The Conduct of Lord Moonie, Lord Snape, Lord Truscott and Lord Taylor of Blackburn - Privileges Committee Contents

Letter to Baroness Prashar from Mr Keith Pudney, Thursday 29 January 2009

  Dear Lady Prashar

  I am greatly perturbed by the recent reports that have highlighted the activities of a number of Members of the House of Lords. I am not going to use the word allegations when one individual was so blatant in his activities and even quoted the amount of money that he had received in the past for his services. It was highly appropriate that the reporter recorded the conversation.

  Would you explain just how these individuals are allowed to behave in such a manner, you might reply and say they are not allowed to behave in this manner. I would reply well who is policing it and why their connections and Interests aren't registered on the Register of Interests.

  I am well aware of the Standards that are expected in Public Life. Until 2007 when I didn't stand for re-election, I had been a Borough Councillor for 12 years, also a Town Councillor for 15 years. During that time I had also been a School Governor and a Member of a National Park Authority. I had to register my Interests with each of those bodies that register had to be kept up to date annually and daily if there were any changes.

  As you are well aware in the positions I held, the interests were Personal or Prejudicial, and there could be an interest that was both Personal & Prejudicial. In many instances those interests meant that I could neither speak nor vote on the matter in hand, and on occasions I would have to leave the room.

  Given all the obligations that I served under, I am totally flabbergasted to hear a recording of a Member of the House of Lords openly stating what he does for Companies and at what financial cost. He even elaborated as to how he went about it.

  Well Lady Prashar, there is only one word to describe the activities that he boasted of from his own mouth, that word my Lady is Corrupt. My next question has to be, how long will it be before action is taken against the individuals concerned?

  By action I don't mean a censure, a suspension, or the deliverance of a grovelling mealy mouthed apology.

  In the real world when gains accrue from activities such as crime, or say drug trafficking, the authorities have the right to seize those proceeds or assets, why should this be any different.

  The Members of the House of Lords are not part of the democratically elected process, so the electorate cannot express their abhorrence at their activities at the next election. It is sad and unacceptable that individuals exploit their positions for private gain, in this case it is Members of the House of Lords.

  Most members of the general public also see it as inappropriate that Members of the House of Commons also take highly remunerated directorships in companies, in some instances a considerable number of companies. In those instances that is not some altruistic move on the part of the company, it is to buy the influence that they can bring to bear on the companies behalf. That may be in a subtle way and in some instances totally blatant and unacceptable ways. Is it any wonder that the general public see in these instances individuals using their positions to unlock the door to untold wealth?

  That my Lady benefits nobody and demeans the process we call democracy, a process that rarely appears to reflect the will of the people, maybe I am just getting a mite cynical.

  I look forward to your views on the points raised in this letter. I am also copying this letter to the newly appointed Metropolitan Police Commissioner.

  Yours sincerely

Keith Pudney

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