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View Full Version : A general conspiracy to snuff-out criticism over MPs' expenses?


airship
29th May 2008, 21:24
Is that why a thread dedicated to the subject was mysteriously 'merged into oblivion' into this one (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showpost.php?p=4134971&postcount=125)?

Ever since the House of Commons lost a 3 year legal battle and was obliged to release the details of the expenses of 14 politicians on 23rd May (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/7414456.stm), there has been an almost ominous silence in the general press (including the tabloids) also.

Here are 2 examples of invoices against which the taxpayer ostensibly reimbursed the politicians concerned:

1) Gordon Brown's kitchen £4,471 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/opensecrets/Brown001.pdf)
2) Tony Blair's kitchen £6,500 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/opensecrets/Blair-kitchen001.pdf)

As a concerned French-taxpayer, I would like to ask of the department that handles MPs' expenses:

1) Do they consider these 'documents' to adequately fulfill all the requirements of 'proper invoices'?

2) What measures were taken to ensure that these kitchen suppliers / installers were bonafide tradesmen or companies?

3) Did they check whether what was invoiced was actually installed?

These are questions that any responsible person would ask in view of the amounts involved. :ok:

Even more so since there appears to be a devious plan (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/7420848.stm) to thwart future criticism by awarding MPs an automatic lump-sum of £23,000 PA solely for expenses concerning their 2nd homes, without any need to produce invoices... :suspect:

Why do so few other PPRuNers not bother to protest that our MPs' standards of behaviour (and oversight) are fast descending to Kenyan-levels, or dare one say it(?)...Nigerian-levels of compliance with regard to transparency and diligence?! They should not be allowed to get away with it Scott-free (especially as there's a Scotsman in charge in UK at present)... :mad:

PS. Davaar, please review and correct ASAP! ;)

SOTV
29th May 2008, 21:38
Usual bag of shite.

Recently had the cost of a daily paper (80p) refused while the cost of a breakfast (£17) was granted as allowable.

Next time, the paper was invoiced as a slice of toast (negative marmalade, that was an extra 50p).

:\

sooty615
29th May 2008, 22:47
This is a subject that makes my blood boil! Who, in any sector (public or private) except an MP is permitted to claim expenses such as these to upkeep SECOND HOMES?

Please tell me that they are not also exempted from Capital Gains made on disposal of said second home, and pray advise me that they are taxed, as indeed we would be, for such perks of the job.

I, like most of us here have to account to the Inland Revenue (or whatever the **** they call themselves now) for daily allowances, and it is often a struggle to make them believe that it does actually cost me €45 for a lunch in Paris or New York.

My only relief is the fact that this has eventually leaked out, and I pray nightly that enough of us hard working tax payers will force these pigs to get their snouts out of the trough!

Now please don't get me started on MEP's and the scum bags who work there - employing their wives and kids to do **** all!

We really need to accelerate this debate - I'm up for starting a petition to 10 Downing Street to let them know my feelings - anyone care to support me if I go ahead? PM me PLEASE!

peterpallet
30th May 2008, 08:36
The more I read about the way our MP´s treat us with contempt, the more I find myself in favour of anarchy. If you are interested in this form of "Government" google it and read what WIKI has to say on the subject

A brief extract gives the flavour of anarchism: (Thanks to Wiki)

"Anarchists are those who advocate the absence of the state, arguing that common sense would allow for people to come together in agreement to form a functional society allowing for the participants to freely develop their own sense of morality, ethics or principled behaviour. The rise of anarchism as a philosophical movement occurred in the mid 19th century (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/19th_century), with its idea of freedom (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_%28political%29) as being based upon political and economic self-rule. This occurred alongside the rise of the nation-state (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation-state) and large-scale industrial capitalism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_capitalism), and the corruption (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_corruption) that came with their successes."

I know it may be a tough nut to swallow but does it not make a kind of sense.

Whirlygig
30th May 2008, 08:42
arguing that common sense would allow for people to come together in agreement to form a functional society allowing for the participants to freely develop their own sense of morality, ethics or principled behaviour.

The words "common" and "sense" are the weak point in the theory!

Cheers

Whirls

sitigeltfel
30th May 2008, 08:52
Pergolas and mock Tudor cladding.....vital for the efficient running of the country :rolleyes:

airship
30th May 2008, 18:26
One wonders how many MPs might have subscribed to Whirly's recently-introduced ironing services by this date...?! Whatever, I'm sure Whirly knows how to present a 'proper invoice' :ok:

PS. A colleague was just wondering whether you would accept taking out the wrinkles of some of 'his wife's' gowns if submitted together with the 'usual laundry' a duly-elected MP might send out to be done at taxpayers' expense. Only, my colleague remarked that he's not very happy with his present supplier. The gowns come back but the remaining wrinkles still cause him some irritation when they're actually worn. :confused:

Beatriz Fontana
30th May 2008, 18:38
One theory I heard from a blunt speaking Yorkshireman (are there any other types?) in a branch of the Royal British Legion last week...

"At least with the Tories, they're all well heeled toffs so they do politics for the love of it and their own prestige. The Labour lot are all on the make so blag all the allowances they can get!"

Bit of a sweeping statement but it does make you wonder that the allowances that were once there for very legitimate purposes need, a-hem, reform.

goudie
30th May 2008, 19:12
Just read in my local paper that MP Barbara Follet claimed £1,600 for window cleaning at her 18th century town house in Soho. She also has houses in Old Knebworth and Antigua. Furthermore she claimed £111,193 for things such as travel, stationary and computor equipment during year 2006/07. Mrs Follet was one of the 14 MPs who attempted, through the High Court, to keep MPs expenses secret. Gravy Train and Golden Trough spring to mind when I read about MPs who're taking the P*ss and wasting our money.

Ozzy
30th May 2008, 19:20
Another conspiracy there eh airship?:hmm:

Ozzy

airship
1st Jun 2008, 13:09
Well Ozzy, do you have any other suitable explanation for the lack of any in-depth attention by 'the media' to the first-ever detailed disclosures on 23rd May over the expenses of 14 MPs including the current and former Prime ministers...?! :}

However, earlier today, I watched the latest 'Question Time' 29th May (http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/check/player/nol/newsid_7420000/newsid_7428300?redirect=7428372.stm&news=1&nbram=1&bbram=1&bbwm=1&nbwm=1), where a question was raised about the proposed increase of MPs' pay to £100,000 pa (and whether or not MPs should be voting for their own pay rises) where the '2nd home allowances' would be incorporated into the normal salary, thereby avoiding any future scandals over these allowances. I was (almost) touched by Eric Pickles' embarassment that MPs voted over their own salaries instead of these being set by an independent body. I was however, less convinced by his stated belief that it was only 'a few MPs' who abused their privileges, the majority having become MPs solely in order to provide a public service...?!

Whatever, it looks like UK members of parliament will nevertheless soon be paid as much as Kenyan MPs (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4940018.stm): Kenyan MPs are seeking a near doubling of fuel allowances, despite earning high salaries in a poor country...
...MPs, who are paid more than $10,000 a month, defended their demand for a jump in their fuel allowance to $2 per km, saying fuel price rises have increased their costs...
...Kenyan MPs are also entitled to number of perks including grants to purchase cars and houses, medical insurance and a substantial pension at the age of 40...
...Last year, a survey found that parliament met for just an average of just over one day a week. That last paragraph is especially poignant. I believe that the UK's MPs meet for twice the number of days a week on average. You'd have thought that it might have been more economical for us to accommodate all those MPs 'away from home for 2 nights a week' in B&Bs, instead of providing '2nd home allowances'? And who knows, if MPs were given the £100,000 salary and '2nd home allowances' disappeared overnight as a consequence, a lot of MPs might just find themselves perfectly able to make do with a B&B at reduced (personal) expense...?!

All I know is that Kenyan MPs must be laughing themselves silly (in their State-provided Toyota 4x4s) at the moment, on their way to Nairobi airport before boarding planes to Zurich or Geneva or wherever in order to visit their bank manager on the 1st hop of their 6-day weekend...! ;)

Davaar
1st Jun 2008, 13:32
Mon cher airship, thank you for the confidence you expressed the other day in another thread. Alas, I cannot accept carte blanche appointment as your legal counsel on your postings to PPRuNe. In a PM I’ll tell you why.

In the meantime, though, consider "The greatest trust between man and man is the trust of giving counsel", Sir Francis Bacon, “Of Counsel” ("The Essays"), 1597.

Since as I gather you are domiciled in and actually live in France, and I have no qualifications to practise law there, my opinions are of even less value than usual so I cannot undertake the necessary trust.

Tell you one thing, though: “PS. Davaar, please review and correct ASAP” is unnecessary in re “Scot-free”. That has nothing whatever to do with Scots, Scottish, or even Scotch, nor yet with Scotland, but with certain local taxes or scottage (from the original French ecot for "share", I suspect) in England.This tax died, I think without checking, with the Reform Act, 1832. Breathe freely, mon vieux.

airship
1st Jun 2008, 14:47
Who are you calling old, mon vieux...?! ;)

PS. I just ran out of Scot(ch). And I can't post without it. So it's goodbye from me until the supermarket opens tomorrow. I could just walk down to the local petrol station but principle prohibits me from paying twice as much for 750ml as I would for 1L tomorrow. We should all be grateful... :ok:

Davaar
1st Jun 2008, 15:14
Would you prefer "Mon petit"?

frostbite
1st Jun 2008, 17:15
Perhaps 'Mon Dieu' would go down well?

airship
7th Jun 2008, 08:47
Did someone fart? Just that I caught a whiff of something (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/7441360.stm)...

I mean, why bother improving child-care services for parents with young children at all when you can get the taxpayer to fork out for your own?! :rolleyes:

Ready the guillotine mes amis (or the noose if you prefer)!:ok:

tony draper
7th Jun 2008, 09:11
Interestingly twer the Scots who invented the guillotine,all the French have ever come up with are puddings and sauces.
:rolleyes:

Lydia Dustbin
8th Jun 2008, 00:43
It beggars belief!

From todays Sunday Times

THE House of Commons has shredded more than 1m documents detailing expenses claims by MPs that were due to be revealed to the public (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article4087705.ece)

Overdrive
8th Jun 2008, 02:49
From the article:-


The House of Commons said its “retention policy” complied with the law and had been drawn up in consultation with HM Revenue & Customs.



Hmmm... I might remind the Inland Revenue of that next time they come after me :ok:

airship
8th Jun 2008, 09:44
Shredding MPs expenses claims - what an extraordinarily extreme measure to take in view of all the public interest surrounding the subject at the present time. I can only presume that our "national security" is affected in some form. Perhaps there were more than just exorbitant sums and dodgy invoices in the lot, but we'll never know now...?

Especially as whoever organised the shredding will probably and conveniently go out for an afternoon walk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr_David_Kelly)in the countryside sometime soon. :uhoh: