Andrew Pierce was on Today this morning and his telegenic features are popping up on Sky and BBC news channels. He tells us how the Telegraph’s noble role in the expenses scandal has saved the taxpayers hundreds of thousands already, how it is leading to the reform of the system and how it was achieved because outraged moonlighting soldiers providing security at the plant where the data was being redacted, provided the evidence. The whole story is out today in a book, No Expenses Spared, from the Telegraph’s chief reporter, Gordon Rayner.
The Telegraph headlines that MPs Lived Lavishly as Soldiers Died, it quotes their source as saying “It’s not easy to watch footage on the television news of a coffin draped in a Union Jack and then come in to work the next day and see on your computer screen what MPs are taking for themselves... When they’re out in Afghanistan they’re out there for Queen and country, earning £16,000 or £17,000 a year, knowing they’re going to take losses, while the MPs are sitting in Parliament on £65,000, with massive expenses, and meanwhile you’ve got bodies coming home.” Clearly the whistle-blowers were motivated by a justified sense of moral outrage at the troughing of MPs and the parsimonious way they treat the troops, their comrades. £20 a day for MPs’ lunches versus rations for them. Guido called up Gordon Rayner, one of the book’s authors, to ask was it true that he was donating the royalties from his book to Help for Heroes? “Look, I’m not going there” was his response.
So no royalties spared...
UPDATE : Lembit thinks all profits should go to Help for Heroes