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back to article Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet

Culture, media and sport Secretary of State Maria Miller - whose stuffed portfolio included overseeing the rollout of faster broadband networks to country bumpkins - has finally quit her Cabinet post over an expenses row. Miller handed in her resignation letter to Prime Minister David Cameron this morning - just hours before he …

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poacher/gamekeeper

It strikes me that letting a committee of MPs decide whether another MP is bent is a bit like a burglar having a jury of twelve good burglars and true at their trial.

Time for a truly independent system.

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Big Brother

Re: poacher/gamekeeper

"Time for a truly independent system."

Of course - the time is well overdue:- but do you see the establishment ever permitting it?

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Re: poacher/gamekeeper

How about trial by jury for MPs?

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Re: poacher/gamekeeper

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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Re: poacher/gamekeeper

Don't worry about it, if you do have an "independent" system, just shed the lorry load of evidence and all will be well.

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Re: poacher/gamekeeper

It is a ruthless inquisition, how can you question that?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tym0MObFpTI&feature=player_detailpage#t=14

Possible correction: maybe for Fleet St it's more like a witch-hunt - well, this kind of witch hunt (with apologies to anyone who takes the "she's a witch" reference as a reference to gender)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrzMhU_4m-g&feature=player_detailpage#t=27

with the pleasant side-effect that it gets phone-tapping, bribing public officials etc out of the public's focus for a while ..

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Re: poacher/gamekeeper

>How about trial by jury for MPs?

How about trial by combat?

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Re: poacher/gamekeeper

Or trial by ordeal?

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Holmes

@billse10

"It is a ruthless inquisition, how can you question that?"

When it comes to keeping politicians accountable, I'll take ruthless inquisition over sweeping it under the carpet every time. She's not the first politician the press have gone for and she's done herself no favours by:

Obstructing the enquiry into her expenses

Threatening the press with regulations if they investigate her expenses

Showing absolutely no remorse for her actions

And most importantly, fiddling the tax payer in the first place!

Had she cooperated with the enquiry, paid all the money back and said sorry, it would have all blown over. But she tried to brazen it out, even after her fellow MPs gave her an easy way out, paying back just a fraction of what she claimed (because they're all in it together)

if this was a housing benefit claim, you can bet that she and her colleagues would be baying for an inquisition. She's lucky not to be facing prosecution for fraud!

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Re: poacher/gamekeeper

While I try to avoid being fair to MP's just out of principle, the system that let Millar off the hook has changed. I have no doubt that at some point in the future another Government Minister will end up in a similiar situation, but hopefully if won't be as easy for them to wriggle and squirm for so long before being forced to do the right thing

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Re: poacher/gamekeeper

The fraudulent woman should be facing a trial and prison time, just like Dennis MacShane.

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Re: How about trial by combat?

Two MPs enter!

One MP leaves!

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Re: How about trial by combat?

@Crisp

You're right, trial by combat isn't a good idea. 50% failure rate.

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MJI
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Re: How about trial by combat?

Would have worked for the last Conservative party leadership elections.

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sigh

Us "country bumpkins" with good broadband are the only hope for stemming the economically unhealthy gravitational pull of London

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Flame

Re: sigh

Yes, 'cos there's only ONE major city in the whole of the UK, the rest is countryside.

More southern-centric bollocks from the Home Counties eh?

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Re: sigh

Yes, 'cos major cities absolutely don't already benefit from FTTC or cable TV networks or 4G mobile networks.

More urban-centric bollocks from the already-privileged, eh?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: sigh

As someone who is from northern England but now lives in the "economically unhealty gravitational pull of London", I have to disagree for so many reasons - the most relevant of which is that if even half of the nonsense I hear when going back north about London being to blame for everything were true (and it isn't, it's mostly nonsense) then I'd have no problem getting >2Mbit/s broadband at my London location - and I can't. "Economically unhealthy gravitational pull of financial services", now that's a different (more interesting and far more relevant) discussion.

I can get a higher speed link in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere in West Yorks, where maybe 0.01% of the population can actually make efficient use of it for anything other than downloading cat videos: the town in question seems to have taken the deliberate decision to rely on tourism for it's "future development" rather than pulling it's several fingers out and encouraging local people (never incomers, perish the thought, we can't have people who aren't from Yorkshire living here!!!) to create new opportunities. The biggest difference I notice when going between the two is the attitude to "outsiders": London - or at least, the parts of it I know - welcomes new people with open arms, almost no matter where they are from (and almost to a fault), whereas that particular corner of Yorks is populated by local "characters" who on occasion won't even talk to someone who doesn't have a local accent without blaming them for locally-caused economic malaise (unless they are obviously a tourist and so leaving soon).

I remember having a conversation with a friend's parents who expressed the view that if "that London" would 'let them have' high-speed broadband, hundreds of jobs would be created for young and old alike - they had no idea what those jobs would be, or who would create them, or what the people in question would do, but they would mysteriously appear and "London" was preventing that. What is preventing that is (a) lack of willingness to pay for high speed broadband, but wanting it anyway, (b) a weird world-view in which meaningful jobs are created by waving a wand, (c) a parochial mindset that makes it clear "outsiders" are not welcome - try to create a business there, these two would quite happily take the jobs & accept the pay your business enables but then complain in the pub about a business in the area being owned by someone who wasn't born there - and (d) a need to blame others, rather than actually doing something about the situation in which they find themselves. High-speed broadband is not going to fix that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: sigh

We (London) do? Could have fooled me with shite 4G/3G in what feels like everywhere busy, buildings which naturally screw with GPS and other wireless signals, cabinets and cable work that isn't permitted or is phenomenally expensive to arrange and all the problems that this brings.

On the other hand, other cities and towns benefit from getting things rolled out a little more sensibly. Rolling out high speed anything to places that are remote will often be uneconomical therefore would have to be subsidised somehow and the money for this doesn't come from the remote economy. Just trying to be fair on this... I may currently work in London but I live in a village.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: sigh

Rural Norfolk is much the same, at least the area's not overpopulated by the latest wave of Portugese migrants opening cafe's that shun anyone who doesnt speak portugese (Like in Dereham)

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Re: sigh

I guess they've picked up on the casual rural racism thing, then!

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Happy

Re: sigh

@AC - So, a local shop for local people

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The title is too long.

and (d) a need to blame others, rather than actually doing something about the situation in which they find themselves.

Anonymous Coward, at least all of us here in the El Reg commentard collective can take pride in never* having exhibited this corrosive behaviour.

* — Apply appropriate tone of voice here.

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Steal and con your way through your career. If you get caught, slapped wrist and promise to pay it back. No Police involvement.

I can't quite get my head around the above line without thinking that there is something fundamentally wrong with the entire system where our 'leaders' can brazenly flaunt their own elitist agenda in the faces of us minions and we just bow down, shut up then move along.

However the history books tell us a different story when this has happened in the past.

Et Tu Brute?

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Facepalm

Yeah but at least MPs are better than those horrid benefit cheats right? After all, the government estimates that benefit fraud cost £1.2B and that's a really big number.

Mind you, that is across something like 22 million people (ie about £55 each), whereas MPs had to pay back £1.2 million of falsely claimed expenses, an average of £1800 per MP.

So MPs are less trustworthy than benefit claimants, who knew?

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" but it has become clear to me that the present situation has become a distraction from the vital work this Government is doing to turn our country around."

So she's resigning for altruistic reasons rather than the fact she got caught fiddling 45K worth of expenses?

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>So she's resigning for altruistic reasons rather than the fact she got caught fiddling 45K worth of expenses?

First rule of politics never admit wrong doing even if the cookie jar snaps shut severing your hand from your wrist and your accusers are hitting you with it.

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Anonymous Coward

Nah, that's what Camerons speech writer threw together, she was probably saying something like, 'So that's it, you fucktard, you're gonna let me take the fall?'

I am very grateful to you for your personal support but it has become clear to me that the present situation has become a distraction from the vital work this Government is doing to turn our country around.

Google translate:

'Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, total and utter bullshit, unlucky, bitch! You should'a never got caught.'

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The particularly upsetting thing about it all, is that if any of us (non MP) did something like this in business we'd be instantly fired (no bonus, golden handshake or anything) and then given a civil case for recovery.

Whereas she can lie, cheat and steal and then attempt to cover it up, probably using more tax payer money, and then gets off with a limp apology and doubtless a cushy job somewhere else.

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It WASN'T £45k she nicked…

That was simply the amount she was originally ordered to repay. The actual FRAUD was closer to £100k. She's actually been allowed to keep £49,200 but, with her £20k or so handshake, we actually GAVE her another £14,200 - it's WIN, WIN, WIN! Oh and let's not forget the profit she made on the sale of her 2nd home (the one we - well not ME, I'm a filthy workshy scrounger, me - paid her mortgage on). The property sold for £1.2m, I forget what she made on the deal, but it was quite substantial. She even transferred ownership of that property to avoid CGT.

Osbourne is guilty of doing EXACTLY the same; he transferred the mortgage on his 2nd property to an outfit owned - or partially owned, at least - by an old chum, who gave him a stupidly-low rate of something like 1.5 or 2%. He's also defrauded the taxpayer of a similar amount but, in Gidiot's case, he can legitimately plead stupidity as he's never passed a maths exam in his LIFE!

I actually favour Trial by Gunge; Graham Norton's tipping red chair, one of Edmonds's gunge tanks and a panel of taxpayers. MP forced into chair and obliged to disclose everything for which they want to claim. Selected taxpayer pushes a remote button, MP falls backwards into gunge tank. I figure that, once they've had a few Savile Row suits and Jermyn Street shirts ruined - or wherever the females get their togs (I bet you anything it won't be M&S!) it'll learn 'em…

Of course the taxpayer probably paid for those in the first place - but at least it'll act as a deterrent to prevent claims for any MORE (same goes for under-crackers, IDS…).

The new 'culture and equalities' incumbent is Sajid Javid; he thinks that ticket-touts are "opportunistic entrepreneurs" and he voted AGAINST the Equal Marriage Bill. He's also another Tory Boy, declaring himself a fan of The Maggot before he was out of primary school!

In other news, Cameron now believes he's Jesus, claiming that his 'Big Society' BS was directly inspired by JC…

All together now… "He's NOT the messiah, he's a VERY naughty boy!"

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> Now, Cameron has to make a snap judgment about who will replace the Conservative MP for Basingstoke at the Ministry of Fun.

Please make it Claire Perry. Please make it Claire Perry. Please make it Claire Perry.

We need someone that will stand up to those that sponsor hacking on broadband networks.

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WTF?

> We need someone that will stand up to those that sponsor hacking on broadband networks.

I don't understand this reference. What has Claire Perry ever done except shout "THINK OF THE CHILDREN"?

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Claire Perry would be perfect!

Who else would have the same level of technical competence that could prevent (even more) large-scale snooping. Even (especially) if she's in favor, it's bound to fail; given her displayed level of know-how in regards to internet filtering.

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Anonymous Coward

> I don't understand this reference.

In a since deleted series of shouty Twitter posts, the honourable member made it clear she didn't understand the difference between a web page and a screen grab ... high class humour.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/staines-perry-porn-hack-sue-494355

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The needle returns to the start of the song...........

Just another example of the ability of this bent government to cover its own blatantly obvious shortcomings. You should really have known better you greedy bitch, was the pay rise we all disagreed with but you took anyways not enough?......................NEXT THIEF PLEASE!!

Not a fan of UKIP at all, but if it breaks this cycle of toff's who think it is fine to ruin the country and steal from its people without accountability..............then Hobson's choice it is.

As new generations come to voting age, who do this government think they are going to vote for? Could it be a public school boy with a disjointed view on the country, only out to line his own already full pockets? or possibly the common man who drinks pints and sounds like they do?

It is entirely possible that the UK will become a very different place moving forwards.

Its coming Tories/Labour/Lib Dems....................enjoy ripping us off while you can.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The needle returns to the start of the song...........

UKIP are the only real option in the next elections, the 'big three' parties are just as corrupt and unreliable as each other... while I am sure UKIP don't smell of roses, their leader at least has the virtue of not always avoiding the questions...

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Re: It's coming Tories/Labour/Lib Dems...............................

........................... ahem, some things are even more unfortunate than government by them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's coming Tories/Labour/Lib Dems...............................

More unfortunate? I am curious what do you mean?

With them we have increased surveillance and infringements of civil liberties, they brought in the gagging law, back door censorship of the internet, they have even proposed returning to us having national service! I know people who became British and renounced their citizenship to get out of national service!

They are baby steps towards a police state, and I fear for my childrens future in this country if we keep going down the route we are going...

There are two solutions to the mess,

1) Kick out Labour/Tory/Lib Dem and get a euro skeptic party in power that cares about peoples rights..

2) Dive into the EU head first so they can protect us...

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Re: It's coming Tories/Labour/Lib Dems...............................

> 2) Dive into the EU head first so they can protect us...

Because swapping one bunch of corrupt bastards for a bigger bunch of corrupt bastards always works.

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Re: It's coming Tories/Labour/Lib Dems...............................

The Guardian readers here won't like your comment - even though they know you are 100% correct

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"UKIP are the only real option in the next elections"

Perhaps; if it's a contest between dickheads and wankers which it increasingly seems to be.

Most people are disenfranchised and have given up on the lot of them save for having it ingrained in us that we really should vote because that makes a democracy and a belief that there is no right to complain if one doesn't.

It has always been a vote for the ones we dislike least and the only way to change things is to have "none of the above" on the ballot paper and for people to vote that way in droves. Only then will it become clear that what we call democracy and government is not fit for purpose. Which is why we will never be allowed that.

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So many parties ...

... only one policy. You are free to vote for any party. It does not matter which because they all do exactly the same things.

They keep saying the recession is ending, and now their important work is to 'turn this country around'. First time I beleived something a politician said for years. I am sure that if nothing distracts them, they can cause another recession.

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WTF?

Re: The needle returns to the start of the song...........

"UKIP are the only real option in the next elections"

You seriously need your bumps felt if you are thinking of voting for them.

Oh, a protest vote is it? Be careful, if enough people do that, you may well end up with what you vote for.

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Joke

Re: "UKIP are the only real option in the next elections"

Vote Cthulhu For President!

http://bookstoysgames.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/cthulhu4prez-preview1.png

It's a two party system:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAT_BuJAI70

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Facepalm

Re: "UKIP are the only real option in the next elections"?? UKidding?

UKIP are only an option if you want a party that's even further to the Right than Thatcher!

And they have lots of gradiose plans, but no idea how to implement them (or even how much they will cost) for instance they want to massively increase defence spending whilst, at the same time, introducing a Flat Tax that will save money for those who fall below its level and those who earn large amounts whilst leaveing those in the middle stuck with the bill.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/special-report-what-voters-should-know-about-ukip-8517997.html

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FAIL

Re: The needle returns to the start of the song...........

Epic Fail, falling for the politico's bullshit -

'Not a fan of UKIP at all, but if it breaks this cycle of toff's...'

' common man who drinks pints and sounds like they do'

I suggest you check out Farage's background if you really believe the crap that he touts.

Educated at Dulwich College and an ex commodities trader is hardly 'the common man'.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The needle returns to the start of the song...........

Actually whenever I see Farage's gurning mug I'm reminded of either Tory Boy or Tim Nice-but-dim!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The needle returns to the start of the song...........

I'd like to upvote for the use of the Del Amitri quote, but sorry the suggestion to vote UKIP was just too much for me! ;-)

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Re: The needle returns to the start of the song...........

UKIP are the only real option in the next elections

Well the next elections are the European ones in May, and I certainly would ike to see UKIP sweep the board, if only to see the reaction in Brussels and Westminster.

Heaven help us if they ever got elected to a position wiuth any power, though.

I am sure UKIP don't smell of roses, their leader at least has the virtue of not always avoiding the questions

Yes, but only because he takes the Salmond approach: "The answer is Independence. What was the question again?"

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Re: The needle returns to the start of the song...........

"UKIP are the only real option in the next elections"

Clearly you have no idea just how fucked this country's economy will be without the EU.

I would rather drink a pint of spit than vote for those scum.

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