ARTICLE: Was Guy Fawkes the Last Honest Man to Pass through Westminster?

Hat tip: http://www.westernspring.co.uk/was-guy-fawkes-the-last-good-man-to-pass-through-westminster/

Imagine a government that would deliberately take millions away from the budget meant to educate its own nation’s children, while at the time use billions to send foreign aid to other nations who don’t need it?

That would be nothing less than treason. You cannot imagine any sane government doing such a thing. Think of, for example, China, or Japan, deliberately depriving its own people of an education while giving money to Korea? It just wouldn’t happen, because the Chinese and the Japanese would—rightly—regard that as nothing less than treason.

Of course, you guessed it: Britain’s House of Treason down by the banks of the old river, has done precisely that—and no-one seems to know or care.

The Tory-Lib-Dem-Labour party—because they are just all the same party—is busy with much-vaunted “budget cuts” to “save the economy” (after they and their big business bank cronies screwed it over in the first place) and one of the first cuts to be announced was in the education arena.

Any parent with university-age going children is well aware that uni fees have now rocketed from a manageable amount just two or three years ago, to an impossible £9,000 per year—and that is just for the tutoring fees, never mind books, resources, living allowances, residence and so on.

Even those students “lucky” enough to get loans, start off their working lives with tens of thousands of pounds of debt—an impossible burden which—even more importantly—makes starting a family next to impossible.

The nuts and bolts of the process are as follows: England’s university budgets were cut by £449 million in 2010, with similar cuts being added each following year. This means that over £1.3 billion has been cut in the last three years, and there is no end yet in sight. By the end of 2014, the total uni education budget cut will be cut by nearly £4 billion.

In practical terms, this means that the universities have had at least 6,000 fewer places each academic year.

In addition, research funding has been frozen and the uni buildings budget cut by 15 percent.

At the same time, the Government has announced that taxpayers will hand over £50.8 billion in foreign aid to the Third World by 2014. This translates to 61 percent of the total “spending review” cuts announced by the Government.

According to a press release issued by the Department for International Development (DFID), the total foreign aid budget will reach the targeted 0.7 percent of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2013.

This would mean a yearly spend of £12.6 billion, the DFID said.

This increased spending, the DFID said, is “in line with the UK’s international commitments to help those living in extreme poverty in our world. Over the course of the Spending Review period, the Department for International Development will increase resource spending by 35 percent in real terms, and increase capital spending by 20 percent in real terms.”

This means that the foreign aid budget was £8.4 billion in 2010, £8.7 billion in 2011, £9.1 billion in 2012, and will be £12.0 billion in 2013, and £12.6 billion in 2014—totalling £50.8 billion by the end of 2014.

So there you have it: cut the education budget by £4 billion, but boost the foreign aid budget by £50 billion.

Who would dare call it treason?  I for one, and I am increasingly becoming convinced that the last honest man to pass through the halls of Westminster was indeed Guy Fawkes.

ARTICLE: M.P.s Demands Free Food

PAMPERED MPs want free meals after complaining of MICE and “stinking” cut-price grub in the Commons.

They want taxpayers to pick up the entire bill for all they scoff.

Many complain of “weird” menus served up in “Soviet-style” restaurants INFESTED with mice — and say the food is not worth paying for. But taxpayers fork out£5.8MILLION a year to subsidise their meals.

One MP wrote: “I saw a mouse in the Members’ Tea Room about which I made comment to a member of staff. The member of staff was pretty matter of fact — to the point that I got the impression that the sight of a rodent was par for the course!”

Scores moaned about the standard of their heavily-subsidised food in a survey of politicians and their staff.

They whinged about the wine waiters and complained that coffee bar staff did not know the difference between a cappuccino and a latte.

The complaints about the cheap meals and wine at Westminster come in a survey of MPs and their staff conducted by private pollsters — costing taxpayers another £27,790.

Details obtained under Freedom of Information laws lay bare the full extent of the dissatisfaction. A typical meal — rib-eye steak with hand-cut chips and Béarnaise sauce — costs two quid — £7.80, less a taxpayers’ subsidy of £5.92.

