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Can a serious political party ignore Parliament?

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Can a serious political party ignore Parliament?

Post by lobbycomm on Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:28 pm

Can a serious political party ignore Parliament?

There are some that would say the Tory Party are doing just that. Others would question that they are a serious political party at all but more a criminal gang. And that is where the actions of some members of the public in taking the government to Court suggests a new political war zone. One where the arguments are less about ideology or budgets and statistics but more about right and wrong, at least as close as the Law can get to the state. Certainly closer than a debate in the House or PMQs.

The actions of a group that wanted to keep their hospital and an individual that refused to work for nothing filling shelves when she had been volunteering at a museum that actually used her degree, are large political subjects. And they took large political scalps in the form of Health Secretary and the Secretary DWP. Though the scalp of the latter may have been folicly challenged it still counts as a major trophy.

These two legal challenges both went to appeal. And this is where the government's move to ban legal aid was obviously meant to kick in. In the case of the fight to keep the hospital open the group had to raise money to take it to Court. The Health Secretary after losing immediately appealed knowing he had tax payers funds to pay for his case. Some of which came from tax payers who opposed him. None the less money was raised through the local group and 38° and they won their case.

So, if the public can take the government to task by taking them to Law can not the Opposition? Can they not abandon the maddening to and fro of party politics, made up statistics and downright lies. After all, the Tory government has been at such a rush to push through their various Bills that they are obviously badly written and will not stand up to the basis of Law~that they must be tested and tried in a Court of Law. That is in fact where the people's assent to a law is finally given.

So why the constant shouting matches in the House. Take the fight to the Law Courts and ignore the lies in the House. For although there is such a thing as Contempt for Parliament, contempt of court and purgatory in Court are taken much more seriously.

This will involve costs but then so does the every day work of Parliamentarians. But if the public can raise money for the fight it is surely possible for Labour or any other parties to raise the money.

In recent months legal aid has been all but destroyed. Justice wearing a blindfold, waiting for the Tory execution. But the thought of Lawmakers using the Law more directly to protect the people appeals greatly.
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Re: Can a serious political party ignore Parliament?

Post by Redflag on Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:14 pm

To be honest lobbycomm the first line of your post says it all, in other words nothing more than a gang of ROBBING BACKSTUDS with no thought for the people that voted for them and mistakenly put them into office on nothing more than BED OF LIES from both Tories and Lib-Dems.:yeahthat:
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Re: Can a serious political party ignore Parliament?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:16 pm

Traditionally the Administration and the Judiciary are separated within our Legal Establishment.  There may be a danger in lobbycom's proposal, that the two might get down on the mat together in an unproductive argy-bargy, as we already have at PMQs.
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Re: Can a serious political party ignore Parliament?

Post by Bellatori on Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:47 am

lobbycomm wrote:...an individual that refused to work for nothing filling shelves when she had been volunteering at a museum that actually used her degree...
The thing I found very worrying about this is that actually she did not win where it mattered. They rejected the government case where the judges stated the JSA was not clear enough on how the scheme worked, so basically a procedural thing, BUT they rejected her case under the human rights act where she claimed this was forced labour. I believe that this is going to appeal to Strasbourg but I would not hold out much hope. There would need to be special features to a case and new case law for that to happen. Since recently the Supreme Court is now the arbiter of the HRA.

I wouldn't care too much if this were genuine work experience. What I really don't like is the "work for your JSA and the more demeaning the better" to discourage people claiming. This is one of the more shabby attempts to save money. The 'bedroom tax' is worse but this is still unacceptable.


Last edited by Bellatori on Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:48 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added quote marks)

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Re: Can a serious political party ignore Parliament?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Nov 02, 2013 12:23 pm

Victorian workhouses had a treadmill to encourage occupants of the virtues of working.

Some attitudes never change.
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Re: Can a serious political party ignore Parliament?

Post by Redflag on Sat Nov 02, 2013 3:34 pm

The Tories will think themselves the best because they are providing the Workhouse for us mere PLEBS OW.
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Re: Can a serious political party ignore Parliament?

Post by lobbycomm on Sat Nov 02, 2013 5:49 pm

oftenwrong wrote:Traditionally the Administration and the Judiciary are separated within our Legal Establishment.  There may be a danger in lobbycom's proposal, that the two might get down on the mat together in an unproductive argy-bargy, as we already have at PMQs.
 
