WARNING: Something terrible could be happening in Parliament on Monday

This is from Tom Watson MP. If he’s right, it’s vitally important that you read the following and act on it:

Last Thursday there was a curious announcement in the Chamber of the House of Commons. At the session to announce future business, Leader of the House, Andrew Lansley said this:

“Monday 14th July — consideration of a Bill, followed by a motion to approve the first report from the Committee on Standards on the respect policy”

If you look on Parliament’s web site tonight, you will not see the name, nor the text of the Bill to be considered.

None of your elected backbench MPs have been told what Bill is to be debated on Monday. It’s Wednesday evening. Tomorrow, MPs are on a ‘one line whip’ ie they can return to their constituencies this evening.

Imagine how outrageous it would be, if tomorrow, the government were to announce emergency legislation to an empty chamber. Imagine if that emergency legislation was to be introduced on Monday or Tuesday, with the intention of it slipping through the Commons and the Lords in a single day. Imagine if that Bill was the deeply controversial Data Retention Bill.

It’s a Bill that will override the views of judges who have seen how the mass collection of your data breaches the human rights of you and your family.

Regardless of where you stand on the decision of the European Court of Justice, can you honestly say that you want a key decision about how your personal data is stored to be made by a stitch up behind closed doors and clouded in secrecy?

None of your MPs have even read this legislation, let alone been able to scrutinise it.

The very fact that the Government is even considering this form of action, strongly suggests that they have an expectation that the few people on the Liberal Democrat and Labour front benchers who have seen this legislation, are willing to be complicit.

No matter what you think about this issue, if you care about democracy, make sure your MP does not walk through the chamber and vote for legislation nobody has had the chance to debate and question.

Hat tip: http://mikesivier.wordpress.com/2014/07/10/something-terrible-could-be-happening-in-parliament-on-monday/

ARTICLE: Government Passes a ‘Gagging Law’ to Outlaw Critics Ahead of 2015 Elections

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Massive hat -tip to Scriptonite

In January 2014 the UK government passed the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill.  A bill gagging charities, NGO’s, bloggers, community groups and most attempts at organised opposition to the government in the year prior to a general election…and just in time for the General Election next year.

What is the Gagging Law?

 The Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill, or Gagging Law, was hailed as the UK government’s answer to the issue of commercial lobbying.

But, this bill does not take on the political power of wealthy corporate lobbyists.  Instead, it kneecaps any attempts at organised local and national opposition by civil society, so as not to influence the outcome of general elections.  It is a gagging law.  The law puts in place a range of bureaucratic and financial barriers amounting to a gag on free speech and effective opposition.  These include:

  • The maximum that can be spent before groups have to be registered with the Electoral Commission £20,000 in England and £10,000 in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
  • Reduce the overall UK-wide spending limit before elections from £988,500 at present to a new limit of £450,000.  To put this in perspective – campaign group 38Degrees has 1.7m members, this would mean neutering their spending power on posters, staff, adverts and ancillary costs to just 26p per member.
  • Putting in place a spending cap of just £9,750 in a particular constituency, in the year running up to a general election – while the local MP can spend as much as they like until just 4 months from the election.

The new spending limits will come into effect on 19th September this year.

This is the state if affairs after a successful campaign of opposition put forward by the likes of 38Degrees, Oxfam and Caroline Lucas of the Green Party MP, along with concerned bloggers such as Another Angry Voice and Vox Political, and journalists like Polly Toynbee and Owen Jones.  This opposition won important concessions – but the bulk of the bill remains intact and now, law.

What Does this mean for Free Speech?

This means that groups across the political spectrum, find themselves in an unlikely alliance of  opposition to a bill that will silence them all.  Whether you want to bring back fox hunting or save your local hospital, the Bill will prevent you organising to do so.  As 38Degrees put it:

“It’s telling that so many groups who wouldn’t normally agree with each other have united to oppose the gagging law. Groups that speak out in favour of hunting, windfarms, HS2 or building more houses are joining together with groups who say exactly the opposite.”

The British Medical Association: “if the Bill is passed, its impact could be deeply disturbing, especially as it raises concerns about what this would mean for freedom of expression”.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) Head of Campaigns Nigel Stanley called it a “chilling attack” on free speech.

