Advanced search

Westministenders: The Return of Parliamentary Sleaze?

(990 Posts)
RedToothBrush Sat 28-Oct-17 14:35:29

Brexit is quietly going round and round in ever decreasing circles.

The story is that the European parliament will not agree to a transition period beyond 1st January 2020.

The third minister responsible for getting the Repel Bill through the Lords has quit. There are now nearly 400 amendments. It is scheduled for 6 days parliamentary time in the Commons from this coming week. With another 2 possible the following week. Rather bravely AFTER the budget. Bored with May, CVs are being submitted for the position of Chancellor.

Interest Rates are looking likely to rise next week too with the message being 'this is as good as it gets'.

Another team of MPs has gone to the EU to see if they can check up on May and her team. This is unlikely to work as Nicola Sturgeon came across a brick wall.

And then there are the many many distractions from it all.

Catalonia has declared independence, which will consume EU time and energy.

There are rumours that the first prosecution in Trump Russia will be Monday (Guess who is currently in the US. Yep, the gurning one). And there are increasing muttering about Russia over here, with Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg being called to respond to a Select Committee investigation into Fake News.

And then there's the sleaze. Jared O'Mara seems to be the first in the queue. There are rumours more will be outed in several parties. Suggestions include May's right hand man Damien Green who was previously named in 2008. And the Tory Whips have a 'sleaze list' which suggests they know whats going on, but have done nothing.

This morning we have Gove making ill advised jokes about Weinstein in this political climate. With Neil Kinnock laughing heartily in response.

Anything that happens will be political to discredit opponents not because there is a change of attitude towards the treatment of women. We know this, because of who is leading the charge on this. The skeletons are being dusted off out the cupboard rather than exposed for the first time in dramatic fashion.

Things, could take a very unexpected turn against this background.

Don't bet against it.

BestIsWest Sat 28-Oct-17 14:45:51

Thanks Red

HashiAsLarry Sat 28-Oct-17 15:40:20

Thanks rtb

Badders08 Sat 28-Oct-17 15:42:27


Peregrina Sat 28-Oct-17 16:25:25

Thanks Red. It once again reminds me of Frankopan's book, The Silk Roads, which time and again, showed countries and/or rulers being defeated by something coming out of the blue, or from an unexpected direction. Someone on MN recommended the book to me, so thanks again to them.

LurkingHusband Sat 28-Oct-17 17:44:31


LurkingHusband Sat 28-Oct-17 17:45:27

Anyone seen "The Death of Stalin" yet ?

Can highly recommend it ...

LurkingHusband Sat 28-Oct-17 17:46:53

(any Quinn from Homeland groupies will be in for a treat ...)

woman11017 Sat 28-Oct-17 17:53:56

Thanks red

RedToothBrush Sat 28-Oct-17 18:10:58

Will Straw‏@wdjstraw
FT’s @henrymance reports new Brexit Minister called EU negotiators “ayatollahs”. What hope of a good deal when this rhetoric is rewarded?

His main task will be to get the Repel Bill through the Lords though. How do you think appointing someone with this attitude to this position is going to go down there?

BigChocFrenzy Sat 28-Oct-17 18:29:54

Thanks, red flowers
Sleaze and now an even more batshit new minister.
All producing the new fUKed.

frumpety Sat 28-Oct-17 18:30:15

Whilst I applaud the focus on sleaze wrt sexual harassment in Westminster , I cannot help feeling it has a 'ooh look over there' feel about it .That really is all I am going on , gut instinct , but the Repel bill hits parliament this week and suddenly after years and years , we are suddenly distracted by stories of what ? Stuff that has been going on for years and years. Squirrel ?

I hope I am wrong and the British press will be exemplary in their coverage of the now nearly 400 amendments hmm

BigChocFrenzy Sat 28-Oct-17 18:33:42

The terrible Brexit prophecy of Ivan Rogers is coming true. We should have listened

(paywall) Christopher Booker (whose Torygraph column has long been slashed in length and moved to the back of the paper)

Back again last week as one of the chief spectres at the Brexit feast was Sir Ivan Rogers,
who last January resigned as our vastly experienced ambassador to the EU,
after warning against
“ill- founded arguments and muddled thinking” in our approach to leaving it.

This was just before Theresa May’s announcement that we were to leave the single market and the European Economic Area (EEA),
to seek a one-off trade deal that would give us the same “frictionless” access to the market we have now. hmm

On Wednesday, Sir Ivan tried to explain to the Commons Treasury committee some of the realities inevitably resulting from our decision to become what the EU classifies as a “third country”,
with “no more rights than Yemen or Venezuela”.

