Sunday, May 17, 2009

Parliament Trouser Gate: Load of Absolute Balls from Dale?

Iain Dale has strangely rolled two-and-a-half stories into one post HERE. There are the scores on the doors for politicians by party:

A reader emails with some figures which, if you accept that all those mentioned so far by the Telegraph are guilty as charged, show that so far 15% of MPs are tainted with falsely claiming expenses to one extent or another.

Numbers by party

Labour 44
Conservative 37
Lib Dems 8
Sinn Fein 5


Percentage of sitting MPs

Sinn Fein 100%
SNP 29%
DUP 22%
Conserv. 19%
Lib Dems 13%
Labour 13%
Other 0%

Interesting stuff. Labour the least-affected party to date, as a proportion.

I'd also point out that some of the first three days of alleged Labour sleazers were very very thin stories indeed ... some almost nothing really. Like odd stuff on Woolas' ASDA receipts that he didn't even need to put in. Or Burnham and his joke about his wife divorcing him.

But while this is not a party political story. While it's a case of a plague on all your houses ... having only 2/3s the proportion of cases as the Tories ain't so bad.

Then Iain has a "bridge" which suggests that contrary to his own assertions only yesterday that this story was flagging and had all but blown over he says it will run and run and run. For another 12 months basically. With every single MP named for something or other by the end of it. Then they'll be doing the telegraph journalists I expect? Then Iain moves in on what is really an Ed Balls/Yvette Cooper diary/gossip type story aggrandised to a run-of-paper page lead or the like from The Independent on Sunday. An extract:

Other MPs in similar circumstances might not have been treated so generously. Westminster conspiracy theorists last night pointed to the friendship between Telegraph editor Will Lewis and Mr Balls. Both men are gregarious and share an enthusiasm for karaoke.

Really? So Telegraph hacks pursuing Woolas over some nappies and another over a packet of Jaffa Cakes and yet another over light bulbs downs tools on a substantial story as a concession to an alleged drinking and karaoke buddy?

Thin I'd say. Unlike the gregarious ones. No sign of malnourishment there.

But if we're going there can we also deal with the McKay-Kirkbride situation and speculate that if anyone is it is they who are getting an easy ride in the extreme? Because Kirkbride is an ex Telegraph hack.

Still strikes me as one of the very worst stories, if not the worst. It is just about possible that Chaytor and Morley even made idiotic gaffes. But McKay and Kirkbride had a long running conspiracy to claim virtually all their housing costs. And they don't even seem that bothered or penitent.

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