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MPs and Expenses

I'm surprised there hasn't been a topic on this yet!

We've all seen the stories, and I'm guessing there will be near universal contempt for them.
I can't help thinking that if I'd claimed £16,000 of expenses from my work fraudulently and then offered to pay it back when found out, I'd be looking up at a magistrate trying to explain myself.

I mean ffs, I claim petrol money and I make sure that if anything I underclaim because I know the job would fuck me over if I overclaimed.
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Spot on.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    First of all, an answer to this point:
    Whowhere wrote: »
    I'm surprised there hasn't been a topic on this yet!
    I've been more than tempted several times over the last few days to write about this one. For some reason, I haven't done so - the main reason being I simply didn't know where to start dismissing these troughing bastards. None of the parties have come out of this sparkling clean.

    Our "psychologically flawed" Prime Mentalist - he who feels the need to charge me for a Sky Sports subscription so that he can invite Mail on Sunday journalists to No 10 to watch him pretend to support the England team on the football - is completely tarnished by it. Call Me Dave's apologies mean absolute jack shit, and don't even get me started on that useless tit they call the Speaker. The only person to come out of this relatively well is Nick Clegg. People often complain that I give politicians too hard a time, my reply is that they bring it on themselves. The last week has proven me right again. And what do the Commons authorities do? Ah yes, they call in the cops to try and find out who leaked the disc full of information to the newspapers? Useless, the bloody lot of them.

    In defence of politicians, however - not a sentence I thought I'd write in a million years - there are some expenses which are justified in their jobs. You can't expect MPs from rural Scotland to commute to London each day, can you? Reasonable second home expenses should be paid for - rent, council tax and so forth. What has really pissed me off in the past week are politicians claiming for furniture, claiming for patios, claiming to have their moats dredged, claming for fucking horse shit, for God's sake. And what do they do each time they're caught? They pathetically bleat about it all being "within the rules". The rules mean bugger all if you're the ones who set them, you morons! Allegedly in the case of Phil Woolas, a grade A cocktrumpet if ever there was one, he made a claim for tampons and women's clothes. He (or should that be she?) denied this, but it makes you wonder. Some of them have been claiming for bloody Kit Kats and Maltesers!

    It's going to get even more interesting tomorrow. Apparently, the Telegraph are going to be revealing the expenses claims of couples in Parliament. There are rumours doing the rounds that the Education Secretary Ed Cunt and his ghastly wife Yvette Cooper are shitting themselves right now. That would certainly explain why Cunt, a man who laughably has an ambition to lead the Labour Party one day and Cooper, a woman who loses Labour a few thousand votes each time she breathes, have been so quiet this past week.
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,269 Skive's The Limit
    They're all competing now in terms of how sorry they are.

    The only thing they're sorry about is the fact they got found out.
    Weekender Offender 
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Question Time tonight has the chief political corrospondent of the Telegraph on. :D

    Should be interesting.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote: »
    And what do they do each time they're caught? They pathetically bleat about it all being "within the rules". The rules mean bugger all if you're the ones who set them, you morons!

    Most of what has been revealed is within the rules.

    To object to MPs setting the rules makes no sense to me.

    If people are so incompetent in making decisions on running their own lives that they need to appoint a guardian in the form of a MP then why would they object to those same MPs making decisions about themselves.

    If people started taking control of their own lives, I doubt they would be concerned about what a bunch of criminals got up to in their den of iniquity.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    On a more positive note it's brought quite possibly the most cack handed responses to an interview I've ever seen.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/mid/8047205.stm

    I'm not sure what made me cringe the most

    1) His desperate attempt to shoot the messenger - I'm sure once the Telegraph stop laughing at him they'll not loose any sleep over his lack of respect for them

    2) He was so deep in mourning that six months later he's using his brother death as an excuse for incompetence - God knows what legislation went through the Commons at that time where he was unable to concentrate.

    3) the default position of Libs and Lab when caught with your hands in the till - blame Thatcher. Fuck, it's been eighteen years since she's gone it takes a special stupidity to try and blame her for the problems with MP's expenses.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Eric Pickles on Question Time with some of the shitest excuses ever.

    Keep digging Eric :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    In his defence I'd say having to get up at 5.30 and not getting back to after midnight is perfectly reasonable to have a second house.

