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I agree with you Jonathan that the nature of the film(s) watched is not really the point! It is the fact that taxpayers are picking up the tab.
I certainly do not have a problem with men watching porno from time to time - it's something that virtually all red-blooded blokes do! However, I fail to see how it could possibly be seen as part of Parliamentary work. The same goes for "Surf's Up" which was another film on the list of those watched by Mr Timney (Smith) and is a very cute little children's movie about penguins. I doubt that there are many penguins in Redditch although after this one would probably have to have the intelligence of one to still vote Labour there!

Sally, could it be considered parliamentary work if he claimed he was trying to help her dream up new ways to shaft the taxpayer?

This is all the more enjoyable given that Jackboots Jacqui is one of the more obnoxious, intolerant and dim witted ministers in a pretty grim bunch.

When Jacqui Tierney- Smith made her recent pious speech about the exploitation of women in the sex industry, did she have her husband in mind ?

I see labour being thrown over very soon I took a part time job last week and found it will all come off my jobseekers and the 6 pound bus fare means I will be 2 quid worse off a week I desperately want full time work but it is a nightmare even trying to join the queue to sign on at the job centre 10 miles away.
Usually i would not bother but I am nearly 60 and paid a stamp since I was 14 Her husband is lucky my husband has no time to watch movies we are busy keeping our garden tidy and doing our bit for local charities.

The fact that these were 'adult' films should give rise to legitimate derision and suggest that maybe Jacqui Smith should spend rather more time at her 'second home' with her family.

As Gordon Brown has been derided round the world over the last week or so, this government is rapdidly becoming a laughing stock.

LOL, Paul D!!!!

"Need a second home"

Nope it should be "need somewhere to stay". A hotel room, MP's dorm or a rented apartment, not an investment property.

Like Caroline Spelman I think the woman is obviously so stupid she should be kicked off the front bench immediantly.

So Mr. Cameron does not think that Jacqui should resign.
What's he afraid of?
Cue "claim mistakeas" by Conservative MPs.
I look forward to the list.

David

Labour now reminds me so much of us in the Major years 95-97, the death stench of Labour is overwhelming, the big difference being that unlike Smith, Brown etc, John Major was a decent human being.

The fact that he Husband has confessed to being the guilty party doesn't detract from the fact that these films should never have been billed to the public purse. I agree with those who say that J.S. should be spending more time at home with her clearly deprived Husband. If anymore "mistakes" are found in her expense claims she should do the right thing and resign. My Mother has always hated Miss Smith the most of all the Labour front bench, she is "dim witted" and a "waste of space" according to my dear old mother. Like so many Labour notables she seems to have one set of rules for the long suffering public and a different set of rules for herself. How can she justify buying two widescreen T.V's from the "john Lewis list" when many of us cannot afford even one new HD set.
When Labour said there would be no sleaze from their government I thought they meant it. Seems that like so much that they say its simply spin.

Jonathan misses the point.Mps are not employees, they are not entitled to any money.They're only right is to sit in parliament.

As I have said elsewhere, there is no need to change the system of expenses. All that is required is for honourable members to be honourable and only claim expenses legitimately incurred in the carrying out of duties.

In the case of Jacqui Smith, the expenses for her house cannot be said to be legitimately incurred as she has a grace and favour apartment with her job. Her family live in the house in Redditch, it therefore cannot be called the second home. Those claims are therefore fraudulent. Let alone the latest "accidental" (yeah right) slip by her husband who is a paid employee.

The same goes for Tony NcNulty, Alan and Anne Keen and Harry Cohen.

If honourable members cannot be honourable with their expenses they should resign. If political parties want to be seen to be relevant, they should demand honour from its sponored members and should remove the whip.

As it stands, the public are heartily sick of the whole system, think that every MP is in it for the money and are calling a plague on all your houses.

Get a grip guys. Shape up or ship out.

Stewart Geddes , yes this whole rotten episode didn't come about becuase her husband thought it acceptable to put porn movies on her expenses. It came abour because Ms Smith set out to rip off the tax payer by making her family home as her second home.

