Sunday, 27 December 2009

Heroine of 2009

It took five years' work to get MPs' expenses out in the open. Now I look back, I think I must have been a bit mad. I was trying to deconstruct the British democracy in its entirety for a book, Your Right To Know. But really I was trying to make sense of the way the country worked for myself, having just moved here from America. It seemed crazy, very hard to find out what public money is spent on. In America we think, "We're paying for it and we want to know where every penny is going." Here, there's a terrible apathy.

I read up on all the expenses MPs could claim for and then I said I'd like to see them. After months of digging, I was told, "You can't see the receipts." They said, "It'd be too much work." I said, "I'll come and have a look myself." They went mad, as if hell had to freeze over before such a thing could be allowed.

I fought through the courts. The more I found out, the stranger and more cranky the system seemed. The House of Commons fought all of my freedom of information requests tooth and nail.

In February 2009, the shit was really going to hit the fan. The MPs had lost the high court case and were scanning in the material; the first tranche of censoring had happened. Then they tried to pass a bill to exempt MPs from disclosure of their expenses. There was a weird cross-party agreement. But the Tories were rumbled and exposed, they pulled out and the agreement was skittled.

I was chagrined when the Telegraph bought the raw disk of scanned data and began exposing it. But if they hadn't done so we'd still be where we were. The final House of Commons version in July was totally blacked out.

I was amazed the way the toilet seats and the duck house ended up symbolising the whole scandal. I guess you have to couch serious journalism in humour and trivia here. The way they picked on personalities is unique to the British journalistic scene. In terms of the individual cases, the worst thing for me was the flipping of homes and claiming for mortgages that didn't exist. But I think the system, with its lack of accountability, promoted corruption.

I would definitely not want to be an MP. The way the system works in Westminster at the moment is that an individual MP is utterly impotent, a complete and utter slave to the party. I have more power as a writer than they have. And, no, I don't think they should be paid more. They just need to justify their expenses.

I'm going to try and shake everything up again before the May general election with my new book Silent State. It moves on from MPs to look at the courts, the police, local government and this weird situation we're in now where the state knows so much about the private citizen and the private citizen knows almost nothing about the public officials running the state. The recent privacy laws have been hijacked by public officials to protect them from public accountability.

The upshot of the whole debacle is that the Commons passed another law that exempted their addresses. The rhetoric has changed but the practice hasn't. You still cannot get the receipts of MPs' expenses. All you can get at the moment are these incredibly censured docs.

It's really up to the public to maintain their outrage and to put pressure on their MP to behave well. Because at the moment you need to buy a disk off a businessman to find out what they're up to.

Heather Brooke

UPDATE: She has a new book out, just in time for the "election"

'Will strike fear into the hearts of politicians, assuming they have hearts. Anyone with a vote worth stealing should read this. You won't know whether to laugh or rise up and overthrow absolutely everything.' --Charlie Brooker

'Heather Brooke puts every other British journalist to shame. She single-handedly exposed the systemic corruption that had become an embedded part of parliament at the turn of the 20th century. In doing so she has changed British public culture and earned an essential place in our national history. She is an extraordinary figure who must be celebrated.' --Peter Oborne

'Secrecy is one of the great British diseases. It's so secret that we don't even admit we suffer from it. Heather Brooke is part of the cure - challenging the routine concealment and distortion of important information. There should be more journalists doing the same.' --Nick Davies, author of FLAT EARTH NEWS


David Cameron said...

Put that lady on a charge.
She has spoilt our troughing the bitch

Anonymous said...

I want to put my evil inside her.

Anonymous said...

I note Heather grew up abroad and has dual nationality. No wonder she has the guts to stand up for justice, she lacks the whining submissiveness that is part of the brit psyche.
It's why I gave up bothering and bought a place abroad: When it comes to actually doing anything, Johnny Englanders just cry and run to Nanny. They LIKE being dominated.

Guthrum said...

Bet she does not appear in the New Years Gongs And Faux Aristos list !

Expatnorge said...

Mine's not evil, but I want to put it inside her all the same !!

Anonymous said...

yes she did a grand job on those Bastards,now if she could turn attention to the Elites we might find out even more.

SO17 said...

Whenever you hear or read a story about some council which has banned this or that,names and a photos should be provided of the tossers who are behind it.
Someone must be making these crazy edicts and decisions.
For example,
"Croydon council have banned..."
is not good enough.
Who, in Croydon council decided to ban something is what we need to know.
If the person or people are elected,then you can vote them out.
If it is unelected officials making the decisions(more likely)then pressure must be put on the elected one's to get them sacked.

