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

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Home Office v. The Police - more lies ?

At Ministry Towers, generally speaking we’re not betting types but this could shape up to be the Home Secretary, John Reid’s last stand.

You may recall the media buzz around a plot to capture and behead a muslim British soldier. Funny that the night before the raid on the plotters, several reporters travelled up to report on the event.

Now, as much as it’s nice to know about these things via the press, there’s always the distinct possibility that at the trial, if too much information gets out they can mount a successful defence on the basis of being unable to receive a fair trial.

Reporters doing their homework and prejudicing a fair hearing is one thing, government sanctioned leaks another – especially when there’s the possibility it could lead to guilty defendants having their case dismissed.

In this case it turns out the tip-offs and various other information leaks (lurid details of the plot etc.) came from the Police or/and the Home Office.

Shadow Attorney General Dominic Grieve has put down questions to the Home Secretary asking him to confirm there was no leak from the Home Office. They remained unanswered for six weeks until this denial was issued – a denial which directly conflicts with the Guardian's account of events.

Yesterday in the Commons Teflon Tony rejected calls for an enquiry, but If the Guardian names it’s source – claimed to be a ministerial aide… well, we’re taking bets...

Hat-tip to Iain Dale

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Goldsmith, Blair, Prescott and Bathurst

The Attorney General, is “keeper of the public interest” and supervisor of the Crown Prosecution Service. He’s also the legal advisor to the Government (when TB wanted to know if it’s legal to go to war with Iraq, it was the AG who said yes).

Couldn’t resist dragging up old bones (hat-tip to Theo Spark) this is the letter Lord Goldsmith won’t be writing to Blair over the “Cash for Honours” bizniz.

History repeating itself ? It’s also the sort of letter he wasn’t going to write to John Prescott, when our friend George Bathurst asked the Crown Prosecution Service to investigate his Prevention of Corruption Act breach.

For a taste of gov't stonewalling at genius level check out our interview with George...

One of the problems facing the Misrepresentation of the People Act, is you need to get the Attorney General’s go ahead to proceed with a prosecution. Most recently the Board at BAE were relieved to find out that the Attorney General deemed that it was not in the public interest to continue investigating claims of bribery and corruption by BAE.

So, if you want to prosecute someone in government, you need the blessing of - the governments legal advisor. Imagine if you wanted to take a company to court but to do so you needed their solicitors approval ?

We’ve asked for an interview with the man. We will be denied. Have no doubt.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

New Standards ?

Much government weirdness to report.

We only just interviewed the Chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, Sir Alistair Graham, must be coincidence that an "interim replacement" was announced yesterday - Rita Donaghy.

Perhaps it’s also coincidence that she could be Sir Alistair's identical female twin.

All this and the recent revelation that Gordon Brown is in fact Hilda Ogden.

It’s a little known fact that Soho’s leading female impersonator revue bar, Madame Jojo's offers price concessions to those holding full labour party membership.

Perhaps the party’s taking Tony Blair’s vow to increase the number of female MPs a little too seriously ?

That said, Sir Alistair wasn’t shy in his criticism of the current lack of accountability for ministers. We’ll be posting his interview soon.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Blah Party. Sensible.

We should declare an interest -
the first band your humble servant saw live in concert was the Damned at the Hammersmith Palais (you mean first concert without your Mum and Dad - that would've been ELO. Ed) and our first sight of Captain Sensible. We remain big fans of the Captain - a proper, salt-of-the-earth English gent. Not averse to the occasional bit of mayhem, he tells it like he sees it and isn't afraid to say it loud.

May 3rd sees local elections all over the country and the Captain is painfully aware that our electoral system has no checkbox for "abstain". In other words, if you happen to think all the candidates are shit and would like to register an abstention - you can't do it. Our last General Election gave the government a majority when it fact it only had 27% of the vote on one of the lowest turnouts in history.

We wonder what an "abstain" option on that ballot paper would've done to the turnout figure in 2005 ? Very shortly we'll find out.

Captain has set up the
Blah Party. Since it's launch last September they've attracted 10,000 members and are growing daily. They're standing for the local elections in Bradford. If you live there and you're fucked off with the current parliamentary party candidates - this is your chance to show it.

Vote Blah on May 3rd.

Blah! Party

Friday, April 20, 2007

Man with Forked Tongue ?

