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Jan. 26th, 2009

In the wake of the Sunday Times’s revelations about certain Labour peers being for hire to amend laws for payment[1], since it’s easier to get things changed in the Lords where the government don’t have an inbuilt majority, I suspect there will suddenly be a lot more pressure to hurry up and reform the place. One of the strengths of the Lords is that no-one can tell them what to do, but it also means that no sanctions can be applied if they are found to be up to no good. As Lord Moonie is quoted in the article as saying,
“The thing with the Lords is that there’s virtually nothing they can do with you, unless you break the law… Even if you don’t declare, there’s nothing they can do but jump up and down”.
Most peers would never dream of taking bungs to change the law, even among the wealthier Tories who make it their life’s work to evade taxes, but it only takes a few wankers to give the impression that they’re all at it. I dread to think what kind of abysmal, ill-considered proposals for reform the government will cough up in response, although that may prove to be an entirely academic exercise. I suspect that this affair will not effect whether the next administration is Conservative, but rather for how long. Then another generation will get an exciting opportunity to discover what life is like with no public services. [2]

[1] Allegedly allegedly.

[2] You know how Boris is obsessed with getting rid of bendy buses in London because he and his friends have never used them so he’s blissfully unaware of what a benefit they are for the elderly, the disabled or the laden? Like that! Only worse!


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 26th, 2009 11:14 am (UTC)
This presupposes that Boris and his friends have ever used a bus. Or are even that clear on what a bus is for.
Jan. 26th, 2009 11:42 am (UTC)
Buses are what stops them driving their three-storey SUVs in whatever damn lane they choose.
Jan. 26th, 2009 12:43 pm (UTC)
The other day I was arrested for driving my jeep through a shopping centre! Is this the new "caring, sharing" Britain Guardian readers dream of????
Jan. 26th, 2009 11:15 am (UTC)
Um is Lord Taylor really Jim Bowen in disguise? I thought he'd been done for tax fraud, or was that Jim Davidson?
Jan. 26th, 2009 11:42 am (UTC)
> is Lord Taylor really Jim Bowen in disguise?

Not only is that his secret identity, but he's been caught here doing an Eric Morecambe impression with his glasses.
Jan. 26th, 2009 11:19 am (UTC)
no sanctions can be applied if they’re found to be on the fiddle

If this lot turns out to be true, criminal ones can, surely?
Jan. 26th, 2009 11:30 am (UTC)
It does sound like it's their code of conduct rather than a law that's being broken. Though considering it's general enough to prohibit "exercising parliamentary influence", it's surely already a mockery of a mockery?
Jan. 26th, 2009 11:36 am (UTC)
If there’s enough evidence that they were able to effect the changes they were boasting of, yes; otherwise all you’ve really got is a bunch of ageing men trying to make huge amounts of money from dubious consulting posts (the Blairite dream in a nutshell, there) and bigging themselves up in the tearoom in trying to land the contracts. There will be huge pressure on them to make themselves scarce after this but, failing a prosecution that could stick, there isn't anything anyone could actually do.

Lord Taylor, incidentally, is the only peer who isn’t denying what he said, but instead is claiming, brilliantly, that he knew the Sunday Times guys were undercover reporters from the off and was simply “stringing them along”.
Jan. 26th, 2009 04:26 pm (UTC)
One for 'rubbish defence' watch, there.
Jan. 26th, 2009 11:34 am (UTC)
I imagine that lot of the people are quite genuinely shocked by this, imagining as most do that the Lords are the gentle herbivores of the political landscape...

On Thursday, Lord Snape

No, wait, what?
Jan. 26th, 2009 11:39 am (UTC)
Before slashfic writers reach for their keyboards, he doesn't really live up to the evil charm of his Potter namesake:

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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