Monday, May 11, 2009

House of Commons Speaker Martin should resign

I am absolutely incensed and disgusted with Speaker Michael Martin, over his statement to the House of Commons this afternoon!

With a startling disregard for how strong feelings are running in the country over the spectacular and systemic abuse of expenses by MPs, exposed over the last few days by the Daily Telegraph, the Speaker proceeded to castigate the media and MPs (the very few) who have had the gall to criticise the Westminster Parliament's MP's expenses system!

With outstanding disregard for what clearly is worrying and incensing the public, the Speaker instead, bleated on about 'disregard for important data' being passed to the media! What world is this idiot living in??

The abuse of priveleges by MPs, that is now in the public domain, thanks to the information that has been given to the Daily Telegraph by I don't care whom... to my mind, is not just abuse of expenses, (within the rules according to many MPs)... but in many instances, it is tantamount to... if not actually, criminal offences and fraud!

I gather that Speaker Martin has also called in the Police to investigate the leak to the Telegraph! Shades of the Greengate-Galleygate affair again? Quite frankly, it seems to me the only 'interest' the Speaker is interested in or serving is politicians’ personal interests in protecting themselves from embarrassment. The police should certainly not be abused in this way again. Their resources are much better employed investigating the abuses by the MPs!

I am disgusted by the increasing list of MPs who actually have the gall to come onto our TV screens, and excuse their abuse by saying "oh well, but it's within the rules"!! What a load of bollocks!

I am reminded of the days after the second world war... and during the Nuremberg Trials... where an endless procession of Nazis, claimed they were "only obeying orders". They may have been 'obeying orders' but the question always was... was it right?

I make no apology for this comparison. The claims by MPs... that their flagrant abuse of the Parliamentary system of expenses, is within the rules... is actually just NOT so! Not only have they become morally defunct... they also seem to have lost all sense of right and wrong... and of simple literacy!

The rules as stated in the The Green Book - A Guide to Members Allowances, the principles governing Members allowances are as follows:

Members of Parliament are provided with financial support in the form of allowances to enable them to work effectively in Parliament and in their constituencies.

Parliamentary allowances are designed to ensure that Members are reimbursed for costs properly incurred in the performance of their duties.

Many of the expenses that have been disclosed that MPs have claimed for, defy these simple guidelines... and really makes our eyes boggle!

It's all very well for the Prime Minister, the leader of the Conservative opposition and many MP's to now come out and apologise... and say the system is wrong (as Speaker Martin also did today) and is now being put right. What a nerve! It's the least these tossers can do frankly! Of course it needs to be put right. It should never have been allowed to develop in the way it did... as many other honourable MPs such as the Liberal Democrat Norman Baker, who has long campaigned for greater transparency on MPs' expenses, has been saying for years. Today, in his statement in Parliament, Speaker Martin instead of congratulating Mr Baker for his steadfastness and honesty, criticised him, calling him "another member who is keen to say to the press what the press wants to hear"!

I'll tell Speaker Martin what I want to hear... I want to hear his resignation!

Speaker Martin is ultimately responsible for the Committee on Members’ Allowances, who oversees and guides Members in all the claims which they make. The Department of Resources, also under Speaker Martin's responsibility, has the task of administering the rules, of ensuring compliance with them and of giving help and advice to Members. These systems should have protected the taxpayer and the voting electorate from MPs abuse of privileges. It clearly has not... and the Speaker of the House, Michael Martin, is responsible as are these departments under him. They passed these abusive claims and allowed these abuses to go on without restraint!

Speaker Martin along with the heads of the department and the whole of the Committee on Members’ Allowances should do the honourable thing... and resign... en masse!!

They and the MPs abusing the system, have brought our once proud Parliament into disrepute, not only in the eyes of the Electorate but also in the eyes of the World! Disgraceful!

Those MPs who HAVE transgressed the rules should be investigated and prosecuted if evidence of fraud or criminal wrongdoing is proven. They should be prosecuted and of course made to resign from Parliament.... as they are no longer 'the right honourables'... and they are certainly not fit to represent anyone in Parliament!

The rumbles, hardly surprisingly following Speaker Martins statement to the House this afternoon, are already starting.

Douglas Carswell MP is, as I write, preparing a 'Motion of no confidence in the Speaker'. He too believes, "Enough is enough":

"I've drafted the text of a motion for the Speaker to quit, and to be replaced by a new Speaker with a mandate to clean up the Commons. I'm consulting the Commons Table Office for advice on it.

I'm also starting to canvass for support for it from colleagues."

The latest news is that the House of Commons 'Table Office' has just approved some text for a suitable motion!

I have emailed my MP and urged him to back the motion. If you are as disgusted as I am with Speaker Martin, I would suggest you do the same! wink