2007 - 2021

Standards and Conduct

_84499361_sunCollapse, decay and decadence are all around us as the power base of the village of Westminster unravels in howls of fury and joy. Lord Sewell’s exposure is only the very latest in a slew of disastrous scandals and debasement’s as the rotten corpse of British politics lies stinking-out the public realm.

As the British state tries to manage MI5 Spin in Scotland and Ireland and we await (endlessly) the Chilcott Report, the latest in the endless stream of pointless after-the-fact- establishment inquiries (try this one for joy), the real lesson, the real effrontery, is not the great Lord’s sexual deviancy, as Suzanne Moore puts it, ‘this is six-figure scrounging’:

“…the allowance for peers is £300 a day, though it does not apply to Sewel. He is paid £120,000 a year, made up of his salary for his part-time work chairing committees in the Lords (£84,525) and his allowance of £36,000 for maintaining a home in London. He complains that he is struggling, and when one of the women asks if his £200 allowance pays for his lunch, he replies: “It’s not lunch luvvie darling, it’s paying for this.”

This feels like we’ve burst a dam of dissent and a collapsing of popular belief in our institutions. As the Prime Minister casually dispenses with democracy while stuffing the Lords with Tory peers – the Lords – where people still talk idly of ‘reform’ – as they have for over 100 years – is the perfect example of why Britain is a unreformable state. It’s a political entity which must be abandoned not appeased.

And where are Labour? In either capitulation or full-scale panic as the political equivalent of the horrors descend on a party allergic to principle and lobotomised by Blairism. As Alex Andreo writes:

“All this shows a profound lack of understanding about how the political landscape is shaped by all parties, not just the one governing. See how UKIP have defined the European debate. Observe how a young SNP MPs speech can go viral. A vigorous opposition that articulates a clear alternative, can be infinitely more useful that an “electable” one that rolls over on every issue. An effective opposition is an integral part of our democracy and has been sadly absent. We need someone to drag the landscape to the left or, at least, halt its inexorable Thatcherite slide to the right.”

This new force, whether it’s the veteran Bernie Saunders in Vermont – or the unlikely Jeremy Corbyn are plugging the gap filled with 30 years of a failed cosy consensus on the right and is the inevitable outcome of a culture of contentment and entitlement from Clegg to Carmichael. Now here we are – pitched up in 2015 – with Sewell relaxing in his salmon pink bra and poor Michael Forsyth worried “the Union is hanging by a thread” and David Mundell heckled as he turns up for a now routine Foodbank opening. The picture of the fag-end of a rotten regime in its dying days with an utter loss of legitimacy and mandate could scarcely be clearer.

We described the Westminster and Holyrood elections before as the ‘undertaker and midwife’  – now Corbyn and a renewed English left are fetching the water and hot towels and fishing out the embalming fluids. This is over – and a massive new election result next year will take us over the threshold with a huge organised force in all of our parliamentary bodies for independence. The indefensible union has become a cracked and broken prospect. We’re not going to have to wait many years to see transformative change in this country. As someone once said, in what seems like an eternity ago: “bring it on.”



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  1. Clare Galloway says:

    WHO THE F*** in their ‘right’ mind SUPPORTS this awful, shameful House of ‘Lords’ – who BELIEVES in this hierachy; who CONDONES it?! Who sits quiet whilst these sponging scum reign in righteous evil? These are NOT rhetorical questions: whoever supports this should be locked up… Lop off the whole top layer, and let’s get back to real life!!

    1. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      Unfortunately Clare I fear the Scottish Cringe is still with us. The official YES campaign were unable to produce a robust economic plan to counter the scaremongering. The scaremongering would be even worse now with the fall in oil prices.

      Westminster could bring back public hangings and we still wouldn’t get a majority.

      I hope to hell the SNP with all of their funds are working behind the scenes to produce a radical financial alternative and not kidding themselves on that it was the Vow!

