Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Simon Danczuk the 'Anything Goes' MP

'Ipsa Rules Are Too Vaguely Worded,' says Rochdale MP
HARD-WORKING Rochdale MP, Simon Danczuk, among other things studied sociology and politics at Lancaster University.  Some years before Simon commenced his studies at Lancaster
the philosopher Paul Feyerabend had written his book 'Against Method:  Outline of an Anarchist Theory of Knowledge' published in 1975, about the philosophy of knowledge.  Some of the academics in the sociology department at Lancaster University such as the ethnomethodologist, John Hughes, and the post-modernist, Scot Lash, were influenced by Feyerabend's writings.  Feyerabend proposed an 'Anything Goes' approach to the sociological and scientific method which amounted to a 'rough-arsed' approach to the accepted rules for doing research and breached Karl Popper's recommendations of the methodology of 'falsification'.
Thus, it may be that Simon Danczuk's case that the 'Ipsa rules are too vaguely worded' with regard to his lavish expenses claims may have its roots in his own intellectual upbringing at Lancaster University: the Rochdale Observer this week states:
'An initial analysis of the accommodation claims for the parliament suggests Mr Danczuk had the highest total claim in the country between 2010 and 2015.'
Purists may complain about this, but it well be that Simon Danczuk the politician in filling -in his expenses claim forms is merely following the intellectual requirements and recommendations put forward by Paul Feyerabend - 'Anything Goes'.
The rules of Ipsa state that the allowance for dependent children for accommodation is only available to MPs whose children are 'routinely' living with them and being cared for in London.  Mr. Danczuk MP seems to have put in a claim on the off-chance that his children of which he has four by two different mothers may come down to live with him:  as Danczuk says - 'I have always made it clear that my children are welcome to come and live with me at any time and I have made sure I was able to support them properly when that would happen.'   But did it happen?  Well, Mr Danczuk also claimed for 34 train tickets - many of them first class - for his children to travel to London since 2013.
Mr. Danczuk has said:  'My Ipsa claim was made4 properly and at a time when it was expected all four of my children would regularly come and stay with me at the same time.'
So there you have it!  The rules are 'vague' and a busy hardworking MP living a modern family life like Simon Danczuk schooled in an 'anything goes' methodology and philosophy at Lancaster University, may assume that this would give the right to put his expenses claims in a similar spirit of what Feyerabend himself called 'epistemological anarchy'.

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