Lots of resignations today. Which is always a good thing.
And the resignation of ex-Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind (but not yet ex-Foreign Secretary Jack Straw) from parliament in the Cash for Access scandal.
Sir Malcolm also described himself as “self-employed” and had to “earn my income” — despite being paid £67,000 by the taxpayer for his work as an MP. The disclosure that two of Britain’s most senior politicians are embroiled in a new “cash for access” scandal highlights Parliament’s failure to address the issue which has plagued British politics for a generation.
Sir Alistair Graham, the former chairman of the Westminster standards watchdog, said it was “shocking” that two experienced MPs responded to the approaches in the way that they did.
He expressed concern that Sir Malcolm was “so willing to sell himself” with his “enormous range of contact lists”. He added that it was against the rules for Mr Straw to attempt to negotiate a business contract in his Commons office.
They’re not the only ones, of course. British MPs earned more than £7m outside of Parliament in 2014.
What’s to stop someone like Bloomberg buying politicians, in order to push through antismoking laws? Nothing that I can see. And £7 million would be peanuts to him.
I wouldn’t be surprised if we learn one day that this is exactly what happened. They were all bought.
And from a comment on Bishop Hill blog about the nutjobs in the UK parliament:
One gentleman, a once and future cabinet minister, was significantly more senior. He took the floor and told us that, upon election, the Cameron administration would fight global warming tooth and nail. If it were up to him, he said, Britain would become a zero-carbon society overnight. It was, he said, “a matter of the highest moral obligation”.
This made our ears prick up. One thing we’ve learned is that when people, especially politicians, start making decisions based on a reading of their moral compass, facts tend to be amongst the first casualties. We asked the minister what he meant by “moral obligation”.
“If it weren’t for England,” he continued, “the world wouldn’t be in the state it’s in. None of this would have happened.” He gestured upward and outward. The “this,” he implied, meant this room, this building, the city of London, all civilization.
We must have looked puzzled, for he explained further. England, he said, having started the Industrial Revolution, led the rest of the world down the path towards pollution, environmental degradation, and global warming. It was therefore England’s obligation to take the lead in undoing the damage.
And people like this become ministers?
Vaclav Klaus on Communism’s Comeback:
I expected to live in a much more free and democratic society and economy than is the case today.
It was caused partly by the victory of social democracy in our country and partly by the importing of the European economic system, with its overregulation, high taxation and redistribution, welfare state, and fascination with all kinds of anti-market measures, connected nowadays mostly with environmentalism, with its anti-democratic social ideology which successfully hides its real substance while pretending to care about nature, the environment and our Blue Planet. We may be oversensitive in this respect because of our long Communist experience but we see many similar phenomena, tendencies, ambitions and arguments around us today.
And finally, via ZeroHedge, Dr Pippa Malmgren, former member of the U.S. President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, talking refreshingly about… financial markets, the euro, QE, and more.