NICK CLEGG PROMISES TO CLEAN UP THE HOUSE OF LORDS AFTER LATEST SCANDAL – Nick Clegg is now vowing to clean up the House of Lords after a string of undercover investigations showed two Lords, a Conservative MP and one Ulster Unionist Peer agreed to act on behalf of certain causes in exchange for payment.
While this would appear like an admirable campaign one has to consider the person and when Clegg himself has been involved in some very unscrupulous dealings; notably trying to cover up Lord Rennard’s sexual abuse of interns, it is questionable that he should be the one to point the finger.
It would appear that Clegg is trying to remodel himself as the pinnacle of virtue by stating that that the law must be changed in order to reduce the number of sleaze scandals hitting the Government.
The latest round of corruption and bribery has led to a number of measures, including the Speaker of the House, John Bercow, suspending parliamentary passes for over 80 lobbyists.
Clegg of course would rather see the House of Lords disbanded and replaced with an ‘elected house’ unfortunately given the track record of most MPs, including Nick Clegg himself, this won’t eradicate the problem of corruption, bribery and wrong-doing.
If a member of public was convicted of a crime then finding gainful employment would be difficult due to such a conviction. It is almost incredulous to think therefore that Lords, such as Lord Archer and Lord Black are able to return to the House of Lords after serving their sentences and that any MP convicted of a crime, providing the sentence is less than a year, are able to resume their parliamentary positions.
The UK is certainly becoming more like the U.S in that it is the lobbyists that are pulling the strings. This of course is not a new addition to UK politics; it’s been going on for centuries but only recently has it become apparent that like the U.S the UK is governed not by the politicians but rather by large corporations; it’s probably why David Cameron refused to question Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt during the last Business Advisory Group meeting over Google’s immoral tax avoidance schemes – he simply has no place in questioning his boss.
I often feel that democracy is lost in the West. We like to bleat on about it and we certainly like to admonish any other country that doesn’t follow a democratic model but the stark truth is that there is little democracy beyond the actual ballot box in the UK.
For too long large corporations have been able to shape the way in which government is run and decisions are made and generally these decisions come attached with payment.
While I doubt anyone would disagree that Lords and MPs are paid well over the odds for their services (minimum wage would be far more appropriate) it appears that their vast salaries are still not sufficient to fuel their ever growing greed and unless the public puts a stop to it and demands that laws are changed in order to severely punish the wrong-doers then these situations will continue to surface in the press.
A possible solution:
Minimum 10 years imprisonment for any Peer or MP found guilty of corruption or bribery.
Minimum 5 Years imprisonment for any Peer or MP found guilty of any other crime.
Peers and MPs to work on ‘minimum wage’ with highly controlled expense accounts. At the end of each fiscal year Peers and MPs to be awarded bonuses related to performance.
Just these three measures alone would cut down on the crime engaged by Peers and MPs and would force them to work for the public in a manner that benefits the public.
It is certainly time for change but how far will the British public allow the UK to sink into the depths of depravity before they finally say enough?
Should Lords and MPs be permanently barred from the House of Lords and Parliament if found guilty of any crime? Leave your comments below.