Iain Anderson, the deputy chair of the Association of Professional Political Consultants said “The bill doesn’t capture the vast majority of what lobbyists do. We want all lobbying covered in a statutory register.”

Tamsin Cave, of pressure group SpinWatch called the Bill a “deliberate act of divide and rule, that has the signature of Lynton Crosby [the Conservative Party's election strategist] all over it…This bill, as it stands, is worse than nothing. It is bogus.”

Liz Hutchins, senior campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said it was a “bad day for anyone wanting to protect the environment, save a hospital or oppose tuition fees”.

And Corporate Lobbying Remains Untouched

 It is beyond challenge that UK politics has become corrupted by commercial interests.  This is not a single party issue, but a systemic issue.  But it is not merely about commercial interests paying campaign donations – we have a broader system of revolving doors between politics and business, combined with patronage and favours that this Bill will not touch.  Here are just a sample of modern examples this bill will do nothing to prevent:

Osborne

In 1994, future Chancellor George Osborne was photographed at a party, with his arm around a sex worker called Natalie Rowe, sitting at a table full cocaine.  In October 2005, Natalie Rowe came forward to release the picture and her story to the press.  Rowe sold her story to the Sunday Mirror.  However, to the surprise of Rowe and the Mirror, Andy Coulson broke the story in a leader column in the News of the World.  Not only that, but the story was spun in a manner entirely sympathetic to Osborne, stating that he was ‘a young man when he found himself in a murky world’.  Rowe’s lawyers allege that Coulson stole the story by hacking her phone, and used it to gain leverage with the future chancellor.

And lo, on news of his resignation from the News of the World – Andy Coulson became Director of Communications at Downing Street, despite recently resigning in shame over phone hacking allegations.  He was recruited on the recommendation of none other than George Osborne.

Theresa May

Present day Home Secretary Theresa May’s husband is a director/shareholder in G4S. May has faced several conflict of interest allegations during her tenure.  One of the most egregious was the case of G4S winning a £200m contract to run Lincolnshire police operations.  G4S had recruited law firm White and Cade to support their bid.  In a stunning coincidence, May invited Tom Winsor, a lawyer from the same firm, to conduct ‘an independent review of police reform’ in the run up to the bid – giving the lawyer access to privy information and contacts.Stephen Green & HSBC

HSBC were found guilty in a court of law of funnelling the proceeds of crime through their books knowingly and deliberately.  This was not the act of some rogue trader.

HSBC set up a subsidiary firm with the specific intention of using it to launder the money of Mexican drug barons.  It spirited over $7bn of the stuff between 2001 and 2007.

Stephen Green, the Chairman of HSBC while all this took place, was appointed Trade Minister by David Cameron and now sits at the heart of UK government.

Philip Green

The owner of retail outlet Arcadia, which owns Topshop, is notorious for his tax avoidance schemes.  In 2005, he gave himself the biggest pay cheque in UK history, £1.2bn.  However, by putting Arcadia in his wife’s name (who lives in the tax haven of Monaco and hasn’t done a day’s work for the company) and channelling funds through a string of offshore accounts, Green managed to shift £300m out of the hands of the taxman.  This money could have paid the full £9,000 a year tuition fees for 32,000 students, or the annual salary of 20,000 nurses.  Instead, it sits in Green’s bloated wallet.

Furthermore, despite building a £5bn empire on the back of sweatshop labour – Green refused to sign a pledge to improve safety conditions for Bangladeshi workers after a series of avoidable accidents which left scores dead and injured.

Yet, the Tories appointed this man as their business tsar, leading an ‘efficiency review’ into government spending.  Therefore while Green refuses to pay his share into the pot of public money, he is given power to dictate how that public money is spent.

Libor

Despite persistent rumours about rate-rigging, and receiving information from several sources that an investigation was required – the UK regulator failed to act until it was forced into action by US regulators in 2012.  So why were the Tories so slow to act?

It might be coincidental of course, but some of the Conservative party’s most generous and powerful donors were involved in the scam.

Former Tory Party Treasurer Michael Spencer has donated almost £5m to the party.  This gave him access to dine with the Prime Minister at Chequers.

