12 May 2011

Trying to be Objective About David Laws

I'm a great admirer of David Laws. This makes my opinion subjective. The suspension of him seems unfair. However, I know if it were a Tory or Labour MP then I would be more vociferous in my opinion.

If an MP makes claims illegitimately for expenses it does not just hurt the MP, it hurts the whole parliamentary reputation.

Rather like the legal defence of duress, only threat of death or GBH is a mitigating factor.

Laws broke regulations by leasing from his partner, and concern and desire for his sexuality to remain a secret is simply not a good enough excuse. He did not have to and should not have paid his partner rent.
But, unlike the public perception, this does not make him all bad. He is an extraordinarily strong politician and it is a blow to Lib Dems that he will not be likely to return to the cabinet.

Is the punishment justfied? Well, again, if it were any other party, I would be saying a suspension for 6 days is pitiful for what amounts to fraud.

I will say, though, that other MPs have not been treated in the same way, and such application of parliamentary sanction should be applied to all those who lie, whether under duress or not.

The timing of Laws' inquiry is a well timed squeeze on the Lib Dems, whether intentional or not, and will do their reputation further damage in spite of peers fillibustering yesterday.
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  1. Kelly, here we go with disagreement and this my first comment on your blog!

    I don't care from which party an MP comes, if they break the rules then they have forfeited any trust I have in them and there is no scale of offence either, consequently I would ban them from any further participation in the political system.

    Laws' excuse is pretty poor - if he wished to hide his sexuality then the easiest thing to have done is not claim. He could easily have answered any query by saying that due to his personal wealth he felt it would be wrong to so do - simples.

  2. I'm sorry David, I believe we are actually agreeing. I am simply commenting that I would be inclined to avoid criticism, but the reality is that he deserves it.

    However, it should be observed the level of MPs who have behaved in similar ways who have not received any punishment, but rather a tut-tut and sweep it all under the carpet, and this is on a cross party basis.

  3. Kelly,

    Re your second paragraph - quite agree and that shows up the lack of principle where politics is concerned and about which I continually rant.

    Where misuse of public money is concerned there is no distinction to be made - at any level of state employment.

    The phrase "Power currupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" (or words to that effect) springs to mind.

    Apols if I misread your post originally, however as you have probably realised I am not backward in coming forward with citicism.

  4. David, I am well aware, don't worry!

    On corruption phrases, I like a Russian saying;

    "The fish rots from the head down"

    I've quite enjoyed your blog so far, it gives me an idea of how much of political antonymns we are!


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