Even the Chancellor Cheats the Taxpayer

What hope is there when the Chancellor, who is responsible for the integrity of the public finances, is lining his pocket at the public’s expense?  In times gone by this would have been a resigning matter.  The Right “Honourable” Alistair Darling will no doubt tell us he has done nothing wrong.  Judge for yourself:

He has a choice of four homes; he is provided with two grace and favour homes at the public’s expense, he rents out his former private home (originally taxpayer funded) for his private profit and then he claims for his other home.   He has at  various times claimed that various houses were his main residence – in doing so he always maximised his claim for expenses.   Today he pays no housing expenses whatsoever out of his own pocket – anywhere – while the taxpayer pays for three properties for him and he rents out a fourth to make an extra profit. The condemnation is universal:

Last night, a spokeswoman for Mr Darling refused to comment on his expense claims. However, it previously emerged that until 2005 he claimed that a flat he shared with other Labour MPs was his “main home”. This allowed him to claim about £70,000 in expenses on his Edinburgh home where his wife and children lived.

It was then reported that he switched his formal declaration and told the Parliamentary authorities that the Edinburgh home was his main residence. This allowed him to claim for a London property and it is thought he bought a flat in the capital.

However, after becoming Chancellor in July 2007, Downing Street automatically became his main residence. It is thought that he then began claiming expenses again on the Edinburgh property and rented out the London home. In the 2007-08 financial year, Mr Darling claimed £9,837 in second-home expenses.

Mr Cameron said: “Given the state is effectively providing the minister with a second home, I can see no justification for them continuing to claim a second-home allowance. If elected I will make sure no Conservative minister with a grace-and-favour residence in London would be allowed to make a claim for a second home – including me.

“We have to sort this out now. No one will listen to politicians about anything if the impression is that they are living high on the hog off the back of taxpayers.”

Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, said: ``It is clearly barmy for ministers to indulge in a form of double counting that enables them to enjoy two homes at the taxpayer’s expense.

“To say this is within the rules will only serve to convince the public that the rules are broken and need to be fixed as soon as possible.

Susie Squire of the Taxpayers’ Alliance added: “Alistair Darling has some serious questions to answer about his exploitation of the parliamentary allowances system. It’s very concerning that the man who is in charge of our money thinks it is appropriate to make a fast buck from the taxpayer. His behaviour is totally unacceptable.”

Go on, defend this Sir Michael White…

UPDATE : The London Evening Standard has discovered that Margaret Beckett is at it as well, she has three homes courtesy of the taxpayers.  Her caravan is (Guido believes) her own…

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Sunday Sleaze Round-Up – MPs Spit in Our Faces

When Guido started his campaign against troughing MPs it was an occasional thing to to do a Sunday Sleaze Round-Up. Nowadays it is difficult to keep up with so many pigs in so much s**t:

Jacqui claimed for her barbecue as well as her kitchen sink to ‘help her perform her duties as an MP’.

MPs ‘not trusted’ to review their own pay and expenses according to the Committee for Standards in Public Life.

The News of the World has done a great video which seems to come from a familiar idea:

It accompanies their story on the husband and wife champion parliamentary troughing team to match and exceed the greedy pillaging of the taxpayers done by the Wintertons – the Robinsons. They get to trough in Westminster and at the Northern Ireland Assembly to the tune of an unbelievable £600,000 a year.

MPs have even claimed for their taxes out of your taxes. Genius. They charge stamp duty to expenses.

Guido has been shouting about the Green Book Rule changes which came into force on April Fools Day – and politicians really must take us for fools. To stop all the rule breaking by MPs they came up with a clever solution. Scrap the rules! Keep on troughing…

Finally Rudi Vis MP is retiring from troughing and will no longer be on burden on the taxpayers – just as soon as we finance his retirement home on expenses. Don’t forget to collect your gold-plated index-linked pension scheme…

Sunday Sleaze Hoon Special

Sunday Sleaze

The Mail on Sunday has Hoon bang to rights manipulating the system to build a mortgage free property portfolio.  He lived in a grace and favour apartment in Admiralty House, rented out his London home and claimed the allowance for his constituency home.  In the process making hundreds of thousands in profits playing the system and clearing his mortgage. All at the expense of the taxpayer.

Classic line from the article:

When The Mail on Sunday suggested that it appeared he had made a considerable sum by ‘manipulating the system’, he replied: ‘I don’t accept that for a moment.’

Complete Hoon…

UPDATE : According to the News of the World 138 MPs rent out a property at the same time as claiming claiming a second home allowance.  138 MPs are clearly and Hoonishly manipulating the system to build a property portfolio at the taxpayer’s expense.  That is how “public servants” who have never had a proper job in their lives, retire as millionaires off the backs of taxpayers.

Aussie PM Rude Bully of Air Hostess

pm-rudeAussie PM Kevin Rudd has more in common with our own Prime Mentalist than Guido realised.  His foul temper reduced a 23 year-old RAAF flight attendant to tears when he exploded because she was unable to serve him the in-flight meal he wanted.  No Nokias were harmed during the incident.

What is interesting about this story from a UK perspective is how the Aussie PM’s spin-doctors responded.  Lachlan Harris, the PM’s press spokesman, initially tried to cover up the incident with a flat denial that it had even occurred. When irritated air force top brass contradicted him the rude Rudd gave an evasive half-truth of an apology to the press via Lachlan.  Lachlan Harris is a protege of our very own Alastair Campbell, who was hired to advise on how to sharpen up Aussie Labor’s spin operation.  Clearly Lachlan has learnt from the master of dodgy deceit.

Friday Caption Competition

Jury Finds Jacqui Guilty

Jury Team, the new internet-based party set-up by Paul Judge to bring independent candidates with clean hands into politics, is making waves by running American-style attack ads in Jacqui Smith’s constituency – they will run online in Redditch local newspapers from tomorrow morning.

The advert is not that aggressive by American standards, by British standards it is, so much so that the newspapers in which it is running took legal advice before accepting the advert.

Iain Dale underestimates the anti-political climate that they are trying to tap into, anyone can stand in the party’s primaries. They are a small party but the internet means they can grow fast.  The Italian mani pulite movement in the early 90s started small and led eventually to the demise of the corrupt First Republic and the collapse of the old party structures.  When you have David Cameron proposing parliamentary reforms which will result in MPs pocketing more taxpayers cash you really wonder if these mavericks could go mainstream.  It happened in Italy…

More Raw Free Statporn, More than a Million Page Views

Look away if this stuff bores you.   The site broke the million page-views barrier for the first time in March.  The numbers broke down thus:

  • 1,191,456 page views plus another 251,952 via RSS feed.
  • 767,473 unique visits
  • 147,689 absolute visitors

The big jump is partly due to the Dan Hannan effect, his story was twice as popular as any other.  Top referrers were (excluding search engines) in order:

1. iaindale.blogspot.com / 56,888
2. spectator.co.uk / 20,363
3. politicshome.com / 16,082
4. politicalbetting.com /13,542
5. twitter.com /9,059

Twitter has come from nowhere in the last month.

The new server set-up also allows Guido to analyse the comments.  Notice how a few window-lickers have  already disappeared?  Multiple personalities have dissolved away as well.  Hopefully this has not been too heavy-handed.  The comments system’s automatic algorithm is still in beta and will be refined further, nevertheless it has already released Guido from moderation duties allowing 516 different individuals to make 17,080 comments last month.  It is a huge relief to no longer have to personally moderate them.

Many thanks to the readers and advertisers who have supported the blog.  You make it all possible.

+++ Gordon Wants IMF to Sell Gold Stocks +++

That has worked so well for Britain.  Not.

UPDATE : Guido didn’t see C4 News but a co-conspirator over on HPC reports Mandelson on the subject of IMF bailouts as telling Jon Snow

PM : We won’t be at



Fancy That

Private Eye’s Francis Wheen (of HP Sauce) has some good sources inside Labour circles and has heard some of the stories going around.  When Guido previously mentioned Draper’s widely known financial woes, Dolly launched into one of his charateristic […]


MP’s Expense Scans :Uploading is Public Interest Whistle Blowing

This is a message to the person who is reported in yesterday’s Times as having the unredacted MP’s expenses scans on disk.  Guido completely understands that you would like to make a profit for risking your neck. If however that […]


Pornographers Exploiting Jacqui

Paul Raymond

Nice touch that the publishers of Razzle on their PaulRaymond.com website are asking customers “to please ask for permisson from the Tax-Payer before calling”If only…

UPDATE : Playboy UK are offering a Jacqui Smith VIP package[…]


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François Hollande on the EU referendum:

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