ConDems Show Vicious Neoliberal Principles In Attack On Welfare

Given they both agree cuts which will entail more unemployment they are then further victimising the people they make unemployed, a searingly middle and upper class attitude that is based in the ‘scrounger’ idea that is demonstrably dishonest, they know full well their ideology depends on and creates a pool of unemployed to maintain ‘flexibility’ of labour and to lower labour costs. Nevertheless they convey through corporate media allies to condition people to think those needing welfare are ripping off taxpayers and are unwilling to work, ensuring the astronomically higher corporate and tax fraud figures of their supporters and compadres are kept out of the discourse. One can reasonably define a characteristic of neoliberalism is the scapegoating, the othering, of victims of the ideology in order to misdirect opposition from the -already rich- benefactors of neoliberalism. I have not seen anyone else focus on this part of the deal which perhaps also demonstrates the effectiveness of the ideology in informing opinions on this subject. For some people to be rich under this system it requires many others to remain poor, apparently a taboo issue for the self absorbed upwardly mobile acquisitive consumer puppets of marketing whose souls are owned by Visa.

From Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition deal
The parties agree to end all existing welfare-to-work programmes and to create a single welfare-to-work programme to help all unemployed people get back into work.

We agree that jobseeker’s allowance claimants facing the most significant barriers to work should be referred to the aforementioned newly created welfare-to-work programme immediately, not after 12 months as is currently the case. We agree that jobseeker’s allowance claimants aged under 25 should be referred to the programme after a maximum of six months.

The parties agree to realign contracts with welfare-to-work service providers to reflect more closely the results they achieve in getting people back into work.

We agree that the funding mechanism used by government to finance welfare-to-work programmes should be reformed to reflect the fact that initial investment delivers later savings in lower benefit expenditure.

We agree that receipt of benefits for those able to work should be conditional on the willingness to work.

Spanish Fascists Try To Silence Human Rights Judge

(IPS) – Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzón, who became world-famous when he issued the warrant that resulted in former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet’s arrest in London in 1998, is now facing legal charges himself, which could cost him his job.

Garzón, who sits on the Audiencia Nacional, Spain’s highest criminal court, is accused of overreaching his judicial powers for his 2008 decision to investigate human rights crimes committed during Spain’s 1936-1939 civil war and the 1939-1975 dictatorship of Francisco Franco, which were covered by an amnesty issued by parliament in 1977, two years after the dictator’s death.

The high court magistrate began investigating the forced disappearance of some of the more than 100,000 victims of that crime, arguing that under international law no amnesty can apply to crimes against humanity.

In response to legal action brought by “associations for the recovery of the historical memory” which group the families of victims of forced disappearance in different regions of the country, he ordered the exhumation of 19 unmarked mass graves around the country.

One of the graves is said to hold the body of poet Federico García Lorca, who was killed by pro-Franco forces in 1936 in the southern city of Granada.

The charges against Garzón were filed by the far-right organisations Manos Limpias, which calls itself a trade union but is not registered as such, Libertad e Identidad (Freedom and Identity), and Falange, Spain’s fascist party.

The groups accuse him of abuse of power for investigating crimes that were covered by the 1977 amnesty.

On Mar. 25, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Garzón, who argued that he did not overstep the bounds of his jurisdiction, and that his investigation was legitimate. The Court thus ruled that the case against him could proceed.

The case will be put in the hands of ultraconservative Judge Adolfo Prego, a member of the Honorary Board of the extreme-right “Foundation for Defense of the Spanish nation” (Denaes).

The charges against Garzón have triggered an outcry in Spain, from socialist Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero – who pointed to the judge’s fight against terrorism – trade unions, civil society organisations and judicial colleagues.

The two main trade union federations, the UGT and CCOO, issued a statement “publicly expressing our solidarity at this time with Judge Garzón.”

International organisations have also expressed their concern. The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) presented an open letter to Spanish judicial authorities requesting that the charges against Garzón be dropped.

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D’oh, Canada

Apartheid torturer allowed to settle and practice medicine in Canada…finally is brought to book for sex crimes, it reminds me of the joke (I think by Mark Steel) about all those white South Africans fleeing democracy.

Topically it is reminiscent of the Vatican’s practices, I think one of the key aspects of the Vatican’s rationale to covering up and enabling abuse was to privilege priests rights above laity, this is not uncommon, occupying troops lives are privileged above the occupied people’s lives etc. This lack of equality and subsequent lack of accountability & justice enables abuses,rapes, murders and torture wherever it exists. Medicine, especially in the area of mental health, also privileges practitioners above patients, various systems try to mitigate this and provide accountability and are of varying degrees of success (and failure). Clearly in this case there was not just an atrocious failure but a very clear tolerance and support of a vicious bigot, made all the worse because he was a psychiatrist with his own diseased views of the world who had immense power over others who would have been very vulnerable. This is not new to psychiatry and Canadian psychiatry, the funding of human vivisection by the CIA is a matter of record. Levin’s career does make one wonder if a a very arrogant and right wing element that was artificially bolstered by Cold War funding, persists in the Canadian psychiatric establishment (for another example see Keneth Zucker) who view the rights of their patients to be little greater than lab rats when it comes to forcing their conservative vision upon the bodies and minds of patients.

A leading Canadian psychiatrist who kept accusations of gross human rights abuses in apartheid-era South Africa hidden has been charged in Calgary with sexually abusing a male patient and is being investigated over dozens of other allegations.

Dr Aubrey Levin, who in South Africa was known as Dr Shock for his use of electricity to “cure” gay military conscripts, was arrested after a patient secretly filmed the psychiatrist allegedly making sexual advances. Levin, who worked at the University of Calgary’s medical school, has been suspended from practising and is free on bail of C$50,000 (£32,000) on charges of repeatedly indecently assaulting a 36-year-old man.

The police say they are investigating similar claims by nearly 30 other patients. The Alberta justice department is reviewing scores of criminal convictions in which Levin was a prosecution witness.

Levin has worked in Canada for 15 years since leaving South Africa, where he was chief psychiatrist in the apartheid-era military and became notorious for using electric shocks to “cure” gay white conscripts. He also held conscientious objectors against their will at a military hospital because they were “disturbed” and subjected them to powerful drug regimens.

South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission heard that Levin was guilty of “gross human rights abuses” including chemical castration of gay men. But after arriving in Canada in 1995 he managed to suppress public discussion of his past by threatening lawsuits against news organisations that attempted to explore it.

Following the arrest, other male patients have contacted the authorities. One, who was not identified, told CTV in Canada that he had gone to Levin for help with a gambling addiction and alleged he had been questioned about his sex life and subject to sexual advances.

The arrest has raised questions about how Levin was allowed to settle in Canada. Canada admitted other South African medical practitioners accused of human rights abuses, including two who worked with Wouter Basson, known as Dr Death for his oversight of chemical and biological warfare experiments that included the murder of captured Namibian guerrillas.

Levin, who made no secret of his hard rightwing views and was a member of the ruling National party during apartheid, has a long history of homophobia.

In the 1960s, he wrote to a parliamentary committee considering the abolition of laws criminalising homosexuality saying that they should be left in place because he could “cure” gay people.

His efforts to do just that in the army began in 1969 at the infamous ward 22 at the Voortrekkerhoogte military hospital near Pretoria, which ostensibly catered for service personnel with psychological problems. Commanding officers and chaplains were encouraged to refer “deviants” for electroconvulsive aversion therapy.

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A Sorry Apology

Colm O’Gorman:- On Saturday Pope Benedict XVI published his letter to the Irish Church on the issue of child abuse. What was necessary seemed clear. As Pope, acknowledge the cover up by Roman Catholic Church of the rape and abuse of children by priests, take responsibility for it, and show how you will ensure it never happens again.

But the letter failed to do any of this. There was no acceptance of responsibility for the now established cover up, no plan to ensure that across the global church those who rape and abuse will be reported to the civil authorities and children properly protected.

The letter is clearly an effort to restore the credibility of a church rocked by the publication of three state investigations into clerical crimes and church over ups in Ireland. The Pope has seen all three of these reports.

Published in May 2009, following an eleven year State investigation, the Ryan Report detailed the full extent of the horrific abuse endured by children abandoned to the ‘care’ of the church.

It reported ritualized, savage beatings, endemic rape and sexual assault and the exploitation of children forced to work to enrich the bloated religious congregations charged with their care.

Disgracefully, the Pope used his letter and this issue to attack one of his favourite targets, secularisation. We are asked to believe that the secularisation of Irish society led to abuse and cover up. In fact, it is the secularisation of society that finally led to the exposure of the crimes of the church.

