The list of Corrupt Members of Parliament keeps growing by Karl Hohenstauffen
Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind stand accused of selling themselves as Foreign Secretaries and Members of Parliament, adding their names to a long list of Members of Parliament and Members of Cabinet involved in fraudulent and potentially treasonable offenses.
The British National Party has played an honourable role in unmasking representatives of the so called mainstream political parties to the point that one of them – Dennis McShane (that I renamed Dennis My Shame) – publicly acknowledge has he had lost his seat in the House of Commons after the British National Party brought his fraudulent activities into the open.
Revelations about what in 2005 ended up being called the Rotten Parliament did not stop with the expenses scandal that led to the burning of files that could other present and past Members of Parliament on the spot, and the said burning of files was complemented by attempts to prevent the implementation of Freedom of Information requests to reveal the names of those involved in fraud.
The House of Commons went as far as challenging legal decisions to disclose financial details saying that those legal decisions were ‘intrusive’.
Following the expenses scandal, a few heads were chopped. A large number of resignations, sackings, deselections and retirement announcements followed, together with public apologies and the repayment of expenses. Several members or former members of the House of Commons, and members of the House of Lords, were prosecuted and sentenced to terms of imprisonment. But who were held accountable were merely sacrifice victims because in real terms fraudulent activities did not go away.
Much of the information that should have been made public was omitted and put under the carpet by Parliamentary authorities and I suspect that this happened because the very authorities in charge of investigating fraud were themselves involved in fraud.
The names Elliot Morley, David Chaytor, Jim Devine, Lord Hanninfield, Eric Illsley, Lord Taylor of Warwick, Margaret Moran, Dennis McShane, Lord Bhatia, Lord Paul, Baroness Uddin, and you must add Harriet Harman that as Leader of the House of Commons tabled a motion which would exempt Members of Parliament Expenses from being disclosed under a Freedom of Information of Information and prevented any further disclosure of information.
Records of expenses were simply deleted. Apparently details of Tony Blair’s expenses were shredded ‘by mistake’ when they were challenged by a legal bid to have them published. So were details about expenses of Derek Conway and it was reported ‘that there was no records available’.
When Caroline Spelman, then Chairman of the Conservative Party, was accused in June 2008 of improper use of Parliamentary funds the explanation was that she ‘by mistake misapplied part of her Parliamentary allowances and that she might not have been aware of the rules governing parliamentary allowances.
Sir Nicholas and Lady Winterton were found at fault after being accused of claiming back mortgage interest on a mortgage they had fully repaid and it was said there was a clear breach of the rules. What is not clear at all is why they not even told to repay what they had unduly taken.
Porno Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was accused of expenses unduly manipulation but no investigation took place and you wonder why. Another Labour Minister, Tony McNulty, got away with an apology for expenses abuses.
The claims involving Conservative MP Eric Pickles accused of fraud involving claims for a second home 37 miles from his main home reveal even more troubling details about the way Parliament and Police protect each other’s backs. The Metropolitan Police refuse to investigate saying that ‘it would not be in the public interest.
Even Michael Martin, the Speaker of the House of Commons, was forced to resign after it was revealed that he had been involved allowing the manipulation of the allowances system that Members of Parliament had used to commit fraud.
Jacqui Smith was forced to resign her post as Home Secretary after the European Election and despite the scandal stood for election and lost her seat. She worked for LBC radio during the 2012 Mayoral Election interviewing British National Party Mayoral Candidate Carlos Cortiglia. I must say that having Jacqui Smith as interviews was low even by LBC standards.
Hazel Blears was forced to step down as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Tony McNulty resigned from his position as Minister for Employment. Geoff Hoon lost his post as Secretary of State for Transport ‘in order for him to spend more time on European and International Issues with him being considered a possible candidate as next British Member of the European Commission.
Another list of less notable political players include Kitty Ussher who resigned as Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury and David Laws that after being appointed to the position of Chief Secretary to the Treasury was forced to leave his post 16 days after he had been appointed and all to do with tax avoidance and false expenses claims.
Ben Chapman, David Chaytor, Harry Cohen, Jim Devine, Ian Gibson, Eric Illsley, Anne Moffat, Margaret Moran, Andrew MacKay, Julie Kirkbride, Douglas Hogg, Anthony Steen, Sir Peter Viggers, Christopher Fraser, Ian Taylor, Amir Bhatia, Anthony Clarke (Baron Clarke), Lord Hanningfeld, Swraj Paul (Baron Paul), John Taylor (Baron Taylor of Warwick) and Baroness Uddin are all names linked to infamy.
But the present list is not comprehensive and it merely relates to financial crimes. I don’t assume the list of those involved in sexual crimes included rape, abuse of minors and even murder associated with sexual activities will be any shorter.