GAYNESS TRUMPS HONOUR?

I thought the BBC ran a very peculiar item this morning @ 8.46am concerning what they see as the homosexual angle to Lib-Dem David Laws ripping off the tax payer to the tune of £40,000 on his expenses claims. Evan Davies (Gay) conducted the interview with fellow blogger Iain Dale (Gay) and Kelvin McKenzie. (Not Gay). I am unsure why the BBC seem to want to bring the gay factor into this story. Laws ripped us off – plain and simple. He has been exposed. The gay dimension to this seems a red herring. Surely the same ethical standards apply to us regardless of our sexuality?

Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to GAYNESS TRUMPS HONOUR?

  1. hippiepooter says:

    Yes.

       0 likes

  2. Roland Deschain says:

    The gay dimension is irrelevant to the point at issue.  I actually don’t think David Laws has ripped off the taxpayer as such, as it seems he couldn’t have rented accommodation any cheaper.  To me the point at issue is that the rules say he couldn’t claim it and he broke the rules.  Us little people are expected to obey increasingly petty rules and therefore politicians should be given NO leeway when they transgress.

    I can understand his wish to keep his sexuality private but then he shouldn’t have made the claim when he knew the rules forbade it. He’s not exactly short of a bob or two so he didn’t need to claim it.  It was stupidity/arrogance of the highest order, but then he probably never expected to be in government and face the scrutiny that involves.

       0 likes

  3. Foxy Brown says:

    On Five Live, Francis Finn – who stood in for Stephen Nolan last night – devoted much of her show to the subject of whether being gay was a hindrance in every day life.  The Laws expense scandal was a constant frame of reference.  But the bloke was caught bang to rights.  If he had been so concerned about keeping his private life private, then he should have paid the rent out of his own pocket – he’s a multi-millionaire after all. It’s the latter fact that makes him both dishonourable and ignoble.

       0 likes

  4. Martin says:

    I think the BBC are being pulled both ways. One the one had they want to attack the Government, but f course Laws is gay and a Liberal not normally the target for the BBC.

    Laws was wrong plain and simple, however, what about five bellies? the BBC gave her an east time even smearing the neighbours who stated that 5 bellies Police security were hardly ever outside her sisters house. What about Alistair Darling and his house flipping? What about Mandelson and his various dodgy dealings? All we get is silence from the BBC when it comes ot Liebour politicians.

       0 likes

    • hippiepooter says:

      It’s what a left wing smear machine does – outrage at political opponents (or enemies as they see them as) when they transgress, sympathy when ‘their’ people get caught out.  Laws being a homosexual tilts the balance in his favour in some parts of the BBC, in others not.

         0 likes

  5. Millie Tant says:

    It’s not relevant at all. It is being used as a sympathy card for “the gays”. There is a lot of obfuscation going on. The relevant question is whether he was entitled to claim for rent to his partner (of whatever sex). The rules say not.

    You can’t even say that he was not ripping off the taxpayer based on an assumption that he couldn’t get cheaper rent elsewhere. We don’t know that. Also, we don’t know that his sex partner would have charged him any rent at all, had not MPs’ allowances existed. We don’t know that it was rent that he claimed. Had he gone to the rental market and got a flat, we know it would have been rent and he would have been entitled to claim for it.

       0 likes

  6. Derek Buxton says:

    An “Honourable Man” would not claim for anything which was dubious in any event, especially when he is a multi millionaire.  This applies to all MPs.  If they cannot accept this, they should not be where they are.  the poorest always knew this and still do, only the “elite” do not.

       0 likes

  7. Disdain says:

    Of course the ‘gay’ element is relevant. As far as I understand it Laws moved into the flat in 2001, and ‘a couple of years later’ started dating his landlord.  So that takes us, presumably, to 2003. Between that time and the rule-change in 2006, there’s no wrong-doing. But in 2006, the rules changed, and Laws faced the choice of either a) continuing as before, b) moving his London home,  or c) ‘outing’ himself and at the same time determining that his landlord was now officially his ‘partner’ via discontinuing his expenses claim. I’m not saying he made the right choice (and neither is Mr Laws), but it takes a real lack of imagination to persuade yourself that the choices about his gay relationship weren’t relevant to that decision. 

    Second point. For those who want to thrash themselves into a fury about the monetary aspect: so far as I can remember, David Laws’ London accommodation expenses were something the 441st most expensive in a Parliament of 600+.   Or put it another way: as far as the taxpayer is concerned, David Laws was a bit of a bargain. 

    Final point. We all have things we keep secret and would suffer fearfully from public disclosure.  (Christians – see Jesus, adultery and casting the first stone.) I do. You do. Everyone does. Yet we have to have a public life, and that public life costs us all. From a utilitarian point of view, and also from a human empathy point of view, we’ve all been left the poorer, financially and morally, by this disastrous episode.  No, I don’t blame the BBC, but I do blame the Telegraph. 

       0 likes

    • Cassandra King says:

      Of course in your world theft is not theft, the thief becomes a victim and the excuses for the crooked behaviour borders on the gymnastic.
      The simple fact remains that Laws is a common thief, he stole money that didnt belong to him and its as simple as that. Bringing his sexuality into it is simply an attempt to create an excuse for his dishonesty, Gays are not discriminated against and are protected under the law.
      In the land of ordinary people we have to obey the law of the land, we have no special protection and no powerful friends to protect us, most people know the difference between right and wrong and what is due to us and what is not. In fact Laws is a rich man and didnt need the few thousands he stole whereas a poor person stealing a fiver could expect no mercy from the authorities.
      A thief is a thief, a crook is a crook and no amount of fog will make that fact dissapear, strip away all the whinning excuses and Laws is what he is, a common thief.

         0 likes

      • Disdain says:

        ‘A crook is a crook’.  Mr Laws was (and is) entitled to claim expenses for a second home in London, regardless of being ‘a rich man’. Those expenses were clearly not directed into his pocket or wallet. Any ‘thief’ or ‘crook’ who so spectacularly failed to profit from his activity would surely give it up. As it is, the taxpayer paid an abnormally reasonable (statistically)  rent for Mr Laws’ flat. And yes, his landlord turned into his boyfriend at some stage, and this was not declared publicly. 

        Bad choice? Oh, for sure.  But if Mr Laws was ‘a common thief’ he’d have found many more ways to milch the taxpayer. (Cf, Alistair Darling, four-times ‘flipper’).  As it is, this is a ‘crime’ which, ironically, probably saved the taxpayer money!    

        Still, don’t let that get in the way of your outrage.

           0 likes

        • Cassandra King says:

          I am sorry but have you stopped and actually listened to yourself?

          Let me put this as simply as I can, the man is a common thief.
          He didnt even need to claim the money, there are millions of poor people who would not dream of stealing money from the state, there are many people who live in poverty who could not bring themselves to steal and thieve and those are the people who need it most. The many elderly who live in crushing poverty where the stark choices of heating or eating have to be made every week and yet they do not feel the need to steal and cheat.
          Our society rests on the basic premise of right and wrong, if we all felt the need to excuse our base and dirty desires with self justification where would we be? Oooh yes thats right look where we are now.
          Right and wrong are not shades of grey, honesty and integrity are not vague concepts to be interpreted as a defence requires, lawyer scum have introduced that concept over the years and it has culminated in the criminals charter designed specifcally for that purpose.
          I am outraged that a rich man could steal and cheat while honest people go without, while the honest suffer the crooked thrive and it really does hurt my feelings, instead of justifying the actions of a thief go out there and see an honest poor person in the pooerst neighbourhood and look into their eyes and tell them how you think its alright for a rich man to steal public cash.

