Tuesday, 27 March 2012

I did not know that you can pile it so high!

Recently, we got yet another glimpse of how corrupt our political system is. The co-treasurer of the Conservatives was filmed giving a rare honest account of how lobbying can work. Donate enough money and you get to have dinner with the Prime Minister. It'll be awesome for your business, he said. Click Here

After the MP expenses scandal you might have thought that the party leaders would have wanted to clean up the stacked up pile of manure that is the houses of parliament. After the expenses scandal, public pressure pushed all the parties to make big promises about tackling lobbying. Click Here

The MP's expenses scandal was kicked off by the previous speaker of the house just before he was kicked out. Gorbals Mick refused to publish MP's expenses details. The current Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow has continued this trend. Bercow has made a £600,000 profit on the sale of a mansion flat that was subsidised by the taxpayer. While living in the flat, they claimed back more than £100,000 in parliamentary expenses to cover their mortgage interest payments and service charge costs. The Bercows also let the property out to tenants for around £28,000 per year when the Speaker was given a grace-and-favour apartment at the expense of the taxpayer. Click Here

In 2008 a High Court panel of judges chaired by Lord Judge, now the Lord Chief Justice, agreed the MP receipts should be published. The judges ruled: "The expenditure of public money through the payment of MPs' salaries and allowances is a matter of direct and reasonable interest to taxpayers." But another cover up over the MP expenses scandal is once more in place. Click Here

A ban on secret lobbying is needed to weed out this kind of sleaze. New rules should be in place to force politicians to reveal who they’re meeting and what they talked about. Cameron is worried about public anger about secret lobbying. Cameron predicted the lobbying scandal which now engulfs him Click Here

At the moment, Cameron is proposing a weak and watery "register of lobbyists" which wouldn't cover most lobbyists, and wouldn't include information on what they were lobbying about, or how much they were spending. That's not good enough!

Back when a Labour government was the main culprit, he described it as a "scandal waiting to happen". Now it's his own reputation on the line. A big petition will show him that the anger will just keep on growing if he doesn't introduce a proper legal ban. 38 Degrees members have voted to make it a priority to ban secret lobbying because we know the harm it does on other issues we care about.

Help stop the rich and powerful whispering in the ears of MPs who are meant to be working for us. Let's up the pressure for a real ban - sign the petition now: Click Here


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