Posts Tagged ‘expenses scandal

05
Dec
10

Wikileaks undermines the case for transparency

Berlusconi corrupt? With his reputation?

Berlusconi corrupt? With his reputation?

So, Wikileaks has been in the news this week. The media would have us believe that Wikileaks are releasing thousands of massive secrets which will undermine security for the whole world. However, the drivel that has dribbled out so far is hardly Earth shattering. Russia is corrupt, Angela Merkel is risk averse, Berlusconi is on the take. Yawn yawn yawn. We know all this. The yanks think that Cameron is a lightweight. Ho hum.

What the media seem not to be taking into account is that these are just a lot of internal memos. U.S. Policy is not that Merkel is cautious and Berlusconi corrupt. These are just opinions expressed by diplomats and the opinions are very diplomatic. Prior to the details emerging the media would have had us believe that we were in for a deluge of state secrets. If the leaks show anything they show that the Americans are fairly straight and fairly astute in their judgement.

Normally I am in favour of complete transparency. Publish everything. Certainly the United Kingdom keeps too much information secret and the recent MPs expenses scandal shows that secrecy feeds corruption.

However, the information currently being leaked by Wikileaks is nothing specific. It is just a lot of emails. If the Emails released shed light on some government fraud or illegal activity then there would be some point in releasing it but just embarrassing diplomats because they expressed opinions that were critical provides no benefit to anyone and damages the cause of transparency and freedom of information.

Having said that, it seems odd that just as Wikileaks really hits the news the Swedish government issue an arrest warrant for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange for alleged “sex crimes”. Probably the real story is that the Swedish government, whether unwittingly or not, are colluding in a stitch up

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30
Jun
09

Gordon Brown on the mess New Labour have made of Britain

17
May
09

General election now! – Sign the petition

I have been mulling over the expenses scandal currently bubbling away in the British press and it seems to me that this is the straw that broke the camels back. The expenses scandle is the last in a long stream of betrayals by our leaders and specifically by New Labour. It is time for a general election. (See petition information below).

New Labour came to power promising an end to the sleaze that defined the fag end of the last Tory government. Tony Blair portrayed himself as embracing an innovative vision of The United Kingdom and promulgated a bold modern vision of the future of the UK.

MPs who tried to stop you seeing their expenses

MPs who tried to stop you seeing their expenses

However, it quickly became apparent that the cardinal attribute of New Labour was not vision but spin. One after another New Labour ministers proved themselves corrupt and were dismissed from office only to be brought back in once the fuss had died down.

New Labour policies turned out to be the wholesale adoption of Thatcherism but, as with all converts, the policies were embraced as a doctrine and without understanding or judgement. Privatisations continued and New Labour became the bitch of big business.

Tony Blair began hobnobbing with the super rich and power went to his head. At the frenzied height of New Labour devotion to hyper-capitalism he tried to introduce super casinos. That a Labour government should consider the massive expansion of gambling in this country when the only people calling for it were greedy American business men beggars belief but by this time he was so far gone he could not see further than the Gordon Brown’s balance sheet.

When George Bush decided to go to war with Iraq Blair’s dragged us in too. The Islamist terrorism unleashed the Big Brother tendency that is never far from the minds of any Labour government. New laws were introduced to detain people without trial, CCTV became almost ubiquitous

The credit crunch brought claims from our leaders that this was a global phenomena that had little to do with their policies ignoring the frequent articles in newspapers such as The Economist describing the dangerous asset price bubble which was being fueled by cheap money and would eventually burst.

When ordinary people protested against the bankers in London the police responded with highly questionable tactics such as kettling and casual violence which may have left one man dead. Yet our leaders supported the outrageous tactics and trotted out the usual platitudes about violent demonstrators.

Luckily the widespread use of video technology by the general public revealed that the violence was mainly perpetrated by the police.

Now we learn that those we trust with the leadership of our country are fiddling their expenses like so many seedy second hand car salesmen.

On The BBC, Radio 4 program Any Questions this week it was suggested that the British people use the upcoming European elections to withhold votes from the major parties. Our leadership on the panel showed the depth of their depravity once again by attempting to scare the public with the spectre of racism and erroneously implying that this meant a vote for the BNP.

Lord Falkner went on to complain that it was a tragedy that New Labour would be judged on the expenses story and that this was a distraction when more important issues were at stake.

Lord Falkner is Talking Bollocks!

There can be no more important issue than whether our leaders are trustworthy. Their policies and promises mean nothing if the are prepared to waive aside their probity and obligations for a few thousand pounds.

While preaching prudence our leaders have led us into the worst economic crisis for decades. They led us into an illegal war that caused the deaths of thousands and severely damaged Britain’s reputation abroad. They continue to introduce ever more draconian laws which erode our civil liberties and they encourage the police to suppress protest using methods not dissimilar to those found in Zimbabwe.

Now we hear that they have been fiddling their expenses.

During the Any Questions program Susan Kramer, MP, suggested that we need a general election. She is right. The British people must be given the chance to decide whether their representatives deserve the confidence and the responsibility with which they are entrusted.

We need a General election now.

But don’t stop there!!!!!

Sign the petition on the Downing Street web site:  

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/GoToCountryNow/

 

Matt - The Daily Telegraph

Matt - The Daily Telegraph




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