Saturday, August 16, 2008

She Didn’t Get the MP’s Job Dunwoody Still Unemployed

It is nearly five months since Tamsin Dunwoody lost the Crewe & Nantwich by-election. Apologists for politician’s troughing ways claim that the taxpayer needs to pay three times the national wage to MPs to attract high calibre candidates. Guido argues that there is no shortage of candidates, vacant safe seats attract hundreds of ambitious applicants, the market price for wannabee MPs is clearly lower, demand already far outstrips the available supply of constituency seats.

MPs and their apologists claim that they could earn far more in comparison doing other things – to which Guido retorts if they are in it for the money, they should do something else. The modern political class largely comprises of ex-party HQ staff, SpAds, spin merchants with a smattering of lawyers, ex-trade union officials and polytechnic lecturers. Life-long political insiders since their university days with little real world experience outside politics do not have great skill sets for the private sector (outside becoming lobbyists). It is no surprise therefore that Tamsin is still unemployed

She tells the Telegraph “I’ve not been able to find a job since losing my seat in the Welsh Assembly a year ago and I don’t have a pot of gold, so I can’t just go off and do what I want. People don’t like to employ ex-politicians, especially Labour ones like me who might unionise.” After the general election there are going to be a hell of a lot more Labour ex-MPs, SpAds , bag carriers and their hangers on. Nowadays lobbyists don’t even want them, they are alos handicapped by speaking an incomprehensible verbless language: New Labour-speak. They will have to be re-trained to become socially useful, to learn new modes of speaking… “Would you like fries with that, sir?”

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tender Welsh Pork Costs Taxpayers

Interesting how the expense claims swilling by Welsh Assembly members breaks down by party:
Lib Dems AMs: Total : £55,321. Average : £9,220
Plaid Cymru AMs: Total : £129,936. Average: £8,662
Conservative AMs: Total: £93,730. Average : £7,810
Labour AMs: Total : £121,977. Average : £4,691
Source: Assembly Commission figures for 2007-2008
Why are LibDem piggies twice as expensive as Labour porkers?

Well done to Labour’s Lesley Griffiths who managed to get the taxpayers to pamper her sty with a £2,000 sofa, LibDem leader Mike German, claimed £9,217.10, for a second home despite living only 17 miles from the Assembly, Tory Nick Ramsey spent £1,000 on a top of the range TV system and more than £2,000 on two beds. Clearly pork needs to be treated tenderly…

They only awarded themselves an 8.3% pay-rise in March. Oink, oink!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How Will MPs Cope With 76 Days of Unsubsidised Booze?

As they slip off this afternoon to face a tough 12-weeks holiday in the real world without subsidised drink, Guido wonders how will MPs cope?

The House of Commons Refreshment Department operated on a subsidy of £5.5 million of taxpayers’ money in the 2007/08 financial year, which is equivalent to the total annual tax receipts from 35 pubs. The subsidy is equivalent to £8,500 per MP – that is approximately £50 per diem on top of the £30 per diem they voted to award themselves every working day in cash.

The subsidy, which for some inexplicable reason was not published in the House of Commons’ Annual Accounts, was £693,000 higher than in 2006/07 – a 15% increase. No belt tightening for MPs despite the Chancellor’s warnings.

It accounted for 43% of the operating costs, meaning that the taxpayer coughs up £4.30 for every £10 spent refreshing our politicians: even before they claim back their outgoings without receipts through the expenses system. These figures don’t include the multi-million pound re-fit of the wine cellar.
MPs are members of the best London club with a dozen bars on the parliamentary estate, plenty of dining rooms, brasseries and banqueting suites all operating without a licence and no restrictions on hours – you can even smoke in some.

A pint in the Stranger’s Bar costs £2.10, outside parliament in the West End you pay £3.50 to £4.00. An 8-year-old Scotch costs £1.35, while our politicians can enjoy a Pimm’s on the pleasant Thames-side terrace for just £1.65 – which is a third to a half of prices a mile down the road. Do you really think they need to pay politicians more to attract people?

*Not including all the additional expense claims for essential new kitchens, appliances, window cleaning, garden pergolas, plasma TVs….


