May 8th, 2009

Expenses Freedom of Information : Villains and Heroes

We know who the villains of this charade have been; the Speaker, the backbenchers of the parliamentary Labour and Conservative Parties.  Gordon Brown has nothing to be proud of, he constantly failed to push reform forward because he could not carry his backbenchers.  The YouTube debacle was his last minute desperate attempt to be seen as a reformer.  Disastrous.

Stuart BellThe shameful Members Estimate Committee, particularly Sir Stuart Bell, has done everything in its power to frustrate meaningful reform.  Clegg’s LibDems have been better, though they have their embarrassments too (yes, Guido means you Lord Rennard).  Cameron too has bitten the bullet even though he must know there are going to be a heck of a lot of revelations about his party.  The Conservative Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin’s role has been very suspect and it is fair to say that Cameron’s stated position and the behaviour of his Chief Whip have often appeared incompatible.

Heather BrookeSo much for the villains, who are the heroes in this affair?  One heroine stands out.  Heather Brooke fought for years to get the details of MPs use of the public’s money into the public domain.  She fought the parliamentary authorities long and hard in the courts.  The deviousness of the parliamentary establishment can’t be overstated.  This is her victory.

She was aided and abetted by the press, particularly some of the tabloids, freedom of information campaigners, pressure groups like the Taxpayers’ Alliance and last but not least, bloggers. There is one more hero who should not be forgotten, the person who has blown a digital whistle on this whole charade.  It does not matter if the whistleblower has done it partly for money.  Mercenaries can sometimes fight heroically for freedom.


207 Comments

  1. 1
    EC1 PhD says:

    Well done Guido!

  2. 2
    A M says:

    Nice Totty.

  3. 3
    PoliticalBetting Twat says:

    Err…first!

  4. 4
    Inspector Knacker of the Yard says:

    The whole sorry mess reminds me of the ending of Animal Farm, when the pigs start looking, dressing, acting and snorting like humans. Only Napoleon Brown, Snowball Smith and all the other little piggies have been gorging on the myth that they are public servants like TwoLoos “Man of the People” Prescott.

    It was all started by the President Elect of the EUSSR – Mr Blair – who fiddled the House of Lords and bribed a Commons he hardly ever turned up to (a bit like his role in the Middle East) – so that he and his henchmen could hold sway over a corrupt and venal, but very obliging bunch of odious crooks.

  5. 5
    resurgemus says:

    When do we see the speaker’s expenses?

  6. 6
  7. 7
    lololol says:

    Nice to see a pretty face on here instead of the mugshots we are used to.

  8. 8
    StrongholdBarricades says:

    and will he resign?

  9. 9
    Leonard Hatred says:

    On seeing the name Heather Brooke, I was under the impression the original internet queen of deepthroat had a new vocation. Still- congrats to this Ms Brooke for some sterling work.

  10. 10
    Augeas says:

    Congratulations to Heather. Even though Gordon and co are clearly unembarrassable, let’s hope that when Cameron’s stuff comes out, he realises that we have to have a proper clean up for the next government.

  11. 11
    Carnot says:

    A right little piggy, and biased too.

  12. 12
    Non-Partisan Contributor says:

    Someone should tell Michael Savage about Jacqui Jackboot husband’s interest in gay porn.

  13. 13
    Not foaming at the mouth says:

    This whole thing bores me Guido, a lot of hot wind and self righteous puritanism.

  14. 14
    lololol says:

    The problem is somebody voted them in,liebour was voted in three f*kin times,three chomps at the trough.

  15. 15
    Anonymous says:

    She’s got come hither eyes. Bet Mandy hates her.

  16. 16
    lololol says:

    Tune in to something else then

  17. 17
    john in cheshire says:

    Well done to Heather Brooke. Yes, she is very attractive, and it is such a refreshing change to have a good looking person doing good things. Rather than the ugly socialists who have made this country such an ugly place to live. I hope that blogs such as this don’t forget her in the coming years when a more amenable government might be persuaded to give her some form of recognition – the Trinity Cross for instance.

  18. 18
    Johan says:

    Three cheers for Heather!

    And a quiet boo for me for never having heard of her or this campaign until it all blew up!

  19. 19
    Anonymous says:

    Yes Well done that Woman.

    I had almost forgotten that it was Hether Brooke’s efforts that had brought all this about. Her Country owes her a great debt, though I somehow doubt she will be awarded the honours she deserves.

  20. 20
    Augeas says:

    Interesting. So you see nothing wrong here. Perhaps HMRC would like to look at your expenses.

  21. 21
    Hugh Janus says:

    Yes, full marks to Heather Brooke. We owe her one….

  22. 22
  23. 23
    Plato says:

    Ooooh nice one

    *looks up email address*

  24. 24
    Anonymous says:

    Standby for an increase in swine flu. Over 600 MPs now feeling pig sick thanks to our heroine Heather.

  25. 25
    sinosimon says:

    Guido, why are you not pressing individual correspondents on this? The MSM all meekly accept the lie that ‘its all within the rules’?
    The claims for cat food, pot plants, patio heaters, barbecues……NONE of them are within the rules because they are not related to the MP’s function…..unless I’ve missed St Jacqui griddling burgers at the despatch box during home office questions…..?

    So why, why is nobody of the people who are supposed to be our representatives in the MSM asking the right questions……how did those pots plants help? Did the cat do constituency work? How did the fact that your microwave was sparkling aid you in your fight for social justice Prime Minister?

    If Gordon Brown doesn’t really want to put the domestos down his own toilet, or wipe the sink clean at the end of the day he has my wholehearted sympathy. Neither do I. But whether these mundane tasks are performed or not has NO bearing on his doing his job as an MP or PM. He pays someone else to do it, fine. But it is fraud to claim that back from the taxpayer, pure and simple. Within the rules…no.

