Thursday, May 14, 2009

Met Police Gearing Up for Investigations

millionaire-mp-logoOn Tuesday Guido saw confirmation that the Metropolitan Police were preparing to make enquiries into MP’s expenses.  Separately the Serious Fraud Office was referring enquiries to the Committee on Public Standards – who as far as Guido knows do not have powers of arrest.

Thieving Eliott MorleyThis situation is so bad that it seems clear to Guido that only prison sentences will satisfy the public.  Politicians have been operating a racket costing the taxpayers millions, stealing from the public purse on a scale that beggars belief.  Labour MP Elliot Morley now claims  he made a mistake.  Morley deliberately lied to the fees office to steal from the taxpayers – he expects us to believe that he forgot he (we) had paid off his mortgage and carried on claiming long afterwards.  That is unbelievable.  He is not the only one who should be prosecuted for theft and fraud.

UPDATE : The Prime Minister is “very concerned” about allegations Elliot Morley claimed £16,000 for a non-existent mortgage.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

+++ New Statesman Paid Circulation Less than 15,000 +++

Guess that is what happens when you make Derek Draper’s “lunch partner”, James Macintyre, political correspondent.  That source has now dried up…

PMQs All Within the Rules Edition

France Cuts Tax on Booze to Boost Economy

Guido is looking forward to summering at the Maison Secondaire even more this year. France has just cut booze and restaurant sales tax from 19.6% to to 5.5%. Booze taxes are already reasonable in France, this makes going out even more reasonable.  A three course meal in the best restaurant in the town near Chez Fawkes costs about the same as a starter in London or Dublin.  We all have to do our bit to boost international trade…

+++ Health Minister Phil Hope to Repay £41,709 +++

phil-hopeHe has been troughing for years and employing his children as well.  The real pressure on him is coming from his local paper which has really got the measure of him.  Expect to see more local papers bringing pressure to bear on troughing incumbent MPs. The next general election may see the biggest turfing out of incumbent MPs for generations.

Harman’s Response to Cameron’s Plan is Pathetic

After Dave wowed even Brown nosers like Sir Michael White and Steve Richards with his crackdown on Tory grandees and shadow cabinet troughers, Harman wrote to the chairman of the Member’s Allowance Committee proposing that he should set out a procedure whereby MPs might perhaps be asked nicely to repay claims that were outside the rules. Possibly. Not exactly a decisive response from the government.

The Member’s Allowance Committee is chaired by the Labour MP Don Touhig.  It was he who  led the Labour backbench revolt last July that threw out proposals for a full external audit of MPs’ expenses and an end to the “John Lewis list”. Does that fill you full of confidence?

Green BookHarman’s proposal is that if an MP has broken the rules they will have to repay the money.   Guido’s view is that only the minimum expenses wholly necessary for the  job should be allowable, however the cry of every single troughing MP from every single party is that “it was all within the rules”So no one will have to pay anything back under Harman’s plan.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

+++ Blears “I’m Sending a Cheque for £13,332″ +++

She says even though she is not liable, but because people are angry, she is going to pay an amount equivalent to the £13,332 capital gains tax she dodged.  Her own decision she says (but she did speak to Gordon).

“I’m the MP for Salford” – though she did stay in the groovy Clerkenwell Zetter hotel for weeks at our expense…

Foulkes Doesn’t Like It Up Him

  • House of Lords: claimed £54,441 in allowances for 94 days attendance (£579/day)
  • Earns £36,000 as a Parliamentary Consultant to Eversheds LLP for 36 days work (£1000/day)
  • Claimed £3061.17 in allowances from the Scottish Parliament between April 2008 and March 2009
  • Salary for a Member of the Scottish Parliament £56,671.

A grand total of £150,173.17. Foulkes is an old school multi-trougher…

Dave Orders Shadow Cabinet Pay-Back

Guido has just got back from a hastily* called Tory press conference, where we were told by Dave that he has ordered:

rsz_pay-it-back… Michael Gove will pay back the £7,000 claimed for furniture.  Oliver Letwin will pay back the £2,000 for the pipe under his tennis court.  Andrew Lansley will pay back the £2,600 for home improvements. Alan Duncan will pay back nearly £5,000 for gardening expenses. Francis Maude will no longer claim any money for his second home in London. And neither will Chris Grayling. Theresa Villiers – the only London MP in the shadow cabinet – will follow suit later this year. I’ve also dealt with some of the smaller, but nevertheless significant, claims that have caused concern, whether that is Ken Clarke’s council tax bill in Nottinghamshire or David Willetts’s electrical bill. George Osborne will pay back the cost of a particularly expensive car journey. And I will pay back the only maintenance bill I have claimed in eight years as a Member of Parliament.

Is this enough? Burglars don’t get off by giving back the telly.  Guido wants to see the small print, are they really going to be allowed to keep ill gotten gains because they were in the past?

*So hasty that Guido came late, straight from the pub dressed in traditional national dress – an Ireland rugby shirt. Guido naturally sat down right in front of Sir Michael White.

Orange Bookers Launch Website

liberal_vision_logoAs we await the forthcoming LibDem expenses – notice how silent their backbenchers have gone – the Orange Bookers have got their act together with a new website.

They say their first major project will be to press for a strict internal party code of conduct on the claiming of expenses by any Liberal Democrat member in either House of Parliament or any elected authority. They will be calling for the LibDem whip should be withdrawn from those who fail to abide by this code.

The grassroots of all parties now have genuine independent sites which do not care for their representatives misbehaving.  This is a good thing.

Headed by former LibDem media chief Mark Littlewood, he says “the blog will be blunt, iconoclastic, and fearless in our promotion of freedom. We aim to inject some life into the Lib Dem blogosphere and won’t be taking any prisoners. The party has the chance to advocate a popular and truly liberal agenda. To fail to do so would be an abdication of political responsibility.”

During the Liberal Democrat conference last year, Liberal Vision hit the headlines when Mark got wacked by an outraged LibDem MP after predicting in a publication that Liberal Conservativism would be electorally catastrophic for the party.  Expect more fireworks…

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