Think the administration and judiciary should remain separated obviously. However, the Law is there for defence of rights as much as anything else. The advantage of using Court to fight a Bill is that the subject has less innovative language. There is a distinct argument and statistics in particular are more difficult to be presented falsely. Don't want the abolition of Parliament oily lament just the use of the Law to temper arguments particularly in cases where there are badly or vaguely written. The Lobbying Bill is a perfect example of an intentionally vague Bill and must be tested in Court after it is pushed through by a government with no mandate.
 
Do take your point but needs more discipline in debates and less lies at Despatch Box. Thanks for your Xbox moments.
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Re: Can a serious political party ignore Parliament?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:59 pm

One more reason why Theresa May hates the European Commission on Human Rights.

Either the Tories don't think we are entitled to "Rights" or they think we're not human.
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Re: Can a serious political party ignore Parliament?

Post by Redflag on Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:37 pm

That OW could be a bit of both, after what I have just read in today's papers that we the taxpayer are paying for the gas & electric of our MPs bills in their second homes. No wonder they do not know what we are talking about when we start shouting about the Greedy Backstuds that run the big SIX utilitiy companies. I just hope the entire public in the UK take a look to see if their MP is claiming expenses for their utility bills then go give them a right MOUTH FULL no matter what colour their stripes.:yeahthat:
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Re: Can a serious political party ignore Parliament?

Post by Ivan on Sun Nov 03, 2013 1:25 pm

we the taxpayer are paying for the gas & electric of our MPs bills in their second homes
 
More details of that story can be found here:-
 
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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Re: Can a serious political party ignore Parliament?

Post by Redflag on Mon Nov 04, 2013 7:33 am

Ivan the paper named & shamed every one of them, it's quite a read,my own Labour MP is among them, but some of them I must say I was surprised. The worst offender is of course a WEALTHY Tory living in a home worth £1 million, Nadhim Zahawi claiming £5,822 to power and heat his Mansion, no wonder they do not want a Mansion Tax brought in. I thought it bad enough that Clegg was claiming £145.50 for his TV Licence but this Ivan really does take the Biscuit.pokenest
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Re: Can a serious political party ignore Parliament?

Post by Bellatori on Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:03 am

The snout in the MP trough has never been a party political issue. It has been a general swindle the public issue. The worst part of the swindle is the second mortgage. You buy a house or flat on the biggest mortgage you can get and charge the interest to expenses. Its an additional and 'unforeseen' extra cost for being an MP. Effectively you get to buy a property in London interest free and only have to repay the capital. There is always someone who wants influence who will 'lend' the balance. Wasn't Mandy somehow involved in this type of shenanigans? Given the way that house prices in London go this is a wonderful earner. It is not even clear to me whether they have to pay capital gains. A £400,000 flat in islington in '97 is now worth £1.5M. No wonder you don't see many poor MPs. They can no longer employ their family which came as a shock to some until they realised they could employ a company that can employ their family. Sheesh...
 
Mind you, we should be fair to our MPs. I bet the EU MPs are worse?!

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Re: Can a serious political party ignore Parliament?

Post by Dan Fante on Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:11 am

They should get a higher wage (but not excessively so), get no expenses and should not be allowed another job / income whilst they still hold a seat Parliament.
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Re: Can a serious political party ignore Parliament?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:26 pm

Bellatori wrote:.... Wasn't Mandy somehow involved in this type of shenanigans? !
By an unintentional oversight, Bellatori, you have only mentioned a Labour MP in that context, quite forgetting about MPs from other parties who had awkward questions to answer about expenses claims for homes they didn't actually live in. Sauce for the goose and all that.
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Re: Can a serious political party ignore Parliament?

Post by Dan Fante on Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:39 pm

oftenwrong wrote: By an unintentional oversight, Bellatori, you have only mentioned a Labour MP in that context, quite forgetting about MPs from other parties who had awkward questions to answer about expenses claims for homes they didn't actually live in.  Sauce for the goose and all that.
 
Was it an unintentional oversight on your part to ignore the main thrust of Bella's post? Wink
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Re: Can a serious political party ignore Parliament?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:52 pm

The thrust of most such posts is so transparently obvious as to be inimical to any attempt at a dialogue.
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Re: Can a serious political party ignore Parliament?

