Category Archives: Parliament

Hansard AGAIN distorts the record after Labour MP Zarah Sultana attacks Tories as ‘dodgy’

Attacked again: Zarah Sultana.

Someone in the Commons Speaker’s Office needs to have a word with whoever writes Hansard, the official record of Parliamentary debates – because they’ve been falsifying that record again.

It was bad enough that Zarah Sultana, that rising star of the Labour left, had been challenged by Deputy Speaker Eleanor Laing for calling Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg “dodgy” – a surprisingly mild word for them, considering the many that could have been used, as Matt Thomas points out:

Laing has previously taken issue with Ms Sultana’s fellow Labour MP Dawn Butler, after she used language the Deputy Speaker considered “un-Parliamentary”. Ms Butler was ordered to leave the Commons chamber after pointing out something we all accept as true – that Boris Johnson has lied “time and time again”:

Now she was attacking another female MP of colour – for something comparatively mild:

As you can hear clearly at the end of the clip, Ms Sultana said, “I won’t withdraw those remarks, Madam Deputy Speaker.”

So why is Hansard brazenly – and falsely – stating that she said she would?

Here‘s the relevant passage – cut and pasted from the online version of Hansard. I would take a screenshot but I don’t have the ability on the laptop I’m currently using:

Madam Deputy Speaker

Order. The hon. Lady misunderstands me. I am asking her to withdraw the word “dodgy”. I am giving her the opportunity to put her question in other words. If she does not want to take that opportunity, she does not have to do so. I am not stopping the hon. Lady making the point she wants to make or asking the Leader of the House the question she wants to ask, and indeed drawing to general attention the points she wishes to draw to general attention. I am asking her to use moderate language in doing so. Would she like to put her question in moderate language?

Zarah Sultana

I will withdraw those remarks, Madam Deputy Speaker.

That’s not right – and it isn’t the first time Hansard has got it wrong.

This Site reported in July that Tory minister Victoria Atkins had made false claims about racism in the Labour Party…

…while adding to the tally of Tory racism by telling a female, non-white MP to “lower” her “tone” – basically telling her to know her place.

And guess who that non-white MP happened to be?

Yes: Zarah Sultana:

It says much about the fear felt by the Tories about her that they treat Ms Sultana with such disrespect. She must really scare the daylights out of them.

Is this why Hansard has been doctored to make it seem that she backed down when she did not?

If so, it seems a particularly cowardly way of behaving.

To the editors of Hansard: let’s see a correction – pronto.

To the Speaker’s Office: let’s have an apology to Ms Sultana for the misrepresentation in the official record of Parliament. It’s your job to make sure debates are run properly and that must surely include the record of those debates that is available to the public.

Also, she deserves it, considering the abuse she has to face within the Commons chamber – both from the people who are supposed to police it and from the government itself.

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Tory hypocrite Rosindell exposed over Universal Credit uplift and MPs’ second jobs

Snout in the trough (all right – bucket): perhaps the Conservatives should rename themselves the Corruption Party?

Remember when Romford’s Tory MP Andrew Rosindell caused outrage by saying this on national television?

Now, with all his Conservative Party hypocrisy on display for all to see, he has defended MPs who have second jobs:

What is his rationale for these opposing viewpoints? That “people are different” and the poor don’t need money as much as his piggy friends with their snouts in the trough?

That would be nonsense. He is defending the indefensible. If Tory MPs don’t like being made to survive on £82,000 a year, they should be absolutely horrified that they are forcing people to live on less than one-tenth of that amount if they’re on Universal Credit.

But they aren’t because they simply don’t bother to think about the effect of their persecution policies on other people.

Remember, this is an MP who supported cuts to benefits for people with disabilities – then parked his campaign care in a disabled parking space:

The absolute, thundering hypocrisy of this position really bites through in satire:

Oh, and just one more observation:

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Owen Paterson no longer has his second job after being forced to quit as MP

Owen Paterson with his (former?) boss, Peter Fitzgerald of Randox. It seems that, after being forced out of Parliament, Paterson has also “stepped back” from his consultancy work. Wouldn’t he need that job more, now?

The BBC is reporting that Owen Paterson, whose refusal to accept a month’s suspension as an MP after being found to have been using Parliamentary space and equipment to carry out his second job sparked a scandal… no longer has his second job.

Apparently he has “stepped back from his consultancy work, for which he was earning £100,000 a year on top of his £81,932 MP’s salary”.

Really?

But his former colleagues – like Andrew Rosindell – have been arguing that MPs are, really, hard-up and need these second jobs to survive (poor dears!) so wouldn’t Paterson now need his consultancy work even more?

