Caught “our” ABC news on ABC2 this morning.
For those who are unaware there is a huge scandal in the UK over MPs of all major parties shovelling money at themselves through “expenses”. In some cases well over their actual pay, including some rather lucrative real estate shennanigans.
This scandal has been reported/brewing for over a week now, with even the PM Gordon Brown caught with some questionble claims.
Ive been following this mainly through 2 excellent websites, so anyone wanting more details should have a gander at these.
http://www.order-order.com/ (this bloke actually had a major part in breaking the story)
http://devilskitchen.me.uk/ (excellent for a sense of the absolute outrage this is causing)
Up until today (so at least a week into the story) the focus has been on the Labour government ministers and their claims. Yesterday the first major story on the Tories (opposition) same abuse of the system came to light.
Guess when the ABC decided to run its first story (that Ive seen any major time devoted to) on the issue?
Then guess which party the member held up as a shameful example came from?
Then guess which party leader was shown apologising on behalf of everyone involved?
So if you guessed yesterday as number 1, Tory as number 2, and Gordon Brown as number 3 well done.
More below the fold
In addition I found it interesting they then showed footage of a Labour MP without stating her party affiliation (despite a screen nominating the Tory caught out) who according to the Guido Fawkes blog is the worst offender of all.
Heres a little “sleze meter” made up to try and put in some sort of order the levels of troughing going on by various members.
Some of the expenses claimed that have been highlighted, from both parties.
Douglas Hogg, the former agriculture secretary, submitted a claim form including more than £2,000 for the moat around his country estate to be cleared. The taxpayer also helped meet the cost of a full-time housekeeper, including her car. The public finances also helped pay for work to Mr Hogg’s stables and for his piano to be tuned.
David Davis, the former shadow home secretary, spent more than £10,000 of taxpayers’ money on home renovations and furnishings, including a new £5,700 portico at his home in Yorkshire.
Andrew Lansley, the shadow health secretary, spent thousands of pounds renovating a thatched Tudor country cottage shortly before selling it. He redecorated inside and out with premium paint at a cost of £2,000 and re-shingled the driveway. He then “flipped” his expenses to a Georgian flat in London where he claimed for thousands of pounds in furnishings including a Laura Ashley sofa.
Keith Vaz, the former minister who now chairs the Home Affairs select committee, bought and furnished a flat in central London at taxpayers’ expense despite living just 12 miles away with his wife in a £1.15 million property. He claimed more than £75,000 for the flat.
Paul Murphy, the Welsh Secretary, splashed out more than £3,000 on a new hot water system for his second home, explaining in a letter to the parliamentary fees office that his water was too hot.
Thats only a small sample of the scandal, yet what does the ABC do? It cant help but try and spin the story to make the Tories out as “nastier” than their idiological bosom buddies.