    Tbh I don't object to that, or reasonable food, travel and staff expenses. I do object to cleaning of moats, paying fines and continually swapping and selling of houses to make a quick buck.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This was the worst one I've seen. What a prick. Full of the usual ad hom attacks of a man backed in a corner with no answer.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I was kind of suprised that she gave her salary on air... it kind of wrongfooted him (though I can't believe she's never made a personal call from a work phone)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I was kind of suprised that she gave her salary on air... it kind of wrongfooted him (though I can't believe she's never made a personal call from a work phone)

    Most people usually ask the first time and assume from then on that the answer applies. It's either okay to make personal calls at work or it isn't. If your company's phone bill is a monthly subscription rather than a charge per call, then it's not an issue. If it is a per call charge, then it's usually so small that it's the equivalent of bending a paper clip out of shape rather than using it. But since everyone now has a mobile phone, I wouldn't be surprised if most people have never made a personal call from work. I haven't.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Most of what has been revealed is within the rules. To object to MPs setting the rules makes no sense to me. If people are so incompetent in making decisions on running their own lives that they need to appoint a guardian in the form of a MP...
    Somebody clearly doesn't know me very well. MPs clearly can't be trusted to run a bath themselves, never mind a bloody expenses system. The job needs handing over to an independent group who can't be bullied into letting dubious (sometimes downright fraudulent) claims through. If I had my way, MPs wouldn't be put in charge of anything.

    As for the other points, one has to remember at all times when discussing Lord George Foulkes, his comments* must be viewed in the context that he is a little turd with all the intellect and charisma of a lump of dog shit. Lembit Opik, meantime, is just a twat. The LibDems must be delighted that they never elected that fool as their leader.

    * Although I must point out that, if £92,000 per year is the average salary for BBC newsreaders, where do I apply for a job there? It's a job that you could train a skeleton to do, for crying out loud - and she gets £92k per year?!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    With a few honourable exceptions, they're all at fucking it, aren't they...

    Seeing as benefit cheats are often jailed, I am sure criminal proseuctions and convictions will shortly follow...

    Yeah, right :rolleyes:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    With a few honourable exceptions, they're all at fucking it, aren't they...

    Seeing as benefit cheats are often jailed, I am sure criminal proseuctions and convictions will shortly follow...

    Yeah, right :rolleyes:



    Don't be silly. If one of use overclaimed a few quid at work for petrol we'd be screwed. These guys, all this stuff was already known about and they're still here. Like cockroaches.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I cant really comment.

    Due to unforseen service circumstances beyond my control, I didnt make it back to the scoff house in time for tea. So claimed back last nights burger king on JPA, and should once approved get my money back in a few days.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    In his defence I'd say having to get up at 5.30 and not getting back to after midnight is perfectly reasonable to have a second house.

    Tbh I don't object to that.

    Well I do.

    He only worked those long hours for a month. Lots of people have to work long hours and spend ages commuting, not everyone can have a second home.

    That wasnt my point though. What suprises me most is Eric Pickles thinks only parliament works by clock work. Welcome to the real world Eric :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The easiest way to solve the entire problem would be to buy a block of flats, furnish them from Ikea with basic furniture. If they want luxuries, then they pay for them. If they want a really nice second home, then they pay for it. If MPs work as hard as they say they do, then all they need the second home for is to sleep and eat in. Everything else can be done at work in an office or at their real house at the weekend.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MrG wrote: »
    I cant really comment.

    Due to unforseen service circumstances beyond my control, I didnt make it back to the scoff house in time for tea. So claimed back last nights burger king on JPA, and should once approved get my money back in a few days.

    If you do expenses have massively improved since my time...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    With a few honourable exceptions, they're all at fucking it, aren't they...

    Seeing as benefit cheats are often jailed, I am sure criminal proseuctions and convictions will shortly follow...

    Yeah, right :rolleyes:

    without wishing to defend MPs, the evidence so far only suggests one or two criminal acts (Elliot Morley and possibly Clare Short). Unless you advocate banging people up without them actually committing a crime of course...

    However there's a difference between legality and wrong doing, in my mind they have being doing the latter...
  • JsTJsT TheSite Graduate Posts: 18,267 Skive's The Limit
    Skive wrote: »
    The only thing they're sorry about is the fact they got found out.

    My thoughts exactly Skive!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    without wishing to defend MPs, the evidence so far only suggests one or two criminal acts (Elliot Morley and possibly Clare Short). Unless you advocate banging people up without them actually committing a crime of course...

    However there's a difference between legality and wrong doing, in my mind they have being doing the latter...

    No I'm not advocating banging people up without motive, but a few of the cases seem very similar to me from a legal point of view to some benefit cheats.

    I'm not lawyer but in my view claiming mortage expenses after it's been paid out in full and then sayiing didn't realise it'd been paid in full already is akin to getting unemployment benefts while being employed and then say you hadn't realised the benefits were still being paid out.

    Some other cases, like the Labour lord who declared a flat as a main residence that by all accounts was empty and unoccupied for years, look like straight fraud and deceit to me.

