The BBC, Parliament, and catching wily politicians off guard

There are two very good reasons why watching politicians doing bread and butter work in the legislature is beneficial. The first is that one quickly wonders how they can debate matters in such detail day in day out, knowing perfectly well that position, power, understaffed police and a good network can enable most people in Britain to avoid detection or charges most of the time. The second is that, when working at the edges of the limelight (closer to the shadows) politicians unconsciously display their real nature. For providing  this service alone, the BBC is worth saving, improving and nurturing.

Having watched Theresa May in action this afternoon, for example, I have decided that the word ‘Nazi’ should not be used in relation to our Home Secretary. She is simply a tunnel-visioned control freak who spends her life in awe of technical efficiency. Defending the introduction of coordinated EU measures ‘to combat serious organised crime’ hahaha she pointed out that were the law to be adopted, the registration of a foreign car would be available to police here within 10 seconds, rather than three weeks.
One could point out that the serious crimes of at least eight senior UK and European bankers have been known to most of us for nearly ten yeas, but as yet no action has been taken. Over that period, Sepp Blatter came and departed from Britain some fifteen times, but nobody apprehended him. Speed is important, but it cannot overcome privilege.
Further, it should be remembered that handing this kind of information to the Met’s serious crime squad would almost certainly result in an innocent passenger in the vehicle being shot 46 times at close range three weeks earlier than otherwise.
One of the few joys of watching MPs in action when the house is 90% empty is that they say and do things in a far more unguarded manner than during PMQs. Thus the profundity if their shallow hypocrisy is more easily discerned.
For example, answering questions on a minor technical legal issue in the House of Commons  this morning, Secretary of State for Justice Michael Gove said, “It is my job to uphold the Rule of Law”.
There is, quite obviously, something of a conflict between Mr Gove’s official position, and his unswerving devotion to Dupejerk Turdcock.
But we must not let this lead us to false conclusions. Let us wait and see if Michael means what he says….or merely demeans where he stands.

Having pronounced in this lofty manner, I have to say that Gove is capable of being very quick and often very funny on his feet.


In an interesting exchange between the Treasury Select Committee and the Office for Budget Reponsibility first thing today, Robert Chote (Chairman of the OBR) admitted to Labour MP Helen Goodman that “difficulties in the UK financial system have contributed negatively to Britain’s export performance”. If I can put into words what he was saying, Mr Chote meant that as long as the banking system remained unable to lend beyond its own sector, then the UK economy would continue to be lopsided and overdependent on, um, the products sold by the banking system.
Again, this is the sort of stuff we never hear from Little Osborne, which I find both  worrying and funny in equal measure. But watching the TSC v OBR exchanges is an object (some would say abject) lesson in watching politicians trying to score points and civil servants trying to evade accountability. On the whole, one feels that the latter easily outclass the former, and this I don’t find funny at all.  Ms Goodman asked some good questions, but when answered with blather failed utterly to put the OBR troika on the spot. On the whole, the bromides emitted by the civil servants replied seemed to satisfy the pols….which, as such are the stock in trade of politics, is hardly surprising.
I would’ve put this down as a no-score-draw on my coupon, had Helen Goodman not asked the OBR ménage à trois what effect they thought the HMRC’s new digitalisation programme might have on the efficiency of tax collection. Presenting the OBR as it did with a rare opportunity to rubbish turf-war competitors, the threesome relished the chance to use the medium of faint praise in order to effect damnation.
Faint praise is indeed the maximum the HMRC knuckle-draggers deserve: for incompetence and vindictive pursuit of irrelevant shadows, they have no equal. Defeated at last by your correspondent on the issue of £100 I did not owe them for ‘late’ submission of a tax return two years after I had left the UK, I have today received another classic postal example of underinvested tax collection trying to cover its pimply backside. I’m now informed that a Return due in April 2014 is unacceptable to the HMRC because it didn’t contain ‘additional information’.
It did NOT contain that information because I was not a UK resident during fiscal 2013-14. But at their insistence, I filled in a return during March 2015. It has taken HMRC eight months to warn me of the missing bits in that return. They are now demanding I return it to them  within eight days…..or they will charge me yet again with the £100 late filing fine. Had I not sent  the Departmental Head a nasty letter copied to Treasury Ministers on the subject, my April 2015 Return would’ve remained where it was: forgotten in the blind pursuit of a hundred quid. Now these clowns are trying to turn the tables via a flagrant attempt to make their incompetent treatment of my honest Return look like tax evasion.

I feel a letter to Michael Gove coming on.

Earlier at The Slog: Does Janet Yellen swallow?

24 thoughts on “The BBC, Parliament, and catching wily politicians off guard

  1. JW The letters stage has long passed. Now is the ltime for Stallone, Statham, Schwarzenegger et al .
    The Expendabkes IV to ” take out” Parliament Street in toto. And raze Stamford Street to the ground
    as well while on their way home.


  2. Have a look at video I have posted on your timeline, it features John McCain although he doesn’t speak, just shifts about uncomfortably in case Senator Graham gets to him…


  3. The similarity between government cabinet ministers, chief executives of government departments and football clubs is very amusing. They all seem to get shuffled around from one position to another, whilst they know very little, achieve the negative, yet get promoted in a long chain of stardom, in spite of there being an enormous and free market for screaming fresh talent which is rarely exploited.
    There are too many examples, but in this instance UK borders agency gets promoted to hmrc. Perhaps mourinho could try home office, and we really would sort ourselves out and get some work done..


  4. I know how you feel JW I have had the same bollocks, and I live in Portugal . And still going on, after six years I received a letter dated march 2015, that arrived May 2015 saying that I owed the £13.15 and if was not paid by the 24th march I would be fined £100.00 this eventually amounted to £800.00 eventually after spending £100.00 hang on the phone to get through and appealing against this decision it was dismissed. 1 month latter I was told I owed them 1200.00 and it’s still going on.
    As you say it’s all “bollocks”


  5. The standard letters from IR have been “improved” it seems by the nudge unit. They automatically, and gratuitously, state “This time we have decided not to prosecute you for fraud”. The last one I got, was in reference ot the reclaiming of VAT on a new house build, running to many thousands of £’s. I had meticulously tracked every invoice, and had the whole submission checked by a specialist accountant, and had 6 invoices rejected, which we have now re-submitted (as we are entitled to) as there were no faults with them, plus 76 items where their calculated VAT differed by 1p from the amount printed on the invoices, from companies like Wickes, and Jewsons Builders. The “decision not to prosecute for fraud, this time” was met with howls of derision. I think we were meant to shudder to our boots, huddle in a corner and whimper. As if. It’s the Inland Revenue, not the Spanish Inquisition……or did I miss something?


  6. I think that the majority of public employees are suffering the effects of drug overdoses whilst at work. I wrote off for my revised driving licence with new foto as I was approaching 70 on August 31st. They prepared the new licence to run for the 2 weeks between the date they received my application and 31st August.


  7. One might say that Little Osborne is carrying on a family tradition by papering over the cracks. His policies, like the designs of his father’s partner and brother-in-law Anthony Little, are much influenced by Aubrey Beardsley, which explains his use of shunganomics to shaft the populace and the pretence that this isn’t just a load of old cock.


  8. The Conservatives fear not being in power,because am quite sure the next none Conservative government will go for PR & the conservatives will lose all their corrupt privilege of minority government!


  9. I agree, May is not a Fascist, but she appears happy in that environment. Slightly above a foot soldier, intelligent enough to know right from wrong, and allowing herself enough room to escape the noose and blame the foot soldiers…..


  10. For some reason I looked at resume of one Cressida Dick, late Asst Comissioner at the Met.?!
    Pc-to high office.
    What did the Met buy for Cressida’s leaving present?
    A long weekend at a Spa with 100% discount on the full Brazilian.


  11. My particular bug bear is ongoing since the inception of the CSA… Long story short started at beginning when got overcharged for non compliance… (Back in the day where they lost everything and blamed the sender) through to now where they are overcharging because they’ve made up more stories about my ‘non compliance’ when really if they just answered the phone… But of course they have a rank of non empowered monkeys who you deal with when eventually you manage to get. The phone answered – at great cost in phone charges !!!


  12. The political environment is just a smokescreen and we need gagging orders placed on all those generating it.

    So far today social care in crisis, education in crisis not enough teachers and we all know with doctors NHS is in crisis.

    Maybe we need to generate a crisis in parliament so they can understand what the funding is they are talking about because while they do not feel cuts they can NEVER represent the electorate.


  13. Garet Jax

    The CSA are prime exponents of shunganomics – a more dysfunctional and sociopathic group of gangsters would be hard to imagine. The local magistrates threw their case against me out; the Secretary of State appealed in the county court and a CSA case presenter entered a false witness statement, complete with a signed declaration of truth, stating that he had met me and that I had said certain things to him when I had never set eyes on him or had any correspondence or dialogue with him whatsoever. They are impervious to any notions of truth or decency and would not be tolerated in a society which values such attributes. That their behaviour is allowed by the courts is shameful and a further stain on our judicial system to accompany the numerous others. However, without their antisocial antics it would be much harder to demonise the ‘feckless’ fathers who, in most cases, are struggling to do the right thing by their children, often under circumstances that they would not wish for and cannot change. My own situation involves an alcoholic who drank continuously throughout two pregnancies (both children are resident with me) with disastrous results. The CSA merely added to the nightmare.


  14. kfc; Many thanks for the video. I am now absolutely clear as to the US Strategy in Syria, and full of admiration for the representatives of the US Govt and Military. Would that we had people of equal intellectual power running the show. God help Syria.


  15. If the US military were “Lions led by donkeys” then that would insult donkeys. I prefer the Wallace and Gromit US stategy of The Wrong Trousers being out of control. “They’re the wrong trousers Gromit and they’ve gone wrong!”


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