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Honours "Scandal"

8 replies

becaroo · 30/01/2007 18:04

I see from the news that Lord Levy has been arrested (again) over the honours for cash "scandal." Am I terribly cynical not to be remotely shocked that people are rewarded with honours for giving money to political parties?? I thought this was and always had been common practice. (Especially under the tories) The whole honours system is a farce anyway...its all B list celebs and sports personalities who have won/almost won something. Should the whole honours system be scrapped or completely re-vamped?

OP posts:
southeastastra · 30/01/2007 18:05

scrapped it's pathetic, lord coe anyone?

DominiConnor · 30/01/2007 23:33

This is a more serious crime. Lord Levy has been arrested for perverting the course of justice.
You can do real time for this.

Remember of course that Peers are members of parliament, and in effect the 3 biggest parties have been selling the right to vote on laws.

Personally, I'd go the whole hog and finance political parties this way. Give every party a certain number of peerages, knighthoods etc, and they can either sell them or reward their people.
But I'd remove their right to vote in the house of lords of course.

Heathcliffscathy · 30/01/2007 23:44

Or at least you can do real time for it if the prisons have any room...which they don't.

Think whole system needs reforming starting with a good look at bringing in PR.

And agree that political parties should be financed, transparently by the state. and no more allowed.

Caligula · 30/01/2007 23:48

Perverting the course of justice?


DominiConnor · 31/01/2007 00:28

Must be said that the most corrupt political systems include PR, indeed it may make it worse.

Italy has had various PR systems and is more than a bit corrupt, Ireland only one, but still pretty bad, and Germany's system makes ours look clean.

As for only allowing state funding, how do you allocate the money ?
It's very very easy to see that being parties voting themselves money, yet denying it to new parties. The USA is a good example.

The American example also teaches us how hard it is to ensure that only "allowed" spending happens.

The teaching unions have done various "vote for education" campaigns. We all know they mean Labour (or used to), but does that count ?
If I take it into my head to run adverts saying "Tony Blair is evil", am I supporting the Tories, or am I 80/20 supoprting them and the LibDems ?
Ken Livingstone was for a while cast out of the Labour party. If you had state funding, it would mean that he couldn't have got money. Maybe that's a good thing, but not very democratic.

What if a party is seen as "unacceptable" ?
A radical Islamic one ?
How about George Galloway ?
The EU has been trying for some time to get "undermiing" it's structure classed as illegal. What about Sinn Fein ?

Actually, it's a tricky thing to say "who" the party actally is. In many ways the Tories aren't a party, but a horde of local federated parteis who happen to agree on some things and share resources.

I'm sure you can think up good answers to those quibbles. But the deeper point is that neither you nor I will be deciding. It will be done to suit those who have the power at the time.

Caligula · 31/01/2007 09:43

Blimey, falls over, but I totally agree with DC here. I'm absolutely against state funding, the only thing it will acheive is to ensure is that the political parties we now have will be the only ones we ever have. Once you have money being allocated according to the amount of votes you get (or something along those lines) you have a receipe for absolute stagnation. No other party will ever be able to launch and give the political system a shake-up.

Freckle · 31/01/2007 09:52

Seems coincidental that John Reid is urging only dangerous criminals get locked up just before one of his own party is arrested for a non-violent offence. Or is my cynicism going a tad too far??

The honours system should be taken out of the remit of any one party. Why should it be down to the government to allocate honours? Perhaps there should be a cross-party committee which decides on these matters, so that no one party has the power to influence votes.

I do abhor a system which rewards those for doing what they love and being amply rewarded financially in the process, such as pop "stars", etc. Honours should be reserved for those who have done something exceptional or selfless.

DominiConnor · 31/01/2007 11:32

I'm not sure a cross party system is any better. The people involved will just do deals of the form "I'll give your donor a peerage, if you'll do that for mine". The problem with any cross party machanism is that it blurs accountability, same applies to PR.
We can blame/thank the Labour party for various things. It's clear who controls spending, who and if we have a war with, and who appoints people to senior posts. Labour can't blame the tories for the way the Iraq situation has turned out, and the tories can't claim any credit for helping some of the reforms under Labour.

You don't get that in "cooperative" systems and corruption blurs into mismanagement as a result.

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