Lord John Laird in hot water over Fiji ‘gig’…

John Laird has a record of being somewhat indiscreet… But, this is not looking good…

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  • Morpheus

    Sure it’s only a bribe, what’s all the fuss about? Watch how they get off and it’s brushed under the carpet even though his actual words were “It’s a bri… I’ll deny having said this, but it’s a bribe.”

  • Mick Fealty

    REALLY? I’d prefer to wait and see, but this is a man convicting himself with his own words… surely?

  • Well. there are some bribes and then there are others. “Darling, if you agree to go to Toronto with me next weekend, I’ll treat you to the Opera”.
    I think we need more information before condemning the buffoon/court jester. Is this a significant part and parcel of the disgraceful and possibly illegal activity of Patrick Mercer?

  • SK

    “I think we need more information before condemning the buffoon/court jester.”

    ____

    He says he’s accepting a bribe. I mean he actually comes out and says it. What more information is needed before condemning him?

    Surely this extends beyond merely stepping down and into criminal charges?

  • Morpheus

    BBC news reporting that Lord Laird has resigned the party whip. It’s a start

  • 241934 john brennan

    To be fair to Lord John Laird he seems to make membership of the House of Lords his life’s work and main source of income.
    He is top of the league for attendance, questions asked oral and written, expenses claimed, both travel and accommodation.
    What’s more as Laird Laird, he devotes some of his free time to promoting Ulster Scots. Perhaps we should give him a bit of leeway. Let the first among us who has never given ourselves the benefit of the doubt, when claiming travel expenses, cast the first stone.
    Not so long ago, NHS doctors were charging their patients £10 each for countersigning postal vote application forms.

  • Seems to have been an entrapment exercise by press elements. Not reporting news but creating it. Citizen Hearst would have been proud.

  • John 8675309

    ‘To be fair to Lord John Laird he seems to make membership of the House of Lords his life’s work and main source of income.
    He is top of the league for attendance, questions asked oral and written, expenses claimed, both travel and accommodation.’

    Come now, follow your line of thinking through and tie it in with the story; do you not think questions might be raised as to why he is in attendance in the Lords so often and asking A LOT OF QUESTIONS?

  • Mick Fealty

    Pat Mercers resignation makes Lairds defence option down to something close to zero, I would have thought.

  • Rory Carr

    Before we rush to exonerate Laird and other because they have been subject to underhand entrapment by journalists eager to get (or make) a story whatever the cost, we might consider that, if they were on a fishing exercise, it was because they had reason to believe that this pond was well stocked with particularly fat fish all too eager to have a bite at any juicy bait that might be dangled before them.

    In short, it had been broadcast abroad that these particular fish
    were greedy little beggars.

  • Rory Carr

    “Laird and others” of course. Apologies.

  • “do you not think questions might be raised as to why he is in attendance in the Lords so often and asking A LOT OF QUESTIONS?”

    footballcliches, one of the reasons John has to ask so many questions is because some Ministers often won’t give a straight answer to a straight question until they are boxed into a corner. Here’s an example of a simple answer from Lord Adonis that took about six or seven attempts to extract:

    Lord Laird (UUP)

    To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Rathlin ferry MV “Canna” had a valid passenger certificate throughout September 2008.

    Hansard source (Citation: HL Deb, 9 December 2009, c140W)

    Lord Adonis (Secretary of State, Department for Transport; Labour)

    Further to my Answer of 29 June 2009 (Hansard, col. WA 23) the MV “Canna” did not hold a valid passenger certificate between 1 and 11 September 2008.”

    This answer at the first time of asking would have saved a lot of time and effort by those John had decided to assist; the obfuscation was detrimental to the claim of transparency and accountability in governance – it might even discourage voter turn-out.

  • Nevin,

    You are actually missing my point, would you like me to point it out? Lord Laird looks like he takes bribes for questions, John 8675309 notes that LL is in the Lords asking a lot of questions, is there any chance that maybe he has taken other bribes for asking questions?

    Mick, if anything here is libelous I trust you’ll delete and moderate accordingly and apologies in advance

  • Noble lords on the take! Shock? Horror?

    In some cases it seems almost hereditary (why does Andrew Cunningham of the Poulson scandal leap to mind?).

    Such expropriation and exploitation is catalogued, in forensic detail, in the Domesday Books.

    Now, should we consider how the Lairds became established in the Barony of Strabane Lower Or, indeed, how those baronies were imposed?

  • So, how many of our fearless investigative journalists have never expanded their daily expense claims or never taken home pencils or ballpoints for their children. Venality is all around us.

  • cynic2

    “asking A LOT OF QUESTIONS”

    Its against the rules for me to be paid to ask questions but if you pay me and my mate asks them and isn’t paid then that’s ok then within the rules. And those are the Rules of the Lords not the law.

    Unless of course a jury were to decide that that might amount to a conspiracy or a breach of the Bribery Act but so far we are well off that yet so lets see the evidence on exactly what was said or done – this will run and run. Expect a series of complaints to police next

  • Thanks Cynic,

    ‘Expect a series of complaints to police next’

    I do indeed. In many ways LL is rather unlucky tho because if there is anything untoward confirmed by a jury he will be made an example of.

  • Alias

    He should have said it was a “foreign junket” rather than a bribe, since that is what he actually meant. Foreign junkets are a form of ‘bribery’ widely used by NGOs, embassies, corporations, and domestic state departments. But as he was stupid enough to call a junket a bribe…

    Snouts in the trough, and all that…

  • Sp12

    Lord Laird money grubbing?
    Well, that is shocking.

  • Alias

    Incidentally, he’d still have been dumb to call it a junket (even if he wouldn’t have hung himself) since they are called ‘research/fact-finding/investment opportunity/cultural exchange’ missions by the snouts. Marty and Peter seem rather fond of that trough.

  • footballcliches, I addressed your capitalised point directly. As for any possible impropriety or wrong-doing, I hope the authorities can sort that out promptly.

  • cynic2

    The video on BBC is hilarious

    “I’ll deny having said this but it’s a bribe”

    Deny it all you like then. He also seems a bit confused referring to it as “Fuji” as opposed to “Fiji”. Ah well, same ocean.

    “Taxi for Lord Laird” then.

  • Jack2

    It was around 24 hrs ago I was quoting another Sluggerite in ref to Mrs Paisley’s elevation to the House being a bribe. Now we have in their own words evidence that the whole thing is potentially a “Mickey Marley Roundabout” of greed and corruption.