    Their acquiescence shows them to either be as out of touch or as morally bankrupt as the politicos. So press them Guido, as they sure as hell don’t listen to us.

  26. 26

    Heather Brooke is hot.

  27. 27
    Afghanistan says:

    Four more UK soldiers have just died in Afghanistan.

    Meanwhile, back at home, there’s all this grubby self-enrichment of those who sent them there. Blair now has 6 homes. Quite a contrast.

  28. 28
    resurgemus says:

    A bit like sanctimonious Martin “Omerta” Bell in the Guardian today.

    He sat among them for years and knew what was going on but refused to blow the whistle.

    Now he’s thinking of standing again at the next election against – surprise , surprise another Tory – as if Jacqui Smith, Hoon and company don’t exist.

    No doubt he’ll be back on the BBC pontificating on the moral questions but he’s just as guilty as the rest, as he passed no comment on what was happening around him.

  29. 29
    HowZat says:

    From Richard Littlejohn today re. mediocre Jaqui Smith “……..She maintains that her family house in Redditch is her second home, so she can claim tens of thousands of pounds in parliamentary allowances to which she is not entitled.
    But she also registers the Redditch property as her principal residence with her local council, which means she won’t have to pay capital gains tax when she comes to sell it.
    Meanwhile, she pretends to the Commons fees office that her sister’s spare bedroom in South London is her ‘main’ residence.
    And that allows her famously to charge ‘second home’ expenses for Redditch – up to and including the kitchen sink, a patio heater and her husband’s pornographic movies.
    This isn’t just an abuse of the system, it’s wholesale theft and criminal deception. In any other line of work she’d be helping the Fraud Squad with their inquiries. ……”

    Perhaps Redditch Open Prison should be her 2nd home for a while ???

    (And Brown maintains that this is all “within the rules”? )

  30. 30
    Reds Under The Bed says:

    My favourite bit of the Telegraph’s coverage of cabinet snouts in the trough was the focus it put onto Prezza’s food consumption (maximum for every year) toilet seats (repaired twice), lavatory fixings and £658 for repairs to ‘a section of drainage’.

    It’s a wonder the strain of disposing of the thousands of tons of foul-smelling dung from that fat bastard’s fat arse didn’t collapse Hull’s entire sewage system.

  31. 31
    Plato says:

    I can’t believe [well yes I can but that’s another matter] that peeps of religions other than the national one of England have found a way to complain about the Trinity Cross medal – on the basis that it is ‘Christian’ and therefore demeans their human rights FFS.

    Plato = Card Carrying Atheist.

  32. 32

    Heather Brooke? Fiesty young filly, I should coco, what!

    I can’t help thinking that this is a stitchup for the Tories as the MSM get the Labour sleaze out of the way now and then use the weekends and the days running up to the June elections to make way for a drip-drip of Tory dodgy expense claims.

    More here

  33. 33
    GeordieJim says:

    Yes – women like Heather Brooke and Joanna Lumley offer a wonderful contrast to the back-scuttling bottom-feeders like the Ginger Stump or Jacqui the Cockney Slapper.

  34. 34
    Not foaming at the mouth says:

    He who is free from sin, cast the first stone

  35. 35
    lololol says:

    Pravda saying plod being called in to deal with leaks

  36. 36
    Obsessive Knitter says:

    It’s all unravelling. So is this whole fucking charade of ‘public service’. Nice one to the whistle-blowers, moles and other dirt-diggers. Can I knit you a nice cardy, in thanks?

  37. 37
    Forlornehope says:

    Nothing wrong with mercenaries:

    Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries

    These, in the day when heaven was falling,

    The hour when earth’s foundations fled,

    Followed their mercenary calling,

    And took their wages, and are dead.

    Their shoulders held the sky suspended;

    They stood, and earth’s foundations stay;

    What God abandoned, these defended,

    And saved the sum of things for pay.

    A.E. Housman

  38. 38
    Anonymous says:

    Oh Dear

    The Pigs are now calling in the Pigs to investigate this expenses “leak”.

    I wager not one MP will be investigated for criminal activities though.

  39. 39
    Minekiller says:

    Heather Brooke should be knighted. This is a service to the British people, to see their ‘leaders’ exposed as shameless fraudsters.

  40. 40
    HMRC's Bleeding Stone says:

    Careful Plato – you’ll be in the email database associating with a known undersrable.

  41. 41
    Technomist says:

    Will his wife ever be arrested?

  42. 42
    HMRC's Bleeding Stone says:

    Make that “undesirable”

  43. 43
    Max says:

    How very dare you, Guido, the McMental is certainly not to blame! Over on Sky News he is telling it as it is; apparently when challenged about the expenses, Mr McBroon said “The system doesn’t work. I’ve said it doesn’t work, it’s got to be changed. We voted for change and that change has got to come quickly.” He added “It was’nae me! It was’nae me! I said to them big boys wot done it, don’t you do that but they did it an’ then they ran away”.

  44. 44
    Anonymous says:

    “Mercenaries can sometimes fight heroically for freedom.”

    Guido, You’ll have to a lot fucking better than that to get Joanna Lumley championing your cause for a comfortable old age.. – still no harm in trying !

  45. 45
    It all started in America you bastards!!!!! says:

    So I see the police are to be called in over the CD of the scumbags expenses. Will these Hunts at Westminster never learn?

    If they’ve done nothing wrong (as the scum keep claiming) then why hide it?

    I had to laugh at rent a gob Hazel Blears running away from the TV cameras.

  46. 46
    Technomist says:

    Go and fiddle with your expences then

  47. 47
    Tory Dan says:

    I wish I could get the police round so quickly, when my house was broken into it took hours for just some standard PC’s to arrive nevermind CID!

