January 6th, 2014

200 Ministerial Car Journeys Taken Without a Minister

More than 200 government car journeys were undertaken last year without a Minister in the car. After George Osborne pledged this morning to make government smaller and leaner, Guido suggests the Chancellor has a look at the government car data for 2012/13 that was quietly published today. In 2012 the government car pool was broken up and a vehicle given to each department, yet a small pool was kept for ‘top up journeys’. Hidden within these additional rides is some very poor planning, or very lazy Ministers, who are using this service to ferry their red-boxes unaccompanied around the country. And we’re paying for the pleasure.

The Deputy Prime Minister is amongst the worst offenders, using empty cars to ferry his boxes 52 times. Hague relied on this trick 41 times and Gove 23. While the worst offender was former Trade Minister Lord Marland, who clocked up a bizarre 61 extra journeys on our tab for his boxes, the LibDems seem to have a particular penchant for this perk. David Laws managed it 21 times, Sarah Teather 14 and Danny Alexander 22 times. That is one cut the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has not managed to find. 

Transport Minister Stephen Hammond is clearly struggling with the 5.7 mile commute from his constituency in Wandsworth to his desk in Westminster; he has got his box sent over 19 times on top of the 138 ‘top up’ journeys he took himself. By comparison Cabinet Ministers such as Osborne, Maude, Greening, Clarke, Shapps and Hunt managed to organise their departmental business with zero such trips. No costs for these journeys were published. 


  1. 1
    Toxic Labour for Spongers, Parasites, Immigrants and Criminals says:

    No surprises here then?

  2. 2
    albacore says:

    Osborne’s talk is cheap, unlike Parliament
    Its credibility long ago spent
    Along with its right to rule the nation
    Without a vote now on immigration

  3. 3
    Don't go south of the river this time of year says:

    Are you sure that it is just a red box and not some other “non-ministerial” person who needed a lift home rather than a walk of shame?

  4. 4
    Anonymous says:

    We need to execute more in public

  5. 5
    Cato Street Conspirator says:

    David Laws managed it 21 times, Sarah Teather 14 and Danny Alexander 22 times. That is one cut the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has not managed to find.

    Understandable in Laws’ case – he doesn’t want his parents to know he is gay. But, generally, politicians never think cuts and austerity applies to them – they’re there to dish it out, not share it.

  6. 6
    Little English People says:

    They are probably those magic sky pixie cars that are powered by the wind or the static caused when you hug a huskie dog or a hoodie.

    Vote UKIP.

  7. 7
    Time 2 CTRL, ALT & DEL says:

    Most ministers work with empty heads

  8. 8
    Anonymous says:

    must have had there sandwiches in

  9. 9
    Anonymous says:

    Not sure how a government minister would be able to lug half a dozen attaché cases around with them on the tube. There will also be weekend and recess work – so boxes will come for ministers to their constituencies outside of parliamentary commute times. A lot of information will be highly confidential so private delivery companies are not an option. So strange as it might seem, there is probably no valid alternative arrangement for getting work to ministers outside parliamentary hours.

  10. 10
    A Person says:

    They are not their red boxes. They are the Queen’s red boxes. Send government papers by FedEx?

  11. 11
    time for a dump says:

    They must all have numerous exclusive toilets dotted around the their areas. Tens of toilets per minister. At work the ration ? 1 per 25 employee.

    Doubt guido bovvers sometime having a trip to the bogs when out. The pint glass does the trick.

  12. 12
    Dial V for Vaz...Photo Op says:

  13. 13
    Jimmy says:

    They’re all empty.

  14. 14

    I never liked boxes anyway.

    Cannot see the point in them.

  15. 15
    Hilda Berger says:


  16. 16
    We cab only hope says:

    If they did dish it out:
    taxes would sky high
    spending well below any armchair pundits dream
    And if this persisted our interest revenue from the goverment saving would make us richer than Saudi Arabia.

  17. 17
    Red Boxes are so Yesterday says:

    So they don’t use those expensive eye pads we bought them?

