Saturday, 9 January 2010

This Fraudsters' Parliament - 7

No mention of the UK MPs' expenses  scandal can be made without mentioning the role of The Daily Telegraph in dragging the sordid facts into the full glare of public scrutiny. At this point I have to admit that I was not  an avid telegraph reader prior to taking a taxpaying citizen voter's interest in the apparent ease with which MPs appeared to be trousering public funds.... the paper had always appeared right of centre.
 Even today, I prefer to 'graze' the national daily newspapers choosing at random at the newstand and cross referencing  with the online versions of rival papers on the internet.

When the details concerning 'MPs' expenses irregularities'......( Oh, Come on! I mean the frauds that were being carried out!) were being offered in Fleet Street, I expected the Telegraph only to target those Labour MPs who were being dishonest.
 There were already whisperings online that at least one newspaper was interested in acquiring the data but only intended it to be used against one political party! If this is true, there must be one newspaper who is dreading the day when it is identified and the targeted political party is identified.
You never know.... you might read about it on a blog like mine!
I was somewhat surprised (Sorry to the Editorial Team at the Telegraph!) to find that the information appeared to be published in quite an even handed way. Well done!

We now know much more about the dishonest practices which were commonly practised by MPs in parliament thanks to the ongoing series of articles published but the Daily Telegraph....... much more than we would ever have learned from the infamous 'redacted' data which was officially 'published' by parliamentary sources and which would have concealed all the fraudulent claims. I have used the word dishonest relating to many MPs' claims since coming upon the following text which is official advice on the deployment of The Fraud Act 2006 which came into force in January 2007

'Section 2: Fraud by false representation

10. Section 2 (Fraud by false representation) makes it an offence to commit fraud by false representation. Subsection (1)(a) makes clear that the representation must be made dishonestly. This test applies also to sections 3 and 4. The current definition of dishonesty was established in R v Ghosh [1982] Q.B.1053. That judgment sets a two-stage test. The first question is whether a defendant's behaviour would be regarded as dishonest by the ordinary standards of reasonable and honest people. If answered positively, the second question is whether the defendant was aware that his conduct was dishonest and would be regarded as dishonest by reasonable and honest people.'

I am no legal eagle, but I would suggest that the many and various attempts by MPs to change, obscure, conceal and ignore attempts to 'flush out ' these practices must be held as evidence that those concerned were aware that there actions were dishonest and that their behaviour would be regarded as dishonest by reasonable and honest people.

You can find the online version of The Daily Telegraph by clicking on the link below;

The Daily Telegraph online edition has a search facility but do not seem to have the same online comments facility mentioned in my previous post.

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