Friday, October 16, 2009

Speaker's Mandy Plan Destroys Democracy

Disturbing moves to dismantle democracy are underway with squeaker Bercow's plans to allow unelected Mandy to answer questions in commons. Spun as a 'modernising' breakthrough, the cross dressing merely shores up the current crony culture and deepens the divide between elected and unelected chosen ones.

What's left of democracy is already being whittled away. There's already an unelected head of state, an unelected second chamber and an unelected prime minister. Boney Blair is set to be anointed unelected president of a new EU empire.

The galling spectacle of unelected and unaccountable Mandy announcing laws in the Lords before elected MPs had time to draw breath is certainly an affront to the democratic process. But letting Mandy into the commons before he scurries back to the safe sanctum of the Lords is no solution.

The whole charade will not make unelected government ministers who sit in the upper house accountable to MPs. But the move will break the heart of the democratic process that has kept the commons and Lords apart.

Tories are already busy drawing up their shortlist of a new breed of goat to graze in the Lords to redress the balance after Blair stuffed the place with his cronies. The Orange Party doesn't expect to see much change there after the New Labour election wipe-out.

MPs who accept the speaker plan will fall into a carefully laid trap. That then becomes the acceptable norm for the protected chosen ones to call the shots, leaving elected MPs twiddling their thumbs.

The solution is to end the crony culture where pals are given a peerage and a full cabinet post. Arguments put forward by Blair and the gang that there's not enough talent in the lower chamber is an insult to elected representatives.

Voters have had their fill of pork-pie politics. They've had their fill of lies from a fag-end, discredited government disappearing up its own arrogance. For too long unaccountable ministers have been allowed to ride rough-shod over the electorate pushing through policies without recourse to the electorate.

Both unelected and unaccountable cabinet ministers Mandelson and Adonis have welcomed the move. But then they would wouldn't they?

The thin end of the wedge is racketed up a notch with plans to let both ministers appear at the bar of the House and eventually allow them to sit on MPs' green benches.

Then the distinction between elected commons lawmakers and the backstop of the upper chamber at the heart of our democratic process will disappear in a fuzzy blur of weasel-worded ermine.

The prime-minister-in-all-but-name already sticks in the throats of decent folk. There is no slicker smoother operator than Mandelson who can pay lip service to democracy.

Do any MPs really think they can get get one over on the Master before he legs it back to the Lords?

The house of lords is not accountable to MPs. That's the whole point of having two chambers to prevent the regimes of a banana republic.

Voters already have to suffer an oligarchy dressed up as democracy. Ministers who have not been voted in by the public and who cannot be removed from office by the public, makes a mockery of what little is left of elections.

What is so wrong with having the top jobs around the cabinet table chosen from the commons so that they are directly accountable to the electorate?

Black Rod will have to give up the tights and day job. What's the point of a state opening of parliament and the annual ritual of the lords and the commons coming together, when Mandy is left hiding behind the speaker's chair.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pseudo Liberals Play Into BNP Hands

Equalities watchdogs are claiming victory over moves to end 'white only' membership of the BNP. But silly pseudo liberals have played right into their hands. The only people to benefit will be the BNP, with some voters more willing to join a bunch of racists who can now claim to have lost the 'racist' tag.

On the surface it's looking good. BNP leader, Nick Griffin, is set to put an amended constitution before his party that will abolish the 'indigenous caucasian' membership clause, after legal action by the equalities and human rights commission.

John Wadham, of the commission, seems well chuffed, telling the BBC: "We are pleased the party has conceded this case and agreed to all of the Commission requirements."

But when a bunch of pseudo-liberal do-gooders get their heads together, realism goes out of the window. They may well think they've pulled a fast one on the BNP but it's the thin end of a nasty little wedge.

The BNP is a legitimate political party with growing membership. The equalities commission has played right into its hands. Today's action has delivered to the BNP exactly what it wants.

Some punters are saying, albeit in whisper, they're thinking of joining the BNP. Probably not because they are racists but because they are thoroughly disillusioned with current policies over immigration.

