campaign launched to deny Jacqui Smith peerage

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Semper_Flexibilis, Oct 13, 2009.

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  1. Who says crime does not pay?

    MPs' expenses: campaign launched to deny Jacqui Smith peerage
    A campaign has been launched to deny Jacqui Smith, the first senior MP ordered to apologise to the Commons over the expenses scandal, a peerage.

    By Andrew Pierce
    Published: 10:00PM BST 13 Oct 2009

    Jacqui Smith: a campaign has been launched to deny her peerage Photo: PA
    Downing Street is widely expected to honour the convention that as a former Home Secretary, one of the great offices of state, Miss Smith would automatically go to the House of Lords after the election.
    But moves are now afoot in the House of Lords and in her Redditch constituency to prevent her being elevated to the peerage if she stands down at the election or loses her seat.

    Miss Smith, who represents the key Midlands marginal, is expected to announce she will stand down rather than risk humiliation at the ballot box at the next election.
    Only yesterday Michael Martin, the first Speaker in 300 years to be forced from office, was spotted in the House of Lords for the first time since Downing Street confirmed in the summer that he too would go to the upper house.
    He was made to go because of his own role in trying to shield MPs expenses from publication but was quietly given a peerage by the Prime Minister in spite of protests from Opposition MPs.
    In Miss Smith’s constituency there is a growing backlash over the verdict of the official Commons inquiry that she broke the rules when she incorrectly claimed £116,000 for expenses at her family home in Redditch -as she had claimed a room in her sister’s house in London was her principal residence.
    Lord Oakeshott, a Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman in the House of Lords, said: “Shamed MPs should not stroll into the House of Lords. The House of Lords appointments commission must vet ex ministers for propriety as rigorously as anyone else. Voters will be shocked if they throw someone out of one house of Parliament then to see them in a cost second home at the other end.”
    In Redditch a petition is circulating demanding Miss Smith's immediate resignation and a pledge from Downing Street that she will not be given a peerage.
    Helen Martin, who lives in Miss Smith's constituency, said: “Some MPs are repaying a few hundred pounds for their cleaning but our MP gets away with more than £100,000. But the worse of it will be when she will go to the House of Lords where she can claim even more expenses. It will stick in people’s craw round here if we get a Lady Smith of Redditch I can tell you.”
  2. I doubt Ladbrookes will be giving any odds on her NOT getting her peerage.

    She has worked hard for it, she'll get it.

    Just like the shamed Speaker.
  3. All very good but we have a Prime Minister who knows no shame so who knows what will happen? EU Commissioner for a few years then elevation?

  4. I think it's a given, that just before the electotorial wipe out, Gordon will parachute his loyal Lieutenants into the House of Lords and the EU Gravy Train.
  5. I suspect that Jacqui will not be regarded as an asset to Labour post election. She even complained about not being sufficiently "trained" to be Home Secretary.
  6. Not sure that there is a convention that the Home Sec gets a peerage, particularly since Ms Smith took over 'Home Office Lite' after it had lost the functions given over to the Ministry of Justice (she arrived in post about a month after this split had occurred).

    Previous Home Secs have been granted peerages, but this often- in fact almost always - has much to do with them having held other 'great offices of state', or at the end of a long and distinguished political career (at least as measured by their political party, if not the electorate) which has included the Home Sec's position.

    Willie Whitelaw was a slightly different case, since he was elevated to the peerage two days after the 1983 General Election for party political reasons, but positive ones, unlike those which saw David Waddington, being 'kicked upstairs' - to get him out of Home Office.

    Waddington was not a particularly good Home Sec - he'd been appointed by Mrs T largely because he was a 'hanger and flogger', a contrast to Douglas Hurd, his immediate predecessor, who was thought by many Tories to be too soft on law and order issues. IIRC, there was an awful lot of 'David Who?' in the media after his appointment.

    When he took over from Thatcher, it was fairly clear that of the cabinet he'd been left with, Major wanted rid of Waddington. The peerage wasn't awarded as a result of convention, but to get him out of the Home Office without sacking him.

    And had Waddington stayed in the Commons and gone after the '92 election, he would then have run into serious, serious bother over the Stefan Kiszko case - Kiszko had been convicted of murdering Lesley Molseed in the 1970s; he put an appeal in against conviction on the day that Waddington became Home Sec. This was rather interesting, since Kiszko's barrister had been one David Waddington, QC.

    The Appeal (which, as the first point of issue noted that Kiszko had never been physically capable of leaving the forensic evidence found at the scene) presented sufficient information to suggest that Waddington had bodged the defence in possibly the most spectacular manner seen in a British court in the 20th Century (he put forward a defence of diminished responsibility, despite his client maintaining he hadn't committed the crime - for the bl**dy good reason he hadn't).

    I suggest that had Waddington not been in posession of a peerage already, making him a Lord would've been rather difficult, even allowing for the passage of time after the Appeal.

    Smith, as well as the expenses issues, has the problem that she was stuck in the Home Office after a rather undistinguished political career, one which looks set to end - permanently if she doesn't get a peerage - at the next election.

    Yes, she held a great office of state, but I suspect that Pierce may be over-simplifying the 'convention'; if he's right, though, we can also look forward to Baroness Beckett of Callow Top Caravan Park...
  7. Why deny her a peerage? After all, is it not the mark of a scoundrel these days?

    Incidentally, Waddington should have been 'hanged and flogged' himself for his handling of Kiszko defence, along with the three girls whose false evidence helped to falsely convict Kiszko. Poor bastard. If ever a case militated against the re-introduction of capital punishment, it was that one.
  8. McClown will be recomending as many of his Ex-Ministers for Peerages as he possibly can now before its too late..... The House of Lords is already 'stuffed' with more Labour Peers than there are Tory Peers, so it is understood. But then both the main parties in government have been guilty of this from time to time.

    Now what title should she have..... 'Baroness Smiff of Redditch and Malvern...... in the Counties of Worcestershire and ........ ?? (Redditch or 'Red Itch..?' :wink: :p
  9. Seconded. I've always held the view that capital punishment should only be used in exceptional cases where guilt has been proven beyond ANY doubt; Huntly, Tobin etc.

    For the rest, 23 hours a day in a bare cell for rest of their life is suffcient. Of course, they will recieve only the bare minimum to survive. No luxuries; TV, gym, books/magazines etc. :wink:
  10. No way on this earth should that boot get a peerage. FFS, Bliar for EU president, TCH going to be a comissioner apparently, Mandy to work with the Tories, you just can't get rid of these b@stards.

    New Labour politicians, they're just like those slimy turds that don't flush away, the cnuts just keep coming back :frustrated:
  11. Well any attempt to be seen to clean up British Politics will be shot down in flames in the eyes of the public, offenders should not be honoured and if Brown is attempting to rebuild trust in Government then this is about as crass an error of judgement he could ever have made.
    The Lords moderates the Commons (a Bit!) so by filling it with bandits and discredited politicians makes it worse than the old system, bring bach the floggers and hunters I say!
  12. My brother and I used to call them Nigels, I've no idea why!
  13. This year we have become the laughing stock of world politics so why not go the whole hog and just put the whole lot of them in the lords or better still are there enough lamp posts just to hang the lot of the arrses

  14. What really winds me is that the holder of this great office thinks it is ok to live in her sisters back bedroom!

    FFS woman you are No 3 in the Government
    You hold a great office and yet you act like a student on work experience

    The importance of the Office is reflected by the Grace and Favour Apartment that goes with the post but you have no bl**dy idea of the image you project.

    POTUS and his lot visit the UK

    Dinner Party for my opposite number at my place?
    Just pop them on the 88 bus and I'll sort out a take away

    Welcome to Bargain Basement Britain!

    :x :x
  15. Archer, you've got it in one! The dumbing down of government started with the grinning spiv in '97 and continued apace. A fresh start is required and the initial point would be to dissolve the HOL and have an elected upper house [with more powers].