Perhaps he needed it more than his employers needed him, after his removal from the Green Benches. So I have to ask: did he step back or was he simply dropped?

It has been argued – persuasively – that MPs are only hired by firms to represent their interests to the government. We have seen a wealth of evidence to this effect in the awarding of Covid-19-related business contracts.

Owen Paterson is no longer an MP. And suddenly he no longer has his second job.

Doesn’t this simply confirm what was argued? And shouldn’t the likes of Laura Kuenssberg admit it, rather than shrouding it with obscure verbiage?

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New MP scandal as they’re claiming rent on expenses while renting out dwellings

Extra cash for MPs who rent: it’s not exactly a backhander because it’s in line with Parliamentary rules – but the practice certainly shouldn’t be.

Do Tory MPs receive a manual on election, entitled Tories On The Take: How To Do It?

Here’s the latest:

In fairness, two of the MPs accused represent Labour – but commentators other than This Writer have called them Red Tories:

The Independent, which lists 16 of the accused MPs, states:

Over the past five years, 16 MPs have claimed over £1.3m in taxpayer-funded rent while collecting thousands rent letting out properties in the capital, according to submissions published by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) and the register of members’ interests.

Claims for rent are permitted under Ipsa rules, which state that MPs can receive taxpayer funding for “rental payments and associated costs”. An Ipsa document in 2017 conceded that some arrangements could be controversial – but advised against any change to the rules.

“We recognise that there can be a perception of personal gain if an MP receives rental income from their own property while living in an Ipsa-funded flat,” it said. “However … We do not want to judge an MP’s private arrangements and whether or not they should live in a property they own.”

That may be about to change.

If a member of Parliament is able to carry out their work from their own home, but rent accommodation and charge it to the public purse while taking rent income from their own property – and the rental income means they profit from the arrangement, then they are running an expenses scam and it should stop.

That’s how members of the public are likely to see it.

They may have a good point, I think.

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Now Tories are lining up to justify their second jobs


Aren’t a lot of Tories on the take?

Check out this message showing Tories who can earn up to £400,000 from their second jobs:

Goodness! John Redwood, Damian Green, Andrew Mitchell, Chris Grayling (really? Did somebody really want their business to fail)… Iain Duncan Smith…

Let’s look at Iain Duncan Smith.

Good point, that. He said he could live on £53 a week – talking the talk.

But he’s got a second job worth £25,000 per year. So he doesn’t walk the walk. What a surprise.

And guess what?

That’s probably even more corrupt than Owen Paterson.

So why isn’t the man we call RTU (Return To Unit) being Returned To his family Unit (they always quit saying they’re spending more time with their family), never to return?

Is it because the Tory media have decided that Owen Paterson was the sacrificial lamb and now the Tories have “suffered enough” (another media claim)?

Or is it because his “broader experience” in selling non-alcoholic hand sanitiser to the government of which he has been a member is supposed to benefit the nation – as Sajid Javid’s roles advising banking giant JP Morgan and artificial intelligence firm C3.ai benefited the nation because it gave him broader experience?

But, but, but… Javid only advised these outside organisations on matters in which he already has knowledge and experience (although not very much in the case of banking; he’s allegedly one of the damned fools behind the Great Recession of 2008 or thereabouts).

The nation would be better-off without him getting in the works and stinking them up, wouldn’t it?

All in all, Skwawkbox’s suggestion seems wise:

Will the Tories ever willingly take it up?

No.

And it’s not because of any flannel about helping the government with outside expertise.

It is simply because they are all on the take. They should all be in prison, not on the Green Benches.

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Tory hypocrites say they can’t survive on £82k but we can make do with £18k; Johnson runs away

Backhander: if Tories are taking money from corporates, who do you think they are representing in Parliament? It isn’t you!

It doesn’t matter which side won the Parliamentary debate on whether having a second job is a mark of corruption in a member of Parliament – or whether they should be paid more, so they don’t need(?) another job.

The public decision has already been made.

So Peter Bottomley’s miserable pleading that £81,000 per year isn’t enough and MPs should be paid more is easily dismissed – especially when most of the country is trying to exist on less than £18,000.

Advisory roles?

They’re too easily corrupted into paid advocacy – exactly the kind of thing that led to Owen Paterson’s ejection from Parliament:

Richard Burgon’s comment echoes one I made a few days ago: that companies don’t hire MPs to “advise” them – they hire MPs to represent their interests when plum contracts become available.

