On government advice

November 2nd, 2009 § 2 comments § permalink

Two more people have resigned from the drugs advisory council in solidarity for Professor Nutt…

Two members of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs resigned todayin protest at Alan Johnson’s treatment of Professor David Nutt. Another member told the Guardian that the experts were “planning collective action” against Johnson, adding: “Everybody is devastated. We’re all considering our positions.”

Nutt said today that there was “no future” for the council in its present form and it is thought the group’s members may use a meeting next Monday to announce a mass resignation.

I would suggest that it needs to be swung on it’s head and it is not the councils’ present form that is at fault, but the governments attitude to it’s advice.

When the evidence is there for all to see that Nutt knew what he was talking about and some jumped up twat that wouldn’t know his arse from his elbow says ‘No, you’re wrong’ because the evidence conflicts with policy, then we’re all a little bit fucked, really.

What you make of it if Alan Johnson had made these decisions?

– Alan Johnson bans antibiotics saying ‘we must instead trust to the graces of Saint Dymphna and not confuse scientific advice with policy.’

– Alan Johnson says prospective female MPs are to be vetted with trial by drowning. ‘We must not confuse scientific advice with policy,’ he says.

– Alan Johnson announces the introduction of daily human sacrifices to ensure sun comes up. ‘We must not anger the Fire Gods or confuse scientific advice with policy,’ he says.

– Alan Johnson says he is to have Galileo exhumed so he can sack him because his scientific advice does not reflect policy.

Because that is what he has done. It is all well and good having a policy on something, but when the evidence shows something is not as bad, or as good, as was previously thought, then surely the only thing to do is modify that particular policy.

Lord Winston makes an obvious point…

I think that if governments appoint expert advice they shouldn’t dismiss it so lightly

Exactly. MPs’ deal with a huge range of subjects and can’t, and shouldn’t, be expected to know about everything. Alan Johnson is not an expert on the effects of drugs, just like David Cameron is not an expert on the problems of the working class. That is where the role of expert advisers come in, to tell politicians what is happening, so they can then figure out how to deal with it. It is one thing if the advice is a bit ambiguous, then fair enough, but in a case like this drugs one, where the expert says that alcohol is more dangerous than cannabis, where is the justification for not lowering classification of cannabis? There is none. Johnson was either a) indulging in his own prejudices or b) unable to deviate from policy that it makes a mockery of the whole fucking system.

It could be Alan indulging himself, but then the policy is the American led pointless ‘War on Drugs’, which for twenty years or so has achieved fuck all except divert funds and effort away from areas that would help.

Kevolution says that this episode…

…highlights a bigger issue, that of the state of our democracy. In all the big decisions, the government either tell us we don’t know enough and that if we knew what they did we would understand (but they can’t show us the evidence as it is too sensitive), or they ignore the evidence and just do what they want. They are no longer representing us, they are just setting forth their own agenda’s

And there’s the nub of it. They no longer represent us.

How do we fix this? I dunno except that it won’t be sorted out by a general election*.

*That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother to vote. If I lived in the right place I would vote for D-Notice

My own little letter writing campaign

September 27th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

I don’t need to tell you about the shit that Tim has had to go through whilst investigating the Glen Jenvey/Sun/Jewish hit list story, do I?


Well, Tim has asked for a hand, writing to your MP about the behaviour Patrick Mercer.

Here is my letter, via WriteToThem.com to Dr Evan Harris…

Dear Evan Harris,

I am writing because I have a friend who could do with some help.

I’m sure you remember the story about a Jewish hit-list that appeared on an Islamic internet forum and was reported by the Sun newspaper. The list featured prominent names such as Alan Sugar, Mark Ronson and David Milliband.

The story was provided to be the Sun by discredited freelance spy Glen Jenvey and subsequently, it has been proved to be a false story. The Sun has now apologised.

It was my friend, Tim Ireland, that proved the story was untrue. In the course of and as a result of his work, in his free time as he is not any sort of journalist, in getting to the bottom of this story he has had to endure a lot of stress and worry. This includes being smeared as a stalker, being mentally unstable and a peadophile. Tim has had his ex-directory phone number and his address published on the internet and also had veiled threats against his family.

Nearly all the threats and smears are as a result of the actions of Patrick Mercer MP (Conservative, Newark & Retford) or his staff.

If Patrick and his staff had behaved differently, the whole ordeal would’ve gone differently and the threats/smears would’nt have arisen or at the very least, Tim would’ve had to endure them for a shorter time.

How you can help, Dr Harris, is to take the time to read the two following articles by Tim that will explain things better than I could:



and then ask Patrick Mercer what the bloody hell he’s playing at.

Yours sincerely

John Bercow is Speaker…

June 23rd, 2009 § 2 comments § permalink

…despite the Tories.

