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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted -  11/01/2009  :  06:04
New Year, new topic. If you want to see the old one do a forum search for same title but 2008.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk
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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 14/05/2009 : 08:24
Malcolm. I have no doubt you are right but my point is that what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. We need transparency in public terms so that we know there is even-handed treatment. If the CS system of expenses is so good, why not apply the same standards to Parliament?

The real damage isn't the amount of money claimed it is the ethos and the effect that media attention is having all over the country. Watch out for some very peculiar results in the May elections. I heard a BNP member saying this morning that he thought Hazel Blears was working for them and he was saving some campaign literature for her to distribute. It's a straw in the wind, and it comes on top of the growing feeling that a large majority Parliament has been ignoring the voters. Cast your mind back to the decision to go into Iraq. Could this be the last straw? Only yesterday I was told by a man very close to Parliament that he thought we were in unknown territory. If this is the feeling from sensible people near the centre are we to be blamed for feeling that everything is up for grabs? I don't know but I would not be surprised if the fall-out from the May elections triggers major changes. The tragedy is that any resulting destabilisation will be caused not by policies but by incompetent political management from all parties.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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handlamp
Senior Member


1100 Posts
Posted - 14/05/2009 : 11:18
Maureen, not to declare a capital gain is surely tax evasion. Now we've got a lad claiming for mortgage interest and receiving rent for the same property. Small wonder the country is in a mess if they're managing the administration like they have their claims. Me thinks the mole for the D.T.should received a knighthood.  I bet there's a lot of MPs fearing de-selection. As you say, Nolic, it wouldn't do any harm to turn the spotlight onto the Euro M.P.s. Pleased to see that Gordon Prentice has signed the motion against the Speaker, at least one lad has got his priororities right.


TedGo to Top of Page
softsuvner
Regular Member


604 Posts
Posted - 14/05/2009 : 21:50
Stanley

It makes my blood boil after all the years of being told that we as civil servants had to produce "value for money", to find out that our political masters have been fiddling their expenses all along.

It just gets more unbelievable each time, this latest his and hers Tory M.P.s mortgages for instance.

The reason that the Civil Service ( and industry ) good practise on expenses wasn't adopted for M.P.'s expenses was because it suited the M.P.s to carry on as before. Now we can all understand why!

Totally agree that there is going to be one hell of a backlash over all this. I can only hope that the heirs to Moseley and his Blackshirts - the BNP, aren't the ones to benefit. I fear that, in some places, they will be.

Malcolm


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 15/05/2009 : 07:33
Gordon Prentice has a link to OG on his site described as 'telling it how it is'. A good man.

Chris Aspin reminded me of this:

20th April 1653. Oliver Crowell dissolves the Rump Parliament.

"It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonoured by your contempt for all virtue. and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government. Ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage. Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? You have no more religion than my horse. Gold is your god. Which of you have not bartered your conscience for bribes? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. Ye were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, and are yourselves gone...In the name of God, go!"

I don't want a Dissolution, it is the wrong time and the wrong climate. We would end up with a skewed parliament for four years. However, Oliver got the words right! 

The biggest danger at the moment and the worst initement against Parliament is that this couldn't have come at a worse time, just as we go to vote on June 4th. The circus on Question Time last night didn't help and  Dimbleby was egging the audience on. Mistake but par for the course for him, he should be impartial. What we need is a clear resolution of the expenses problem but this will take too long. The only way to get a fast result is to get rid of the Speaker immediately and for all Party Leaders to forget politice and get together, decide on a strategy which includes retribution and act on it immediately. I have no confidence that this will happen, there is too much political  advantage to be gained. Once more, politics will interfere with proper governance.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 15/05/2009 : 08:53
I also thought Q T was unbalanced. I also thought Margaret Beckett a tad arrogant.,  I don't think she wants to be an MP at the next election.



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 15/05/2009 : 16:23
I agree Frank. More like a sensational reality show than a serious forum. Very damaging. I retreated to the front room while the carpet fitter put new flooring in kitchen and caught Wedgie Benn on BBC News channel. He got quite emotional about the damage to Parliament and talked a lot of old-fashioned sense. He made the point that the sector which has suffered most from this ongoing episode is the voters. I thought MB committed suicide and that Menzies Campbell was badly treated, he's an honourable man I think and actually £1500 for someone to supervise necessary maintenance work was no bad deal. They keep talking about Godron having a reshuffle. His options are getting limited.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 15/05/2009 : 16:46
Voter turn out at general elections in the UK is now already low but the Great Scandal will no doubt depress turn out even further. Is there a percentage  turn out below which the election is invalid and has to be held again until you get above that level? I couldn't find anything about this on the web.

