welcome this deathbed conversion to political reform from the man who has blocked

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged , , and | Leave a comment

Opinion: Losing at the Bridge Table

Losing at the Bridge Table

Politics is like tournament bridge. It’s not the quality of the cards you are dealt that matters. It’s how well you play the hand.

Cameron was dealt a rotten hand over expenses. His party is a bunch of upper class rotters milking the public purse. Cameron turned this to his own advantage. He summoned the rotters to his study and gave them all a good caning. He also effectively saw off the reform agenda in a cloud of grandiloquent promises. These amounted to a cast-iron commitment to think hard about …

Posted in Op-eds | 14 Comments

Open letter to Speaker Martin over #MPexpenses

Fifty-six Lib Dem PPCs have put their name to an open letter to the Speaker of the House of Commons, Michael Martin:

Dear Mr Speaker, 

As Parliament continues to be dragged down by the allowance system, and its rules, the role of those in public service across the country is being undermined. 

We are Liberal Democrat candidates seeking to be elected to Parliament and yet we find ourselves disappointed, and frustrated, at the way in which this matter is being handled. Every day our residents are telling us loudly that this must stop and this must stop now. 

Three things stand out:

• The resistance

Posted in Online politics | 31 Comments

Cash for cushions: the wordcloud

You can now view details of MPs’ expenses as a wordcloud. The Open University’s Tony Hirst, who produced the Google Map of MPs’ travel expenses in April has created wordclouds based on the Guardian Datablog’s spreadsheet.

The more recherché items, such as moats and porticos, lack the prominence their studied refinement deserves, but the wordcloud is very telling:

mpexpenses-wordcloud
Charles Arthur writes in the Guardian:

Cleaning, food, interest, mortgage, payments, repairs… those are the sorts of things that this debate has been about so far: the more often a word appears

Posted in News | Also tagged | 2 Comments
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