His firm iCap was fined £55m by regulators in the US and UK for LIBOR rate rigging, and three of his employees face up to 30 years in jail if convicted.  It is notable that while the US fine stood at £41m, the UK fine was a mere £14m (just 4% of their £330m pre-tax profits in 2008, the height of the rigging).  One might suggest this was a decent return on a worthwhile investment.

Lynton Crosby

Cameron has paid £500,000 to appoint Lynton Crosby as the Tory party election strategist.  Crosby is Cameron’s political compass, steering the Prime Minister to launch and ditch policies, and gain the party victory in 2015.

Crosby is an Australian strategist who helped John Howard to four elections victories, and was behind Boris Johnson’s successful campaign to gain re-election as London mayor.

Other items on Crosby’s CV include lobbying for tobacco firm Philip Morris, and he is reported to have signed a £6m deal to lobby on behalf of the firm just last November.  Crosby has also advised energy firms engaged in Fracking in Australia, championing shale gas over sustainable and renewable energy.

And in a remarkably unsurprising turn of events, this year the Tory party chose to ditch its policy on plain cigarette packaging, Osborne announced a raft of tax breaks on Fracking firms, and David Cameron went from promising “Vote Blue, go Green” to “get rid of all this green crap.”

The Bill will do the sum total of diddly squat to deal with these consistent and endemic abuses of power and privilege.

And don’t think Labour are coming to the rescue either.  I have previously covered the parallel issues for the Labour Party.  Labour will not overturn this legislation if they come to power, they have zero interest in doing so.

What Now?

One word: Resist.

Charities, campaigners, community groups and yes, bloggers like myself, will now figure out exactly what their legal standing is in this dark new age of restricted speech – we just don’t know.  But regardless of whether our opposition is legal or not, in coming months and years, we should not bow our heads in resigned acceptance of this most blatant attack on hard won democratic rights.  It is not enough for us to wave our hands, sigh and comply.  If opposing the government in a non-violent way such as organising a leafleting campaign, or transporting people to protests, or writing blogs and petitions calling on voters to act in their own interests is illegal – then let us break the law.  Thomas Jefferson once wrote: “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.” Well, man or woman, our time has come.

The rank hypocrisy of Tony Blair: He threw open Britain to millions of immigrants, but now sneers at Ukip

ARTICLE: Assassinating a Prime Minister's Reputation: Ten Ways to Blackmail Tony Blair

One of the foremost enemies of the people is Tony Blair

There is a particular tone of voice that BBC presenters use when announcing that the airwaves are to be cleared for an interview with Tony Blair.

A solemn preamble conveys the sense that after that morning’s tawdry squabbling of contemporary pygmy politicians such as Nigel Farage, this is the main act.

In truth, very few of us outside BBC headquarters want to hear anything more from Mr Blair, apart, that is, from him uttering one single word. Which is why I stay tuned, in the forlorn hope that I might one day hear Blair say: ‘Sorry.’

That is, sorry for leading us into ill-judged wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with thousands of casualties on all sides; sorry for permanently damaging our country’s diplomatic standing by fatuously endorsing President George W. Bush’s cack-handed statecraft; sorry for changing, through a purposeful policy of mass immigration, the cultural fabric of our country without first asking if there was a consensus to do so.
Gabble

Mr Blair is a man who will gabble silkily for lucrative corporate bonding sessions or cosy media interviews.

But he will never utter what we actually want to hear from him – the faintest hint of contrition to those of us living in the country that he seems effectively to have abandoned.

Presenter Jim Naughtie was full of credulous deference towards Mr Blair on yesterday’s Radio 4 Today programme.

Inevitably, Mr Blair was not actually in the BBC studio. On this occasion he was ‘joining us from Berlin’ – a change from Ramallah or Dubai or the other places between which he flits on private jets, and from which he tends to broadcast when taking a break from his crowded schedule of lectures delivered for a vast fee.

The most striking aspect of Blair’s performance yesterday was his assumption that the spectacular progress made by Ukip in last week’s local and European elections came out of the blue sky and had nothing – absolutely nothing – to do with him or the policies of the government he led.

‘I’ve always said you have to have proper controls in place on immigration,’ Mr Blair intoned, unchallenged.

This peculiar assertion is punctured by the research of Migration Watch, which estimates that immigration during the New Labour years added three million to our population.

It also ignores the account of a former Blairite speechwriter, Andrew Neather, that from late 2000 onwards the deliberate policy ‘was to open up the UK to mass immigration’.

More than that, New Labour’s open-door immigration policy was designed, Mr Neather said, to ‘rub the Right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date’.

Well, the consequences of that shamefully irresponsible politicking are now to be seen, both in the eastern European migrants crammed six to a room in East London, and in Ukip’s electoral progress.

Nigel Farage would not be grinning at us from the pages of our newspapers with an empty pint glass on his head were it not for Mr Blair’s policies.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2641199/Tony-Blairs-rank-hypocrisy-He-threw-open-Britain-millions-immigrations-sneers-Ukip.html#ixzz33i7mporI

ARTICLE: Paedophile Politicians Are Above The Law says EU!

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By Ben Fellows of Before it is News

Also by Ben Fellows: (2012) Conservative M.P. Ken Clarke -”GROPED MY PENIS WITH HIS HAND…[THINKING] I WAS FIFTEEN AT THE TIME”

The question that I’ve been asking is, how can politicians be above the law? Well according to the European Union, all politicians of member states have immunity against prosecution for all criminal and civil offenses with the exception of hate crimes and parking offenses, which beggars belief!

Article 28 of the Treaty of 8 April 1965 establishing a Single Council and a Single Commission of the European Communities (the merger treaty) lays down that the European Communities shall enjoy in the territories of the Member States such privileges and immunities as are necessary for the performance of their tasks, under the conditions laid down in the protocol annexed to that treaty.

Articles 9 and 10 says…

Article 9

Members of the European Parliament shall not be subject to any form of inquiry, detention or

legal proceedings in respect of opinions expressed or votes cast by them in the performance

of their duties.

‘Article 10

During the sessions of the European Parliament its Members shall enjoy:

(a)    in the territory of their own State, the immunities accorded to members of their parliament;

(b)   in the territory of any other Member State, immunity from any measure of

detention and from legal proceedings.

(c)    Immunity shall likewise apply to Members while they are travelling to and from the place of meeting of the European Parliament.

(d)   Immunity cannot be claimed when a Member is found in the act of committing an offence and shall not prevent the European Parliament from exercising its right to waive the immunity of one of its Members.’

“UK POLITICIANS ARE IMMUNE FROM QUESTIONING OR PROSECTION”

clarke

So the only time a politician isn’t immune is when they are caught in the act of committing an offense. So if the Cook Report Tapes ever show up then perhaps Ken Clarke could be prosecuted for sexually assaulting me as he would have been filmed in the act of committing a crime. Unfortunately, the lawyers protecting these politicians have placed a time limit on even making a complaint, so Ken Clarke could escape questioning on those grounds if the tapes were found and made public. Effectively, the UK parliament and European Union have given members of parliments a license to get away with murder, literally. In general, this form of immunity is such that, unless the British Parliament or the EU gives its authorization, no member may be arrested or prosecuted for acts not carried out in the performance of their duties.

Of course unless politicians are filmed and recorded twenty four seven then there is no hope of bringing any prosecutions against any politicians within the European Union super state, which is why politicians get caught for minor offenses like parking offenses, speeding offenses or hate crimes. There have been the occasions whereby investigative journalists in recent months have filmed politicians and caught them in yet more “Cash for Questions” scandals but we can’t rely on mainstream media journalists all the time.

So why are Politicians Immune from Prosecution? Well to find out lets look back into the history of the parliamentary system.

In ancient Rome, the tribunes of the people enjoyed special protection in order that they should freely exercise their functions. Anyone who infringed that prohibition was liable to punishment and could even be executed.

Today’s right to immunity is based on the same basic idea, although, fortunatly for me, it does not incur the same penalty! The representatives of the people must enjoy certain guarantees to underline the importance of their office, but more importantly to give them the peace of mind they need to implement their mandate.

The origins of parliamentary immunity date back to a session of the English Parliament in 1397, when the House of Commons passed a bill denouncing the scandalous financial behavior of King Richard II of England. Thomas Haxey, the member who was behind this direct act against the King and his court, was put on trial and sentenced to death for treason. Following pressure applied by the Commons, however, the sentence was not carried out, and Haxey received a royal pardon.

This event prompted the House of Commons to review the right of members of parliament to discuss and debate in complete autonomy and freedom, without interference from the Crown. Freedom of speech, introduced into the House of Commons at the beginning of the sixteenth century was confirmed in the 1689 Bill of Rights, which expressly protected discussions and acts of Members of Parliament from any form of interference or objection from outside of Parliament.

ALL POLITICIANS HAVE IMMUNITY, EVEN WHEN THEY HAVE RETIRED!

eupoliticians-300x169

Unlike inviolability, non-liability has an absolute quality, reflected in particular in the duration of its effects: the protection afforded is maintained even after the member’s mandate has come to an end. In other words all politicians have immunity even when they are no longer politicians and have retired. However, whilst there may well have been very good reasons to safe guard parliament from the interference of the crown. Its clear that these privillages are being abused along with the nations children.

When it comes to Paedophilia, child abuse and sexually motivated crimes should politicians still have the right to immunity?

After all how is abusing children part of their Parliamentary mandate? I have never voted for any politician to abuse children. It’s clear that after the Jimmy Savile case it appears that he had immunity from prosecution along with other powerful Paedophiles and child abusing celebrities. The Daily Star Sunday tells of police being told “Stop investigating if you want to keep your jobs” when investigating an alleged paedophile ring at the heart of Margaret Thatcher’s government. A teenage rent boy had alleged that a cabinet minister at the time, who is still alive, had abused him. He also named judges and civil servants. We now know that they were then and will always be, immune from any form of prosecution or questioning by the authorities.

I was informed by the Metropolitan Police that there were protocols in place that meant politicians are above the law and cannot be questioned. I guess they were referring to these EU rules which now govern us all.

Shouldn’t the public be informed of these EU rules? Where is the report on the BBC and other mainstream news outlets informing the public of the EU’s rules. Perhaps the BBC executives and board members are also immune from prosecution like all the other Paedophiles in the country it seems. Perhaps it’s time to change the EU and UK rules on paedophiles operating in and around Westminister. However, if you think that it’s just the Politicians who are immune from prosecution then think again. These privillages also apply to civil servants, their assistants, witnesses, experts and anyone who is involved in the meetings including private individuals in business .

Isn’t it time for politicians to stop being immune against prosecution in regards to child abuse or will we allow these paedophile politicians to continue to abuse parliamentary rules and our children? Not being immune from prosecution may not stop paedophilies but it will mean that “we the people” can have them arrested and prosecuted when witnesses are brave enough to come forward.

 

ARTICLE: Iraq Inquiry: why Sir Jeremy Heywood should be stripped of his role immediately

As the Telegraph reports today, Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet Secretary, is blocking the publication of correspondence between George W Bush and Tony Blair ahead of the Iraq War, together with later correspondence between Gordon Brown and Mr Bush – thus effectively stalling the already heavily delayed Iraq Inquiry.

No security issues are at stake. The blocking of the correspondence between Downing Street and the White House is an affront to democracy and prevents us from forming a judgment about the most disastrous war in recent British history. Sir Jeremy Heywood should now be removed from all decisions relating to the Iraq Inquiry, because he was himself deeply involved in the flawed government process in the run-up to and after the invasion of Iraq.

Sir Jeremy was appointed Tony Blair’s principal private secretary in 1999. Within a short space of time (as his senior colleagues have told me in detail) he became an intrinsic part of the collapse of the process of government which took place after 1997.

As Sir Robin Butler graphically described, the principles of sound, accountable administration were abandoned and replaced by “sofa government”. Decisions were made informally by a small coterie including Blair, Alastair Campbell, Jonathan Powell and Anji Hunter. Sir Jeremy was the only civil servant who was granted full access to the sofa.

The sloppiness of this new Downing Street machinery became manifest in the summer of 2003 when the Hutton Inquiry into the death of David Kelly tried to reconstruct the process which led to the release of the name of the MOD scientist in national newspapers. Lord Hutton learnt that four meetings, all involving senior officials and cabinet ministers, each chaired by the prime minister, took place in Downing Street to discuss Dr Kelly in the 48 hours before his name was released. In an amazing breach of normal Whitehall procedures, not one of these meetings was minuted at the time.

