Friday, 17 April 2015

Resign, Janner

There is a new rule in the House of Lords, according to Michael Ashcroft. Because of the enormous and embarrassing size of the membership of the Lords, the House of Lords Reform Act 2014 states that if a peer is unable to take an active role in the work of the House, he or she should resign.

Ashcroft has indicated that he will do this. 

As far as I understand the person is allowed to retain their title and but ceases to be allowed to take part in the proceedings of the chamber or to collect the tax free salary paid to participants ...some £300 a day plus expenses.

Greville Janner is apparently, as a result of dementia, too ill to answer serious charges relating to sexual matters with under-age boys. He has to the best of my knowledge not resigned from the House of Lords. 

Surely if you are too ill to face charges under the law of the land, you should also be considered too ill to be making laws of the land.

Mr Janner should resign immediately.
Marco Biagi was interviewed by Jim Naughtie on the Today Programme this morning. He explained that, despite all the BBC journalists talking about Ed refusing a coalition with the SNP (the SNP having already ruled out any such thing), that what Nicola had been suggesting, offering to Ed last night on live UK-wide TV, was an opportunity to get rid of David Cameron and bring in more progressive politics. A co-operation rather than anything formal like a coalition.

Naughtie did his job asking Marco fair and reasonable questions and Marco did a good job of answering them failrly and reasonably. Naughtie brought up the argument that, during the minority Scottish government of 2007-11, Alex Salmond's government had worked with Annabel Goldie's Tories. Marco was able to explain clearly that that was what minority governments had to do. He pointed out that they worked with the other parties too. Minority government is impossible otherwise.

It seemed a decent interview, from both parties' points of view.

Then Naughtie interviewed Margaret Curran. He put to her the simple question that Nicola had asked Miliband last night. Would Miliband walk away from the SNP and let Cameron from another government, if the figures worked out like that? She didn't answer it, of course. She said that she was working for her constituents for a Labour majority government. He tried again and pointed out that, with respect, she had not answered his question. Again she rambled about her constituents (for whom she now seems to have the greatest concern). She wanted, as they wanted, she said, a Labour government with a majority.

Naughtie tried again to get her to answer. She didn't. She said that she had been in Scottish politics for a long time and she knew Nicola Sturgeon, who had never had a good word to say about Labour. But she would not answer what the Labour party would do if NOT working with the SNP meant that  Tory or Tory-Liberal and possibly Ukip government were the alternative.

It's a big thing, I know, for a party to concede that it may not win a full on majority, and I can't honestly blame Labour for being unwilling to contemplate losing, but when the polls have shown that it is a likelihood, not just over a couple of weeks, but over months and months, is it not time to be letting people know that you have thought the unthinkable.

Sometimes in office you will have to do this. Perhaps it would be wise to show the electorate that you have a back-up plan.



  1. Is that someone else's hand going for Curran's throat? Sorry I've neglected you recently but have been very busy. We can't all lounge about in our mansions counting our ill-gotten gains.

    1. It may well be Ms Lamont's revenge.

      We are feeling a little neglected. But as you say, we can't all lounge about in our mansions. In my attic room at Munguin towers, there's not quite room to lounge, of course, it being only 5' x 4'6... but i do know what you mean.

      Munguin likes a bit of lounging, himself.

    2. I reckon John she has her own hand at her throat to prevent the Wee Ginger Dug sinking his teeth in, not that she has managed so far.
      Tris Hektor says you have to give him a shove to give you more room, Hektor doesn't do stair thus preventing being put into the attic. He suggests you try that.

    3. I would settle for 30, tris, and in view of some MP's personal following that would be quite an achievement. However, if you offered me more I would take it!

    4. Yep. 30 is good, John... although, of course, after all the hyping that it should be 40 or 50 the press will play that as a humiliation for the SNP and for Nicola.

      I'd be happy with more.

      Of course I want to see lose her seat, along with Alexander, Davidson, Sarwar and Harris. It would be a massive bonus if Murphy lost his seat and the odious Bain would be another scalp to enjoy.

      As far as the Liberals are concerned, please please please let Danny Alexander lose.

      I assume your man is Angus and not Kennedy?

  2. The question should be where is your plan B You must have a plan B Tell us what your plan B is

    That should be asked and asked again just like they did during the referendum

    1. The plan is to get as many SNP MPs as possible and take it from there. The more MPs the greater the options....

    2. Strangely Fairfor, no one seems to have even mentioned Plan B. It's just like there was no such thing...

    3. What you think the SNP will get John... 35?

  3. Janner absolutely should resign. I read on a blog somewhere - a few years ago - about rumours regarding abuse cover ups in political circles. Turns out it was true after all. Oh, and apparently someone with dementia was prosecuted for historical abuse offences. (Can't remember where I read it......). Nobody is above the law.

    As to having a back-up plan, perhaps Alex should have had one last year over the currency question. I can't believe his strategists allowed such an open target. No amount of spin could hide such a basic error. (I know all the arguments so don't go nuts!)

    Now it seems that all the parties in this election are behaving in a similar fashion. With the exceptions of the irrelevant Lib Dems, all refuse to negotiate any deals with one another, rather keeping to a "see what comes up" approach. It's a case of either "we won't do any deals" or "this is our demands".

    Why don't our wonderful, overpaid, patronising and at times arrogant politicians publicly work together to sort out the economic problems? There is no magic wand - look to Greece. Populist party wins, and reality kicks in. The economy of the country comes first. We pay their blooming wages. If they worked together it might get a proper range of workable policies rather than going from one extreme to the other. A minority government might work better, after all the SNP proved this.

    1. Well of course plan b for that was that we had a Scottish pound which might have been de-stabilising for a while. But as you say you know the arguments.

      Yes. There comes a time when everyone should be doing ther best to sort out the unholy mess that we are in.

      But it isn't just the economy. By some calculations it is booming. Britain is on top, even the right wing IMF says so. It's just a pity that none of the major parties seems to give a toss that this has been at the expense of the kids with empty stomachs.

      By Tory an New Labour standards we have a wonderful economy. Human beings might disagree.

    2. Do I detect the merest hint of sarcasm about our wonderful politicians?

      Definitely not a bouncing economy by any standards. I work in the public sector, and we've had a 4 year pay freeze. I accept this. (My pension is not gold-plated, trust me).

      I would have a better respect for politicians if they had set an example and taken a pay freeze as well. I have no problem with people having wealth, inherited or self-made. But when they start claiming for newspapers, widescreen TVs (Angus Robertson of all people was one!), flipping duck ponds and faux ermine throws....

      I'm annoyed with all the parties at the moment, be they left- or right-wing. They are focused on their needs, not the electorate (Murphy is an exception, no one needs him). I should say the leaderships are self-centred, there are outstanding MPs/MSPs in all parties who don't give a toss for high office, and quietly get on with things, ie being a good constituency politician.

    3. Nooooo No sarcasm about politicians.

      I don't much care for them by and large. I have a few who are friends and whom I like on a personal basis, but I'm not enamoured by them in general terms.

      They end up as part of the Brit establishment and I loathe that. From the royals through the aristocracy, the top people in the civil service, church, armed forces, police, press, BBC, parliament, secret police... I'd have a purge.

      I don;t actually believe a word any of them say. They are by and large corrupt because powerr corrupts and they have power.

      None really has absolute power, but the top royals come close in some ways. I'd have them in Australian like the crims of years ago, quicker than your could say Saxe Coburg.

  4. Who would like to bet on Janner making a recovery from his dementia just like Saunders did after the charges against him were dropped A feat never recorded before, but a scam that worked a treat

    1. Aye Saunders, the only man to make a recovery from that awful illness, and yet not co-operating with the medical profession to see what amazing cure there was for him????

  5. tris

    Janner is suffering from dementia and is unable to reason and function in any
    normal capacity (if in snp speak he isnt a lying devious labourite ) given he
    has a proper diagnosis.
    My experience (heartbreaking ) is the person ' evil?' he may have been
    have you seen the evidence a jury certainly hasn't.
    suggests he isnt the person he was and is probably without any meaningful
    memory processes alongside all the other debilitating effects of dementia .

    Do you seriously expect any conscientious judge to allow him to go before
    a jury. We live we hope under the impartial rule of a admittedly flawed law .
    but more preferable to mob rule and hysteria.

    what would you be punishing now a psychologically deteriorating vegetable
    who amongst you would cast the first stone against mentally disabled man ?
    I'll give it a pass .
    If he did those alleged things i am genuinely sorry but that person has now gone
    and what is left is a shell without functioning mind. and we must now decide
    if we are caring human beings or mindless vengeful brutes.

    Before the final result was called in the referendum the snp had evidence
    they were losing the vote did they admit to it or reveal this to the voters ??

    1. There are concentration camp guards in their nineties being charged, like Oskar Groening.

      He probably didn't have a Harley St doctor, or mates in the government.

      Remember Ernest Saunders, the only man - ever - to recover from Alzheimer's disease as soon as he got released from prison...

    2. I agree with you Nico (re: people with dementia) but, as Tris points out, if he can't do the job, by the houses own rules he must resign.

      Oh, in case you hadn't noticed, the referendum was last year.

    3. Ordinary people who get Dementia as did my Mother in Law, well we can be certain that they do actually have it. When it happens once Niko as in the case of Ernest Saunders and the establishment take the mickey and allow him out before he served anything like his sentence and then pronounce him cured, well you can see people's problem. If Mr Janner is indeed in a bad way and my Mother in Law took a bit before she completely succumbed, I have nothing but sympathy but there is no reason for him not to be tried in absentia. It would appear if the reports are correct that he "protests his innocence" which I would find difficult to understand if he is indeed in a "bad" way.

    4. You'll not Niko that what I said was that he should resign from the House of Lords. If he is unfit to follow laws, he's unfit to be making them.

    5. In fact the evidence just before the referendum was that the YES side was winning. Which is why David Cameron promised all the stuff he had no intention at all of delivering.

      Must go out now. Late for appointment...Will write more later.

    6. It appears that one of the only people allowed to criticise those with dementia not being made to answer criminal charges is Lord Janner himself.

      Members of this corrupt 14th century nod at democracy should ALL resign, not just the medically confirmed demented. How demented are the UK electorate, for allowing ourselves to be forced into a position where we are throwing money at these people who do absolutely nothing at all, except eat and drink at our expense?

    7. Ok... I'm back, and no Niko... not even slightly. :(

      I think you hit the nail on the head, Conan, Helena. The trouble with the system here is that there is one rule for some and one rule for others.

      I don't know enough about Janner's individual case to say much about it. I find reading about the details of these things pretty unpalatable, so I don;t follow it every day. As I said, my greatest concern is that, in the abomination that is the house of lords, we appear to be able to have people who are suffering from dementia so severely that they cannot answer to the law, which they make!

      I understand that the police are angry that the decision has been made not to prosecute, presumably because they have put a lot of heartbreaking work into it. I understand that Tessy is angry about it, (but of course that could be because it doesn't suit her political agenda for him to get off... him being Labour).

      I wonder too if the English law people would be so ready to let it drop if the accused were not a noble lord, but just some ordinary back street alleged paedo?

      HV, I can't get into that file, but from the heading I see the irony. I understand of course that Janner is a prominent Jew (indeed I understand he is still:

      Vice President – The Association for Jewish Youth
      Vice President – The Jewish Leadership Council
      President – The Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women
      Advisory Board – Community Security Trust
      Vice President – The World Jewish Congress
      Chairman – The Holocaust Educational Trust
      Director – The United Jewish Israel Appeal)

      And I understand that would make him feel very strongly about Nazis. That said, some of us feel very strongly about children.

      I certainly agree the House of Lords should have been closed down 100 years ago. It's a game the "great and the good" play for their benefits at our costs.

      I'd given them all 2 hours to vacate the place then I'd bulldoze it.

    8. A relative of mine died from Alzheimer's two years ago. Due to other circumstances that arose not long before, I'm well aware of the legal process when assessing the level of the disease (Power of Attorney stuff, not criminal). Bottom line there were legal statements from five people, three of whom were professional (ie medical) that had to pass through the court. Fairly straightforward process but very intense and with a high degree of scrutiny to protect the individual.

      For criminal cases I'm not sure (perhaps Peat Worrier can help?) but I'd expect it is a similar process to determine mental state.

      I don't agree with putting someone through a legal trail if they are not medically fit.

      However....... and these are allegations in the media, Janner was quite happily carrying out speaking engagements which abruptly stopped as soon as these allegations first surfaced.

      Something stinks.

  6. tris

    If he has dementia then HE WONT HAVE THE COMMONS SENSE TO RESIGN OR ANYTHING ELSE you know like dementia is a clue.


    Oh I am so last year.....

    I understand his family say he is innocent and under Scottish law
    that is in fact what he is.....until a trial


    I am only concerned with my beliefs on how you treat the severely disabled
    obviously as the Nazis did one can just consider them as unworthy of
    the normal legal and moral norms,

    tris is off out be a bit pished later know doubt have one on me.

    1. Strange how all these illnesses only affect those connected with the establishment in regard to criminality any explanation Niko?

    2. Niko. If he is indeed so senile that he doesn't know he's senile I could see that. (Frankly that is VERY far gone. Most suffers know when they start to fail, and do so for a very long time...and like Harold Wilson did, resign from their posts there and then.)

      Being a very rich and very successful man, he will have many hangers on.

      They should resign on his behalf.

      Alternatively he should be asked to leave.

      I note he has been suspended from the Labour Party.

    3. Yes CH. As I said earlier, I wonder if the Public Prosecution people would have been so reasonable had be just been Joe Ordinary or would they have trussed him up like they did with that poor bloke that they fingered for Jill Dando's murder when she was about to expose them all...?.

    4. A large percentage of the inmates of prisons have mental problems nothing or very little is done about that. We are supposed to be equal in a democracy and NO establishment title should put one above that or we have no democracy at all.

    5. Yes absolutely. I looked at the situation here in Scotland when I was working on a re-employment project with the Prison service. Many of the prisoners have mental health issues that would make them unemployable, even if it were not for their criminal record.

      mind, I don;t believe that if Janner is really unaware of what day it is or who he is, he could possibly be made to stand trial. I accept that absolutely. But I think that should be the same for people who can;t afford expensive doctors; people who don;t know where the bodies are buries, and I maintain that all these positions he holds should be removed from him.

      If he is incapable of recognising himself in the mirror he shouldn't have the right to vote in parliament on our laws... and whilst he may never do it again, he still has the right to... and that is wrong..

  7. The SNP’s exponential rise is throwing the British system of government into turmoil

    In 2005 Labour won a General Election on 35.2 per cent of the vote; in 2014 Yes Scotland lost the independence referendum on 44.7 per cent. Arendt Lijphart, states that a key feature of the Westminster system of government is a “disproportional system of elections”. This disproportional electoral system – First Past the Post – could potentially transform the 44.7 per cent referendum Yes vote into over 80 per cent of Scottish seats in a general election.

  8. Well at least he hasn't suffered poor old Leon's fate.

    1. Bless old Leon... he shuffled off his mortal coil just before they had to find an excuse to not to charge him.

      I wonder if he really did have cancer, or if the fact that he was a terrible embarrassment to the establishment was enough to carry the old bastard off.

  9. Yes, sorry. I am not good with links, which is why I hardly ever try to do them, but it's over on Craig Murray's post "Beware the Banana Republic Postal Ballot" - Monteverdi comment @12:37 pm. Interesting levels of hypocrisy.

    1. Don't worry. I found it in the end.

      Interestingly it looks like this won't go away. In the old days before the net and social media it would have probably been sufficient to say that he was suffering from dementia, and all would have passed into history. But people have investigated and as you say found him demanding punishment for those who maltreated Jews regardless of their age and mental capacity.

      Now it has come to light that as little as a month ago he wrote to the House of Lords asking for a further leave of absence. He signed the form himself. he clearly intends to return there (although he has not attended for some fact since his home was searched by police).

      John Mann has demanded that all correspondence with the Lords be published, and his victims are considering a legal challenge to the CPS.

    2. Don't worry. I found it in the end.

      Interestingly it looks like this won't go away. In the old days before the net and social media it would have probably been sufficient to say that he was suffering from dementia, and all would have passed into history. But people have investigated and as you say found him demanding punishment for those who maltreated Jews regardless of their age and mental capacity.

      Now it has come to light that as little as a month ago he wrote to the House of Lords asking for a further leave of absence. He signed the form himself. he clearly intends to return there (although he has not attended for some fact since his home was searched by police).

      John Mann has demanded that all correspondence with the Lords be published, and his victims are considering a legal challenge to the CPS.