  48. 48
    Minekiller says:

    So confirming what we always suspected. That he really is full of shit.

  49. 49
    Technomist says:

    Its the slow smouldering silent ones you want to watch out for

  50. 50
    Not foaming at the mouth says:

    Listen to you all, just accept you are mostly on the wrong side of 35, ditch the ‘with the kids’ wide eyed stupidity and belief that you are involved in something meaningful and get on with your lives.

  51. 51
    Dave Figgley says:

    Ha ha, son. I’m chucking a huge one. Must dash; my pension is capsizing in a dinghy off the coast of Ireland.

  52. 52
    Anonymous says:

    I don’t suppose they will use their ID card slogan, if u’ve nuffink 2 hide then u’ve nuffink 2 fear.

  53. 53
    Plato says:

    Hmm, I smell a distraction.

  54. 54
    James Keir Hardie says:

    Brown didn’t fiddle anything … he forged that cleaning receipt to his brother so he didn’t look like the only boring MP not on the fiddle.

  55. 55
    Plato says:

    Yes Derek

  56. 56
    riesler says:

    No chance – numbers can be rigged (see No2 of the caption comp).

  57. 57
    Clive Bonkers says:

    When I go outside for a fag break can I claim that as an expense?

  58. 58
    Anonymous says:

    Certainly second that!

  59. 59
    Technomist says:

    Yours for a fiver

  60. 60
    riesler says:

    Is she Gordon Brown’s cleaner?

  61. 61
    Mrs Crewe says:

    simple solution to quote Kenny Everett “Round ‘em up put ‘em in a field and nuke the bastards”
    Or
    Build a mp’s halls of residence it can be as plush as you like with all the mod cons like pool, gym, dominatrix chamber all the things they love. It would be easier on security and MI6 would love it as it would halve their budget on spying on the mps

  62. 62
    Sir William Waad says:

    As a Knight of the Moroccan Order of Ouissam Alaouite, I have never objected to the medal of our proud Order bearing the Muslim confession of faith in its red enamel centre.

  63. 63
    Let's all get back to monetarism and sound a sound economy says:

    If you pay tax it should interest you. If you are in receipt of money from the state like the people who refer to themselves as “hon” and “right hon” then of course it can only bore you frighten you.

  64. 64
    HMRC's Bleeding Stone says:

    “If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear”.

    Isn’t that what they tell us about ID Cards or the DNA database?

  65. 65
    IRB says:

    *tears*

  66. 66
    resurgemus says:

    Which side’s the wrong side ?

  67. 67
    resurgemus says:

    Would Harriet be the dominatrix ?

    Bit scary.

  68. 68
    Dunfesterin - hammer of the English says:

    ffs she’s a ginger minger!! Are you Hunts so hard up??

    Daft Tory twats.

    Anyway Guido, who’s this “mercenary” you speak of? It can’t be you, you wouldn’t big yourself up…. would you ;-)

  69. 69
    Not foaming at the mouth says:

    Not Derek, just more interested in righting the terrible shit visited upon this country over the last ten or so years in terms of disastrous policy than strapping on the old tall hat with a buckle and screwing up the face in contorted self righteousness. Lot of villagers carrying torches up to the monsters castle/chavs throwing stones at prison vans.

    Oh, and looking forward to a few pleasant pints in the sunshine.

  70. 70
    Anonymous says:

    The worst of this is that these corrupt bastards have passed some of the most repressive and intrusive laws in our history whilst thieving from us on a grand scale. The slightest transgression of any of their thousands of laws is jumped upon and heavy fines are issued with the burden of proof in many cases being upon us to prove ourselves innocent.

    Now we can see why they needed to steal so much of our money for these invented misdemeanours. The bastards want stringing up.

  71. 71
    Mark says:

    This may be a little late, but I am I the only one to have noticed the similarity between Hazel Blears’ ‘ .. UTube if you want to..’ and Mrs Thatchers famous ..’ U T urn if you want to. the lady’s not for turning..’. If Im right, was HB or her speechwriter aware of the resonance? And if so, what was her underlying message?

  72. 72
    John says:

    Why the hell has no-one stepped up to the front line and created a financial fund to obtain car window stickers for people to bye denoting “Stuff Labour Like They Have Stuffed You”
    as an example.
    Being in my mid seventies £25.00 would make a hole in my weekly costs,so come on Guido with your many contacts give this idea some thought,and support the 65% who want Labour Out.
    Luvvly Jubbly,you know it makes sense

  73. 73
    Dream On says:

    my taxes ,your taxes are being used therefore you and I have a say what happens,if your not interested in where your taxmoney goes that’s up to you,why don’t you go and watch tv or get a life.

  74. 74
    Affluent hoon says:

    The lower side.
    When I was 35 I had an eff-off huge mortgage and no money.
    I’m 58 now and my mortgage is paid off and my savings are considerable.
    So ############ to the lot of you!!!

  75. 75
    Anonymous says:

    Gordon just said on the Telly. “MPs have to live in two places at once”

    No they don’t Gordon.

  76. 76
    Mary Hinge says:

    224-6

  77. 77
    Faux Cough says:

    Wagon Wheels?

  78. 78
    Master Baiter says:

    Who funds the ‘Taxpayers alliance’?
    Is it one of the usual non tax paying spread betting company millionaire types?
    If it is the ‘Taxpayers alliance’ won’t be paying any tax soon because they won’t have any money.

  79. 79
    Dr Feelgood says:

    Jesus, they really are spiteful little shits, aren’t they?

  80. 80
    P.C. Filth says:

    As the great Jim Morrison said; ‘People are strange’. He could have said ‘stupid’ but that wouldn’t have flowed so well.
    As long as we are given Hobson’s Choice, every 4 or 5 years, some ©unts will have to vote some other ©unts into power. Doesn’t mean the voters are ©unts.

