Posted by: westlancashirerecord | April 30, 2018

Revolting Hogg Revolts Again

You may have read that the House of Ill repute, also known as the House of Lords, has just voted an amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill giving MPs the power to stop the UK from leaving without a deal or to make Theresa May return to negotiations. It was approved by 335 votes to 244. So much for democracy!

Unelected Conservative peer Lord “Hogg” Hailsham said Parliament, not ministers, must “determine the future of the country”. The peer, who as Douglas Hogg was an MP for many years, told the House of Lords the principle of parliamentary sovereignty was “fundamental to our liberties and must not be betrayed” when it came to Brexit. Whatever our party affiliation, our duty as parliamentarians is to our country and our conscience,” he said .

I suppose we were all disgusted by the MP expenses scandal of the Conservative MP Douglas Hogg. He wanted us to pay £2,200 for clearing his moat at his country estate. Hogg maintained he had not claimed the money but agreed it had not been “positively excluded” from paperwork submitted to the Commons fees office. “I believe that my claims fell clearly within the scope of the rules”.

He was the latest in a string of Labour, Tory and Lib Dem MPs paying back money after claims came to light. Hogg was irritated by the Telegraph’s coverage of his own claims which was included in a series of articles about how wealthy Conservatives had claimed towards the cost of maintaining large constituency homes.

He said he had never asked to be reimbursed for the cost of cleaning the moat  it had simply been mentioned in details of expenditure on his house. Why list it then? He said he was protected by a law dating back to William the Conqueror. Hogg said that because the Commons authorities approved his expenses for years it was illegal for expenses auditor Sir Thomas Legg to stop him keeping them. And let us not forget his bills for piano tuning and fixing the stable lights at his manor house.

Hogg said “I entirely understand the public anger that has erupted over expenses. The current system is deeply flawed; we parliamentarians have got it wrong and I apologise for that failure which is both collective and personal,” he said. Hogg listed gardening costs of £6,800, housekeeper £11,880, housekeeping costs of £9,466, central heating, cost of mowing the lawn-man to do that- £1,000. One of the most infamous claims he made was £247 for removing moles. He also expected us to pay £7,120 for the cost of re-roofing his lodge!

While Hogg was an agriculture minister a disgruntled farmer from Anglesey, Louis Hayward, drove six hours from his farm to Kettlethorpe Hall, Lincolnshire in order to dump three tonnes of pig manure outside Hogg’s house.

Coincidentally the current petition to “Give the electorate a referendum on the abolition of the House of Lords” is now at 124,673 signatures of support. Parliament will now consider this for debate. It can’t come quick enough!

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