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

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Story... so far

the Ministry of Truth started life as a simple question ; "How do you prosecute an MP/Minister for lying ?"

We're joking, right ?

If you have a contract with a company or individual and they lie to you, misrepresent the facts or make a misleading statement, you can pop down to the Citizens Advice Bureau and either get out of the contract or hold them to account. You're not stuck with it for another five years. So what if that individual happens to be on the board of Great Britain PLC ... an MP, a Minister ? and you're a shareholder ...Well, ... we wanted to find out...

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click on the links to see (or hear) the interviews or, for a compressed video summary, click here]

We started by calling the Citizens Advice Bureau - puerile, even childish I know - and asked them what kind of legal action we could take against an MP. It took them 30 minutes to come back with sweet FA (we've posted an edited recording for your amusement).

The C.A.B. did recommend we called the Parliamentary Ombudsman - who was charming to a fault but frankly not much cop. We were going round in circles so decided to take the offensive and see a Lawyer - "I want to prosecute an MP for lying.". Laugh - she nearly had a sense of humour.

How can it be right that we have no truly independent or legal redress to the guys we elect when they start mis-behaving ? We started some serious trawling on the web and came across two potential rays of light ;

1) George Bathurst - a Windsor based businessman who'd reported our Deputy Prime Minister to the Police under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

2) Professor Conor Gearty (the motherlode of constitutional law and the man who gave legal counsel on impeaching Blair)

Again, it turns out the government had covered their bases . The Police refused to take matters further with George Bathurst in an exchange of correspondence that made Monty Python look like a bunch of amateurs.

Professor Gearty explained in no uncertain terms the why and how our government has twisted Parliamentary Sovereignty into something it was never meant to be. They've tied us in knots. It looked like the end of the road.

Then out of no-where, Sir Philip Mawer (Parliamentary Commissioner who investigates complaints against MPs) returns our call and is willing to talk on camera. We expected government mouthpiece meaningless drivel - nothing could be further from the truth - we were on to something.

At the same time, we found a law in the state of Southern Australia that made it an offence for politicians to lie during an election... something Prof Gearty was strongly in favour of.

Finally, we plucked up the courage to make first contact with our elected representatives and ask them what they were up to. Residual cowardly instincts told us to tread carefully, so we went for ex-MPs. First to play ball was Lord Pendry (a Labour stalwart of 30 years) and frankly, as you can see , an all-round bizarre encounter . We also interviewed Martin Bell OBE (he sat on Parliament's main watchdog - the Committee for Parliamentary Standards and Priviledges).

You couldn't get two more contrasting opinions. Bell is the man who's inspired us to take it to the next level - why shouldn't there be a law against the elected representatives of the people effectively lying in our name or lying to us ? We asked him what he thought our chances were and nearly fell off our chairs at the answer...We'll be posting his interview in the next couple of days.

The question is - what next ? Accept the status quo or try to do something about it ? And even if you want to do something about it - where the hell do you start ?

We spent Xmas scouring for legal precedents like the law in Southern Australia for holding MP's to account and come up with another two. More info on them to be posted as soon as we've had feedback from our legal pros.

In the meantime, keep posting your suggestions and don't forget to vote ! (top of the right hand column)

19 comments:

  1. What do we do next ? Suggest lying down and rolling over - it leads to a much happier life (albeit taxed fairly heavily)

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  2. Become an MP ?

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  3. “What do we next ?”
    You’re nothing but a bunch of hippy-fags. Fucking typical, you might actually have to do something other than point a camera at a politician and you start squealing like you’ve never taken it before.

    How dare you even refer to “into the belly of the beast” – all you did was pucker up and kiss ass to that prig of a Lord. Frankly I don’t give a goddamn fuck what you do just do something.

    When I got pissed with the local pigs I stood for Sheriff. It got me a bald head and scared the living hell Outta them – but at least I did something.

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  4. the Ghost of John Belushi ?7 Dec 2006, 12:36:00

    Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

    And it ain't over now. 'Cause when the goin' gets tough...
    [thinks hard] the tough get goin'! Who's with me? Let's go!

    [runs out, alone; then returns]

    What the fuck happened to the Delta I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? "Ooh, we're afraid to go with you Bluto, we might get in trouble." Well just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this. Wormer, he's a dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer…..

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  5. limitations on freedom of speech??

    yet no limitations on the freedom to lie

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  6. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/archive/2333595.stm

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  7. Your next move should be to Switzerland - the mountain air, leaderhosen, daily referendums....tum te dum tum dum.

    Bit fucking boring actually.

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  8. Boring but at least a step closer to democracy

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  9. Boring isn't the word - name me one Swiss comedian.

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  10. Julian Clarey

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  11. the tort of "malfeasance in a public office".

    Check it out. Rarely used - but a blinder in the right circumstances

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  12. Belushi was green when they found him.

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  13. Freddie Mercury12 Jan 2007, 10:11:00

    I want to be free

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  14. The Aussies ? A law against lying in politics ? You've gotta be takin the piss. Just shows you what a bunch of arse the law is when it comes to a showdown with politicians

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  15. Vote... VOTE?? Try getting people to actually vote in elections, that might make a difference.

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  16. Why bother voting ? The main parties have pretty much the same policies, the same salesmen/frontmen. More importantly, even if their manifestos had significant differences (and they don't) - it's out the window once they're in power because of changing circumstances.

    1997 - TB, "we're gonna clean up politics"
    2007 - David Cameron, "we're gonna clean up politics"

    We're left with deciding on who we can trust and who could do a better job and so farvthat's been a choice between the lesser of two evils.

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  17. Why aren't men like Professor Gearty in government ?

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