But one MP whinged: “The restaurants are Soviet-style. Vegetables are horrendously overcooked, meat is often raw.

“Sandwiches taste like they have been frozen for three months. It’s a shocker.”

Another blasted: “The food is really starting to stink.”

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/politics/article4391212.ece

Fraud charges in MPs’ expenses row move step closer as police send four files to prosecutors

Up to four MPs and peers are to face fraud charges over the expenses scandal by early in the New Year, it emerged today.

In a move which shook through the political establishment, detectives have referred case files on four parliamentarians to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Police believe there is sufficient evidence to bring criminal charges in each of the cases, sources said.

 

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, is expected to rubber stamp charges against the politicians by February.

Such a development would result in the highly embarrassing spectacle of MPs and peers appearing in court before next May’s expected General Election.

The politicians could face charges of fraud or false accounting, with maximum penalties of ten or seven years. There was no official word today on which cases had been sent to the CPS.

However it is known that police believe there is strong evidence against Labour MPs Elliot Morley and David Chaytor, and Labour peer Baroness Uddin, and that such cases were likely to be in the first batch of files to be considered by prosecution lawyers.

Other politicians believed to be under police investigation include Labour MP Jim Devine, Lord Hanningfield and Lord Clarke of Hampstead.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: ‘The Metropolitan Police Service has today delivered four main files of evidence relating to parliamentary expenses to the Crown Prosecution Service.

‘The files relate to four people, from both the House of Lords and the House of Commons, and will now be subject to CPS consideration on whether there should be any charges.

‘A small number of cases remain under investigation.’

Read on

No one knows what happens if retiring MPs refuse to make their repayments

harriet-harperson

The MPs who are most likely to defy Legg are those who are standing down. They have little to lose in saying that they won’t abide by the retrospectively imposed caps on various things. The question of whether they could be compelled to pay this money back looks like it could turn into a major row. In an interview with Andrew Neil to be broadcast tomorrow Harriet Harman seems to have no concrete idea of how this process might actually work:

Andrew Neil: What would happen to an MP of any party, what would happen to an MP who decides that he or she is standing down at the next election and refuses to pay up?

HH: Well, I think that we haven’t got to that situation. I think that…

AN: What would happen?

HH: Well, we, we, we, you know, I think that that’s an entirely hypothetical situation but I mean…

AN: It could happen – many people are not standing again, many people have had requests from Legg to pay back. What happens if they don’t pay back the money?

HH: Well, I think they will pay back, they will pay back.

AN: Even if they’re standing down?

HH: Well, the House of Common’s authorities, the Members’ Estimates Committee, will have the responsibility at that point to ensure that money which the Members’ Estimates Committee feels needs to be recouped on the back of the Legg investigation is recouped. I mean, that’s what the situation will be.

Read on

300 MPs ‘face expenses challenge’

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More than 300 MPs could be asked either to repay money or provide further information to justify their expenses claims, it has been reported.

MPs are set to receive letters next week about their claims over the past five years.

Auditors are expected to ask up to 325 members to justify instances where they have received public money, or to repay it, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

The letters are reportedly being sent out by former civil servant Sir Thomas Legg, who has been leading a review of all claims since 2004.

Sir Thomas is believed to be examining cases where MPs have used parliamentary expenses to improve their second homes and make a profit, rather than just maintain them.

He is also said to have uncovered more examples where taxpayers’ money has been used to pay off the capital element of mortgages, instead of just interest on the borrowing, as is allowed under the rules.

The letters will be sent out privately, and Sir Thomas is not expected to deliver his final report until December. They will also receive an email containing a detailed analysis of their use of the Additional Costs Allowance, which is intended to help meet the costs of running a second home, the newspaper reported.

MPs will be told they have three weeks to challenge Sir Thomas’s findings and can appeal to the Commons’ standards and privileges committee if they do not agree with his conclusions. According to the BBC, the Prime Minister could be among those asked to pay back cash.

In an interview, Gordon Brown said he believed the “worst offenders” in the scandal should be prosecuted.

Read on