The most horrific abuse was perpetrated, not in a secularised Ireland, but at a time when Irish society was dominated, socially and politically, by the Catholic Church.

That the Pope appears to have wilfully ignored this established fact is a blatant and disgraceful deceit.

Some have reported that the Pope issued a heartfelt apology to victims of abuse. In fact the word ‘sorry’ appeared just once in a letter running to almost four thousand seven hundred words.

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Desaparecidos

The excavation of a mass grave on a Granada hillside where the poet Federico Garcia Lorca was murdered during the Spanish Civil War has reinforced calls for the area to be investigated. “Lorca was just one of 4,000 executions on a roadside just a kilometre long,” says Juan Antonio Lopez Diaz, a Granada University professor. “There are so many bodies there that pine trees were planted just to stop them being uncovered by rainfall erosion.”

After years of debate, digging finally began last week at the mass grave where half a dozen men, possibly including Lorca, were killed and buried on 18 August 1936 by hitmen from General Franco’s right-wing Nationalist forces. A huge white tent has been erected, surrounded by a two-metre high metal fence, to ward off the media during the two-month investigation.

There are no such restrictions on area less than a mile away known simply as “the ravines of Viznar”. This is where mass executions of hundreds of other sympathisers of the doomed Spanish Republic were summarily executed.

“We had our desaparecidos [disappeared] way before the term became famous during the 1970s South American dictatorships,” Diaz Lopez added. “During the war in Granada anybody with even the slightest connection to the ‘wrong’ side risked illegal execution. And that went on well into Franco’s regime.”

Neocon Rory Stewart Was An MI6 Operative

Rory Stewart currently vying for selection as a Tory candidate, as Craig Murray reveals

One person I would not vote for is the crusading neo-Conservative Rory Stewart. It is particularly annoying that he is constantly referred to as a former diplomat. Stewart was an MI6 officer and not a member of the FCO.

Three years ago I received a message from the FCO asking me not to mention this as, at that time, Stewart was still very active for MI6 in Afghanistan and his life could have been endangered. I agreed, and even removed a reference from my blog. However now that he is safely and lucratively ensconsed at Harvard, I see no reason to conceal the truth. I is necessary to reveal this so that people can correctly evaluate his political pronouncements on Iraq and Afghanistan, and his motives in making them.

Word.

Those Astroturf Shills For Capital

Click to Embigenify

Click to Embigenify

Image via A Very Public Sociologist’s Twitter (me like the Nambu)

Margaret Talev, McClatchy Newspapers

  • Conservatives for Patients’ Rights is led by health care entrepreneur Rick Scott, the co-founder of Solantic urgent care walk-in centers, which he’s spread across Florida and is looking to expand. While 80 percent of its patients have at least some insurance, Solantic also bills itself as an alternative to emergency-room care and a resource for patients with no insurance. Scott left his job as CEO of the Columbia/HCA hospitals during a federal Medicare fraud probe in 1997 that led to a historic $1.7 billion settlement. He wasn’t prosecuted and got a golden parachute.
  • FreedomWorks, which has been advocating against the overhaul but has not launched TV ads, is chaired by Dick Armey, the former Republican majority leader of the House of Representatives from Texas. But also noteworthy are the group’s other backers and board members. They include billionaire flat-tax proponent and former GOP presidential candidate Steve Forbes; Richard J. Stephenson, who founded Cancer Treatment Centers of America, which offers alternative as well as standard therapies, sometimes not covered by insurance; and Frank M. Sands, Sr., chief executive officer of an investment management firm whose offerings include a Healthcare Leaders portfolio.
  • Patients First and Patients United are creations of a larger group called Americans for Prosperity. AFP’s Web site describes a grassroots organization with more than 700,000 members that advocates “for public policies that champion the principles of entrepreneurship and fiscal and regulatory restraint.” It was started by billionaire David Koch, of the Koch Industries oil family, one of the country’s top donors to conservative, free-market causes. The foundation’s board includes Art Pope, a former North Carolina legislator also involved in conservative causes, whose family owns hundreds of discount stores. Tim Phillips, AFP’s president, is a former Republican congressional staffer who helped former Christian Coalition executive director Ralph Reed start up the consulting firm Century Strategies in the 1990s. Clients paid the firm to build Christian grassroots support for various business causes. That included work for since-convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Construction Industry’s McCarthy Gets Off With Small Fine

Remember this- black lists of left wing activists are traded in order to victimise them– well…

Some of Britain’s leading construction firms subscribed to a secret blacklist of workers which prevented them from getting jobs, a court has heard. More than 40 firms used the database of 3,213 workers – which included details of trade union activity – to vet workers, Knutsford Crown Court heard. Ian Kerr, 66, of Avoncroft Road, Stoke Heath, Worcestershire, has been fined £5,000 for administering the list.

