June 11, 2010
Parliamentary Privelege? Not In My Court.
Remember those MPs that wanted to use parliamentary privelege and the Bill of Rights 1689 as a defence against their thievery?
A judge sent them homeward to think again. Here's what he had to say:
"Judge Mr Justice Saunders said he could see no "logical, practical or moral justification" for the argument put by the three former Labour party members of parliament (MPs) and a Conservative member of the upper House of Lords."
Which is a pity. I wanted to see the BoR 1689 invoked as proof that it was still valid. Just for the record, I couldn't care less if all four of them hang from the nearest gibbet for their sticky-fingered ways. As you may have figured out by now, I have a growing interest in ancient law. It would seem that it is still valid, but the judge threw it out as a defence.
Judgey went on to say:
"The judge said he accepted that the processing of the expenses was part of the workings of parliament, but that there was no reason to extend parliamentary privilege to expense claims.
"There has to be a line drawn and it has to be drawn somewhere," he told Southwark Crown Court in central London, the Press Association reported.
"I can see no logical, practical or moral justification for a claim for expenses being covered by privilege; and I can see no legal justification for it either.
"In my judgement, the conduct alleged against these defendants is not covered by parliamentary privilege and is triable in the Crown Court," he said.
"The principle that all men are equal before the law is an important one and should be observed unless there is good reason why it should not apply."
You can read the rest here.
Disappointingly, our pal in the antipodes, one Angry Exile, is proved to be right. He said many months ago that this would be the outcome. Bugger! Hopefully he won't spot this post and come to gloat. No-one likes a gloater, AE, so bear that in mind.
Still, the main prize, their prosecution, is still very much in sight. If judgey keeps his wig on, and dispenses the law fairly, according to his oath, then the Four Thiefkateers will be rubbing willies with Big Vern in Cell Block H before too long.
Which may just focus the minds of the new intake of troughers.
Go on lads, take one for the team!