Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly?

Troughing MPs have got their comeuppance in Kelly's expenses crackdown for greedy MPs. But when the fuss dies down, voters are set to be let down, leaving a stiched-up music hall farce: Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly?

The heavily-leaked Kelly review gives the House of Shame a much-needed cleansing of the rotten stench of corruption.

Party leaders have been quick to call for full on support for the Kelly cleanup. But despite the relentless spin, the rotten ball is set to be kicked into touch in the wiggle room, leaving the public none the wiser this side of the election.

The Orange Party had every confidence the recommendations would be welcomed by all and sundry. And every confidence the expenses racket will be buried in a watered down muddle of deceit and self-serving self-interest before anything sees the light of day.

Kelly's 'root and branch' reform would sweep away the gravy train culture only if the package was accepted in full and then voted on in the commons. That would have forced MPs to stand up and be counted. Fat chance.

House leader, 'Big Sis' Harman, has already let MPs off the hook declaring there won't be a vote on the vexed issue. At a stroke, voters are denied a chance to decide who's crooked and who's not. Instead it's down to the unacceptable face of quangoland.

With so many scams it's a wonder Kelly could keep track of them all. Dodgy perks and scandalous homes and tax fiddles put MPs in a class of their own.

Voters have enough dirt to dig out the truth behind the lies and deceit of the self-serving servants of the public.

What is not needed is yet another unelected, unaccountable quango or committee to cherry pick the bits of Kelly that take their fancy.

The 'independent' parliamentary standards authority, IPSA, rushed through in July's parliamentary standards act, shows little sign of living up to its name.

Parliament will play second fiddle to a bunch of faceless bureaucrats and patsies. MPs will be answerable to unelected bureaucrats not the electorate.

IPSA members and commissioner will be approved by a 'speaker’s committee' where ultimately squeaker Bercow calls the shots. Vast power will be handed over to a bunch of political elitists who are not accountable to the electorate. MPs have no role in the selection.

The commons 'speaker's committee' of MPs, made up of the usual suspects, has already picked a quango boss and handed him a whopping £100k a year, to gasps from MPs.

An unelected quango to oversee MPs' expenses tears parliamentary democracy to shreds. How will these guardians be selected? How can voters be sure they will stay corruption-free? Who's to say those with a vested interest won't again turn a blind eye to the scandalous abuse.

Trust in parliament and MPs is at an all-time low. The House of Shame is riddled with expenses cheats who elected a tax-dodger and house flipper as speaker. Setting up another quango in Kelly's wake is not the way to build trust.

In a democracy, the electorate is the best regulator. Voters can see through the lies and deceit and boot out the crooks and spivs if only they were given the chance.

Without an election, parliament and democracy is being reduced to a sinister farce. The sovereignty of parliament is subjugated to an unelected quango. The rotten carcass of MPs' expenses will continue to fester away.

If in doubt, spin it out. Fast forward a few months and taxpayers will be left wondering: Has anybody here seen Kelly? K. E. double L. Y.

Mid picture: Private Eye cover. Music: The late, great Florrie Forde (1875-1940)

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