Parliamentary Privilege

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by asst_dep_to_dep_asst, Feb 8, 2010.

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  1. I agreed 100% with William Hague yesterday, when he said that those MPs who were lined up for criminal action because of their theft from the public purse should not be allowed to hide behind parliamentary privilege. This old allowance was specifically so that parliamentarians could speak openly in the house without fear of slander or libel laws being used against them. It was never designed to bail out those who chose to steal from the taxpayer.
  2. My opinion is somewhat different it seems to the reactionary British public. I have no desire to see these people put before a court with the real possibility if convicted that they will get a custodial sentence for no other reason than the media will be baying for blood.

    We regularly let people who are caught with knifes, or who are ruining lives with their anti social behaviour, or who have assaulted others off with a caution because apparently we cannot justify the full court proceedings for either financial or practical reasons. Even those who are convicted of what many consider serious offences receive shockingly weak punishments and do not end up serving a custodial sentence.

    I think these people were wrong, they manipulated a system which was structured to be as open to manipulation and dishonesty as possible. The whole expenses set up was a mess and that has been acknowledged, however the idea that these people should be sent to a prison is not right, I am quite uncomfortable with it, it makes a circus of the judicial process.

    A line should be drawn under the whole affair, a fine imposed on anyone found to have overstepped the mark significantly more than the average MP and then we should move on. No costly investigations, no criminal proceedings and no sham trials to satisfy the perverse imaginations of the largely ignornat British public.
  3. These people were indeed wrong, criminally wrong. Just because a system is open to abuse does not in some way excuse those who defraud that system. A line has been drawn under the affair; the next Parliament will have different rules for MP's expenses. Meanwhile, a few of those who have criminally defrauded the public purse will, I sincerely hope, be tried in a criminal court under the law of the land; a law that is there for the guidance of all of us.

    The British legal system is not perfect but it does not indulge in sham trials, you are thinking of Nazi Germany and the old Soviet Union. And it is for a judge to decide what the punishment should be if the accused are found guilty, not public opinion nor indeed your opinion.
  4. All the British public want is to see MPs treated the same as members of the general public when it comes to matters of defrauding the Public Purse.I doubt anyone seriously believes they will be given prison sentences if found guilty.
  5. While I agree with wardmaster on this topic. The judge and jury should give the punishment for this crime. If these MP's have been deliberatley defrauding the public purse is that not obtaining money by deception rather than theft or atempting to defraud.
    I will stand corrected if I am wrong.
  6. You could be right; there are probably nuances in the law about fraud. But I read that they face up to 4 years in choky if found guilty, so it's a bit more than a minor misdemeanor. That is why they (or their clever lawyer) are trying on the Parliamentary Privilege gambit. (which is where this thread came in :) )

    Edited for spelling and I'm still not sure!
  7. Dishonestly appropriating with intent to permanently deprive any property tangible or intangible. ‘Property’ includes money and all other property, real or personal, including things in action and other intangible property.
    Theft act 1968

    The Parliament is forever telling us lesser mortals that benefit fraud is a crime, and can get you a criminal record, and send you to prison.
    Hey Ho, what goes around comes around. :roll: :wink:
  8. I have never "manipulated a system" as you call it, but I know a man who did! He was i/c travel warrants in a certain old Naval Hospital, by getting his subordinates to fraudulently claim travel warrants and give him the proceeds. He was guilty of theft, in exactly the way that these low-lifes were guilty of theft, but he may have made a couple of grand, where some of these have made tens of thousands and still don't see that they've done anything wrong.

    They need to be tried in open court to prove to themselves and their parliamentary colleagues that this kind of behaviour is illegal.
  9. I stand corrected Rumrat. Lets hope what goes around does come around for these MP,s and one Lord. :D :wink:

    Edited due to a real special moment.
  10. :headbang:

    Yo dude, the man in the big house.

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