      1. sandy ritchie says:

        Ronald… Yep re yer last sentence or 2. Because Indies call it scare mongering but provide few intelligent answers to reasonable questions, particularly the pound. Funding public services in my opinion is still an issue given SNP reluctance to address LA income (except have a commission consider it…ie kick the issue into the long grass)…in the meantime LA councils are struggling to meet their statutory duties with regards to care of the elderly… We know all about SNPs signpost.. lol…but they’re behaving like a weathercock in order to achieve their objective…not good enough to persuade No voters..

        1. C Rober says:

          The pound argument does need redressing , Ireland got to use it for decades after indy.

          There is Jersey , IOM , Falklands , and about a dozen more dependencies that use it , yet send no tax to Westminster.

          Perhaps this needs to be tackled in Westminster by the 56 , but then again I just suspect they will sit back and moan about it like everything else but do feck all about it , chalking it up to a vote builder for Hollyrood. The should be tabling a bill asap on the removal of the pound outside the Union.

          It is time for action in Westminster , shouting and clapping , to bring it to a standstill on any economic matters discussions , ghandi style non violent protests , grinding parliament to a halt , until Scotland’s pound use are accepted for an indy ref 2. You watch the FTSE , the wallet of the elite , get squeaky bum as those Tories and labour millionaire politicians run for the andrex.

          1. Crabbit says:

            Ireland set up its own currency in 1928 (was independent from 1922).

          2. Mike Fenwick says:

            Anyone else think there is a similarity between where Scotland is now, and has been for 300 years, and how the American Colonies felt in the run up to their revolution?

            Currency: The war of independence started for real in 1775, but nearly 100 years earlier, Massachusets started its own mint, and out of it came the “pine tree” shilling, and that and other coinage came into common usage in the colony.

            Today with the likes of “bitcoin” – electronic money – it may not take much imagination to consider ways of creating a viable “unit of exchange” which proves acceptable to many of us, indeed there are already examples – I am not recomending this, nor am I ignoring its existence, nor are the Bank of England: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/Pages/localcurrencies/default.aspx

            Far more importantly, and based on a post elsewhere on Bella, I have strongly recommended that very serious thought should be given to “nationalising the right to create money” – not a mainstream topic at all for most of us – but it is a primary reason why we have to bail out the Banks, why we have a deficit, and why in consequence we see so much of the pain being inflicted – if you want to follow the concept, go here: http://positivemoney.org.

            Just as a note of record: Following the earlier post elsewhere on Bella – I sent an e-mail and details to the Scottish Government on the Positive Money agenda and asked whether the subject could be put before the Council of Economic Advisors. To date, I have had no acknowledgment nor response to my e-mail. (Wonder if they read Bella and I might get a response?)

          3. C Rober says:

            the pound Sterling for 6 years after Irish indy

            Then continued to peg its own at 1-1 for decades after , effectively still the pound , still controlled by the BOE by proxy via this self determined pegging policy , taking a pound for a punt in Eire banks and shops – yet the money not accepted without a devalue in both English and Scottish banks.

            Now though since 98 they have the euro , still externally controlled , with its pros and cons.

      2. Alex Beveridge says:

        Sorry to be a bit late with this comment Ronald, but I’ve been busy.
        However, very well said,. Canvassing during the referendum, the financial questions were the main points raised, and this must be addressed before we even think of another referendum.
        Why, because the full weight of the establishment will, once again, be brought to bear on our campaign. Led of course by their cheerlaeder, the B.B.C.

  2. sandy ritchie says:

    Why’s Corbyn unlikely…a wee bit of resorting to MSM slurs…yer learning quick BC…

  3. arthur thomson says:

    Only the Scottish MP’s and a few decent MP’s in the dependence parties have the motivation to focus on the corruption at Westminster and to take steps to ensure that those responsible are held to account. Where is Chilcot? Who didn’t find the papers on Leon Brittan until he was dead and why? What was the motivation behind surveillance of Holyrood and who sanctioned it? etc. etc.

    I find it bizarre that Nixon could be impeached in the US for a single undemocratic scandal but apparently the British establishment is unimpeachable whatever they do. Either there is a fundamental flaw which allows this or there is a lack of will to take it on. Are children, people in the middle east, elected representatives in the Scottish Parliament etc so unimportant? Well they must not be. It’s good but not nearly good enough that the public are becoming increasingly aware of the true nature of the British establishment. Heads must roll. The culprits must be put under oath and required to justify their actions.

    I want this to be a primary focus of the 56 for the foreseeable future. The consensus on the impoverishment of the common people by Tory/Labour/Libdem politicians is symptomatic of their abuse of power. Austerity is an enema for the masses designed to weaken their will and ensure that they perform as required. There is an apparent belief on the part of Westminster politicians that they are not accountable to anyone except through a 5 yearly election which is specifically designed to maintain the status quo. Then, with the aid of their friends in the media the transgressions of the past are spun until they dissipate in a cloud of trivia, leaving the way clear to perpetuate the myth of the great British democracy.

    It isn’t going to be easy but you don’t need a majority in either of the Westminster (mad)houses to embark on cleaning them out. So long as Scotland is part of the union the Scottish electorate, and the electorate in the rest of the UK, have the right to expect that the 56 will not turn a blind eye to corruption.

  4. Mike Fenwick says:

    If this is how it ends … are we sure we are ready for the beginning?

    Is there a settled will on matters of currency, membership of the EU etc etc., and yes, etc and etc!

    Where we have doubts, or questions remain, have we debated and established alternatives to what may be denied us?

    If this is how it ends … are we adequately prepared for what is to follow?

  5. C Rober says:

    an unelected body that can overrule the democratically elected body , not fit for purpose , actually if anything its immoral , UK democracy is a sham , its more 1984 than ever before.

    Some guy that smokes a joint , does a few lines , and pumps a durty…. thats jist a stag weekander .

    The ither wan would like to prevent the lower classes fae doing the same and gets mair in dinner allowance for a day than the working poor huv tae feed a family on fur a week….but then again yer Glesga durty , ye could get 10 pumps for the same 200 quid , if its naw a hooker and yer jist buying breezers you would huv change left for the wire brush and dettol.

    Theres mair to come oot the widwork , nice wee distraction fae the tory pedo snuff club to use up mair police time until they install a new commander that does whit they are telt…. there might be wan looking fur a new job soon currently in Scotland.

  6. maxi kerr says:

    This lot think that they can keep sh****ng on us…WRONG.
    This lot think that they and theirs are above the law and safe…Wrong.
    This lot with all their camera’s and surveillance think that they will see us coming…Wrong.
    This lot will pay the ferryman…CORRECT.

  7. Douglas Robertson says:

    Pam Ayres tweet –
    All hypocrites should take due care,
    When snorting coke in Dolphin Square,
    An orange bra is not so cute,
    And best left on the prostitute.

  8. deewal says:

    No MP can do anything atm ’cause they’re on holiday till November or thereabouts.

    I think we should join BRIC. Pull the 56 out of Parliament and set up an upper house in Holyrood.

    Which body first receives all the income generated in Scotland before we send it to the Criminals in London ?

    Can’t we just keep it and use Scottish pounds pegged to the Dollar or Sterling ?

    We have got to get out of this Union. Go to the UN and the EU and state that it ‘s Null and Void.

    Who gives a *uck what the Unionists say. The UK Parliament has already done away with Democracy. Why don’t we ?

  9. Ken MacColl says:

    It is reported that Lord Sewell’s noble colleagues are much relieved that he has done the decent thing and resigned. This, they think, will/should silence those who might think that the preposterous assembly of failed politicians and generous party donors should continue in this charade where the elderly and infirm collect their subsidy for life.
    Surely Sewell has just confirmed, once again, that the British class system is built on sand and requires a reformation.

  10. kenneth mackinnon says:

    The staus quo has Scotland as a submerged Nation, an English vassal state, it’s resources exploited.

    A second referendum must be called for….Democracy and political freedom for Scotland, Our leaders must take advantage of the strong tide running in our favour.

  11. Will says:

    Hows about this for a policy the next Scottish Labour Party leader could convene a extraordinary meeting of the Scottish Labour Party and announce that the Scottish Labour Party will no longer send any of its current or past Scottish Labour Party members or MPs to the House of Lords. This would bring the issue of the House of Lords reform or closure to the forefront. Do you think that the establishment including the Scottish Labour Party will shut down the club that many of their current or past Scottish Labour Party members or MPs are hoping to get into someday? Could somebody ask the leadership contenders what they intend to do regarding the House of Lords? Oh sorry I forgot that it does not have the power to do anything as it is only a name ie the (Scottish Labour Party) it is the Labour Party that has the power and that is a UK entity.

  12. Legerwood says:

    It would appear that Mr Cameron intends to create more peers who will of course be Tories. That he is prepared to proceed with this in the face of this latest scandal affecting the House of Lords says all that needs to be said about the state of public life in the UK and this Tory Government – it makes a cesspit smell like roses.

  13. Will says:

    David Cameron is expected to bump up his Tory Lords and to take a bit of the heat out of it there could be a few surprises, perhaps you might see the following Labour Lords being parachuted in perhaps a certain fellow by the name of the fiery preacher Let’s frighten the pensioners that they will lose their pensions Gordon Brown, followed by on-top of your irn bru crate screaming and frightening the wee granny’s Jim Murphy and just to show that a few convictions can’t hold you back let me give you a wee kiss of course we are talking a Glasgow kiss Eric Joyce.

  14. douglas clark says:

    I believe, one way or another, that the pathetic right wing consensus is about to be burst wide open.

    There are simmering allegations of child sex abuse by the establishment and it is hard to believe that at any time, a line was drawn in the sand about that. There are clear examples of misuse of privelege, and contempt for the citizens of this (the UK). We have become a nation state that panders to wealth in a way not seen before in my lifetime. This is truly unhealthy for a democratic state.

    Whether the SNP can be a catalyst in bursting the Westminster bubble remains to be seen, but I have hopes that it remains true to it’s electorate and takes a caustic approach to it’s time in Westminster.

    The old joke about not being there to settle in, rather settle up should be the mantra.

  15. Mike Fenwick says:

    I didn’t realise this – did you?

    “Tax is not paid on the current expenses system, on the basis that membership of the House is neither an employment nor an office.”

    So it’s not just £300 for popping in for lunch – it’s tax free!

  16. MBC says:

    Does anybody know why/how is Cameron allowed to create new Tory peers? By what process? Are there any rules on this?

      1. MBC says:

        Thanks for that link. But it didn’t explain if there were any constitutional principles involved, for instance, whether there is an agreed number of places, or that incoming governments are only allowed so many nominations based on the size of their majority, or what. From what I could make of that page there are no a number of ways a member of the Lords can be created, but no constitutional principles.

        1. Mike Fenwick says:

          I don’t think you will find what you are looking for, because I don’t think it exists, ie., no limit on numbers as far as I know for anything or anyone, the only “constitutional” element, if it can be termed that way is the Salisbury Convention, where the House of Lords can push a Bill back to the House of Commons, but eventually won’t oppose a Bill if it was an election committment.

          It’s a free for all (imho) – but there are loads on Wikipedia if you want to be bothered:


          Scotland – independent – do we have a second chamber? Who would sit in it? Elected or appointed? How many? Can they be sacked? What would we call the members?

          I don’t know the answers, but I bet it would NOT resemble what we have now in any shape or form.

    1. dunderheid says:

      I’m not sure why this is a problem…its an unelected body…is it fair it should be able to obstruct an elected government?

  17. dunderheid says:

    The SNP and wider independence movement need to stop being so holier than thou about this or they are setting themselves up for a serious fall….Are you 100% confident that all your MSP’s and MP’s have no skeletons in the cupboard? It would just take one to make you look mighty hypocritical

  18. Straightshooter says:

    The only thing I find incredulous about British politics is that it has not experienced some selective judicious assassinations. It doesn’t appear short of candidates.

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