Pay Points for Political Piggies

If you see any good expenses spots link to them in the comments and Guido will highlight them here all day:

pig-in-shitPaul Waugh notes George Osborne had us pay £47 for a DVD of his speech on “Value for Money”.

pig-in-shitJames Arbuthnot thinks it wholly necessary for us to pay £138 for a “chainsaw for logs”.  Massacre him at the general election.

pig-in-shitTerry Rooney claims off us £125 pcm for “cleaning” and his landlord bills him for cleaning too. No receipt was required for the cleaner because it is was below £250. He cleaned up.

pig-in-shitJulia Goldsworthy made us pay £734.30 for her Meniscus “rent” under incidental expenses.  What is that about?

pig-in-shitDoug Henderson claimed for tax advice from the taxpayers and claims frequently for the maximum amount for food.

pig-in-shitAlan Duncan takes £250 petty cash each and every month without any justification. Because he could.

pig-in-shitLembit Opik claimed £19.99 for the “Mother of All Wigs” – justified apparently as a sundry cost “incurred while supporting a Charitable Event”. It actually appears that we taxpayers supported it with cash Lembit.

pig-in-shitDid Jim Devine MP really claim £938 for a Mink coloured suite? He could have just made it up like his electrical bills.

UPDATE : There is just so much troughing that it is impossible to do it all justice…

Random Spot Check on a Political Piggy

Watson

Guido will be going through MP’s expenses at random today, amazingly Tom Watson’s expenses are the first randomly selected for detailed examination Fancy that, him looking just like a piggy and all…

Redacted Expenses Save Blushes

Guido has had a quick look through some expense claims – the redactions hide a lot of sins and seem to have been applied inconsistently.  Despite the censorship it is still  possible to discover some interesting stuff.

Have a look for yourself here.

Blair : We Paid to Shred His Evidence

There is an Irish saying that sums up Blair.  He is one “cute hoor”. You have to laugh, we paid to shred his receipts…

Shredding

+++ Kitty Usher Resigns Over Expenses +++

Downing Street Spins Malik is Different from McNulty

Tony McNulty resigned from the government when he came under investigation by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner over £60,000 claimed on a second home, where his parents live.

Malik Reported to Parliamentary Standards commissionerYesterday the PM’s spokesman, Michael Ellam, was asked whether the Prime Minister thought it was premature and unwise to bring Shahid Malik back into Government so quickly.  He was also asked why it was right for Shahid Malik to step down while Sir Philip Mawer held an inquiry, but not while  John Lyon held one?  Ellam gave some waffle which didn’t really make sense.

McNultyMcNulty admitted in his letter of resignation that “It has been immensely difficult for me to give full attention to my job as Minister for London and for Employment and Welfare Reform with this issue hanging over my head.” Malik on the other hand wants us to believe he can give his ministerial duties his full attention despite being under investigation for corruption. 

Why is he different from McNulty?  Why is John Lyon’s investigation less important than Sir Philip Mawer’s investigation – which had less damning evidence to consider?

You Twitter If You Want To

Hazel Twitter

Under pressure Hazel Blears has set up a Twitter account. “YouTube is no substitute for knocking on doors” she once famously said and Twittering is not going to stop a deselection either.  Poor Hazel, she only has 9 followers…

Drug Pushing Lobbyists of the World Unite!

The news that sleazy lobbyist Steve Morgan, formerly of the now defunct Morgan Allen Moore, who was retained by Peter Hain in his disastrously dodgy bid for Labour deputy leader has taken his team of spin merchants to the huge American spin shop Burson-Marsteller is a little worrying. Morgan Allen Moore was described by PR Week last year as a “scandal-hit outfit”, becoming the first firm ever to be kicked out of the industry’s self regulatory group.  PR Week reports that

Morgan’s new ‘market access’ practice at Burson-Marsteller will advise healthcare clients on issues related to product marketing and access to the NHS.

Back in the not so distant past Morgan was hired to push a drug responsible for widespread deaths and crippling illness. Ortho Biotech, a division of Johnson & Johnson, retained Morgan Allen Moore in 2001 to push its anaemia drug, Eprex.  Eprex is currently being investigated by the FDA because of the high number of patients who have suffered strokes and died as a consequence of taking the drug. Eprex was withdrawn in September 2001 (“Eprex vials to be withdrawn”, Chemist and Druggist, 22 September 2001, page 28 – not online) because of fears over its safety. On 14 July 2002, the Financial Times reported that

“Eprex has been linked to a rare but devastating condition known as antibody-mediated pure red blood cell aplasia or PRCA. The condition is triggered when the body produces antibodies against its own EPO, shutting down red blood cell production. The only treatment for PRCA is regular, life-long blood transfusions”.

Burson-Marstellar – a company which was itself also investigated by the APPC for having a secret client in 2007 – represents, amongst others, Digene Corp, a company principally specialising in the production of a test for HPV, the virus that causes genital warts in women.  A marriage made in hell, some might say…

PMQs Live Chat : Heat is On

Click Here[…]

+ READ MORE +

Clegg Breaks Ranks on Nuclear Options

Nick Clegg has broken ranks with the political establishment on Trident, telling Nick Robinson “We have to be realistic and candid about what we can and can’t afford as a nation”.

Nuclear CleggDuring the Cold War the logic of Trident and […]

+ READ MORE +

Bonkers MPs Should Lose Seats

Brown is BonkersAlistair Campbell thinks MPs detained under the Mental Health Act should not automatically lose their seats. The BBC reports him saying that such a “simple and symbolic” rule change would be a “powerful” way to lift the taboo around mental […]

+ READ MORE +

+++ Shahid Malik Being Investigated +++

Malik Reported to Parliamentary Standards Commissioner
Standards Commissioner today confirms he is investigating if Malik’s parliamentary expenses were used to defray his personal expenses.  He has written to Malik asking him to explain himself…

UPDATE : Letter is now up on Sunlight COP’s site.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Charles Clarke says Cameron is the most successful PM for over a century…

“Under Margaret Thatcher the Conservatives gained 99 seats. They lost 211 under John Major, gained one under William Hague, quickly and wisely got rid of Ian Duncan-Smith, gained 32 under Michael Howard and have so far gained 133 under David Cameron who, to the great surprise of many (including senior Conservatives), has turned out to be the most electorally successful Tory leader since 1900.”

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