  18. 18
    Oh Dear says:

    Just watching Daily Politics, I didn’t realise how nasty MPs are, that woman MP needs to see if somebody will teach her some manners ugh, I presume a Libcrap guy, all I can say is god help us, no wonder we are in the mess we are in, if these are people voted in to control the country then we are lost .

  19. 19
    M­­a­q­bo­ul says:

    How about government dispatch riders on bikes?

  20. 20
    Scamming the public says:

    Good point and also what about Trains..they used to use such when the network was secure and so did Royal Mail or what amount actually setting up a government courier service with a set routes and secure drop off point i.e police stations or government offices where the lazy tossers can go and pick up and drop off…be a damn sight cheaper

  21. 21
    Mitch says:

    Is the wasted expenditure here really top of the list? I would say it’s not even in the top 100.

  22. 22
    Markwouters says:

    Any of them Going to Berlin,could they drop me off one way Please!!!

  23. 23
    David Bouvier says:

    You beat me to it. All the un-thinking “I don’t understand this so it must be wrong” responses get tedious.

    There may be better ways to manage Ministerial paperwork when a minister is out of the office but that is hardly the fault of indivudal ministers.

    It’s a no-win. Minister spends all time in Westminster = out of touch; minister spends time out in the provinces talking to people = red boxes ferried up and down in otherwise empty vehicle; no red boxes ferried up and down = Minisrter slacking off when they should be working.

  24. 24
    The most amusing claim ever says:

    They’re JUST in campaign mode only another 18 months to go

  25. 25
    Mitch says:

    If the car and driver are already being paid for then actually this method of transport will probably be the cheapest available?

  26. 26
    David Bouvier says:

    Not really as good as being able to sign documents, make notes in the margins etc.

  27. 27
    Anonymous says:

    Anything Gideon does will never be anything more than tinkering round the edges, as he is a member of one of our three status quo parties.

  28. 28
    Markwouters says:

    Oh and do they do meals on the way as theyve stopped my ESA and im Living off Air only !
    And camerom and clegg (shit and begg) can for get cuts to my benefits and food intake as im getting Non.
    25 Billion theyle be Bloody lucky im Off Rioting if given half the chance that or Crime.

  29. 29
    M­­a­q­bo­ul says:

    Intelligent dogs them Alteration Dogs; can be trained to deliver your weekly Big Issue.

  30. 30
    David Bouvier says:

    No that is a good idea – especialy for shorter distances in London.

  31. 31
    This Century says:

    Why not send the documents by encrypted email?

  32. 32
    P l e b says:

    Hoggart – a proper journalist unlike this Fawkes fellow who just peddles tittle-tattle.

  33. 33
    Taxpayer says:

    This bullshit is brought to you by people who think dogs in Romania are more important thant their fellow citizens.

    If this organisation has charitable tax status I hope it can be revoked.

  34. 34
    Anonymous says:

    Not sure I see the beef here. The red boxes have to be reunited with the owners who wont always have them. The boxes contain sensitive documents that would have to be transported securely rather than ACME Couriers.

    They should try to minimizes this as much as possible but less than one journey a day across the whole year does not seem excessive.

    I would say this even if the mongrel labour party were in No 10

  35. 35
    RomaBob.... Beeg Issue, Beeg Issue! says:

    Afghanistan girl, 8, wearing suicide vest detained.


    Gotta luv ‘em

  36. 36
    don't forget says:

    We’ve got plenty of our own abandoned dogs thanks.

  37. 37
    Anonymous says:

    just read this and stated the same further down.

  38. 38
    Fbi says:

    These costs did not include Daves Dave could by himself a Bentlrey and Rolls Royce to go galavanting around the country inspecting flood damage including Witney I hope he had adequate insurance cover

  39. 39
    Jimmy two shoes says:

    like your head then

  40. 40
    Clegg's Box says:

    Do you need a lift?

  41. 41
    altruism in industry says:

    although i appreciate that this blog is primarily directed towards publicizing MPs fuckups I think general observations are permitted ?
    So could it be ( just listen ) that the world is not what we see. I think it is like this, there is a book I will try to remember the title of.
    These things Christian, Hindu, Buddhist , fucking Muslim are forces at work in the universe. you may think that you understand the reality as a 3 dimensional space but what if you are wrong ? Is this reality a 3D hunger games playing a trick on you to see which way you will swing and then when you die you will be put into another scenario depending on your score in this one Gurdjieff would have like that idea.

  42. 42
    B E L P says:

    leftie twat on a failing newspaper that know one reads and more go to their coffee shop (what happened to that by the way)
    He also saw no wrong in Labour destroying the country twice in his long career.
    Tells you all you need to know

  43. 43
    magic money tree says:

    And Labour’s economic plans.

  44. 44
    Anonymous says:

    Ahhh bless her mum would be so proud

  45. 45
    Muslim fundamentalist says:

    She’s only female.
    She’s expendable.

  46. 46
    Anjem says:

    Little scamp

  47. 47
    Don't Worry the BBC will Replace it and more besides says:

  48. 48
    RomaBob.... Beeg Issue, Beeg Issue! says:

    They start work early out there, thankfully they do not need to go to school :)

  49. 49
    i don't n eed no doctor says:

    Why does the BBC News refer to Jimmy Savile as a TV Presenter and not a BBC TV Presenter?

  50. 50
    ATOS says:

    “transported securely”


  51. 51
    Grand Mufti Diver says:

    I blame her Husband

  52. 52
    i don't n eed no doctor says:

    Was it a Co-op bank?

  53. 53
    Mitch says:

    Your stupidity should be taxed at 98% in the £.

  54. 54
    Mornington Crescent says:

    They’d make a good litter tray…

  55. 55
    Owen is a tit says:

    Left wingers stupidity usually results in a tax on my wages.

  56. 56
    He's distributing his worth like a good marxist? says:

    Clearly £20 means very little to Owen.

  57. 57
    Casual Observer 5 says:

    Has that animal been screened for rabies ?

  58. 58
    Mong the Miliband says:

    And Labour ballot boxes, before we stuff in the postal votes…

  59. 59

    Eggsactly. Most of these dogs are disturbed in some way or another and need careful handling.

  60. 60
    North Korea would be jealous of such facilities says:

    The airbrushing and CGI department at the BBC are working full time to ‘clean up’ old episodes of ToTP.

  61. 61

    More transparency in government, see thru empty cars.

  62. 62
    i don't n eed no doctor says:

    Guido is struggling for a story again. It’s not the number of visitors to your site Guido, it’s the quality of your comments that count’s.
    My Saturday Telegraph magazine had more advertising leaflets stuck inside than there were pages in the magazine. Get the drift?

  63. 63
    Mong the Miliband says:

    So, if she had been successful, would she have got a bunch of virgins in the afterlife, or is this how the Muzzies groom for those sort of virgins ?

  64. 64
    i don't n eed no doctor says:

    Criticism of Guido gets moderated.

  65. 65
    Mong the Miliband says:

    Know you have had direct experience of socialism.

    How does it feel ?

  66. 66
    Blowing Whistles says:

    How many Gov’t car trips were there to Elm Guest House in the 80’s?

  67. 67
    House of Cunts says:

    But we took away the death penalty!

  68. 68
    David Blunkett says:

    I can’t see the point in a dunce’s hat.

  69. 69
    Balls is a lying twat says:

    Balls on sky complaining that Osbourne has not put any spending plans forward for 2016 / 2017.

    FFS the sky muppet anchor just let him go on without saying what about your (Labours) spending plans for 2015 / 2016 as there are none,

  70. 70
    Harriet Harmen says:

    You can look inside my ministerial box but not touch.

  71. 71
    village bicycle says:

    thats only half a sentence more you’ll have to write about the right.

  72. 72
    i don't n eed no doctor says:

    Has Luca been trained to attack Nigel Farage?

  73. 73
    Casual Observer 5 says:

    Erm – it is his blog, his property, and he has the right to do with it as he pleases. The comments posted he takes ownership of – as is made clear in the terms and conditions he has posted on the blog.

    Why shoot the messenger ?

  74. 74
    Mitch says:

    The alternative seems to be the minister going into work to get his box, which would involve double the distance + cost because they have to be driven home again?

  75. 75
    ModBot says:

    Guido is an utter twat with shit for brains and a complete fuckwit

    No is doesn’t

  76. 76
    ModBot says:

    Guido is an utter total twat with shit for brains and a complete fuckwit

    No is doesn’t …see

  77. 77
    The Butterfly Effect says:

    Wishful thinking, but if the person who found that £20 bought some scratch cards, won a few million, sold up and moved to a nice place in the sun, and donated a decent chunk to UKIP in order to ensure Labour defeat, Owen may have just saved England.

    Or – he has just paid for some junkies next fix.

  78. 78
    Cynic says:

    1 to 25

    Terrible ration. Should be 1 to 50 to stop staff hiding in ‘em reading the Socialist Worker or knocking one off or doing their lippy or a quick line or two on our time

  79. 79
    NSA says:

    ‘encrypted’ ha ha

  80. 80
    Frankie Boiled says:

    What is it about terrorism that little Muslim girls find so appealing?

  81. 81
    Laurie Penny says:

    Female suicide is the ultimate expression of feminism.

  82. 82
    Afrocutter says:

    Boxes are vital equipment used to protect one’s goolies when playing Australian fast bowling.

  83. 83
    Afrocutter says:

    probably the threat of gang r@ppe and beheading if they don’t do as they are told.

  84. 84
    Afrocutter says:

    You wanna but some top grade nylon rope, love?

  85. 85
    Afrocutter says:

    *buy, not but

  86. 86
    Afrocutter says:

    Miracles take a little longer these days. All their anchors (is that how it is spelt?) are left wing tossers. Just switch to the sports channels.

  87. 87
    Afrocutter says:

    Decent modbots usually come with A* in grammar and spelling, but not, it seems, in every case.

  88. 88
    GUM Clinic says:

    Or maybe as he was off down Canal St, he didn’t buy the condöms he was going to buy.

  89. 89
    GUM Clinic says:

    Those anchovy sandwiches you kept in there must have been on the turn. Yuk

  90. 90
    Blowing Whistles says:

    IMPOSTER – using my moniker – If you’ve got summit to say use your own backbone. Go and watch QB V11.

  91. 91
    MB. says:

    Must also be a much greater chance of one going astray is sent by courier service. They then might fall into the hands of the tabloid press or bloggers, perhaps Guido is hoping to get his hands on one?

  92. 92
    (Not so)Dangerous Brian says:

    Dead on Afrocutter, the religion of peace using any means to further its diabolical cause.

  93. 93
    (Not so)Dangerous Brian says:

    Whatever happened to the £20, Owen Jones is still a top quality d**k-head.
    Up the workers!

  94. 94
    (Not so)Dangerous Brian says:

    Afrocutter, I like the cut of your jib.

  95. 95
    (Not so)Dangerous Brian says:

    It should be spelled (w)anchors!

  96. 96
    Charlie the Chump says:

    Digitise everything – including MP’s.

    It’s the bloody 21st Century.

  97. 97
    No such thing as Happy New Year in Edinburgh shitty! Same Auld Leeching Tripe over & over again! says:

    Vroom! Vroom!

  98. 98
    Anonymous says:

    They will never digitise everything because if they do, there will be an electronic record – somewhere – which could possibly be accessed via FOI requests. The advantage of sending stuff in “hard copy” is that you can include (shreddable and therefore later utterly deniable) manuscript notes/comments – what we used to call “off-file notes” – the existence of which could be denied for ever unless some half-wit referred to them elsewhere in the papers

  99. 99
    Who IS Harry's dad? says:

    Hang the 2wats from piano wire. I’ll buy the wire AND subscribe to the channel it is broadcast on.

  100. 100
    Who IS Harry's dad? says:

    Hague has a young boy in his.

  101. 101

    Why must these red boxes ever leave ministerial offices in the first place?

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