And the picture he painted, although diplomatically couched, was devastating.

"I hope you will continue to challenge ill-founded arguments and muddled thinking and that you will never be afraid to speak the truth to those in power"
- Ivan Rogers in his parting letter

Allowing for ratification, we effectively now have only a year left for our negotiations.
*Even the “thousands of pages” required by a “Canada-type” trade deal, giving us considerably less access to our largest export market than we have now, would take years to hammer out.*

But the consequences of a “no deal” would be so “dire”, “chaotic” and “bloody” as to be unthinkable.

We could not hope just to rely on “WTO rules”, which are not “rules” at all but merely principles that must govern any trade agreement; and without a deal we would simply drop into “a legal void”.

The difficulties of achieving continued access for our exports in pharmaceuticals and chemicals (worth £50 billion a year),
food products,
“large chunks of financial services”, and much else would be insurmountable.

Sir Ivan tried to discuss other problems, both with and without a deal,
such as all the new border controls and infrastructure required not just in Ireland but on the continent.

But most of this seemed to pass the MPs by.

When he tried to explain in some detail, based on discussions going back to 2015 with senior figures in the aviation industry,
just how *flights from the UK to the EU* _^*and the US^_^ could “cease” overnight,*^
because these are all now legally authorised only by EU regulations that would require incredibly complex negotiations to replace,

one MP simply cut him short in order to change the subject angry

BigChocFrenzy Sat 28-Oct-17 18:41:34

Remember this announcement from a few years ago hmm ?

"The child abuse inquiry may for the first time open up the 'dirt' used to enforce discipline by the most feared figures in politics"
former Tory whip Tim Fortescue, who served in Edward Heath's government between 1970 and 1973.
In a 1995 TV documentary, Fortescue, who died in 2008, said:

"Anyone with any sense, who was in trouble, would come to the whips and tell them the truth, and say,
'Now I'm in a jam. Can you help?'

It might be debt, it might be … a scandal involving small boys,
or any kind of scandal in which … a member seemed likely to be mixed up.
They'd come and ask if we could help, and if we could, we did."

The late Tory home secretary Willie Whitelaw told the same programme how information was recorded in the black or "dirt" book:
"The dirt book is just a little book where you write down various things you know or hear about people that may or may not be true.
I think you could make a very good guess what sorts of things it contains."

Fortescue added that "scandalous stories" were whips' stock-in-trade.
"When you are trying to persuade a member to vote the way he didn't want to vote on a controversial issue
– which is part of your job –
it is possible to suggest that perhaps it would not be in his interest if people knew something or other – very mildly."

< so MPs are blackmailed into voting for the govt >

Trafalgarxxx Sat 28-Oct-17 18:41:46

Thanks rtb

Trafalgarxxx Sat 28-Oct-17 18:44:38

so MPs are blackmailed into voting for the govt
TBH that doesn't surprise me at all. I've always wondered and how and why all MP seem to be so relunctant to go against the party line.

Back to what I've said fur years about the uk, it's not actually a real democracy. Brexit has just highlighted a lot if those points.

woman11017 Sat 28-Oct-17 18:53:36

so MPs are blackmailed into voting for the govt
Is this blackmail? Wonder how many MPs have overstretched police providing security.

BigChocFrenzy Sat 28-Oct-17 19:03:42

After the world's biggest ro-ro now to/from the RoI, another boost for the RoI in coping post-Brexit

The RoI - and mainland Europe - will not be quite as dependent on London as an international hub for the cable & communication network:

The huge fibre optic cable - over 5,000 kilometres in length - made landfall in Killala, Co Mayo, and provides a direct link with New York.
The new cable will provide a super fast internet connection between Ireland, Europe and the US
The link can cope with up to one third of the world’s telephone calls and can cover the entire internet traffic between Europe and the US

woman11017 Sat 28-Oct-17 19:16:12

If good does come from this, I'd love it if ROI became the booming island it deserves to be. Too many clever young Irish are lost to the diaspora.

BigChocFrenzy Sat 28-Oct-17 19:39:18

Membership of the EU has reduced the diaspora of the young
- I remember an article years ago where a resident was rejoicing in how many young people she saw around her area, instead of disappearing after uni.

RedToothBrush Sat 28-Oct-17 19:51:54

Hey Squirrel

What would you expect if politics weren't going so well for the government?

Mr Trump has made it an art-form.

so MPs are blackmailed into voting for the govt

Why do you think it was 'the Sun what won it?'

