The corrupt Leftist crooks who run Britain
Despite the caution expressed below, almost all the crooks have been from the Labour party. Even the Prime Minister has been implicated. Only one Conservative member has been implicated as far as I have seen
The systematic misappropriation by MPs of the allowance paid to defray the expense of keeping a second home is one of the great scandals of modern public life. It is a story that our readers, indeed the whole country, need to be told. Now, for the first time, it can be. As The Daily Telegraph discloses today, it goes far beyond the now familiar tales of barbecue equipment, bath plugs or adult movies bought at the taxpayer's expense. Many honourable members (of all parties, because this is, explicitly, not a party political matter) have been complicit in what amounts to an officially sanctioned and sustained abuse of public funds perpetrated against their own constituents over many years.
The extent of their rapacity is astonishing; and its scale can only be fully appreciated with the disclosure of the information being published by this newspaper. It will make uncomfortable reading for the MPs, for their families and for their voters. But it is right that the public should know what has been going on. Indeed, had the House of Commons accepted a ruling by the Freedom of Information Tribunal, a body established under legislation passed by Parliament, it would already have been published....
Many have claimed tens of thousands of pounds to furnish and renovate what any reasonable person would consider to be their principal residence – the home where their families reside. A large proportion of MPs have refurbished, decorated and sold second homes at taxpayers' expense, using the allowance to pay the mortgage interest and then pocketing the profit or buying another property. Many seem to have come to regard the allowance as a basic human right to be used for the most prosaic purchase.
MPs maintain they are all acting within the rules, but that is only because they set the rules and enforce them. It is arguable that some have acted beyond the rules. Those responsible for the most egregious abuses must have known that what they were doing was far removed from the purpose of the additional costs allowance. Yet because everyone was at it, they all joined in, with few exceptions. It is clear many MPs regarded the money as theirs to be claimed whether it was proper to do so or not.
They have done so to bolster what many in the Commons consider to be an insufficient salary, currently £63,291. That may be so; and it is a matter to be considered by Sir Christopher Kelly and the independent committee on standards in public life in the inquiry now under way. This tawdry state of affairs is having a serious impact on the country's opinion of our elected representatives. A recent YouGov poll for The Daily Telegraph showed that 60 per cent of voters thought worse of MPs because of what they have discovered about the allowances system. Yet the evidence seen by this newspaper demonstrates that we did not know the full story – and nor were we going to be told it even when the receipts are officially published in a few weeks' time.
Efforts are under way to clean up this mess. Some reforms were agreed last week after a somewhat ham-fisted attempt by Gordon Brown to obtain political advantage from a scandal that afflicts every party. However, the central issue of the second-home allowance was deferred to Sir Christopher's inquiry. It is essential his committee expedites its work and comes up with its recommendations before the end of the year. In view of what we know now, there can be no doubt that the current system is rotten and cannot survive.
Any system based on an allowance that MPs are encouraged to claim in order to increase their income must be abandoned. There needs to be an independent audit of expenses that will obviate the need for future publication of receipts. If a system has public trust, it is not necessary for everyone to see what MPs claim. But in order for the Augean stables to be cleansed, it is first necessary to show how filthy they have become. Today, The Daily Telegraph does just that.
We’ve largely forgotten that Herbert Hoover, as secretary of commerce, initiated the first major Washington campaign to boost homeownership. His motivation was the 1920 census, which had revealed a small dip in ownership rates since 1910—from 45.9 percent to 45.6 percent of all households. The downturn was likely the result of a temporary diversion of resources away from housing during World War I. For Hoover, though, the apocalypse seemed nigh. “Nothing is worse than increased tenancy and landlordism,” he warned—though surely many things were worse. With little justification, he predicted that in just a few decades, three-quarters of all Americans would be renters. The press echoed the urgency. “The nation’s stability [is] being undermined,” the New York Times editorialized. “The masses [are] losing their struggle for a better life.”
Without waiting to see if postwar prosperity might solve the problem, in 1922 Hoover launched the Own Your Own Home campaign, hailed at the time as unique in the nation’s history. “The home owner has a constructive aim in life,” Hoover said, exhorting Americans to buy property. “He works harder outside his home, he spends his leisure hours more profitably, and he and his family live a finer life and enjoy more of the comforts and cultivating influences of our modern civilization.” Hoover urged “the great lending institutions, the construction industry, the great real estate men . . . to counteract the growing menace” of tenancy. He pressed builders to turn to residential construction and employers to support the cause. Some, like United States Steel and General Motors, agreed to provide parks and other amenities for the new housing developments that proliferated in response to Hoover’s call.
Hoover also called for new rules that would let nationally chartered banks devote a greater share of lending to residential properties. Congress responded in 1927, and the freed-up banks dived into the market, despite signs that it was overheating. The great national effort seemed to pay off. From mid-1927 to mid-1929, national banks’ mortgage lending increased 45 percent. The New York Times applauded the “wave of homebuilding” that “swept over” America; the country was becoming “a nation of home owners.” The 1930 census would later reveal a significant elevation in ownership rates, to 47.8 percent of all households.
