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Mark Thomas threatens House of Commons with legal action.Over expenses scanadal.

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posted on May, 15 2009 @ 03:49 AM

Today Mark Thomas, political activist, commentator, performer, writer and comedian has instructed his lawyers, Leigh Day & Co to write to the Speaker of the House of Commons threatening legal action unless a full transparent review is urgently ordered into the scandal of MPs expenses.

Mr Thomas has been advised that the approach peddled by MPs in the press that their unreasonable expenses are within the rules is not correct. In fact, the current scandal has been largely caused by attempts by many MPs to stretch the rules far beyond their ordinary meaning and an unwillingness by the House of Commons Department of Finance and Administration officials to rein them in.

The letter requires Speaker Martin, as Chair of the House of Commons Commission to take urgent steps to commence a review of the Department’s actions in dealing with MPs’ applications for expenses. The following steps are set down as the bare minimum requirements:

* To obtain and publish independent authoritative legal advice & guidance on the meaning of the MPs’ expenses rules, to be consistent with other guidance applicable to the public where similar words are used
* To appoint independent accountants to audit all claims by MPs in the current parliament against the legal advice and guidance obtained
* To consider auditing all claims by MPs back to May 1997, applying consistent principles which would be applied in cases of false/excessive claims against other public authorities or the HMRC
* To explain publicly what sums have been wrongly paid out to members and to set out proposals for recoupment where overpayments have been made, such recoupment to be no more favourable to MPs than the system for recovery of benefits overpayments or income tax underpayments
* To report possibly fraudulent claims to the Metropolitan Police fraud squad for investigation.

The Speaker has been given 14 days to respond, failing which Judicial Review proceedings may follow.

Get in there, I love this guy. He's a motivated soul, who wants the corruption to end. And it's about time someone took the reigns over this scandal, someone from the public. Someone with the clout and the balls to stand up to these criminals who've stollen our money, and spent it on living in lavish luxury. Whilst everyone else in the country struggles to keep up with payments.

To quote the man himself. "IF you're not angry, then you're not paying attention"

Bravo Mr Thomas, Bravo.

[edit on 15/5/2009 by Acidtastic]

posted on May, 15 2009 @ 05:00 AM
Agreed, this whole thing is a disgrace. The MP who claimed £16000 for a mortgage he had already paid off.....will we see him in court?
No i don't think we will

I was watching BBC News yesterday and at the end of the report, the reporter mentioned how when Parliament burned down in 1834, crowds gathered on the side of the Thames and cheered.

posted on May, 15 2009 @ 05:19 AM
It would be good if we could charge every single politician named and shamed with corruption and fraud.
Unfortunately they have broke no laws whatsoever.
Is this surprising when MP's set the rules on their own expense claims and monitor these claims themselves.
This has been going on for years.

In the past we at least had a small amount of MP's whose primary consideration was the well being and interests of the constituents that elected them.
Now the vast majority of MP's are career politicians whose only concerns are personal advancement and their own personal financial gains.

The people of this country, their will and their concerns are being willfully ignored by those elected to represent them.

Peoples policticians whose primary intention is to serve their constituency and country, regardless of political persuassion have practically become non-existant.

Brown is possibly the worst Prime Minister I have known in my time and shows no leadership qualities whatsoever.
But the truth is The Conservative Party has no viable alternative.
Cameron is not the solution to this countries problems.
He is wishy-washy and has no proactive policies whatsoever and reeks of popularism.

Barring a very small number of notable exceptions, (Vince Cable , Frank Field are two who spring to mind), all the current MP's should be consigned to the political wilderness at the next election.
We need to do away with Party Politics and elect Independent MP's whose primary concern and interests are the well being of the constituents who elect them, not party allegiance.
It seems ridiculous that an individual should blindly align themselves with any individual party and all it's policies regardless.

Our current crop of MP's genuinely believe that they have done nothing wrong because this type of abuse has become inherent with our political system.
They then have the nerve to moralise to us about benefit cheats and other abuses of the benefit system.

As I posted in another thread here on ATS, we need either a new Guy Fawkes to hopefully succeed where he failed or maybe more aptly a modern day Cromwell, (minus his religious bigotry!).

Oliver Cromwell's Speech on the Dissolution of the Long Parliament
Given to the House of Commons

20 April 1653

It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your
contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and
enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell
your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.
Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have
no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter'd your conscience
for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?
Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil'd this sacred place, and turn'd the Lord's temple into a den
of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the
whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd, are yourselves gone!
So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors. In the name of God, go!

350 years later and these words are just as relevant today.

[edit on 15/5/09 by Freeborn]

posted on May, 15 2009 @ 07:13 AM
Well good on Mark Thomas.

The MP's have been firing back, describing the Telegraph as attemtping to "smear" them, and rolling out the old card that the ongoing scandal may force people to vote for more right-wing political parties.

But thats so much hogwash, as is all this "it was within the rules" stuff - the claims probably were "within the rules" to the letter of law that the MP's themselves dicatated but what none of them, not one seems to understand or realise is that the "rules" are damned immoral, and that the MP's are so hopelessly out of touch with reality living in their "parliamentary bubbles".

When the average guy on the street sees an MP claiming expenses for horse manure, or "having their moat cleaned", or "fixing a pipe under their tennis court" or claiming £16k expenses on a paid off mortgage (like the bank didn't notify the guy it was finished - why isn't he suing them for taking £16k of his money? Because he knew thats why) then they get angry and its nice to see this being talked about by so many people, and the fact that its not going away is also a good thing. Its about time this stuff was reigned in, properly.

Will be interesting to see where this goes.

posted on May, 15 2009 @ 07:21 AM
Something interesting to note here

Downing Street Petitions

Look at the rejected petitions sorted by date.

Astounding. They say they want to sort it out, and look at how many things about it have been rejected.

There is one open petition, that calls for publishing the expenses, and makes no mention of prosecutions, or removal of MP's from parties.

posted on May, 15 2009 @ 07:21 AM

Originally posted by Freeborn
It would be good if we could charge every single politician named and shamed with corruption and fraud.
Unfortunately they have broke no laws whatsoever.
Is this surprising when MP's set the rules on their own expense claims and monitor these claims themselves.
This has been going on for years.

And yet if it were you or I that made a mistake and claimed a benefit that maybe we thought we were entitled to and then found out we weren't......

A couple of years ago people began receiving demands to pay back family tax credits that they'd been overpaid. Not because they'd filled out the forms wrong but because the idiots deciding the amounts they should receive, got it wrong. It happened to a friend of mine and she ended up on anti-depressants due to the pressure of having to pay back 1000's of pounds that she had no idea she wasn't entitled to.

One rule for them and one rule for us. Always has been and probably always will be.

posted on May, 15 2009 @ 07:30 AM
reply to post by Maya00a

We are actively encouraged to inform on those who commit benefit fraud, many of whom are are undoubtedly on the breadline, yet these self-serving hypocrites commit far worse immoral acts and deeds.

The fact that the vast majority of these MP's still feel that they have done nothing wrong at a time when nearly the whole country is struggling financially shows just out of touch with reality these people are and they should ALL be kicked out of The House Of Commons at the next election.

posted on May, 15 2009 @ 07:51 AM

Originally posted by Kram09
I was watching BBC News yesterday and at the end of the report, the reporter mentioned how when Parliament burned down in 1834, crowds gathered on the side of the Thames and cheered.

I saw that too, and I have to admit that I laughed.

Exactly the same would happen now, but also with the fear of what will replace it.

Good to see Mark Thomas going at this.

They keep saying that the real danger is that only the wealthy will be empowered to reach for such positions if the rules are changed and their remuneration is less.

The way I see it, people now have the option to vote for the people they want in positions of authority, and they will not simply vote for people who are already wealthy.
The current system doesn't in fact allow anyone to get into politics. Regardless of your financial abilities, you are assigned to these positions by the public to work on their behalf. As long as you have the right attitudes and opinions, you'll be elected to represent on that basis.

The difference will be that those who choose to do it are, on the whole, more passionate about the role and not simply in it for everything they can get.

People are not calling for government to end, or for MP's to be on a minimum wage. We expect them to work truthfully and honorably to the rules that the PEOPLE decide.
If the economy is in trouble, it is the fault of the government. Their financial benefits should reflect the state of the nation. If the country is "making do", they should too.

The people should decide their pay, based on their performance in running the country effectively.
The public should decide their living conditions where we are paying for it. And for housing in London, we should do what Australia do and have MP's apartments, owned by the tax-payer and used by MP's as required.

The one thing I fear from all of this is that the BNP might gain some power from it. That is a real risk and is now being discussed. If otherwise sensible people choose not to vote, there is a real risk that the BNP could gain from it.

I'll be one of the first people to buy a ticket out of this country to request asylum in Australia if they do gain power. I hate to imagine what they'd do with access to the information held on millions of UK citizens.
You can guarantee that racial tensions would boil over, our country would become a completely failed democracy within a month, and a BNP dictatorship would take over.

posted on May, 15 2009 @ 08:09 AM
reply to post by detachedindividual

Why all the scaremongering about The BNP?
They are a democratic party who currently have ZERO parliamentary seats whatsoever.
They are no threat at all to the major political parties at present.
If they get elected it will by the same system used to elect current governments, this is a so called 'democratic' process.
Or perhaps if it looks like they are going to be elected don't you think 'something' would happen that would stop this.
The PTB will not let slip their control on this country so easily.

And would it be a bad thing if the BNP do get some members elected to parliament.
At least then we may get some open and honest debate on immigration issues and a genuine counter arguement to some of the excesses of The PC Brigade.

The parliamentary and electoral proccesses and systems are outdated and do not provide the level of government and accountability that the people of this country deserve.

posted on May, 15 2009 @ 09:41 AM

Originally posted by detachedindividual
The one thing I fear from all of this is that the BNP might gain some power from it. That is a real risk and is now being discussed. If otherwise sensible people choose not to vote, there is a real risk that the BNP could gain from it.


The people who have bought that issue up are the self serving morally corrupt theiving cowards who want to retain their position in power, even though they've been scammming the tax payer for god knows how many years with their "justifiable" expenses for horse manure, paid off mortgages and second homes 200 yards away from their main residence.

They are trying to play on peoples fears to serve their own agenda by presenting a straw man argument that is, at best, pathetic - because if the BNP was going to be in power in the UK it would have been so a bloody long time ago, and it would have nothing to do with MP's expenses.

Don't drink the kool aid, and fall for the doublespeak.

posted on May, 15 2009 @ 10:46 AM
I don't think the BNP will gain any more power than it has right now (ie- not a-bleedin-lot) As they're polititians too, and it's eveyone across the whole board who's bearing the brunt of this one. It's not just 1 political party. It's the lot. They've all had their fingers in the pie, and they just found out that it was hot. They's gonna get burnt.

PS grats to freeborn and neformore for speaking muchos sense

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