Monday, 17 January 2011

This is the "Reformed" House of Lords...?

The Blair government was very proud of the way it reformed the House of Lords.
Instead of having hereditary peers who were entirely honest and straightforward, we now have an upper House consisting of aging MPs and cronies of the established political parties, up to their eyeballs in bribery, embezzlement and crooked dealings. Some of them have sinister names like Moonie, Truscott and Snape (which sound like something out of Harry Potter) but to show it is not old-fashioned the new House of Lords has lots of mercenary women peers and members of ethnic minorities proving that when it comes to fiddling, they are absolutely equal.
It is only fair to mention this Tory since I mentioned two Labour MPs yesterday:-

Life peer John Taylor claims he didn't know it was wrong to make false statements to get money because he is only a barrister with a university degree. Studying the law had never taught him that to misrepresent whether you live in London, Oxford or Birmingham in order to get travel and hotel expenses paid for by the tax-payer might be regarded as improper or even immoral.
Nobody told him that what you put on your expenses forms was supposed to be true!
And having studied the law convinced him that if other people are doing something, that makes it OK - doesn't it?
That's what his own lawyer says about him and after all, who would be so unreasonable as to expect you to write down your own address, when writing someone else's can get you £170 per night? He only did it for five years so he never had time to check the legality of it.
This is not the Lord Taylor who boasted last year that he is paid £100,000 a go to influence legislation - and that's "cheap" according to him. That was a much older Labourite and a chum of Snape and co. This is the relatively young Conservative Lord Taylor of Warwick who needed the extra £110,000 because otherwise he has only got six directorates to live on, according to his online CV:-

Non-executive Director, Mottram Holdings plc
Consultant, Kleinwort Benson Bank
Chancellor, Bournemouth University
Chairman, Warwick Communications Ltd
Vice President, National Small Business Bureau
Vice President, British Board of Film Classification

Oh yes, and from time to time he jets around the world making speeches about "human rights".
So long as his lawyer is as smart as he is, he probably won't go to gaol.

What does this long, ugly succession of expenses scandals reveal about modern Britain?
This: we need to question our priorities.
We have had a generation which has been very concerned about racism, sexism and so-called "homo-phobia" - but many people have forgotten that it is wrong to lie, cheat and steal.

Peer was encouraged to claim false expenses in lieu of salary, court told | Politics | The Guardian
Lord Taylor of Warwick claims he was told he would be 'crazy' not to register living outside of London, expenses trial hears
18 minutes ago ·

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