ME and Ophelia

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Message to Dear Queen of England: Please take charge

Hurrah!  At long last, news of our wonderful Queen of England stepping in to save our country. I've waited two years for this. Long live the Queen!

Yesterday, Peter Mandelson had an audience with the Queen. [Source: report by George Parker, Friday, 12 June 2009 - Yesterday, Man in the news: Lord Mandelson]

Today, (Saturday, 13 June 2009) Guido tells us:

Queen Has Audience with Mandelson
Lord Mandelson of Foy in the county of Herefordshire and Hartlepool in the county of Durham, first secretary of state, secretary of state for business, innovation and skills and Lord President of the Council, yesterday granted the Queen an audience.

Guido was told this in advance, but sworn to secrecy, by a member of her majesty’s parliamentary Lobby. Why was it embargoed?
Message to dear darling Queen of England, please take charge and leak some news to Guido Fawkes' blog so we can feel assured that England is safe and in good hands. Thanks. We love you!

Image courtesy of Old Holborn who says "Mandelson is beyond ruthless, this is raw power politics, if he is not destroyed he will destroy everything worth having in this country."

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The Queen tells Gordon Brown she is 'deeply troubled' over MPs' expenses

Last updated at 2:55 PM on 17th May 2009

The Queen has told  she is worried that the scandalous revelations about MPs' expenses could damage Parliament.

She discussed the explosion of public outrage over the scandal in what is understood to have been a candid exchange of views when she met the Prime Minister for their weekly audience at  on Tuesday. 

The Queen
Gordon Brown

Queen's counsel: Her Majesty has been advising Gordon Brown on the future of Parliament

Details of their conversation - which covered the vital need to restore trust in Parliament - came to light as:

  • The identities of the shadowy figures who leaked the MPs' expenses were revealed.
  • Speaker Michael Martin told friends he is ready to quit.
  • A shock new poll put the anti-EU UKIP on course to overtake Labour in next month's European elections.
  • Public demands for criminal charges against at least five expenses-cheat MPs grew.
  • Labour's overall poll rating fell to yet another all-time historic low - just 20 per cent.
  • A Labour MP was discovered to have claimed £125,000 expenses for a run-down garage via his 'office' expenses.
  • Another Labour MP was suspended for claiming £13,000 for a mortgage that had been paid off.

Writing in the News of the World today Gordon Brown said he was 'appalled and angered' by last week's expenses revelations.

He also apologised, on behalf of all parties, to those ‘striving hard in these difficult times’ that the political system had let them and the public down. 

The Prime Minister said he was brought up to believe ‘you did the right thing – and that trust, integrity and honesty are the most precious assets of all.’

He also said: ‘I want to assure every citizen of my commitment to a complete clean-up of the system. Wherever and whenever immediate disciplinary action is required I will take it.

‘The bottom line is that any MP who is found to have defied the rules will not be serving in my government.’

His comments come as Labour's most generous donors are to withdraw financial support worth millions and called for the arrest of some MPs at the centre of the expenses revelations, according to the Observer.

Gordon Brown said Westminster could not operate like a ‘gentleman’s club’ where MPs or parties alone decide whether tax payers money should be paid back.

Neither Buckingham Palace nor Downing Street would comment on  the conversation between Mr Brown and the Queen, insisting that it remain confidential. However, well-placed sources say the Queen is 'deeply troubled' by the scandal and had made it clear that she feared it could inflict 'long-lasting damage' to the Commons.

'She won't discuss individual MPs but she feels this scandal has done a lot of long-lasting damage,' said the source.

'She is aware the public feel repulsed by this sort of thing. She is conscious there is a recession on.'

An entirely separate source told The Mail on Sunday that the Queen had expressed her 'disappointment' at the expenses disclosures.


Both insiders stressed that Her Majesty's comments were neither politically partisan nor aimed at any particular MPs, but came out of concern for the standing of Parliament.

Gordon Brown called for ‘transparency to the public’ in his News of the World column today sighting it as the ‘foundation of properly policing this system.’

Looking to the future the Prime minster wrote there was a need for ‘even more fundamental change.’ 

He said: ‘I have asked Parliament to ensure – and MPs have agreed – that outer London MPs cannot claim a second home allowance.’

He also admitted that the revelations of the past week would have a ‘lasting impact on our politics.’

Some observers have compared the backlash against MPs with the anger directed at the Queen in the aftermath of Princess Diana's death. The future of the Monarchy as an institution appeared briefly in jeopardy after the Royal Family's initial low-key response prompted unprecedented hostility towards the Queen.

On that occasion, Mr Brown's predecessor Tony Blair played a key role in advising the Queen on how to react to public opinion. This week, amid a similar volatile and rebellious public mood, it appears to have been the Queen's turn to counsel the Government, advising Mr Brown on his own efforts to guide Parliament through the expenses crisis that threatens its entire future.

The Prime Minister's spokesman refused to comment on their meeting, saying: 'Their discussions are private and we have no comment.'

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman stuck to the same strict official line, saying: 'We never comment on what is said between the Queen and the Prime Minister during their private audiences. The Queen and the Prime Minister were alone. No one ever discusses what they discussed.'

Tory MP Nicholas Soames, a friend of Prince Charles, said: 'This business has done grave damage to the standing of Parliament and it will take a long time for it to recover trust and confidence. You can smell the stench of death about this Government.

'Parliament is paralysed, the whole place has effectively closed down when there are dangerous issues that this country must deal with, whether it is Afghanistan, Al Qaeda or the Middle East peace process.

'The expenses system must be reformed but we must not become obsessed with it, Parliament has important work to do.'

A BPIX poll for The Mail on Sunday emphasises the strength of public anger over MPs who abuse their expenses. If voters had their way, five politicians - ex-Minister Elliot Morley, Tory MP Andrew Mackay, Employment Minister Tony McNulty, Transport Minister Geoff Hoon and Communities Secretary Hazel Blears - would face criminal charges.

The Queen has had good relations with all 11 occupants of Downing Street since she came to the throne in 1952. Most came to value her vast experience of State affairs.

Apart from death of Diana, the closest to a constitutional clash between Buckingham Palace and No10 came during the Thatcher years, when it was reported that the Queen expressed sympathy for striking miners and fears that Mrs Thatcher's policies were fuelling social unrest.

Although the Queen's role in Parliament is now largely ceremonial, it is the Monarch who dissolves Parliament, and it is only convention that dictates that she should do so only on the advice of the Prime Minister.

She also retains a key role in the passage of legislation. The Crown is expected to act with 'the advice and consent' of the Commons and Lords, but again, it is only convention which states that she will give Royal assent to Bills passed by the two Houses.

Read full story by Daily Mail.
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UPDATE Saturday 13 June 2009: Snippet from a comment at Guido Fawkes' blog today:

From the Court Circular, 13 June:

The Queen held a Council at 2.30 p.m..

There were present: the Lord Mandelson (Lord President), the Rt. Hon. Dawn Primarolo MP (Minister of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families), the Rt. Hon. Patrick McFadden MP (Minister of State, Business, Innovation and Skills) and the Rt. Hon. Christopher Geidt (Private Secretary to Her Majesty The Queen).

The Queen declared in Council the Lord Mandelson Lord President of the Council, who made affirmation as Lord President and as First Secretary of State, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and as President of the Board of Trade, kissed hands on appointment and received the Seals of Office. [...]

Although it does go on to say “The Lord Mandelson had an audience of Her Majesty before the Council”, so maybe there is something in it after all. [...]
# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 6/13/2009
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