Fox (n): carnivore of genus vulpes; crafty person; scavenger; (vb) to confuse; -ed (adj): to be drunk.
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Tuesday 20 September 2011

And they wonder why people don't vote.

AS a general rule of thumb, I think we can all agree that promises made should be kept.

Marriage vows, appointments with the gas man, parcel deliveries, drinks with your mates - once you say "yes, I'll do that" I reckon you're morally bound to keep your word. Illness, bereavement and the ever-changing demands of a news editor are the only acceptable excuses for bailing, in my book.

So I'd like to draw your attention to the Conservative Party manifesto 2010, a very expensive and pretty-looking brochure which, like a tour operator or John Lewis recipe card appears to promise a simple and cheap way of achieving heaven on earth - only without the same recourse to the Advertising Standards Authority if it's not up to scratch.

I quote: "We will rebuild confidence in the criminal justice system so that people know it is on the side of victims and working for law-abiding people, not criminals... Prisoners will only be able to leave jail after their minimum sentence is served by having earned their release, not simply by right."

Then I'd like to point out the Crown Prosecution Service sentencing guidelines for fraud which is "fraudulent from the outset, professionally planned and either fraud carried out over a significant period of time or multiple frauds", which for amounts of between £20,000 and £100,000 should lead to jail time of between 18 months and three years; lower amounts carry at least one year's prison time.

And I'd like to know why, exactly, Eric Illeseley, Elliot Morley, David Chaytor, Jim Devine, Lord Taylor of Warwick and Lord Hanningfield were all released after serving just one quarter of their sentences for defrauding the British taxpayer to the total tune of £99,300.

I'd also like to know why the rest of the criminals in their fraudulent conspiracy - which the last time I looked included former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith who is now paid by the BBC to talk about porn, ex-Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Laws who snaffled £40k for his boyfriend and is soon returning to Government, Dishface's one-time adviser Andrew McKay and Baroness Uddin who swindled £125,349 out of us - have not been hauled in front of the beak.

When and if anyone is capable of answering those questions satisfactorily, I would then like someone to tell me how this quote from the Tory manifesto - "we will change the law so that anyone acting reasonably to stop a crime or apprehend a criminal is not arrested or prosecuted" - applies to the quite annoying but entirely-correct journalists who exposed a failed Met Police investigation into phone-hacking and are being harassed to identify on their sources as a result.

Manifesto promises which don't hold water are nothing new. The release of most first-time offenders after serving only half their sentence is commonplace and journalists always get the blame when they prove someone else has made a mistake.

Those are the facts of life, and I don't mind them too much.

But the stench coming out of Westminster at the moment stinks of corruption and self-interest at the highest levels, a political elite which think the electorate are too stupid to notice, and an absolute lack of the basic standards of socially-acceptable human behaviour.

Thousands of rules for us, and not a single one for them. Boo-hoo.