Politics and Corruption……

11 Jun

It will hardly come as a surprise to many of you that our ‘democracy’ is not an institution which acts in the best interests of its citizens.  Aside from a few principled politicians you could probably count on one hand, most of our elected representatives are like pigs around a trough at feeding time when it comes to acting in their own greedy self interests.  The recent bout of undercover stings by national newspapers only proves this fact.  Either the journalists involved have an extremely lucky success rate with hit after hit, or corruption is endemic within our democratic elected institutions.  I know which I would stake my money on……

‘A Brief History of Crime – Cash for Questions……’

In 1994 the Guardian newspaper alleged that Ian Greer Associates, a professional parliamentary lobbyist, had paid bribes to two Conservative MPs in exchange for asking questions in Parliament.  The MPs involved, Neil Hamilton and Tim Smith strenuously denied any wrongdoing and issued writs to clear their names.  Despite some insignificant details regarding who paid who and precisely for what, it transpired that Hamilton and Smith had indeed received bribes for asking questions in Parliament on behalf of Harrods owner, Mohamed al-Fayed.

During the investigation into the ‘cash for questions’ scandal several other MPs were implicated although their misdemeanours were more to do with the official declarations of MPs interests than directly receiving bribes.

Neil Hamilton, however, did take Mohamed al-Fayed to court for libel over allegations he had made in a Channel 4 documentary.  Hamilton lost and was forced to declare bankruptcy in 2001……

‘Parliamentary Expenses……’

Fast forward 8 years and the Parliamentary Expenses Scandal made front page news almost every day for months.  Whether it was claims for having ones moat cleared or repairs to ones Dovecote, it was pretty clear that the right honourable members had been taking advantage of their expenses claims for personal gain.  Resignations, sackings, de-selections and retirements soon followed but there was no getting away from the fact that in the eyes of the British public, politics and politicians were ‘rotten to the core’.  In an act of penance MPs voluntarily repaid £500,000.00 of their expenses claims.

Following the scandal measures were put in place to ensure that it could not happen again.  The people who put these measures in place were the same people who had abused them.  One of the abuses was that of designating which of your homes, constituency or parliamentary, was your primary residence.  It wasn’t long before many MPs found a workaround by renting property to each other, which although allowed within the new regulations, still smacks of corruption, albeit ‘legal’……


In the latest exposure of dubious practices being carried out by MPs, journalists posing as representatives of international business clients clandestinely recorded meetings with several members of the House of Lords and MPs.  They appear to show the protagonists giving advice of how to circumvent the rules by using their privileged positions to employ the services of colleagues to table questions.  Tim Yeo MP was filmed boasting about how he coached people who appeared before the Commons and Climate Change Committee, which Mr. Yeo chairs.

As always the members deny all accusations of impropriety or wrongdoing and have referred themselves to the Parliamentary Standards Authority but it is pretty clear to anybody who has watched the footage that they were ‘on the make’ regardless of whatever workaround they use to wriggle out of the hole they dug themselves into…..

‘Double Standards……’

Even when operating within the parliamentary rules MP’s actions still leave the public with questions.  In the case of my own MP, Karl McCartney, who hasn’t fallen foul of any parliamentary rules other than his use of offensive language aimed at constituents and parliamentary bodies alike, his values and actions don’t appear to agree.  He told a constituent that his ‘moral values’ prevented him from appealing to his fellow MPs to vote in favour of gay marriage but those same ‘moral values’ didn’t stop him from accepting a ‘gift’ from Japan International Tobacco, or employing his wife to be his secretary with a salary in excess of £40k per year.  Clearly, Mr. McCartney considers equality for gay people morally unacceptable whilst the peddling of a lethal drug tolerable……

‘Actions Speak Louder than Words……’

Repressive regimes are our friends and trading partners providing they deliver a strategic or financial advantage.  Similar regimes become our enemies and find themselves at the receiving end of the full force of our armed services, and there is no apparent difference between them.  One only has to look at the alliance with Sadam Hussein during the 1980s and the Mujahadeem in Afghanistan; both were our allies when the climate suited, funded and trained by western forces.  Later Sadam was unceremoniously hung and the Mujahadeem were re-branded ‘al-Qaeda’, providing the shadow world government with a non-geographical, ill defined enemy with whom to wage their ‘war on terror’……

Corruption and politics go hand in hand but it is only when their actions are brought out into the open by undercover stings that we see what is going on behind closed doors all of the time.  We are a democracy in name only……




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