In the normal course of events it should have been the job of the principal private secretary to the prime minister – ie Jeremy Heywood – to draw up these minutes. Yet he did not do so.

This episode shows that Sir Jeremy Heywood is much too implicated in these matters to be permitted to make decisions of deep sensitivity concerning the White House/Downing Street correspondence.

David Cameron must now urgently intervene to strip Sir Jeremy of his role, and take control of the decision himself. If he fails to do this, the Prime Minister himself risks becoming complicit in what now looks more and more like a giant cover-up involving elements of the British establishment and political class to prevent the truth becoming known about how we became involved in the Iraq War.

Hat tip: Peter Oborne http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/peteroborne/100244895/iraq-inquiry-why-sir-jeremy-heywood-should-be-stripped-of-his-role-immediately/

ARTICLE: The Queen’s Speech and 12 words that insult every British voter

Buff the trumpets, polish the footmen, and marvel at all the pomp involved in pretending to be a democracy.

As the heralds pootle out a tune and the ladies-in-waiting hold Brenda’s ermine cloak, consider the fact that everything in her speech is politics.

As Phil the Greek tries to stay awake and glares at the plebs, consider the fact that Parliament has just been closed for 19 days because the government ran out of ideas.

And when the Queen peers through her thick plastic specs to announce her great reforming government will bring in a law to sack misbehaving MPs, try not to put a fist through the wall.

The Queen will say: “My ministers will introduce legislation on the recall of members of Parliament.”

At precisely the same moment, Nick Clegg’s carefully-scrubbed face will beam with self-righteousness and unimpeachable morality.

Because this is something every single party leader said they would support after the expenses scandal of 2009.

This plan was in the Coalition agreement in 2010, which said: “We will bring forward early legislation to introduce a power of recall, allowing voters to force a by-election where an MP is found to have engaged in serious wrong-doing and having had a petition calling for a by-election signed by 10% of his or her constituents.”

And here we are, after four years of government in which it has conspicuously not become law and we’ve been plagued by the likes of Patrick Mercer (disgraced, resigned, golden handshake), Eric Joyce (disgraced, resigned, still in a job) and Mike Hancock (suspended after “prima facie evidence” of “unwanted sexual advances”, still in a job).

And all of whom, if we had that power of recall, might well be down the Job Centre some time ago signing on for £70 a week rather than £67,000 a year with access to subsidised beer.

We’ve also got catastrophically low voter engagement with the political process, with a 15% turnout for the Police and Crime Commissioner elections, 36% for the Euros and just 65% for the last general election where everyone was so unpopular we ended up with “whoever isn’t Gordon”.

The man who runs the country today wasn’t voted into the job. He took it. A mere 36% of voters backed him and that doesn’t put him within screaming distance of a democratic mandate to, for example, hack about the welfare state.

So we need some Parliamentary reform. We need some of the turkeys in the House of Commons to tell one another that Christmas can be a time of fun and feasting.

The time is ripe, and the tide of public disdain is high. People want change.

So perhaps that’s why on February 13 the recall bill was unceremoniously dumped.

It had, as promised, given voters the right to recall a MP with a petition backed by 10% of voters to trigger a by-election.

The trouble with this is it would change stuff.

It would, specifically, switch the loyalty of MPs from their party to mainly their voters, who could yank them off the gravy train with little notice.

This would mean the party machinery – the concept of leader loyalty, voting with the whip, staying on-message to get promoted – would sail out of the window quicker than a potty full of yesterday’s crap.

And that would mean party leaders would find it harder to push through unpopular ideas like the bedroom tax, war, or increased taxes.

And in Coalition government, loyalty is in much shorter supply than rebellion.

Cabinet jobs that buy support have to go around more people, constituency associations put pressure on MPs over issues like gay marriage, and in the first three years of this Parliament Tory and Lib Dem MPs rebelled in 39% of votes.

So Dave and Nick looked at the recall bill and said to themselves: “Shit, no.”

Then they looked at their last year of government, a total lack of any ideas, and a desperate need for something they could say had cleaned up politics.

And then they reintroduced the recall bill for the Queen’s Speech, with the slight tweak that if 10% of local voters signed a petition it would trigger a meeting of MPs to consider whether to sack an MP.

You might want to read that bit again.

