Coffee House

Mark Harper has brought back the concept of honourable resignation

8 February 2014

8 February 2014

Compare and contrast. We have Chris Smith, chairman of the Environment Agency, whose shortcomings can now be seen covering 23,000 acres of Somerset. And yet, when visiting yesterday, he did not say sorry (the word he used instead was ‘proud’). He says he sees no reason for him to resign, even when it is clear that the failures he has overseen have led to a spectacular catastrophe (we call for his resignation in this week’s Spectator).

Exhibit B is Mark Harper, who has just quit as immigration minister because he failed to spot that his cleaner had lied about having permission to work in Britain. She went to far as to produce papers saying she had indefinite leave to remain.  He obeyed the law, it doesn’t (as he said in his letter) expect employers to spot anything other than an obvious forgery. But he figured he should hold himself up to a higher standard, and later he had her checked out by the Home Office who found she was an illegal – so he has quit. As he says, he wasn’t blameless. He lost paperwork and should have had her properly checked out the moment he was sent to the immigration brief. (I have to admit admiring the nerve of the cleaner, hoodwinking a government minister for so long. But it was a high-risk strategy on her part.)

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Normally, when someone resigns on a Saturday afternoon, you conclude that he has been caught midway through some deplorable debauch by one of the more enterprising Sunday newspapers. But in the exchange of letters, which Isabel posted earlier, it really does seem that this is not the case.

The Labour years gave us the chance to see several ministers who ought to have resigned hanging on for dear life – as the egregious Chris Smith is doing now. Harper’s resignation is a welcome return to the era of Lord Carrington, who quit over the Foreign Office’s failure to detect the threat to the Falklands even though he was personally blameless. Tomorrow’s Sunday press may prove me wrong but right now it seems that Mark Harper has brought back the concept of the honorable resignation. If so then, as Cameron says, he should be back in the front bench soon.


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Show comments
  • Daidragon

    Disgusting individual who only resigned because he was caught out. Designing Go Home vans while employing.exploiting an illegal immigrant. Should be deselected and booted out of parliament. Scumbag.

  • redrouteone

    Why do I (we) have to pay in order for an M.P. to keep his flat clean? Is he really SO much better/busier than us plebs that he can’t run a Hoover round his taxpayer paid carpet in his taxpayer paid dwelling?

    I suspect that the reason these parasites claim for everything under the sun is the same reason dogs lick their balls!

    “M.P’s” and “honourable” in the same sentence.. BEHAVE!

  • FrankieThompson

    What other option did he have ?

    • Aarash UK

      Simple, he could choose not to resign. Then, what do you think happened?

    • HookesLaw

      As Aarash says he could have said sorry he made a mistake, he was not knowingly illegally employing someone; I have sympathy for him. But then various people would have jumped on the bandwagon.
      As it is we see how difficult it is to check these things. But it is no excuse and it shows how important the measures in the new bill are. It shows the govt are taking real measures to stop illegal employment and we must hope people will take the problems so seriously they might conclude its better to try to employ someone British first.

      • Two Bob

        Excuses excuses

        • HookesLaw

          Whose excuses? You are getting into a tortured state.
          He did the right, honourable thing by resigning. Its a shame, but it shows the issue is being pursued seriously.

  • edithgrove

    “Normally, when someone resigns on a Saturday afternoon, you conclude that he has been caught midway through some deplorable debauch by one of the more enterprising Sunday newspapers.” Guido says it was just that.

  • Two Bob

    Swiss voters have backed a referendum proposal to bring back strict quotas for immigration from European Union countries.

    Responding to the result, UKIP Leader Nigel Farage said: “This is wonderful news for national sovereignty and freedom lovers throughout Europe. A wise and strong Switzerland has stood up to the bullying and threats of the unelected bureaucrats of Brussels.”

    Why cant we have the same?

    • HookesLaw

      50.3%

      And the Swiss should be told they cannot have their cake and eat it. indeed thats likely to happen. It runs the riisk of losing access to the single market for its exports.
      As the BBC say … ‘This is the result the Swiss government and business leaders most feared’.
      Currently a quarter of the Swiss population is foreign. Farage may say he is pleased but the Swiss vote has merely opened up national divisions within Switzerland.

