Tuesday, September 6 2016 at 7:30PM
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38 West Street
What's the talk about?
On Tuesday 6th September Chichester Skeptics welcomes Martin Williams to talk about his new book Parliament Limited. Martin's talk will look at the myriad of financial interests and dealings of our elected representatives that raise questions over whose interests they have at heart; the public's, big business or their own.
Recent events have shown how the national interest can take a back seat to the personal ambitions of politicians, yet for an even starker example we do not have to look too far back, The expenses scandal of 2009 lifted the veil on a grand cculture of self-enrichment at the taxpayers' expense. From frivolous claims for duckhouses or moat cleaning to the more unscrupulous practice of flipping second homes, MPs were exposed to accusations of serving themselves rather than the public. In Martin's new book he challenges the idea that the system has been reformed. He points to the fact that the expenses bill is actually 43% higher than in 2009 and he has uncovered claims for hotels, taxis and flights that show the excessess of MPs still exist in plentiful. His talk will highlight some of the worst cases and reveal how MPs are still milking the system.
Martin's talk will also look at the pratice of MPs having second jobs. These are often tied to the arms trade, finance or big business and many MPs hold a multitude of directorships in these industries. These roles are often obscured through intermediaries, and, coupled with a defunct and difficult to decipher Register of Interests, hard to discover. Used as a way to maximise their income, second jobs unavoidably lead to accusations of bias and a conflict of interests. That these roles risk undermining our democracy is a point Martin will explore on the night.
This talk will interest all those who wish to know more about the inner workings of our government and how we can move towards a more open and transparent system,
All are welcome at the Chichester Inn. Doors 7:30pm and tickets will be priced £5 at the door.