‘Unethical and/or illegal conduct by politicians intended to secure personal advantage for their party in the electoral process. Britain for the most part enjoyed a healthy self-identity as having a clean and honest political system, but there were individual cases that punctured this comfortably reassuring pattern: over the century, seven MPs were expelled from the Commons after formal censure of their political conduct, but only two or three of these could be regarded as corruption cases. Nevertheless, the determination that parliamentarians be seen to be behaving ethically fuelled increasingly insistent demands that MPs (and in due course peers too) should record their outside interests on a register.
There were also periods at both the beginning and end of the century when more general allegations of the corruption of standards in political life were made. Electoral bribery, corruption, and coercion were the stuff of 18th-century politics, and lingered long after reform began in the 1930’s. The 1880 general election was probably in real terms the most expensive of all time, and this helped to bring to a head demands for higher standards. Legislation in 1883 fixed cash limits for each candidate’s allowable expenditure (generous at first but steadily eroded by inflation) and set up mechanisms for policing the system and ensuring that infringements were punished. By 1900, corruption of the old type was mainly a thing of the past, but judicial inquiries into such cases as Exeter in 1910 suggested that ethical standards below the surface were still not all that was being claimed; there were similar claims about ‘treating’ surviving into this period, with gifts of beer or beer in one place, half-crowns wrapped in party leaflets in another. The decisive change came not with legal measures but with the rapid increase in the size of the electorate (fewer than six million in 1880, rising to almost thirty million in 1930), which made manipulation of individual voters by dubious means simply impracticable. When politicians were accused of bribing the electorate in the second half of the century, it was generally with policies rather than cash, as when Harold Wilson promised to build the Humber bridge while awaiting a crucial by-election in Hull in 1966, or when the Conservatives announced in 1974 restrictions on the mortgage rate which would mainly benefit middle-class voters. Such claims would not be taken to the courts, and were left to the ‘jury’ of voters to decide in the election itself.
More sweeping allegations of corruption in the Edwardian period resulted largely from the polarisation of political attitudes in debates over tariffs and home rule for Ireland. Liberals, and Conservative free-traders too, argued that designs on specific tariffs would enmesh business in politics unhealthily, with money changing hands between industrialists and other parties, either to line a politician’s pocket or to fill the party’s war chest with money for a campaign in favour of a particular customs duty which would benefit the industry in question’… (£350 billion for the NHS as one example)… (‘as was not uncommon in the USA and Canada). Conservatives retorted that Liberals in office after 1905 were filling their own funds with cheques from ‘radical plutocrats’, self-made millionaires who all then mysteriously seemed to acquire knighthoods and peerages’ (Nick Clegg as one example). ‘In fact, the scale of honours had gone on under Conservative as well as Liberal governments for decades, and only when it was shamelessly practiced on the open market and through dubious intermediaries, when Lloyd George was premier, did the scandal erupt and enforce remedial measures in 1922. In the meantime, the Conservatives were unable to exploit in 1913 the biggest corruption charge of the twentieth century, the *Marconi scandal.
Nothing comparable was to be seen until the 1990’s’ (and during ‘Brexit’ the ‘Vote Leave’ campaign) ‘when once again there were allegations from the press’ (and fellow parliamentarians) ‘and opposition of sleaze amongst parliamentarians. Once against this catered not only on cases of dishonesty by individual politicians (‘cash for question’ and ‘cash for access’ to ministers), but also on the general ethical assumptions within government and the Conservative party. This time, with no Commons majority, the Major government could not face down its critics; it was obliged to set up exactly the sort of inquiry that Asquith had managed to avoid (see Nolan report…’ and see also references: The new European, The Telegraph) ‘… was seriously damaged by its report, and had to concede the toughening-up of parliamentary controls and disclosures to prevent anything from happening again’.
‘Theresa May guilty of treason’ -The Telegraph.
‘Forging a deal with the DUP is a violation of the Good Friday peace Agreement’ -The new European.
‘There is no democracy in a world whereby 37% of an electorate majority would mandate major constitutional change’ -The New European.
Excluding expatriates from the EU referendum franchise vote is contrary to their rights under the EHCR’ -The New European.
References: G. R. Searle, ‘Corruption in British Politics’, Oxford, 1987.
‘Constructive: implicating war’
‘Treas’on n. 3. Constructive ~ (held in law as equivalent to ~ though not intended or realised as such); MISPRISON 1 of ~ ; II felony, attempt to depose sovereign or levy war in order to compel change of measures, intimidate parliament, or stir up foreign invasion. Hence ~OUS a. …’
(See aslo, ‘WAR WHORE’ available on jennifercmbutler90.com, ‘Brexit Trials: Crisis of Authority: Northern Ireland: Part One’ and ‘Part Two’ available on jennifercmbutler90.com and ‘Boris and the ‘Brexit’ Headf*ck: ‘BOLLOCKS TO BREXIT’, TWO years and still no Foxtrot, Uniform, Charlie, Kilo to do (?)’ available on jennifercmbutler90.com).
Also, the implications of his lies, means that, he has performed an outrageous series of political acts and potential ‘war crimes’ as well as ‘fraud’ and ‘over spending’ crimes in his ‘Vote Leave’ Campaign.
£350 billion a week Boris (?) And how much does one nuclear missile cost (?)
References: John Ramsden, edited by., ’The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century British Politics’, Oxford University Press, 2002.