[Incidentally to all PRs who send Guido press releases - the AMLR press release was the best Guido has seen in years. Clever, on a relevant subject, well aimed and timed.]

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tory Expense List Released

Uploaded to the Tory website.

Ooooh, what a surprise, the troughing Wintertons don’t appear to have put in their return…

Friday, July 11, 2008

Rosindell Googling Himself in the Early Hours

Rozzer has clearly been sat in front of his computer late at night Googling himself in the early hours of the morning. This arrived in the inbox at 1.30 this morning:

Dear Guido Fawkes

It has been drawn to my attention that on a posting dated the 24th April 2007, there are some extremely offensive comments relating to myself.

I have no problem with anyone taking part in your blog posting criticisms of me for my actions in parliament or my political views, but the remarks on this page are very personal and unpleasant as well as being untrue.

They also relate to other individuals, my family and my staff, which I find particularly offensive.

I would be grateful if you would remove them from the internet.

Thank you for your co-operation.

With best wishes.

Andrew Rosindell M.P.
Member of Parliament for Romford
Shadow Minister for Home Affairs

Looking after ROMFORD · Fighting for ENGLAND · putting BRITAIN first!

He is complaining about the entries in this caption competition from April last year.

Dear Andrew,

Yes they are unpleasant and offensive, they are also very funny. Straight insults and/or satire are however generally not considered defamatory. Nobody is seriously suggesting you and the dog are lovers. Clearly satirical comments of this nature are not actionable.

I have nevertheless had a quick look and removed a couple of comments which, at a stretch, could relate to staff members. Don’t see any about your family.

You are a public figure, you should expect public scrutiny, including ridicule. If you will go round kissing dogs for publicity photos, people are entitled to laugh and make jokes. They will therefore remain published.

On a more serious matter, I note you voted against transparency for MP’s expenses. Since we no longer have the stocks for those the public hold in contempt, my blog will have to do.

Regards,

Guido

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sunday Sleaze Round-Up

Guido has introduced a simple Pigs in Shit rating system for guidance on the misdemeanors of porcine politicians (guide here). Post links in the comments and we will update this post during the morning.

50 MPs Refuse to Disclose Details of Staff Pay
Indy

1 in 13 MPs refuse to say where the money goes and what the public gets for their money. Unbelievable.
Resigning Glasgow East Labour MP spent £500,000
Running “Office” from Home Staffed by Wife
Mail
Could the “illness” that forced his resignation be related to him pigging out on expenses?
Poll Shows Spelman
Disapproval/Tory Corruption Correlation

PoliticsHome
Sleaze is a toxic meme for the Tories, the longer Spelman chairs the party, the worse the perception will become.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Troughing Ministers, Troughing Tory MPs

No surprise to see the Wintertons voting to keep their troughs unaudited. Just to look at Tom Watson you know he obviously likes it at the trough. Surprised to see the likes of Jacqui Smith voting against auditing expenses. There were a hundred or so more backbench Labour MPs who voted to keep their snouts in the trough, that is to be expected: they are taking a “fill yer boots before we go” attitude.

UPDATE : Full list of all MPs who voted here. One shadow minister broke ranks and voted for unaudited greed – Andrew Rosindell – who is the shadow minister for dog catching or something. A job designed solely to keep him out of trouble.

UPDATE II : Have checked and all the LibDems managed to vote for more transparency.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Watching the Pigs Vote

The chamber is unusually busy for a late Thursday afternoon, more often than not many MPs slope off early on Thursday for the weekend. Could it be that they have a lot of self interest in this particular vote?

Various pleadings are being made:

Others earn more. GPs for instance. Well if you want to make more money go do something else. Study at medical school and cure people rather than tax them.

We deal with hundreds of letters. No they don’t, their staff do.

We work 70 hours a week. Oh, please.

We need to attract the best and the brightest. Why? Are the best and the brightest motivated by money?

We are so hard done by. Come off it. Long serving MPs amass massive pensions and property portfolios paid for by taxpayers. Never has a class of parasites complained so loudly about the generosity of the host.

None of them mention that their current package is already worth over £130,000, they all prefer to refer disingenuously to the basic salary of £61,820. The existing basic package including accommodation allowance is worth £98,670, add on the £30 per diem allowance and the pension and you have a clearer picture of the total £130,000 package. The trough is filled with honourable snouts…

Are MPs Worth Four Times the Average?

Today MPs will vote on their own pay and conditions. Who else gets to decide how much someone else has to pay them? It is not like we have competing parliaments to choose from, they set the taxes, and they set their own personal rake off. Like any criminal protection racket, if we don’t pay they will use force to take the money off us.

MPs currently are paid a basic salary of £61,820, almost triple the average UK earnings at £23,244. All but a few dozen also claim the Additional Costs Allowance of £22,110 – equivalent to £36,850 before tax. So the existing basic package is actually worth £98,670. They don’t like to admit this, but that is the existing reality.
They can also claim £20 per diem food allowance, they want this to rise to £30 per diem. Why can’t someone earning more than four times the average wage pay for their own lunchtime sandwiches? Front line soldiers, with pay and conditions determined by MPs, are given the equivalent of £2.30 per diem for rations. School children from low income families get the equivalent of 50p per diem. Why do they think they deserve so much more than soldiers risking their lives and impoverished children?

*This is not including the opportunity to boost household income, as many of them do, by paying their wife, mistress, husband, lover and children. Don’t forget they also claim for all transport, have a gold plated pension, subsidised bars and restaurants on top of the daily food allowance. In total they can claim up to £159,720 in expenses, in 1997 the total maximum expenses claimable by an MP was only £50,213 so that is a rise of 213%. Millionairess Barbara Follett gets her windows cleaned at the taxpayers expense, Margaret Beckett has her gardening done at the taxpayers expense. We buy them new kitchens, dishwashers, washing machines and widescreen plasma TVs. We bought lunch for Prescott to vomit up, and we paid to clean it up as well. We paid Caroline Spelman’s nanny, the Speaker’s wife’s taxi bills, Nick Clegg’s household renovation, enough mileage allowance for Janet Anderson MP to drive twice around the world. We even paid for first class tickets for Blunkett’s dirty weekends away with someone else’s wife. We also paid £7m for a refit of the parliamentary wine cellar. Cheers!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Spelman "Only Stopped Paying Nanny When Secretary Reported Her"

Michael Crick on Newsnight is going to reveal more details tonight that really will cap it for Spelman – essentially she only stopped fiddling payments to her nanny when her real secretary grassed her. It really does mean the end now. She fiddled and stopped only when she was reported and she lied about the whole thing when exposed. That is not a tenable position.

There is a ridiculous whispering campaign to make this a mother versus misogynists issue. It is actually an anti-corruption issue. The Spelmans are a wealthy couple, they could easily afford a nanny – they chose to fiddle the cost from the taxpayer. Plenty of low income mothers on benefits have gone to jail for fiddling the sums we are talking about here…

UPDATE : Two-thirds of grassroots Conservatives polled by ConservativeHome say Spelman should quit.


Seen Elsewhere

Ditch Tobacco Plain Packaging | Grassroots Conservatives
What Farage, Boris and Rob Ford Have in Common | William Walter
Labour Spell New Adviser’s Name Wrong | ITV
Dave Stung by Jellyfish | Sun
City Minister’s Inheritance Tax Dodging Trusts | Indy
What I Would Have Done if I was Sarah Wollaston | Iain Dale
Boris is an Epic Europhile | Louise Mensch
Warsi Got PM to Confront “Secular Fundamentalism” | Fraser Nelson
Guardian April Fools Apology | Press Gazette
Jenni Russell and Her Child’s Godfather, Ed Miliband | Breitbart
Labour’s Left and Right are Growing Restive | Staggers


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Rod Liddle on the loony UN sexism special rapporteur:

“There is more sexism in Britain than in any other country in the world, according to a mad woman who has been sent here by the United Nations.

Rashida Manjoo is a part-time professor of law at Cape Town University in the totally non-sexist country of South Africa (otherwise known as Rape Capital Of The World).

Mrs Magoo has been wandering around with her notebook and is appalled by the sexist “boys’ club” culture here, apparently.

I don’t doubt we still have sexism in the UK. But is it worse than in, say, Saudi Arabia, d’you think, honey-lamb? Or about 175 other countries? Get a grip, you doolally old bat.”



orkneylad says:

What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?


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