Carswell Baits Labour Over 68% Short Money Increase

Douglas Carswell was busy baiting the Labour Party over Short Money, which the chancellor has cut by 19%. Short Money is the taxpayer subsidy doled out to opposition parties – it is fundamentally undemocratic and really ought to be abolished entirely. As it stands by the end of this parliament Short Money is expected to rise by a whopping 68% since 2010!


The government has asked parliamentary parties for their views on how to proceed with the Short Money review. No taxpayers have been asked for their views. Sinn Fein gets a representative grant and doesn’t even sit in parliament!

Realistically Short Money could be phased out over the next 4 years. Political parties should be funded by their supporters, not out of general taxation….

Osborne Jokes About Abolishing Lords

Sadly Osborne was probably joking about the suggestion of saving the taxpayer millions by abolishing the Lords. This does deviate from Tory party policy though:

“That is a very decent proposal for the Autumn Statement which we will give proper consideration to… My view is clear, we should have an elected House of Lords.”

Peerless banter.

House of Lords Hypocrites

“Very proud of LibDem Lords,” crowed Tim Farron after Osborne was defeated in the Lords last night, adding: “We have sent a clear signal… Tonight’s vote gives people hope”. Yet what did Farron say about the second chamber just a few months ago?

“a system which is rotten to the core and allows unelected, unaccountable people to think they are above the law… Nothing will be achieved until Parliamentarians vote in favour of abolition”

What was it about the LibDem wipeout in democratic elections that caused Farron to change his mind about the “rotten, unelected, unaccountable” second chamber?

What about John McDonnell? Last night he praised the “huge blow in the House of Lords“, claiming the vote showed “people are waking up to what Labour has been warning“. That is the same John McDonnell who voted to abolish the Lords entirely in 2003. 

“Only the Labour Lords motion could deliver the results needed,” said Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign team last night. That’s despite Corbyn vowing just two months ago to block new peers in a bid to increase pressure in favour of abolition. 

Sadiq Khan said “I welcome” the vote, despite previously insisting that the current make up of the Lords had “no role in a modern democracy”. Turns out these principled parliamentary reformers are big fans of the Lords when it helps them score a win…

Burnham’s Peerless Flip-Flopping

Guido could easily have made Andy Burnham’s increasingly ridiculous flip flops a daily feature during this leadership contest. Not only does Burnham think it’s great that former Labour MP Dave Watts has been made a peer, he also reckons “the Lords is now a national embarrassment. We should scrap it”.

If you’re going to directly contradict yourself, try not to do it in the space of two tweets…

H/T @rhodri

Hain Gravy Train Hypocrisy

On 3 November 2014, not even twelve months ago, Peter Hain told his constituents he believed the second chamber should be elected:

“The Lords are an archaic anomaly which fuels disillusionment with British politics. It exists purely on a democratic deficit which has been allowed to evolve unchecked for centuries… the fact is that people are fed up with an out-of-touch political class and the growing sense that Westminster is failing us all.”

Yesterday, he became Lord Hain of Neath, writing in the Guardian that “it wasn’t an easy decision“, it had required “considerable thought“, but he concluded that “more peers in favour of reform are crucially important“.

What was it about the £300-a-day attendance allowance that changed his mind?

Moat Cleaning Expenses Scandal MP Awarded Peerage

Douglas Hogg, the disgraced Tory minister who infamously had his moat cleaned on expenses, has been made a Lord. Hogg charged the taxpayer for having his moat cleared, piano tuned and stable lights fixed at his country manor house. He’ll fit in well in our second chamber.

Other upstanding names on the list include Peter Hain, who had to resign and faced a police investigation after he failed to declare 20 donations to his deputy leadership campaign worth a total of over £100,000.

Also there is bonking David Blunkett and a very long list of Downing Street SpAds.

A proud day for parliament…

Sweet: Candy Crush Revelation Investigation Called Off


The Sergeant at Arms has quite rightly decided that “no further action will be taken” concerning the filming of Nigel Mills wasting taxpayers money playing playing Candy Crush on his taxpayer funded iPad when he should have been doing his taxpayer funded job. There should never have been a suggestion that the whistleblower was anything less than a hero…

Roll Call of Shame: Names of Every MP Who Voted Against Real Recall

The MPs listed below don’t trust their voters:

Abrahams, Debbie

Ainsworth, rh Mr Bob

Aldous, Peter

Alexander, rh Mr Douglas

Alexander, Heidi

Ali, Rushanara

Allen, Mr Graham

Arbuthnot, rh Mr James

Bacon, Mr Richard

Bailey, Mr Adrian

Bain, Mr William

Baker, rh Norman

Baldry, rh Sir Tony

Baldwin, Harriett

Balls, rh Ed

Barker, rh Gregory

Barwell, Gavin

Beckett, rh Margaret

Beith, rh Sir Alan

Benn, rh Hilary

Beresford, Sir Paul

Berger, Luciana

Berry, Jake

Betts, Mr Clive

Blackman-Woods, Roberta

Blenkinsop, Tom

Blomfield, Paul

Blunkett, rh Mr David

Blunt, Crispin

Bradley, Karen

Brady, Mr Graham

Brake, rh Tom

Brazier, Mr Julian

Brennan, Kevin

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MPs Debate Recall


The recall debate is bringing forth the most self-serving blatantly anti-democratic arguments. Liberal Democrat David Heath being one of those arguing that voters should not be able to sack MPs. Sitting next to him (still on the LibDem benches) is Mike Hancock, thrown out of his party as an embarrassment after admitting sexual impropriety with a vulnerable constituent who has mental health issues.[…]


