CORRUPTION & THE HOUSE OF PEERS: WHY THE LABOUR KETTLE SHOULD BE SWITCHED OFF.

The Slogger wrote menacingly last night about all this Lord Ashcroft hypocrisy blowing up in Peter Mandelson’s face, so you can’t say we didn’t warn New Labour. As this pot-boiler of a non-story keeps returning to the stove, here’s an answer to send all Slog readers home happy for the weekend.

There are 156 Labour MPs in the Commons affiliated to, supported by or active in the Unite trade union. The union itself has a membership of 1.3 million people, all of whom are forced to pay a political levy to the Labour Party. And as the Telegraph so admirably dug up earlier today, the Government has been siphoning off taxpayers money through a front-fund in order to recycle it straight into the Labour Party’s funds.

I sniffed out this stuff simply by going to the Left Foot Forward website. If the Government wants me to, I’d be very happy to expand fully on the tone of the Unite site, which I would place somewhere between Ken Leninspart and the obnoxious BA union leader Steve Turner. (If there’s ever a remake of I’m Alright, Jack, Mr Turner is a shoe-in for the Fred Kite role). Unite is a pernicious organisation which, although quite clearly just as incompetent as any other left-wing body, is openly proud of its influence on the Labour Party.

Now let’s turn our attention to the Upper House, and record the disgraceful extent to which the Government has favoured its own over the last thirteen years.

When Tony’s bright new dawn broke in 1997, there was a Tory majority of 12 in the Lords. (There are over 700 peers, but most of them are cross-benchers, senile, and/or bored with Party politics regardless of persuasion). That majority has now been reversed such that there’s an advantage in the opposite direction of 22.

Between 1997 and 2001 alone, the Blair Government created 111 new Labour peers. That’s a lot of Labour peers. On his departure, Mr Brown will also be allowed to dispense largesse. Nobody knows for sure how many of them are nondoms, although the scrupulously honest Labour peer Lord Paul (£38,000 claimed on a second home that was a hotel, advance to Mayfair) reckons there are well over a century, if that’s an appropriate term.

The most famously created peer of Labour’s reign over us after Lord Ashcroft is Lord Mandelson, a man who requires perpetual motion in order to stay ahead of the clouds beneath which he so dearly deserves to be. Discreet veils have so far been drawn across expensive watches, naked boys on rocking horses, Communist silliness in his youth, and more recent indiscretions of a Hungarian nature. But all this could change very easily if he really is detrmined to drag this election down into the sewer behind him.

To the neutral undecided voter, I say “Face it: politicians are bought and sold, slippery and weak. There is nothing to choose between the Parties,or their injudicious perfidy – and if there was none of that kind of their thing in their natures, the Whips would have no power”.

And to the Guardian and Channel Four and small enclaves in the BBC, I would offer advice along the lines of glass houses, stones, black kettles and sooty pots.

Finally, to those with a brain and a hunger for reform, I say vote Tory if only to keep the mad people out if you must – but preferably, don’t support any of them.

And as for you Libdems, put your house in order on the constituency-expenses-filtering-back-into-Party-coffers scam, or you can have a taste of this too.

Good day to you, and have a very pleasant weekend.