Don’t expect Conservative ministers to do the honourable thing when they are found to have misled Parliament – it turns out they have ‘previous’ (or is it ‘form’?) in this regard.
Take a look at the YouTube clip above. It is from an April, 1994 episode of Have I Got News For You and refers to Nicholas Scott, then a minister of state for social security, who ‘talked out’ a private members’ bill aiming to outlaw discrimination on grounds of disability.
On behalf of the Conservative government of the day, he made it his business to ensure that it would remain possible to discriminate against disabled people.
Asked if this was true, he denied it and – as the very young-looking Ian Hislop states in the clip – “he was lying, of course.”
Angus Deayton (remember him?) fleshes out the story: “John Major previously gave his word that any minister who knowingly misled his fellow MPs should be sacked… It sounds like John Major has knowingly misled his fellow MPs as well. Perhaps he should go sack himself.”
Of course Major stood by his minister – Scott was only doing what Major had told him!
In fact, Parliamentary convention has long held that anybody committing ‘contempt of Parliament’ by deliberately misleading fellow MPs may be suspended or expelled, as highlighted previously by this blog.
The clip makes it clear that Conservatives have been ignoring such rules for decades – and that the person to blame is usually the one at the top – John Major, back in the 1990s.
David Cameron, now.
This makes sense. Look at Iain Duncan Smith, who has loudly and continually fibbed his face off about his so-called “welfare reforms”, in spite of the mountain of evidence showing that tens of thousands of people have died because of them.
That is as discriminatory as a law can be.
Commenters on this blog, in their multitudes, have asked why Iain Duncan Smith has remained in his post after setting in motion the sequence of disasters that have hit the Department for Work and Pensions on his watch. Looking at the Scott/Major affair, we can deduce that the man we call RTU has not been ‘Returned To Unit’ (in this case, the backbenches) because he has been doing exactly what David Cameron wanted – victimising the disabled in the worst possible way.
What does this say about Cameron, whose own late son was disabled? Cameron claimed all the disability benefits he possibly could, before he became Prime Minister and ordered RTU to cancel them or change their eligibility criteria so that almost nobody could legitimately claim them.
Recent stories show that RTU is still victimising the disabled while his reaction to criticism is becoming increasingly unbalanced.
Meanwhile, Cameron has to answer for multiple offences of his own. Most recently he lied about waiting times in the English part of the National Health Service, but this article also highlights his false claim – in a party political broadcast – that the Coalition was “paying down Britain’s debts”, and the false claim that spending on the NHS had risen in real terms since the Coalition took office.
What conclusion can we draw from this? It’s obvious, really.
Your Conservative-led Coalition government has been lying to you. It is lying to you now. It will lie to you in the future.
This is not in the national interest. How can it be in the national interest for the government to pass laws that harm the disabled – and to pass laws that could harm the sick by delaying medical aid – and then lie to you to keep you quiet?
It is ideologically-motivated cruelty. Nothing more.
It will continue as long as your vote supports it.
Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike
Join the Vox Political Facebook page.
Vox Political needs your help!
This independent blog’s only funding comes from readers’ contributions.
Without YOUR help, we cannot keep going.
You can make a one-off donation here:
Alternatively, you can buy Vox Political books!
The second – Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here: