Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"



Sunday, 9 June 2013

As I was saying - Parliamentary Sleaze


Last Wednesday I wrote (here) about the differences in the treatment of two MPs, Patrick Mercer, who was caught in a journalist's sting as being prepared to ask questions in parliament for money, and Tim Yeo Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy and Climate Change who holds consultancy posts with a number of "Green" companies who have paid him (according to the Mail) some £400,000 since 2009. Seemingly, the former acted against the house's rules, but the latter is quite in order as we all know the "honourable member" wouldn't allow his consultancies to influence his impartial management of the committee.

But now Tim Yeo has been caught out.
Firstly by his hypocrisy in complaining about a peer, Lord Deben (aka John Selwyn Gummer), who is the chairman of Veolia Water, which has interests in windfarms. Lord Deben is also chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, an independent body that advises the Government on the impact of climate change. Apparently, in Tim Yeo's view there is no conflict of interests in his being chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee, but it is wrong for Lord Deben to be chairman of the Committee on Climate Change. Could it be that Lord Deben is actually doing a honest job?  Talk about "pots and kettles"!

Secondly, BBC and the Sunday Times report that the "Tory MP [Tim Yeo] in charge of scrutinising new energy laws has been caught boasting about how he can use his leadership of a powerful Commons committee to push his private business interests".

Unlike Patrick Mercer, who resigned the Conservative whip, Tim Yeo  said "I intend to contest these allegations very vigorously indeed" and so remains both chairman of the select committee and in receipt of the Conservative whip.

The Telegraph now reports that Tim Yeo pulled out of two television interviews (with BBC and Sky) this morning, and has now referred himself to Parliament’s Standards Committee. Which means, of course, that his conduct will be judged by some of his mates. Surely he should be investigated by his constituents, selected from the electoral list in a similar manner to a jury, or, if corruption is suspected, by the police.

The sleaze continues unabated.

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