New Labour is now facing a voter backlash after years of half-baked mish-mash over immigration with only brave souls like Field daring to speak out.

The BNP has a right to give its views as long as they are legal. Given its current elections voting record, the party has a right to appear on BBC Question Time.

That doesn't make hard line anti-immigration policies right in a so-called liberal democracy. But it does make for healthy debate, as long as views are robustly challenged by someone with a brain.

The danger comes when a far right political party is legitimised and can bring in 'racist' views by stealth. Giving Griffin the oxygen of publicity is not the way to defeat the BNP.

The Orange Party fully agrees with David Blackburn's refreshing dose of realism over at the Spectator:

"Losing the tag ‘racist party’ would be a triumph for the BNP, bringing it truly into the mainstream. It is one thing to be given a mainstream platform, but it is quite another to be recognised as a legitimate political force."

The 'no-platform' approach to the BNP has had its day. New tactics are needed after today's judgement. The BNP must now be defeated by reasoned, decent argument not a slagging match.

Just swapping from skinheads and sweatshirts to a neat haircut and sharp suit doesn't make the BNP 'acceptable'. Complying with equalities law doesn't turn a bunch of racists into a 'non-racist' political party.

Top picture: Private Eye cover


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Legg Letters A Flippin' Whitewash

A few greedy MPs are still trying to get one over on Legg. But the Orange Party fears a big bucket of whitewash over decent Legg's expenses letters. Big bucks were made by switching second homes. A flippin' flipping lid is being kept on the House of Shame.

MPs' expenses continue to centre on payback time for a bit of cleaning here and a bit of gardening there, with decent Legg getting the flak.

These expenses are all second division stuff and generally piddling sums. The big money was made out of second homes switching, capital gains tax fiddles and ghost mortgage claims.

What happened to the tax and mortgage fiddles at the centre of the second homes flipping scam? Whatever happened to promised police and taxman probes?

The scandal was always over dodgy second homes switching. But the Legg letter focuses on expenses. Even that's unfair cry MPs. Retrospective, making up the rules as he goes along. And they've got a small, blunt point.

The real culprits are not the fools who blindly "followed the rules" but the greedy commons scammers who deliberately lied and cheated taxpayers because they thought they could get away with it.

But two homes secretary Smith was hauled before the commons to apologise, not by honourable Legg but by toothless Lyons - the commons 'sleaze' watchdog and part of the crony culture.

That standards inquiry found she "wrongly" switched her home. Shameless Smith was given a ticking off by Lyons for her second homes scam. But hey, she didn't have to pay back a penny.

The inquiry into Smith by Lyons was responding to specific complaints and the MP gets off scot-free.

But Legg was appointed by Brown - not parliament, at a time when he was desperate to duck the flak and win some political points. He was specifically asked by Brown to audit all MPs' claims after the expenses scandal broke in the Telegraph.

The whispering campaign against Legg is turning into a roar but he was acting under a Brown remit, not off his own bat, despite what the spinners say.

The expenses ghost may be coming back to haunt many MPs including Brown who has been forced to pay back some ill-gotten gains. Tough. He's a victim of his own MPs' expenses spin.

The Orange Party isn't holding its breath, with an unwitting Downing Street appointed patsy in charge of a whitewash, forced to focus on 'minor' expenses claims rather than mortgage and tax fiddles of the second homes scam.

The flipping second homes scam will never see the light of day as part of a Legg audit while obnoxious squeaker Bercow is calling the shots.

Which cabinet cronies past and present have been fingered over the flipping homes outrage exposed in the Telegraph's original revelations?

What happened to cabinet couple Balls and Cooper and their triple flipping scam? What happened to the cheats who flipped away to feather their own nest, gorging themselves on a taxpayer-funded feast of corruption?

Former cabinet minister McNulty has been ticked off by Legg and told he won’t have to repay any of his second home allowance.

But he's been told Lyons has yet to deliver judgement, with Legg adding that his findings did not deal with "any payments under separate investigation by the Standards Commissioner".

