He Says "Whoops-a-Daisy", We Say "Corrupt"

Tory MEPs are led by Giles Chichester, who has been caught paying £445,000 of public funds to a company of which at one time only he and his wife were remunerated directors. Now he has been caught red-handed profiteering from public monies and only after days of calls for him to go, what does he say? He told West Country ITV last night:

…whoops-a-daisy I am shown up to have made a mistake. OK, hands up, mea culpa and I am putting it right.

Not “whoops-a-daisy”, not a “mistake”, Giles Chichester deliberately and disgracefully used a front-company to profiteer from his own expense claims. That is unethical, dishonest and a resignation matter. He is supposed to be fighting waste and EU-fiddles – not designing them.

He is now trying the Peter Hain ruse of reporting himself to the authorities, after he has been caught, no doubt he will go on to apologise for his “errors”, claiming that is was somebody else’s fault that he mistakenly profited from taxpayers funds in a shady under-the-counter arrangement.

He is not the only Tory MEP blatantly profiteering. Guido will be revealing another “whoops-a-daisy” later this morning…

MPs to Voters : "We Are Worth More Than You"

The recommendation that MPs get a tax-free £23,000 lump sum payment is a piss-take. This is equivalent to an extra £40,000 on their salary, which together with the pay rise they want will bring their package up to £115,000 plus gold-plated non-contributory index-linked pensions. Their reasoning is that the expense fiddles have become too embarrassing and they realise they will no longer be able to get away with them now they are out in the open.

Effectively they want the housing allowance fiddle to continue without the hassle of having to justify the expenses. No doubt some will say we have to pay them six-figure salaries if we want to attract candidates. Guido has never bought into that line of argument. The fact is that the supply of wannabee MPs is massive, hundreds apply for selection for safe seats when they become available. If there was a lack of wannabee greasy-pole climbers this would be plausible, there is however an abundant over-supply of those willing to join the parasitical political class. The reason? It is a cushy desirable, overly prestigious, over-paid job. Plenty of people do much harder, no prestige, lower paid jobs. MPs have a sense of self entitlement way out of line with their real worth.Average earnings at £23,244 are less than a quarter what MPs propose to pay themselves. Most people can apparently run a household on a quarter of what MPs claim to need to run two households – which suggests they are overpaid for what need compared to the rest of us. They are supposed to be public servants, yet too many of them are like the husband and wife expense fiddling team Mr & Mrs Keen-on-expenses. In it to maximise their profit at the public’s expense…

We have serving soldiers in war zones on the poverty line, their starting rate of tax just doubled. MPs award themselves £400 a month for groceries when they are in their cosy Westminster homes, those same MPs voted for soldiers to have to pay for their own rations. Children in state schools are fed on 50p per diem, MPs claim £20 per diem. MPs get their snouts deep into the public trough way ahead of more deserving children and soldiers. So much for politicians putting the public interest first…

What Have Tory MEPs Got to Hide?

“You lie and you spin, you fiddle your expenses and you break your promises…. To describe this disengagement and cynicism as a ‘mood’ is to underestimate both the depth and the intensity of the breakdown in relations between the government and the governed… we need to understand why this political breakdown has happened. A lot of it is to do with behaviour. The behaviour of a minority of individual politicians, in all parties. .”
  1. Sir Robert Atkins
  2. Christopher Beazely
  3. John Bowis
  4. Philip Bushill-Matthews
  5. Martin Callanan
  6. Den Dover
  7. James Elles
  8. Malcolm Harbour
  9. Caroline Jackson
  10. Timothy Kirkhope
  11. John Purvis
  12. Struan Stevenson
  13. Robert Sturdy
Open Europe surveyed 79 British MEPs from all parties as part of their Transparency Initiative. Most did not answer, some 19 did from all parties. This issue is toxic for the above 13 Tory MEPs that did not answer. They will, Guido suspects, come to regret their high handedness. The Tory grassroots is restless about the still unresolved EPP issue and suspects that too many MEPs go native in Brussels once they taste the gravy splashing around the EU-train. They are right…

ConservativeHome is campaigning to make Tory MEPs more accountable, this issue will be used by them to leverage against Europhile nativists. Cameron would do well to order the MEPs to be transparent about their expenses before the breakdown with the grassroots becomes total. Else the suspicion will grow that something shady is going on with these MEPs…

The Price of Freedom of Information

After spending over £100,000 and losing his appeal the Speaker is going to finally hand over the 14 MPs expenses to Heather Brooke tomorrow at 4pm. She will then be chauffeur driven to Wapping, where the Sunday Times will pore over the expenses of 14 leading politicians going back three years.
They have bought from Heather exclusive rights – the Sunday Telegraph is only getting the details of the two MPs it FoI’d and the rest of the media is being carved out completely. The Speaker is desperately keen to smother the story in the post Crewe and Nantwich media wake. The other papers are up in arms that the normal practice with FoIs is not being followed – once the applicant has been given the information it is normally freely available. The Sunday Times has effectively bought up an FoI with the connivance of the Speaker.

Guido doesn’t blame Heather – she along with her co-litigant Jonathan Ungoed-Thomas have got their hands on the one and only copy of the material – she wants to look at it herself first before throwing it open – which she plans to do on Sunday. The Speaker is not following normal practice – it is not his job to give exclusives out.

Heather told Guido that

I get the bulk as I asked for 10 over several years. Initially I asked for all 646 MPs but the Commons authorities said that would cost too much so I was forced to narrow it down. Funny how they had no money to compile the expenses but plenty to go to Court to stop them being made public!

As is always the case, the money I get for my articles goes back into my campaigning. Unlike the Speaker, I don’t have unlimited taxpayer funds on which to draw so this is how I make my living. It’s certainly not a profitable venture I can assure you (3 1/2 years for one story is not a good business model) but worth doing I think.

The receipts will number in the thousands. The sooner Heather gets them online – the faster we will be all able to hold our pigging politicians to account…

The Speaker is now hiring a dedicated Legal Counsel for £100,000, plus bonus and package. Heather financed her legal fight herself, the political class uses taxpayers’ money to fight against the public interest. Trebles all round for them and you pay…

+++ Speaker Loses High Court Expenses Cover-Up Bid +++

The High Court has ruled that a detailed breakdown of MPs’ additional costs allowances must be provided under the Freedom of Information Act.

So that was £100,000 of public money wasted on stopping the public finding out what happened to their money.

So now we will find out what all the party leaders fiddled claimed…

Multi-Millionaire Clegg Claims Tax Free Allowance99% of the Maximum Legally Allowed

So we wait 48 days for something that Nick Clegg said should be published immediately* and it breaks down as follows:

Additional Costs Allowance he claimed £23,083.00

100% of the maximum £23,083 legally allowed.

Incidental Expenses Provision claim £20,926.63

98% of the maximum £21,339 legally allowed.

Guido wonders why it took so long to add up. Does this restore your trust in politicans?

UPDATE : Checking the back of an envelope, at the 40% rate that is equivalent to gross pay of £74,036 on top of his salary – effectively doubling his salary for home improvements.

*”His “publish immediately” demand here. Detailed breakdown here.

+++ Committee on Standards and Privileges Rejects Speaker Taxi Complaint +++

Taxation is an Intrusion

The Speaker’s barrister yesterday told a High Court judge that forcing MPs to publish their exp­enses is a “substantial intrusion” into their private lives. Disclosing a detailed breakdown of their claims for running a second home, including addresses, might attract “the mad and the badThey might simply not want the world to know the details of how they were furnishing their home in some particular respect”, Nigel Griffin QC claimed.

The Devil puts it well on his blog:
Well, might I humbly suggest that—if this is the case—that MPs do not use taxpayers’ f***ing cash to buy their furnishings?

By all means remove the address if they are afraid of the people they supposedly represent – the important principle is that we should know what they are spending our money on. It is obvious that they really don’t like us watching them pigging out at the trough. They are clearly ashamed of their greed becoming publicly visible.

Dan Watson Fails to Board the Family Gravy Train

Sadly the trouncing Labour got in the local elections meant that Dan Watson, of Tom Watson’s West Midlands political clan, failed to get on the taxpayer’s gravy train.

Still the Watsons will just have to manage on the £300,000 or […]

+ READ MORE +

Watson Family Fortunes – Good News / Bad News

Guido likes to bring good news when he can. Today’s good news is that following on from Guido’s revelation last week that Joanne Watson had pocketed £15,000 for attending four meetings, she has decided not to stand again “due to

[…]

+ READ MORE +

That Won’t Do Nicely

No wonder the speaker is so keen to block the voters from finding out what is going on with parliamentary expenses. When not swanking around in limousines at the voter’s expense he flashes his House of Commons credit card to

[…]

+ READ MORE +

How They Fiddle a Political Conference on the Taxpayer

Today’s conference has nothing at all to do with tomorrow’s conference. Total coincidence that there is a private conference on today and another one tomorrow. This is to keep within Civil Service rules about civil servants doing political work. Tomorrow’s

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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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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