Another reminder of why politicians should be kept away from press regulation

Politicians help to set standards so they have to live by them. Lord Mackenzie of Framwellgate should, therefore, be ashamed that he has been found guilty of breaching rules in a "cash-for-access" scandal.

He does not, however, appear to be ashamed. Far from it. Instead, he has dismissed the prospect of a six-month suspension from the House of Lords as "a bit of gardening leave".

He has trotted out the "we all make mistakes" line and condemned The Sunday Times for its use of "entrapment". In other words, he was caught red-handed trying to use his position of influence for personal gain and he doesn't like it.

The Sunday Times should, of course, be congratulated, not condemned, for exposing the willingness of the Darlington-born Lord "to negotiate an agreement which would involve him providing parliamentary services in return for payment".

It is another example of strong investigative journalism which underlines why politicians should be kept away from press regulation.

There is a place for entrapment in journalism if there is reason to believe that wrong-doing is taking place, and if the trap produces a catch which is in the public interest.

There is no ambiguity in what Lord Mackenzie did. It was plain wrong, he should have had no doubt that it was plain wrong, and taxpayers have an absolute right to know that he is the type to cross the line if someone crosses his palm with silver. 

The question is whether he should be allowed back in the House of Lords after six months. Having been found guilty of such a breach of the rules for personal gain, how can he be trusted to play a credible part in the political process again?

Sorry, but it should be the end of the peer show.

 

 

 

Comments (4)

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8:01pm Mon 16 Dec 13

behonest says...

I cannot believe this is not a criminal offence; a peer of the realm taking bribes in exchange for influence. Mackenzie should be going to jail, no question.

There will be many of course who are not in the least bit surprised at Mackenzie's corrupt behaviour, given his senior police background.
I cannot believe this is not a criminal offence; a peer of the realm taking bribes in exchange for influence. Mackenzie should be going to jail, no question. There will be many of course who are not in the least bit surprised at Mackenzie's corrupt behaviour, given his senior police background. behonest

9:23pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Got Ya says...

Suspended for 6 months sounds like a slap on the little finger and unlikely to act as a deterrent in the future, particularly in the light of his response!
Lord Mackenzie continues to make the headlines for the wrong reasons and his track record demands that he be expelled from the Lords and his title removed.
Not so very long ago Durham Hosital were making payments to his company in an effort to be awarded Honours.
Suspended for 6 months sounds like a slap on the little finger and unlikely to act as a deterrent in the future, particularly in the light of his response! Lord Mackenzie continues to make the headlines for the wrong reasons and his track record demands that he be expelled from the Lords and his title removed. Not so very long ago Durham Hosital were making payments to his company in an effort to be awarded Honours. Got Ya

8:42am Tue 17 Dec 13

Mod says...

He thinks it like "a bit of gardening leave". Well that showed him, good and proper!!
He thinks it like "a bit of gardening leave". Well that showed him, good and proper!! Mod

9:43am Tue 17 Dec 13

cupid stunt says...

he has been a total sh1t all his life
he has been a total sh1t all his life cupid stunt

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