MPs’ expenses – a 10 point plan to ensure *real* justice is done

I) All 646 MPs shall be investigated, using all available data regarding expense claims – whether paid by the Fees Office or otherwise.

II) Their accounts and claims shall be examined by independent auditors.

III) Any irregularities shall be reported to the Police, HMRC and other relevant authorities.

IV) If applicable, all resulting enquiries shall be pursued to the full extent of applicable laws, regulations and guidelines.

V) All MPs wishing to stand in the next General Election must first be cleared of any wrongdoing that has run contrary to existing laws, regulations and guidelines.

VI) Any MP who has been found to benefit financially or materially from having broken any applicable laws, regulations and guidelines must repay all relevant monies, or an equivalent amount as claimed for, in the case of material goods, taxes due on them and also interest on these sums – both gains and unpaid taxes – as per late payment interest rates set down by HMRC.

VII) If necessary, goods and chattels may be seized to pay any outstanding repayments, fines and unpaid taxes. If the proceeds from these do not cover any outstanding sums, then money may be taken from the pension fund due to the individual.

VIII) Any MP who has broken any laws regarding expenses will be barred for life from taking up any public office or any position of financial responsibilty in the private or charitable sector.

IX) Any MP found to have behaved contrary to applicable laws, regulations and guidelines shall receive no resettlement allowance.

X) Any individual found to have colluded in the misappropriation of expenses will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Quote of the week?

Yesterday the Telegraph reported that a special panel was being set up by the Met to assess allegations against MPs.

A police source said: “We had to act as it has moved from snouts in the trough to fingers in the till.”

Too much bling?

Give us a ring

Oh FFS…it’s the fat, sweaty coppers again with yet another thrusting initiative.

One more ‘sounds good and costs nothing’ shitty idea that hopes to make spies of the general public and harass people on the flimsiest of pretexts.

File under ‘You couldn’t make this shit up if you tried’ – if you can squeeze the bastard in the folder. It’s getting rather full…

An odd thing about the G20 protests

I’m lucky enough to be married to someone who often forces me to take a reality check when I start to think about conspiracies.

She’s very ‘grounded’ and if she thinks an idea is bonkers then I usually trust her judgement.

However, when even she wonders why the Police kettled G20 protestors outside the defenceless RBS building I start to think that maybe some conspiracies might not just be theoretical…

It’s almost as if someone wanted some trouble to kick off.

What a terrible week!

Ouch – me Chalfonts!

But not for me…s’been OK, ta.

I don’t think that Gordon Brown can say the same though:

  • ‘Terror swoops’ that have probably netted nothing but a few Pakistanis with dodgy visas.
  • Bob Quick’s resignation
  • Harriet Harman’s success in raising the profile of the BNP
  • The gradual emergence of evidence that points to fatal flaws in the way we investigate complaints against the Police
  • Smear campaigns being hatched inside the very walls of No 10
  • More ineffectual and hubris-riddled replies from the Two Homes Secretary to critics of her expense claims
  • Overpayments to the tune of hundreds of millions of GBP to the Irish government for healthcare
  • A revolt by the NUT over SATs
  • Painful haemorrhoids*

The above list is just a selection of some of the more problematic incidents which have all conspired to fuck up the week for Gordon.

Fuck knows who’s going to be leading us after the next General Election – I don’t trust more than a handful of the shonky shitweasels we have as politicians – but I don’t think it’s going to be Gordon…

*I made that one up.

Does the IPCC actually do anything?

How to turn the G20 death drama into a bureaucratic nightmare – Part 2436…

Why the delay?

The IPCC has yet to interview the officer involved but said it intends to “as soon as possible”.

Maybe I’ve been reading too many crime novels, but isn’t it always best to investigate and interview ‘as soon as possible’?

In the case of ‘Officer X’ straight after he made himself known to his superiors would seem to have been a good time therefore.

And now, of course, it’s Easter and I’m guessing that the fuckwads at the IPCC won’t be back at work before next Tuesday at the earliest.

More thoughts on the G20 death

You know, if the Met – not to mention the IPCC – had handled the G20 death case a lot better and a lot more quickly then their reputation might not be as crippled as it is at the moment.

Yet, such vacillation and obfuscation might even be beneficial if it forces us to look at what sort of police force we really want.

Yes, one officer – the one who pushed Ian Tomlinson over – is now suspended – a week after the incident – but what about those who were with him and kept silent, even as the Met was sticking to its story that there had been no previous contact between Tomlinson and the police?

Surely such silence was an impediment to the investigation?

It may be that the officers present when Tomlinson was pushed over colluded to cover the incident up or just chose to keep schtum on an individual basis but certainly no-one in that group chose to come forward even when the Guardian video clearly showed that there was indeed ‘contact’.

What we certainly don’t need are any scapegoats or martyrs if we’re to gain anything of lasting value from this pointless and unnecessary death.

Yes, I do value a police force which keeps order where necessary and uses appropriate force but I want that force to be accountable, well-trained and run in the public interest.

As to what happens to people that the police apprehend then let a justice system sort that out, not the officer on the ground, unless it’s a matter of self-defence.

In the case of Ian Tomlinson, it certainly wasn’t.

Pearls of wisdom from the Torygraph

A great (Torygraph!) article.

Definitely police brutality

This doesn’t look good.

I’m now sure, no matter how many inquiries are held, that the police were responsible for the death of Ian Tomlinson – an innocent passer-by – at the G20 protests last week.

The video shows a clearly unprovoked attack.

I hope the people guilty of this are brought to justice and receive the maximum punishment available.

No police state evident at G20 protests

The police…love ’em…hate ’em…they’re all that stands between those who abide by the law and those who don’t.

Most of the time I think they do a good enough job given the restrictions and workload placed upon them by a government and a bureaucracy that has little appreciation of the job that they actually do – just like teachers, nurses, social workers and the like.

Their behaviour and reaction during the G20 protests seemed somewhat predictable.

Yes, heavy handedness was evident at times but given the nature of their task – controlling a mob that greatly outnumbered them and that did contain some violent elements – I really couldn’t say that I’d keep my calmness and equanimity faced with that situation.

Sure, they’re trained to deal with situations like this, but that’s not the same as actually coping with them for real.

All in all, it wasn’t a perfect display of how to police a large crowd, but at least they prevented it from being a riot and I’m sure some lessons have been learned.

If we are heading for a police state then I’m glad to say we still have some way to go.