  81. 81
    Sarah says:

    Professional victims, Plato. They’ll look tirelessly for something to be offended about.
    And because of their low self-esteem, they will always find something.

  82. 82
    resurgemus says:

    I object to you hounding Shaun Woodward – leave the man alone he’s had a hard day avoiding answering questions about his expenses

  83. 83
    Pienomics says:

    You clearly don’t pay tax. Also it’s not just about being ripped off by our elected representatives it’s about their hypocrisy and lying. Vile people.

  84. 84
    Marvin says:

    The power of the Chief Weasel has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished. The ferrets and stoats may only gorge. So they do. Weep for the parliamentary democracy we once inhabited.

  85. 85
    Dr Feelgood says:

    They’ll end up looking like twats like they did with the Damian Green episode.

    If they think the people are going to be distracted from the real issue, then they’re sadly mistaken.

  86. 86
    Sarah says:

    Of course, and don’t forget to put the packet of fags and the match you used on expenses.
    Did any rain fall on your jacket when outside? You could claim for the cleaning too.

  87. 87
    Reds Under The Bed says:

    How ironic, Guido, that the banner ad on this story thread about the serial abuse of the ‘John Lewis list’ should be none other than John Lewis.

  88. 88
    Anonymous says:

    Totally unacceptable for any minister, but particularly so for the Home Secretary. If there is any justice then plod should investigate her – after she’s resigned of course.

  89. 89
    Swiss Bob says:

    Keyboard’s knackered.

    Yes, a modern day heroine.

    Inspired by Mr Fawkes list of excuses post I have created BULLSHIT (EXCUSE) BINGO for fellow conspirators to play over the weekend. Prizes are on offer, sort of.

  90. 90

    The worst thing about these revelations of petty venality on the part of some of our politicians is that they reinforce the general disillusionment with our politics and our politicians, just at the time when we desperately need widespread public support for action by governments everywhere (and governments are staffed by politicians) to get us through a massive global financial and economic crisis caused by a handful of much greedier private sector financiers, not at all by politicians. Bloggers, and the parasites who merely comment on blogs (mostly skulking behind pseudonyms), might pause before they join in the sneering clamour of contempt and hatred of our politicians, to consider whether a few injudicious claims for bath plugs and new boilers for second homes are really so much more wicked than the money-grubbing greed and deliberate obfuscations of what the bankers and hedge fund managers and co. were doing with other people’s money to make millions for themselves while bringing down the whole financial system on which millions all over the world depended. Let’s keep this thing in perspective, OK?

    Brian
    http://www.barder.com/ephems/

  91. 91
    Dream On says:

    Not Guido’s invisisble tea-shirt offer is it SB.

  92. 92
    Trough Mixture says:

    Omnipresence now? The list of this fecker’s talents would shame an Apprentice contestant. Next week – Foundation Wave Parting.

  93. 93
    Dream On says:

    It’s called placement,where else apart from Parliament do they talk about the John Lewis list

  94. 94
    M.T.BUCKET says:

    They shoud be in the HoC makeing arrests.

  95. 95
    Anonymous says:

    Why doesn’t Woodward let his butler answer the questions.

  96. 96
    Goodbye and thanks for all the fish says:

    The problem is this: our way of governance has been overrun by tawdry, mean spirited, little people riven by petty ambitions and nasty, ugly values.

    It is at last clear that the country is run in a third rate way because it is run by third rate people.

  97. 97
    M.T.BUCKET says:

    Even orwell did’nt foresee this one.

  98. 98
    Wight Tory says:

    Yeah but he gets fed then decides he don’t want it anymore…how many refunds did get?

  99. 99
    Cassandra King says:

    Yeah!

    Oh the humanity!

    How dare these uppity taxslaves demand value for money and accountability?

    The job of the taxslave is to work like dogs to fund the lifestyle and ambitions of the commissars and KNOW THER PLACE?

  100. 100
    Geo says:

    if found to have defrauded the taxpayer … make them resign and force a by election. Full blown general election anyone?

  101. 101
    Talwin says:

    There was one years ago which said ‘Don’t blame me, I voted Tory’.

  102. 102
    Augeas says:

    They’re not in the prison vans, they are still in power. Once they are brought to justice, we can relax. Surely you can see that the policy f*ckups and the stealing are inseparable: they are all part of the same malaise, of believing that appearances matter more than reality, and having no clue what a moral compass is, let alone using one. There is no attempt to get policies that work, all that matters is how they will play politically. And why does it matter a Prescott’s dump what age we are? We’re not trying to get down with the kinds, you are.

  103. 103
    Augeas says:

    Sorry typo, “kids”

  104. 104
    Jonathan Aitken says:

    If it falls to me to start a fight to cut out the cancer of bent and twisted journalism in our country with the simple sword of truth and the trusty shield of British fair play, so be it. I am ready for the fight. The fight against falsehood and those who peddle it. My fight begins today. Thank you and good afternoon.

  105. 105
    Mrs Jones says:

    Well done Guido Fawkes for your part in outing these scoundrels. Keep up the good work.

  106. 106
    Augeas says:

    Not the taxpayers, unlike you and your thieving mates.

  107. 107
    Jimmy says:

    “Mercenaries can sometimes fight heroically for freedom.”

    If you say so.

  108. 108
    Anonymous says:

    And then nuke the halls of residence.

  109. 109
    Lord Lord Rennard says:

    Het es en vos?

  110. 110
    Anonymous says:

    Arrest them all on suspicion of fraud and thake their DNA!

  111. 111
    Ordinary Nobodies says:

    Cannot ordinary nobodies recommend people for honours?