When you think about it, if certain sections of the media or certain sections of parliament thought they were losing power somehow, you would expect a landslide of dirty little secrets coming out and/or MPs being unusually spineless with a sudden demonstration of their influence.
Nine MPs face sex pest allegations as Michael Gove compares BBC presenter to Harvey Weinstein

We are now up to nine MPs

But also worth reflecting on this too:

In response to this tweet by Jane Merrick,
Jane Merrick‏ @janemerrick23
The issue about #MeToo in Westminster is that no one yet wants to be #MeFirst. It takes bravery to speak out 1/?

Because to speak out, will also damage a career.

Notable on that thread was also this tweet by Tim Shipman who has built a reputation on getting the inside line

Tim Shipman‏@ShippersUnbound
should a certain peer be quaking?

They ALL know. Yet nothing done. Nothing said.

RedToothBrush Sat 28-Oct-17 20:11:31

Re Catalan. This is an interesting exchange (its part of this twitter thread )

Javi Lavandeira‏*@javilm*
And Spain is my country too. Galician/Andalusian parents. That won't change after Catalonia's disconnection. I was against independence...
...however, Spain's acts against Catalans and Catalonia made me change my mind several years ago. I feel more Catalan than Spanish.

Aureliano J. Buendía‏*@BuendiaAJ*
Ok, if you became independent, how would your daily life improve?

Javi Lavandeira‏*@javilm*
For one, dignity. I can't speak for others, so I'll give you my personal reasons to be for independence (other people will have others):
Anti-Catalan campaign initiated by Rajoy in order to win the right wing vote (worked for him).
- Disrespect towards Catalans from people in other regions (I suffered this myself a few years ago in Madrid)
- Attacking the Catalan language. Catalans fined for addressing police in Catalan at the Barcelona airport.
- Repeal of our Estatut. Declaring unconstitutional laws that exist word-by-word in other Spanish regions.
- Manipulation and plain lying on the Spanish media. "Human shields", "no Spanish teaching in schools", and similar.
Because of these reasons, my reasoning is not that we'll be better alone, but that we won't get worse.
Analogous to a victim of domestic abuse leaving his/her partner, knowing well that life will be difficult.
If Spain had been treating Catalans/Catalonia like it treats other regions, then I wouldn't have had any reason to become pro-independence.
(I apologize for the tweetstorm, but it's a complex subject that's impossible to summarize in 140 characters)

Aureliano J. Buendía‏*@BuendiaAJ*
I understand your reasons. PP is a corrupt and full-of-idiots party. But PP is not Spain. And we have to work together for a better country.

Spot any common themes with other political events / situations?

RedToothBrush Sat 28-Oct-17 20:22:49

Much being made of the fact that data is the product of the new barons of industry - following the oil and rail barons.

In this context, this by Nick Boles MP which is going to be for his upcoming book is an interesting read:
Theodore Roosevelt and the Square Deal

There are some ironies in this. You can't help but feel, that if this is what Boles really thinks, then perhaps he's in the wrong party....

... that said Teddy Roosevelt also said that using white people birth control was 'suicide' in the face of the rising birth rate of ethic minorities...

Mistigri Sat 28-Oct-17 20:25:48

They ALL know. Yet nothing done. Nothing said.

Libel law is an impediment here. In the US it is harder for a public figure to shut down accusations with libel actions.

RedToothBrush Sat 28-Oct-17 20:42:55

Today's unrelated off topic story of the day, which has made my jaw drop (and is kind of relevant in the context of power and women complaining about men) is this gem:
Man avoids Portuguese jail for beating of ex-wife with nail-spiked club because her infidelity brought him 'dishonour'
Ruling blames 'disloyalty andsexual immorality' of the victim for the attack

Before you think you know what this story is about what you think it is, read on...

Citing theBibleand the Portuguese Penal Code of 1886, which allows little more than symbolic punishment for domestic violence, the ruling, written by Judge Joaquim Neto de Moura and co-signed by Maria Luisa Abrantes said that the woman's adultery was "a very serious attack on the honour and dignity of the man."

It added: "It was the disloyalty and the sexual immorality of the plaintiff that made (the defendant) fall into a profound depression, and it was in this depressive state and clouded by the revolt that carried out the act of aggression, as was well considered in the judgement under appeal."

The judges defended the ruling by citing a passage in the Bible that states: “The adulterous woman must be punished by death”.

"This case is far from having the seriousness that, generally, is presented in cases of mistreatment in the context of domestic violence. On the other hand, the conduct of the defendant took place in a context of adultery practised by the plaintiff."

Here's a more lengthy record on the same story.

In this we learn, that after the woman ended the affair, that her lover and husband worked together to plan an attack on the woman.

Where is Katie Hopkins when you need her on the case?

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: