Podcast (Ep. 21): The Lords Unleashed, China’s One Child Policy & Snowden’s Asylum in the EU

RD E21 – China One Child

John joins Jazza and Jimmy to chat shit about the events of the week. Ill-informed but always having a giggle on the way.

This week the boys touch on the Lords vs Gideon “George” Osborne and the tax credit debacle, followed by an analysis of China’s one child policy, which is now a two child policy. What does that mean for the upcoming superpower?

Finally, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been granted asylum in the EU. Or has he? It’s all very confusing. Will the Right Dishonourable make it less so? Let’s be fair. Probably not.

Image Credit – Too Cute Not To Post, April 2006 by JB

Katie Hopkins suggests we seal up House of Lords and ‘gas the lot of them’

House of Lords during Queen Caroline trial, via Ashley Van Haeften

Rent-a-gob Katie Hopkins, formerly of the Sun and now of the MailOnline, has an original approach to constitutional reform, albeit one with some rather questionable overtones.

Speaking at an Electoral Reform Society event on the fringes of the Kipper conference, Hopkins was asked what she would do to fix the House of Lords.

She said:

“As for the House of Lords, sir, people like me, the people I represent, the things I articulate for the nation, actually, we don’t really give a shit about the House of Lords because we think they’re all a bunch of plonkers.

“They’ve just put [bra tycoon] Michelle Mone in there – frankly, once you’ve got Michelle Mone in anywhere you really don’t really care about it. Frankly, I don’t really mind if you seal up the room and gas the lot of them.”

Later in the day Hopkins told ITV’s political correspondent Paul Brand that she thought the widely spread photo of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi had been “staged”, a comment even the Farage himself thought went a bit far.

Image Credit – House of Lords during Queen Caroline trial, via Ashley Van Haeften

Free lunches all round as silent Lords and Ladies cost Britain £1.3m

Westminster Bridge, April 2015 by Mick C

A group of peers in the House of Lords claimed £1.3m in the year until March despite failing to make a single speech throughout the entire period, research has revealed.

Some 64 lords and ladies accrued £1,262,670 in expenses in 2014-15, of which 55 voted fewer than five times, accounting for £92,075 between them.

“While peers are unpaid, they are able to claim a £300 a day tax-free allowance for attendance plus expenses for limited travel cost,” said Jess Garland and Chris Terry of the Electoral Reform Society, which compiled the figures.

“Between February 2014 to January 2015, £21m was spent on Lords allowances and expenses, with the average peer receiving £25,826.”

Since the 2014-15 session started 116 of the roughly 780 peers failed to speak, and eight neither spoke nor voted, but still claimed £29,812 in expenses.

Further data from the society showed that 30 peers did not speak throughout the entirety of the 2010-15 parliament, costing the public £772,719.

“In the 2010-2015 parliament, £360,000 was claimed by 62 peers for years in which they did not vote once,” Garland and Terry added. “In the last session of parliament alone, over £100,000 was claimed by peers who did not vote at all.”

The damning figures come as prime minister David Cameron prepares to appoint an extra 45 peers, many of them former politicians from the Tories, Liberal Democrats or Labour.

It also comes after a Sun sting revealed Lord Coke (nee Sewel), snorting coke during an evening with hookers, raising questions about how other peers are spending our money.

A source close to Cameron allegedly told the Guardian that the prime minister was open to the idea of limiting the years a peer could sit, though since he wishes the Conservatives in the Lords to push this through, in effect asking the scroungers to limit their own handouts.

Further information on the Lords can be found in the Electoral Reform Society’s report.

Image Credit – Westminster Bridge, April 2015 by Mick C

Podcast (ep. 12): WDBJ7 Shooting, Tyler the Creator banned from the UK & House of Lords

In a particularly sweary edition of the Right Dishonourable, Jazza and Jimmy talk about gun control and social media in America post the WDBJ7 shooting live on TV, plus the Twitter and Facebook coverage.

Why has Theresa May singled our Tyler the Creator for using the word ‘faggot’ in some of his lyrics? Should he have been banned from the UK in the way that he was?

Finally what the hell was Prime Minister David Cameron thinking with the number and calibre of people he put into the House of Lords? Lord Moat? Really? Come on #DavCam.

Image Credit – Still from WDBJ7 footage

Lib Dems join peerage frenzy after campaigning for Lords reform

Westminster Old Palace Yard, 1911 by Charles Flower

The Liberal Democrats scooped up a raft of honours and peerages on Thursday for MPs kicked out of Parliament in the general election and donors to the party, despite previously campaigning to turn the Lords into an elected body.

Chief among the new lords is former business secretary Vince Cable, whose defenestration from his Commons seat in Twickenham at the general election by 2,000 votes was seen by many as the apex of the party’s destruction on that night.

He is joined by deputy leader and former Gordon MP Malcolm Bruce, former Berwick-upon-Tweed MP Alan Beith, former Hazel Grove MP Andrew Stunell, and former Bath MP Don Foster, all of whom stepped down before the general election, thus avoiding the rout the other members suffered.

Lynne Featherstone, who held her Commons seat in Hornsey and Wood Green for a decade until she lost by more than 10,000 votes to Labour MP Catherine West earlier this year, will also be made a peer.

Also recognised in the honours was Danny Alexander, second to chancellor George Osborne throughout the coalition government, who was turfed out by more than 10,000 vote in his Commons seat in Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, but will now be a knight.

Such appointments will fuel suspicion that since its reform under Labour prime minister Tony Blair the Lords and the honours system is regularly abused to empower politicians rejected by voters, as well as invite allegations of hypocrisy upon the Liberal Democrats.

Government guidelines state the wider honours system is intended to recognised those that “made achievements in public life” or “committed themselves to serving and helping Britain”, though ostensibly it recognises those that helped whichever parties happened to be in power at the time.

In a statement Tim Farron, leader of the Lib Dems, said:

“Liberal Democrats are committed to root and branch reform of the House of Lords. Today’s appointments introduce a new wave of Lib Dems determined to fight for change.”

Among the benefits of being a Lord are a £150 or £300 stipend that can be claimed for attending a session in the chamber, as well as the opportunity to influence and delay legislation as it passes up from the Commons for review.

At present the Lords numbers 781, making it the second largest legislative body behind the National People’s Congress in China, a rubber stamping chamber that numbers 2,987, for a nation of more than 1.3bn people.

With these additional peers the Lords will number 826, for a nation of 64m.

Image Credit – Westminster Old Palace Yard, 1911 by Charles Flower