             0 likes

          • Disdain says:

            Cassandra, 
            Let me put this as simply as I can. . . . the man is not a common thief; right and wrong are (in the end) shades of grey; and honesty and integrity are staggeringly complex matters which are almost always context-dependent.  Quite simply, you either have not thought these things through, or you are too young not to realize how the world must actually work, and the judgements you will be called upon to make in due course.  You may find, one day, that you are called upon to make a decision in which any decision you make will be . . . wrong!   

            Your argument from riches (he’s a rich man, so we can all safely hate him) is also not a clincher. If you have concern for the poor as an ethical argument (and why not? it’s a good one!) then you must consider the consequences of your own ethical judgements. And in this case, it’s that a man who is by all accounts exceptional at his job, has been hounded out because of a bad misjudgement.  If the consequence of that is that the economy is handled more badly, that fiscal order is not restored, or is restored only by more painful and cack-handed methods than Mr Laws would have used, it is precisely the poorest who will suffer most.  

            And at that moment, if you have any sense, you will stop and consider whether a) your ethical absolutism is correct and b) whether your own judgement in this particular case was correct. 

            I urge you to make things as simple as they are . . . . but no simpler. 

               0 likes

            • hippiepooter says:

              I hope that this shouldn’t be considered a private spat between Cassandra and Disdain and that I might put my ore in.  As people have been quoting the Bible from both sides of this argument (and with equal validity in my view) let me throw a remembered quote from the Old Testament which is along the lines that when judging a rich man or a poor man at trial you shouldn’t be partial for or against either.

              I very much welcome the context that Disdain has given to the issue and am yet to see it refuted so it seems factual (anybody?).  One can see Mr Laws dilemna and the error of judgement this led to, which does appear to be a ‘but by the Grace of God go I’ scenario in terms of the ‘catch-22′ circumstances.

              With regard to morality we all cut and trim to adapt to the reality of the world we live in.  Some take heroic risks to uphold their moral integrity, others do not, but, even among the best of us, to quote scripture again, before the Almighty ‘our righteousness is like filthy rags’.

              From all reports Mr Laws was promised the support of Mssrs Clegg and Cameron if he decided to stay on, nay was urged not to resign, but he decided to nonetheless.  I think it was a good and honourable decision.  What has made British public life a shining example to the world is not just the importance of avoiding wrongdoing but of avoiding the appearance of wrongdoing, and it seems to be this very important principle in British public life that Mr Laws has decided to abide by.  Without compelling reeasons to believe otherwise I think he, like anyone in his situation, would deserve the benefit of the doubt.  As important and talented figure as he undoubtedly was in HMCG (Her Majesty’s Coalition Government) it is the integrity of Government that matters most, and to his credit he has put this first.

              After the due period of grace, providing nothing compelling emerges against the benefit of doubt given him, it would be very good to see him back in Government.

                 0 likes

              • Cassandra King says:

                As always I value your tuppence worth Hippieppoter, Disdain and I are not having a spat we are learning to communicate and I value his opinion as highly as yours.
                I disagree and I could be wrong, God knows I have been wrong in the past! We post our views and we learn from each other, a couple of days from now when my head has had time to digest the exchange I might just have learned something of value.

                If you notice me making a mistake then tell me by all means, its the only way I am ever gonna learn.

                   0 likes

            • Cassandra King says:

              Disdain,

              I see no merit in your argument, the shades of grey have no place in right wrong and the concept of honesty and integrity are as clear and simple as day and night.
              We make moral choices every day of our lives, some walk may walk past a tramp and sneer, some may walk past an injured stray cat or kitten without stopping, some might pick up a wallet and take the contents, some will laugh at an ugly or disabled person and a thousand other little things that test us each day.
              The choices we face each day are simple, we either do the right thing or we do the wrong thing and the choice is ours to make, a murderer can claim that the victim deserved their fate, a conman can claim a mug deserves to be fleeced, a rich man may claim the poor deserve their fate.
              We all bear the sole responsibility for our actions every day, we choose to do the right thing or we choose not to, lawyers have made a fine living by creating a cloud of doubt that hides the simple choices we all make, we only have to choose right and wrong and from this simple dilemna springs the worlds woes.
              The choice is simple its the excuses for the choices we make that are complicated. It does not matter what I think, my judgement does not matter in the least, what matters are the simple choices we freely make and the consequences of those simple choices on those around us.
              Our civisation is not based on what we can get away with, how we can escape the consequences of our actions, how we can serve our own selfish desires without being held to account. In this life we have been given the free will to make a simple choice, do we do the right thing or do we do the wrong thing, if we do the right thing and it costs us dearly and if we do the wrong thing and it appears that it cost us nothing.
              We complicate the simple to justify our choices, in our many cycles of life on this earth we come to understand the simplicity of our existence, we choose to do right not because it is easy but because it is the right thing to do.
              The choice that Laws made was simple, he chose wrongly and now he must pay the price and face the consequences, that is an iron hard reality that none of us can escape in this life or the next thousand lives.

                 0 likes

              • Cassandra King says:

                I might just add that I am a sinner of epic proportions, I have made as many wrong choices as right ones, I have hurt as many souls as I have helped, I have the dubious gift of making the wrong choices in life BUT then again I am not standing for high public office, I am not trying to present one face to the world I presume to lead others and have control over the lives of others while I hide my true identity from view.

                   0 likes

      • davebradley_101 says:

        Some very valid points Cassandra. The phobia of homos (homophobia) is like a razor blade that cuts both ways. A phobia is a fear of something and I am certainly not afraid of anyone who is gay. However I am afraid of homophobia and the people that wield it as a weapon against anyone who dares to question why someone should be selected because of their sexuality rather than their ability. The whole system has been infiltrated by hard line leftyliberal gays who have put protection into place that protects the minority and schackles the majority. Couple that with the get out of jail free (victim) card and you can see why honest decent people end up stuck on one side of the monopoly board whilst the elite minorities get stuck on the other.

           0 likes

    • Millie Tant says:

      Is your name David and do you have disdain for ordinary people with their inconvenient morals and interest in what MPs get up to with the public’s money?

      He didn’t have to out himself and discontinuing his claim wouldn’t have been an outing. Before you start accusing other people of lacking imagination, you might look to the mote in your own eye (We can all quote the Bible, you know). Oh, and add your lack of logic to lack of imagination: there aren’t just three options, as you loftily set out for such inferiors as ourselves.
      We are obviously getting above ourselves because we are not sufficiently appreciative of the “bargain” we got from the “clever” Mr Laws. What about the bargain that he  entered into with the public when he stood for Parliament? Was that to represent them or to represent himself? 
       

      Here’s that lack of logic again:

      “We all have things we keep secret and would suffer fearfully from public disclosure.  (Christians – see Jesus, adultery and casting the first stone.) I do. You do. Everyone does.”

      You cannot possibly know whether “we all” have secrets or not and would suffer from public disclosure – which, anyway, is not what this case is about. It’s about what you should and shouldn’t do on your allowances claim, plain and simple. You cannot speak for me or for anyone else. If you think you can, well, I cannot reason with you, for you are not reasoning. However, you should refrain from smearing everyone with a particular individual’s dodgy claim and apparent personal dishonour.

      And please throw away the violins; dodgy dealings should not be the cost of our public life. We and the general public are not left morally poorer by the fact of one dodgy customer’s failings. Also, stop blaming the messenger, although if one wanted to go down that road, it would be interesting to find out exactly who in Westminster shopped Laws to The Telegraph and why.

         0 likes

      • Disdain says:

        Dear Millie,
        No, my name isn’t David. And I’m delighted to hear that you apparently have no secrets you’d rather not have divulged to the rest of the population. If this is indeed your situation, I congratulate you, for you are unique. 

        And actually, yes, in this case, I do have disdain for the chorus of condemnation which has chased this man from office. Imagine 1939, Churchill and a) his drinking and b) his financial affairs. Today’s Daily Telegraph would have had no difficulty whatsoever in ‘exposing’ his lack of fitness for office.  Presumably, today’s British public would have congratulated themselves on their moral probity (quite extraordinary, in your case, apparently) as they expelled him from public office.  That wouldn’t have served the national interested then, and expelling Laws now doesn’t either. The nation’s financial situation is absolutely a threat to our way of life, and Laws was one of the best possible people to help dig us out of the trouble we are in.  Now we’ve lost him. 

        Lose your personal indignation for just a moment, and do some utilitarian calculation.  On a utilitarian calculation, the ‘moral censure’ of you and (seemingly) most other people on this blog is an ethical disaster. For which, I fear, we will all pay a price in hard cash.  

           0 likes

        • Millie Tant says:

          I have news for you, Disdain: all my family are like this! And my friends and loads of people I know.  In fact, it’s worse than that: there are millions like me. Most people are like this, outside the Westminster bubble of privilege.

          You are spinning like a frisbee, Disdy.  You try to create a morality tale out of this, except that it is not the morality most people see. It’s ridiculous to start attacking public morality as somehow dangerous and deleterious. David Laws did this all by himself and he bears the responsibility.

          The Limb Dems are full of sleaze and hypocrisy while laying claim to be squeaky clean and morally above those other political parties. Is there no end to it? David Laws harmed not only his own reputation but that of others, including the government and made a mockery of his Treasury role in telling other people to tighten their belts. What an idiot. Being a clever academic economist doesn’t make a good government minister, necessarily. He might have turned out to be a disaster for all we know. Look at Gordon Brown, academically clever and obsessed with supposed fairness and poverty, yet stupid enough to remove the 10p tax rate and not notice anything wrong with doing so. In fact it would be hard to find anybody more obdurate, stupid and downright dangerous than the clever, fanatical, power-crazed Gordon Brown.

             0 likes

          • Cassandra King says:

            What a great post Millie, everything I was thinking but couldnt bring to the debate.
            I tried in my own well known clumsy fashion to press those very points whereas you nailed it perfectly!

            FWIW, I can empathise and feel sorry for those that bring shame on themselves and others, but there is a world of difference between empathy and excusing wrongdoing because I myself might be tempted to steal and cheat.

               0 likes

            • Millie Tant says:

              Thank you Cassandra.  :-[ If I may return the compliment(!), you clearly brought plenty of argument, and your characteristic passion, to the debate.

                 0 likes

      • hippiepooter says:

        ‘Disdain’ I felt did make a good case of mitigating factors but he did spoil it by his evident ‘special pleading’.

        Regardless of whether or not homosexuality doesn’t now militate against a politician, a homosexual MP might still have his own reasons for not wanting to make his homosexuality public.  Reasons of family for example.

        Now that he has been ‘outed’ though the honourable thing for him to do would be to pay back the expenses claimed from the moment this chappie could be considered a ‘partner’ in today’s modern, swinging ways.

           0 likes

    • Martin says:

      Look, Laws appeared to be a half competent politician who seemed to have an idea (unlike Vince Cable) of the cuts needed. But it’s not the amount of money that he took, it’s the principle.

      Try explaining to your local council why you shouldn’t be prosecuted for not paying all of your council tax. They won’t care.

         0 likes

  8. Stewart Knight M says:

    Regarding Laws, it seems like most people with an agenda are lining up to claim it is somehow homophobic, though I have to point out that the term homophobic has been hijacked by the bender lobby to label in th epejorative anyone who doesn’t 100% embrace them and their perversions and also to make a convenient term for a criminal act. Here is the defence used by Dale and his army of pink acolytes; he tried to keep his being homosexual private so calimed in this manner; he couldn’t have got a better deal for the tax payer; he was entitled to claim. Firstly, if he wanted to keep his sexual proclivities private, then shouldn’t have paid his bum chum near £1000 of MY and your fucking money a month, so I don’t believe a word of that. Secondly, what he was paying below what might be charged was a trifle and peanuts, relatively, so no excuse and you could have kept it above board and within the rules, so no excuse. Lastly, just because he is entitles to claim, doesn’t mean it was right to do so. Entitlements are there to cover expenses, not to claim regardless, whioch is why so many were in trouble in the first place, so no excuse.

    He is guilty of fiddling his expenses to give money to his homosexual sex partner, simple as that. He would have resigned and no defence would have been offered by anyone and especially not the bender lobby, if he had been paying his sado masochistic mistress in her dungeon, so why is him being a homosexual any different, oh but wait, woe is me, it is hard, it is difficult [sic]

    Quite apart from anything else he is a Lib Dem scumbag, yes that party of propriety who are financed by known and admitted stolen money they refuse to return to those from whom it was stolen. I want to see the Lib Dems eradicated from Parliament, so why are so many Tories claiming Laws was a great politician, who had done nothing up to now? Get rid of all of them and let’s stop being hypocrites.

    Homosexuality is the new religion of the BBC since the fall of communism and the left. Their pin up boy was and remains largely George Michael, who was and remains a druggie scumbag, convicted, and public toilet haunting pervert who sucks middl;e aged strangers cocks in public toilets, but he was afforded the honour a few weeks later, after conviction for the above offences, of a slot on Desert Island discs and also the first major star to play the new Wembley stadium, at the BBC behest. And the new pin up boy now he has been convicted as a sex pest and druggie scum? Biy George! They are even making a series about him. Neither of these fucking drug addled perverts should be allowed near our screens and given the massive oxygen of publicity the BBC seems set to lavish on them, along with huge fees, but they will, and why? Homosexuality.

    Rant over.

       0 likes

  9. sue says:

    I agree with all the above, but if he wanted to keep being gay such a secret, wouldn’t being seen not to pay/claim rent to the ‘landlord’ look suspicious?

    The fact that he had a skeleton in the cupboard  is dodgy. Think of the blackmail possibilities. Squeaky clean it has to be these days. No secrets.

    Also, saying he didn’t benefit is disingenuous. If your spouse benefits, so do you. Trickle-down, if you’ll pardon the expression.

       0 likes

    • Millie Tant says:

      sue: but if he wanted to keep being gay such a secret, wouldn’t being seen not to pay/claim rent to the ‘landlord’ look suspicious? 
      =====================

      Who would know or be interested enough to be suspicious in the first place? Do you think someone keeps hounding MPs to claim rent and expenses in the way the TV licensing people pursue us to pay our TV licence tax? And if someond did ask about a claim for rent, couldn’t you say you had been staying at a friend’s place and didn’t need to claim for rent?

         0 likes

      • sue says:

        Mum and Dad might be interested, who knows. Staying at a friend’s place?
        Ooh! How very dare you!

           0 likes

        • Millie Tant says:

          Mummy and Daddy scrutinising his financial arrangements? Hm… He’s not 14 years old and living at home, you know!

             0 likes

  10. cjhartnett says:

    Usual double standards so beloved of the Beeb.

    1. It is NOT homophobia…but “second home-ophobia” thai is our problem!

    2. Had the gay lobby not pressed for “couples” to be treated just the same as heterosexual married couples then Laws would still be in post today…well done Peter Tatchell and the other identity state funded ciphers such as Summerskill and Mason.

    3. Trust the Beeb to get cracking on the dry ice and smoke and mirrors that distract from the real issue…trying to con the taxpayer…methinks the BBC know that if the political class fall over this ,then THEIR expenses and perks will be newsworthy next.

    Indeed they should be already-hope  Hammond and the like will be swift to settle with the pink mafia and lavender nazis that run the political agenda these days.

       0 likes

  11. John Horne Tooke says:

    Good God – no wonder Dave does not want to bring back section 28 there would be no one left in parliament!!!

       0 likes

  12. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Laws himself made homosexuality the issue.  He said he hid the fact that Lundie was his regular sexual partner and continued to pay him rent and then claim it on expenses because he felt that his friends and family – and, I’d imagine, his constituents, although he wouldn’t say that – are homophobes and wouldn’t accept it.

    That’s the only reason I can think of for why Laws would say he deliberately hid his homosexuality from his friends and family.  Laws seems to have claimed homophobia as an existential threat, thus rationalizing his rent claims.

    Either way, Davies and Dale gave the game away.  Their defense – and that’s what it is – is that homosexuals are more likely to have open relationships which don’t conform to traditional monogamous relationships. But then Davies says that Laws could have declared as living with his partner and claimed accordingly.  This means that homosexuals should be granted special dispensation, simply because of their culture of promiscuity.  Casual sex seemed to be the norm to them, and neither of them gave any credence to the idea that maybe Laws was in a monogamous situation.  Laws keeps saying that “James” is the only one who knew, so what else does it mean unless he’s lying?

    Aside from that, it says something about people who consider themselves LibDems that one of their best feared that they would be intolerant of homosexuality.  I thought they were supposed to be champions of gay rights.

       0 likes

  13. dave s says:

    Laws is just another politician, no better or worse than the rest. The notion that the future of this country depends on his ” talent ” is laughable. He will not be missed.
    At the rate the coalition is going is it worth any of us remembering the names of any of them?
    What a dreadful bunch. I even feel nostalgic for the monster Brown

       0 likes

    • Millie Tant says:

      dave s: He will not be missed.
      ======================
      Tee tum…

      As some day it may happen that a victim must be found,
           I’ve got a little list–I’ve got a little list
      Of society offenders who might well be underground,
           And who never would be missed–who never would be missed!
      There’s the pestilential nuisances who write for autographs–
      All people who have flabby hands and irritating laughs–
      All children who are up in dates, and floor you with ‘em flat–
      All persons who in shaking hands, shake hands with you like _that_–
      And all third persons who on spoiling tete-a-tetes insist–
           They’d none of ‘em be missed–they’d none of ‘em be missed!

      CHORUS.   He’s got ‘em on the list–he’s got ‘em on the list;
                     And they’ll none of ‘em be missed–they’ll none of
                          ‘em be missed.

         0 likes

  14. DJ says:

    Hey, anyone else wondering if the people hailing Laws as a certifed super genius are the same ones who used to say the same about Universal Vince?

    And where did the Hypocriscy Squad go? These guys have spent years shouting ‘A-Ha!’ every time a social conservative gets caught with a hooker, but now we have a finance minster calling for everyone else to tighten their belts even as he submits bogus expenses claims, that strikes them as perfectly normal.

    Ditto with the Sob Sisters. The BBC devoted zillons of reports over the years to telling us how harsh the DSS is, but now a millionaire has walked free after committing exactly the same type of fraud plenty of housing benefit claimants have been busted for, and that doesn’t prove anything.

       0 likes

  15. Disdain says:

    Back to take up the challenge. First, I think perhaps you might have misunderstood some of what I wrote. My first point was that we all have something to hide – I believe this emphatically, and I’d point out that this assumption is lodged in the foundation of every belief system and every religion I’ve ever looked at. Sorry, Millie, humans are just like that. It helps explain why you and I have adopted pseudonyms on boards like this. It helps explain why the ID-carders ‘no-one with nothing to hide need fear this’ refrain was so sinister.   I’m not going to argue this strongly, because you – and yes, all your family too – know it to be true.   

    What it means is that all our politicians, even the best-intentioned of them, have something to hide. ‘Is there no end to this?’ No, there isn’t, there just isn’t. We are imperfect humans living in an imperfect world, and we make judgement calls and mistakes all day every day.

    Mr Laws clearly made a bad judgement call, but I suspect on the balance of (financial) evidence made it not primarily because he’s a ‘crook stealing our money’ but because he had something to hide – viz the fact that he’s a gay who had never dared or chosen to out himself.  Now, was this a good call or a bad call? No question, a bad call, a bad judgement for which he has resigned.  

    The original question was: was the ‘gay’ angle something to do with it? And I think the answer to that is ‘yes.’

    Now, on to the more general question. Is this black and white? OK, Millie and Cassandra, and all those who assert that it is, I want you to do a thought experiment. Imagine for a moment, seriously, that the decision about what should happen to a particular politician (not necessarily David Laws) is for you alone to decide. What if the situation is like this: Mr X, who occupies a senior position in the Treasury, is caught taking  £10 from the Treasury till, to give to his aging aunt.  Now lets also assume that Mr X is uniquely suited to the job he has to do, which turns out to be ensuring the financing for helicopters for our Army in Afghanistan. If Mr X is fired, at the very least, the work will be interrupted, and the helicopters will arrive late, if at all, and it is very likely  soldiers will die in their absence. 

    What do you do? 

    Actually, I don’t care about what answer you give. The point is that whatever answer you give will be wrong. You can’t win. And that’s the point – very often, the world throws up moral dilemmas in which any choice you make is a bad one.  

    And this is why I think the intolerant absolutism of hounding Mr Laws out of government is wrong.  I honestly believe that the national interest is hurt by this, and I honestly don’t believe it would have either happened or been treated by the Telegraph in the manner in which it is, had there not been a sleazy gay sex angle in there.  And I also honestly believe that the Labour party has delivered Britain to the very edge of financial ruin, and if we get less able, less experienced pols (yes, that’s you I’m talking about, Danny Alexander) to rescue us, the price will be paid by everyone, but particularly the old, the poor and the vulnerable. I believe, in other words, people – I hope not you Millie and Cassie – will die for this. And that’s wrong.  

    The sermon is over. 

       0 likes

    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Your thought experiment is bogus.  This isn’t about Laws helping out his poor old auntie.  You’re creating a scenario based on an entirely different premise, creating a completely false analogy.  Personal convenience is not analogous to helping someone in need.

      This is about a key member of the political party which presents itself as having the very highest moral standards in the country breaking rules on living quarters expense claims for himself.  The LibDems bragged endlessly that they were clean when the two main parties soiled themselves with expense scandals.  The LibDems have also criticized the Tories for not being good enough for homosexual rights, and Clegg even railed against the Tories during the debates for associating with allegedly homophobic groups in the EU parliament.

      Yet now we see that a key figure of the party “had something to hide” because some LibDems aren’t as tolerant as they claim to be, or as clean.  If Laws was ashamed of his homosexuality, or was afraid that his LibDem friends and constituents were homophobic, then he should have either made different living arrangements, or simply not claimed the expense, even though he is entitled to it under proper circumstances.  No politician has a right to act above the law for personal convenience.

         0 likes

  16. Disdain says:

    David Preiser, 
    It wasn’t meant to be an analogy. It was solely a thought experiment devised to illustrate that there are situations which are neither simple nor black and white. If you can be bothered to go through my other posts, I think you’ll see why I did it.  Mind you, I certainly wouldn’t blame you if you couldn’t be bothered. Life is not only complicated, but also short!

       0 likes

  17. George R says:

    “But why does the BBC still oil up to Campbell, considering he declared war on it over Labour’s Iraq War dossier?

    “Perhaps because its current bosses owe their jobs to him. “

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1283288/Why-historian-Niall-Fergusons-squeeze-thinking-mans-Cheryl-Cole.html#ixzz0pjQQwTwd

       0 likes