But beneath the surface were disquieting signs. For as homeownership grew, so did the rate of foreclosures. From just 2 percent of commercial bank mortgages in 1922, they rose to 9 percent in 1926 and to 11 percent in 1927. This happened, of course, just as the stock-market bubble of the late twenties was inflating dangerously, making the federal housing initiative all the more hazardous. Soon after the October 1929 Wall Street crash, the housing market began to collapse, just as in today’s crisis, though the reasons were slightly different: panicked depositors withdrew money from their accounts, prompting bank runs; the banks ran out of capital and stopped making loans; and the mortgage market seized up. Homeowners, who in that era typically had short-term mortgages that required several refinancings before being paid off, suddenly couldn’t find new loans. Defaults exploded—by 1933, some 1,000 homes were foreclosing every day.
The Own Your Own Home campaign had trapped many Americans in mortgages far beyond their reach. New homeowners who had heard throughout the initiative that “the measurement of a man’s patriotism and worth as a citizen” was owning a home, wrote housing policy expert Dorothy Rosenman in 1945, had been “swept up by the same wave of optimism that swept the rest of the nation.” Financial institutions were exposed as well. Their mortgage loans outstanding had more than doubled between the early twenties and 1930—from $9.2 billion to $22.6 billion—one reason that about 750 financial institutions failed in 1930 alone. Construction firms, too, were ensnared, since they had heeded the government’s call and shifted to residential building. Housing starts jumped from about 250,000 new homes a year in the early 1920s to nearly 600,000 after the housing campaign—before slumping more than 80 percent after the crash. Construction jobs fell 70 percent from 1929 to 1933.
You might think that the Own Your Own Home campaign would have taught Washington the danger of trying to force homeownership up. Instead, the feds responded to the crisis with the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC), a New Deal bailout program that made government an even bigger player in the housing market. Congress designed the HOLC to buy up troubled mortgages from lenders and then let homeowners refinance the loans with the government on more affordable terms. In theory, this would both aid strapped homeowners and clear bad loans from banks’ books, allowing them to resume mortgage lending.
The HOLC was a massive new federal agency, employing at its height some 20,000 people—appraisers, loan officers, auditors. By 1936, the agency’s total payroll was $26.2 million, the equivalent of $388 million today. The HOLC eventually received 1.9 million applications for mortgages and approved 1 million. Despite the more favorable terms that the HOLC offered, however, about one-fifth of the new mortgages defaulted, a failure rate that would sink a private-sector bank. Many who failed to pay might have been able to, but chose not to work out any arrangement with the government and essentially challenged the feds to kick them out—which officials were reluctant to do in the face of public opposition. HOLC loan officers classified about 65 percent of the defaults as resulting either from borrowers’ “noncooperation” or “obstinate refusal,” according to an analysis by Columbia University economist C. Lowell Harriss. “This type of noncooperation could sometimes be attributed to a desire to obtain free housing . . . an object that, in view of HOLC’s nature, was not difficult to realize,” Harriss wrote.
Ultimately, the HOLC did file more than 200,000 foreclosure actions. And its purchase of bad loans never revived mortgage lending, which stayed flat for the rest of the decade. The nation’s economic fundamentals were so lousy that little demand existed for new home loans.
Much more HERE
Obama's economic policy is a recipe for lower living standards : America faces two enormous problems: Bernanke and Obama. Bernanke is doing what he can to flood the economy with money. This can only lead to surging inflation, rising interest rates, current account problems and depreciation. Obama's spending, taxing and regulatory policies amount to an assault on capital accumulation. Unless he abandons these destructive policies any inflationary recovery engineered by Bernanke will be short-lived and possibly followed by a distinct fall in living standards
Professor Mankiw's plan to revive the US economy with a dose of super inflation: Professor Mankiw of Harvard University has come up with a brilliant scheme to rescue the US economy — flood it with money. In addition, force people to spend by taxing their dollars. This is the kind of destructive nonsense that is being taught in the universities
The Australian economy is still tanking : It is finally being noticed — at least by some — that something is seriously wrong with manufacturing and that it does not bode well for recovery. You're damn right it doesn't
US National Security betrayed: Nancy 'Scooter' Pelosi: Pelosi lies through her teeth about an intelligence briefing while he Democratic pals out the US intelligence apparatus with total impunity. This are the same phony patriots and their media collaborators who demand that 'Scooter' Libby by hanged drawn and quartered for having a faulty memory. These Democrats, led by Obama, have demonstrated complete contempt for US national security. Liars and hypocrites, everyone of them
From General Motors to United States Motors: Crushed by a greedy and stupid union, a craven management and arrogant, bullying politicians General Motors is in reality a nationalised car company, courtesy of the brilliant Obama and his clever advisors, and a permanent drain on the American taxpayer. Mussolini must be laughing in his grave
The Democrats target the U.S. Constitution for destruction: To patriotic Americans the Constitution is a sacred document to be cherished and protected. It is a symbol of American exceptionalism and the Inalienable Rights of Man. To the Democrats it is a decaying and irrelevant document, a barrier to their lust for power that needs to be overcome