The new bill, so proudly announced with all the trumpets and gold twiddly bits, is going to give MPs the right to discipline MPs.

Which is something MPs already have, via the Standards and Privileges Committee, and which did such a marvellous job with Maria Miller’s expenses.

And this new bill, which will cost us taxpayers money in terms of Parliamentary time, food, heating, light, wages and clerical costs, will give them this right they already have while pretending it’s giving us that right.

This is not recall.

This is not democracy.

This is not on.

It’s like trying to stop child abduction by putting the Childcatcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in charge of it.

You might as well go to London, stand at the gates of Downing Street, and laugh hysterically at every passer-by.

With this great reform, an MP will be able to take the money and never turn up at work for five years. They will be able to leave the party their voters chose, become a Communist, abandon their pledges, and commit any crime attracting a jail sentence of less than one year’s custody and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

(And FYI, less than a year’s sentence would include assaults, £12,900 of expenses fraud, getting your wife to take your speeding points, and possession of child porn.)

Ask yourself this question: If your MP found in possession of child porn, admitted it and was sentenced to six month’s imprisonment, would you want to sack them?

WELL, YOU CAN’T.

In those parts of the world where recall takes place, it does not lead to politicians being wrongly removed from office by vexatious campaigns.

They have voters who feel empowered, and politicians who have a good reason to keep their noses clean.

We do not have recall.

We do not have voters who feel empowered.

We do not have politicians who are forced to behave themselves.

We just have Nick Clegg, who has this morning used the Queen to deliver the British voter a shattering insult.

You blow trumpets about that if you can. All I can hear is a giant raspberry, and the cynical cackling of people who know they’re safe.

* Contact your MP to demand proper recall here and sign Zac Goldsmith’s petition for the same here.

PARASITES: cast-off ministers given golden goodbyes of almost £90,000 including payment to richest MP in Commons

553210_3675287878960_551982437_nTories and Liberal Democrats axed in the reshuffle will receive a total of £88,687 on ‘Money Monday’ in Whitehall.

Taxpayers face forking out almost £90,000 in “golden goodbyes” to reject ministers today.

Tories and Liberal Democrats axed in the recent reshuffle can pocket up to £17,000 apiece tax free on what has been dubbed Money Monday in Whitehall.

Conservative Richard Benyon – the richest MP in the Commons, who stands to inherit £110million – is in line for more than £5,000 of public money.

Officials say that the severance pay is a legal entitlement but Ireland is changing the law to end the cash for cast-offs scheme there as part of austerity measures.

Campaigning MP John Mann said that the UK should follow suit.

Labour’s Mr Mann said: “There is no basis whatsoever for paying this in Britain. We should follow their lead.

“These people are still getting generous MPs’ pay. It is an insult to people struggling across the country that they get a golden handshake.”

All departing ministers are entitled to three months pay if they do not get another job within three weeks.

That means that those dumped in the last reshuffle can claim the cash from today.

Former Cabinet minister Michael Moore is set to pocket £17,042 after he was sacked as Scotland Secretary.

Fellow Lib Dem Jeremy Browne is among five ex-Ministers of State who are in line for £8,086 after being axed.

Conservative Simon Burns can also pocket the huge sum even though he quit to stand unsuccessfully for Deputy Commons Speaker.

Benyon is one of three junior ministers who are entitled to £5,760 each. Three of his fellow Tories get £4,646 after leaving the whips office. Two of them, John Randall and Greg Knight, have also received knighthoods.

In all, taxpayers face paying out £88,687 to ex-ministers.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “Severance pay is widely used across both private and public sectors. Ministerial severance pay has been required under legislation since 1991.”

But low tax pressure group the TaxPayers’ Alliance echoed John Mann’s call for the payments to be axed.

Spokesman Jonathan Isaby said: “When money is so tight and David Cameron talks about wanting to reduce the cost of politics, it beggars belief that these golden goodbyes are still being doled out to ex-ministers.

“After all, having left these posts, they will all still get the MPs’ annual salary of more than £66,000.

“MPs taking on a ministerial role know full well that it’s no job for life and ought to be planning their finances accordingly.

“Taxpayers will be especially baffled that even those who resigned of their own accord still get these tax-free payments worth thousands: which of their constituents working in the private sector would get a bumper payday for quitting their job?”