Ampers said...

What a dirty lot you are! At least, if I were fifty years younger, I'd propose to her :-)


Mark Wadsworth said...

Indeedy, she has done fine work.

A lot of the commenters above appear to be confusing her with porn actress Heather Brooke. That's somebody else.

Gallimaufry said...

Hey, ease off the 646 and the 700 odd peers as they are actually savants, just like the Rainman, unable to function socially except in safe surroundings (Parliament) where caring assistants meet their every need. They all share the exceptional ability of knowing the expenses regulations off by heart and can calculate complex sums mentally to ensure they claim the maximum each month and year. One, Jacqui S. wasn't sure where her main home was yet she was able to work out that she was due £119,637.Bless them all.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff Heather you do us all a great service. Many Thanks

opsimath said...

Thank you, Heather. You have done us all a great service at considerable cost and effort.

You deserve this award and no mistake!

Happy New Year, and please, never stop fighting for what is right!

Harri said...

I would not go a wandering near any wooded areas if i was her.

The State dont like the little people getting all uppity !

Fair play to her by the way, will Heathers book actualy reach the bookshelves,( debateable in todays Stasi Britain) i do hope the book is fnished and the manuscript in safe hands !

Anonymous said...

Another 'Thank you Heather'. She did what we either lacked the will or the money to do & did sterling work. Could we have more foreigners like her please? Isn't it funny though, despite all the work she did & the Telegraph did the pile of shite in both Houses refuse to admit they did anything wrong & are still trying to trough as much as possible.
Westminister needs a cleansing flame - preferably with the doors locked & all the troughers still inside. My motto for the GE is 'unless they're an exceptional Constituency MP don't vote for the present incumbent'. New blood all round would clean out the Augean Stables alsmost as quick as a fire.

Blogtrotter said...

What a woman. I want to have her babies.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11.18

"It's why I gave up bothering and bought a place abroad: When it comes to actually doing anything, Johnny Englanders just cry and run to Nanny"

You gave up bothering and ran off because it is you that lacks a spine. Just fuck off and get back to attending your orange trees you lazy, traitorous, fucking worm.

defender said...

Anonymous said...

I note Heather grew up abroad and has dual nationality. No wonder she has the guts to stand up for justice, she lacks the whining submissiveness that is part of the brit psyche.
It's why I gave up bothering and bought a place abroad: When it comes to actually doing anything, Johnny Englanders just cry and run to Nanny. They LIKE being dominated.

27 December 2009 11:18

Not at all like you then anoyingmouse, ran off somewhere safer did you, when it came to doing something you ran away, I dont know you but from what you have written I would not want you around as a mate, you would leave me in the shit. good riddance. said...

Big thanks Heather

O/T see the 'moderate muslims' are out in force condemning the latest attempted bombing and the daily fail have comments turned off on this and the EDL story

mungle said...

A heroine indeed. Sad that it took someone from abroad to spot the emperor's lack of clothing, and want to point it out.

modern british women are shit said...

Heather. Delightful! Intelligent and beautiful; the total opposite of the typical, apathetic, brain-dead, British couch-potato woman with no interests other than shoes, sales and shoe sales.

Anonymous said...

We all need Heroine.

Anonymous said...

'it's why I gave up bothering and bought a place abroad: When it comes to actually doing anything, Johnny Englanders just cry and run to Nanny. They LIKE being dominated.'

You cheese eating surrender monkey waster.

PS. Thanks Heather

Shoot and scoot said...

David Taylor MP dies suddenly on Boxing Day

Elby The Beserk said...

Tip of the hat to Heather. Many. many thanks for your sterling work!

Anonymous said...

Heather should have a huge bronze statue of herself made and fashioned out of bronze and set into an Ionic Temple. A hundred bulls should be slaughtered in front of her beautiful image between smoking pans of incense.

BenS said...

'Who, in Croydon council decided to ban something is what we need to know.
If the person or people are elected,then you can vote them out.
If it is unelected officials making the decisions(more likely)then pressure must be put on the elected one's to get them sacked.'

It's easy enough to get hold of meeting minutes and find out who tabled the idea.

Furthermore, it's not difficult to find out the personal address of councillors.

There we go.

Anonymous said...

who are the 6-8 public servants who've had their case details sent to the CPS for assessment? These people are public servants and we need to know who they are. If it was some scoundrel from a council estate they would have their details all over the press by now!!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget this is not much more than a distraction to the fact that our democracy has been surrendered to the EUSSR.