When Hatred is Common : Why does the world not react with outrage to calls for extermination of Jews from anyone other than Ahmadinejad? If the West is serious about peace, then all hatred must be condemned
Perez Hilton: The foul face of 'gay' activism : So, insofar as liberals continue to dig their own hole by defending Hilton and piling on Prejean, I submit they're doing the other 70 percent of us a favor. In their biting anger, they've cast aside the sublime mask of 'tolerance,' revealing an ugly, desperate and most intolerant countenance
Obama stiffs Chrysler's secured creditors: "Rebel lenders have dropped their legal fight against Chrysler's restructuring plan, increasing the carmaker's chance of a speedy exit from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Tom Lauria, of White and Case, the lenders’ attorney, said that the rebel investment funds lacked the “critical mass to withstand the enormous pressure and machinery of the US Government”. The funds will no longer oppose a restructuring plan announced by Chrysler and President Obama’s automotive taskforce last week, increasing the chance of the car group getting out of Chapter 11 within the President’s 30-to 60-day target. Oppenheimer Funds and Stairway Capital Management, the two most prominent opponents of the restructuring, dropped the fight, admitting that there was little chance of winning a better deal from Chrysler for lenders. A group of about 20 funds forced Chrysler into Chapter 11 last week when they refused to sign up to a $US2 billion ($2.6 billion) deal to wipe out the company’s $US6.9 billion debt. The debt deal was part of Chrysler’s restructuring plan, under which the United Auto Workers (UAW) union would receive a 55 per cent stake in the company in return for forgiving half of Chrysler’s $US10.6 billion liability to a workers’ healthcare fund. The funds argued that the $US2 billion deal contravened US bankruptcy law because they were being offered a lower repayment on their secured debts than unsecured creditors such as the UAW. However, they were condemned by President Obama as selfish opportunists for refusing the offer."
Congress got 40 briefings from the CIA on interrogations: "On September 4, 2002, Porter Goss, then the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Nancy Pelosi, the ranking Democratic member, were given a classified briefing by the CIA on what the Agency calls "enhanced interrogation techniques," or, in persistent media parlance, "torture." In particular, the CIA briefed the members on the use of these techniques on Abu Zubaydah, a high-ranking al Qaeda operative captured in Pakistan the previous March. These days, Speaker Pelosi insists she heard and saw no evil. "We were not -- I repeat -- were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used," she told reporters late last month. "What they did tell us is that they had . . . the Office of Legal Counsel opinions [and] that they could be used, but not that they would." That doesn't square with the memory of Mr. Goss, who has noted that "we were briefed, and we certainly understood what the CIA was doing," adding that "Not only was there no objection, there was actually concern about whether the agency was doing enough."
More Acorn Voter Fraud Comes to Light: "Democrats are split on how to deal with Acorn, the liberal "community organizing" group that deployed thousands of get-out-the-vote workers last election. State and city Democratic officials -- who've been contending with its many scandals -- are moving against it. Washington Democrats are still sweeping Acorn abuses under a rug. On Monday, Nevada officials charged Acorn, its regional director and its Las Vegas field director with submitting thousands of fraudulent voter registration forms last year. Larry Lomax, the registrar of voters in Las Vegas, says he believes 48% of Acorn's forms "are clearly fraudulent." On Thursday, prosecutors in Pittsburgh, Pa., also charged seven Acorn employees with filing hundreds of fraudulent voter registrations before last year's general election".
Italy hearts Israel: "The foreign minister of Italy said his country's "friendship with the state of Israel and the Jewish people is a key plank of our foreign policy." Speaking at the American Jewish Committee's annual meeting on Thursday evening, Franco Frattini also discussed his country's decision to boycott last month's so-called Durban II conference on racism held in Geneva. The Obama administration joined Jewish groups and several other countries in boycotting the U.N. sponsored Durban Review Conference because of the failure of organizers to persuasively disassociate the conference from its 2001 predecessor in Durban, South Africa, which devolved into an anti-Jewish and anti-Israel forum. "We could not legitimize a message of hate," Frattini said. He said his country's decision not to attend was designed to "strengthen the legitimacy" and "credibility of the United Nations." But Frattini said the conference was a "missed opportunity" because "Europe was divided and hesitant." "The European Union must learn to speak with one voice," he said. Frattini also said he hoped the United States' decision to become a candidate for membership in the UN's Human Rights Council "is a sign there could be room" for the body to improve its role and become depoliticized. He also said Israel's "right to security and to defend itself is strictly non-negotiable and that Iran acquiring nuclear weapons is "not acceptable."
Ethics complaint against Palin dismissed: "An ethics complaint filed against Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has been dismissed. The Alaska Personnel Board on Friday dismissed the complaint, which alleged Palin violated ethics rules by accepting outside employment with her political action committee. Anchorage resident Sondra Tompkins, who filed the complaint in April, also alleged Palin participated in partisan activities when she spoke at an anti-abortion dinner in Indiana. An investigator hired by the personnel board to review the complaint determined the allegations did not constitute ethics violations."
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)