I am not entirely sure I agree "that MPs should be suitably compensated for the additional costs involved in doing the job of an MP properly, and for most that will inevitably involve the need to have a second home".

Modern transport systems and the short working hours at the HoC, combined with internet and mobile communications together mean that MPs could realistically use a hotel in London on those occasions they cannot get back to their actual home. Maybe there is a case for MPs who represent constituencies poorly served by transport links or those a long way away, but many ordinary workers commute from as far away as Bristol to London and work long demanding days, 5 days a week, 47/48 weeks a year.

Why not pay this as gross pay like a reverse of the London weighting. That way what they spend is up to them.

I think we are entitled to take an interest in the kind of video he watched in view of the attitude NuLab has taken to very mild sexism and non-PC language.

The public perception of this is not one of amusement. It is one of complete and total anger at the way in which too many MPs, MEPs and Life Peers pick the public pocket, without shame, without a second thought.

I look after the books for the businesses of one of my sons. At one time he had an NTL account for broadband, phone and TV. recorded the TV and a portion of the phone bill to him as drawings. The broadband was used almost entirely for business purposes. I would have regarded deducting the cable TV cost as a business expense to be fraudulent. Can there possibly be any other way of looking at this?

Out of the profits he makes he contributes large sums in tax. An honest man pays for the TV of a dishonest MP. Jacqui Smith has repaid the £10 for the 2 blue movies - bloody hurrah.

As I have said before, we need a Cromwellian figure to clean the Houses.

The issue of MPs' allowances is being debated ad nauseum, so I shall leave it aside here.

Further, I am no fan of Jacqui Smith. I think that she is a weak minister and a Gordon Brown puppet.

However, I have no doubt that she had no knowledge of the porn that her husband was watching in her absence. She obviously still had no knowledge of the matter when she signed it off. Most managers at her level don't scrutinise expenses claims in detail.

No, the real villain of the piece here is her husband Richard Timney. He has shamed his wife, deceitfully allowed her to sign-off invoices without explanation and cheated the taxpaper. This is the same Richard Timney who wrote angry letters to the Redditch Advertiser in 2008 supporting the Government's ID scheme without revealing his links with Ms Smith.

The Home Secretary should put his possessions in bin bags on the doorstep of one of her houses and have the locks changed.

Mr Jacqui Smith's sheepish little statement made me laugh (in particular "Jacqui was not present when I was watching them"), and I don't envy his position with Ms on his case.

What must that first conversation sounded like?

Perhaps Jacqui should get one of her surveillance camers installed at home.

You couldn't make it up! You couldn't make it up! It's made my week! Words fail me! Words fail me!

As reprehensible as the behaviour of Smith and her wretched husband is, almost as unbelievable is the lily-livered cowardly response of Cameron in not calling loud and unambiguously for the immediate resignation of the Home Secretary. Again a further example in a long list of him being afraid to act without the say-so of a focus group and, one must suspect, for fear of what might be hidden by some of his own side. Labour has completely destroyed the public's respect for politicians but it is very difficult to see any of that being restored by the present Conservative leadership if this is their reaction to this sort of sleaze.

'Patrick Harris' @ 11.24 should answer London Tory @ 11.26!

I agree with Victor, NW Kent. Who cares a s*d what these flaming people want to watch, its the arrogant, casual mindset that says that despite receiving a more than generous salary AND 'expenses' from us the taxpayer, on top of that every time they want a lollipop (or similar) that are entitled to charge it up to us - as expenses (their salary and 'expenses' not being there to cover day to day expenses!!!!).

Like Ms. Smith, Mr. Cohen MP (hard Left we are told), also thinks that, taking the full allocation of expenses is his 'right'.

Its interesting, if one remembers the 'fun' this load of free-loaders had, when in Opposition, tearing shreds out of the then Tory Party about their 'sleaze'! Pot calling, pot calling, pot calling - difference being Labour's pot is SOOO much blacker.

Why are we allowing the Lib Dems to make all the running- I am fed up with that populist MP and know all Norman Baker continually on the screens acting as Goody Two Shoes- His seat is one we must get back!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbRL5YGZ3tI&feature=channel_page

"Why are we allowing the Lib Dems to make all the running"

Probably because there are a lot of Conservative MP's who couldn't keep their hands out of the tax payers cookie jar.

(By the way, why should it matter that the movies in question were of an adult nature? The taxpayer shouldn't have been paying regardless of the content, even if he'd only been watching Bambi.)

I agree any TV entertainment should not be subsidised by the taxpayer(Brown's subscription to Sky Sports for example). However, this particular incident goes beyond the pale, adding insult to injury!

IMO Smith's husband could have only exceeded this abuse by procuring someone to 'enjoy' such viewing with him.

In the words of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman - 'Huge Mistake - HUUUUGE!'

MPs should receive any expenses at all! They should be provided with a rail/bus (first class perhaps) season ticket between constituency and Westminster, vouchers to pay for B and B near Westminster when required and a secretary paid directly by the H of C.

Also their pay should be halved because the job of an MP is not a full time occupation. The job of a minister of the Crown is full time but we don't need more than about 20 or 25 of such people and their pay and the arrangements for their legitimate expenses should be tied to that of senior civil servants and subject to the same scrutiny by HMRC as is the case for the rest of us.

Time is running out fast to save our democracy and it will be replaced by something else (and probably worse) if our elected representative cannot bring themselves to face reality, fast!

I have no problem with MPs being paid for the job they do, indeed I suspect the figure is too low in fact. However the expenses are clearly a fiddle and a fudge to deal with the under pay.

I've often wondered how to deal with it. The reverse London weighting idea sounds a good one, I also wondered how difficult for the Parliamentary estate to acquire over a period of time a number of properties in London.

MPs could rent rooms, or whole houses/flats from the estate, at a subsidised rate. But not gain financially from the investment as they do now. Accomodation should be dished out according to need. I suspect new MPs could probably share a house with new party colleagues for a first year or two.

Committee chairmen and front benchers will need better facilities and closer to Parliament.

*Expenses* should only be supported by receipts and MPs under threat of suspension for false claims. A little has been made of Jacquboots 88p bath plug.

Simple rule, if its worth claiming for, its worth the MP checking, signing and being accountable for.

As for *pay* I'd see it higher, but there are people in Parliament of varying abilities and backgrounds, which is a good thing in my view. Maybe you base the parliamentary salary on the last 3 years according to submitted tax returns of when the MP entered Parliment, within an upper and lower limit. It is then subject to Civil Service increases.

Trouble is we're asking the wrong people to sort it out, turkeys ain't going to vote for xmas, and they're afraid to let it to any kind of independent committee, unless its perhaps sympathetic. Wouldn't you in their situation ? They all have families and bills to pay for.

Perhaps CH should come up with its proposals or ideas ?

How about a clear statement from Cameron on what will happen to expenses 'mistakes' that are discovered after an MP steps down?

Last I heard ex-MPs are not investigated.

A statement now would also be nice, to ensure noone is thinking of starting a new parliament by 'drawing a line' under the affairs of previous parliaments...

No 'reconciliation' without 'truth' and even with the truth, reconciliation may not be an option.

You will reap what you sow.

If you continue to pursue Labour MPs and ministers like this – calling for the resignation of the Home Secretary over a £10 mis-filed claim when it's clear that she didn't even know about it – just think what they will do to you when your people are in office. I hope they get ripped to shreds. A resignation a week at least. And you will have asked for it.

Never forget that the Tories invented Sleaze. The current Labour government may be setting new low standards for banality and crassness, but the incoming Tories will no doubt soon surpass them.

"almost as unbelievable is the lily-liveried cowardly response of Cameron in not calling loud and unambiguously for the immediate resignation of the Home Secretary"

You hit the nail on the head with:


" one must suspect, for fear of what might be hidden by some of his own side"

In a way I am pleased that this issue is coming to a head now. After all they (the press) destroyed John Majors government for sleaze. Its time for activists to agitate for some real reforms to the allowances that MP's can claim. In addition we must insist on transparency and regular audits of MP's accounts. Our politicians are suppose to be public spirited people, who come into politics to improve the well being of the public. Too often it seems that they have been rather greedy in their interpretation of the rules.
Is it any wonder that so many people have lost faith in our political system when every other week there is a new scandal involving misuse of public funds?
Mp's are not poorly paid, in fact the vast majority of the public receive far less and are not given such generous pension into the bargain. Those who argue that MP's have to be paid very well otherwise we don't get the right people are barking up the wrong tree.
In what other field of life can a person who is useless at their job hang on to it for 4 or more years? Those MP's who feel that they could be better paid working elsewhere should go. We need people who are dedicated to public service not their own personal enrichment to take these important jobs.
Being an MP should be a full time job. Far to many politicians work for outside intrests. This is something that we should end, as being an MP should be a full time commitment. It is going to be an uphill struggle to rebuild the public's respect for the political class, but I hope that D.C. has the guts to take on the vested interests and the culture of greed that has become the hallmark of the British house of Parliament.
Labour promised us an end of sleaze but clearly they were spinning as always. We must do what they were unwilling to do and call and end to the gravy train and the endless abuse of the public purse.

I hear the Home Office is having to undertake a re-think of its new corporal punishment policy in light of the scandal.

Apparently, "it's the public's duty to whack off teens" may be considered an inappropriate slogan now.

@Stewart Watson

You reap what you sow!

Labour sowed the seeds of Tory sleaze with the media.

Now Labour are reaping the whirlwind!

By the time my people are in office the rules will have been sufficiently tightened to prevent embarrassments of the sort that is, to use a favourite media word "engulfing" the present Home Secretary.

@Freddy

I agree absolutely with the first part of your response @12.59. That was indeed the gist of my original point.

However, you are sadly naive if you think your people will be any better. The Tories are the oldest political party in Britain and have had their snouts in the trough longer and deeper than anyone else. The squealing would be deafening if any serious attempt is made to "tighten the rules".

But don't worry. It won't happen. I'm sure your people will ensure they are left enough loopholes to carry on regardless.

"Apparently, "it's the public's duty to whack off teens" may be considered an inappropriate slogan now."

Is this a real slogan or am I being nieve?

"The squealing would be deafening if any serious attempt is made to "tighten the rules"

All the more reason to make a song and dance out of this issue. Isn't it time to clean the sty?

"When Jacqui Tierney- Smith made her recent pious speech about the exploitation of women in the sex industry, did she have her husband in mind ?"

Posted by: London Tory

Well remembered !

I must say, I haven't enjoyed a news story more for ages.

The only down side is that Dave's failure to call for her resignation suggests that some of our own may have been equally foolish.

@Stewart Watson

As you don't seem to be a Tory, I find it flattering that you are commenting on ConservativeHome - I think that it is an indication of how well we've recovered since 2006.

Regarding the points you've made - obviously you haven't been listening carefully enough to what DC has been saying on the lunch time news - it is quite obvious that he is going to sort out this particular problem once and for all.

As events at the weekend have showed, DC can be very tough.

The most delicious irony of all is that this has happened to Ms "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" ID Cards Smith.

Perhaps she will come to understand that we all have things we would prefer the rest of the world not to know. It doesn't mean that we are all criminals.

No doubt we shall have the enquiry into these expenses (yet another committee)which will result in some changes, but the unscrupulous will still find a way to fiddle. None of this would have happened under the existing rules if MPs on both sides of the house, when submitting claims, had said to themselves "It may not be against the rules, but what would my constituents think?"

Best thing for the time being would be for all MP`s claims to be open to inspection. The honest ones would have no need to worry.

The reality is that the current expense system was a stitch up to keep rebelious back benchers happy under M Thatcher. What was proposed was a tie to civil service grades which the MP's would not buy.

IMHO the time has come to revisit this proposal. For what a back bench MP actually does, is not dissimilar in responsibility and workload to the average SEO in the civil service. Therefore put them on the same pay scale, which also means a new entrant will get less than a long serving MP.

For junior ministers, scale them up as priniciples, and match the salary of the top three posts to that of their permanant secratary.

On the subject of expenses, they should be subject to the same rule as everyone else in the country, I would suggest the cabinet office having to sign off expense claims. I agree with the poster above who suggested building a "halls of residence" for MP's close to the house, and with secure facilities to meet consituents.

Ross Warren is wrong - if being an MP is regarded as being a full-time job, they just become even more isolated from public opinions.
I would prefer to see them work at least one day a week in a job involving meeting the public and hearing their views about MPs' lifestyles, among other topics! and no, I don't count 'surgeries' as achieving that. Also, if they're not capable of earning money outside Parliament, do they deserve to be earning money inside?

The question all MPs should ask themselves is: if someone else were claiming this, would I think it was an appropriate use of my taxes? If they cannot answer that question in the affirmative, they should not claim, whatever the "rules" say.

The fundamental question in this case is: who signed off the expenses claim?

She should go.

This latest example of a minister milking the benefits system but staying "within the rules" is going to further bring into disrepute the reputation of politicians of all parties.

The peculiar predilictions of her husband may not be a sufficient reason to resign; her fiddling of the second home allowance whilst dossing down with her sister certainly is.

It's time for Cameron to take the initiative and show some leadership on this issue even it discomfits some of his own MPs. Waiting for yet another interminable review by some jobsworth is not going to be accepted by Joe Public. Do the Tories really want a low turnout at the next election?

I think we should have a sweepstake on the Conservative Majority in Redditch at the next election.

I have no problem with MPs being paid for the job they do, indeed I suspect the figure is too low in fact. However the expenses are clearly a fiddle and a fudge to deal with the under pay.

MPs are NOT underpaid.
They are vastly overpaid "for the job they do".
£60k for a couple of days a week, if that, and holidays that even teachers would envy?
They work fewer hours than students do.
Remember they admit that they are bored, with nothing to do, according to Nadine Dorries.
If any of them thinks that they are underpaid, let them find alternative employment.

"a further example in a long list of him (Cameron) being afraid to act without the say-so of a focus group and, one must suspect, for fear of what might be hidden by some of his own side"

Got it in one.
Cameron's calculating cravenness is breathtaking.

Since MPs have to sign off their expenses as being essential to their parliamentary duties, can someone please explain how the purchase of an antique fireplace etc can possibly come into that category. If not then our Home Secretary has broken the rules.Given this definition it would be extremely easy to police MPs expenses

@JS and others

Why do you think that what I call the "Dan Hannan" method is the way to make the most political mileage out of this?

1) We have no means of knowing when the next Conservative MP will be falsely accused by the media.

2) Ranting only convinces younger people that we are the "Victor Meldrew party."

3)Sometimes it is a good idea not to get incompetent Labourites sacked. Left in post they merely cause more problems for Brown. The media won't let up until they resign.

Let's hope we can get another week out of this Labour debacle!

'Andrews' @ 15.01 '... If not then our Home Secretary has broken the rules. Given this definition it would be extremely easy to police MPs expenses.'

The latest information was apparently 'leaked' to journalists, and there has been a 'lengthy Freedom of Information campaign' to make this information available, but apparently it remains secret at the moment!

IF this government gets in again - with a workable majority, one of the first things they will try to do - I think - is to abolish the Freedom of Information Act (how they hate it!), and I am sure they will concoct some fancy reason for doing so!


Fre[email protected],

"We have no means of knowing when the next Conservative MP will be falsely accused by the media."

Or even correctly accused!

The public, outside the narrow group involved in party politics, do not really distinguish between the parties on this matter; they regard politicians as all as bad as each other and mostly on the make. Or political class, and their erstwhile banker friends, really are dinking in the last chance saloon (at taxpayers’ expense, of course!) which is perched perilously on the edge of the abyss into which, as the depresion rages, our democratic system is quite likely to fall.

[email protected]
In answer to your question, it's because if you do what is right rather than what appears momentarily expedient politcally, if you show the public that you have the best interests of the country and the people at heart rather than the short term advantage for your party, if you conduct yourself within a set of moral, honest and ethical values, if you hold fast to your principles and show you are a person of your word - then you will gain not only the respect and following of both your fellow politicians and the majority in the country but also their votes too. By tacitly condoning sleaze and mal-practice by turning what amounts to a blind eye for fear of what might emerge from your own stable you attract only (and justly) the contempt of the electorate as merely another calculating party politician on the make.

On a low political note - I say leave Jackboot in place. She absolutely personifies the crass, self-satisfied stupidity of Labour women. Saves us Conservatives a bomb on advertising and leaflet printing.
I suspect that even now, with her husband's murky interests exposed to all and sundry, she's unable to empathise with the electorate's unease over the Big Brother society that she's busily creating. I wonder if she's maintaining her enthusiasm for snooping on our emails and website visits? Goodness who or what hubby's been contacting while his beloved has been skulking in her 'primary residence' aka her sister's boxroom!

On a low political note - I say leave Jackboot in place. She absolutely personifies the crass, self-satisfied stupidity of Labour women. Saves us Conservatives a bomb on advertising and leaflet printing.

Can we tone down the misogyny? The failings you perceive are not as a result of her being female.

I don't have a problem with it, Resident Leftie - I'm a woman and I know misogyny when I see it. But Ms Allan is right - Jackboot Smiff is a very poor example of womanhood and perhaps she should be left in place as a dreadful warning of what could happen if Labour were to be re-elected!

@JS

I agree with much of what you say. I deplore the way in which, first Blair, and now Brown, and their colleagues, have ruined British politics.

Having said that, the Tories have to accept the political campaigning ground as it is now. We have got to be pragmatic - as Harold Wilson used to keep on saying!
We also have to accept current political morality, or we will seem very out of date to 30 and 40 year olds.

Not pressing for the resignation of the dismal Smith is part of this pragmatism. We haven't got the votes to censure her. In office she will continue to be pursued by the media. This will eclipse Brown's G20 summit and our problems with Mr Wheeler.

I reckon that Maggie, when she was in opposition, would have done just the same as Cameron.

We all get our politics from the t.v. and from newspapers. Journalists explain things for us. Bet you it all looks different if, say, you are one of the inner circle at CCHQ. They have got to find practical methods of seeing that the Conservative agenda dominates politics until the next election. Even at the weekends they have to deal with unexpected problems. Shouldn't think that they have got much time for anything else. Frankly I wouldn't know where to start - so I am not going to try and tell them where they are going wrong!

I am worried that by David Cameron is not condemning Smith outright, and the rest of her crooked Labour ilk, particularly those in Cabinet. What's the reason? I hope it's not because there are skeletons in the Conservative cupboard, leaving Labour to be able to call him a hypocrite, if he were to speak out...

@David_at_Home

Agree with much of what you say. Don't agree with the way you are saying it, however. In my opinion you are too apocalyptic.

The public are fed up with MPs. They have been fed up with MPs for years. Lately, they have been egged on by the media, who will always go for a good story, concerning the alleged misuse of public funds. Quite rightly, the public want the matter sorted.

Brown has called an inquiry. Cameron has rightly said that the proposed inquiry is going to take too long. I think that that is a very adequate and very practical response by DC.

" In my opinion you are too apocalyptic."

I hope you are correct, Freddy. Time will tell.

The difference now is that MPs seem to be even more sleazy than before and we are about to enter the worse recession since the 1930s. Then we had the mutiny at Invergordon and the General Strike. Quite rational people feared a revolution but it did not happen. But then we were a largely homogeneous country and the power of decision was in London.

What we really need is an urgent change of government.

Never mind Jacqui Smith's porn and expenses fiddling, the Labour government is guilty of far more serious offences than that.

Freddy, I think that probably David_at_Home, is under the impression that if we suffer some apocalyptic upheaval (he probably hopes that it is just affecting the two main political parties!), that the LibDem's or is it the Ukippers (tut, tut, I have forgotten!) will come storming into the chaos, and be the champions of the people, and everybody will vote them into power (well enough to give them some sort of working majority) or a coalition of the small parties - excepting the BNP (he would think!).

Unfortunately, as D_at_H should realise, if you light a fuse, or if a fuse is lit, the resulting explosion can damage much more than was originally hoped for.... and his friends would probably 'go down' with everybody else!

Resident Leftie - it's certainly not misogyny; as a female, it's pure embarrassment that tokenism has allowed a totally inadequate person to be awarded one of the great offices of state.

Is there something about these people that differ from the rest of us, or are they really a representative sample of the wider community. We have allowed them to set themselves above the law. They laugh at us as the fools we are, yet we are unable to get rid of them. Elections come and elections go, one group is replaced by another, yet still they remain, liars, thieves, parasites practically one and all.
Honour, Integrity, Morality, values that seemingly bled to death on the battlefields of the 20th Century.

"Unfortunately, as D_at_H should realise, if you light a fuse, or if a fuse is lit, the resulting explosion can damage much more than was originally hoped for.... and his friends would probably 'go down' with everybody else!"

Certainly I realise that, Patsy Sergeant, but the fuse has been lit already by some of those those presently in Parliament and petrol has been poured on it by the new Great Depression. I fear what may be to come.

The UKIP case has been damaged by the antics of Ashley Mote and Tom Wise but at least we chucked them out of the party.

"and I don't envy his position with Ms on his case."

In the present situation, resident leftie, might you re-phrase that?!

David Cameron can`t condemn Jacqui Smith because he would have to also then condemn Caroline Spelman or he would rightly be accused of gross hypocrisy.

I agree with Andrew Smith. Yes MPs expenses/renumeration definately needs reforming but as Andrew implies... please for Gods sake make it simpler. Don't add to the bureaucratic culture that is crippling our country. Don't encourage anymore MPs to think that way. What we need is firstly to be clear with the public about how MPs are renumerated. Most of them do work hard. However we say we do not expect them to make up the difference, because they feel its not enough, by milking expenses. They either want the job and what it pays or they don't - get that sorted first and start from a day zero with that approach. Next when that is clear we need to simplify the expense system. Perhaps just give a variable allowance based on zones showing how far they live away from London. Say 5 zones radiating from the centre. Then say that what is agreed is a package for salary and allowance and that is all they get. Then barring outright illegalitry we let them get on with paying what they need out of that and we decide on how good they are at delivering with that salary/allowance at the ballot box. But please another plea make it simple, don't add to the bureaucracy that is crippling Britain and rubbing off onto everything.

How dare these people give themselves the right to censor their own records! That is the last straw, the whole lot of them must go. What a disgusting bunch of self-serving, arrogant, smug little Nazis we've unwittingly fostered in the Westminster nest. Time to tip them all over the side.

@Patsy Sergeant

I agree with you. Whatever the future brings I don't think that UKIP will be entrusted with the nation's future. Their MEPs' record is not impressive is it? They've got hardly any councillors, a few peers, and one MP who was elected as a Conservative.

@Jack Stone

The committee found that Caroline Spelman had acted inadvertently. In my opinion there is no comparison here.

Of course, Jock Stale probably thinks that MPs' pay and expenses should be trebled.

No Super Blue, he - Jock Stale is just trying to make Caroline Spelman appear worse than ower Jakwi Smith! Mind you even Mr. ?Stone would have some difficulty in finding Miss Spelman as nit-pickingly, mealy-mouthed dishonest as to charge an 88p BATH PLUG up to the taxpayer - one can aptly say - IT BEGGARS BELIEF!