Senior Tories still think it is acceptable to speak in support of this attitude:

Well, there are lots of MPs with second (and more) jobs in Parliament:

The rot goes right to the top:

And I wondered whether Randox will still want to employ Paterson when he is no longer an MP. What do you think the answer will be?

We’re even making jokes about it, in typical British style:

And where was Boris Johnson during the debate?

 

 

In fact, he was in a hospital in Northumbria, making a potential contagion risk out of himself by wandering around without a face mask.

He was challenged on the subject of the Parliamentary debate! But he showed what an absolute and utter disgrace he is by refusing to answer it, point-blank:

He didn’t have an answer. So, typically of this prime minister, he ran away and left his underlings to take the flak.

Did Boris Johnson attack Parliament’s standards commissioner to help HIMSELF?

Oops: Not only has Boris Johnson opened the floodgates to dump sewage all over the UK, but it seems his pantomime over Owen Paterson has dumped him IN the sewage.

It seems likely, doesn’t it?

After obviously-guilty Owen Paterson was threatened with 30 days’ suspension from Parliament for paid lobbying (firms employed him to get government contracts for them), Boris Johnson intervened to have the suspension overturned and called the work of Standards Commissioner Kathryn Stone into doubt.

He wanted to push Ms Stone into resigning her position, making it easier for him to end the current Parliamentary standards system – that has been running since 1695 – and replace it with a new regime in which Tory MPs get to mark their own homework (so to speak).

It didn’t work. She didn’t resign and none of the other political parties in Parliament supported his plan to change the system. Now questions are being asked about Johnson’s reasons for attacking the Standards Commissioner, and the system:

I’m not sure what breaches Ms Ribeiro-Addy is referencing. Is it the funding required to redecorate Johnson’s Downing Street flat? Dominic Cummings seems to think so:

Well, it may not matter too much as Johnson may soon face investigation over his latest holiday:

The allegation is explored in detail here:

It seems that, after Zac Goldsmith failed in his attempt to become London Mayor (partially because it was spectacularly Islamophobic, if I’m not mistaken), Johnson had him ennobled (made him a Lord).

Then, Goldsmith offered Johnson the use of his villa in Marbella, just after this year’s Budget speech – a donation to the prime minister worth (allegedly) around £25,000.

And Johnson hasn’t declared it.

That’s what Angela Rayner’s letter (above) says and she has asked Ms Stone to investigate.

The allegation here is that Johnson wanted to end Ms Stone’s job so she would not be able to.

Obviously with the failure of the bid to oust her (if there really was one), she will be able to investigate this alleged breach of Parliamentary rules by the prime minister. I hope she does.

The real question is, what will the prime minister do about it?

Is he really to suggest that she has already made up her mind, again?

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Paterson quits as MP – rather than face the wrath of his constituents?

Owen Paterson: he won his vote in Parliament, but did he already realise that it wouldn’t do him any good?

All that corruption for nothing!

After so much effort from his Tory colleagues to save him from a 30-day suspension that might lead to a by-election, Owen Paterson has gone the whole hog:

It seems he realised that he may face far more humiliation in a by-election than he does by simply bowing out gracelessly. And a few other calculations may have had something to do with it…

Yes indeed. Consider this:

Still, from his resignation speech, it seems a peek into his mind right now may reveal something like this:

I mean, he thinks politics has been cruel – to him!

Normally I would not be giving space to might-as-well-be-Tory Labour berk Wes Streeting, but even I have to admit he makes a good point here:

And here’s another:

Possibly the best issue to raise about this whole sad farrago is that of the erstwhile North Shropshire MP’s former sponsors:

Given the above information, there’s an important question to be asked (by Old Git, below):

But will the repercussions rumble on?

Aha! It seems Paterson may have a few secrets that may be worth something if he spills them.

Will he do a Dominic (Cummings) and stab his former boss in the back?

That would be fun, wouldn’t it?

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#OwenPaterson suspension: even #Torycorruption is incompetent

Owen Paterson: he won his vote in Parliament, but did he already realise that it wouldn’t do him any good?

The Conservative government has u-turned over its plans to stop corrupt MP Owen Paterson from being suspended and to change the system that demanded it.

Tories were under a three-line whip from Boris Johnson to support yesterday’s (November 3) decision – but it has backfired in their faces, prompting massive public and political protest.

The Conservatives expected the Standards Commissioner, Kathryn Stone, to resign after they showed such blatant disregard for her work, making it easy for them to dissolve the role and replace it – but she has not.

