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Talented, deceitful or just plain greedy?


mint

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The telling thing is how long it's taken him to fall on his sword.

Were the same level of fiscal deceit seen in a company, the Civil Service etc, the miscreant would, at the very least, be sacked and probably prosecuted under laws instituted by the Honourable Ladies and Gentlemen of Parliament. He's just another in a long line of thieving scum who feel their position of privilege entitles them to somehow be above the normal rules the rest of us are expected to adhere to.

What I find incomprehensible is that very clear cases of embezzlement of public funds (eg Blunkett's mistress's rail tickets) go unprosecuted.

Makes one wonder if all politicians are self-obsessed, amoral chancers - or is it just the majority?
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I don't know about condemning him.

I think that taxpayers are rightfully indignant.  If you belong to a professional organisation, such behaviour would have you struck off.

If he and his admirers wish to think that he has MERELY broken House of Commons rules, then I feel they are misguided.  This is fraudalent behaviour which was repeated many times over a period of many years.

Moreover, he is an MP, therefore a representative of his constituents....if he were my MP, I'd not be too happy about his representing me in any shape or form.

It's not about whether I've ever done something wrong; it's about whether I set myself up to be a representative of the people who serves their interests and who is part of the law-making process.

Who oversees the lawmakers?

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[quote user="JK"]The telling thing is how long it's taken him to fall on his sword. [/quote]He actually resigned in May 2010 as soon as this came to light so I don't think he delayed at all. The delay was caused by the time it took the investigating committee to come to a decision. On Question Time last thursday it was noticable how people with different political affiliations were actually praising his integrity.

Unfortunately with the British Electoral system many of us have no choice in who our representative is. Regardless of party there are too many safe seats so the MP is chosen by a small group of the party faithful

 

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Rabbie Wrote: On Question Time last thursday it was noticable how people with different political affiliations were actually praising his integrity.

So Rabbie that makes it alright for this dirt bag to steall my tax money then does it?

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I sometimes wonder if MPs inhabit the same world as the rest of us. Many of us know people who work away from home in the week or for longer periods and who are expected to present a very thorough explanation of their expenses to their employer or to the taxman if they are self-employed. If they fiddle then it's fraud.

For the life of me I really can't see a major difference and yet it seems that the MPs can.

Hoddy
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[quote user="NickP"]

Rabbie Wrote: On Question Time last thursday it was noticable how people with different political affiliations were actually praising his integrity.

So Rabbie that makes it alright for this dirt bag to steall my tax money then does it?

[/quote]Lets keep a sense of proportion over this. If he had claimed legitimately he would have got more of your tax money. Is that what you want?

[quote user="Hoddy"]

I sometimes wonder if MPs inhabit the same world as the rest of us. Many of us know people who work away from home in the week or for longer periods and who are expected to present a very thorough explanation of their expenses to their employer or to the taxman if they are self-employed. If they fiddle then it's fraud.
For the life of me I really can't see a major difference and yet it seems that the MPs can.
[/quote] The somewhat generous system of MPs expenses was brought in by Margaret Thatcher in order to persuade them to accept a pay freeze at the time and give them more money by the back door.

It has been suggested we might get better MPs if we paid them more. After all  if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. I agree that the present expense system is a farce.

 

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[quote user="idun"]

Makes one wonder if all politicians are self-obsessed, amoral chancers - or are those just the basic qualifications most of them need to apply to get in ?

 

 

[/quote]There you have it in a nutshell [:)]
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Rabbie wrote: Lets keep a sense of proportion over this. If he had claimed legitimately he would have got more of your tax money. Is that what you want?

Excuse me, that  doesn't make what he did allowable or legitimate, he cheated and lied; if you are happy with that so be it.

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 Not only did Mr Laws resign  immediately this became knowledge but he also reported his own conduct. As I understand it Mr Laws is a very wealthy man and didn't need the money so he probably did do it for the reasons he says, stupid as that may be.

The shame is that all parties credit Mr Laws with a brilliant financial mind, its a shame we lost his talents through this sad and sorry episode.

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[quote user="NickP"]

Rabbie wrote: Lets keep a sense of proportion over this. If he had claimed legitimately he would have got more of your tax money. Is that what you want?

Excuse me, that  doesn't make what he did allowable or legitimate, he cheated and lied; if you are happy with that so be it.

[/quote]Agreed. I have never said it was justifiable. He has apologised and accepted his punishment. I just feel there has been an explosion of holier-than-thou-ism in the press here in England and I probably over reacted to the comments here. Please accept my apologies.

 

 

 

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[quote user="Russethouse"]

What do you think [;-)]

He was stupid, I'm not sure what the total debt was but he repaid £56,000, so although bad enough he probably wasn't the worst offender.

[/quote]

I've made perfectly clear what my opinion of this guy is. He wasn't stupid at all he is a very intelligent person, but he thought we were all mugs; and that he could get away with something.  

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[quote user="Russethouse"] Not only did Mr Laws resign  immediately this became knowledge but he also reported his own conduct. As I understand it Mr Laws is a very wealthy man and didn't need the money so he probably did do it for the reasons he says, stupid as that may be.
The shame is that all parties credit Mr Laws with a brilliant financial mind, its a shame we lost his talents through this sad and sorry episode.[/quote]

Talented, deceitful, plain greedy and stupid, in fairness I think probably his mind may have been elsewhere at the time, but there has already been a few pointers as to which way this will go, even if he is subject to a police investigation, softly, softly, he'll be back, like others have been.

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[quote user="Rabbie"]an explosion of holier-than-thou-ism in the press here in England .

[/quote]The British media?  Who'd have thought it?

 

As these things go, I suppose he acted better than some.  But still better would have been not to commit the sin in the first place.

Having said that, I reckon the job of policitician must be one of the most thankless on the planet. 

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[quote user="cooperlola"][quote user="Rabbie"]an explosion of holier-than-thou-ism in the press here in England .

[/quote]The British media?  Who'd have thought it?[/quote] I know. Still a first time for everything. [:D][;-)]

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I have found it truly interesting ...the division of opinions as to whether this man was justified or not in his actions.

I am trying my level best to be impartial [8-)] and I think that perhaps this is yet another generational thing...

Though I have not expressed myself as forcefully as Paul T, I side with his views totally.

What does it matter whether he could have received more if he'd played it "straight" (ha, ha, pun totally intended!), the crux of the matter is that he need not have claimed at all, especially as he was very wealthy, didn't need the money, etc etc.

As I have mentioned earlier, if I'd ever done such a thing, I would have been struck off the professional bodies to which I belong and I'd hardly have been given the opportunity to exhonerate myself.

It must be the fault of my poor, now dead, parents!  They taught me that theft was theft and that it didn't matter who else was stealing but that it was totally unacceptable for me to do so.

Parents...they are not so easily forgotten, are they![:D]

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As usual S17 you make your point in a sensible manner. I think all of us who have studied this case in detail can see that it was not the most serious breach that some here allege. He has been treated more harshly than some other offenders but IMO the punishment came at about the right level. There was clearly no attempt to claim more than he was legitimately entitled to - the offence was in the manner he claimed and not in the amount he claimed. However the whole system of MPs expenses is clearly flawed and should be put on a proper footing. There is an argument given the large number of applicants for each vacancy that the salry/expenses are too high and should be reduced. Perhaps MPs from outside London should be given accommodation in Government owned properties furnished to a sensible level.

 

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[quote user="Rabbie"]

Unfortunately with the British Electoral system many of us have no choice in who our representative is. Regardless of party there are too many safe seats so the MP is chosen by a small group of the party faithful

[/quote]In the days when I was one of those "party faithful", it was striking how very few people ever turned up to party meetings, a tiny percentage of the membership who in their turn, were only a small proportion of the electorate and the party's voters.  And from amongst those the number who were interested in standing for office was also very small.  But nobody is to blame but those who don't turn up and who only wish to sit and moan.  We may not get the MPs we want, but we certainly get those we deserve.
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Like Rabbie I too saw that Question Time and what a classic it was. A pannelist was totally stumped when a member of the audience asked if the same excuse should apply for a housing benefit claim. All he could do was to keep repeating "that's a very good question". Dimbleby saved the guy any further embarrassment by saying  that they would come back to it later.

However, they didn't seem to go back to it at all. I may have missed it due to a toilet trip but I'm pretty sure they didn't. Did anyone else notice this and if it did come up again what was the response?

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