MPs can huff and puff for all they're worth. The real scandal comes from crooks, cheats and conmen still hidden behind the smokescreen of Brown's expenses remit to Legg and the speaker's stooges headed up by toothless Lyons.

In a democracy, the electorate is the best regulator. Voters are quite capable of kicking out the crooks, the spivs and the chancers. They're chomping at the bit but denied the chance.

Top picture: Private Eye cover


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Shocking 'Super Injunction' Gags Guardian

A Guardian gagging order has raised the hackles of hacks and the blogosphere, highlighting the disgraceful rise of the super-injunction and long held rights to report on parliament.

The thin end of the wedge throws up basic issues of press freedom which has long been a campaigning cause célèbre for magazines like Private Eye.

Now the Guardian has been caught out by the catch-all super-injunction, prevented from reporting parliamentary proceedings on spurious legal grounds.

The blogosphere has been quick to flag up the outrage, most notably Guido, with others nudging the story along, blowing the gaffe on firms few had heard of before and making a mockery of the original gagging order.

Pre-emptive high court orders are common. But if a firm or individual tried to injunct a newspaper and the paper said it would fight and justify any subsequent libel action, that was enough for the judge to throw it out.

Not any more. Lawyers, it seems, can get a draconian injunction, no questions asked, at the drop of a hat, raising fundamental issues of press freedom and prior restraint.

The new breed of super-injunction is all-powerful and all-embracing. A catch-all, with newspapers left with a dog bites man non-story of 'an unnamed individual obtaining an unnamed injunction from an unnamed judge about an unnamed matter'.

Faced with getting something out in the open, the public interest recourse was to parliament, with a willing MP raising the matter under parliamentary privilege and the press then free to report parliamentary proceedings without fear of contempt of court.

The Orange Party has used that very legal device to name shame in the public interest, with an MP raising a matter under commons privilege, leaving journalists legally free to report and name.

But the Guardian is prevented from identifying the MP who has asked the question, what the question is, which minister might answer it, where the question is to be found and why the paper is prevented from reporting parliament.

The only fact the Guardian can report is that the case involves London libel firm Carter-Ruck, who specialise in suing the media for clients, and therein lies the clue.

A quick glance at the published commons order papers contain an MPs' question to be answered by a minister later this week.

Parliamentary questions are in the public domain on the official commons order paper and hence can be reported - by everyone except the Guardian. And that makes the whole gagging thing kinda pointless.

Questions by MP, Paul Farrelly, over Carter-Ruck and oil trader Trafigura are there for all to see and draw their own conclusions.
"Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of legislation to protect (a) whistleblowers and (b) press freedom following the injunctions obtained in the High Court by (i) Barclays and Freshfields solicitors on 19 March 2009 on the publication of internal Barclays reports documenting alleged tax avoidance schemes and (ii) Trafigura and Carter-Ruck solicitors on 11 September 2009 on the publication of the Minton report on the alleged dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast, commissioned by Trafigura."
Private Eye's long running legal battle with former law society president, Michael Napier, doesn't escape the commons question.
"Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the Court of Appeal judgment in May 2009 in the case of Michael Napier and Irwin Mitchell v Pressdram Limited in respect of press freedom to report proceedings in court."
Indeed Private Eye reports the Guardian has been served with at least 12 notices of injunctions that cannot be reported this year alone, compared with six in 2006, five in 2005.

This is the real outrage. No one knows just how many super-injunctions there are or which judges are issuing them because by their very nature they cannot be reported. Farrelly's questions cut to the quick.
"Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will (a) collect and (b) publish statistics on the number of non-reportable injunctions issued by the High Court in each of the last five years."
"Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what mechanisms HM Court Service uses to draw up rosters of duty judges for the purpose of considering time of the essence applications for the issuing of injunctions by the High Court."
Since the 18th century, when MP John Wilkes' stand led to chants of 'Wilkes and Liberty', the right to keep the public informed has been enshrined in law.

At the heart is the public's constitutional right to know what their elected representatives are up to. And the right to know about the dodgy dealings of public figures and big corporations.

LibDems are now calling for a parliamentary debate on the press gagging and urging justice secretary Straw to answer MPs' questions on the outrage.

UK courts have become a safe-haven where it seems anyone from anywhere in the world can get a gagging injunction and big corporations and rich individuals can exploit the 'no publicity' culture.

The only recourse is to faux-outrage, with newspapers joining a bandwagon condemning "vile and viscous rumours swirling around" about some celebrity or politician, which at a stroke gets the allegations from the private into the public eye.

UPDATE 1.15pm: The Guardian has been ungagged and is now free to report, er, what everyone else has been reporting. A small victory for the freedom of the blogosphere.


Monday, October 12, 2009

New Term Starts At St. Sleaze

Naughty ex-head girl 'Iffy' Smiffy gets away with a ticking off. Whipping boy Green's left bruised after an unfair beating. Cheeky school chums are moaning about pocket money. A new term starts at St. Sleaze.

After the long summer break it's time to get down to more monkey business.

Disgraced two homes secretary Smith is being forced to make a humiliating commons apology over her dodgy second homes scam.

The disposable home secretary is taking the fall as the commons 'sleaze' watchdog, Lyons, lays down the law, with Smith "clearly wrong" to claim that her sister's home was her main residence. Smith now faces the indignity of being ordered to apologise to the commons after breaking house rules on second home expenses.

But Shameless Smiffy gets to keep the cash. Toothless Lyons is taking no further action on one of the untouchable political elite, despite finding a stash of hubby's taxpayer porn in her locker.

The Greengate scandal has been shown up as a dirty tricks disgrace after Green's gaff was turned over and nothing was found but an opposition MP doing his job.

The heavy-handed raid on Damian Green has been blasted as way "over the top" and his arrest "not proportionate". But all part of a home office witch-hunt, presided over by, er, Jacqui Smith.

Green's arrest in the sanctity of parliament was a dark day for democracy. Whipped up as a threat to national security, it was nothing more than "embarrassment matters for the government", ruled investigating police chiefs.

Meanwhile Legg's expenses letters to MPs are causing quite a stir with government expenses spinner-in-chief, Stuart 'ring my' Bell, doing the rounds, batting for Westminster, leaving some MPs trying to get one over on Legg.

Retiring headmaster, Mr 'had his' Chips, is busy writing out his expenses payback cheque, while giving his Euro minister, Greedy Glenys, the boot.

Nothing much changes at St. Sleaze.


Gimmicky Fire Sale Will Raise Peanuts

Christmas sales have come early in a desperate dash for cash from the attic, with a government fire sale of the last few state assets at a knock down price. The cheap gimmick is nothing new and set to raise peanuts.

Desperate to pull a flea-ridden rabbit out of the hat after been throughly out-flanked by Honest Osborne's cuts, Beleaguered Brown is trying it on with a cheap gimmick to gain some political high ground.

The fire sale plans to sell £16 billion of assets including the Tote, Channel Tunnel rail link and the student loan book, is spun as huge asset sale to balance the books.

But any cash raised from the fire auction is a mere drop in the ocean of the mountain of debt and a confusing mixed metaphor. Confirmation that Deluded Brown is living in La-La-land.

The sell-off was revealed here at beginning of year and confirmed in Darling's pre-budget report. Ministers have been quietly forming a new firm of Sellit and Soon, (the Operational Efficiency Programme) as part of the sell-off strategy, with details buried in the 2008 Pre-Budget Report (p119). (click to enlarge)

Targets included the Forestry Commission, Westminster Queen Elizabeth II conference centre, Covent Garden Market Authority, Royal Mint, Tote, buildings owned by British Waterways, British Nuclear Fuel's stake in uranium enrichment company Urenco and the Oil & Pipeline Agency.

Few choice plums remain. What is left to sell off in the recession fire sale is set be auctioned off to a lone lowly bidder hunting for a cheap bargain basement bargain at a knock down price. The reported £3 billion to be raised over two years is a one-off, raising peanuts in a depressed selling market.

