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, July 02, 2009

Parliament - Normal Service Resumed

If you've been watching the last couple of days debates in the HofC you may have had that deja vu feeling. The IPSA Bill - heralded as the "end of self-regulation" is slowly but surely echoing the promised reforms of scandals past. We've had the Nolan report, MPs Codes of Conduct, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards...

"We are not the master now. The people are the masters. We are the servants of the people. We will never forget that." Tony Blair, May '97

"Let the work of change begin." Gordon Brown, June '07 (on succeeding Blair)

"Who guards the guards ?' Adam Price MP Oct '07
The post expenses rush to regain the public's trust...
"I'll consider anything that makes the political elite accountable to citizens."
Gordon Brown, May '09
... seems to be slowly but surely steering towards another "independent" Committee that dutifully reports back to Parliament and a reversion to type for the honourables. Yesterday. a misty-eyed Jack Straw recalled how he was the first MP to be taken to court by a constituent over an administrative error which led to them being branded a drug dealer. The dozen or so MPs in the chamber nodded wearily. The threat of vexatious claims, a field day for lawyers etc. etc. Whilst some papers painted the picture as a "government defeat" on the various amendments to the proposed Bill, the temperature in the house read more like a governmental sigh of relief. Make that an all-round sigh of relief.

The gov can now say, "we wanted accountability, but were defeated by your elected representatives".

Cameron attacked Brown's dishonesty on spending cuts at PMQs, whilst outside the primetime show, with only a dozen members in attendance the chamber agreed dishonesty was best dealt with in-house and proceeded to castrate anything that smelt a little too much of "the end of self regulation".

No doubt we'll get another committee which will in effect do what the fees office should have been doing all along, whilst the real issue, the source of public mistrust - accountability - will wait until a few more scandals - and certainly the coming general election are in the past.

We're in the process of uploading the head-spinning sequence from the DVD where the existing self-regulatory bodies for Parliamentary standards are unravelled and exposed. Sir George Young puts in a fine performance - glorious to watch with hindsight and an expenses scandal behind us...
Sir G"nobody has a greater interest in keeping high standards than Members of Parliament"
Interviewer, "errr... the public might have"
Sir G ignores him and continues convincing himself.
Shame he didn't make it to the speakers chair.

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