      • Two Bob

        Shut up you anti democratic idiot. Call yourself a bloody Tory?

        No wonder your party is destined never to win ever again.

        If the Swiss are told that then it is absolute music to the ears of all eurosceptics across the continent and will strengthen their resolve.

        • HookesLaw

          Grow up you fool. Actions have consequences.

  • Fergus Pickering

    Come on, you useless journalists. Was Harper at fault or was it the Home Office in 2006? Or don’t you know? And if you don’t why don’t you find out.

  • Brian McCarthy

    There is nothing “honourable” about shopping your cleaner – a fellow human I believe – to the Home Office. To support of a loyal member of staff with the challenges ahead would be a moral, humane and honourable approach.
    We wish her well and every success.

  • Mynydd

    Compare and contrast. We have Chris Smith, chairman of the Environment Agency, who whatever his shortcomings has not broken the law, with the immigration minister who could well have broken the law by employing for not one but seven years a cleaner who had no legal right to work in the UK.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      He did not break the law you idiot.

    • Aarash UK

      read a bit more about rules on employing foreigner and then you can see he did not do anything wrong but your beloved Labour destroyed the country and still sees himself proud.

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    We acknowledge the lack of honour in other places – ‘Rural Affairs’ no longer appears to encompass flooding, ‘the Environment’ no longer the activity of dredging.

  • Agrippina

    I do hope that the next person taken to court for employing an illegal immigrant uses the Harper defence.

    Your Honour, I did make copies of the documents the employee provided me with and they appeared to be in order at the time. But unfortunately, I have been unable to locate them for your perusal.

    I am sure the learned judge will accept that as reasonable and the employer will be let off the fine and all will be well in the world, in la la land.

    • HookesLaw

      Harper did not break any laws. So your rant is fatuous as well as pathetic.

  • colliemum

    OK – he behaved more honourably than Lord Smith, but it really is coming to something when we praise a “honourable resignation” instead of asking why he’d got into that situation in the first place.

    • James Strong

      Spot on.
      I’ve often thought this; your comment is the first time I’ve seen anyone write it.

  • drydamol1

    BROKEN BRITISH POLITICS –ONLY ONE TORY WITH HONOUR

    £1.5 Billion worth of Contracts have been sold off to
    Tory Donors under the Health reforms .Who gave David Cameron permission to sell
    the NHS to his friends .Andrew Lansley as Health Secretary helped the process in motion along then was replaced
    to cover suspicion .

    Lansley’s second wife is Sally Low, the managing director
    of Low Associates it helps people prepare before they give evidence to Parliamentary
    committees ,she denies Low Associates
    are involved in lobbying .

    Circle Holdings, has gifted the Tory party £125,000. Circle
    Holdings plc is a Jersey incorporated company and the rights of shareholders
    may be different from the rights of shareholders in the UK.

    They supply Healthcare, Equipment & Services & Health
    Care Providers .

    Among Circle’s contracts is a £1billion deal to run
    Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Cambs. No wonder the Tories don’t do anything about
    offshore Trusts .

    Circle is just one example there are others too many to
    mention here but all Tory Party Donors .

    Other very interested Parties are Politicians not to save
    our NHS but to rake off from their connections with Companies providing for the
    ‘Reformed’ NHS .Obviously Lansley is one ,David Cameron , George Osborne , Iain
    Duncan Smith , Andrew Mitchell ,David Miliband ,Frank Dobson and Alistair
    Darling .There are another 54 Tory/Labour and Liberal MP’s – Earning Money on
    the Sick and Elderly . Full list in NHS section at

    http://brokenbritishpolitics.simplesite.com

  • Lambert Butler

    so 1.12 did well. it helped boot a racist tory out of office! well done shams.

  • Lambert Butler

    i know you journos are lazy fucks. here. some free help.

    The UK’s immigration minister is defending racism.

    Immigration minister Mark Harper has defended racist behaviour on the part of his department, ie shocking 8 million non indiginous British voters, and others, with the words “go home”.

    Mark Harper excused his actions by saying that it is not racist to tell illegal immigrants that they will be arrested for breaking the law and should “go home”.

    It is insensitive to mimic the far right’s known cries of “go home” in front of millions of non-indiginous British people and voters. An unracist person would be sensitive about such language.

