Sunday, February 08, 2009

Jacqui Spliff-Gate: What Would the Honourable Guido Fawkes Do?

Looking at the fuss being made by GuF and Dale over the Mail on Sunday scoop over Jackie Smith's not-unusual-for-MPs two homing arrangements LOL gets to wondering what the pair of them would be doing with their parliamentary expenses claims if they'd been back bench MPs for some years and latterly become Cabbies.

Particularly the non-resident, non-domiciled, bankrupted, drink-drive-and-violence convict, wreckless trader, and toyer with fascists Guido Fawkes. What would butter-wouldn't-melt-in-
my-potty-mouth GuF be claiming?

Suggestions in comments ... in a purely hypothetical, medicinal kind of way if you don't mind. Has GuF got a good record around other people's money? Tax payer's money e.g. his tax?

Clearly the MPs first home/second home thing still needs sorting out. Remind me to check on the local Lib Dems in the meanwhile. But the hypocrisy of the Mail's no-doubt troughing journos and of Mr "Work the System "Til the Pips Squeak" GuF is quite extraordinary.

And I'm not sure it is in any sense true that had Jacqui "Spliff" Smith's taking a grace and favour home would:

EITHER (a) stop her second home being identified as being in the constituency and subject to a claim under her and all MP's generous Terms and Conditions;
OR (b) save any money on police protection and so on at her London lodgings. Whoever is living in the grace and favour home on the trickle down system would presumably need to be protected elsewhere if they weren't guests of her majesty?

Jacqui's spokeswoman told the MoS Bros: "She has lived with her sister in London since she was a backbench MP and is perfectly happy with it.

"Most people would think that is a nice thing."

Ahhhhh, it is though isn't it though? Whereas thinking of what Guido Fawkes would be up to, well, THAT MAKES MY BLOOD BOIL, THE SWINE.


Dick the Prick said...

Guido's not fleecing the taxpayer, isn't held as a representative, doesn't sign control orders, etc etc.

Fair play as a separate issue but shooting the messenger Chris, really?

Chris Paul said...

Guido IS fleecing the taxpayer. He doesn't pay tax yet apparently benefits from public services. And he helps others do likewise.

And he's a convict and a bankrupt. A very sleazy individual.

Whereas, as far as I can see Jacqui Smith is doing much the same as 600 other MPs because that's in her T&C. The grace and favour home is a red herring. And the police cost ditto.

This is a generic issue with MP's pay and conditions. And that still needs reforming.

Ashcroft and Laidlaw are far, far worse. What are leading Tories doing with this? What did Ken Clarke do for example? They should just get a pay rise and have some of these things closed down.

Would it be in some way better if JS was using the £24,000 to purchase in Notting Hill? Moving up the property ladder? Paying her other mortgage from her salary?

It would probably be more financially rewarding for JS in the medium to long term ... but it would cost the tax payer EXACTLY the same. Now wouldn't it?

The messenger needs shooting and coming from them the message is especially unpalatable but it is the message itself that I am unpacking here.

Anonymous said...

0800 788 887

Ring this number now...

Barnacle Bill said...

No ifs no buts CP, neither Guido nor Mrs. Dale are elected representatives of the people, so do not have access to the trough.
You pathetic attempts at smokescreening are very NuLabor.
I bet you'd even support torture if you didn't have to actual pull the finger nails out, but could outsource it to another country.
Do the decent thing I've left a loaded revolver in the library.

Anonymous said...

I would love to agree with you, but if this was a Tory you would be squealing and beating your breast about sleaze, and rightly so.

This is why Labour are so hated and detested now by great swathes of the tax paying public; the sheer effrontery and hypocrisy of them and their supporters.

You want to be taken seriously? Then stop being a hypocrite.

Chris Paul said...

Oh FFS! WAFT you are. The only Tories I squeal about on this are the likes of the Wintertons with their contrivances. Even then there's not a great deal of breast beating. Mr Winterton has a firm handshake and a steady gaze and may be a Tory bastard but all he's doing is pushing the envelope.

They - the Ws - more or less got away with what they did. Which was until latterly within the rules. And then they just changed their arrangements and claimed the allowance another way.

Most MPs claim most of their "second home" allowance, apart from the "double Londoners" with handy constituencies and no argument.

It seems to me that Jacqui Smith could have had £24,000 per annum to buy a house in London - including the one her sister and her sister's boyf lives in - and made far more money, or she could have lived in a hotel and claimed the same amount, or she could have lived in the G&F dwelling and still had the £24,000.

This is an incredibly weak story. There is almost nothing there. It can be made to look bad by shameless journos and bloggers' dishonesty - and reading the first two or three paragraphs you would think JS had been giving family members £24,000 from the public purse.

In fact today the whole Mail on Sunday and most of the Sunday tabs today are filled with complete and utter crap. Not a decent front page lead between them.

A Gazza sprog and a Richard and Judy sprog outed for drugs. The Sport have the lady with the biggest natural breasts in the world. Hurrah! Every single one leading on a different crappy story.

This one is a crap story. Because most MPs draw down most of the housing allowance one way or another. Even when the system is tweaked they will do. Giving them a £40,000 pay rise and cutting this and similar allowances would probably be a good move. And so would stopping them recruiting their own clerical and admin staff on an ad hoc basis. Or producing print without putting it on file.

That's my position. Give them more cash. Stop the controversial allowances. But above all stop the truly pitiful journalism.

Dick the Prick said...

In other news: black is white and up is down.

Chris Paul said...

What on earth do you mean?

All MPs are able to get second home money and most do.

They mostly run their proposed or existing in the event of a rule change arrangements by the authorities and if they don't pass can simply change those arrangements to come within the rules.

Cf the Wintertons. The Wintertons were of interest because they were breaking the rules and benefitting family members with public money. In fact they were able to continue to do so with changed arrangements.

Jacqui Smith is not giving her sister any funds from these allowances as the Mail implied. She is contributing to that household from her own cash as she would any other "first home" within the rules.

There are probably half a dozen ways JS could change her arrangements. The MoS and the clinically sane Norman Baker would probably find fault with every scenario. JS could have arrangements which were considerably more beneficial to her than her current ones appear to be.

She could have built up a mini or maxi portfolio of property for rent. A journey on which that scamp Chris Grayling is well begun on, and which Labour's Michael Meacher is a past master of. And on which he has been repeatedly challenged on this very blog.

The rules need changing and preferably this type of second home and other like additional costs be flung into the dustbin of history.

In the meantime rules is rules, Norman Baker is Don Quixote, and the MoS is turning very oddly into a Liberal Democrat organ.

Chris Paul said...

For the benefit of readers the 0800 line mentioned above is a tax evasion whistle blowing service from DirectGov. Presumably offered in relation to Guido's scams?

Phil C said...

It seems bizarre that there is apparently no objective definition of main and second homes. It seems bizarre that Jacqui is claimimg that her first home is her sister's place, where she dosses a few nights a week, rather than her family home in her constituency.

Firstly, she should have accepted the Grace & Favour apartment. It is probably already under police protection as a government building. This would mean that she does not have to claim any second home expenses.

Secondly, even if she does not do this, surely she should be claimimg as second home expenses whatever she pays her sister for lodging there? Which should be no more than a reasonable market rate for a room in a shared house in London.

No MP should be able to claim as "second home expenses" their main family home.

The Penguin said...

Did Guido piss in your drink and only tell you about it after you'd finished it?

About time you got over it, don't you think?

The Penguin