We do of course apologise in advance should our accusation that Gordon Brown is in fact Hilda Ogden prove to be false - though we reserve the right to remain sceptical. We shall see what light our Freedom of Information request sheds.

In the meantime, in an article shamelessly cribbed from the Times, results of a poll conducted for teletext show 47% of those polled thought Ogden-Brown was a straight talker.

The Home Secretary, John Reid, despite his reputation as a straight-talking tough guy, fared worst out of all three parties in the study...

57% David Davis

54% Sir Menzies Campbell

47% Gordon Brown

47% David Cameron

40% Tony Blair

39% John Prescott

36% John Reid

After examining television interviews with ten leading politicians from the past 16 months, Geoff Beattie, head of psychological sciences at the University of Manchester and the resident psychologist on Big Brother has concluded that Mr Brown is the most straight-talking of his senior Government colleagues.

Professor Beattie said: “The Labour Party seems to be in legacy mode. There are certain statements they want to be remembered for and they are determined to get them out.”

But he warned that voters should not be fooled into thinking that the opposition parties are intrinsically more open or trustworthy.

“There is not some factor that makes them psychologically more straightforward than Labour,” he said. The Labour scores were affected, he added, by “the constraints of government”.

Professor Beattie was horrified at the suggestion that his study showed that the Conservatives were more honest than their rivals. He said: “I wouldn’t for a second say that Conservative politicians are more straight-talking. Once they get a chance to go back into government, I’m quite sure they will be equally evasive.”

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Great Political Porkies of our time Pt 27 : Gordon Ogden-Brown

In true oily-slick political fashion, Brown has never actually stated he isn't Hilda Ogden so it's not strictly accurate to say he's lied. However, he has on numerous occasions said his name IS Gordon Brown. Surely, this amounts to denial.

Hilda left the TV soap Coronation Street in 1987, exactly the same time our "leader in waiting" began his ascendancy in the Labour Party.

We shall be making a Freedom of Information request immediately and pursuing it with much vigour.

I thank you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Out of touch ? Us ?

It'd be nice to be able to say we've had a lovely week off, but we didn't.

The clicks, pops, whines and echoes on the phones alongside furtive questions from the new guy delivering pizzas got the better of us. We figured it was best to move offices. Ministry Towers have now officially gone dark, of no fixed abode etc.

What's also become abundantly clear is that a week in politics is one fuck of a long time and that's all it takes to feel very out of touch. Now we know how it feels like to be in politics/the civil service. Don't believe me ? Check out the latest Labour and Conservative party political broadcasts... shear out-of-touch comedy genius.

And don't think it's just political parties that're insanely out of touch. We found ourselves in one of Westminster Councils "One-stop-shops" last week in an absurdist attempt to see if they knew how to hold an elected representative to account when they've lied. We should've known better - the signs of a hopelessly out-of-touch bureaucracy were staring us in the face...

I give you Westminster Council's intrepid attempt at entrepreneurial endeavor...


Yes, for a mere 50p, you can buy any one of a number of postcards from the imaginatively titled series, "Great Trees of Westminster". There's "the Turkey Oak at Park Lane Central Reservation" or "the Maidenhair Tree of St Johns Gardens, Horseferry Road".

May we suggest purchasing one and posting it to Simon Milton, Leader of Westminster Council with a brief note asking him not to add insult to injury by pissing
the money they extort from us via their traffic wardens down the drain .

Out of touch ? Us ?

Friday, April 06, 2007


The Ministry is closed for Easter

We shall return with the House, after recess, on Tues 17th.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

...And God bless New Zealand

A tenuous connection we'll grant you, but this video (and a bunch of Aussie barstaff last night) reminded us that things are more straightforward down under. The Misrepresentation of the Peoples Act was originally inspired by an Australasian statute (the southern state of Australia to be precise). Simple and to the point, it makes it a criminal offence punishable by fine to lie, mislead or mis-represent in a general election campaign.

No doubt the Minister for Broadcasting and Education, Steve Mahary's behaviour in New Zealand's Parliament will serve as an inspiration to our own honourable elected representatives. You can hear it here (beautifully picked up by the mics), or watch the inevitable piss-take video...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

God bless America

Can anyone compete with the US ?

Unhappy with our UK-centric site, we’ve been advised we’re missing out on a whole raft of glorious bad boy behaviour in government from our friends across the pond.

