The Professors passion for "The Science of Deceit" started here...

Employed by the Ministry (in a covert capacity) to help introduce the law ending dishonest politics, you can see his hand all over the posts of past.

Current political circumstances have forced him to reveal himself and as we speak, MPs are signing up to re-introduce The Elected Representatives (Prohibition of Deception) Bill for debate with over 80,000 voters supporting them.

Posts before Jan '08 are purely for the record (with hindsight they make fascinating reading). Posts after May 13th mark the Professor's return.


Meet the Professor

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Real Deal

What started off as a simple question to the Citizens Advice Bureau - "I'd like to prosecute an MP for lying" has turned into a real eye-opener. Here's the real deal...

There is a simple fact obscured by a very sophisticated, highly evolved set of smoke and mirrors which lead the casual observer to believe there are healthy checks and balances keeping Parliament (especially Government) honest and accountable. Numerous Codes of conduct, Committees and Commissioners (we've got 'em coming out of our ears). Many of them are staffed by dedicated individuals of the highest integrity - the problem is they all report back to Parliament or Blair - the guys they've been appointed to investigate.

The need for the smoke and mirrors is simple : We, the people, are sovereign.

We elect a set of MPs to represent our sovereignty in Parliament at a general election. Those with the majority form a government and run the country on our behalf. Their obligation is to legislate in our best interests.

That means ;

1) Our transfer of sovereignty to MPs at a general election is based on two things - party manifesto and past performance.

and it follows...

2) We can’t accurately assess past performance or promises if they can mislead us and misrepresent the facts (lying is an un-parliamentary word).

However, as we've discovered…

  • There are no truly independent organs (such as the judiciary) which we can invoke to hold them to account for misleading/misrepresenting to us.

and...

  • A general election - is our only legal means of redress if MPs or Government lie.
So ...

How the hell are we supposed to seperate the good guys from the bad ? More importantly, without the threat of direct redress from the electorate, where's there incentive to be honest ?

These thoughts will be keeping us busy over Xmas.

Our question has shifted focus, but still remains gloriously simple...

“Why can't the electorate prosecute their representatives for lying to them ?"

We’ll be researching hard for some kind of legitimate answer.

Tomorrow will be our last post until the New Year.

23 comments:

  1. Bored with simple-minded anti-politicians21 Dec 2006, 14:54:00

    You'll find The Freedom of Information Act introduced by this government in 2000 is the legal instrument that keeps government and Mps honest and accountable.

    You should've been doing your homework rather than charging around with a video camera.

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  2. I think "Bored with simple-minded anti-politicians" will find that despite having been on Labour's manifesto for the last 6 elections, the government have only made the bill come into force in Jan 05 and are now seriously trying to curb journalists, broadcasters, MPs and the electorate from using it by limiting the requests to once every three months for any individual/company.

    D'ya think their support might've been pure spin and now that they've finally introduced the thing they don't like Freedom of Information at all ?

    Perhaps you should be doing some homework.

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  3. Plus the FIA was seriously cut up in the first place. They don't want us to be able to hold them to account - I reckon reality TV was a government plan to make us all braindead.

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  4. "elective dictatorship" - get used to it.

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  5. You said, "Our question has shifted focus, but still remains gloriously simple...

    “Why can't the electorate prosecute an MP for lying to them ?"

    The answer is just as simple ;
    "They don't want you to"

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  6. Separating the good guys from the bad is missing the point. It's seperating the wheat from the chaff.

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  7. check out the tort of "misfeasance in a public office"

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  8. Misfeasance is an abuse of a lawful act. Amazing no-one's pursued this.

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  9. Don't think you are really thinking about this very clearly, what would the alternatives be? The period between elections gives you that space to assess performance and then the power is in your hands at the ballot box. What are you moaning about?

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  10. You can't assess someone's performance if it's not based on facts. We're told inflation is well under control but tell that to someone trying to buy a flat. Then we find out house prices aren't included in the inflation figures. Why not ? When they say crime is down, unemployment down, the NHS is providing a better service etc. what stats are they hiding ?

    And that's before you even start thinking about the obvious outright lies - the billions spent in Iraq 'cos Blair figures God's on his side so he can sell us (and Parliament) the invasion on WMD's.

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  11. more pissed off4 Jan 2007, 16:41:00

    Let’s put it this way. In the last ten years when was the last time you heard Blair say “sorry, we fucked up”. I run a small company (10 staff) and on average we have 5 or 6 fuck ups a week. Isn’t it extraordinary that GB plc with several million staff, thousands of councils, committees etc. can run so smoothly ? Either they’re liars or they’re... well…let’s face it. They’re liars.

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  12. You can't prosecute an MP for lying to you for the same reason you can't prosecute Jo Bloggs in the street for lying to you. There's no contractual relationship and no quantifiable loss.

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  13. legal pig's talking bollocks. If an MP is our legal representative, by definition we have a legal power to elect him. We also have a legal power to de-select him at the next general election. What we don't have, is the power of recall (as in California) should we decide he's lied to us or any other legal means of holding him to account.

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  14. I agree with law student. We have a social contract with involves duty.

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  15. There's a contract, it's our sovereignty they represent and it's a disgrace that we can't prosecute them if they lie/misrepresent/mislead.

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  16. You may want to cast your mind back to John Major's reign. He was asked in parliament and press if he'd been in talks with Sinn Fein. His response was something along the lines of "it'd turn my stomach to be negotiating with them".

    He was lying - but 15 years later, we've peace in Ireland, no IRA terrorist acts on the mainland and Sinn Fein sitting in our government.

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  17. The fact that he lied then was a matter of security - sort of necessary but after the fact the public has the right to know the truth. We should be trusted to use our judgement about whether we think he made the right decision. In this case, he may well have done so he had nothing to fear.

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  18. any change will certainly expose much much more//

    the poisoned challis of dRowning street//

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  19. Mad Frankie Fraser10 Jan 2007, 16:01:00

    You can find the poisoned chalice of dRowning St in Cherie's drawers

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  20. I think you'll find she IS the poisoned chalice bubba. In any case, she's running your goddamn country so get used to it.

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  21. You gotta hand it to TB, he's ballsy enough to get into her drawers.

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  22. pop ya cherie!!!

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  23. how will this move faster/further// has bell given you a way in?? dont we need some clout???

    ah who to clout first!!!

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