    The votes of those 8 million people the Conservatives have insulted ought to be as important to politicians as everyone else’s and time will certainly give that group a louder voice.

    http://show.tvhobo.com/?1.12

    • James Strong

      Utter nonsense.
      Illegal immigrants should get out or be forced out. It was a reasonable option to encourage them to leave by warning them of the possibility of prosecution.
      The racist aspects of it are
      1) to assume that the illegals are of other races than white
      2) to excuse criminal behaviour because of the race of the criminals.

    • HookesLaw

      Go forth and multiply yourself you ignoant loon.

      • James Strong

        Oh dear Hookey.
        Even when you come in on the same side as me you foul it up.
        Look at my comment, calm and reasoned, and look at yours which is an attempt at a euphemised gross insult.
        Which comment is more likely to convince readers that Lambert Butler has got the wrong side of it?
        You seem to be cracking up, Hookey. Your insult to ratinality ratio is deteriorating.
        Take a holiday, or get help.

  • Iain Hill

    Smith should go to. In the interests of service quality, not politics. We do not heed people who do not simply preside, but manage.

  • Ron Todd

    How much was he paying his illegal immigrant cleaner.
    How much would a native British cleaner have got paid (there are still plenty about)

    As long as the ruling class that benefit from immigration we will not get a government serious about actually controlling immigration as opposed to just talking about it. And the same would apply if we were out of the EU.

    • Agrippina

      He wasn’t paying her, we the taxpayers paid for her, as he claimed for her on his Parliamentary expenses.

      • HookesLaw

        No he has not but I suppose spouting this load of rubbish makes you feel better and saves the NHS the cost of the drugs needed to calm you down.

  • scampy1

    For Chris Smith it will be carry on cottaging and bugger the flooded conservative voters land?

  • Littlegrayman

    Now how many fake Leave to Remain letters were there generated under Labour?

  • Framer

    Can I currently check with the Home Office if a potential employee is an illegal immigrant or not? And how would they know I was ‘an employer’? Was the cleaner actually employed on a PAYE basis? If not, why not?

    • GnosticBrian

      It is possible to run a cleaning business on a self-employed basis – as, for example, do most if not all window cleaners.

    • Aarash UK

      Yes there is a team in HO dedicated to this matter. You can send an email to them and they aim to reply in 48 hours.

    • HookesLaw

      Why not read about what you are actually required to do before mouthing off.

  • Bonkim

    Great MP for the Forest of Dean.

  • Mynydd

    Mr Harper was the minister pushing an immigration bill through parliament who didn’t know how to check the legal status of his cleaner he had to ask the Home Office to clarify it. Yet this same minister and his government expects a landlord of a B&B to know which documents and how to check them, otherwise they will face the full force of the law.

    • Tony_E

      Your failure to understand the term ‘Reasonable’ in this case defeats your argument.

      Harper readily accepts that he should be held to a higher standard than the average man because of his position and has resigned.

      What was Baroness Scotland’s excuse?

      • HookesLaw

        Her excuse was she is a socialist and as such used to dissembling.

  • Not Voting For You

    So he didn’t think it might be better to employ a British person in the first place?

    • Aarash UK

      is there any or they prefer to claim benefit?

  • Doggie Roussel

    Harper has put his hands up and taken the honourable and only course of action open to him… an analogy perhaps being Lord Carrington’s resignation over his omissions during the Falklands War.

    Both the above have behaved as one would hope politicians should when they have erred.

    Not so with Chris Smith, whose behaviour over his negligence and lack of concern over the Somerset floods is both jaw-droppingly arrogant and a measure of his disinterest with the sinecure and obligations of his office.

    Smith is one of those mediocre MPs of the Blair / Brown era who was shovelled into the Lords, so that he and his civil partner might enjoy the benefits of a Labour government pay-off for his lip service during the terror of the two Bs.

    An utterly worthless individual and still completely indifferent to all those non-Labour voters in the south west.

    • Ron Todd

      These days I think honourable is code for he will be back on the front bench before long.

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    • southerner

      Well if it was the “only course of action available to him” it doesn’t follow that it was honourable. It was the only course of action available. QED.

