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…

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

+++ Source : Spelman Report Not Officially Released Today +++

The Standards and Privileges Committee has received the report this morning from John Lyon, but is not expected to issue anything official until later this week.

UPDATE : Jonathan Isaby is reporting over on ConservativeHome that the committee could not come to a consensus conclusion and that the chairman, “Sir George Young, intends using the next week to take soundings from among the committee with the aim of forging a consensus by the time the committee meets again next Tuesday.”

UPDATE II : The feeling is that Spelman is in trouble. If she was only going to get a slap on the wrist, why the delay?

Spelman Should Pay Back the Nanny Cash

Whatever the Standards and Privileges Committee rule today (Guido has the whitewash removing solvents ready) Spelman should have to pay back the cash she fiddled from her parliamentary expenses to pay the nanny.

If, as Spelman has been spinning, the Lyon inquiry reports that there is no evidence of deliberate wrongdoing or a breach of Commons rules, this will infuriate many parents like Mr & Mrs Fawkes, who have to pay for childcare out of post-tax income. To pay a nanny costs middle-class parents some £40,000 a year in pre-tax income. We are expected to believe that Spelman’s nanny was actually her constituency secretary* thus paid for by the taxpayer and that in return for her childcare duties her only compensation was room and board. Who really believes that the money was not payment for her childcare duties? Unbelievable, it simply does not wash.

If anyone knows of a nanny willing to work for only room and board can you please let Mrs Fawkes know, because we have never heard of such a deal. This was a complete and utter p*ss-take out of the taxpayer. Here is the acid test – if it really was completely above board and as she claims – why did she stop the arrangement? This benefits fiddle was too much, Spelman should pay back the cash even if the Committee rules it was “not deliberate”.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Sleaze Round-Up

The Sunday Herald reports that Chancellor Alistair Darling claimed tens of thousands of taxpayers money for his designated “second home” at the same time as renting out a flat in London. He actually has some five homes to choose from.

John Reid, the former home secretary, Charles Kennedy and government whip Tommy McAvoy exploited the same perk to build their own personal property portfolio.

You the taxpayer subsidised them building up a property portfolio. This scam is rife.

Gordon Brown faces censure by the Standards Commissioner, for failing to declare £1,600 in rent from subletting his constituency office to Labour Party allies. He claims from the taxpayer for the cost of the offices that he sublet.

David Miliband has been indulging in more creative accounting to avoid inheritance taxes – he should just wait for Osborne to become chancellor. How does the son of a Marxist professor end up living in a £1.3 million home without ever having a proper job outside politics?

Even some Labour MPs think Jacqui Smith is troughing it too much with her second home fiddle and they stay for three nights a week in London hotels for less than a £100 a night. Costing taxpayers much less than she claims to stay at her sisters…

Who Wants to be a Millionaire MEP?

No one is really surprised by MEP’s expense fiddles. The Taxpayers’ Alliance has got a leaked copy of the confidential Galvin Report into Euro-fiddles. The Galvin Report, named after Robert Galvin, the EU Internal Audit Official whose name is on its front cover, was written at the end of 2006 as an audit of the expenses and allowances claimed by a sample of more than 160 MEPs.. Some of the brazen fiddles are just complete p*ss-takes. The Taxpayers’ Alliance shows how it is possible to become a millionaire in a single term as an MEP with shrewd claiming of expenses and allowances. See the summary here [pdf]. British MEPs will be taking home 47% more after June 2009, nice work if you can get it…

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Standards Commissioner Asks Jacqui to Explain Herself

Paul Waugh has the scoop – John Lyon has finally written to Jacqui Smith asking her to explain her £116,000 fiddle.

She is going with the “it was all approved” line. Guido very much doubts she told the Fees Office she was going to spend most nights of the year with her family rather than at the “main home” (actually her sister’s spare bedroom).

On the basis of the Trend ruling, where the Tory MP in parallel circumstances had to pay back £90,000 and the precedent established ironically by Mr & Mrs Balls, she has a prima facie case to answer. (The Balls’ argued successfully that in the recess and school holidays they spent the majority of the time away from London at their constitutency home, therefore on the basis that they spend more nights there, that was their main home). The Standards Committee needs to take a hard look into the evidence of where she spent most nights.

UPDATE : Isn’t there a huge conflict of interest here? The best independent source of evidence for where Jacqui spent her nights will be the records of the police protection unit. Who oversees the police?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lord Moonie’s Backers Arrested Alistair Darling "Did a Jacqui"

When the man in charge of the nation’s finances, Alistair Darling, has been caught fiddling his expenses, and Jacqui Smith, the woman who is in charge of crime prevention is accused of corruption, you have a government which is a kleptocracy. The New Labour promise to be “whiter than white” is like a sick joke now.

Lord Moonie’s money grubbing ways are a disgrace to the House of Lords, he also aided and abetted another expenses fiddle by facilitating Alistair Darling lodging with him and claiming expenses based on Moonie’s flat being Darling’s “main home”, in just the same way that Jacqui claims her sister’s house is her “main home”. Already under investigation for Cash for Amendments, Lord Moonie is mired in fresh sleaze after his business associates were arrested in a police probe into alleged fraud in the NHS.

The Sunday Herald has the scoop:

Richard Nawrot and George Henderson, who run Fife-based Americium Developments, were arrested in London last month on “suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud and misconduct in a public office”.

Americium currently pays Moonie, a close ally of Gordon Brown, up to £40,000 a year in consultancy fees. The peer’s relationship with the company dates back to October 2006.

Two of Americium’s US clients have told the Sunday Herald they had lunch with Moonie and Nawrot at Westminster and that the peer later gave a tour of the parliament.

One client said he discussed a potential NHS contract with Moonie at the lunch.

Moonie was close to Gordon and at the heart of the Scottish Raj. He knows where the bodies are buried. This could potentially get very messy for Brown.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cameron Criticises Jacqui Smith

Dave has just told LBC Radio: “I think it is also important that the arrangements that we go into, we can explain them in a reasonable way to a reasonable person, and they would think that we were being reasonable. I don’t think her arrangements really pass that test.” On the subject of her claiming her main residence is her spare room Dave said: “I do think it is a little bit hard to believe, but she has now got to defend it in the court of public opinion.” She may have trousered £116,000 but Guido thinks it will cost her the parliamentary seat.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Second Complaint Over Jacqui Smith to Parliamentary Standards Commissioner


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Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann on Cameron’s refusal to pay the £1.7 billion EU bill by December 1st:

“Well, then he’s gonna pay on December 2nd”



Mycroft says:

Have you read the last bit of Animal Farm?

You know where the animals are looking through the Farmhouse window?

My TV screen was that window at lunch-time today.

Be careful, the sudden self-congratulatory tone, the slightly pudgy outline of indulgence and you become exactly what you should despise.

The jolly face of the Quisling Cameron poses for your camera has mesmerised and deceived you, you who were once not so deceived.

You were no firebrand, you were a damp squib in my opinion, sorry.

You need a damned good kick up the ahse!


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