It makes you wonder about democracy when the number of voters who decide the election gets very low. Could we have 10% of the electorate deciding for the other 90%? And would the 90% say "we are in the majority and we want none of this lot." There's a lot to mull over in this!


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Bradders
Senior Member


1880 Posts
Posted - 15/05/2009 : 17:22
I don't take the Guardian, but my friend, who does, is saving todays G2 section for me.

In it I am told that the journalist who forced the government to agree to publish (in July) all expense details, has written a very good article.

I heard her lawyer on the radio earlier, outlining her actions and the Government's wrigglng to prevent the outcome......Fascinating......They even tried to get out of paying costs , when they lost ,by saying that their case had been a  poor one , and that  their opponents should have recognised that fact. How this  increased the costs is beyond me,and obviously the judge, who threw the arguement out and awarded costs to the journalist and here team .

The taxpayer foots that bill too!

It's ironic that The Daily Telegraph "got the scoop" though , when all the groundwork had been done by The Guardian..........

I wonder how THAT can have happened !!!

 

PS It's good to hear that the police (mis)information in the Tomlinson tragedy is to be investigated 

 


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portia
Regular Member


78 Posts
Posted - 15/05/2009 : 21:56


quote:
handlamp wrote:
Maureen, not to declare a capital gain is surely tax evasion.


Please can I stress that I'm not defending these people. Whether what they did was legal or not, morally I think it's disgraceful.
But on the subject of tax evasion/ avoidance, it much depends on the circumstances and I don't know enough about them to pass judgement.  If (as I think is being claimed) there was no capital gains tax due because the individual had arranged things so as to take advantage of a technicality, then there is nothing to declare and no evasion, only avoidance.  If tax actually was due and the gain wasn't declared, or if lies were told so as to make appear that no tax was due, then yes that's evasion.
That's all I was trying to say.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 16/05/2009 : 06:06
Portia, you are right, but the only difference is that evasion carries a remedy in law, avoidance doesn't because it is an opportunity generated by the way the tax regulations were framed. There are degrees of avoidance and some are defensible but the over-arching principle at stake here is the moral response to such an opportunity. There is a difference between accepting a generous mileage allowance and so ordering your affairs that you can claim the maximum benefit the system offers. MPs hold themselves to be pillars of rectitude and honourable members, it is this that falls into question in the present circumstances and once that reputation is lost it can never be regained. You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube! Tiz is right as well. The May elections are going to be a farce.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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HerbSG
Senior Member


1185 Posts
Posted - 16/05/2009 : 06:16
Well it has been a quiet news week in Canada, headlines have been taken up with the UK political expense story and an ex PM (the dishonourable and arrogant Brian Mulroney) having accepted $300,000 in cash payments from a German business man, money that he declared on his tax return after the payments became public knowledge.  This is the same thug who received a multi million dollar settlement from the Government when they could not prove his involvement in the Airbus bribery scandal.  He now says that he failed to report the $300,000 because of the negative publicity surrounding the Airbus issue.  OH THE $300,000 WAS PAID TO HIM 2 YEARS BEFORE THE AIRBUS ENQUIRY. He does admit to meeting with the German chap at least twice while still in office, but not taking the money (in $1,000 bills), until after he left office.


HERB


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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 16/05/2009 : 07:47
Thanks for that Herb looks like only a very few can stand on the Moral High ground.



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 16/05/2009 : 10:53
As all the leaked expenses come out in The Great Scandal we keep being treated to the voices of the common man (and woman) on the news saying that MPs are elected by us and should be above these types of scam, we should be able to trust them, it was never like this in the old days etc etc.

But an interesting point was made this morning on the radio. Decades ago they didn't get expenses/allowances like they do now, except for a few things such a 1000 sheets of paper to write their letters. So there wasn't really an expenses system to milk, or at least not like now. But even MPs are human and prone to the same weaknesses as many other humans, and once you have an expenses system that is not properly controlled you are bound to get misuse. We'll never have 100% of MPs (or any other group of humans) totally able to resist the attraction of making a bit more money. So let's concentrate on the system, and get that right, rather than the people.


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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 16/05/2009 : 14:52
Tizer in 20 years with BP who do have a lot of employees filling out expenses, only one person was ever sacked for cheating the system.
That was over £45.

The blatant cheating that has been going on is Fraud, and the sooner local party actavists start to de select the cheats the better off everyone will be.

We/They  May  only be Human but we do know Right from Wrong



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 16/05/2009 : 15:24
As I said before, I want to see a list of the good guys. I know what to do about the bad ones.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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