Duck houses will pale into insignificance in light of the fact that the people of Europe now have NO power and the fascist bankers and their royal backers now run the show.

Undemocratic totalitarian systems usually lead to death camps and oppression - we already have the oppression we are now just waiting for the death camps.

Keep this in mind if you are spending all your energy on such trivial matters as duck houses etc.

Anonymous said...

If anyone deserves elevating for public service to the HoL. It is surely people like Heather. Instead we get failed politicians eager to continue troughing.

Booty said...

Not surprised it took a Yank to save us yet again.

Many thanks Heather.

Old Holborn said...


Here are the 9 who are being investigated

bofl said...

re investigation ..........

it should be nearer 600!!!!!!!!

if those twats do not understand the rules then they shouldnt be mps!!!

add on the lords.........
the quango bosses.

the top plod.......

the councils.........

the hospital bosses etc....

you will find an endless supply of hoons that believe they are something special and we should pay!!!!!!

it has always been the same.....just becoz we have the net and mobiles doesnt mean that peoples natures change.........

our whole system in the west is built on slavery,exploitation and the theft of resources..........

think about it..
think about it every day that you go to work to pay tax so that mcmental can spunk it..........
so that darling can buy 5 houses.
jacqui can stuff her fat ugly gob with kebabs .

ed and yvette trough £600,000 a year + without a single thought for others.

etc etc...........

still at least there's some good of them has died!!!!!!!!

eight rounds rapid said...

Psychotherapist Lucy Beresford tells Daily Politics Gordon Brown is 'deeply insecure' and bringing Peter Mandelson back was "Freudian" bordering on "self-mutilating behaviour".

Perhaps the hideous crone, Harman, was right after all when she said we need more women in politics? If so, she was wrong to imply that foul shiteaters like herself were the appropriate type.

Congratulations to Heather Brooke and Lucy Beresford for sticking a much needed Boot where it was most needed.

An fine example to us all.

in case you were wondering said...

Bomber Had No Passport, Helped To Board Plane By Sharp-Dressed Man

"It has also been revealed that Mutallab's father contacted U.S. intelligence officials a month ago and warned them that his son was a threat, but nothing was done."

Have a Merry NWO Christmas, y'all.

Witterings From Witney said...

Have linked OH

Some Cunt said...

OH, I feel I should clarify what I said about lasers in a previous post. May I? I may? Many thanks, old chap.
Firstly, no one wants to injure anyone else unless they're mentally ill in some way or other. When I said you can blind someone with a class
3B or 4 laser in my previous rant, I only meant that you can blind them temporarily. For some 15 seconds or so, you can render them totally fucked-up and unable to do anything which requires vision. During this period you can, if you wish, club them repeatedly over the head with the nearest convenient wine bottle.
They would have been fine over the long term, however, had they succumbed to the natural blink-reflex. If they had moved on and gone about their legitimate business, no permanent damage would have resulted.
However, some people are impervious to reason: your chavs, pikeys, coons layabouts, opportunist-looters and whatnot. They will keep on coming, unaware of the damage their eyes are rapidly accumulating. These people will be temporarily blinded alright; they'll
maybe momentarily look away, but if they keep on coming, they'll have to keep on looking, and the damage will very quickly accrue. The highly colminated light generated by even a low-power laser takes its time to permanently blind someone. Slowly but surely, any stupid fucker that continues to attempt to advance on you will lose their eyesight. Their retinas will become detached; not straight away, but over the course of the next few weeks the permanent damage will become apparent to even the thickest fucker who will regrettably consequently become an even worse welfare hog for you as a taxpayer to support. But you have to defend your family by all means available when it comes to it...
This isn't pleasant to contemplate. But desperate times are coming and they're coming fast. The police are never here for you even in the best of times, so you need to protect yourself. Shotguns are all very well, but they're very black and white and you can easily end up on a trumped-up murder charge like that farmer from Norfolk did. I prefer the laser option, because it's the cunt that advances on you that takes the decision to blind himself. He could have walked away and suffered no adverse consequences. He didn't, so he's fucked. Get a laser whilst you still can. Class 3B or above in the green spectrum preferably but not exclusively. Shouldn't cost more than 30 quid. Trust me; it may save your life.
Any fucker that violates the inalienable rights of an Englishman deserves what he's got coming. You know it makes sense.

Our Media Corespondant said...

Some other Nigerian cunt pulled up for suspected terrorism on the same flight from Schiphol! The crew said he was verabally abusive and swearing. Don't they know it's just normal African cultchur? It's called 'Hip-Hop' you racist bastards.

africans are smelly and black said...

Fucking coons; they're all the same. Fancy taking an hour locked in the fucking toilet! I'll bet all that time wasn't taken up in having a shit!

SO17 said...

I should have been more specific.
That when the dead tree press like the'DailyMail'report one of these horror stories they should have a name and picture of the wonky cunt/cunts behind it.
As it stands the Mail gets people worked up over an issue then leaves them stranded.
I myself have five targets localy.
The cunt who lost £4Million ratepayers money in iceland.
Two councillors who fronted a bid for an ECO town and one official who put them up to it.
Also a tory councillor who is a troughing cunt and now under investigation by the DSS thanks too yours truly.
Craig Samms,former head of year at Monks Dyke technology college now works at a Focus diy store because
He was a leftwing cunt who abused his position.
I got that bastard.
Local politics can be fun as well.
Get involved.

Old Holborn said...

Exactly SO17

I can see the blood drain from their faces when I attend local council meetings.

If you don't stop them then, it gets a lot harder when they are in Parliament.

Invade your local council. Remind them who they work for.

Old Holborn said...

Exactly SO17

I can see the blood drain from their faces when I attend local council meetings.

If you don't stop them then, it gets a lot harder when they are in Parliament.

Invade your local council. Remind them who they work for.

SO17 said...

Cheers OH,
This is another small but important issue which i'm involved.
Speed limits.
Look through your local rag and amongst the planning notices you will see the proposed changes to speed limits.
Survey them yourself and if you feel the lower limit is inappropriate and there is no or little previous accident history.Bang in an objection.
A lot of speed limits are reduced purely because of local perception and not because of actual accident history,which in reality may be non existent.
The ticket you get and the bollocking from a rightious copper are often based on the perceptions of a few old farts who decided to complain about a nonexistant problem.
Not all objections are a success but we are making a database of our local limits which are set too low.
We aim to make them public so that poor buggers who have been fined can refer back to our initial objections and use it as a possible defence.
Wow.I wrote all that and didn't say cunt.

caesars wife said...

Shell gets a "well done" from CW , poked a stick and torch beam into the whiffy concrete sceptic tank of labour double speak and the quiet opposition .

the telegraphs special suppliment was probebly the seal being broken on the super strength disenfectant , although I give fawkes most succesfull Blogg attack on smear emails , actually delivering the writ iced his bun .

Quite liked Camerons new year message and most folks are just waiting for ballot box day at the moment , how bloggs will take to positive message is hard to say as there is some real venom for labour out there with the public , they know the ruins debt is trouble , but they probebely wont see it until after the election.

Mandelsons idea that the ruin had not been upfront with the costs as giving him more hand to shape to events , will play a risky game indeed , the ruin has no intention of being clear and honest , we shall see how clean it will be CW wont be putting any bets on. The ruin has done more damage than labour are telling , if not he would have been keener on his own positive message by now.

Fox hunting is being slightly misrepresented by Benn , as foxes still have to be controlled , they are a bit small for a clean shot , and snap traps or banned nooses useually involve the a more nasty death , but if you follow benns logic why not quit poisening rats , or gassing alledged TB harbouring badger sets. I know of no farmer who wants to eradictae all natural wildlife from there land !! they just want populations that dont affect there ability to farm (not that the rual economy hasnt been ruined). Only wonk labour would put a team of vegitarians into a mixed farming economy portfolio, knowing full well that we could not supply a vegaitarian diet to feed our country whilst at the same time continuing to cultivate the need for GM foods (of which no example has not proved to either de wealth farmers or have mixed results).Put it this way the only people making money out of GM foods are GM seed owners and the agri chemicals businesses .
Funny that Benn not mentioning using expensive stronger chemicals to deliver the yields , or why no study into the continual blitzkrieging of the soil eventually lowers the soils condition making valuable crop rotation measures difficult .

Only farm Benn runs is orwells animal farm

Anonymous said...

I'd like to say I was sorry about that MP popping his clogs on Boxing Day but - I just see it as 1 down - and still 600+ to go.

Scumbags Out! said...

Sick as ever to see a rag-head coon from Niggeria described as "British" in the MSM. More than ever cause to Close these filthy lying cunts down.

Anonymous said...

And that heroin-smuggling cunt in China!! Does he look British????? I don't think so!

Anonymous said...

What do you look like?

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