    I'm not a fan of jailing people unless there are serious circumstances but I would expect the same criminal prosecution for some of these MPs as ordinary benefit cheats face.

    Granted the great majority do not qualify as crimes- just plain greed.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    No I'm not advocating banging people up without motive, but a few of the cases seem very similar to me from a legal point of view to some benefit cheats.

    I'm not lawyer but in my view claiming mortage expenses after it's been paid out in full and then sayiing didn't realise it'd been paid in full already is akin to getting unemployment benefts while being employed and then say you hadn't realised the benefits were still being paid out.

    Some other cases, like the Labour lord who declared a flat as a main residence that by all accounts was empty and unoccupied for years, look like straight fraud and deceit to me.

    I'm not a fan of jailing people unless there are serious circumstances but I would expect the same criminal prosecution for some of these MPs as ordinary benefit cheats face.

    Granted the great majority do not qualify as crimes- just plain greed.


    As I said only a few are illegal, it doesn't make the rest right...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    without wishing to defend MPs, the evidence so far only suggests one or two criminal acts (Elliot Morley and possibly Clare Short). Unless you advocate banging people up without them actually committing a crime of course...

    It seems that way to me too. Of course more could surface.
    Aladdin wrote: »
    No I'm not advocating banging people up without motive, but a few of the cases seem very similar to me from a legal point of view to some benefit cheats.

    Very similar does not mean the same in the legal world. One thing to consider is that the rules regarding benefits are specific (probably on purpose) whereas these rules allow more "wiggle room" (highly probable that is on purpose). After all these are the legislators so it makes perfect sense.
    However there's a difference between legality and wrong doing, in my mind they have being doing the latter...

    From a fundamental legal sense Parliament,in and of itself, is a criminal enterprise.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Have I Got News For You last night was highly entertaining due to all of this mess :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    without wishing to defend MPs, the evidence so far only suggests one or two criminal acts (Elliot Morley and possibly Clare Short).
    Have you not heard of Jacqui Smith's shameless swindling? She claims that her "main residence" is in South London, despite the fact she spends virtually no time there. Why? In order to get over £116k in allowances.

    To get an idea of how low this woman's stock has fallen, consider this. Last weekend, Alistair Graham, a former standards commissioner at the Commons, claimed that Jacqboot's expenses were "near fraudulent". She bleated meekly afterwards she was considering taking "legal action" against him for saying this. Funnily enough, she didn't say anything after this piece by Peter Oborne appeared in the Daily Mail in February saying that she was a thief. I wonder why not?
    Eddish wrote: »
    Have I Got News For You last night was highly entertaining due to all of this mess :D
    I was working last night, but thanks for reminding me. Rest assured I shall be laughing along to it later this evening!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote: »
    Have you not heard of Jacqui Smith's shameless swindling? She claims that her "main residence" is in South London, despite the fact she spends virtually no time there. Why? In order to get over £116k in allowances.

    Do you actually read anything or does the red mist blot out comprehension? I've stated there is a diffrence between legality and right - and it does look like there have only been a couple of cases which could be characterised as fraud...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I was reading something the other day that seemed to hit the nail on the head. It is a deception, but it's not like benefit cheats in a way, it's more devious than that. Basically, MPs know that Joe Public will want justification for any significant payrises they have (MPs say "they wont understand...") and so the expenses system has been the back door of increasing MPs remuneration without being publicly accountable for it.

    But it serves them right, they tried to pull one over and got caught red handed and now they're just blowing a lot of hot air with David Cameron typically taking centre stage and making it out as if he's horrified and turning it into a way of making his party look more accountable.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm largely with Flashman on the legalities of this debacle. There's probably a handful's worth of MPs who have committed explicitly unlawful acts; the majority of MPs being exposed for ridiculous expense claims have been exploiting a broken system brought in as a back-handed way of increasing MPs wages.

    What makes me laugh about the whole thing is all parties bleating on about a 'transparent system' being needed - tacitly admitting that they can't be trusted when they system isn't see-through. It reminds me a little of Chris Jackson, the Crafty Cockney: "The system's gotta be transparent or I'll have my hand in the till - I'm like that you see, I'm a little bit werrrr, a little bit weyyyyyy..."
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    In other countries MP's get about Double the salary of a UK MP and simply no expenses. Personally I think that's a far more straight forward way to solve the problem.

    Just pay the MP's a wage that is in line with the important role they have and let them pay for everything out of those wages.

    All this expense checing that goes on must cost the taxpayer millions as it is.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    DG wrote: »
    Just pay the MP's a wage that is in line with the important role they have

    petitio principii
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