      Anyway, you and the other socialist Cameron luvvies miss the point. Our borders are porous. A few dog whistle stunts for the backbenchers like the “go home” vans is not going to change that. He should have been sacked anyway. Along with May.

      • George_Arseborne

        Apart from employing an illegal immigrant, Harper the Hypocrite and Architect of” Go Home” Van, exploited the cleaner by paying just £22 a week. What a low and dishonourable human being is he. Why are Journalist like Frase Nelson still in this Profession, infesting readers with lies, just to save the face of Hypocrites Tories.

    • HookesLaw

      I don’t see what the ‘civil partner’ has to do with it.

      But thanks for the dog whistle anyway.

      • Two Bob

        No tory can ever do any wrong according to you….

        • HookesLaw

          Do not be daft
          Your remark has nothing to do with the dog whistle
          And I regularly berate thick tory backbenchers.

          It is in the nature of things that people, everyone, from football managers to politicians will do things that are wrong. Such is life.
          When it comes to people in govt making mistakes I prefer tory mistakes to socialist ones.

      • Doggie Roussel

        What did you want me to refer to him as, Richardhead… his wife, his partner, his catamite…. I thought that all these sexual minorities now wanted to have their ‘civil partnerships’ acknowledged and recognised…. perhaps you might enlighten me as to what is now ‘politically correct’ when referring to sodomites, and those with Sapphic preferences… I have absolutely no quarrel with those who realise that they were not born to procreate… although they have found some ingenious ways of overcoming this most basic requirement for the continuation of the human species…. but I am utterly fed up with the pressure being put on the majority to condone and patronise the condition and inferiority complexes of the minority.

    • Makroon

      That is all good stuff, but all the planning and dredging in kingdom come wouldn’t have prevented a flooding crisis with the freakishly immense rainfall the west has received. I don’t know why it is so difficult to grasp that fact.
      The US has also had a freakish weather crisis.

  • Daniel Maris

    Honourable? He knew he had to go. No defence. So he did the sensible thing.

    • GnosticBrian

      Baroness Scotland when in the exact same position stayed.

  • ButcombeMan

    Rush to judgement I would say

  • itdoesntaddup

    A quick reminder:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1263948/Baroness-Scotland-lied-seeing-illegal-cleaner-Loloahi-Tapuis-passport.html

    She had admitted that she did not follow the law that she helped to
    draft by not taking photocopies of Loloahi Tapui’s documents.

    • Littlegrayman

      How may fake Leave to Remain Letters did Labour give out and why?

  • http://hamlife.blogspot.com/ Matthew Rees

    Pathetic that Tories are trying to blame Lord Smith just because he is Labour. Nobody can point to anything that he has done wrong, there is a chief executive who would be more to blame if something had been done wrong and one thing that we do know has been a factor has been the Tory cuts to the EA budget.

    • Alexsandr

      NOthing to do the EA policy of not dredging as being not sustainable. A policy foisted on us with no debate.
      Not saying dredging is a panacea, but I think there should have been consultation.

      • Daniel Maris

        Yes, valid point. Smith seems now to accept that dredging must take place. But if that is the case, then that is an admission of failure, since the EA must plan for 1 in 100 year events.

      • HenryWood

        I believe the policy of not dredging was an EU policy/directive in which the likes of the EA had no choice whatsoever. I have seen posts on various blogs pointing to the proof of this. Unless anyone can point me in a different direction with disproofs of these facts then it looks like the EA is a drowned duck and “Lord” Smith is Quackers whenever he opens his mouth.

        • Andy

          Please give exact quotes and draw attention to which EU Directives you are talking about.

          • HenryWood

            DYOR

            • GnosticBrian

              In other words you cannot back up your earlier assertion.

              • HenryWood

                NAA. It is all easily found for those who wish to see. Those who do not wish to see will easily miss it.

        • GnosticBrian

          So how are the Dutch able to carry on far more extensive dredging operations?

          • HenryWood

            As I said before, DYOR. Let Google be your friend, rather than some “biased” poster who you probably won’t believe – depending on your present point of view, OC.

            • GnosticBrian

              At no time have I expressed any distrust in you or made any accusation of bias. I find odd that you should assume that I would. Do people habitually accuse you of bias and falsehood? FYI, I do distrust Google.

        • HookesLaw

          No there is a UN resolution and we are entitled to carry it out to suit ourselves.
          Some may be able to make a fair argument that the Somerset levels should be returned to some previous natural state. That is an argument that may or may not be valid.
          What is not valid is the notion (if true) that it should be done by stealth and by not making clear the policy to the inhabitants.

    • HenryWood

      Lord Smith had not a single clue of the job he was taking on when appointed. (Do you actually *know* what he did in his past life?)

      – so, Labour/Tory/LibDem, whatever he might have claimed to be, he had no idea of what his new job entailed.
      *EXCEPT*, perhaps, he might have had a little bit of a clue about the moolah! Yerrrgghhh! Get stuck in there, Lord Chrissy Boy, grab yourself a wad, just like all the rest of them do, eh!
      Matthew Rees, Just you go take a look at “Lord” Smith’s CV and then come back here and tell me just whatever it was that qualified him to be appointed to this post.
      His “Lordship” is a chancer, amongst many, many chancers, who have chanced their arm and been rewarded well above any expectations they might have imagined according to their past records.
      He is a parasite, like many other parasites in the quasi govt organisations in existence.
      May the lampposts grow taller!

      • Mynydd

        Mr Cameron had not a single clue of the job when he cut the budget and manpower.

        • HenryWood

          What are you talking about?
          Cameron was *almost* voted in to his job.
          I repeat the question I asked Matthew Rees: What qualifications did “Lord” Smith have to entitle him to his post? I repeat my claim that he is a parasite: i.e. totally unelected and gaining power and fortunes beyond the dreams of a mortal man simply because “Lord” Smith is a “Lord”.
          I also repeat: He *is* a total chancer. If you wish to dispute that claim of mine, please furnish the qualifications “Lord” Smith brought with him to his appointment.
          In the meantime, let us make sure the lampposts are not allowed to suffer the same way that most other infrastructure has been allowed to disintegrate over the past few years.
          We might manage without some parts of the national infrastructure, though I am sure the lamppost will prove a very necessary requisite in the not too distant future.

          • Mynydd

            Mr Cameron could have sacked him the day he moved into No 10 three and half years ago. You may think he is not doing a good job but Mr Cameron thinks he is, and he’s the boss

            • HenryWood

              Oh, but that would have been classed as a “political” decision by our dearly beloved MSM, just as the BBC is now pouncing and prowling all over the removal of the education lady.

              By the way, you still have not mentioned “Lord” Smith’s qualifications which may have proved him suitable for the job.
              Did you just happen to overlook that question? Or more likely you know all too well he has not a solitary, single qualification apart from being a “Lord”?

              Does being a “Lord” really qualify non entities to grab vast quantities of public money, in your honest opinion?

            • Tony_E

              Isn’t that the opposite argument than you were making last week about Tories removing people who were politically connected with other parties from state posts?

              Make your mind up, should he have sacked Smith and replaced him or would that have been an illegitimate removal a political opponent?

          • GnosticBrian

            If I recall, Smith was in charge of the DCMS – known in Whitehall as the Department of Fun and Frivolity. Smith seems to have got the frivolity part down to a T.

      • http://hamlife.blogspot.com/ Matthew Rees

        Simple. He’s held senior positions in Government. What qualifies Osborne to be Chancellor?

        • HenryWood

          *Simple*!!! That’s the word alright. Are you really claiming that “senior positions” in the last Labour government qualifies any of them for anything at all? You answer that and I may one day consider your Osborne question. (And I may wait a while before answering, because in the meantime he does seem to be doing quite a better job than your Brown, Balls, balls-up mess up all together ever, ever did, no?)
          “There’s no money left! Sorry!”
          K**ts!

        • HookesLaw

          ‘senior positions’?
          Do not make me laugh. Culture media and Sport??? He was so good he was sacked and replaced by the odious Tessa Jowell, she of the mysterious mortgage.
          He has not been an MP since 2005.
          Interestingly given all the Labour and LD mad howling about Tories putting Tories in quangos, Smith was reappointed the the EA by a Tory in 2011. At least he will be gone by July.

          Meantime labour-boy – as an old labour-boy makes a meal of a flooding disaster we are left wondering what happened to labour’s predicted A&E winter crisis? 95.3 per cent of patients in all A&E units are seen within the target time of four hours.