Keer has form as a latter day McCarthy-

Kerr has spent many years compiling databases on workers. He did not wish to comment on a report in the Guardian 15 years ago which said he had been working for the Economic League, a controversial vetting agency which accumulated files on thousands of people it considered subversive between 1919 and 1993.

I said at the time- Will the numerous companies listed… who used his expensive blacklist services be prosecuted?- I am trying to act surprised that not only have none of them have been prosecuted but the single man brought to trial gets a small fine.

Kerr ran the blacklist for up to 15 years. The court heard that accounts showed it was paid £478,000 between 2004 and March 2009.

Still investigations are ongoing, as they say (will the police be helping the ICO?)…

After the hearing, ICO investigator Dave Clancy said the inquiry would continue to see if the companies involved had broken the law. “We are looking to see if the requirements of the Data Protection Act have been complied with. We will take action in due course,” said Mr Clancy.

George Guy, regional secretary for the construction workers’ union Ucatt, said he was disappointed by the result of the hearing. He said: “The people who provided this information and received it have got off scot free. Some of our members were out of work for years because of this list. They were forced to live in poverty, unable to provide for their families and they had no idea why. We will continue this fight until the companies involved are brought before the courts.”

(ht2 Jim Jay)

Rape Doctrine

flyer front

Click image for more @HarpyMarx

One might reflect that the crisis of capitalism is allowing those who abhor the public good but worship private profit to reveal their true selves and agendas. Of course there is the gender bias too, so we now find Rape Crisis Centres are under threat not just in North Wales but nationwide. Who does this favour? Well, neoliberals and rapists. Who does this hurt? All who object to rape and those who have experienced it, you might think that would pretty well much cover everyone, but clearly there is a sizeable number of people  (rich and/or men mostly) who are not that concerned with the prevalence of rape in our society. Boris Johnson the Conservative Mayor (really well done there London) gets a quarter of a million pounds a year to write a rubbish weekly column, an amount he referred to as chicken feed. In a just society that money would be taken immediately from him and given to Rape Crisis much as the bonuses paid to financiers should be seized and used to support those made unemployed by City irresponsibility.

Update: This story Capital D mentions also points out the conservative attempts to normalise rape, the Telegraph took an academic paper work in progress titled “Promiscuous men more likely to rape” and totally misrepresented it capping it with the headline “Women who dress provocatively more likely to be raped, claim scientists”, more @Bad Science. Clearly this is no mere lazy journalism, there is an agenda at work here, a counter movement by misogynists and given the prevalence in society, statistically some rapists (and the British Psychological Society don’t exactly cover themselves in glory either, try and act surprised). The research by the Women’s Resource Centre is very disturbing-

Key findings from this research include:

  • The combined annual income for Rape Crisis centres in 2006-07 was just over £3.5m. The government spent more than twice this amount on advertising and public relations each week in 2004-05.
  • The average annual income for Rape Crisis centres was £81,598, only marginally more than the cost, to the state, of one rape.
  • 69% of centres identified that they were unsustainable in the future.
  • 79% of grants they received were for one year or less.
  • Only 21% of services provided by Rape Crisis are fully funded.
  • The total number of average days spent on waiting lists equals 1,929 days – or 5.3 years.
  • Rape Crisis is a crucial support service for women with historic experiences of sexual violence (such as childhood sexual abuse), with over three-quarters of service users having experiences of sexual violence that occurred in the past.

Flat Tax, The Smackdown

Tory Shadow chancellor George Gideon Oliver Osborne (heir to the Osborne baronetcy of Ballentaylor) is a flat taxer, yet what happens to those nations praised by flat tax messiahs, such as Iceland, Latvia… they crash spectacularly and repeal it. Richard Murphy lays it out. So will this end Tory dreams of flat taxes or just mean we have an easily visualised predicator for the UK after some years of Tory thieving.

Tory Tax Report

Richard Murphy @ (the splendid) Tax Research Blog summarises-

I have read some of the Arculus Report issued by the Tories, particularly with regard to tax.

