The Plastic Hippo

April 8, 2014

Miller`s tale

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Regardless of hysterical media frenzy, the fate of the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport remains completely and utterly inconsequential and even if Maria Miller resigns or is banished to wander the barren corridors of the Welsh Office in perpetuity, there are plenty of thieving hypocrites perfectly qualified to take her place.

With the entire disorder spectrum of the press screaming for her blood, poor Maria is clearly a victim of lynch mob rhetoric not experienced since England gave up playing cricket and we need to consider why she is being singled out as a fraudster when the majority of her fellow MPs consider embezzlement to be a legitimate second or, more usually, third job. Ah yes, of course, Leveson and press regulation.

Miller, through one of her minders, “flags up” that she is looking into censorship in a thinly disguised threat to the Daily Telegraph to encourage them to drop the story of her felonious activities. The Telegraph, along with the rest of the street of shame, goes for the throat before filling in an expenses claim for an excellent if rather long lunch at the Groucho Club. Her opponents bellow with fury, her friends stay silent and her supporters speak of a witch-hunt, of drawing a line and of “leaving it there”. When a minister enjoys the full confidence of a crook like Cameron, bravura testimonials from fraudsters Grant Shapps and Iain Duncan Smith and having the knife put in by Esther McVey who has her sights on Miller`s job, the current MP for Basingstoke might be rewarded with a third tax payer funded home this time within Holloway Prison.

Maria Miller has complied with the instruction from the House of Commons Committee on Standards and has paid back a little bit of the money she stole and has said sorry. David Cameron might like to think that her contrite apology has brought the matter to a close but the good people of Basingstoke might think differently when asked to re-elect a representative now forever tarnished by dishonesty. The constituents represented by the MPs on the Committee on Standards who allowed Miller to get away with it might also wish to reflect on the suitability of the incumbent on Election Day next May. They are;
Rt Hon Kevin Barron MP (Labour, Rother Valley) (Chair)
Sir Paul Beresford MP (Conservative, Mole Valley)
Mr Robert Buckland MP (Conservative, South Swindon)
Mr Christopher Chope MP (Conservative, Christchurch)
Rt Hon Mr Tom Clarke MP (Labour, Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill)
Mr Geoffrey Cox MP (Conservative, Torridge and West Devon)
Sir Nick Harvey MP (Liberal Democrat, North Devon)
Fiona O’Donnell MP (Labour, East Lothian)
Heather Wheeler MP (Conservative, South Derbyshire)
Dr Alan Whitehead MP (Labour, Southampton Test).

Some of these characters have a track record of their own when it comes to fiddling expenses and have remained curiously silent since they handed a get out of jail card to Ms Miller. The three independent “lay” members of the committee do not have a vote which means that both the Prime Minister and the crooked Chairman of the Conservative Party told great big lies when the said the independent members have “casting votes”. Thank goodness self-regulation of the House of Commons is much more robust than self-regulation of the press and it is heartening to know that Number 10 can still control a feral media even without the talented Andy Coulson who is sadly indisposed.

It would be grossly unfair to compare the misdemeanours of Maria Miller to those of convicted criminal Denis MacShane who spent time at Her Majesty`s pleasure for screwing £13k from the tax payer. The difference is that MacShane was Labour, not in government, was in prison but now is out. Miller screwed £45k, is a Tory, is in government and is not in prison but, if justice exists anymore, soon will be. Similarly, Maria Miller`s “honest mistake” can in no way be compared to her charming actions as Minister Against the Disabled in the Department of Work and Pensions when she used Atos to harass, bully and persecute some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Ms Miller didn`t see “honest mistakes” from fragile benefit claimants, Ms Miller saw fraud. Ms Miller closed down Remploy factories for no other reason than unabashed spite. Ms Miller refused to meet people with disabilities.

It would be a great shame if this exemplary parliamentarian was forced to step down or be removed from office or even denied her liberty. As every hour passes before the inevitable statement describing the intolerable strain being placed on her poor, frail elderly parents being too great a price to pay for the unfair and biased attacks on her integrity, Maria Miller will be contemplating a return to the anonymity of directorships and “consultancy work” and the promise of a free lunch elsewhere. It`s a shame that her poor, frail elderly parents didn`t bring young Maria up to be a little bit more honest.

But our loss will be short-lived. There are plenty of other crooks from all political parties willing and more than able to replace her. Bye bye Maria.

Updated 9 April 21-00

How refreshing to find a senior politician imbued with such selfless integrity that she is prepared to resign from high office based solely on the single fact that she has become a “distraction”. If no less a paragon of virtue than the scrupulously honest Prime Minister tells us that Maria Miller has done no wrong, then who are we to doubt his infallible judgement. Like him, we should congratulate the former Secretary of State for being so good that it became necessary for her to step down.

Cameron`s unquestioning loyalty to the fraudster is best illustrated by the suggestion that it was George Osborne who told Miller to resign when Dave was away filling his face at another state banquet. Rather than face Prime Minister`s Questions to defend a minister who made the unforgivable mistake of getting caught, Cameron did the only decent thing and dumped her with glowing praise. Thus he was armed with a lump of fresh meat to throw at the barking mad 1922 committee fearful of facing the electorate and fearful of scrutiny of their own expenses claims.

Maria Miller proved to be a most useful distraction on a slow news day in diverting attention away from the colossal mess that is Iain Duncan Smith`s DWP, Michael Gove`s bizarre tinkering with A-levels and yet another almighty cock-up exposing the Crown Prosecution Service and the Metropolitan Police as being not fit for purpose. Maria Miller however, along with G4S has been told that one day she will be back in favour with or without the confidence of the public. It worked for David Laws and he`s only a Liberal Democrat.

In her previous role with cabinet responsibility for equality and “women`s issues”, Maria Miller advanced the cause of gender opportunity by being just as greedy as male members and the choice of her successor is further proof of the Tory Party being the party of the workers and the party of diversity. Sajid Javid is probably the first millionaire son of a Rochdale bus driver to achieve high government office and any questions regarding his time at Chase Manhattan and later Deutsche Bank involving the “creative setting” of Euro and Japanese Yen interest rates would be crude political band wagon jumping and a mere distraction.

His impact on British culture, media and sport will, no doubt, be just as profound as that of his predecessor. To quote the great Edwin Starr completely out of context; “absolutely nothing”.

1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog and commented:
    Great post from The Plastic Hippo. Do take a look.

    Comment by BrownhillsBob — April 8, 2014 @ 9:32 am | Reply

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