The economic swindle was laid bare at the beginning of the year, when the sale of the government's remaining share in the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) to an American company was sneaked out without telling parliament.

With the sale of the AWE share, the Orange Party warned this was the thin end of the wedge and other state assets would follow.

Plans to sell off some of the state silver have been shelved, with the country in the grips of economic recession depression.

But setting up the new firm of Sellit & Soon was the only option, as the fag-end government struggles with the disgrace of a £175 billion debt and tries to avoid the election suicide note of tax increases.

Desperate Brown needs desperate measures for desperate times. The cash-strapped government also plans to sell surplus real estate to top up the depleted treasury coffers.

But Saint Vince has already poured scorn on the silly little plan and who are mere mortals to argue: "Much of the family silver's already been sold. There isn't very much left … What worries me about the government proposal is that they're proposing to sell off in very depressed markets. This is not a good time to sell assets."

Selling off the country's gold reserves at a rock-bottom price was the beginning of the slippery slope to the disasters to follow to prop up the false economy of cloud cuckoo land. The true price of Brown’s economic incompetence is laid bare.

Many voters will be surprised to learn there was anything left to sell.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Raising The Roof On Climate Change Con

As 'climate change' protesters storm onto the roof of parliament, Auntie's got her thermal knickers in a twist about global warming. After years banging the drum for climate change, it seems even the BBC is now having second thoughts and starting to wake up to the climate change con.

What happened to global warming? asks the BBC's forlorn 'climate correspondent' Paul Hudson, after pointing to the fact that "the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998."

The Beeb's U-turn may force a rebranding of job titles, along with saddos in the 'department of energy and climate change'. All working hand in glove with pseudo-liberal activists obsessed with climate change at the government-owned Met office.

Big Brother brainwashing and you'd better believe it. Even Corrie viewers were forced to sit through government propaganda with an ad frightening the living daylights out of children, with the brass cheek warning: "Man is causing global warming and threatening life on earth."

Is Auntie having a change of heart after ramming climate change down everyone's throat? It's all grist to the mill for climate change sceptics who argue this is evidence that they have been right all along. There are so many other natural causes for warming and cooling, that even if man is warming the planet, it is a small part compared with nature.

Meanwhile ever sceptical Drudge points to climate change con-kid Gore, who got another chilly reception this time in Wisconsin, when a reporter had the audacity to ask some Inconvenient Truths.

Taking a question from an Irish filmmaker, Gore ducked questions over nine errors in his film, before the filmmaker had his microphone cut off by the eco-fascist moderators. So much for the Land of the Free.

In Denver, Colorado, the Phillies-Rockies baseball game was all snowed out with Saturday night's playoff postponed because of cold, snowy weather. How we laughed.

So what on earth is going on, asks the Beeb in its naivety? Not too difficult a question, even for Humphrys dumbed-down Mastermind.

Once again the Orange Party is forced to issue a weather warning to beware the Climate Change Conmen.

Predictions were based on dodgy, discredited climate change computer models. But too late to stop political wannabes seizing on the latest craze to jump on a greenwash bandwagon.

Big bucks are being made out of carbon credit trading. Green taxes help fill treasury coffers by stealth. Jobsworth eco-fascists have a politically correct cause and a big holier than thou stick to beat up anyone who doesn't toe the line of their narrow little minds.

The Met Office and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) need something to hang all their hot air on to justify strutting around the world, making a mint out of 'climate change' courses for dumb fool horses.

No wonder Czech president, Vaclav Klaus, is getting it in the neck. He's not only trying everything in the book to block the EU treaty and Blair's presidency but he's also written a book 'Blue Planet Green Shackles' exploding the man-made global warming myth.

All that doesn't go down at all well with the Masters of the Universe or the eco-brigade.

The Orange Party's view is startlingly simple. Global warming, global cooling. Whatever. Man's influence on our climate has been widely overstated. Throw in a few ocean and solar cycles and it's all part of life's rich natural cycle.

Call a spade a spade. Global greed, not 'global warming' is the Big Issue.