I don’t know if Bercow is the best speaker or not, but it sure did piss off Nadine Dorries.

And that, is a Good Thing.

It’s called a Freedom of *Information* request

June 18th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Like most people today*, I’ve had a quick squint at my MPs’ receipts that have now been published, thanks to a FoI request, on the parliament website.

The following picture is a snapshot of one of the .pdf’s and seems fairly typical (click to enlarge)…


What bloody good is that? You can only presume the two bits go together by the total, as on the proper receipt even the name of the company is blanked out. Why is that? Why can’t we know the company that issued the receipt?
Why are the items blanked out? Why aren’t we allowed to know what the £64 was actually spent on?

All that tells us is that Dr Evan Harris spent £64 on something from a company that might be called Caudwell Communications.

I can understand the blacking out of an MPs’ phone number or most of their address, though there is no reason to black that out completely as just leaving us with the town or city would be enough to give some scrutiny. But to leave a receipt with just a total figure and present it as being open and transparent is just complete bollox. The receipt could be for a bucket of used condoms from ‘Cocks R Us’. How would we know?

MPs’ reckoned they were sorry. My fucking arse, are they. Even when told to be open and transparent, they still try to cover up. They knew they had been milking the system, it was never ‘sloppy accounting’ or errors of judgement, as we were kept being assured.

If it hadn’t been for the Telegraph, these money grabbing shits would’ve been able to blag their way to keeping their seats and their reputations (ha!) thanks to a metaphorical black marker.

It’s called a Freedom of Information request, dummy. So lets have some information.

*actually, most people are probably having a long hard look.

Dear Sir or Madam

June 4th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

To: signonnow@hotmail.co.uk
From: Sim-O
Subject: Your little petition

Hi Shadowy-Persons-Known-Only-To-The-News-People,

Could you please add my name to the list of people who would like Gordon Brown to resign as Prime Minister.

The last twelve years started off with a big bang of hope and optimism and has been disappointing to some degree or other ever since.

As Mr Brown has been at the centre of this for the whole period, I think it is about time we all stop being so nice about him and tell him it is time to go. Think of it as though he were your 90 year old grandfather that really should hand in his driving licence. There’s no way of breaching the subject without upsetting him, but it must be done. He’s had his go in the driving seat, but ultimately, he is a bit crap and keeps crashing.

I do hope that my lack of membership to your club doesn’t hinder my name being one of the fifty needed to get your letter sent to him as I feel this is a much more worthy cause than most of the e-petitions I have signed recently and would like to know I played my part, however small.

Best wishes and good luck in the upcoming elections,



A question for the honourable member

May 15th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

A question for Nadine Dorries on her post The Daily Telegraph (I’m telling you the title of the post and not just linking to it because her main-website-intergrated-blog doesn’t have post pages)…

Charlie*, the difference is, Newspapers do not spend public money on expenses. I do not care if a journo claims £48 on a bottle of wine, takes it home and then claims it on his expenses because I wasn’t forced to contribute to it.

Now Nadine, about this second home, do you or do you not have a second home?
Is this ‘somewhere else’ yours or someone elses? If it is yours, then no problem. If it isn’t then I think you may be in a sticky position.

It’s logged here because Nadines got comment moderation enabled.

*Charlie says…

I would be very interested to read about journalists’ expenses because if politicians are lying scum – journalists are twenty times worse.

It got published

Mark Thomas threatens legal action

May 14th, 2009 § 3 comments § permalink

Mark Thomas press release (URL may change)…

Today Mark Thomas, political activist, commentator, performer, writer and comedian has instructed his lawyers, Leigh Day & Co to write to the Speaker of the House of Commons threatening legal action unless a full transparent review is urgently ordered into the scandal of MPs expenses.

Mr Thomas has been advised that the approach peddled by MPs in the press that their unreasonable expenses are within the rules is not correct. In fact, the current scandal has been largely caused by attempts by many MPs to stretch the rules far beyond their ordinary meaning and an unwillingness by the House of Commons Department of Finance and Administration officials to rein them in.

The letter requires Speaker Martin, as Chair of the House of Commons Commission to take urgent steps to commence a review of the Department’s actions in dealing with MPs’ applications for expenses. The following steps are set down as the bare minimum requirements:

To obtain and publish independent authoritative legal advice & guidance on the meaning of the MPs’ expenses rules, to be consistent with other guidance applicable to the public where similar words are used
To appoint independent accountants to audit all claims by MPs in the current parliament against the legal advice and guidance obtained
To consider auditing all claims by MPs back to May 1997, applying consistent principles which would be applied in cases of false/excessive claims against other public authorities or the HMRC
To explain publicly what sums have been wrongly paid out to members and to set out proposals for recoupment where overpayments have been made, such recoupment to be no more favourable to MPs than the system for recovery of benefits overpayments or income tax underpayments
To report possibly fraudulent claims to the Metropolitan Police fraud squad for investigation.
The Speaker has been given 14 days to respond, failing which Judicial Review proceedings may follow.