Actually, Jeff Randall did an amusing spoof CV of Ms. Smith, in last Friday's Telegraph! It started:

"How does one explain the monument to absurdity that is Harriet Harman? For those who enjoy conspiracy theories, try this: she is a plant inside the Left-wing establishment, put there by far-thinking Conservative controllers in the Ted Heath years." (!!)

"Her mission: to spend a lifetime infiltrating Laboour's upper echelons, creeping and crawling her way to positions of great power, with the aim of destroying from within the credibility of Keir Hardie's creation. On current form, she is doing a first-class job."

This article was obviously written before the latest fiasco! It is quite long, but highly amusing, and entitled: 'Britain's broke, Labour's finished: mission complete, Agent Harman', its really worth a read!!

Why is it that there's no mention anywhere that the great leader, who lives in a taxpayer funded home in Downing Street, claims £17,073 as "second home" expenses"?

Not a very constructive reply to the post above but the bits below are.

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/gordon_brown/kirkcaldy_and_cowdenbeath#expenses

Ooooh, take away or not. Leave it.
This information is out there and they will help you stick it all in a spreadsheet or whatever you want. SPin it how you will.

If your question is why is not nore widely publicised, I apologise and say I don't work for the press. This website has been going for a number of years. Has it increased the volume of info recently, I don't know but the CA was always there as far as I know.

I am tired.

I have come around to thinking that this blog article is wrong.

The Jacqui Smith case highlights the need for an urgent review into MPs' expenses

We have had plenty of reviews and discussions - and what we currently have is the result of those - and the result is clearly unsatisfactory.

There is no reason to believe that another review will result in anything other than new rules that yet again get bent beyond public tolerance.

If anything The Jacqui Smith case demonstrates the faults with parliamentry reviews.

I believe the most important thing is that MPs can justify their pay and conditions - this means they must take responsibility for them and must set them themselves - fully transparently.

Asking anyone else to set their pay is a cop out and passing the buck.

They should set their own pay and conditions - which must be transparent. If they can't justify them, then they don't deserve to be MPs.

10/10 for Pickles in being prepared to put his case - rather less for the acceptability of his arguments!

Posted by: Sally Roberts | March 30, 2009 at 16:40
I don't have a problem with it, Resident Leftie - I'm a woman and I know misogyny when I see it. But Ms Allan is right - Jackboot Smiff is a very poor example of womanhood and perhaps she should be left in place as a dreadful warning of what could happen if Labour were to be re-elected!

Nothing she has done makes a her a "poor example of womenhood." If you dislike her, please make it for her policies and her behaviour, not her gender. If she was a man, would you attribute her failings to being male? The last thing we need is people parroting the Daily Mail angle of criticising female politicians for being women, or for (for example) their appearance. Stick to the subtance - I know you can.

Lefty, I think it is a perfectly fair observation that the women who have risen in new labour do share significant (unpleasant) similarities - the men are more diverse (in their unpleasantness).

It is seems unlikely that gender itself is responsible for the difference, but rather it is presumably some defective feature of the parliamentary labour party that has brought this about.

I would agree that it would be prejudice/sexist to use gender as a predictor, but this is not a prediction or prejudice, it is an observation of the fact.

However much you may not like it, the truth is the truth.

"If she was a man, would you attribute her failings to being male?"

Depends - if she was an avid watcher of porno like her Better Half, very possibly!

I notice Resident Leftie that you accuse anne allan of misogyny. Unless I'm very much mistaken I would assume that anne is....a woman!

She is, Malcolm! I am too - at least I was when I last looked.

Perhaps she misunderstood the meaning of "Home" Secretary!

Posted by: Malcolm Dunn | March 31, 2009 at 12:42

I notice Resident Leftie that you accuse anne allan of misogyny. Unless I'm very much mistaken I would assume that anne is....a woman!

And your point is - you can't be misogynistic and a woman? You know that's nonsense. It's like saying you can't be gay and homophobic.

Definitely Sally!

I get the impression that resident leftie is trying to emulate J. Stone at the moment, well it takes all sorts!

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