Saturday, May 19, 2007

Time for the House of Lords to Rescue FOI


Not forgetting the 70 Labour MPs who voted for David Maclean's Bill. It's now up to the House of Lords to throw the Bill out. Let's hope they do so.
UPDATE: The Mail on Sunday alleges that David Maclean has bought a £3,300 Quad Bike on parliamentary expenses.

45 comments:

mutleythedog said...

Tim Ireland has rented a space for tomorrow on your ads - just thought you should know...

David Anthony said...

It's been said many times before but ... you just couldn't make it up. So if this law passes, we will never know about ludicrous expenses such as these, is this right?

The Hitch said...

yeah, could have bought the pensioners scooter , but thought "fuck it I will have the cool quad bike" instead.

If his constituents are so keen to see the fucker why didnt they have a whip round and buy him one instead of sending the bill to the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

Come gather 'round MPs
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'

Come Lords and Ladies
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'

With apologies to Bob Dylan

Auntie Flo'

The Hitch said...

Mr Mutley is that the...

"Mad man seeks digs , must have internet access and comply with my own demented blogging code , no Tories" adverisement ,
Or the
"Fat Aussie buffoon seeks friends in the real world" ad?

Anonymous said...

On that piccy with the quad bike I didn't see any index plates on it and it's on a public road ,isn't it classed as a motorbike.

nadds said...

even al beeb think they are self serving nuts and think the fister has made a big nappy filling poo of it by not opposing the vote

honeymoon over very oon

Ed said...

Off topic: Iain please can you explain why an English parliament is better than English independence?

we can't handle the truth said...

RE mutley 11:45pm So Tom Watson's to be joined in his courageous fight to protect the British people from information! Way to go.

Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

breaking story over at Sunday Times rr both Powell brothers and the Saudi/BAe bribes case

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/

fish rot from the head said...

Tom's bravery in the urgent battle against the pernicious Freedom of Information Act on our behalf cannot ever be forgotten. Now our once persecuted and opressed MP's are free , free at last! Immune! Rejoice!

John Miller said...

Can anyone come up with a comprehensive list of laws MPs have passed but from which they have exempted themselves? I know of this one, smoking and racial discrimination, but there must be more...

hopalong casualty said...

Of course, if he were as disabled as he claims to be he would be eligible for the Motability Scheme by way of the DWP. He would then be entitled to a Motability car and would have no need for this fancy quad.

Or could it be that he already claims the Mobility Allowance as well as charging the Public for what is essentially a toy.

As a registered disabled person I have never known of another disabled person choosing such a conveyance to aid their 'disability'.

Anonymous said...

He's got MS and he lives in a rural constituency. Any employer would have done the same if the person in question was needed to walk distances across poor ground and they had mobility problems. The quad bike ia justified in my view.

ANDREW KITCHING said...

Is there any evidence that the Tory front bench are supporting this FOI exemption Bill? I get the distinct impression they are in cahoots with Labour.

I hold no party affiliation- but I would like to see a Hung Parliament, to stop any of these rascals forcing through restrictive legislation in the future.

The Scottish result is just dandy- as Salmond admits, he has to appeal across the chamber for consensus.

eddie said...

John Miller - MPs have not exempted themselves from the smoking ban.

Anonymous said...

Have seen Mr Maclean on said quad bike. Given the utterly poor state of the roads in Cumbria and the many farmhouse tracks, not to mention the problems a shop mobility vechile would have on a show field, I think that it is quite acceptable that a MP who wants to get out and meet peole and who has MS has a quad bike for these occasions. To be honest it is pretty much essential to this work as an MP, if you would rather that people with these illnesses just sat at home and vegetated then you might as well just say so.

Anonymous said...

Where are the high profile Tories saying this is a bad bad idea.

Do they all secretly support it and just didn't have the balls to vote for it?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
...poor state of the roads in Cumbria...it is quite acceptable that a MP who wants to get out and meet peole and who has MS has a quad bike...it is pretty much essential to this work as an MP, if you would rather that people with these illnesses just sat at home and vegetated then you might as well just say so.

Anon,

You are discriminating against those with MS by perpetuating this doom stereotype in respect of it - one which frightens the lives out of the newly diagnosed.

There are two types of MS, one tragically may involve unremitting decline and loss of mobility. The other type can involve little or no disablity or loss of mobility for many years and may never involve mobility loss.

My neurolgist told me that I probably had MS 33 years ago, subsequent symptons have confirmed this diagnosis. My mobility is not yet affected and I run a successful company.

I don't have a free quad bike at the taxpayer's expense and I'm taxed through the nose for my company car thanks to MPs like our quad biking friend.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Charlotte Corday said...

I would have thought that the insurance premiums for someone with MS to ride around on a quad bike would be massive. I suppose the insurance is being met out of expenses as well.

Anonymous said...

John Miller said...
Can anyone come up with a comprehensive list of laws MPs have passed but from which they have exempted themselves? I know of this one, smoking and racial discrimination, but there must be more...

Sex Offenders Register - they've exempted their rich donors and celebrity chums too.

This disgusting evasion of the law of land by MPs must end.

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

They've exempted themselves from paying tax on their pensions too, haven't they? If so, that must go too.

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

Some pathetic comments on this thread.

Someone "suspects" that MacLean suffers no mobility loss from his MS. Someone else states "if he really has a disability...".

Perhaps such judgements are best left to people who actually know the man?

All i know is that he walks with a cane - so certainly has limited mobility, caused or not caused by MS.

rilly super said...

