Nixon’s Political Heirs: Convicted Tory Peer Now Campaigns for Prison Reform

I just heard this little bit on the One Show, and it seemed a very telling sign of the post-Nixon state of British and American politics. There’s a bit in the film Whoops Apocalypse where the first female president of the USA goes in search of her predecessor to ask his advice on the current international crisis. The film shows the presidential limousine going up to a grand mansion. It then passes it, to stop at a group of convicts working on the road nearby. ‘Hi, Mr President’, the President calls from her car, ‘how’s life?’. ‘Still doing it’, replies one of the convicts. Nixon’s impeachment clearly influenced Douglas Adams’ when he was writing The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy (still better selling than Celestial Homecare Almanac). In it, Zaphod Beeblebrox, the extremely laid-back and highly weird President of the Galaxy has spent one of his two presidential terms in jail for fraud. In the TV series, there was an advert for one of Beeblebrox’s products, running ‘Vogon Firelighters Never Go Out’. Now here’s another case of reality following art.

Ben Miller was on the One Show to talk about his latest play, The Duck House. It’s based on the MPs’ expenses scandal of a few years ago. It’s hero is an MP, who flips his houses so that he can claim expenses, and employs his wife as his secretary and his son as his researcher so that he claim for them as well. The One Show then produced a few cases of what some of the real MPs got up to. This included a Labour MP, who fraudulently claimed £30,000 worth of expenses, and was jailed, and a Tory Peer, who was also imprisoned for falsely claiming £14,000. The former Labour MP has now disappeared from view, but the Tory Peer is now campaigning for prisoners’ rights and prison reform. Well, there’s nothing like personal experience. Clearly this has stopped one Tory claiming that jails are too soft on criminals.

It also shows just how far political corruption and jailing of MPs is now almost commonplace, after Jeffrey Archer, Jonathan Aitken and the Hamiltons, not to mention the Libdem couple, have been sent down. ‘How’s life, Mr President?’ ‘Still doing it’ seems to sum exactly this state of affairs. Unfortunately, none of those jailed have been Blair or Cameron, at least, just yet.

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3 Responses to “Nixon’s Political Heirs: Convicted Tory Peer Now Campaigns for Prison Reform”

  1. Mike Sivier Says:

    Reblogged this on Vox Political.

  2. Gavin MacMillan Says:

    Strange – I thought the Hamiltons had gone to prison too. But on checking it up, I can find nothing about this except an article by Neil Hamilton in which he points out most strongly that he has never been convicted of anything. Is there some strange kind of collective amnesia at work here, or has something got into the water? That apart, the odious man is making his comeback as a UKIP candidate. Let us just hope that with so much smoke and mirrors surrounding him, he ends up well kippered!
    http://www.postscriptfromabroad.com/2011/09/neil-hamilton-wants-to-restore-some.html

  3. Stephen Bee Says:

    Also funny in the peaophile scandals..it seems to be just entertainers and dj’s being caught…the media and the police have gone very quiet on the coverup of MP’s misdemeanours at Elm House. You also missed out George Bush…As for Blair and Cameron..’give it time’..lol

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