Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
".....and now, the end is near and so we face the final curtain......"
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
As if the endless saga of MPs expenses wasn`t enough, we have now been treated to a tv performance by Prime Minister Gordon Brown that rivals that of Captain Mainwaring in Dad`s Army. It seems likely that Liam Byrne, the quasi-Orwellian Cabinet Office Minister and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster - but in reality the Corporal Jones to Brown`s Mainwaring, put Brown up to appearing on YouTube to announce that he was going to take some decisive action.
The action involves bringing in hasty, ill-considered `proposals` to curb the excesses of MPs expenses in advance of two things. The first in the coming of July, a date dreaded by MPs as that is when full details of the receipts they have filed for their expenses become public knowledge (always assuming that in this bastion of democratic virtue the idea of `editing` them before publication would never occur to anyone.) The second is the considered work to be undertaken by the Committee on Standards in Public Life, who under the chairmanship of Sir Christopher Kelley are expected to take whatever time it takes to come up with sensible, workable, pragmatic, confidence-building, acceptable proposals to overhaul the current wholly discredited system.
Now, in the face of such threats, Brown has put forward measures that he expects Parliament to vote on next week, thus diverting any attention away from more pressing matters, quite possibly including today`s gloomy Budget - or it may even be an attempt to `bury` the expenses row in the furore that will doubtless follow the Budget once its full implications are known. Either way, it`s blatant politicking by Brown, which is bad enough. But what has made it so much worse is the way he announced it - the scripted smiles, the earnest twitches, the inane grins, the quasi-Orwellian Byrne-inspired dictatorship - all of which add up to the impossibility of taking anything Brown ever says seriously and adding to the disrepute, contempt even, that our present Government has secured for themselves.
Time to panic, Mr. Mainwaring.