Just a couple or five of hours ago we visited the blog of Lord Taylor of Warwick via Ealing and espied there a rather belated piece of Baronic prattling about one Professor "The Grump" Gates and another Sergeant "White Magic" Crowley. Each accusing the other of unnecessary assiduousness, and/or super soaraway foolishness and/or somethingly discordant attitude. And not particularly smoothed over by any beer summit, now with corn chips.
The first prattling on the ignoble platform of fleeting dignity since the unfathomably elevated Taylor - ever the deep race relations thinker - was caught bang to rights by the ranking Sunday Times with some breaking and (not) entering activity around his own homestead(s). Probably very very similar cases? The juxtaposition could certainly create that impression.
Turns out Taylor of Warwick continued to count the eponymous Warwick or to be precise Solihull as his "main home" in his heart of hearts. Even when his mum Enid had passed. And her home too alas had passed or, in the vernacular, conveyanced to the other side.
Taylor of Solihull, TOS for short, didn't live there even before she died and it was sold. The odd visit. Very odd. According to net twitchingly nosy then and achingly garrulous now neighbours. And he didn't even feel the need to go back to the area, to keep his main home there, even though he sometimes liked to pretend he was propping up the Bar there. As a barrister. Though he's not practiced for years. Gotta be rusty by now?
But that's just details. Splitting hairs.
WarwickSolihull remained his heart's "main home", and not Ealing where all the rest of his body and his family lived. This was just as well. As, because of his heartfelt and declared in triplicate "main home", those nice people at the Fees Office pretty much forced a daily attendance allowance on him.
For ever so many days as well. Was he really working there that much? We're not sure to be frank. Latterly £174 per day anyway. Just for signing in and chilling. Some £70,000 in total has been drawn down. To help him keep up, ahem, both his homes.
In short Taylor was found out passing himself off as someone whose main home for allowances purposes was "where the heart is" with his old mum Enid (or in one piece of spinning on the grave Madge) in Solihull.
Very very sadly indeed mummy's boy Taylor did not think to bring his heart along with the rest of his body to his family home in Ealing. Or when that family kicked him out, for "fairy stories" or some such, just round the corner, though still in Ealing.
All especially sad when Enid Taylor died more than eight years ago. In Spring 2001. With the home, which John Boy still thought of as late as 2007 as his "main home" for all sorts of purposes, also sold that year. Autumn 2001.
What did this stalwart of exemplary leadership, Christian missions, and uplifting quotations tell the tax man we wonder? Was there a flip in there somewhere?
It seems that, absolutely beside himself with greed (geddit?), Taylor continued to call it his main home and to claim Lords attendance allowance until 2007. Very rum indeed. We repeat: £70,000 in all. A good haul even by Tory standards. And more than sneaky Lord Rennard managed in his own little two homes and attendance allowance for old rope ramp.
Probably about five hundred or so days claimed as the daily rate has grown towards the latterday saints' £174 per diem.
Designed this allowance, we feel, for those with out of town main homes in mind. Not just in mind. Real out of town homes to maintain. We suspect this was particularly not intended for those handy for any one of the seven (is it seven?) Ealing and Acton stations on Mister Boris' fine Underground network.
Lord Taylor of Warwick - whose off colour commentary on the papers' review
I've previously blogged about - very mistakenly claimed £70,000 from the taxpayer in attendance allowance for Lords service.
Having been one of the Major ennoblements. Largely 'cos the beastly pre-diversity Tories had made life a misery for him in Cheltenham where he failed to get elected as he wasn't "local". In fact it's thought they dubbed him "not local as the ace of spades". Which shows a very wonderful command of "old Tory". "Come on you black bastard!" they'd shout as Taylor struggled with the quaint old gauntlet of fascists and racists of their number.
He claimed for about 500 attendances then. Perhaps more, depends on how these fell against the changing price. Up to 2007 when he stopped claiming. Just six years after Ma passed over and her Solihull home too conveyanced to the other side ... But according to The Public Whip website, Lord Taylor has an attendance record at the Lords of 17.9 per cent, having voted 243 times out of a potential 1,348.
With a good few of these votes clustered onto less than 243 days. But how many brilliant speeches did he make ahead of those 243 votes?
Well, unlucky thirteen in all. So, that's cost the taxpayer only a little under £5,400 apiece ... But he's made just the one in the past year. Too busy with his "church work" and his little Lords-based sidelines. Here's a bit of the speech. A hell of a mess. Gordon Gekko? Mystic Mug? Saving for a rainy day? :
My Lords, someone once said, "Greed is good". That was the dreadfully misguided mantra of Gordon Gekko. He was the mercenary financial trader, a character played by Michael Douglas in the Oscar-winning Hollywood film "Wall Street" in 1988. The film ended with Gekko in ruins when his greed backfired, but Oliver Stone, the film's director, was dismayed to see that Gekko became a hero to many wannabe financiers, rather than a warning. Considering the credit and casino-type banking culture which then dominated the next 20 years, the moral of the film was ignored.
Our whole finance and economic system is based on confidence, which is sometimes not objective or rational. There was a time when the City and Wall Street were seen as the masters of the universe. No longer. The scale of the financial and economic downturn has surprised many. Loss of confidence has fathered the fear factor. Economic forecasters now seem less like Mystic Meg and more like "Mystic Mug". Even in this noble and learned House, no one can confidently predict whether the Dow or FTSE will
rise or fall tomorrow.
I agree with the charge sheet highlighted by my noble friend Lady Noakes at the beginning of this debate. No one doubts that there is a global recession, but the Government did not save for a rainy day. That is a fact, and it is not only raining now — it is pouring.
Here's the comment I left at Taylor of Warwick's blasted blog:
Gates' good reason jet lag and beer summit on plane?
Meanwhile John Taylor you have been accused of having £70,000 of tax payers money in a mistaken claim for Lords attendance allowance of £174 per day. You have made just one speech in the last year - hilariously about greed around cash money - and just 13 speeches in eight years.
Where is the coverage of this personal experience - what blogs are for - rather than an out of time paean to racial profiling. In doing this are you suggesting ever so slightly that the Sunday Times may be in the same territory in catching you in such apparently inexplicable and inexcusable mistakes?
Are you going to hang up your ermine and do the right thing here? Or press on regardless and hope that no-one will have noticed?
ILLUSTRATIONS: These are stolen with pride from the Guardian Diary which leads with this story today. Or at least the top one is. That's Lord Taylor himself. Pre-disgrace. The lower one however is our suggestion for a replacement.
Now that Hugh Muir has gotten himself some decent story tips and not found himself slumming in the dirty underbelly of that nice conservative home call a spade a spade and a bitch a bitch blog comments, getting Mr Dale into a fine paddy, we're sure all can be forgiven. All can be forgotten. He's a shoo in surely?
A tad younger. And all his hair his own. And not based in Solihull. And unlikely to ejaculate inappropriately about "giving Carla Bruni one" on BBC News channel.
But examine the "before" and "after" pictures carefully. No neantherdal Tory need even know that the greedy shyster Taylor's fallen on his sword.