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  • What Scandal?

    Posted by James R. Rummel on May 19th, 2009 (All posts by )

    Milo asks if there is any foreign news coverage of the recent scandal in Great Britain.

    I can’t say that there was. In fact, I was surprised by the news that there was a scandal playing out. Such was the dearth of news concerning the issue in the US.

    So what was the whole hullaboo about?

    The Speaker of the House of Commons, Michael Martin, resigned today under a cloud of corruption allegations. Besides the fact that he was using public funds for private use, he also allowed the police to search the offices of a fellow member of Parliament without a warrant. It was the first time in 300 years that The Speaker was ousted.

    Why don’t we seem to care? I can’t speak for anyone else, but it seems to me that this is a private internal affair. The charges of corruption seem to be pretty well established, there is almost certainly something behind them, but it really doesn’t effect American interests. This is something the voters in the UK need to straighten out.

    (Cross posted at Hell in a Handbasket.)

     

    10 Responses to “What Scandal?”

    1. Tatyana Says:

      Can’t say I was not aware of the story (I read Helen, Samizdata and others fairly regularly), but – no, our media did not cover it. Mostly because, I guess, that what constitutes “world news” in our media is limited to announcements of a newborn koalas in some foreign Zoo and tallying the numbers of “brutally killed Palestinian civilians”.

    2. Jaime Roberto Says:

      It probably would be more of a story if he were a Tory.

    3. bgates Says:

      Jaime’s right. Duke Cunningham was proof of a widespread culture of corruption among Republicans. Murtha, Cold Cash Jefferson, Rangell, Dodd, Richardson, Blago, Burris, Hillary’s convicted fundraiser, Obama’s imprisoned housing advisor, his tax-dodging Cabinet, and the Labor party are an aberration.

    4. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      I do watch the Brit news, for a number of reasons, and I conjecture that there are two reasons for the lack of coverage here. There is, of course, the normal deliberate ignorance of our media of any issue more complex than flipping a coin and outside of our borders. This effect is enhanced by the fact that we are a few months into Year One of Anno Obama and to our media the entire universe revolves around how “enchanted” Obama is to be in the White House and the impressiveness of Michelle Obama’s arms.

      There is another factor, however. It is “The Narrative”. The ruling Labour Party is the analog to the Democrats, albeit far to the left of them. Even the Conservative Tories would fit in well on the left side of American Democrats.

      Twelve years into Labour rule, with an unelected Prime Minister [Gordon Brown took over from Blair without an intervening election], the British government has proved itself so corrupt, so economically incompetent, has broken so many campaign promises, and proven to be oppresively so politically correct that even Labour supporters are furious. There is serious fear that in next months local and EU Parliamentary elections that parties of the far right, primarily the BNP, are going to take seats for the first time. And they cannot put off a General Election for much longer unless they want to totally scrap what passes for a constitution over there. The demands for Brown to resign now and call a General Election are being heard with increasing frequency, volume, and obscenity.

      Part of the scandal around the former Speaker of Parliament goes beyond the horrendous thievery by Labour MP’s and includes having an opposition MP arrested and his office in Parliament searched illegally because he revealed that Muslim illegal aliens were being hired for security jobs in the government.

      The concept of a Left wing government being forced out of office by an enraged populace due to corruption, lawbreaking, and economic incompetence [Brown is doing the same kind of deficit spending for favored constituencies as Obama is] is NOT a narrative that the American media wants circulating here. It might give someone ideas.

      Subotai Bahadur

    5. JohnF Says:

      Subotai Bahadur says it goes beyond the horrendous thievery by Labour MP’s.
      It does indeed. Large numbers of Conservative MP’s have been at least as creatively avaricious with their expenses. It’s a systemic political problem more than one of parties.

    6. Bill Waddell Says:

      It didn’t make the news here because the UK has reached the point of irrelevance. Does it really make any difference to the USA, or anyone outside the UK for that matter, what they are doing? Is there anything to learn from them … other than a long list of ‘How not to’s’?

      Which begs the question, why do our eastern elite – including our current Ivy Leaguer in Chief, Mr. Obama – continue to look east, across the pond, for inspiration and role models?

    7. Mike Cunningham Says:

      Mr. Waddell in his pinning the ‘irrelevant’ tag to a Nation which was fighting alongside Americans in Iraq, and still is fighting in Afghanistan, taking casualties as he sits back from ‘Keynoting’ something or other; is simply ignoring the facts which speak for themselves.

      As we virtually invented modern Democracy, which a ‘former Naval Person’ once described as the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried; we believe that you have taken our patent, and done your best with it, but your Founding Fathers forgot about the cupidity of Man, as we also have done!

      We admire the United States for many things, including your Constitution, your ethos of work, of achievement, and your ideals of Democracy; but we have to admit that we been slow in learning what has been demonstrated all too often in America, that politicians of BOTH parties and all manner of beliefs are capable of twisting the rules to allow themselves either fiscal, political or electoral gains.

      We used to see the collecting boxes stuffed full of dollars heading towards SINN FEIN, and then on to the killers of the IRA and the INLA until you saw a taster of what so-called ‘freedom fighters’ were capable of on that fateful day in September.

      We have seen the efforts of the 9/11 lookalikes on the streets and trains of London, and we have done our best to keep them from killing again, and we hope that you will learn that our enemies need annihilation not recuperation!

      We wish America well, and constantly admire you, but you really should admit that you do produce some real blowhard types, but only occasionally!

    8. James R. Rummel Says:

      I have to agree with Mike. It seems to me that Great Britain is punching above its weight when it comes to affecting world events. I, for one, am really glad that they are around.

      Oh, sure, they have problems. But what country doesn’t? And it is also true that most of their problems are self inflicted, but that can also be said of most countries.

      James

    9. Bill Waddell Says:

      I certainly did not mean to impugn the character of the British people, and as the father of a son who is currently on his second tour in Afghanistan (and the veteran of a tour in Iraq) I have nothing but admiration for the British commitment and sacrifice for the War on Terror, and I know that they experienced the reality of it long before we did.

      I was speaking only of the British economic condition, which is truly in dire straits and was long before the latest global meltdown, and the political/social situation which strikes me as political correctness run amok.

      This particular American blowhard sincerely apologizes for not making the narrow scope of my remarks clear, and for the insult that I did not intend, but nevertheless rendered.

    10. Jim Miller Says:

      Front page story in yesterday’s New York Times. So there is a little attention being paid.