+++ Jacqui Smith Ruling : She Broke the Rules +++

Listen to the Piggies Squeal

Stuart BellThe Political Porker-in-Chief, Sir Stuart Bell, who sits on the discredited Commons Members Estimate Committee, is going from broadcast studio to broadcast studio squealing that Sir Thomas Legg “is not staying within that remit, he’s not respecting the decisions that were made by the Fees Office in accordance with the rules at the time.”

Bell is as usual being disingenuous, the Fees Office had little authority or competence to enforce rules, it simply took ‘honourable’ members at their word and paid them the cash, no questions asked.  The Fees Office saw its role as working for MPs not the paying public.  Only in the most outrageous and unjustifiable cases did the Fees Office balk at paying out – for example Tam Dalyell’s claim of £18,000 for bookcases was rejected.

If MPs dare to go to Court to fight for their ill-gotten gains, Guido will be waiting…

UPDATE : Mandy says that he feels that retrospective action taken by Sir Thomas Legg, urging MPs to repay allowances claimed under the previous system, was “a little unfair”.  So because they thought they had got away with it, they think it is unfair that they got caught?  Tell it to the judge…

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Highwayman Legge

Sunday Sleaze

Sunday Sleaze

target-baronessBaroness Scotland is being investigated by the Bar Standards Board, the barristers’ watchdog, reports the Mail on Sunday.  She is accused of bringing the profession into disrepute.  A quick run down the charge sheet for those who have forgotten: she broke employment laws by not providing payslips or paying all the taxes due at the time, she provided no written contract of employment and effectively paid her housekeeper cash in hand.  She was fined £5,000 for breaking the laws she herself introduced that were designed to punish unscrupulous employers from hiring illegal immigrants.  She has hardly enhanced the reputation of the Bar has she?

The Sunlight Centre For Open Politics claimed in formal submissions to the Bar Standards Board that the Baroness had ‘breached the Barrister’s Code of Conduct by acting in a way that damages the profession’s reputation’. Incidentally, Baroness Scotland, as the highest law officer in the land, is nominally the head of the Bar.  Unlike many of her illustrious predecessors, she is however clearly without shame…

In the coming weeks Guido is looking forward to the next round of expense scandal, the 2008 – ’09 expenses are soon to be released and the Legg letters are going to demand re-payments from MPs who ‘mis-claimed’.   Hundreds of MPs will have to repay over-claims (they are always over-claims) for mortgage repayments that paid down mortgage capital rather than merely covered the interest.  Tory grandees will be asked to repay claims for their stately homes, Nick Clegg will have to justify his serial refurbishment of home(s) at our expense, Gordon Brown will have to justify and probably repay his claims for a Sky Sports subscription and did we really need to pay to have his shirts ironed? It is not as if his wife has a job…

Not forgetting that we have Sir Christopher Kelly’s report with recommendations to the Committee on Standards in Public Life due soon.  The shadow report was tough on sleaze, tough on the causes of sleaze…

UPDATE : Guido almost forgot to mention multi-millionaire Labour peer Lord Paul, a big party donor and financial supporter of Gordon’s ambitions, blatantly fiddling his expenses. They are all at it…

Hislop Bitch Slaps Yvette on Inheritance Tax

Bit late with this.  Can’t understand why Tory spokesmen don’t make this point more often – Labour thought cutting inheritance tax was such a bad idea that they copied it. Doh!

+++ Brown Visits Moorfields Eye Hospital +++
+++ Specialists Identify Two Minor Tears on His Retina +++

Downing Street confirms.

Brown has always kept his medical problems secret in the past, following that Marr question we were told it was a private matter.  Are we being softened up for a health related stand down?

He has run away from every competitive election he ever faced…

Saturday Seven Up

7upIf you were not one of the 59,754 visitors viewing 392,466 blog pages over the last seven days, here are the seven most popular stories that you missed:

    Marr Asks Dave “Are You Worth £30 Million?”

    Tories Ecstatically Optimistic

    Attack Dog Chases Own Tale

    Friday Caption Contest (Katherine Jenkins Edition)

    Lord Falconer at Tory Conference

    Night in the Cell for Champagne Grabber

    Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

You are either in front of Guido, or behind…

The State of Play Post-Conference

rsz_yg-today-votingintentionNote that Labour’s number drops back before the end of their conference, immediately after Brown’s speech.  In contrast the speeches of Clegg and Cameron lifted their respective party’s numbers.  He is a Jonah for the Labour Party and the country…

Taking Offence: Satire and Offence

freewordIf you are in the Islington area tonight, Guido is chairing a discussion with Martin Rowson, leading cartoonist and author, Caspar Melville, editor of New Humanist, to discuss the impact of the growing sensitivity to offence on political debate.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Kaminski : “New Statesman’s Shoddy Journalism”

Almost every time Guido writes about James Macintyre an email arrives in the inbox complaining about everything from mis-spelling his name to not giving the whole truth. Once he complained bitterly that some nuance was wrong (that he hadn’t formally […]

+ READ MORE +

Friday Caption Contest (Katherine Jenkins Edition)

Dave + Katherine Jenkins[…]

+ READ MORE +

Sir Michael Clarifies His Mistooks

In a piece mocking my old friend Sir Michael White earlier this week, Guido incorrectly suggested that at a fringe  meeting he mistook someone for Ray Lewis, when in fact he says he mistook them for Shaun Bailey.  On the […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Liam Fox shreds Cameron’s Calais scaremongering:

“Sad and disappointed to see our Prime Minister stoop to this level of scaremongering, especially as he knows the Calais agreement is nothing to do with the EU and agreed between the two govts”

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