'Oh, so that's who Richard Morris is..." Lord Hattersley on The Daily Politics

'An influential activist' - The Guardian

'Iain Dale, without the self loathing' - Matthew Fox in The New Statesman

You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Tuesday 26 May 2015

That odd moment when you see your thinking end up on the front page of The Guardian

So, on Sunday I said...

"If MPs resign every time they are proved to have told untruths we’ll have none left. Which is a pretty depressing state of affairs but a fact. So Alistair shouldn’t need to resign. Unless everyone who's ever told a journalist a great big porkie is going to do the same (more of that anon)"

And then today I see Sir Malcolm Bruce has said:

"Asked on BBC Radio 4 whether he was alleging that lying was widespread in public life, Bruce, who stood down at the election, replied: “No, well, yes. Lots of people have told lies and you know perfectly well that to be true.”
He suggested MPs could not be excluded for telling a lie: “If you are suggesting every MP who has never quite told the truth or even told a brazen lie, including cabinet ministers, including prime ministers, we would clear out the House of Commons very fast, I would suggest,” he said "
A sad state of affairs. But nice to see the party now has a better line than just 'forgiveness'.


  1. Also worth noting that his misdemeanour was that of a minister, and the appropriate forfeit was made - he effectively resigned, giving up his severance payment.

    Unless breaches of the ministerial code now mean MPs should resign. If so, I look forward to seeing Tory ministers resigning as MPs in their droves in the coming years.

    1. Ah yes. i do wish though, that that the party had a chance to take some action. By (quite rightly) forfeiting his severance pay, Alistair made it hard for the arty to reprimand him - any action now would effectively be punishing him twice. But it shouldn't appear as tho Alistair has chosen his own 'punishment'. Which currently it does.

      But I agree - force him to resign now and every MP will be under pressure every time they are economical with the actualite...

    2. Right.

      But you could even argue that this is not a matter for the Commissioner for Parliamentary Standards, as the misdemeanour was as a minister (part of the executive) and not as an MP (part of the legislature). Expenses scandals for ministers are not the same - as their actions there were to do with benefits received as an MP. This is nothing to do with being an MP. It is solely a matter to do with being a minister - and so the relevant authority is the cabinet secretary, with the relevant guidelines being the ministerial code - but the highest sanction available - firing as a minister by the PM after the cabinet secretary's review is not available here, as he is no longer a minister. What has happened is equivalent though, with him forgoing the severance pay.

      I agree that the above argument relies on a lot of technicalities, and is not one I'd want to put to the public (Caesar's wife must be beyond reproach) - but I think I'd actually stand by it.

  2. Are you being sarcastic when you call this "a better line"? We've now got Liberal Democrat politicans publicly declaring they're mostly liars.

    1. You're right, it's a deeply depressing state of affairs. But I think everyone knows politicians lie. Its awful. But they do. And indeed, look what happens when they tell the truth


      I suppose what I mean is - the line 'he's no worse than the rest' is better than ' he did wrong but we must forgive him and pretend it didn't happen'. Neither is great. the first is better than the second