Norman Baker Filibusters Cover-Up Bill

Good luck to LibDem MP Norman Baker, who has vowed to use fillibustering tactics to ensure that the bill to exempt MPs from Freedom of Information requests runs out of time before passing.

Baker has a cross-party alliance with Tory Richard Shepherd, and Labour’s Mark Fisher and Plaid Cymru’s Hywel Williams — who have tabled a long list of amendments to the bill.

David Maclean, a Tory MP, introduced this cover-up bill. He’ll be lucky to assemble 100 MPs on a Friday afternoon to stop it being talked out. Guido knows he is a former whip, but he was never that good.

MPs would no doubt want to cover up these types of things.

Politicians are Better Off In the EU

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, the Better Off Out campaign is holding a Better Off IN reception (junket) tonight at the Old Bank of England from 7 until closing time. The theme is that politicians, not the people of Europe, are better off in the EU.

There will apparently be a gravy train, a wine lake, a butter mountain, a pig trough, porky pies and other entertainments. Philip Davies MP and Gerard Batten MEP will be launching the “London Declaration”, in response to the Berlin Declaration. The invite suggests that you wear anything you like – “anybody dressed as a fat cat politician or as a pig will be particularly welcome.” Guido will try doing his best to help reduce the wine lake.

More details here.

Snouts in the Trough : Microsoft Doles Out Pork and Wine

Here is a fine example of how the ruling political class literally get their snouts in the trough courtesy of suppliers:
First minister Jack McConnell and Danuta Hubner, European commissioner for regional policy, are among the speakers at a two-day Microsoft ‘government leaders forum’ which takes place in the Scottish parliament.

Microsoft, quasi-monopolistic purveyors of over-priced, buggy, sub-standard software have high level sales teams embedded in government, literally using government offices to sell to the government. To make sure that the bosses keep buying Microsoft they schmooze them like mad. They also fund think-tanks to produce reports protecting their monopoly and rubbishing superior open source software. You can be sure that the wine at this “government leaders forum” will have an excellent bouquet discernable to a politician’s snout.

Snouts in the Trough : MPs’ Expense Fiddles

Sir Philip Mawer, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, reckons that “the sharp differences in expenses claims among MPs were not easily explicable.” Guido can explain it easily. Loads of MPs are on the fiddle.

“The degree of variation in the spend on stationery and allowances, and in some aspects of the travel regime, are not easily explicable,” he says tactfully. “It is so marked that it is bound to give rise to questions about Members’ practice.” Ahh, he does realise they are fiddling.

He intends to press for MPs to pay for at least one of their own homes out of their own pockets. So that will bugger up Geoff Hoon forinstance, who claims at the taxpayer’s expense for his constituency home, despite owning it outright with no mortage. Senior Labour figures like David Blunkett, Jack Straw, John Prescott, Ruth Kelly and Margaret Beckett have fiddled between them hundreds of thousands of pounds in unjustified expenses. Dole cheats go to jail for far smaller frauds.

Public Sector Snouts in the Trough

The clever campaigners at the Taxpayers Alliance have turned the annual City-bonus-envy-fest on its head with the release of the Public Sector Rich List 2006. Guido thinks they have missed a few public sector soak-the-taxpayers types at the BBC – which is after all in the public sector and funded by taxes. Johnathan Woss on £18 squillion or whatever seems particularly poor value. He should be on commercial TV, as enjoyable as he is, does he really need to be paid so much by the taxpayers? Don’t get Guido started on Paxman’s million-a-year…

Only the Best Wine is Good Enough for the Trough

As Guido is reduced to knocking back the cheap €2 rosé instead of the Margaux this summer he is heartened to know that official figures show the government stockpile of booze is worth £647,000. The ‘Hospitality Wine Cellar’ holds some 35,000 bottles.

The average bottle in the cellar costs more than £18, nearly four times the price of the average taxpayer’s tipple. Us alcoholics pay £7.7 billion a year in booze tax, whilst politicians drink the best vintages at our expense. Snouts in the trough slurping up the wine…

Snouts in the Trough : Peter Hain Again

Guido does not begrudge Peter Hain his boy-racer passion for fast cars. In his own younger days Guido was known to race about in a Lotus Elise and do the odd handbrake turn in a rally car. As these pictures show Hain enjoyed himself immensely dressing up and racing cars at a Rally Ireland event in Sligo.

Unlike Peter Hain, Guido paid for his boy-racer jollies out of his own pocket rather than charge it to the taxpayer. Guido’s flights and helicopters were at his own expense. Peter Hain charged to the taxpayer the £10,754 costs of his flights and expenses. There is no political justification for this, he is just enjoying himself at the taxpayers expense. No doubt he will claim some bogus “security” justification. Look at his smile in these pictures, he is laughing at you the taxpayer.

Since when has a playboy lifestyle been the chargeable expense of a minister of the crown? He should get his turbocharged snout out of the trough and pay back every penny.

See also Snouts in the Trough : Peter Hain

Snouts in the Trough : Peter Hain

The Belfast Telegraph’s David Gordon has highlighted Peter Hain’s penchant for expensive taxpayer-funded flights to sporting events in Ireland.

Hain flew in specially chartered planes to a Dublin rugby international and two Sligo motor racing events within the past year. The bill for Hain’s costly jollies comes to £10,754. Hain, a keen motorsports fan, flew with one official last October to Sligo to attend a motorsports event. The cost of this one-day trip was £2,491. In February he flew to Dublin to attend an Ireland versus Wales rugby match. Three officials went with him and the bill for the one-day trip came to £5,002. In March, he was back in Sligo again to attend another Rally Ireland event. Two officials flew with him on a charter plane for a two-day stay which cost £3,271.

The use of taxpayer-funded charter flights to attend jollies has even provoked the Conservative Party’s Northern Ireland spokesman, David Lidington: “Everyone accepts the need for Ministers to travel, sometimes at short notice, but these three trips sound like costly jollies at taxpayers’ expense.” Guido thinks Hain can get a bloody Ryanair flight to the rugby at his own expense like the rest of us.

Blunkett Sues, He Should Lose

Blunkett is suing the Sunday Times and The Times over their reporting of his expenses fiddle [as linked]. Steven Swinford wrote the articles about the disgraceful fiddle whereby MPs claim off the taxpayer for interest and furnishing costs even if

[…]

+ READ MORE +

If You Go Down to the Lords Today…

If you go down to the Lords today,
You’re sure of a big surprise.
If you go down to the Lords today,
You’d better go in disguise.
For every Lord that ever there was
Will gather there for certain because

[…]

+ READ MORE +

"Snouts in the Trough"Get Your Nominations In!

Don’t forget to send Guido your nomination for the politician with his or her snout deepest in the taxpayer’s trough. A number of you have nominated Cherie Blair – alas Guido has decided she is in a different category since

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Nominate MPs with Snouts in the Trough

Two years ago when this blog got started one of the main motivations was how much Guido detested the venality of politicians politicising all aspects of our lives at our expense. They talk about the public interest when really they

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Boris tells the Sun:

“I think it’s a measure of his desperation, isn’t it, that yesterday we had one of the most absurd political spectacles that this country has ever seen. Not since the Tsar and Tsarina prostrated themselves and asked for economic guidance from Grigori Rasputin, has there been such a ridiculous political pilgrimages as the mission of Ed Miliband – the heir of Keir Hardie for heavens sake – to seek economic guidance from Russell Brand.”

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