It is a repeat of their oft repeated mantra: don;t tax mobile capital or it will go away. Let’s re-write that another way: don’t tax the investment income of the rich, put all tax burdens on working people. Much of it comes straight out of the flat-taxers manual.

Try not to be too shocked. (Link to appaling Tory website to se their launch of this wankfest. Ps. Guess who ‘Sir ‘David Arculus used to advise? Tony Blair, consensus democracy is great ain’t it?)

Ross Begins His ‘Diplomacy’

The U.S. State Department said Monday it will send its special Persian Gulf envoy to the region as part of continued diplomatic efforts to steer Iran away from its suspected quest for nuclear weapons. It will be the first trip to the region for Dennis Ross since he was named to the position in late February.

The State Department said Ross will begin his trip Tuesday and will visit Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar. He will be accompanied by the deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, Lt. Gen. John R. Allen, and National Security Council official Puneet Talwar.

Old Rossy, that paragon of independent balanced diplomacy…

Ross got his start in high-level policy-making working under Paul Wolfowitz in the Pentagon during the Carter administration. Wolfowitz — who is better known for his role pushing the Iraq War after the 11 September attacks and for his controversial tenure as World Bank head — tasked Ross with helping draft a study assessing threats to US interests in the Persian Gulf. The 1979 study, titled the “Limited Contingency Study,” concluded that aside from the Soviet Union, a key threat to the region’s oil fields was Iraq.

Ross also helped produce the 2008 report “Meeting the Challenge: US Policy Toward Iranian Nuclear Development,” which was published by a study group convened by the Bipartisan Policy Centre, a group led by several former legislators.

The lead drafter of the report was AEI’s Michael Rubin, an outspoken proponent of US military intervention in the Middle East. Other participants included hawkish arms control analyst Henry Sokolski; Michael Makovsky, a former aide to Douglas Feith; Stephen Rademaker, who worked under former UN Ambassador John Bolton in the State Department; and the neoconservative Hudson Institute director, Kenneth Weinstein.

Calling the report a “roadmap to war,” Inter Press Service’s Jim Lobe writes, “In other words, if Tehran is not eventually prepared to permanently abandon its enrichment of uranium on its own soil — a position that is certain to be rejected by Iran ab initio — war becomes inevitable, and all intermediate steps, even including direct talks if the new president chooses to pursue them, will amount to going through the motions … What is a top Obama adviser [Dennis Ross] doing signing on to it?”

Philip Weiss: -Back in 1991 Ross was the main Middle East negotiator for George Bush when Bush tried to serve the American interest in the Middle East by putting a stop to the illegal settlements in the West Bank by placing conditions on loan guarantees the Israelis had sought from the U.S. to build housing for Russian immigrants. The Israelis assured Bush through Ross that they would accept the restrictions. Ross vouched for Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir to George Bush. Then Shamir continued building settlements, making Bush look like a fool. Ross was in the middle. He indicates in his book on the “peace process,” The Missing Peace, that George Bush felt that Ross had misled him. You might think that a president who feels misled by an aide would fire the aide. You’d be wrong.

Bush needed Ross more than Ross needed Bush. In fact, the following year, 1992, Ross was out there campaigning for Bush in the Jewish community, telling them that it was Bush’s “achievement” that the settlements had continued (Clayton Swisher reports in The Truth About Camp David). Bill Clinton also assured the Jewish community about the settlements in that election. Where is the American interest???

Also more at Rightweb

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CIA & Friendly Hacks Pro-Torture Propaganda

The thing is a journo is meant to be a cynical sceptical mofo but in the corporate mode they are yes men climbing the greasy pole, hence their journalism becomes the antithesis of the role we expect, yet for many people they have not twigged this dynamic. Just as they covered up their role in war pimping they happily believed what Bush regime and CIA officials fed them, to call them saps would be extremely charitable, shills is nearer the mark. And at base we have to conclude it reflected their personal beliefs and politics, they too believe in Empire Americana and the war crimes it commits to instil fear and maintain dominance. Anyway Glenn Greenwald has it all, excerpt-

In The New York Times this morning, Brian Stelter documents how a widely-cited 2007 report by ABC News’ Brian Ross — amplifying the claim by former CIA agent John Kiriakou that Abu Zubaydah lasted only 30-35 seconds on the waterboard before confessing numerous Terrorist plots to the CIA — permeated media discussions and was uncritically repeated over and over, even though we know now the claim was absolutely false, as Zubaydah was waterboarded at least 83 times. Below I document (a) just how pervasive that “Zubayduh-confessed-after-30-seconds” myth became and — more importantly — (b) how obvious it was to real journalists that Kiriakou’s claim required serious sketpicism and doubt.

