May 192009

Independent regulation of all remuneration of MPs – that’s it?

(1) How fucking embarrassing. The governors of our nation admit they cannot be trusted to govern themselves.

(2) Is it really possible to have ‘statutory independent regulation’? I mean, who is going to choose these regulators? From what funds will they be paid? From public funds? In which case, are they really independent?

(3) If they will be paid from public funds, how much hiring and paying and funding of this new, presumably civil service, branch of the state is going to go on? When this came up in a discussion with libertarians on Saturday afternoon, a figure of £600,000pa was posited. Small change in terms of spending, but surely part of the whole scandal is that public money is being spent not only too much, but unwisely!

(4) Brown’s little press conference would have been a hell of a lot better without his autoencomium. His own Bill of Rights and Duties (ugh), and New Labour’s devolution, reform of the House of Lords, etc., etc. Nobody cares or wants to hear that sort of boasting in this situation.

(5) Someone has asked what the definition of ‘breaking the rules’ is, under which MPs will not be able to stand in the next election. Brown has no answer. I suspect that since the running excuse is that all these expenses were within the rules – and, indeed, it appears many of the most obnoxious ones were – we will see bunches of these bastards standing again, more’s the pity. (That, or Brown intends to use this ploy to neutralise his political enemies.)

(6) Brown has no response to a remark about how the public are saying that, if they did this stuff, they’d go to jail; the example given is of a shoplifter offering to return or pay for his booty. Brown’s claim: not an equivalent situation, because Hazel Blears acted within the rules. No ‘discipline’ for her then. Aha.

(7) A radio reporter-type has said Brown should call a general election. His response: it is the system at fault, not the Government, since ‘all parties must take responsibility for this.’ Never mind that the real reason for an election is the total collapse of public confidence in government. When the government cannot govern – as it appears not to have done over the past three weeks – a new democratic mandate is needed. Brown must be hugely delighted on the inside that the European elections are happening so soon, as it means the public will take out their justified rage and exercise their democratic privilege there – where it will have no effect on Labour’s continuing grasp-of-dead-hand hold on the UK. Once the voters have vented their spleen on MEPs, perhaps their disaffection will be purged! (He hopes.)

(8) A question about the Tamil protestors. Brown defends freedom of assembly. [Stopped listening; laughing too hard.]

(9) Brown keeps smiling – what the fuck has he got to smile about? He’s also leaning on the lectern in a way that, I’m sure, Obama the Orator never would. This bizarre body language actually makes him look… bored.

Speaking of which, I’m bored now too. Most of the snide questions I was droolingly anticipating have been asked, and Brown is now wittering like a madman: a maximum of words, a minimum of meaning, and enough use of the passive voice that, if this were transcribed into Latin, the page would be littered with -turs.

Make that turds. Which represent exactly what Brown, his speech, all other MPs, and the whole rotten edifice of this state are worth.

  5 Responses to “Independent regulation of Parliament”

  1. I thought you were a citizen of the USA. If so, why do you refer to ‘my’ Member of Parliament? If fact, why do you take the whole expenses mess so personally? It is never seemly for a guest to be overly critical of her hosts, and it is always wrong for a foreigner to get involved in domestic politics. (Unless you work for the CIA).

  2. If you don’t want unsolicited advice why do you have comments? You may not agree with the advice, but your profane reaction was immoderate. I thought better of you.

  3. @ ZT: Nobody else has treated the comments section of my blog as a place to censure my manners or to suggest that I have no business expressing an opinion about the politics of the country I live in. However better than what I am you may have thought me, clearly your high opinion didn’t extend to engaging with anything I wrote or acknowledging that foreigners living in the UK may have valid criticisms to make. If you don’t want profane and immoderate responses, don’t leave rude and snotty comments.

  4. …if this were transcribed into Latin, the page would be littered with -turs.

    As I read this, my mind translated it to “turds”. Then I read the next sentence…

  5. @ ZT: I may not be a citizen, but as long as I am resident in his constituency, Afriye is ‘my’ MP and represents me in the government of this country. Just because I can’t vote doesn’t mean I’m not represented. And I take the whole mess personally because, first, I live here and it affects me, and second, because I pay a fuckload of tax here, so that’s a hefty portion of my salary being embezzled by these other twats in Westminster. Finally, I am not ‘involved’ in domestic politics (see: lack of franchise, supra), merely commenting on them, and I will stop being critical of my ‘hosts’ when they stop giving me things to be critical about. Now fuck off and don’t come back until you’ve learned the exact value of unsolicited advice.

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