Greed by wiping out the rainforests and its people to prop up the west's addition to cheap beef and plant oil additives. Greed from China's factories belching out poison to prop up western lifestyles with slave labour.

Greed from a country obsessed with cheap polluting air travel. Greed and half-baked 'green' policies on industrial pollution which allows pesticides and poisons to be dumped on land and in rivers.

Wrapping up pollution in the cotton wool con of 'climate change' and forcing poor souls to try to read by the dim light of an 'energy' bulb is a disgraceful eco-cop out.


Brown's Tears Of A Clown

The Sunday knives have been sharpened, serving up Brown on a plate. Both the Sunday Times and the BBC gave him a roasting, with headlines enough to make a grown man cry.

The struggling Supreme Leader is entering his post conference blind spot. His future hangs in the balance. The Orange Party will not shed a tear for a discredited prime minister trying to wriggle out of the mess of his own making.

These are the tears of a clown who's duped the country into a decade of disaster and failure.

The Sunday Times thunders: The one-eyed man may be king, but for how long? Spot on, accurate and justified in the accompanying copy.

Couple that with a Sunday Times splash about one of Brown's multi-millionaire pals leaping about in the Lords with a second homes fiddle and it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

Yesterday's revelations over Brown's eyesight and 'retinal tears' caught Fleet Street on the hop. Was this part of the cunning plan to go for the sympathy vote and play up the underdog strategy? Or part of Brown's 'get out of jail free' card so he can slip quietly away into oblivion on health grounds?

Or, as many suspect, a Downing Street bid to beat the Mail on Sunday set to splash the revelations in today's paper.

What concerns the Orange Party is this is the second time Brown's eyesight has been called into question. First by a US chat show host and then by Marr. Both times Brown played it down and played up a clean bill of health.

So when did he first start having these eye tests? Why did he chose this moment to reveal the details? This is the prime minister. He has to be open and honest. Voters have a right to know whether their prime minister is fit for purpose.

Meanwhile the expenses ghost is coming back to haunt many MPs including Brown, set to be forced to pay back some ill-gotten gains.

Flagged up throughout morning by BBC on-line news, Brown's 'cleaning bill' and Sky subscription are under scruitiny, even after the top story was eventually switched to a boy-Miliband and Hillary non-news love-in.

Brown is a victim of his own MPs' expenses spin. But the Orange Party isn't holding its breath, with a Downing Street appointed patsy in charge of a whitewash focussing on expenses claims rather than mortgage and tax fiddles of the second homes scam.

Ducks and moat houses are an outrage sure, but the real scandal was always over dodgy second homes. Which cabinet cronies past and present, if any, have been fingered over that outrage in the Legg letter. Who will wriggle and squirm? Who will cough up and who will be collared?

Deluded Brown is clinging onto power in a fag-end government when Cameron has already been anointed prime minister, thanks to naughty Nick Robinson's BBC gaffe.

But the charade is set to continue with an unelected prime minister who's been stumbling along in the Blair shadow with a life-long quest to be elected. Stubbornly convinced of his own rectitude, that final dream has fallen out of his grasp.

The danger for Brown has always been the danger zone straight after the conference season as MPs return to Westminster. Weary New Labour has-beens have nothing to look forward to apart from a long slog to defeat. Any conference season bounce falls flat and voter intentions start to harden.

Aware of the blind spot there's nothing left but to gamble on with a last roll of the dice and the play the underdogs card and the discredited politics of false hope.

Marching to the old slogan 'Things will only get better', time for yet another fightback using the false hope and hype of optimism to con a few gullible suckers.

Blair prop, Al Johnson, told Marr today: "He'll fight the election… He is fit and well and able and determined", leaving the Party up the Swanee and thousands of New Labour hearts sinking into their stomachs.

Can Bouncy Brown manage to dodge the flak? Events dear chap are always just around the corner. The great bird of chance ready to crap on the best laid plans of mice and men.

Bottling Brown had a couple of chances to go to the country but blew it. Beleaguered Brown and his New Labour deadbeats have run out steam and turn-around time. Even a one-eyed man could see that coming.