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, September 07, 2007

Once Again - for Thee the Bell Tolls

Spookily, the "Filkin affair" Martin mentions rose it's head once more only this Monday in this article by Peter Oborne.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Recaps 3 - Martin Bell

The trail from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards led to seeking some advice from Martin Bell...

Martin Bell, the man in the white suit, is someone we trust.

He spent most of his working life in some of the worlds most dangerous war zones so his time as an MP should've been a piece of cake. He served on the Committee for Standards and Privileges (the watchdog for the conduct of MPs) and is one of the few to speak out against the treatment of Sir Philip Mawer
's (the Parliamentary Commissioner) predecessor - Elizabeth Filkin.

"The whispering campaign was not imaginary. It was real and intense. It coincided with her investigations into complaints against Peter Mandelson, John Reid and Keith Vaz, who were not only Labour MPs but government ministers at the time."

We asked him about the reality of MPs regulating themselves, Elizabeth Filkin and the idea of the People prosecuting the government when it lies to us.

To say we were surprised by his answers would be an understatement. We'll be posting the interview tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Recaps 2 - First brush with Parliament

For those just joining the Ministry, when we asked solicitors the question, "How do we prosecute an MP for lying" the answer was a resounding "You can't" - try "the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards".

We did.

It was our first brush with Parliament...

Inspector Mawers (that's enough.Ed) - the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

If you read up on this whole self-regulation business it looks a bit like smoke and mirrors. Plenty of bodies, committees and commissioners - all independent to a man but all reporting to Parliament or the PM. Nice to be Judge and Jury at your own trial, eh ?

Needless to say,
when Sir Philip Mawer returned our call, it was a bit of a shocker. We never thought in a million years they'd let us near the Palace of Westminster - let alone interview its gatekeeper of ethics and morals.

Turns out Sir Philip's office is round the back of Westminster Abbey. Bathed in divine light, you enter through a hobbit-like gate set into a suitably intimidating wall with Westminster casting suitably ominous shadows.

Passing through that gate would be crossing the line from pissing about on the Internet to sticking our head above the establishment parapet. Were we really gonna tough it out with the guy who politics between Teflon Tony and hauling MPs over the coals ?

Who are we kidding ?

I'd had a curry before-hand and that didn't bode well.

We were in a lot of trouble.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The List gets longer

The MPs we've interviewed to support the Misrepresentation of the People Act are being put through the editing grinder. The list grows longer on a daily basis - Jack Straw, Harriet Harman, David Davis, George Osborne - we'll be posting them shortly.

Needless to say - none of the above were terribly for the Act. All accepted the principles behind it ;

We, the people, are sovereign.

We grant this sovereignty to our elected representatives in Parliament.

Whilst representing our sovereignty, our elected representatives have fundamental obligations to be honest, transparent and accountable to us.

For a breach of these fundamental obligations we are entitled to formal, legal, independent redress.

Most have even accepted the fact that at the moment, we have no formal, legal, independent means of redress. We just can't get one of 'em to step up to the bat.

Their main counter arguments run along the lines of...

1) There are other ways of holding MPs and Ministers to account - the press, Parliamentary questions, the Commissioner for Parliamentary Standards (we'll be posting what he had to say next week).

2) Judges aren't elected (more examination of this to follow)

Your well-informed
comments on these are very much desired.