Thursday, 14 July 2011

Keith Vaz
Many people listening to Keith Vaz’s summing up of John Yates’s evidence before the Select Committee as ‘unconvincing’ might think ‘well done!’ for putting the boot into the hapless copper. However a glance through Mr Vaz’s record as an MP throws a different light on matters. On the one hand he is perceived by some as a friend to the asian community. On the other he is perceived by many others as a slippery helper to asian billionaires. His record on Wikipedia tells a story of collusion and assistance to some decidedly dodgy characters. 
“In 2002 Vaz was suspended from the House of Commons for one month after a Committee on Standards and Privileges inquiry found that he had made false allegations against Eileen Eggington, a former policewoman. The committee concluded that "Mr Vaz recklessly made a damaging allegation against Miss Eggington to the Commissioner, which was not true, and which could have intimidated Miss Eggington or undermined her credibility". Wikipedia
Quite nice that ‘recklessly.’ It covers a multitude of sins. An intimidatory bully or a hot-tempered man? A self-centred egoist or a principled individual?
“The complaints the committee upheld against Mr Vaz were:
That he had given misleading information to the Standards and Privileges Committee and Elizabeth Filkin (the Parliamentary Commissioner disgracefully forced from her job by appalling MPs who did not like being held to account - this was in the glory days before the expenses scandal -my addition) about his financial relationship to the Hinduja brothers.
That he had failed to register his paid employment at the Leicester Law Centre when he first entered Parliament in 1987.
That he had failed to register a donation from the Caparo group in 1993.
It was concluded that Vaz had "committed serious breaches of the Code of Conduct and showed contempt for the House" and it was recommended that he be suspended from the House of Commons for one month.” (ibid)
A whole month! He must have been bad. The going rate is normally a week. 
As an ultra-loyal Blairite, he was rewarded for his toadying performances in the Commons by being the only Chairman of a select committee to be appointed by the government. It was claimed it happened because of ‘shortage of time.’ Hmm.  
He did not enjoy a good ‘expenses scandal’ either. However, like so many of his egregious  colleagues he returned to Parliament with his majority largely unaffected. Just like the loathsome Maude. What will it take for some of these people to get their comeuppance?
Yates would have been perfectly justified to reply to the ‘unconvincing’ comment that it was a bit rich coming from you! Kettle and pot etc.

Hmm and even hmmmm.

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