But two years before Ross disseminated that Zubaydah falsehood, he was responsible for injecting into our discourse a separate claim that was equally false and at least equally damaging: namely, that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed impressed his CIA interrogators by lasting an astonishingly long two-and-a-half minutes before “begging to confess.” Citing nothing but anonymous CIA sources without a molecule of critical thought, this is what Ross “reported” on November 18, 2005:

According to the sources, CIA officers who subjected themselves to the water boarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in. They said al Qaeda’s toughest prisoner, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, won the admiration of interrogators when he was able to last between two and two-and-a-half minutes before begging to confess.On March 15, 2007, this is what Ross said on World News Tonight about Mohammed and waterboarding:

It’s a technique used by the CIA with the President’s approval where the person is put upside down, water is poured on their head. They have a sense they’re drowning and it creates a gag-like reflex. He lasted the longest under waterboarding, we’re told, before he broke, between two and two and a half minutes, and then he caved and told all.We now know that this claim, too, was patently false, as Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times in one month alone. Yet two years before the Zubayduh falsehood examined this morning by Stelter, this false “fact” — that waterboarding works almost immediately in saving Americans lives as demonstrated by how quickly it broke Mohammed — was repeated over and over to argue that waterboarding is both highly effective and, given how quickly it works, cannot possibly constitute torture.

This might partially explain (although wider cultural issues of an entitled imperial populace are relevant too) why America remains by a majority pro-torture-Gallup US torture4/09And the comparative poll [PDF or hosted onblog wpo_torture_jun08_packet] shows the land of the free home of the brave is less civilised than Mexico, Spain, France, Poland, Ukraine, Palestine, Azerbaijan, Egypt, China, Indonesia for example. As for the UK well we do well except today Craig Murray gave evidence and so far, 1 google news result and that is a pre report from a UN source. So as usual the poodle looks to its guides in Washington perhaps.

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David Cameron’s Pro-Apartheid Jolly

This is no surprise to those who know Tories for what they really are, but younger peeps might think they hold some difference to the New Labour shower.

David Cameron accepted an all-expenses paid trip to apartheid South Africa while Nelson Mandela was still in prison, an updated biography of the Tory leader reveals today.

The trip by Mr Cameron in 1989, when he was a rising star of the Conservative Research Department, was a chance for him to “see for himself” and was funded by a firm that lobbied against the imposition of sanctions on the apartheid regime. (ht2 Craig Murray who is also worth reading on the Quilliam foundation)

New Labour Backs Off Hushing Up Expenses

(ht2 Harpymarx) Yep after sneaking out the news under cover of their runway bullshit they have failed to keep it sufficiently low key to pull it off, NL claim they had a deal with the tories, which the tories deny (except they ‘decided’ against it and ‘changed’ their whip so that means, er yes they were gonna help out until rumbled). One thing for sure attention paid to this, put paid to this, can’t leave ’em alone for minute-

Ministers have shelved plans to exempt MPs’ expenses details from the Freedom of Information Act, after the Tories and Lib Dems said they would fight it.

The High Court ruled last year that details of claims made under the second homes allowance, including receipts, should be published in the interests of transparency. Campaigners had denounced the planned Commons vote as effectively overturning the High Court ruling and said MPs were trying to exempt themselves from a law had they created.

Freedom of information campaigners welcomed the decision, saying the proposal to limit disclosure would have made MPs the only public officials immune from public scrutiny. But they warned it was not the end of the matter and similar plans could resurface in future. Maurice Frankel, director of the Campaign for Freedom of Information said: “Some MPs are clearly desperate to prevent the release of past expenses claims which are likely to have exceeded what could reasonably be justified to the public.”

An internet campaign by MySociety urging MPs to vote against the change attracted more than 6,000 supporters on the Facebook website. Peter Facey, of pressure group Unlock Democracy, warned if the vote had gone ahead it would have had “a catastrophic impact on the reputation of Parliament.” He urged the Commons to publish all expenses details “at the earliest opportunity”.

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