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Oxburgh's undisclosed interest

The House of Lords Commissioner for Standards has issued his report on the conduct of Lord Oxburgh, the latter having been the subject of a complaint from BH regular Don Keiller. Although several allegations were made, the commissioner decided that only one was part of his remit, namely Oxburgh's failure to disclose the fact that he was an advisor to a renewable energy investment fund called the Real Energy Asset Company. Here are the findings:

I am satisfied that Lord Oxburgh's role as an adviser to the RAEF would be thought by a reasonable member of the public to be a relevant interest for the purposes of the Code of Conduct. The responsibilities of the advisory board quoted above make membership of it akin to the offices and bodies required to be registered under category 10 of the Guide to the Code of Conduct (paragraph 79). Accordingly, I am of the view that he should have registered his membership of the advisory board in the Register of Lords' Interests and that he breached the Code of Conduct by not doing so.

Lord Oxburgh has been candid and cooperative throughout my investigation. I am satisfied that the relationship between him and the RAEF was imprecise. Lord Oxburgh was surprised to learn that his association with the RAEF had been publicised on the organisation's website. Lord Oxburgh took prompt action to disassociate himself from the RAEF (see appendix E) and has demonstrated a clear desire to uphold the standards of the House and to avoid any embarrassment. Thus, I was content to agree remedial action with him. Lord Oxburgh has "put the record straight" by ending his connection with the RAEF and has written to the chairman of the Sub-Committee on Lords' Conduct (appendix F) apologising unreservedly for not being more careful and for giving rise to the complaint. I suggest that no further action need be taken.


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Reader Comments (23)

One law for the Greenie Members of both Houses of Parliament and another law for the rest of us. But the rest of us foot the bill!

Dec 16, 2013 at 9:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

So that's all right, then.

Dec 16, 2013 at 9:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Well done Don.

Dec 16, 2013 at 9:02 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Lord Oxburgh was surprised to learn that his association with the RAEF had been publicised on the organisation's website

Did I understand correctly that he was concerned about it being publicised, not concerned at all at the obvious conflict of interest in the first place?

Dec 16, 2013 at 9:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobinson

There is a general, multi-national erosion of ethics, starting at the top. This Lord should not get to use ignorance as a defense. It is touching that apparently he is most annoyed at getting caught.

Dec 16, 2013 at 9:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

"Lord Oxburgh has been candid and cooperative throughout my investigation."

Just warms the cockles of your heart, dunnit.

Dec 16, 2013 at 9:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid, UK

From the Ecclesiastical Uncle, an old retired bureaucrat in a field only remotely related to climate with minimal qualifications and only half a mind.

A minor transgression, then, satisfactorily dealt with.

But the question that should be discussed in the corridors of power is whether the news that the good lord had connections, albeit not very big, with a green outfit now reveals that he was (and probably still is) biased and was possibly not a fit and proper person to run his enquiry. If he had interests in skeptic outfits there could obviously be some doubt, but, in their absence, it would be legitimate to ask why he had the green connection if he had no interest in the warmist cause. His answer, one supposes, would be a lot of convoluted waffle (as usual), but those who receive it should judge it on its relevance to his appointment, and not on the intricacies of the confounding arguments.

I am not sure that rerunning the enquiry would serve any purpose, now. Others may know otherwise. But if I am right, the denizens of the corridors of power should, at the very least, recognise, that the questions the good lord was asked to answer have not, in fact, been addressed.

One supposes that that realisation could have some influence on policy.

Dec 17, 2013 at 4:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterEcclesiastical Uncle

It looks like the Commissioner thought it was another “blinder well played” by Oxburgh. Is there no depth to which the establishment is not prepared to sink?

Dec 17, 2013 at 6:52 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

It is Don who has played the "blinder" - well done, Don.

Dec 17, 2013 at 7:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterGummerMustGo

"Lord Oxburgh has been candid and cooperative throughout my investigation" which took place during a number of excellent lunches out and dinners which fortunately can be claimed back on expenses, at the club of which we are both members, don'cha know, old boy.

Dec 17, 2013 at 7:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Well just one coat of 'magic ' green wash makes any stain vanish , so no problem .
The madness of AGW is typified by the way these old school Tories like Gummer , who would normal be hate figurers of the left become their 'hero's ' by the application of magic green wash .

Dec 17, 2013 at 7:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterKNR

Presumably, if your misdemeanours are disclosed and investigated one at a time, it lessens the impact on the public perception of your wrong- doing. However, some of us are counting.

Dec 17, 2013 at 7:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Just amazing. So if I murder someone and get found out by someone who noticed I can get away with it as long as I say sorry and get that person to hide the information. There you go, now I can continue doing it except that I must not publicise it. If I do I can just un-publicise it say sorry and orf we jolly well go again.
TRough, trough, trough, slurp, slurp slurp.

Dec 17, 2013 at 8:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

He's a Scouse, I'm a Scouse, the faux cough during the Select Committee on Climate and Technology told me all I needed to know about him.

For reasons not made clear to me the BBC use this man to tell us about the problems we're not going to face with energy generation whenever there's public unease. They invariably introduce him as a former Chairman of Shell (get it Big Oil man agrees there's not going to be a problem with renewables) he always says there's not going to be a problem and there'll be a mix of nuclear, wind, solar and CCS!? He is, of course, the Chairman of Flack Renewables a company devoted to R&D on CCS, he was chairman of Shell as an interim for 18 months for about 7 years ago. When I complained to the BBC that they should have made clear what his real job was (sucking money from the public teat) they told me to bugger off. I got to the second line of defence with all the documentation and they told me that he was chairman of a renewables company but it was okay not to tell the public that as, in their view, he hadn't made a special plea for CCS.

I appealed to the Trust who upheld my complaint as it was in black and white in the BBC's own charter. You can imagine my pride at getting that august organisation to admit that they'd broken their own rules, especially as it concerned global warming policies.

They still use him.

Have been considering changing my Nom de Plume to Phyrrus.

Dec 17, 2013 at 9:17 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Good effort, Geronimo.

Dec 17, 2013 at 9:28 AM | Unregistered Commentermike fowle

I'm hoping Lord Oxbung is one of the first of many- I have other "targets".
And let's face it the Houses of Parliament are "target rich environments".

As I have said before, such action will be much more effective if it is done by the many, rather than the few.

In short, less hand-wringing and more direct action!

Dec 17, 2013 at 9:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Don, well done, but they have us on a hook, provided troughers, does Yeo come to mind? are open and honest about their troughing they can influence policy as much as they like towards more money for troughing - does Yeo come to mind?

Dec 17, 2013 at 10:05 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

@Geronimo Yes, Troffa does spring to mind- I made a complaint to the HoC Commissioner (and the Police) about this parasite and unfortunately he exuded sufficient green slime to slither off the hook. It doesn't mean we should stop trying.

The main problem is that corruption has effectively been legitimised by the simple expedient of stating "I have an interest.... " before speaking/making amendments which directly benefit the firms they "advise"/are board members of..
You can only pull them up on "technicalities", as I did with Oxbung.
Let's face it the rest of our "Honourable" Members are not going to blow the whistle, as they are in a deep as the person they denounce- and those in glass houses......

What is needed is a root and branch reform, so our "representatives" are not allowed these outside interests. It may well mean playing them considerably more for the job, but I think it would be money well spent.

Dec 17, 2013 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Well done Don - Thank you

Dec 17, 2013 at 3:50 PM | Registered Commenterretireddave

Lord Oxburgh - the headline in Wikipedia

"Lord Oxburgh is well known for his work as a public advocate in both academia and the business world in addressing the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and develop alternative energy sources[2] as well as his negative views on the consequences of current oil consumption."

What gives any of you sceptics the idea he might not be impartial !!!

Dec 17, 2013 at 3:55 PM | Registered Commenterretireddave

Don't forget that fellow members (of the HoL) are in the habit of turning up for 40 minutes in order to claim their £300 daily allowance. Nice work if you can get it.

Dec 17, 2013 at 11:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

well done from me as well Don.

it is getting beyond a joke that these jokers just skip to the side, then carry on regardless with the help of their chums (were all in it together, as the saying goes).

the public are gradually getting more exposure to this blatant abuse/cashing in by so called public servants thanks to you, Bish & others.
give Joe Public enough info & money details & you've done all you can (I assume Rose & Dellers are aware, but best to drip feed this to Joe Public for max effect).

ps. before they skip to the side like a Shaolin monk, we need to kick them in the b*lls (good kick grasshopper).

Dec 17, 2013 at 11:25 PM | Unregistered Commenterdougieh

whitewash 101: one crooked lord scratches the back of another

quelle surprise

Dec 22, 2013 at 9:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterSean

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