Wednesday, May 13, 2009
CAMERON BITES THE BULLET OVER MP EXPENSES FIASCO
After days of embarrassing revelations about greedy MPs manipulating their expenses, David Cameron showed real leadership qualities, and seized the initiative from the Prime Minister by ordering some senior Conservative MPs to repay expenses claimed for spurious items like garden improvements and housekeeping. Cameron is now campaigning for the whole system to be overhauled as soon as possible.
The Prime Minister Gordon Brown continued to dither, showing poor leadership skills, while Speaker Michael Martin behaved outrageously in the House of Commons by verbally attacking Kate Hoey, a brave Labour rebel MP who challenged him for calling in the police to 'find the mole' instead of criticising greedy Labour colleagues. In 2000 the Labour Party broke the convention of alternating the Speaker between the two main political parties when Betty Boothroyd retired, and Michael Martin became the 2nd consecutive Labour Speaker. Martin has exploited his expenses in the past,
eg by allowing his wife to lavish money on taxis for personal shopping and spending a fortune on refurbishing his accommodation in a grand manner at public expense. He was once a shop steward, and behaved like one in the House of Commons, supporting MP's misdemeanours and attacking the source of the leaks to the Daily Telegraph.
A clear example of Labour greed is one of the Luton MPs Margaret Moran, pictured above, who represents Luton South and lives in the same road as Kelvin Hopkins, the highly respected Luton North Labour MP. Kelvin has one home and commutes to London daily, while Margaret Moran has 4 homes in Luton, London, Southampton and Spain. She claimed £22k for dry rot work at her partner's home in Southampton. When challenged on why she needs a 2nd home 100 miles from Luton, she wittered about her need for family life and her partner working in Southampton. So why is he is on the Electoral Roll in Luton? Moran has now been shamed into offering to repay this money.
Hazel Blears has agreed to pay £13,000 to the taxman for Capital gains tax she should have paid before on selling her second property and the Corby MP is repaying £42,000! None of this would have happened but for the Daily Telegraph informant.
The general public now think that all MPs are corrupt and I know that Nadine Dorries and Alistair Burt have not indulged in these dishonest allowance claims. Alistair was on the TV tonight stating that he rents a small London flat, simply claiming an allowance to cover the cost of his rent and utilities, which seems quite fair.
As a local Councillor even I have come under fire while tramping round 1,000 houses canvassing, but we local Councillors receive very small allowances, and have to do all our own administration work - it is often a thankless 24/7 task dealing with issues raised by local residents. Yesterday I overdid it and strained a muscle, so I have had to stay at home today, catching up with paperwork. I still have to get round 1,250 more houses in the next 2 weeks - a thankless task indeed!