Labour Leaders Backtrack On Cleaning Up Politics Promise
By Tory Aardvark
“But our democracy has been discredited by the scandals of recent weeks — revelations that have made me furious because it seems some people have been serving themselves and not the public.”
“So I’m determined to do whatever it takes to clean up politics.”
so said Gordon Brown at the end of May this year.
When Sir Thomas Legg’s report was published the wailing and moaning started; Brown himself was caught out with over claimed expenses of more than £12,000.
If the Legg Report caused a rapid U turn on repentance by the MP’s, then Sir Christopher Kelly’s report is looking likely to be the cause of much fear and loathing in Parliament.
With the General Election looming the players are positioning themselves for the post Brown era as they prepare for a very long period in Opposition. An article in the New York Times about little Davy Millichump becoming the EU Foreign Minister said how the position in the EU was an attractive option, to possibly leading a party in Opposition for most of his political life.
The Kelly Report is due to be published later this week and already Labour Leaders are preparing to water it down to prevent a backbench MP rebellion. Their reasons are either to hang to power for the few remaining months that are left, or for their leadership bid after Brown is gone.
Harriet Harman Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Commons has said that the Kelly Report will not be the final word on the matter of MP’s expenses. Harman then goes on to say that the final ruling on what MP’s will receive for expenses will be decided by an independent body whose member will be vetted by MP’s. Poor old Openness and Transparency taking one for the team again.
The Labour Leadership are totally out of touch with public opinion, and so busy is Harriet with her leadership bid that she is blind to all else. Gordon Brown is to put pressure on Sir Christopher in private talks this week to make sure the system is not to harsh. So much for cleaning up politics, another U turn from the U turn king.
Labour MP John Mann is none to happy with the Harpie’s position on the Kelly Report. Mann has campaigned for a proper cleanup of MP’s expenses and had this to say:
“Her position is politically and intellectually indefensible. We do not have any choice when it comes to Kelly – we cannot pick and choose which bits to implement if we want to win back public trust.”
‘The suggestion that we might have another body, made up of people who have been vetted by MPs, cherry picking and watering down Kelly’s recommendations smacks of the old gentleman’s club looking after itself way of doing things that got us into so much trouble in the first place”.
Miss Harman yesterday suggested that some of the recommendations could be shelved if they would slash MPs’ income by too much.