Post by Dan Fante on Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:57 pm

His main point was politicians of all parties are guilty of it. There were more Labour MPs implicated than any other party when the shit hit the fan I believe. This is probably because Labour had more MPs than anyone else but that would tend to support Bella's (transparently obvious Razz ) point in any case.
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Re: Can a serious political party ignore Parliament?

Post by Redflag on Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:24 am

You have got to admit Dan Fante, the Tories are doing their best to catch up with the Labour MPs of 1997-2010, so it is the Tories turn to have more MPs in HOC so they have to bury their snouts in the trough deeper than the Labour MPs of the past.
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Re: Can a serious political party ignore Parliament?

Post by Bellatori on Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:12 pm

oftenwrong wrote: By an unintentional oversight, Bellatori, you have only mentioned a Labour MP in that context, quite forgetting about MPs from other parties who had awkward questions to answer about expenses claims for homes they didn't actually live in.  Sauce for the goose and all that.
I did not forget anything OW. I just remember that as an example of major money wafting around. As I pointed out they all had their snouts in the trough. Cameron repaid £800 - obviously a technical oversight Laughing . If I had over/bogusly claimed £800 at BNFL I would have been out of a job faster than you could say parliamentary expenses.
 
The real issue is not which party - they are all tarred - but why so few were sent to jail for what is clearly corrupt practice.

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Re: Can a serious political party ignore Parliament?

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:28 pm

The Daily Telegraph earned Brownie Points for exposing the dodgy practice surrounding Parliamentary expense claims. Will they keep running with the ball?
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Re: Can a serious political party ignore Parliament?

Post by Redflag on Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:58 pm

oftenwrong wrote:The Daily Telegraph earned Brownie Points for exposing the dodgy practice surrounding Parliamentary expense claims.  Will they keep running with the ball?
 
It was the Sunday Mirror that broke the story about MPs claiming for their energy bills for their second homes OW, so maybe we should give them a round of applause for showing the public by just how much we are being ripped off by people who can afford to pay their own expenses.:yeahthat:
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Re: Can a serious political party ignore Parliament?

Post by Bellatori on Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:19 am

In all this where is there any sense of honesty? BNFL used to pay for my stays in hotels when required. It used to come to about £150 per night for a room, food, paper and a half bottle of wine - unlike one MP, I could not claim for the porno channel Very Happy Very Happy 

My daughter lived at that time in a two bed flat in Manchester. If I stayed with her then BNFL paid £20 towards her costs. A jobsworth then argues that my claiming for half a meal (£15) along the curry mile was unreasonable. That was already factored in to the £20. I simply shrugged and went back to the Hotel. That decision would have cost BNFL about £10-12k per year. Fortunately a director told the jobsworth not to be so stupid.

What the Director said was that there is an onus on employees to act responsibly about expenses. Each has a duty of care towards the company and those responsible for monitoring expenses needed to keep that in mind. The question that arose was whether I was benefitting the company.

The failure, it seems to me, has been, not in the expenses claims many of which were entirely egregious, but in the auditing. The claims appeared to be accepted uncritically. Did anyone ask whether these claims were not merely justified (my staying in a hotel was justified) but also whether they represented value for what is required.

Whilst it is not an exact comparison, the stringency and attitude towards JSA claims and invalidity benefit where it appears that your claim is judged valueless until proved otherwise beyond reasonable doubt does not seem to apply to MPs themselves.

MPs now get £74k+ per annum. Last year they also consumed ~£100M in expenses which averages out at about £125k per MP. For 150 of those MPs that involves employing family members often on salaries that cannot be justified were they to work for a real company.

My guess is that we need a couple of really good forensic auditors to look at these. Newspaper journalists are all very well but a professional auditor of quality would be better.

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Re: Can a serious political party ignore Parliament?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:15 pm

"Fortunately a director told the jobsworth not to be so stupid."


You can find jobsworths almost anywhere. When I was a trade union branch secretary in the 1980s a merger of two companies created a short-term need for some ambitious travelling to meetings 400 miles distant. Expenses-claims were closely vetted by staff at Union HQ, as you would expect, and we quickly learned never to use the word "Taxi" on an expenses-claim-form as this was beyond my pay-grade. Employing public transport in reaching Turnhouse airport from central Edinburgh renders catching a timed plane departure almost impossible unless you have half a day to spare, so we devised many different words to describe the means of travel. Fortunately the Heathrow shuttle has no First-class, so at least I was not to be guilty of usurping a privilege reserved for the General Secretary. I still have a conscience about that.
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