“For the last six months I have been investigating MP’s private finances. During this time, I have seen just how corrupt Parliament has become. Greed is endemic. If you want to understand why British politics isn’t working, it seems the first place to look is in the bank accounts of our politicians. Yet this is an issue that the authorities have turned their backs on. Rules and regulations are lax and transparency is laughable. The whole thing is shrouded in secrecy. Because of this, it is easy for politicians to milk the system and get away with it.”
So starts Martin Williams sweeping new book (in a letter addressed to the Commissioner of Standards, Parliament) . The rest is like going through the latrines after Glastonbury Festival – whole lakes of staggeringly venal, corrupt-as-can-be, systemic wrongdoing that’s basically designed to increase & metastasis in it’s utterly repellent cardinal reprehensibility. Although you will need an extremely tough stomach & heavy-duty breathing-apparatus – this book is otherwise very accessible with frequent humor denoting a wry quirk in Williams manner of writing. There’s also a lot of excellent & majorly important research into the deep internal mechanics of this stronghold of simony & turpitude along with incredible interviews & quotes from a huge field of sources (both beneficiaries of this effluence & those in opposition to it).
Opacity & insane unaccountability, a neutered if not negated regulatory system with practically no observing bodies/arbitration or investigatory clout all basically just powerless & face-down in the sewage canal. It’s a joke, absent or captured.
“Messages sent from Hudson and MP’s about their business interests are kept strictly secret from the public. The irony of having a transparency boss who doesn’t have to disclose anything seems to be lost on Parliament.”
The multifaceted malefaction is methodically laid bare, with great guile & even panache. Lobbying (commercial corruption) is especially protuberant. On many occasions It’s not so much, ‘we’ll have a word on your behalf & bare you in mind during drafting’ but rather ‘we will copy your demands verbatim & graft them onto the legislation in their entirety’. The “revolving door” has gone & been replaced with a giant air-conditioned corridor with waiting limousines all decked out with coifed chauffer’s willing to rush these wretches to their next surreptitious signing all sustained by the blood of the tax payer. It’s just so fucked! Better to burn the lot. Williams really accounts for the slew of shit spraying out of the concealed pipe over the years (many of these “scandals” & temporary tumults just get buried, often under a fresh one or an ensuing crisis/ramification from previous political abuse/chicanery that’s finally burst it’s boil & spilled the pus in public. the chapter on the House of Lords is utterly astonishing!
His psychological profiling & analyses are amongst some of the best sections of this already seminal research. The fourth instalment of the book is christened “Justifying it” & includes the chapters “Millionaire mindset & “Gang mentality” which are hugely revealing, really penetrating into the distant cloud of dirt & delusion & of course “privilege” that these blood-sucking misfeasor dick-heads occupy.
Whether it’s off-shoring/tax haven cramming on the sly, arms sales, cash for peerages, larcenic-lobbying, crushing collisions of interests, cash for peerages, exponentially obscene expenses claims, big business righting it’s own rules & a corruption cornucopia of self-enriching super-shitness that’s literally hard to take in, all under the drape of a dirty, concealing, complicit system that bares just as much guilt as the excrescences within it’s swill, the book runs the gauntlet in full (no doubt even more volumes of venality remain lodged out of sight for now). Parliament Ltd is a real repository of mega malversation, knavery & filthy criminality, made all the worse as much of it is essentially considered “legal” despite it being blaringly overbearing in it’s absolute odiousness for anyone but the most warped, ruined & regressed to see.
You could definitely compare Parliament Ltd to Owen Jones’s excellent The Establishment. However, & without any disrespect to Jones great book, I personally feel Parliament Ltd is definitely better as it’s far less academic & pretentious along with being consistent the whole way through (I felt that Jones book ran a little dry at some stages). Read/referenced together, you have a devastatingly clear account of the mephitic rot that’s going on in Bri(Shi)tish politics.
“The worry, he said, was that MP’s were becoming ‘so overwhelmed by these big economic interests … the poor constituents hardly get a look in”
Author – Martin Williams (2016)
Publisher -Hodder and Stoughton