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

Monday, March 12, 2007

Lie about how we vote ? That's misleading.

Our elected representatives in Parliament are there to legislate on our behalf, in our name. Hence the Misrepresentation of the People Act.

We haven’t quite finished with the Honourable Karen Buck MP (Lab) and her voting record. Forgive us, but it’s very relevant to the dust up we had in this interview over a certain Mr Blair.

She wasn’t against the Misrepresentation of the People Act - but feels without evidence of a problem why bother legislating ? She said "legislation for legislation’s sake is one of the problems she sometimes has with the government".

Is she referring to the 18 times she went against the government out of the last 2,163 votes in 10 years (0.8%) ?

Does that mean if we proved more than 0.8% of statements by our elected representatives are misleading, misrepresentative or plain lies – she
would accept this was “sometimes a problem”.

Anyone care to do the Maths ?

Talking of voting records… As you saw, our intrepid interviewer got over-excited and accused Mr Blair of lying about his voting record at General Election time. For this, we unreservedly apologise. Legally we cannot defend this accusation (nor do we intend to – Ed).

Ms Buck says she’s baffled as to why anyone would lie over “something that’s a matter of public record”.

By Ms Buck’s standards,
you only need to have voted twice out of six opportunities to be able to say you voted “against the war in Iraq”. If you accept this measure, we’re of the opinion you’d have voted in at least three of the subsequent eleven votes for an inquiry into the war. Ms Buck didn’t vote for any of them.

So, according to Karen Buck, it’s fine to say you voted against the war in Iraq if you voted in 2 out of 17 votes (6%).

We wonder if this standard would stack
up with the electorate (or in a court of law) ?

Your humble servant would like to propose the following motion for debate ;

"the wording of motions in the House of Commons is deliberately constructed to allow our elected representatives to say they’ve voted one way, leading the electorate to believe this is a statement of principle, when in fact an examination of all the votes on any issue in question may lead us to a very different conclusion." DISCUSS.

As for the fox-hunting ban, the facts of the matter follow ;

In a House of Commons Debate, 9 July 1997, he said "I have voted before in favour of a ban on fox hunting and I shall continue to do so,". The following November, on the 28th, there was a 2nd reading for the ban. He failed to vote at it. The following year, there were 4 votes. Blair was absent from them all.

The second “lie” we refer to was on 30 May 2001, just before the General Election. Blair said to BBC TV’s Question Time, “We had a free vote on hunting… I happened to vote in favour of a ban.”

In fact on the 20th December 2000 he had voted simply in favour of an “options bill” to be read on the 17th Jan.
This Bill gave 3 choices ;

1) A total ban
2) Introduce licensing
3) No change

On the 17th Jan 2001, when the time came to actually vote on these 3 options, Mr Blair wasn’t there.

During the same spiel on Question Time (and elsewhere), he stated the bill to ban fox-hunting was blocked in the House of Lords. I beg to differ, and Peter Bottomley MP also had some fairly strong opinions on this. We’ll be posting that shortly.

In the meantime, we ask you, did Tony Blair lie about the way he voted just before a general election ?


  1. oh dear oh dear.

  2. I reckon Karen Buck would probably side with Tony Blair on this one. If she thinks that voting once out of any number of opportunities justifies her in saying that she voted against the war, then she would be consistent in arguing that Blair’s vote for a multi-option bill to be read allows him to say he voted to ban hunting.

    However, the fact of whether or not the bill was ever blocked by the House of Lords, that is, as Karen would say, “a matter of indisputable public record”. Blair lied about it. And he has not been held to account.

  3. ouch! they'll be looking for you. Change your name - RUN!

  4. A perfect example of how trivial lies can have greater consequences than we first imagine. Blair claimed, on such national platforms as Question Time and the Today programme, that the Lords had blocked the hunting bill. Had that particular bill gone any further, there was a chance it could have been blocked by the Lords, but the fact is that it wasn’t. By falsely accusing the Lords of having blocked a popular bill he was able to garner support for Lords reform, furthering his own agenda of increasing the number of appointed Lords, and thus contributing to the whole cash-for-honours scandal.