News that Ian Botham will receive a peerage is splashed across the broadsheets, why not, Sir Ian Botham is a former England cricket captain he helped raise £10m for leukaemia charities, he was knighted in 2007 by the Queen he played a massive 102 Tests for England from 1974 to 1993. He is politically aware and also happens to be a Brexiter and a Tory.
Sir Ian Botham getting a peerage is what you would expect from a Boris Johnson Tory Government.
But what you do not expect is two former Labour MPs, John Woodcock and Ian Austin both to be honoured for their treachery.
It’s clear the entire system stinks, its corruption is transparently seen in the rewards former MP’s receive for their dirty deeds.
Most of the powers that are exercised by the prime minister derive from the royal prerogatives.
One of the main powers of the prime minister is the power of patronage; there are many areas to the power of patronage, these being the appointment of ministers, the allocation of cabinet posts, the ability to reshuffle the cabinet and the ability to dismiss ministers from the cabinet.
Patronage is a power all of its own, it gives Prime Ministers and Party Leaders leverage. They can reward anyone with honours and a public income for life for favours or deeds done. It means that the Lords has increased hugely in size.
Although outside peerage appointments are scrutinised by a weak regulator (the House of Lords Appointments Commission), party nominations of peers seem to be only lightly and inadequately appraised, and HOLAC’s remit is very constrained.
Many citizens and commentators believe that major party donors can still effectively ‘buy’ peerages.
Corruption and misbehaviour allegations against peers highlight the openness to abuse that inevitably follows when legislators are accountable to no one and lack any effective oversight.
Ministers from the Lords are not held accountable to the same degree as their counterparts in the Commons.
Under the British system, this also creates a unity of powers rather than separation as in other democracies.
Traitors to the Party and the People
Woodcock and Austin were both elected by the public, standing on Corbyn’s 2017 manifesto platform.
Austin walked out of the Labour Party in Feb 2019 and was later appointed by the then Prime Minister Theresa May as a trade envoy to Israel.
At Labour’s 2019 Party Conference, he drove along the seafront with a large mobile billboard saying Jeremy Corbyn was unfit for office. Days before the general election, he called for a Tory vote and actively campaigned against the Labour Party.
John Woodcock’s peerage is more shocking. The former MP for Barrow and Furness lost the Labour whip in 2018 following allegations of sexual harassment.
In January 2019, Woodcock abstained in a parliamentary vote of no confidence against May’s government and in November called for a Conservative vote. His peerage also looks like a pay-off from Johnson.
Their betrayal was not only to the Labour Party but to the very voters that made Woodcock and Austin members of parliament in the first place, along with all the hard-working supporters that campaigned to get them elected using Labour Party resources and money. No matter how you dress it up it stinks but more so this practice of rewarding MP’s for betraying their Partys and voters will come back and bite and bite really hard.
Woodcock and Austin are not the first to be rewarded for undermining their own Party and more so Party leader at the time, Jeremy Corbyn.
John Mann the former Labour MP for Bassetlaw was rewarded for his constant attacks on Corbyn and exasperating the narrative that Antisemitism was Labour Party issue while ever Jeremy Corbyn was the leader.
In July 2019, Mann was appointed by outgoing PM Theresa May to head a government inquiry on tackling anti-Semitism. Mann was nominated to the House of Lords in Theresa May’s resignation honour’s list, despite having previously called for the House of Lord to be abolished.
The Labour Party are no different
The Labour Party are no different they have nominated Parliamentarians from the opposition Party to the house of Lords such as John Bercow, former Tory MP and speaker of the house, notorious for his open attacks on his own Party and Bias towards the Remain camp who were prominent in parliament prior to the 2019 general election.
Rewarding treachery with a peerages.
Rewarding treachery by peerage is filling the other chamber with characters that do nothing to advance our democracy. They cannot be relied upon to have an unbiased opinion or to work within a Party structure.
Have no doubt that the past actions of some MPs now being rewarded with life peerages in this unelected chamber are the rewards for ensuring the Labour Party, particularly Jeremy Corbyn, did not obtain power. Woodcocks and Austin’s past actions other than scandal shows had little notoriety, they have not been outstanding legislators or represented their constituents in an exceptional way, and nothing justifies their advancement to the house of Lords.
The Facebook page Daily Politics expressed their view, a view that in a few sentences captures the entire outrageous situation. When Rewards for two ex-Labour MPs who spent five years attacking Jeremy Corbyn in the press – both will receive Peerages from the Conservative party.
Can anyone still deny that this was a planned and orchestrated, cross-party campaign to prevent a socialist government under Jeremy Corbyn?
This is the conservatives rewarding Labour MPs for betraying their own party in a General election – with peerages – that means they will earn taxpayers money for the rest of their lives as a reward for preventing a Labour government.
Think about the significance of that for a moment. We have war veterans being pissed on by passers-by as they sleep homeless in our streets, while scum like Woodcock and Austin are entering the “honourable” House of Lords for the unedifying act of betrayal?! It’s just backwards.
Woodcock and Austin were both elected by the public, standing on Corbyn’s 2017 platform.
Now they finally get their pay off after campaigning against Labour, for the Tories.
These people had no business ever being in the Labour Party in the first place. They were only there to sabotage its chances if it strayed too far from conservative policy. How many more of these fake ‘Labour MPs’ exist in the party?
The collaboration of Labour MPs with the Conservative party over the past few years, is now well known. This surely makes investigations into the Labour leaked report, which has more evidence of Labour MPs and staffers working against their own party to prevent a Labour government, absolutely essential. This investigation is crucial. It proves our democracy and our constitution have been intentionally broken, by vested interests.
Those interests will continue to dictate our elections and all of our futures unless action is taken.
If we want to defend our democracy we must expel the Lords and replace them with elected and accountable citizens.
Opinion article: Paul Knaggs
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