Iain, I linked to Tom Watson on my blog very early on because he is a lovely labour MP with a history of plugging bloggers like wife in the north for their lovely prose and not just because they happen to be posh and loaded and have good Murdoch connections but I'm now concerned that under the 'freedom of information except MPs act' Tom's URL may now be a state secret. This is a bit of a worry.

I see you link to him too so hope I end up next door to you in Belmarsh Iain. Better make the best of your game of golf today dear.

mitch said...

i presume this quad bike has a milometer so expenses can be claimed.
these mps make me sick hypocrites to the core.

Ralph Lucas said...

Attacking David Maclean over his disability is going to do nothing but make us feel sympathy for his cause. I have been an advocate for Freedom of Information from the earliest days, but with freedom comes responsibility, and if responsibility is not exercised then the arguments for curtailing freedom become harder to resist.

Come on, wake up to what the Mail is: a cynical exercise in making money by using distortion and misinformation to make us frightened or outraged.

Anonymous said...

What do you do when the legislature is out of control like this. Elections won't fix this as they're in this for themselves, across party lines.

Anonymous said...

Where were the other 525 ? Ooops sorry ! Some were abroad of course(naming no names), some were "campaigning" or working as teaching assistants or whatever or just had simply p*ssed off back to their constituencies for a long weekend. Mind you they can't all use the "It wasn't me Guv" defence our future PM has done that one to death ! I hope everytime they have to face a constituent they're asked about this piece of self-serving **** !

Anonymous said...

Nobody is stopping him from having a quad bike - why do we the taxpayers have to pay for it? We don't pay for MPs' cars, why should we pay for his bike? If he wants to claim for the fuel that's fine and within the rules.

As a former chief whip I am sure he knew that the MOS would be swooping on him and his private life, which has absolutely no bearing on the FOI issue. Trust the MOS to get it muddled.

What I would question is why current Tory whips like Tobias Ellwood and Simon Burns wre doing supporting this noxious Bill? Sure, it was a free vote but they obviously had their Party's implicit approval as they would have had to consult with their Chief Whip who would have had to go to their Party Leader for approval. So nobody comes out of this with clean hands.

Anonymous said...

His disability hasn't stopped him being an mp,his disability hasn't stopped him from bringing a disgusting amendment in ,his disability hasn't stopped him claiming expenses ,his disability hasn't stopped him getting a quad bike at our expense ,why do think we should care about his disability when its obvious he has no interest what us scum think.

ms sufferer said...

whatever you think of david maclean and his appalling bill you should be aware that ms affects each sufferer in different ways

Thomas Jefferson said...

Information is the currency of democracy.

follow the money said...

So what information does Gordon desperately wish to remain secret from us?


"Foul deeds will rise, Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes"

Anonymous said...

The Prime Minister now has a petition against it on his website.
http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/MPs-and-FOI/

jafo said...

All this stuff about David Maclean's MS is totally irrelevant. I know a number of people with MS, and I am aware it affects different people in different ways. People with MS have posted comments on this blog. What none of them have been able to do is buy themselves a £3,300 quad bike with the taxpayers' money.

All this rubbish about the "state of the roads in Cumbria" etc.etc - bet there's other people in Cumbria with MS, holding down jobs, paying their taxes - and no taxpayer funded quad bike either.

If Mr Maclean had had the gumption to turn up on the Today programme and various TV programmes on Friday to defend his bill, I might have been prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. As he hadn't - I'm not.

Madasafish said...

I see our MPs are doing their level best to show themselves in their true colours: hypocrites .

Just goes to prove that the general deep distrust of politicians is 100% justified by their actions...

Someone Cumbrian said...

The MoS piece doen't even mention that Maclean leaned on Tory selection officials to re-run a contest before the last general election to give his then-shagpiece, Judith Pattinson, a better chance of getting selected!

Anonymous said...

Iain -

If you are asking questions of CCHQ and their desire to exempt Members from FOI, one of them ought to include the words "Short money".

I expect you will very swiftly be invited to "shut the f**k up".

Anonymous said...

The Hitch -

I happen to know that Maclean has got your home address from P Hitchens. So when that quad bike comes careering up your drive you'll know who it is. Just make sure you are dressed appropriately.

Anonymous said...

anon @ 11.15am :

most MPs had not "p*ssed off back to their constituencies for a long weekend."

Fridays -- when there is no whipped business in the House -- are the traditional days for meeting constituents and holding constituency surgeries.

If MPs were in Westminster on Fridays you wouild no doubt be bollocking them for not being in their constituencies.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous May 20, 2007 10:39 AM said ...

"What do you do when the legislature is out of control like this. Elections won't fix this as they're in this for themselves, across party lines."

Nothing can be done except wait two or three decades for the civil war. Then shoot them.

Anonymous said...

eddie said on May 20, 2007 8:31 AM
John Miller - MPs have not exempted themselves from the smoking ban.

Eddie, WRONG. They may be voluntarily observing the ban but they do not have to because they DID EXEMPT themselves FROM THE LAW as a royal palace.

So the fact that they have decided to ban smoking in parliament themselves has nothing to do with the law that bans all of us from smoking at work because that law does not apply to them. Same as the discrimination law and FOI etc etc. It really is one law for us and one for them, and they aren't even making any pretence otherwise now.

And to all those defending this fucker who brought up this bill, because of MS, well that fuck deserves something a lot worse than MS after the damage he's doing democracy in this country. Fucker.

Pomona said...

Hitch does anybody know if it has road tax etc ,I don't see any tax disc ,or reg plates ,and it's a 200cc bike ,the one's Iv'e seen on the road around here have reg plates front and back and tax disc,he's on a public highway where's the reg plate for the front.