Review of 2012: Expenses Cheats, Liars and Criminals

Another year, another crowd of venal, lying, cheating ‘honourable’ members bringing shame upon the Mother of Parliaments. There was much cause for celebration in November as the Standards and Privileges committee finally found that the disgraced invoice falsifier Denis MacShane was guilty of swindling tens of thousands of pounds worth taxpayers’ money. They described it as “the gravest case which has come to us for adjudication”, and MacShane’s career was over before this crooked, corrupt, gutter politician could say slush fund. Guido hazily remembers cracking open the seventh bottle of Chateau MacShane that fateful autumn afternoon. It’s now in the hands of the CPS...

Back in January Guido kicked off the year by launching a campaign against the MPs food and drink subsidy. This blog revealed that the taxpayer was subsidising their rib-eye steak and chips to the tune of £5.93 a pop, forking out £3.15 for each seared pigeon breast and chipping in £5.27 for each glazed belly of pork chowed down by our honourable members. John Bercow said there was nothing to see here. The old media didn’t agree…

rent-swap-150As the year drew to a close another expenses scandal threatened to cost the jobs of several MPs at the next election. Guido caught a few rent-swappers of his own, it will be interesting to see how Stephen Dorrell, Linda Riordan, Meg Munn, Andy Burnham, Chris Bryant, Helen Grant, Bill Cash, John Whittingdale, Peter Luff, Jessica Lee, David Amess, Kevin Barron and Don Foster fare in 2015.

thieving-politiciansA review of this year’s expenses cheats would not be complete without a special mention for piggy-in-chief Margaret Moran. She received a two-year treatment order after she was found by a court to have committed 15 counts of false accounting.

And, lest we forget a politician who takes our money and laughs in our faces, wish a happy anniversary to Gordon Brown



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Quote of the Day

Labour’s Austin Mitchell muses on the campaign:

“What’s the problem? No use pointing at the leader. Too late to change and unnecessary for Miliband is doing well at Question Time. His problem is connecting with the real world. He doesn`t speak people and his protective team of naive kids are playing West Wing rather than letting the leader relate to real people. We could point at the party, shrunk in numbers and enthusiasm because everything, from policy formulation to candidate selection, comes top down rather than bubbling up from below so campaigning becomes the opium of members deprived of any real role, though they`re not even sure what they’re campaigning about, with or for, but its role is marginal.”

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