Monday, May 26, 2008

Iain Dale: Not Seeking to Make a Party Political Point


Iain Dale chooses the moment of a Sunday Times revelation that Alan and Anne Keen MPs claimed some life insurance to bear down hard on expenses. Now I don't know anything about the particular circumstances of this cover, and there's not much at the Times, though it does call it a "scam"; that's in the headline only by the way which may mean something to lawyers out there.

If this is indeed a "scam", though apparently fully approved, the book should be thrown at all responsible and the whole expenses regime be unpacked and repacked fit for purpose.

But I'm struck by Iain's weaselish:

I'm not actually seeking to make a party political point out of this as I am sure there are some odd expenses which have come to light for Conservative MPs too.

Which is pretty rich given his point blank REFUSAL to cover the far greater scams perpetrated by his bessie mate Derek Conway which refusal he excused robustly, yet rather feebly, HERE.

Yes, indeed Iain, "there are some odd expenses which have come to light for Conservative MPs too". And your claim to not make a party political point is destroyed when you don't cover those.

IMAGE: From Rue Britannia

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dale is expert at the "I'm being really objective about this and not at all party political but" bullshit.He's a party political Tory hack and a blatant hypocrite to boot.I have no problem with that, he is a politician after all, just spare us the sanctimony Ian.

Diablo said...

"...And your claim to not make a party political point is destroyed when you don't cover those."

What he did say is:
"...I'm not actually seeking to make a party political point out of this as I am sure there are some odd expenses which have come to light for Conservative MPs too. What this episode means is that the whole system needs a complete overhaul and it should be conducted by professional auditors from outside the Parliamentary Estate. The Fees Office has proved itself incapable of running its own affairs."

The point of Iain's blog was to draw attention to the fact that the HoC's Fees Office appeared to be incompetent in allowing this claim to go through. What other mistakes have they made?

It is now widely acknowledged that the framework under which MPs have been able to claim expenses is very confused - and confusing. Any MP could end up making, what in hindsight, is a wrong claim but if this is not spotted by the Fees Office then is it their fault?

As for Conway paying his son for non-existent work, this was entirely out of order and I said so at the time and also said that he should be sacked by Cameron immediately. Which is, of course what happened.

So, Chris, having yet another rather weak pop at Iain Dale (and the "Tories" by extension) misses the key issue. The Fees Office have been part of this cock-up and need to have their role scrutinised along with the expenses claimed by all MPs.

(NB: I don't really care that Margaret Beckett claimed £600 for a pergola, or even, that Gordon Brown bought some light bulbs - I'm sure it was all within the rules - but for one MP to claim the monthly premium's on a life insurance policy on her MP husband does seem somewhat bizarre and deserves a bit more scrutiny. Don't you agree?)

Letters From A Tory said...

Any MP that screws the system deserves to be thrown to the media wolves, I don't care which party they are from.

Chris Paul said...

Agree with LFAT, but Diablo, sorry, I can read, but Iain's position is not respectable. He makes party political points continually by ignoring Tory scrapes of all kinds.

This is made worse when he denies it.