Monday, March 30, 2009

+++ MP’s Expense Totals Released for 2008 +++

Download them here [pdf]. See your how much your MP has fiddled..

UPDATE : Guido has now uploaded the expenses as a webpage.

MPs Fear Expenses Whistle Blowers

Note that the anger MPs are feeling about the expenses revelations is directed not at those MPs who are abusing the system and bringing them all into disrepute, but at those who are exposing them. Labour MPs are convinced there is a “Tory mole”* in the fees office, others think that digitised versions of their soon to be released receipts are being shopped around the papers.

MPs are after blood – the blood of the whistle blowers rather than the blood of those robbing the public.

That is how morally compromised they are, no longer able to see that what they are doing is wrong.  They just want to stop the sunlight shining on their dodgy practises.

*Having been involved in a few of these expense fiddle stories coming to light, MPs should realise that the sources are often constituents, outraged staff, disgusted civil servants, sometimes rival politicians from the same party and often the result of plain old digging. Politicians are now widely despised as a class, don’t be surprised that your dirty secrets are becoming public knowledge.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Pickles is Another Porker in the Public Trough

Have just watched the bit of Question Time last night where Tory chairman Eric Pickles got a deserved roasting over his expense claims:

Eric Pickles PigAudience Member: “Do you think Fred Goodwin should give some of his pension back Eric?”
Eric Pickles: “Yeah, I do.”
Audience Member: “Right – that’s because he’s behaved immorally, unreasonably perhaps. But he’s played within the rules! Don’t you think that’s a bit hypocritical?”
Eric Pickles: “I had my flat – I bought my flat when we regularly sitting until two in the morning. I bought my flat when we did that. I bought that flat because it turned out –“
[Audience member: “sell it!”]
Eric Pickles“OK well I’ll sell it. Of course I could sell it. I am never going to be able to satisfy you folks, at all, because I am an MP and therefore guilty.”

Pickles is right about MPs being guilty – they are almost all at it.  Why should taxpayers pay him tens of thousands extra just because he doesn’t want a 37 mile commute? He claims he has to get up at 5.30 a.m. to be in the office for 9.30 a.m. – anyone would think he was cycling from Brentwood to Westminster it took him so long.   It takes 80 minutes according to National Rail, less by car.

Many years ago when Guido slaved away in a City bond dealing room he used to be in the office for 6 a.m., often leaving after the close of the U.S. markets at 9 p.m. at night.  Many of Guido’s co-workers were Essex boys who lived in the far wilds in places like Brentwood and had to commute further than 37 miles every day. It is just not on to expect the taxpayers to subsidise MP’s lazy piggy ways.

Most Expensive London MP : I’m Worth More than Churchill

Harry Cohen is the chippy left-wing MP who disgraces the Leyton parliamentary seat once held by Winston Churchill.  Harry claims more for his second home  and expenses than any other MP in London, in fact his annual expense claims of £123,718 are £30,000 higher than neighbouring Walthamstow Labour MP Neil Gerrard’s claim of £92,228 and greater than Chingford Tory MP Iain Duncan Smith’s allowance of £104,222.

How does this troughing MP explain his porcine ways?

“I am almost certainly the most professional MP Leyton and Wanstead has ever had, and that includes Winston Churchill.”

harry-cohenNeighbouring Walthamstow MP Neil Gerrard quite rightly does not claim mortgage expenses.  Despite Leyton being a mere half an hour from Westminster on the Central Line tube, Harry Cohen claims the maximum tax free second home subsidy of £21,63.

The effrontery of this odious MP comparing himself to Winston Churchill is astounding.  As the Guardian wittily points out: “One saved the nation. The other saves his receipts.”

Hat-tip : Waltham Forest Guardian

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Poll : 2% Think MPs Honest About Expenses

A PoliticsHome poll finds that:

  • 2% of respondents believe “virtually all MPs are honest about claiming expenses”.
  • 86% of respondents think MP’s expense arrangements are “too generous”.

As many as 2%?  Surely that is within the margin of error?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

McNulty Should Pay Back His Fiddle

Guido went to school with Tony McNulty and it seems that some of the moral guidance he was given by the Irish priests has been lost on him after spending so long in Westminster.

The Mail on Sunday reports that the taxpayer is paying his parent’s housing costs – they live in his constituency home in Harrow (11 miles from Big Ben) while he lives in Hammersmith (3 miles from Westminster).  Note that it is about half-an-hour on the Metropolitan tube line from his constituency home to Westmnster tube station.  Why on earth in those circumstances should he need to avail himself of the second home allowance?

The remnants of a Catholic guilt complex have just about survived his years in the parliament of whores, because after being caught he told the Mail on Sunday that:

  • He was stopping claiming the allowance.
  • He thinks MPs who live within 60 miles of Westminster should be barred from claiming the mortgage subsidy.

He then tried to muddy the issue by claiming that Tory frontbenchers also abuse the allowance – true – which breaks the terms of the ceasefire on this issue agreed by whips from both parties.  He then backtracked and said “that is entirely appropriate.” They really are all at it.

McNulty has claimed over £100,000 from the allowance – despite him and his  quangocrat wife receiving an income from the taxpayers of some £1/3 million a year.  Do you think there is any chance he will repay it – if he thinks it inappropriate to claim it now – surely it was inappropriate in the past as well?  Like Spelman he should have to repay what he cheated from the taxpayers and be grateful he isn’t facing charges for obtaining monies by deception.

Guido wants to remind readers that the parliamentary committee set up to review the system – following repeated exposure of MPs defrauding the taxpayers – is recommending that the rules be changed to make the fiddle permissable.  MPs deciding MPs should continue to be able to get away with ripping off the taxpayers.  They really do like to stick their snouts in the taxpayer’s trough and crap it out on the public.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Union Boss "Wins" With 5.4% of the Vote

Unite, the union which effectively controls the purse strings of the Labour Party, had an election for leader and nobody bothered. 85% of voters were in the none-of-the-above category.

With only 15% bothering to vote, only 60,048 (5.4%) out of a claimed membership of 1,096,51 voted to keep Derek Simpson in the bling style to which he is accustomed. Not exactly a resounding endorsement.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Spelman Ruling Establishes Important Principle

Guido argued strongly ahead of the decision that whatever the Standards and Privileges Committee ruled exactly, Spelman should have to pay back the cash she fiddled from her parliamentary expenses to pay the nanny. Given that the Committee of MPs invariably gives MPs under investigation the benefit of the doubt it seemed likely that she would get away with some claim ignorance of the rules, cite some ambiguity, claim it was a technical or administrative over-sight or whatever. These people are politicians after all, spin and blame avoidance are their way of life.

Nevertheless, even though it was ruled that she had “inadvertently” fiddled the money, she has been ordered to pay some of the money back on the basis that the taxpayer was paying the higher rate for a nanny not the rate for a parliamentary assistant and she therefore has to repay the difference.

They gave her the benefit of the doubt. Spelman ironically contradicted herself in her own evidence and shot herself in the foot. [Full report here.]

Mrs Spelman told us that Mrs Haynes “would have been most interested in the take-home pay received for her employment as a whole.” In our view, this does not help Mrs Spelman’s case. Rather, it tends to support the Commissioner’s view that Mrs Haynes would have been unlikely to have worked as Mrs Spelman’s nanny without some separate financial remuneration. The fact that Mrs Haynes was paid nothing as Mrs Spelman’s nanny while she was also working and being paid as Mrs Spelman’s administration assistant, but after giving up the latter role was paid a salary as nanny of £13,000, is in our view telling.

Many would say that just demonstrates what a poor advocate she is, others would say she was just being honest. Nevertheless she hired her own nanny subsequently at the rate she was previously paying Tina Haynes out of our taxes.

Guido regards this as a victory over the piggies, it established the principle that wrongfully claimed expenses – even if “inadvertently” claimed – must be repaid. Take note Jacqui. So now what do we do about the Wintertons?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

MPs Push Through Two Rule Changes to Hide Fiddles

It is a legal requirement that on the ballot paper an MP gives his home address. It is a connection that allows voters to know where their representative lives. It carries a risk of course, all celebrities would prefer nutters not to know where they live, but that is the price for being in the public eye.

The link has survived the threats of anarchist bombers, fears of Nazi invasion and IRA terrorism, survived until now. Ask yourself why MPs yesterday voted to keep their home addresses secret for the first time in parliamentary history. Is it really over fears for security? Is it actually because they want to keep things private and make it more difficult to discover that they are fiddling their expenses or have us know in what style they live at our expense? Isn’t it really because they want to keep on troughing out of sight.

That is not all, Guido wants to remind co-conspirators that because so many MPs are getting caught fiddling the main home / second home allowance – Julian Lewis is the latest – MPs are also planning to change the rules in the Green Book to make the fiddle permissible. Take a moment to take that in.

The Speaker appointed committee supposedly to look into tightening up the rules and improving transparency has recommended that the biggest and most expensive fiddle committed by MPs be made permissible. It is a Kafkaesque joke at our expense. It will no longer be a blatant fiddle by MPs defrauding the taxpayer, it will be within the rules.

Also the provision in the rules that “any allowance for overnight costs arising from Parliamentary duties in London may not be used for accommodation expenses in respect of a residence designated by an hon Member as his main residence for tax purposes” will not be included in the new Green Book. So the pigs will be able to maximise their capital gains exemption on their HMRC defined primary residence and maximise their expense claims on their self-determined primary residence for ripping off the taxpayer. Only venal MPs would fix the laws for themselves so that they can profitably legally have two different primary residences.

They might as well just spit in our faces and send us the bill for cleaning up.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Cui Bono M’Lords?

The Construction Bill passing through the House of Lords is a classic of its kind. Technical, boring and of little interest to most people, except for those in the industry who will profit or lose from amendments to the tune of millions. Lord O’Neill, the former Labour MP turned ermine-clad troughing piggy, decided to withdraw amendments to the bill after The Times’ Sam Coates spotted that he was paid by the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group.

Guido’s co-conspirator from the property world has now spotted that Lord O’Neill’s withdrawn amendments from the Local Democracy, Economic Development, Construction Bill have recently been re-tabled by Lord Borrie. The same exact amendments (Amendments 203A to 217A) without alteration.

Compare Lord O’Neill’s amendments to Lord Borrie’s amendments.

Guido has gone to the trouble of underling the differences between the two amendments in red. Perhaps Lord Borrie personally feels strongly about construction contracts or he’s just mates with Lord O’Neill. Either way I’m sure Lord O’Neill’s sponsors, the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group, are happy with the coincidence.

They really are all at it in the Parliament of Whores…


Seen Elsewhere

Yes Scotland’s Geo-Targeting Advertising Fail | MessageSpace
#IndyRef Twitter Map | Trendsmap
Westminster Has Patronised Scots | Scottish Sun
What Happens in the Event of a Recount? | Breitbart
Yes Side Emphatically Won Campaign | Speccie
Joyce Thacker on Sick Leave | Doncaster Free Press
Claire Perry Slams ‘Goodies’ for Scots | Sun
Westminster Truce Shatters | Times
Boris: Prime Minister By Monday | James Ford
Tories Say Don’t Bribe the Scots | Times
Dave Can’t Stay if Scots Go | Laura Perrins


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