90% of MPs Don’t Support Real Recall

Parliament will debate Nick Clegg’s Recall fudge this afternoon. A clear choice for MPs to choose between Clegg’s Bill, which only lets the public boot out corrupt politicians if their fellow politicians agree, or Zac Goldsmith’s Real Recall amendment, which actually gives the public a say.[…]


Clegg Faces Recall Rebellion

Nick Clegg is facing a rebellion over his Recall fudge denying voters the chance to sack disgraced MPs unless the Commons or the law agrees. Chief opponent Zac Goldsmith has dissected yesterday’s Bill:

“As before, it is a weak pretence at reform. 



LibDem Losers in the Lords

Hats off to the LibDems for managing to choose the six most boring people they could find to go to the Lords today. The only really interesting thing about them is that they are perennial losers – five of the six tried to become MPs and failed.[…]


Donors, Aides, Cronies: New Peers in Full

Conservative Party

  • Karren Brady CBE – Vice-Chairman of West Ham FC; Senior Non-Executive Director of the Syco and Arcadia Brands; Small Business Ambassador for the Conservative Party; and member of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Women in Sport Advisory Board
  • Martin Callanan – former Conservative Member of the European Parliament for the North East of England; former Leader of the Conservative MEPs and of the European Conservatives and Reformists group
  • Carlyn Chisholm – senior volunteer in the Conservative Party; Co-Chairman of the Conservative Candidates Committee; former nurse
  • Andrew Cooper – former Director of Political Operations to the Conservative Party; founder and Board Director of Populus
  • Natalie Evans – Director of New Schools Network, an independent educational charity established to provide free advice and support for groups wanting to set up free schools
  • Michael Farmer – Founding Partner of RK Mine Finance Group; Trustee of the Kingham Hill Trust; Treasurer of the Conservative Party
  • Dido Harding – Chief Executive of TalkTalk Telecom Group PLC
  • Arminka Helic – government special adviser to William Hague; leading adviser to government on preventing sexual violence in conflict
  • Nosheena Mobarik CBE – businesswoman; former Chairman of CBI Scotland; founder and convener of the Scotland Pakistan Network; Chairman of the Pakistan Britain Trade and Investment Forum
  • Sir Stuart Rose – former Chief Executive and Chairman of Marks and Spencer PLC
  • Joanna Shields OBE – leading technology industry executive and entrepreneur; the Prime Minister’s Digital Adviser; Chair of Tech City UK; and Non-Executive Director of the London Stock Exchange
  • Ranbir Suri – businessman; former General Secretary of the Board of British Sikhs

Labour Party

  • Michael Cashman CBE – Member of the European Parliament for the West Midlands constituency; equality rights campaigner; former actor
  • Chris Lennie – political strategist; former Deputy Secretary General of the Labour Party
  • Dame Gail Rebuck – businesswoman, publisher, chairman of Penguin Random House UK

Liberal Democrat Party

  • Chris Fox – Director of Group Communications for GKN; former Chief Executive of the Liberal Democrats
  • Cllr David Goddard – elected Member of Stockport Metropolitan Council; former Leader of Stockport Council; former Member of the Greater Manchester Police Authority; former Non-Executive Director of Manchester International Airport
  • Cllr Barbara Janke – elected Member and former Leader of Bristol City Council; former teacher
  • Cllr Kath Pinnock – elected Member and former Leader of Kirklees Council
  • Paul Scriven – managing partner for Scriven Consulting; former elected Member and Leader of Sheffield City Council; former senior NHS manager
  • Cllr Dr Julie Smith – elected Member of Newnham City Council; Senior Lecturer in International Relations in the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) at Cambridge University; Fellow of Robinson College

There are now over 850 peers in the House of Lords…[…]


Clegg’s Recall Porkies

Fair to say the Tory backbenchers who have campaigned for a genuine recall bill didn’t take too kindly to Nick Clegg telling LBC that the Queen’s Speech fudge was all their fault. Zac Goldsmith offers Guido his thoughts:

“Clegg told listeners that he and I are ‘at one’ on the issue of Recall, that he supports ‘radical’ Recall but has had to compromise because of the Conservative backbenchers.



Clegg Passes Buck for Recall Fudge

No. 10 last night confirmed that the Recall measures mentioned in the Queen’s Speech would mean it is MPs on the Standards Committee and not local voters who will decide whether shamed MPs should be booted out. The reforms will change nothing, MPs are still marking their own homework. […]


Totalled Recall

The Coalition agreement could not have been clearer:

“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 wrongdoing and having had a petition calling for a by-election signed by 10% of his or her constituents.”

This morning, recall is dead.[…]


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Quote of the Day

Philip Hammond at Treasury questions:

“I’m sorry to be boring.”

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