      • Ron Todd

        It will be interesting to see if his replacement is somebody who knows about flood defense or somebody who knows the right people.

    • itdoesntaddup

      The job of Chairman entails getting rid of a poor CEO. It also entails monitoring the performance of the organisation – which Smith allowed to grow into a thoroughly inefficient behemoth that failed to allocate its budget appropriately.

      That he is a Labour politician is merely incidental – he is one of many failures appointed to the quangocracy under Labour.

      • http://hamlife.blogspot.com/ Matthew Rees

        So what does the job of the Environment Secretary or Prime Minister entail? You are picking on one man in the hierarchy simply because he is Labour and that is just lazy bigotry.

        • GnosticBrian

          So you advocate doing the barking yourself even when you have gone to the expense of employing a dog?

          • http://hamlife.blogspot.com/ Matthew Rees

            No. That’s what you are doing. The barking should be done by the chief exec or another director/manager in the EA.

            • GnosticBrian

              So what does Chris “twelve jobs” Smith do to earn his hundred grand plus?

        • itdoesntaddup

          I’m picking on a man who is demonstrably incompetent. His politics and other attributes are purely incidental to that (although they may have been factors that helped his original appointment and Spelman’s failure to replace him).

    • Andy

      Don’t talk such utter twaddle. The bloody rivers haven’t been dredged for teens of years. That was under Labour’s watch. ‘Tory cuts’ have nothing to do with it you pathetic idiot.

      • http://hamlife.blogspot.com/ Matthew Rees

        I am grateful to Andy for showing the world how fuck-cuntish stupid some Tories are. Almost four years have been under the Tories watch so any lack of action is entirely down to them.

        • HenryWood

          Excuse me asking, Matthew, I was just wondering, were you ever in the Brigade of Guards?

        • kyalami

          Ah, you know someone has lost an argument when they resort to abuse.

        • Holly

          So it should follow, that you think abysmal lack of any action, (except to draw lines under stuff & go forward) in the thirteen years of Labour is ENTIRELY down to Labour.

          The lack of action in so many child abuse cases, sexual grooming cases, and unecessary deaths in Labour’s sacred NHS, through sheer cruelty and neglect, should have you saying the same foul-mouthed stuff about Labour bods as well.
          Maybe you just forgot to add that to your comment.

          You might think Tories are ‘stupid’, but the FATAL/LIFE-CHANGING damage Labour did, should disgust even you.

          The four years under the Tories have at least begun to turn this country around, after a decade of Labour’s bone idle, ineptitude, and neglect of everyone, especially in illegal stuff that was going on.
          While the likes of snivelling Smith clings on to his comfy taxpayer funded lifestyle.

        • Andy

          And we are all grateful to you for showing the world how fuck-cuntish stupid all Fascists are. There was no dredging over 13 years of Fascist inaction and the EA is headed by one of their own. Go figure you idiot.

        • Tony_E

          Not really down to government at all. It’s for the environment agency to use its budget to follow through the aims of its own remit.

          However, its leadership is fully signed up to UN agenda 21, which prioritises the preservation of wildlife over the preservation of the human environment. It’s decisions are taken with a bias towards defending towns, but not rural environments in which it feels that humans take second place to what it feels is the ‘natural environment’.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          Well thank you for that you foul mouthed lout. Nothing less than one would expect from Labour the party of lies, lying and liars and the worthless, unproductive scum that support them.

        • HookesLaw

          Go stuff yourself you lewed gobshite.
          No I take that back; say it all a bit louder and show all the loopy idiots just what they are doing by working to get your nasty ignorant lot elected back in to government.

    • realfish

      But LABOUR’s Smith is the Chair and the buck has to stop with him.

      But if you do insist that the CEO is more culpable, I suppose that we have to do so, going back to the time when it was decided that the Levels be ‘returned to nature’ as part of an environmental policy. This meant the end to dredging. The CEO at, the time, said that she ‘would like to see a limpet mine placed on every pumping station’. And no doubt this position was supported by the subsequent Climate Change Minister, LABOUR’s Ed Miliband

      LABOUR’S Baroness Young was the CEO responsible (reporting to Smith’s predecessor, LABOUR’s Sir John Harman, appointed by a LABOUR government of the day – can you see a pattern emerging?).

