Thursday, May 21, 2009

Chiselling Expenses: Rennard is Going, But Don't Neglect Nadine

Rennard departure - after the election and indeed the summer if he gets his way rather than immediate - is big news of course. But don't forget to ponder the Nadine Dorries situation. She's been out of the papers for a few days now and it's time she was back where she belongs. Central to an Aga Saga, itself centred on beautiful Cotswold township of "Chiselling Expenses".

UPDATE 15:30: My congratulations to Nadine Dorries MP on removing the portcullis from the busy comment pages of her so-called blog. There is now a different error in the masthead, directing those who click "Blog" from comments to a non-existent domain. Nadine posted a post named "Clarification" at 11:12 AM. That's probably not a permalink.

Here's one little part of that:

I wonder how many people are aware, that if you are an MP and divorce, the courts base your maintenance payments to your husband/wife/children on a combination of your ACA and your salary.
This is because the ACA is classed as an allowance, not an expense account, and is considered by the court as the property of the MP.
An interesting legal point. One of the confusing facts, which has got us into this mess.

And I agree that this is an interesting legal point. And intersting that it should be brought up in this way at this time. And I even agree that MPs should be paid in the region of £100,000 and that the "allowances" regime should be binned. However I replied as follows using comments HERE. I honestly cannot tell whether my comment has been successfully submitted. I put paragraph marks in it because it currently treats comments as a single paragraph however they are composed. But as promised I reproduce that reply here:

Dearest Nadine
Last time I looked your register of members interests entry included property in southern africa. Is this in Zambia or otherwise not in South Africa itself? If so is denying having property in South Africa not just asking for trouble?
Until you change that or annotate it you can hardly blame anyone for relying on that entry. Generally saying that they are doing so.
And you are completely ignoring the definition of "main home" that is being constantly defined by everyone everywhere. Throughout this malarkey.
And I think still being diingenuous about your arrangements.
You have previously told us that Paul Dorries is your house-sitter and child-looker-after in Chipping Campden.
You have also told us that you have a house-sitter, child-sitter, dog-sitter in Woburn. I think you may have said that one was at your own expense.
This is a horrid mess and it seems you are continuing to be dishonest and cover up elements of that mess.
It seems to be breaking the rules actually, though it is far more reasonable in many ways than many of the non rule breakers in many regards. But still not acceptable.
I think MPs should be paid c £100,000 and no ACA. But that's not the case now. And the rules is the rules. When other MPs are being picked up for a bag of sweets, some nappies or a stick of lippy why on earth do you expect to escape criticism for your messy and largely secretive arrangements?

Who or what entity owns the "main home" in Chipping Campden?

What rent if any is paid by you for that "main home"?

How much time is spent at that "main home"?

Where does Paul Dorries live? Is he not the house-keeper in Woburn now?

Meaning that that is without doubt your main home. Family there, even ex-, dog there, far more nights there = main home.
Yours is a fascinating case Nadine. I don't really think you are suited to the politics game myself. You like the glare of publicity. Retire (from politics) and go on CBB or IACGMOOH. Become a celebrity.
I think you tell an awful lot of silly fibs. You should cut down or better still give up. But for goodness sake tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth on this matter at least.
From 2005 to date please.

Best wishes

Chris Paul

PS I'll be sticking this not on my blog at chrispaul-labouroflove dot blogspot dot com - entirely up to you whether you post it here as well.
PS Who is this "Rachel" (a regular defending Nadine poster) - any relation?

Nadine's RMI entry under property says:

8. Land and Property
House in Gloucestershire, from which rental income is received.
Holiday home in South Africa.

Which is what the MP submitted in November 2005 and which has never been changed. Her only other entry concerns the visit to Israel hosted by Conservative Friends of Israel which she attended, along with fellow Conservative Blogger Tim Montgomerie and various other MPs and hangers on.


Anonymous said...

She's become a little shy, heavily censoring comments that ask awkward questions.

And there are many, many awkward questions.

Chris Paul said...

Indeed there are.