Tom Watson MP
The inside track since 2003
Not everyone seems unhappy about George Bush leaving the Oval Office.
Are you talking about Blair?
Whether for good or for ill, Dubya is now history, so the number of parties (not necessarily a good proxy for the number of those who regret his departure) is a small irrelevancy.
Far better to concentrate perhaps on what is going on in our own neck of the woods and the cradle of – well, not it would seem openess and accountability, though no doubt some might celebrate this week.
May I post the letter I’ve sent to my MP?
I am concerned, even angry, that the Government apparently under pressure from the both the Tory back bench establishment as well as the Parliamentary Labour Party are attempting in a sleight of hand to hide the detailed information about the expenses members of Parliament have been claiming, or are to claim, from scrutiny. Yet again it appears to be do as we tell you, not do as we do, and will go further in lowering the reputation of politicians.
The fact that disclosures so far have embarrassed MPs, and ministers and the Speaker in particular, is no justification for saying that, as one MP is quoted as saying “MPs’ expenses should not be an entertainment show for the public.”
As we have learnt all too frequently, an audit (and an assertion that expenses have been claimed in accordance with the rules) isn’t the same as openness and honesty.
The excuse is that it is far too expensive to maintain such a detailed system, of individually accounting for expenses. This is no more or less than the imposition politicians legislate and have legislated for pretty well everyone else, and the detailed records that every employer has to maintain, let alone the individual records that ordinary people have to maintain.
It is the arrogance of these assertions, by people who have sought these positions, and live extremely well by contrast with the majority, and who will retire on pensions the scale of which, like others in the public sector, we can only gasp at. And all funded by the tax payer now and in the future.
The extravagance revealed by both the financial collapses of recent months, and the absurd claims made by MPs may not be in the same league of meltdown, but it is the breathtaking ease with which our political leaders rush to fight openness where they are concerned, and attempt to change matters without hardly any public scrutiny or debate – and by a method that makes it difficult to oppose.
Please, actively vote against this and urge that your colleagues of all parties do the same. Do not forget that parliament should be the servant of the people – and show that there is nothing to hide as there will be nothing to find.
Blair’s party was a squib – now, when Gordy goes and Labour get a new, left-wing leader….
I clicked on your link and when I went to you blog it asked for my twitter log on info.
A user name and password are being requested by http://twitter.com. The site says: “Twitter API”
Asking for the API is not good, not good at all. Can lead to a twitter account being taken over.
Tom you can edit this post as you see fit.
Judging by his recent cynical remarks about the war on terror, Miliband is delighted to see the back of him so that they can start distancing themselves from all the wars that Labour and Bush started together.
Meanwhile back in the real world.. have you any idea how the fiasaco on MP’s expenses is playing outside the rarified atmosphere of the village?
Labour ducking and diving to avoid disclosure, one minute commited to get outside the FoI Act, the next U-turning in the Downing Streeet bunker because it probably wouldn’t scrape through in a “free” vote. Blaming the rotten Tories (oh the desperation!) when we have a 60 majority to do whatever is the right thing. Oh, for a little of the right thing.
You should stand in the Billiard Hall in West Bromwich and get the feedback- “..anything to hide the second homes we’re buying for them, their gas bills and council tax being paid while we struggle, their windows cleaned on expenses; we’re housing them, paying their grocery bills, buying their flat screens and fridges..building them conservatories..”.
Collectively your are driving the nails one-by-one into the coffin that contains the prospect of the next Labour government; and unlike most of your constituents, you are all to well-insulated to suffer the hammering that will hit ordinary people from Cameron and his gang.
Do the decent thing- publish the figures. If there’s nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear; as you told us during the 42-week jail-without-charge debacle.
And if there are horror stories lurking, then best the boils were lanced with at least a degree of humility and honesty.
John – do like I am going to do – vote LibDem!
Even if that brings a hung parliament then that would be better than the current, or prospective, Tory government.
Not a chance Will. Labour’s written through me like Blackpool through a stick of rock. Old Labour, Clause 4 Labour, socialist Labour. Stay in and keep demanding better than we sometimes get.
John – I wish I could. I voted Labour, been a member of the Party, campaigned in local and general elections – I, too, am a Labour man through and through! Only trouble is – I can’t find Labour in New Labour.
I could go on and on about how Gordy and the others are/have killed the Labour party, and for what? We, as Labour men and women were people who stood on the shoulders of Giants, now it is in wet sand.
I want the Labour party back – once it is we can see the LibDems centre-right and the Tories in oblivion – that can’t come faster for me, but as I say, this isn’t the Labour Party I knew.
Tom called me a whiner, I believe, before deleting his comment, of which I am grateful – I want the likes of Tom and others who haven’t quite been drowned in the darkside to come back and stand for what they truly believe in – Labour policies that are for the people and not self-interest and the authoritarian stance that there is now.
It is time for those front and back benches to say enough – yet, without a damning defeat, I don’t think that they will.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *