Dorries cuts off nose to spite her face

June 27th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Get your violins out, folks. Nadine Dorries is after some sympathy

Nadine Dorries is to stop claiming personal parliamentary expenses to avoid being further ‘targeted’ by investigations.

Speaking exclusively to the Times & Citizen, the MP for Mid Bedfordshire revealed that she will forego around £3,040 a month in expenses including cash for Westminster accommodation, council tax, travel costs and meals.

She said: “For me the problem is the moment I put my head above the parapet and campaigned to have the abortion limit reduced from 24 weeks to 20 I became a target.”

Well, yes wanting to be more restrictive on abortion is one of the reasons Dorries gets a load of shit, and it’s not just the time limit that she want’s introduced that’s got peoples hackles up, but her proposed restriction on who can give counselling that would see many non-religious, pro-choice organisations excluded and the only choice many women would have would be to receive counselling by anti-abortion organisations.

But the reason Dorries keeps getting her expenses investigated is not because of her views on abortion, it’s her attitude to claiming them. See Ministy of Truth here or really just enter into the search box of the site “nadine dorries“.

She added: “Even though I’m completely innocent it’s tough for my office staff because they are the ones who are responsible for compliance.

“Every time there is an investigation it goes on for months and I can’t keep putting them through it.

We shall have to see if Dorries is completely innocent or not, but an appeal for everyone to stop reporting her not-so-straight-forward-expenses reporting would be a nice touch, if she didn’t keep giving IPSA reason to investigate her.

The only person able to stop the ivestigations if Dorries herself.

“I’ve had to take this decision it’s been horrible to see how stressed they have been, even though the investigations always fully cleared me.”

Hahahaha! Really?

She said: “I feel that the best thing to do is to remove all claims and I’m lucky because I’ve got personal support and can do that. I’ve got a great partner.”

She added: “I’m going to work for free, I have to live in Bedfordshire because it’s what my constituents expect from me, but as I sit on and chair committees I have to have accommodation in Westminster.”

Another, fairly major sleight of hand there, as she won’t be working for free, being paid nothing. She will still get the £65k-ish salary. But not claiming expenses is not the thing to do. Dorries here, knows she’s going to get her knuckles rapped. She may not get a proper bollocking, but she knows it looks bad and so instead of looking at why her expenses look so bad and trying to organise things better, she’s trying to make herself a matyr.

Fair enough. If she doesn’t want her expenses, fine. She’ll be the one to lose out.

While we’re talking about Dorries’ salary, she did promise to donate to charity her salary for the time she spent in the jungle on I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!. She was on it for 12 days which works out at about £2,100 -ish.

Has she? Hasn’t she?…

It’s called a Freedom of *Information* request

June 18th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Like most people today*, I’ve had a quick squint at my MPs’ receipts that have now been published, thanks to a FoI request, on the parliament website.

The following picture is a snapshot of one of the .pdf’s and seems fairly typical (click to enlarge)…


What bloody good is that? You can only presume the two bits go together by the total, as on the proper receipt even the name of the company is blanked out. Why is that? Why can’t we know the company that issued the receipt?
Why are the items blanked out? Why aren’t we allowed to know what the £64 was actually spent on?

All that tells us is that Dr Evan Harris spent £64 on something from a company that might be called Caudwell Communications.

I can understand the blacking out of an MPs’ phone number or most of their address, though there is no reason to black that out completely as just leaving us with the town or city would be enough to give some scrutiny. But to leave a receipt with just a total figure and present it as being open and transparent is just complete bollox. The receipt could be for a bucket of used condoms from ‘Cocks R Us’. How would we know?

MPs’ reckoned they were sorry. My fucking arse, are they. Even when told to be open and transparent, they still try to cover up. They knew they had been milking the system, it was never ‘sloppy accounting’ or errors of judgement, as we were kept being assured.

If it hadn’t been for the Telegraph, these money grabbing shits would’ve been able to blag their way to keeping their seats and their reputations (ha!) thanks to a metaphorical black marker.

It’s called a Freedom of Information request, dummy. So lets have some information.

*actually, most people are probably having a long hard look.

Not doing yourself any favours

May 15th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

As of Tim Ireland of bloggerheads just twittered, Iain Dale claims Dorries has spiked the Telegraph’s guns when she’s really shot herself in the face.”

Oh what fun!!

A question for the honourable member

May 15th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

A question for Nadine Dorries on her post The Daily Telegraph (I’m telling you the title of the post and not just linking to it because her main-website-intergrated-blog doesn’t have post pages)…

Charlie*, the difference is, Newspapers do not spend public money on expenses. I do not care if a journo claims £48 on a bottle of wine, takes it home and then claims it on his expenses because I wasn’t forced to contribute to it.

Now Nadine, about this second home, do you or do you not have a second home?
Is this ‘somewhere else’ yours or someone elses? If it is yours, then no problem. If it isn’t then I think you may be in a sticky position.

It’s logged here because Nadines got comment moderation enabled.

*Charlie says…

I would be very interested to read about journalists’ expenses because if politicians are lying scum – journalists are twenty times worse.

It got published

The Daily Mail: Just smell that hypocrasy

May 15th, 2009 § 1 comment § permalink

The Sun is outraged by the MOD banning online access to page 3. But before starting a campaign to get it unblocked, the rude redtop should’ve got itself in order first, as News Internationals servers also block the ‘harmless fun’.

In the same vein, maybe the Daily Mail should sort out it’s top man, Lord Rothermere, to avoid any hint of hypocrasy. Especially since the organisation the Mail has teamed up with is The Taxpayers Alliance.

The Daily Mail has joined up with the Taxpayers Alliance (TPA) to try and get some of these grubby politicians prosecuted, by private prosecutions if neccersary, for the the outragous expenses claims that have been coming to light over the last week or so thanks to the Telegraph.

I’m all for that, but the two organisations, the Mail and TPA, are two unlikely bedfellows.


is Britain’s independent grassroots campaign for lower taxes.

…and basically, if the government spend some money, these guys say they could’ve spent less of it. So it comes as a bit of a surprise that a group so concerned about tax should jointly launch a campaign to recover taxpayers money with a company that at it’s head, has someone trying, and successfully avoiding all the tax he can. After all, if these rich business people payed what was due of them, as apposed to the bare minimum they can get away with after lots of creative accounting, then the burden for all of us could probably come down a little.

Wouldn’t that be nice, eh?

Ooh, here’s an idea, instead of asking the public, taxpayers remember, to help pay for it, how about Lord Rothermere put his hand in his pocket?

Maybe it’s not such a strange partnership. They’re both working to the same ends: The TPA by nagging the government not to spend any money and Lord Rothermere by stopping the government spending money by not giving them any.

Mark Thomas threatens legal action

May 14th, 2009 § 3 comments § permalink

Mark Thomas press release (URL may change)…

Today Mark Thomas, political activist, commentator, performer, writer and comedian has instructed his lawyers, Leigh Day & Co to write to the Speaker of the House of Commons threatening legal action unless a full transparent review is urgently ordered into the scandal of MPs expenses.

Mr Thomas has been advised that the approach peddled by MPs in the press that their unreasonable expenses are within the rules is not correct. In fact, the current scandal has been largely caused by attempts by many MPs to stretch the rules far beyond their ordinary meaning and an unwillingness by the House of Commons Department of Finance and Administration officials to rein them in.

The letter requires Speaker Martin, as Chair of the House of Commons Commission to take urgent steps to commence a review of the Department’s actions in dealing with MPs’ applications for expenses. The following steps are set down as the bare minimum requirements:

To obtain and publish independent authoritative legal advice & guidance on the meaning of the MPs’ expenses rules, to be consistent with other guidance applicable to the public where similar words are used
To appoint independent accountants to audit all claims by MPs in the current parliament against the legal advice and guidance obtained
To consider auditing all claims by MPs back to May 1997, applying consistent principles which would be applied in cases of false/excessive claims against other public authorities or the HMRC
To explain publicly what sums have been wrongly paid out to members and to set out proposals for recoupment where overpayments have been made, such recoupment to be no more favourable to MPs than the system for recovery of benefits overpayments or income tax underpayments
To report possibly fraudulent claims to the Metropolitan Police fraud squad for investigation.
The Speaker has been given 14 days to respond, failing which Judicial Review proceedings may follow.

Mark Thomas said:

“MPs are not above the law. If they have wrongly claimed expenses they should be made to repay. If they have acted fraudulently the police should be involved. This is what would happen to all of us as members of the public if we tried to fiddle public money.

Fraudulent benefit claimants are not allowed to form committees comprised of benefit claimants to investigate their misdemeanours. Nor can exposed tax cheats offer to pay back money because they are ‘concerned about how it looks to the outside world’ and then walk away with no repercussion.

If I need to go to court I will be making a public appeal to cover the legal costs of the case, which I’m sure will have overwhelming support! ”

Richard Stein, partner at Leigh Day & Co said:

“The main problem here is not the rules governing payment of MPs’ expenses, but how they have been applied. Many MPs have made claims which do not properly fall within the rules. The rules say that MPs have a responsibility to satisfy themselves that expenditure claimed has been ‘wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred’ for the purpose of performing their Parliamentary duties and that overspent or mischarged amounts may be recovered. The House of Commons authorities must now take steps to make sure this happens”

via norock

I see trouble ahead…

May 14th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Clive Davis in the Spectator, from a letter in the Guardian (the Guardian link doesn’t work for some reason)…

Reading Chris Mullin’s excellent diaries, “A View from the Foothills”, I came across this entry from 1 May 2002: “Apparently, under the Freedom of Information Act, by January 2005, MPs’ expenses will be subject to public scrutiny, retrospectively. Goodness knows what mayhem that will cause. ‘We are in a jam,’ said Robin Cook. ‘Few members have yet tumbled to the juggernaut heading their way.'”

Seven years. Count them 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. That is a long time, in or out of politics.

Seven years to clean up your tracks, to clean up your bevaviour, to think of a better excuse than ‘Oh dear. How silly of me’.

What stupid thick bastards/arrogant shits do we have running this place that even with seven years notice they still fuck it up for themselves?

I think I’m gonna go rope shopping at the weekend. The lamposts round my way need some decorating.

Via Justin

How stupid are they/do they think we are?

May 13th, 2009 § 4 comments § permalink

After Jack Straw admitting

Accountancy does not appear to be my strongest suit.

…when his department is in charge of a bucket load of cash, he is a fellow of the Royal Society of Statasticians and once upon a time fancied himself as Chancellor, we now have Elliot Morley who didn’t know when his mortgage had been paid off and so claimed £16,000 for it

Elliot Morley, a former fisheries and environment minister, claimed £800 per month for a property in Scunthorpe when the mortgage had already been paid.

Mr Morley told the BBC he repaid the money after realising he had mistakenly continued claiming for his mortgage payments after it was repaid in 2006.

Didn’t he wonder why the statements from the mortgage company stopped? Didn’t he wonder why he was suddenly £800 up in his bank every month FOR 20 MONTHS?!

How do these cunting fucks expect us to believe a word they fucking say when they put fucking stupid shit like this down to ‘a mistake’?

Either they are fucking bent and need prosecuting for fraud or they are so fucking stupid that they shouldn’t be anywhere near the seat of power in a Wendy House, never mind the Houses of Parliament.

Hazel Blears is a liar

May 13th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

I don’t really want to keep beating Hazel Blears up about this until someone needs to prise my hands from her throat* but the fucking gall of the woman, no wonder she’s done so well in the Labour government.

*May contain traces of lie.

Anyway moving on…

Hazel Blears has been waving a cheque about for what she should’ve paid in capital gain tax from the sale one of her houses (and I use h*house* rather than *home* deliberately) in 2005, *ahem* had she been liable

Despite maintaining that she had acted within the rules, she announced late last night – after talks with Gordon Brown – that she would pay £13,332.

Blears may have acted within the rules, but which rules did she act within?…

The Communities Secretary told parliamentary authorities that a flat she owned in Kennington, south London, was her second home. However, she told the taxman that the property was her main home – and therefore did not have to pay tax on the profits of its sale in 2005.

She told the tax man one thing and the parliament authorities another. She told the tax man it was her first home to avoid paying capital gains tax. She told the parliament authorities is was her second home so she could claim allowances for it.
The house couldn’t have been her first home and have allowance paid for it and if it had been her second home, she would’ve had to pay capital gains tax.
I do not believe that this contradiction is an accident or oversight as Hazel would’ve been submitting receipts and makes claims in connection to this house and when that is the case it is extremely, dare I say impossible, to forget the designation of the house as first or second.

Two questions:

  1. Did Hazel Blears lie to the tax man or the parliament authorities?
  2. How much would Hazel Blears have to repay to the parliament authorities if this house had been her first home?


More expense bullshit

May 12th, 2009 § 2 comments § permalink

Everyone pretty much accepts that MP should have expenses, but those expenses should be for stuff needed for the duties of an MP.

What the cunting fuck are these shower of shits doing claiming for swimming pools, piano tuning, stables, moat cleaning (a fucking moat, for christ sake!), chandelier hanging and home improvement by the addition of a portico.

In an example of how seriously these wankers take the system, Micheal Spicer…

submitted a detailed invoice which included “hedge cutting … helipad”, although he claimed last night that the “helipad” was a “family joke”.

What sort of cunt jokes on expenses claims? What sort organisation doesn’t question it?

And then there’s Stewart Jackson…

claimed more than £300 for work on a swimming pool, and hundreds more for work to a “summer room”. Last night he agreed to repay the money claimed for the swimming pool.

In a lengthy statement he said in his defence Jackson said :”The pool came with the house and I needed to know how to run it.

“Once I was shown that one time, there were no more claims. I take care of the pool myself. I believe this represents ‘value for money’ for the taxpayer, as required by the Green Book [the Commons rulebook on claiming expenses.

He may have needed to know how to run the pool, but why should the fucking taxpayer pay for some cunt to tell him? Is it going to make him work harder or better? It might be better value to pay someone to show Jackson how to look after the pool rather than pay for an engineer to come out whenever something needs doing, but what value is it adding to his performance as an MP? Fucking none. A swimming pool is not needed to do an MP’s job.

The expenses should be for stuff that an MP needs.

  • If they’ve got a home in their constituency and one in london then they shouldn’t be allowed to claim a second home allowance, as they already have a second home and would be paying the bills and stuff on it anyway
  • If they don’t have a second home already, they should be able to either claim, upto a certain amount, enough for say a two bed flat, either rent or mortgage interest.
  • If a flat is bought/rented, then a contribution, not a full reimbursement, towards furniture would be allowed. The definition of furniture being tables, chairs, a cooker, fridge, bed, curtains and that type of thing. Stuff that makes a building livable. Not vases and pictures and items that make a home homely.
  • There needs to be some way of closing down the loophole that enables ‘flipping’, the swapping of second home designations between homes at a drop of a hat. Maybe the definition needs to be changed to the first home being where the MPs’ spouse/partner & children (if any) are based, and for single MP’s some other definition that rules out flipping.
  • Food expenses either to be cut severely or to be done away with completely. £400 a month for food shopping is ridiculous. A family of 4 lives very nicely on that.

My preferred choice of solution would be for the government to buy a stock of flats and let the MPs’ use them. To keep the ‘small state’ people happy, the government could lease some from a private company (based in some tax haven, of course) under a PFI project.

Nobody can reasonably expect an MP, who because of the very nature of the job has to live in two places, not to have expenses, but when MP’s abuse the rule and expect the taxpayer to pay for stuff that is not related to the job, from cleaning out moats (a moat, FFS!) to babies nappies, then the rules need to be tightened and their receipts scrutinised even closer.

‘The honourable member’ indeed, ffs.
And no, it’s not a party thing.

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