Friday, 15 October 2010

Bastard Parliament III: Expenses Redux

Guido's coverage of the expenses debacle continues, with more MPs now facing police investigation. This story is just refusing to die. Former Tory peers Lords Taylor and Hanningfield, as well as sitting Labour MP Eric Illsley have also been charged with false accounting. Two more former MPs - Denis MacShane and Margaret Moran - are now being investigated by the police over their expenses claims. And another Tory MP, Bill Wiggin, has been told to pay back £4,000 and to apologise to the House of Commons over his claims by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner. It's not yet clear whether he will face a police investigation.

And on Monday, something very interesting will happen - David Chaytor, Elliot Morley and Jim Devine, former Labour MPs charged with false accounting relating to their Parliamentary expenses - will be heard at the UK Supreme Court. The Court will decide if the court system has jurisdiction over activities relating to Parliamentary activity - or, in other words, whether the law applies to Parliamentarians or not.

 Bastards. Absolute bastards.

If the Court rules in the appellants' favour, the ruling will effectively give de facto immunity from prosecution to Parliamentarians, placing them above the law by precedent. The only thing that could overturn that would be... you guessed it... an Act of Parliament. Would the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in Parliament assembled, once granted immunity by the courts, vote to give it back?

I hope the Law Lords see sense...