And now the Tories have realised that they cannot credibly impose a new system for investigating MPs without cross-party support, because the public would recognise it as corrupt Tories letting corrupt Tories off the hook. None of the other parties in Parliament have supported the plans.

So the plans are changing radically, as Sam Coates lays out in the video below:

The really good news is that Owen Paterson will now face another vote over his suspension, that he is likely to lose. This means he will probably be suspended from Parliament for 30 days after all. A Liberal Democrat MP has already secured a debate for Monday (November 8).

This makes him vulnerable to a recall petition and a by-election that he may lose – and it seems more likely that this will happen after yesterday’s debate and vote, because more people in his North Shropshire constituency now believe he has brought shame upon them.

The Tories still want to change the MPs’ disciplinary system in favour of their corruption, but they have accepted that linking it with Paterson’s case is too obvious; it makes that corruption plain.

Leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees Mogg, has said the link between the two issues needs to be severed.

But he is likely to be foiled in this, because that link has already been forged – by him and the other incompetents in the Tory leadership.

So the end result of all this jiggery-pokery is that Paterson is likely to be ousted from Parliament after all – and all the Tories who tried to save him, along with their government, have been tarred with the filth of their own corruption.

Good. It’s exactly what they deserve.

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Tories tell the UK: ‘We are all corrupt; we are all Owen Paterson’

Master and servant: Owen Paterson with his boss, Peter Fitzgerald of Randox.

I see Countdown‘s Susie Dent still has her finger on the pulse of current affairs:

The question of the day is, did we learn anything from the vote to save Owen Paterson from a 30-day suspension as an MP that we didn’t know already?

Debatable, isn’t it?

We know why he had been recommended for suspension – or at least, we should…

Well… he may have been instrumental in getting Randox that contract. The real shocker is the fact that many of the Randox testing kits had to be withdrawn due to concerns about contamination – meaning care homes did not get the test kits they needed. And we know that the 30,000 or so care home deaths were a major controversy in the Covid-19 crisis.

But those are just consequences of his crime, which was simply to have undertaken paid lobbying for the companies that employed him – as Standards Committee member Chris Bryant made plain in his speech:

In fact, Bryant’s speech is well worth watching in full because it puts the whole situation in its proper context and damns those who have undermined Parliament’s processes in order to protect a corrupt colleague for bringing shame down upon all MPs:

 

We know why Paterson’s fellow Tory backbenchers wanted to stop it from happening: it made him vulnerable to a recall demand and to the possibility of losing his seat in a by-election.

We knew that he had claimed the investigation into his activities had been unfair and that worrying about it may have driven his wife to her death. It seems, however, that he had not suggested anything of the sort at the inquest into her death – so he was probably lying.

It seems his claim changes with the wind:

And others are getting in on the act:

We know that the decision to suspend the current process of independent investigation of MPs and replace it with a process whereby Tories investigate each other will result in corrupt decisions; look at the way Boris Johnson has ignored flagrant breaches of the Ministerial Code – including his own – because as prime minister he was responsible for policing such breaches.

Yes, but how do we do that, Howard?

It turns out that fully a quarter of the Tories who lined up to support Paterson – and corruption – have themselves corruptly broken Parliament’s rules:

The Tories were fully aware that they were exposing their own corruption to the gaze of the world – and were completely comfortable with it. Some of them appeared on television, attempting to dismiss criticisms by saying they were unhappy with the investigation system rather than with its findings against Paterson. And they were shot down as hypocrites:

And we now know that Labour under Keir Starmer is not interested in tackling Tory corruption because 28 Labour MPs failed to vote against the motion that got Paterson off the hook; if they had, the attempt to pervert Parliamentary justice would have failed.

Ultimately we know that, while this vote superficially helps Owen Paterson keep his job despite his corruption, the deeper effect is to further undermine faith that our elected government is trustworthy – a faith that has already been perilously eroded by all the previous corruptions of Boris Johnson and his crooked cronies:

And, knowing all of the above, we are absolutely incandescent with fury:

One thing we also knew – that came out strongly here – is that current Commons Speaker Lyndsay Hoyle is not strong enough to restrain the Tories’ corruption:

This is not over.

Parliament will now act on the amendment that protected Paterson (proposed by Andrea Leadsom, by the way; let’s make sure the right people get the blame).

We will see how the process unfolds. My guess is that it will scandalise and outrage the public to a huge degree – if they get to hear about it.

So please feel free to share this article – especially to people who voted for the shower of scum that was on display during this debate and vote.

Oh, and you can check how your own MP voted, here:

(Mine supported the corruption.)

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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