      Young is one of those LABOUR Quangoista’s (the 70%) who successfully recycled her self around a variety of public sector posts, including the Care Quality Commission where she was Chair, a post from which she had to resign when a report detailing poor standards at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was leaked to the media. The report found that ‘hundreds of people had died needlessly due to appalling standards of care.’One month earlier the commission had rated the quality of care at the hospital as ‘good”.
      But where she failed NHS patients, she was a hit with the birdies…being the head of the RSPB (presumably, though, they all drowned last week.

      It’s a pity though that LABOUR’s BBC have reported none of this, nothing of the origins of the problem – or that the EA is a bloated Quango bigger than many of its European sister organisations, combined. They did though manage to dredge up a hapless Tory MP and try to pin all of these decisions on him. Not surprising really – I forgot to mention that LABOUR’s Baroness Young, is one of them – a former Vice Chair of the BBC.
      Young now heads the Diabetes UK – a charidee. With a record like that, you might want to watch your sugar intake.

    • kyalami

      Not blaming Lord Smith because he is Labour. Blaming Lord Smith because he is worse than useless.

      • Andy

        He is a troughing socialist hypocrite. His performance on SkyNews showed the arrogance of the man. He should resign or be dismissed.

    • Doggie Roussel

      No one is blaming Chris Smith because he is Labour…. we are blaming him for being a callous, money-grubbing individual of the lowest order, with no sense of responsibility towards the victims of his departments indifference and lack of any sense of duty or car.

    • http://owsblog.blogspot.com Span Ows

      “Nobody can point to anything that he has done wrong”

      Can anybody point to anything he has done right? Can anybody point to anything that qualifies him for the post? He probably ran a bath once, I guess taht’s as close as we’ll get.

    • HookesLaw

      His entire behaviour has been assinine. He spends most of his time in hiding. why, if he has done nothing wrong, does he avoid facing the public in public? A real chief executive might look a bit more like he is actually in charge and know what is going on.

  • SQW103

    None of the flood management experts are criticising Lord Smith are they?

    • itdoesntaddup

      It seems the people who used to run the local Drainage Board (who are more expert than just about anyone else on their locality) have been forthright with their criticisms for a long time.

  • AnotherDave

    The Somerset flooding appears to be a deliberate policy choice, rather than a failure.

    http://eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=84683

    • Littlegrayman

      If this was any other country diplomats would be screaming for UN intervention to protect the citizens.
      “UK Government and Agencies deliberately displaces population”

    • Smithersjones2013

      Harper’s actions highlight what verminous parasites the likes of the Labour rejects are.

      Of course if this regime didn’t seem to prefer keeping such rotten Blairite detritus in place (the useless Spelman could have got rid of him three years ago) rather than appointing more conservative individuals then perhaps someone of a more Conservative outlook would have averted this tragedy before it began……

  • Wildcat

    You having a laugh? He employed an illegal immigrant without proper checking (oh, please don’t tell me you accept the illusive disappearing paperwork bullshit!) for SEVEN YEARS and only just realized a few days ago?! How stupid would one have to be to fall for that, one wonders….

    • CraigStrachan

      If he kept her on for seven years, she must have been a good cleaner.

      • monty61

        Indeed. Telephone number please!

      • Ron Todd

        Good at something.

    • McRobbie

      And he resigned ..honourably ..in the traditional sense of the word. That word honour is not something we’ve associated with anything from labour for many many years..lies…yes, spin…yes, back stabbing… yes. But that’s left wing deceit for you..thats what they do.

      • Wildcat

        Well if you mean “honourably” as “had absolutely no choice due to being caught out” then, erm, yeah, he resigned honourably.

        Oh, and deceit is a left wing thing? I can’t believe you kept a straight face whilst writing that. To take a very recent example, how about that crook Zahwai, who not only made fraudulent expense claims for heating his stables but also fiddled HMRC by hooking up his domestic supply to it? Did he resign “honourably” or at all? Erm, no. He remains in his job to this day. What excuses does “Call me Dave” have for this thief still being an MP?

    • http://owsblog.blogspot.com Span Ows

      You’re the one having a laugh, or maybe it’s an ability to read, or maybe your ability to understand that seems lacking; not only that, you, presumably would make any employee suffer the Spanish Inquisition on a monthly basis just to make sure.

    • GnosticBrian

      Remember Baroness Scotland? Or different standards apply when a Labour Peer who introduced the legislation failed to follow it?

      • Mynydd

        Remember Baroness Scotland was up before the courts and fined £5,000. That’s the standard, break the law, who ever you are, you pay for it. Now under this government you break the law and you are promised a government job in the near future.

        • GnosticBrian

          Remind me, did Peter Mandleson comply with Mortgage law when he failed to disclose the loan from fellow MP, Geoffrey Robinson and did that preclude Mandleson’s from future Government jobs?

          • Mynydd

            No matter how much you twist and turn Mr Mandleson had nothing to do with Mr Harper employing a cleaner who had no right to work in the UK.

            • GnosticBrian

              No twisting and turning – just a demonstration of Labour double standards. And I’m not sure that the cleaner was an “employee” (as was the situation in the Baroness Scotland case) there are reports that she was self-employed and so outside the ambit of this legislation. Not that such will prevent the usual suspects spouting Labour’s “line to take today”.

              • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                Well Labour is the party of lies, lying and liars.

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              The usual double standards one would expect from Labour scum and the scum that support them.

        • Fergus Pickering

          But she kept her job abd what was £5000 to her. She’s loaded.

    • Jimmy R

      The reason he found out she was ‘illegal’ was because he, himself, chose to have her enquired into by the Home Office, something he was not obliged to do, and it was only then that her status was discovered. As soon as he discovered her status he took it on himself to make the matter public and immediately resigned.
      He could quite easily have simply accepted the validity of the papers she produced and had he done so nobody would have been the wiser. There is no suggestion that he only ‘discovered’ his error because the issue was about to be made public by somebody else and was using that as an excuse.
      All he needed to do was to find some excuse to sack her and say nothing about her status and it would then have been unlikely anybody would eve have known.
      The only time that his explanation concerning the lost paperwork would have any real cause to be called ‘bullshit’ is would be if he were trying to use that explanation in order to try and cling on to his position, something he manifestly has not done unlike so many other people in Government have done having committed far more serious errors and, indeed, despicable deliberate actions.
      If you, Wildcat, cannot see or even understand honourable behaviour than that says more about your attitudes than it does about those of Mark Harper who has obviously behaved quite properly under the circumstances. .

      • Wildcat

        If you think that it wouldn’t have been eventually discovered you must be stunningly naive. You accept his statement without any question. Again, the word naive applies. It is his job to make sure that the “paperwork” was checked properly at the original time, not seven years after the event! So is he prepared to pay the fine of £10,000 for not doing so properly, or will that go on expenses?

      • Mynydd

        He broke the law, full stop.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          No he did not you idiot his cleaner broke the law. labour cretin.

    • Ron Todd

      he was claiming the cost of cleaning on expenses. Wasn’t he an accountant before going into politics? He would have easily afforded to pay for his own cleaning.

    • teledaft

      Well said wildcat,resigning honourable is just another way of saying I have been caught out and wish to avoid anymore scrutinyscrutiny,and with a bit of luck I will be back on the gravy train before you know it.

    • Tom M

      Quite so. It beggar’s belief that someone employed as the immigration minister didn’t use every facility that was clearly open to him to verify the status of the cleaner conclusively.
      Personally I would have considered employing anybody that even looked like an immigrant whilst employed as a government immigration minister a very high risk policy.
      Where do they find these clowns?

  • CraigStrachan

    Harper should have stayed in his job and quietly arranged proper papers for the cleaner. Sorted!

    • Fatboy295

      Would that be the way the Rt. Hon. Lord Mandelson solved the problem?

      • Ron Todd

        Don’t fancy the job of ‘Lord’ Mandelson’s cleaner much.

        • Fatboy295

          :)

          There are so many comments I could make right now but, for legal reasons, I will refrain.

          Pity Tony bLiar, having sacked him twice for impropriety, couldn’t have been more circumspect about the man.

      • CraigStrachan

        Doubt it, unless the cleaner was somehow also a big donor to the Labour Party.

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