  112. 112
    T .England says:

    Yep, agreed :o)

  113. 113
    Swiss Bob says:

    Not even that good.

  114. 114
    Muppet says:

    I shall raise a glass or two (bottles more like) to whoever leaked this stuff. A weekend of fun is in the offing.

  115. 115
    Chris Jupp says:

    If you are listing heroines, don’t forget Elizabeth Filkin – “Elizabeth Filkin’s departure from her role as parliament’s sleaze watchdog is as mired in controversy as most of her time in the job.

    Having won her appointment in February 1999 Ms Filkin’s investigations into Keith Vaz are said to have prompted whispering campaign attacking her reputation.

    And she has come in for more public criticism from the plain speaking former Speaker Betty Boothroyd who complained about the high-profile Ms Filkin maintained.” – BBC 5/12/2001

  116. 116
    Visit Wales! says:

    Llebnitram

  117. 117
    Richard Timney says:

    Indeed, there should be more pictures of the greatest Home Secretary ever. And the performers that she pays for me to watch.

  118. 118
    Muppet says:

    *Grins and rubs hands*

    That’d be good for a larf!

  119. 119
    Salvatore Riina says:

    Hey! Itsa whata Silvio Berlusconi wasa doing ina Italya pointing outa that socialista are a ugly!

  120. 120
    EC1 PhD says:

    That’s why Hull City Council recently spent £350 million upgrading it’s storm drains because when it rains and Prezza’s in town, the whole system blocks up.

  121. 121
    Reds Under The Bed says:

    What I want to know is who was the male MP (now retired) who claimed for two packs of Tampax?

    My money’s on Blair – I wouldn’t put it past that hideous wife of his to freeload her fanny-rags out of the public purse – ’cause she’s worth it.

    Or maybe Little Lord Fondlebum. I’ll leave you to concoct your own reasons – this is, after all, a weblog with decent standards to uphold.

  122. 122
    Plastic Scouser says:

    Jackboot Jacqui Smith is a Worcester woman.

  123. 123
    EC1 PhD says:

    They’re all in hock

  124. 124
    CB says:

    Heather is American. Says a lot about us Brits that we did not start this process. She was used to openness in American government and could not believe the secrecy surrounding, amongst other things, MPs’ expenses.

    So she would have to be nominated, as I understand it, for an honorary Honour.

    She has a number of campaigns going, one of which is relevant at present in light of the government’s wish to privatise the Ordnance Survey. As Heather says, we, the taxpayers, have already paid for everything produced by this organisation, so why should it be privatised and we then have to pay again for the data our taxes have already purchased. In the USA such data is freely available to companies that may then add value to the raw data for subsequent sale. This openness has lead to a growth in applications of this and similar data. See her web site yrtk.org for much more detail.

    The lady certainly deserves an honour.

  125. 125
    The Donald Trump says:

    That is Homes Secretary. She owns two of the things or one as the case maybe.

  126. 126
    Visit Wales! says:

    Idiots! Leeks should be dealt with by chefs!

  127. 127
    EC1 PhD says:

    A little late but a welcome reminder.

  128. 128
    Visit Wales! says:

    Bi-location. Omnipresdcence would be if they were everwhere at once. Remember Visit Wales It would visit you if it could!

  129. 129
    EC1 PhD says:

    Perhaps if you hadn’t hesitated?

  130. 130
    Richard Timney's hanky says:

    Cooo – eee

  131. 131
    Anthony Charles Lynton Blair says:

    Would this be the same Sir Stuart Bell who doesn’t even reside in this country never mind his constituency for most of the year?

    The people of Middlesbrough are waking up to you you Hunt.

  132. 132
    EC1 PhD says:

    No wonder my cesspit smells of wild garlic and porcini ravioli with a hint of parmesan

  133. 133
    Fanny by Gaslight says:

    excuse me while I just go and count my teaspoons

  134. 134
    Hanging Chad says:

    Three cheers for the Brigade of Palace of Westminster Gurkhas who fight for freedom and knowledge on such poor mercenaries’ pay.

  135. 135
    Trough Mixture says:

    My thanks.

  136. 136
    GeordieJim says:

    Why does she sound as though she’s looking after a whelk stall then? Perhaps she’s just trying to talk posh because she’s Home Secretary (that is until she’s sacked)

  137. 137
    Rufus Stone says:

    Yeah – she’s got some (Wocester) sauce

  138. 138
    PoliticalBetting Twat says:

    I couldn’t, I was wiping me knob-end with a tissue.

  139. 139
    Luke says:

    Fwooooar ! Heather Brooke!

    badda badda badda shawiiiiing badda!

  140. 140
    peter carter-fuck says:

    I vote that McSnot’s torso should kept be in Fife, and his head on a pole outside the Tower of London.

  141. 141
    peter carter-fuck says:

    Compared to these fucks Aitken was honest. The arabs paid for his stay at the Ritz, not the poor bloody taxpayer.

  142. 142
    45iq is a Hoon says:

    Your photo of our heroine Heather is too cropped – Heather’s not just a brainy dedicated campaigner you know! She has other attributes that your co-conspiring Heather worshipping readers can also appreciate and admire!

    See here for example:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-566757/Meet-redhead-FINALLY-forced-MPs-publish-expenses.html

  143. 143
    Tax Payer says:

    Surely the way The Prime Minister G.Brown pays his flat cleaning bill , if it is correct , via his brother to the cleaning company to lessen National Insurance Contributions then it amounts to tax evasion by all three of them.
    HMRC please take note.

  144. 144
    Ivor Biggun says:

    Indeed we do Hugh, I’m sure we’d all like to give Heather the one we owe her!

  145. 145
    EC1 PhD says:

    Your honesty does you proud.

  146. 146
    Ive got a leaky porch can I bill my MP says:

    Dont worry there is a full enquiry into mp’s expenses currently underway chaired by the errr….Speaker.

  147. 147
    Anonymous says:

    The Blairs are a pair of c unts on the make !

  148. 148
    You Couldn't Make It Up says:

    Oh no not again! Hypocrite of the first order and a Labour pawn who lied to the electorate – who thought he was an ‘Independent’ Read all aobut it here:

    http://www.guardianlies.com/Section%205/index.html

  149. 149
    This is what happens in the real world says:

    This is what should happen.

    1. Home sec resigns
    2. Visit from knacker
    3 Report to Crown
    4. If sufficient evidence based on the facts and not on who she is then prosecution for Fraud.
    5. Appropriate sentence if convicetd.
    6. assets seized under proceeds of crime act .
    7. All money deemed to be gained by fraud repaid in full.
    8. Public apology.

    Next…

  150. 150
    Mary says:

    Jesus put that rock down this minute !

  151. 151
    You Couldn't Make It Up says:

    Re 147, I’m referring to MPiggy Matin Bell – I wonder what expenses he claimed btw

  152. 152
    Mary says:

    Maybe if you paid your taxes and didnt rely on hand outs from the state you would feel differently !

  153. 153
    Mary says:

    Well the seem to believe two things at once !!!!

  154. 154
    Know your history says:

    Shaun Woodward makes the celebrated Vicar of Bray look like a man of principle !

  155. 155
    Anonymous says:

    and that which he done wrong was paid for by some porridge, not like these lying fucks !

  156. 156
    Anonymous says:

    Police called in:

    Police were this afternoon asked to investigate the leaking of MPs’ expenses as public anger mounted over the extravagant claims.

    The news that Commons authorities have asked the police to move in came as Cabinet ministers shamed by their expenses claims united to put the blame on other people .

    The Prime Minister, whose claims included cleaning services organised by his brother, said “the system” was at fault.

    Lord Mandelson accused the press of smearing politicians while Hazel Blears, who listed three different addresses as her second home in the space of a year, said it was all approved by Commons officials.

    Public beheading called for. UP THE REVOLUTION.

  157. 157
    Gladys Pew says:

    Just watched ITV news with Mary Nightingale quizzing Harperson on expenses, vis a vis two toilet seats and john Prescott. Harperson was banging on about expenses being for basic necessities for a 2nd home to enable MPs to do their job and the brilliant Mary utters “Horse manure”. Harperson blinks and says “Pardon”?
    Mary replies “Horse manure, one of the MPs was claiming for horse manure”. It was one of those priceless moments. The girl deserves a promotion.

  158. 158
    thespecialone says:

    She is rather delectable…yummy yummy.

  159. 159
    thespecialone says:

    Yep I would love there to be a full election now…but there wont be.

  160. 160
    thespecialone says:

    According to the ITV news it was a Tory who claimed for Tampax

  161. 161
    Anonymous says:

    On the same news wires as the death of 4 more soldiers 2 of them Gurkhas, who they are seeking to deny British citizen ship.

    You politicians are venal corrupt pigs and you make me sick.

  162. 162
    Fanny by Gaslight says:

    Didn’t even realise that there could be an organisation worse than Ingsoc – Scotsoc.

  163. 163
    Pete-s says:

    4 soldiers killed in action, Parliament politicians justifying their greed. Sums up Liebour Britain.

  164. 164
    Fanny by Gaslight says:

    Yeah I won’t get distracted at all. Who do you reckon will win Britain’s got talent tomorrow?

  165. 165
    Störtebeker says:

    “mediocre”! – are you feeling generous today?

  166. 166
    Fanny by Gaslight says:

    “…the lady’s not for tubing” is the logical continuation. Was it a hint that she is not the colonic irrigation culprit?

  167. 167
    Fanny by Gaslight says:

    I considered one of these stickers, but eventually decided it would guarantee a keying if I parked it in Paisley.

    “Death to the Whigocracy” would be a better one, as it would confuse the hoodies and polytechnic history graduates who never got further back than WW2 evacuees.

  168. 168
    Fanny by Gaslight says:

    That would be poetic justice, as most of our transplant organs go to foreigners, in the interest of “fairness”. So if you see a plumber with a glass eye and a face like a dog’s ares, you’ll know the surgery was successful.

  169. 169
    court of public opinion says:

    Oh I wish Id seen that, can someone put it up pllllllleeeeeeeeeeease !

  170. 170
    court of public opinion says:

    Vaz is a fucking c unt

  171. 171
    Fanny by Gaslight says:

    Swiss Bob – can you fit this onto one of your bingo squares?

  172. 172
    Fanny by Gaslight says:

    When you say “bottom feeders” are you referring to them as pond scum or ares lickers? On second thoughts – that question is probably rhetorical.

  173. 173
    Minekiller says:

    This is not a weblog with standards that protect criminals to uphold. In fact the problem with the UK is that NuZanuLieBore (war criminal, lying, thieving incompetent scum) have simply exploited the fact that the Brits have been traditionally uncomplaining high standards kind of peoiple.

    Maybe a Tory did claim for tampons, or a Labour Jock for a 5p tescos bag…semantics. They are proven criminals. Election? forget it. AK-47s.

  174. 174
    Ian King says:

    Can somebody start a petition on the No 10 website proposing her for an award in recognition of her services to freedom of information and hastening much-needed reform in the Parliamentary expenses system? I’m not sure if this is a suitable proposal for a petition. If such a petition managed to gather a momentum of support then it might act as a powerful message to those in power as to the strength of public feeling. I’d certainly recommend her for a gong…

  175. 175
    Nausicaa says:

    The conduct of government rests upon the same foundation and encounters the same difficulties as the conduct of private persons:that is , as to its object and justification, for as to its methods, or technical part, there is all the difference which separates the person from the group, the man acting on behalf of himself from the man acting on behalf of many. The technical part, in government as in private conduct, is now the only one which is publicly or at any rate generally recognised, as if by this evasion the more difficult part of the subject, which relates to ends, could be avoided. Upon ‘ the law of nature and the law of revelation,’ Blackstone said, ‘depend all human laws.’ This quaint language, which would at once be derided if it were introduced now into public discussion, conceals a difficulty which is no less ours than it was our ancestors’. C.H.Sisson

  176. 176
    Reg Buttox says:

    Well done Heather

  177. 177
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    Andrew Sparrow has this to say, ref calling in the fuzz to find and shoot the messenger. It is a summary of advice from the CPS over the Green affair.
    “The advice was that if the contractors [putting the documents on to computer disk] had leaked this information, that would have been clear breach of their contract. If the Commons employees had leaked it, that would have been a clear breach of their employment contract. But neither of these would have constituted a crime. The commission also considered the issue of theft, but the advice was that the Theft Act defined theft as denying the rightful owner of the possession of their goods. Making an extra copy of something does not deny the owner possession of it. The commission was told that they were not in the realms of intellectual property. There was an issue around selling personal data, but the Commons tried arguing at the Freedom of Information tribunal and the high court that this information was personal data and that argument was rejected by the court. So it wasn’t really clear that there were grounds for calling in the police.”
    So unless intrepid Labourgraph reporters dun a Watergate, someone is wasting police time

  178. 178
    King Karlos says:

    Brian,
    whilst I agree that the reporting of the expense claims could have been constructed to cause maximum damage to the Labour party in the run up to the June elections and perhaps that there are questions to answer about the leaking of the material to the Telegraph I think you are rather missing the point here. There has for a long time been a huge public appetite to shed some light on the expense allowances enjoyed by our “honourable” members of parliament. It is all well and good to suggest that the media and the blogosphere have between them whipped up the frenzy of public opinion (congratulations on picking out one Guido’s more vitriolic contributors to illustrate your point). However let us not forget that when evidence comes to light of of the sheer scale of generous allowances available and paid for by the taxpayer (see John Lewis list etc..) of which many of us can only dream of in these tough recessionary times, does it not make you question why disclosure has attempted to be blocked at every turn by Parliament? I make comments on Guido’s site and I take great exception to being labelled a “parasite”. I am an average earning ordinary working man who takes great interest in understanding where his income goes. MP’s ultimately have a duty to us to provide an effective democracy at a value that is fair to all. Let us not forget that an expense is just that. Not a target to be reached.
    Now Brian, here is an alternative perspective for you to consider. Why did a so-called “socialist” government spend its time in office cosying up to bankers and hedge fund managers by implementing light touch regulatory frameworks that allowed the culture of greed to overwhelm the global financial markets? And now, in an amazing and hypocrital volte face, that same government turns it’s back and crys foul at the mess the city got us into. It wouldn’t be the rules would it …. no, definitely the fault of the greedy bankers. Move onto expenses and, hang on a minute…., no it’s not our fault, it’s the rules that’s the problem. Can you see the difference? No, because there really isn’t one. We are not sneering Brian – that would simply imply that we do not care – we are totally and utterly indignant.

  179. 179

    As she is an American, it’s not possible to put her forward for an Honour. Though I am sure there are other awards she could be put forward for.

    http://thatsnews.blogspot.com

  180. 180
    'kinnell says:

    and what makes it worse in the case of Smith is that as Home Office minister she has always been entitled (and still is) to a grace and favour residence in London with all expenses paid and no need to put in any claims at all

    yes, her husband could wank himself silly on the taxpayer ‘cos the TV bill would have been part of the normal running expenses of the house and we would never have known-

    she passed up all this so she could work a grubby little racket with her sister claiming her sisters front bedroom as her “second home” and probably splitting the proceeds

    the thing that really repells me is the small time crookedness of it all and the complete lack of any grandeur of criminal design

    hardly in the Madoff league.

  181. 181
    Macciavelli says:

    Great stuff, inspiring. But what are we all going to DO ABOUT IT?? You still only have the option to vote for these corrupt parties. How about a MILLION PERSON MARCH on Parliament? Bring the entire city to a stop? A general strike until they reform themselves? Or better still, a new REFORM PARTY with all existing MPs and party members excluded from membership – only ‘ordinary people’ would be allowed to stand?

  182. 182
    Woman on a Raft says:

    Wasting Police Time is a criminal matter which can carry up to 6 months in prison.

    Wasting Police Time – section 5(2) Criminal Law Act 1967

    (Archbold 28-224)

    The offence of wasting police time is committed when a person

    * causes any wasteful employment of the police by

    * knowingly making to any person a false report orally or in writing tending to:

    * show that an offence has been committed….

    Examples of the type of conduct appropriate for a charge of wasting police time include:

    * false reports that a crime has been committed, which initiates a police investigation;

    * the giving of false information to the police during the course of an existing investigation.

    The public interest will favour a prosecution in any one of the following circumstances:-

    * police resources have been diverted for a significant period (for example 10 hours);

    * a substantial cost is incurred, for example a police helicopter is used or an expensive scientific examination undertaken;

    * the accused knew, or ought to have known, that police resources were under particular strain or diverted from a particularly serious inquiry;

    * the report is persisted in, particularly in the face of challenge.

    See CPS guidance on Public Justice Offences.

  183. 183
    Dick the Prick says:

    Nowt to say – hey up Guido!

  184. 184

    If Chapaquidick Kennedy can be knighted, she certainly deserves a greater honour. Perhaps a seat in the Lords, Lady Brooke of Information.

  185. 185
    Scallywag says:

    Forever Heather…

  186. 186
    Archie says:

    A cracking candidate for “Tottywatch”, surely Guido?……………. I certainly would!

  187. 187

    […] (1)November 2004 (3) As indeed many bloggers say, for example politicalbetting has this, Guido has this.Well done Heather, and thank you very much.I don't actually think the system of MP's […]

  188. 188
    Anonymous says:

    PRESCOTT needs TWO TOILETS cos he is so FULL OF SHIT!

  189. 189
    loafer on the sofa says:

    she’s better as a red head, makes her eyes stand out more. Her web site has two good pics on it at the bottom of the first page.

    Love the freckles!

  190. 190

    For my response to an almost identical comment on my own blog, please see
    http://www.barder.com/ephems/1705#comment-84881.

  191. 191
    Marco Polo says:

    At last, a Guido blog post that is more than Schadenfreude. Kudos to you and to Heather Brooke (whom I’d never heard of, but then I don’t have the fortune to live in Brownland). I will no doubt soon be disillusioned, but she seems by your account to be a (gasp!) principled human being in politics. I give her 10 minutes.

  192. 192
    Teesside Tom says:

    Nice to see you giving a dishonourable mention to ‘Sir’ Stuart Bell, Guido.

    The man should be sacked by his constituents at the next election because he has no interest in them whatsoever.

  193. 193
    Sir Stuart Bell-End MP says:

    Is that likely? I think not!

    Those who vote for me are the lowest of the, chavvy, drugged-up, dole-scrounging low. They haven’t got a clue about Politics and long may that continue because it enables we to keep happily pocketing expenses.

    Teesside Tom, you are deluding yourself if you think I will lose my seat at the next election. In fact, thanks to the widespread ignorance of my electorate I will doubtlessly be one of the very few Labour MPs left!

    Ker-ching!!!!

  194. 194
    SiberianTory says:

    This guy is my MP.

    He spends most of his time in France and despite spending decades in Parliament he’s never risen higher than church estates minister. Who says scum always rises to the top?

    The local Labour association quite happily informed us few Tories that they have de-selected in for the next election. Some new young face is being wheeled in. Apparently, his relationship with the local Labour hoons is so acrimonious that they didn’t even bother to invite him to the selection process. Given that the local Labour party can’t stand him why does Middlesbrough elect him? Because you could put a red rosette on a donkey here and they’d vote for it. SIGH……

  195. 195

    […] Tireless in her efforts to achieve greater political openness, including MPs expenses, she has been credited by Guido Fawkes for her part in this. She even inspired this humble FOI request…. 0 Comments […]

  196. 196
    Steve says:

    Please can we get someone to stand against Gorbals at the next election – by convention the main parties won’t stand against the Speaker so it’s a two horse race with the person with the guts to stand against him…

  197. 197
    Steve says:

    This is disgusting. As a Christian currently living in a Muslim country, I could just imagine what would happen if I was to make the same arguement in reverse.

    The taking of extreme offence from Muslims who think that the UK should “convert” to Islam is a huge problem in the UK, we need our judiciary to stand up for what we have always belived in.

    Sir William 62, big up to you. I would of course not complain if I was offered an honour from a Muslim country, I would accept it and feel pleased that the country chose to honour me. Why can’t Muslims in the Christian UK believe the same…?

  198. 198
    Steve says:

    I’d give her one…. ;-)

  199. 199
    Steve says:

    …and one of them is a Cpl Kumar Pun, from the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles.

    Should be interesting when the one eyed snot eater reads out his name at midday on Wednesday.

    RIP Mr Pun, you were prepared to die for the country that does not wish to let your honourable colleagues live here…

  200. 200
    Steve says:

    This is fraud, plain and simple. The council should ask her to clarify which are her first and second homes. She can’t have it both ways…

  201. 201
    Big Lenny the Jew says:

    She’s British – parents and passport.

  202. 202
    Mervyn Rosenberg says:

    A poem by A E Housman entitled:
    Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries

    These, in the day when heaven was falling,
    The hour when earth’s foundation fled,
    Follow’d their mercenary calling
    And took their wages and are dead.

    Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
    They stood, and earth’s foundations stay;
    What God abandon’d these defended,
    And saved the sum of things for pay.

    Mercenaries are often honerable – and worth their pay.

  203. 203
    Stuart of Leeds says:

    Heather Brooke- a fantastic megaphone for the voiceless majority

  204. 204
    Stuart of Leeds says:

    According to the paper I read yesterday(Can’t remember which one) Hillary Benn MP has played fair by expenses, He’s my local MP too, I may decide to vote this time as I’ve given up hope in the past.

    http://www.writetothem.com/

    This is a site to try to actually get in touch with your regional representative..enjoy the moment before they invade another country to deflect opinion.!

  205. 205
    Stuart of Leeds says:

    Great idea, but power corrupt’s. It’s throughout history.

  206. 206
    JG says:

    Dear British tax payer

    What are we, the employers of what I can only describe as people (MP’s) who knowingly walk a tightrope verging on dishonesty even if it is “within the rules”

  207. 207
    Stuart of Leeds says:

    Stephen fry needs his expenses investigated after his admission on tape, probably frauding the taxpayer run BBC ..But nowt will happen either.!, talks like he’s from another planet.

  208. 208
    Stuart of Leeds says:

    Joanna Lumley-just how good did she get Woolas MP to squirm on film..Priceless, Deserves an award “Maybe a paxman medal if one exists” Lol.

  209. 209
    G. says:

    This bunch of mendacious s—s need to be exposed to the closest scutiny
    T’would be hoped that prison sentences would follow, but I’m not holding my breath!


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