It’d be interesting to do some kind of similar analysis on our MPs, but until one of us gets the time, you’ll have to make do with this set of stats from the land of Dubya where there's an organisation, not unlike our Parliament, which has 535 members, of these ;

117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year
71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
29 have been accused of spousal abuse
21 are currently defendants in lawsuits
19 have been accused of writing bad checks
14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
8 have been arrested for shoplifting
7 have been arrested for fraud

3 have done time for assault

It's called the House of Congress.

We wonder how they'd fare if the Misrepresentation of the People Act got onto the statute books over there.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Here come da truth...

Yesterday the Treasury keeled over, foamed at the mouth and went into full-tilt Vicky Pollard Defcom 4 rhetoric over this Gobshite Brown pensions business.

Their but yeah, but no, but yeah re-buffs went something like this ;

1) The CBI were lobbying for it. ("But no 'cos I can prove it 'cos anyway she told me to do it round the bike sheds ages ago")

Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton "If they (the Tories) think it's such a bad policy, maybe we'll hear a pledge from them to reverse these tax changes - and so far there's been a deafening silence." ("But yeah you can't listen to them 'cos they never say nuffin good anyway")

Ed Balls (junior minister at the Treasury) pointed out that Conservative Chancellor Norman Lamont had cut the dividend tax credit from 25% to 20% in 1993. ("But no 'cos they did that before anyway when they wuz teachers pet so we can't be wrong")

A Treasury spokesman blamed pension schemes' recent funding problems on the dotcom crash, pension holidays in the 1980s and 1990s and a rise in life expectancy. ( "but no, see, it was raining and everything, and I tried to get some sherbert, but ... don't blame me")

Except...let's take a look at those one by one ;

1) Lord Turner (director general of the CBI at the time) has emphatically denied the CBI made or would make any such recommendation.

2) Whether the Opposition has an alternative is not an answer to the allegation that Gordon Brown ignored Civil Service advice and ruined our pensions.

3) Lamont's successor Ken Clarke considered but rejected scrapping the dividend because he thought the "downside far outweighed the upside because of the damage it would do to pension funds"

4) A stock market crash (post is exactly the reason you need a pensions surplus. Both pensions holidays and rising life expectancy were known and quantified facts well before Brown's 1997 budget.

But yeah, but no, but yeah because m'nan says...

It'd be funny if these weren't grown fucking men running our country.

Monday, April 02, 2007

the Brown smelly stuff

One of the many counter-arguments thrown at us by MPs in our attempt to get support for the Misrepresentation of the Peoples Act is that we’re better off not being able to hold an elected representative to account on a daily basis. They should be judged on their performance over a decent period of time. There’s some validity to this – however, for us to be able to judge their performance we must know the facts. Strange then, that a government committed to the Freedom of Information Act should fight so hard against the release of such facts…

For the last two years the Treasury has been fighting a court battle with the Times to prevent their official advice to Gordon Brown being released under the Freedom of Information Act.

On Friday we learned why it was a two year battle. We also learned why it was released on a day when Parliament was in recess and Gordon Brown was abroad.

Turns out back in 1997 the Treasury and the Inland Revenue warned the Right Honourable Gordon that his first budget could lead to a hole in Britain’s pension funds.

Brown doesn’t deny he ignored the advice, nor does he deny the hole in Britain’s pensions and the crisis they face. In fact, he has yet to comment – he’s in Afghanistan.

What Ed Balls, his junior minister denies is responsibility, “The Times analysis is abject nonsense and a complete travesty of the information they have received.” Amusing in the face of the Treasury’s fight to keep the information from us. Less amusing if you’re an impoverished pensioner trying to figure out which way to vote.

The Times summarised it like this ;

The warnings Brown ignored

Warning There will be a “big hole” in pension finances. Result The pensions black hole of Britain’s top 100 companies now stands at £32 billion.

Warning Employers may have to “fork out” additional contributions. Result Leading companies are now paying at least £5 billion a year extra to cut pension deficits.

Warning The shift away from final salary pensions “might accelerate”. Result In 1997, 90% of company pension schemes were final salary. Two-thirds of such schemes are now closed to new members.

Warning The local government pensions scheme, with 1.3m members, will require extra contributions. Result More than a quarter of council tax bills now go towards pension payments.

Warning The change will lead to “a reduction in pension benefits for the lower paid”. Result The government has been forced to increase the pension credit for those on low incomes.

It’d be nice to find out how much of our money the Treasury spent to keep the information buried. I can smell an FOI request coming on…