Mark Thomas said:

“MPs are not above the law. If they have wrongly claimed expenses they should be made to repay. If they have acted fraudulently the police should be involved. This is what would happen to all of us as members of the public if we tried to fiddle public money.

Fraudulent benefit claimants are not allowed to form committees comprised of benefit claimants to investigate their misdemeanours. Nor can exposed tax cheats offer to pay back money because they are ‘concerned about how it looks to the outside world’ and then walk away with no repercussion.

If I need to go to court I will be making a public appeal to cover the legal costs of the case, which I’m sure will have overwhelming support! ”

Richard Stein, partner at Leigh Day & Co said:

“The main problem here is not the rules governing payment of MPs’ expenses, but how they have been applied. Many MPs have made claims which do not properly fall within the rules. The rules say that MPs have a responsibility to satisfy themselves that expenditure claimed has been ‘wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred’ for the purpose of performing their Parliamentary duties and that overspent or mischarged amounts may be recovered. The House of Commons authorities must now take steps to make sure this happens”

via norock

I see trouble ahead…

May 14th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Clive Davis in the Spectator, from a letter in the Guardian (the Guardian link doesn’t work for some reason)…

Reading Chris Mullin’s excellent diaries, “A View from the Foothills”, I came across this entry from 1 May 2002: “Apparently, under the Freedom of Information Act, by January 2005, MPs’ expenses will be subject to public scrutiny, retrospectively. Goodness knows what mayhem that will cause. ‘We are in a jam,’ said Robin Cook. ‘Few members have yet tumbled to the juggernaut heading their way.'”

Seven years. Count them 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. That is a long time, in or out of politics.

Seven years to clean up your tracks, to clean up your bevaviour, to think of a better excuse than ‘Oh dear. How silly of me’.

What stupid thick bastards/arrogant shits do we have running this place that even with seven years notice they still fuck it up for themselves?

I think I’m gonna go rope shopping at the weekend. The lamposts round my way need some decorating.

Via Justin

How stupid are they/do they think we are?

May 13th, 2009 § 4 comments § permalink

After Jack Straw admitting

Accountancy does not appear to be my strongest suit.

…when his department is in charge of a bucket load of cash, he is a fellow of the Royal Society of Statasticians and once upon a time fancied himself as Chancellor, we now have Elliot Morley who didn’t know when his mortgage had been paid off and so claimed £16,000 for it

Elliot Morley, a former fisheries and environment minister, claimed £800 per month for a property in Scunthorpe when the mortgage had already been paid.

Mr Morley told the BBC he repaid the money after realising he had mistakenly continued claiming for his mortgage payments after it was repaid in 2006.

Didn’t he wonder why the statements from the mortgage company stopped? Didn’t he wonder why he was suddenly £800 up in his bank every month FOR 20 MONTHS?!

How do these cunting fucks expect us to believe a word they fucking say when they put fucking stupid shit like this down to ‘a mistake’?

Either they are fucking bent and need prosecuting for fraud or they are so fucking stupid that they shouldn’t be anywhere near the seat of power in a Wendy House, never mind the Houses of Parliament.

Hazel Blears is a liar

May 13th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

I don’t really want to keep beating Hazel Blears up about this until someone needs to prise my hands from her throat* but the fucking gall of the woman, no wonder she’s done so well in the Labour government.

*May contain traces of lie.

Anyway moving on…

Hazel Blears has been waving a cheque about for what she should’ve paid in capital gain tax from the sale one of her houses (and I use h*house* rather than *home* deliberately) in 2005, *ahem* had she been liable

Despite maintaining that she had acted within the rules, she announced late last night – after talks with Gordon Brown – that she would pay £13,332.

Blears may have acted within the rules, but which rules did she act within?…

The Communities Secretary told parliamentary authorities that a flat she owned in Kennington, south London, was her second home. However, she told the taxman that the property was her main home – and therefore did not have to pay tax on the profits of its sale in 2005.

She told the tax man one thing and the parliament authorities another. She told the tax man it was her first home to avoid paying capital gains tax. She told the parliament authorities is was her second home so she could claim allowances for it.
The house couldn’t have been her first home and have allowance paid for it and if it had been her second home, she would’ve had to pay capital gains tax.
I do not believe that this contradiction is an accident or oversight as Hazel would’ve been submitting receipts and makes claims in connection to this house and when that is the case it is extremely, dare I say impossible, to forget the designation of the house as first or second.

Two questions:

  1. Did Hazel Blears lie to the tax man or the parliament authorities?
  2. How much would Hazel Blears have to repay to the parliament authorities if this house had been her first home?


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