Sunday, May 10, 2009

Feathering Their Own Flippin' Nest

The horror of the Westminster gravy train shame is exposed in all its gory details in a breathtaking nice 'n sleazy Sunday. At the heart is the rotten culture of a second homes scam, with greedy New Labour cronies in all their Houses flitting and flipping away to feather their own nest, gorging themselves on a taxpayer-funded feast of corruption. 

No Ed Balls in the Telegraph today but no top Tory either, so they must be set for tomorrow. If MPs can milk expenses for all they're worth so too can the Telegraph

Instead it was a predicable Sinn Fein briefly putting two fingers up to Westminster and a gaggle of greedy New Labour ministers kicking off with 'Kitty in the City' Ussher, pleading for a full re-fit of her run-down Victorian house on expenses. 

A final nail in the coffin too for doomed Hazel Blears who's already toast. Blindly missing the point, bleating Blears reckons she understands why people 'hate' MPs' expenses. 

It's not MPs' expenses per se that voters hate, it's people like Blears and the greedy bunch of chancers who've flitted and flipped their second homes to feather their nest and fund their lavish lifestyles. It's not just the system that needs changing, it's greedy cranky crooks like Blears. 

It's  bad enough for the public having to put up with the worn record "Playing Within The Rules" played over and over again. Blears and her cronies are crooks and should be hounded out of office.

The gravy train of shame has been rolling merrily along for years. Few took a blind bit of notice as the deliberate culture of greed was allowed to fester away and the arrogant, smug complacency spread like a cancer through the New Labour cabinet, ministers and their pals the Lords.

The Orange Party is still waiting for one of the rabbits caught in the headlights of shame to say sorry and apologise for their greed. It's going to be a long lonesome wait.

The shocking extent of cabinet greed over parliamentary expenses exposed Brown's New Labour ministers flipping their second homes without a by-your-leave and milking the expenses system for all its worth.

New Labour has the most MPs and created a whole gaggle of ministers and pay-roll-MPs with spurious fancy titles to keep them sweet, toe the line and stuff the commons and the lords with their cronies. They are the government. They are the shame.

While the focus is rightly on the troughing pigs in the commons, the Sunday Times is nibbling away at the other outrage in the other Place with revelations over more New Labour peers abusing the system. 

Last week, it was New Labour peer Baroness Uddin, who'd claimed more than £180,000 in overnight expenses, including £100,000 on an unoccupied flat in Kent which she said was her main residence.

Today it's New Labour minister, Baroness Thornton, claiming up to £22,000 a year by designating her mother’s Bradford bungalow as her main home. 'Cash for laws' peer, Lord Truscott, appears to have been employing a similar tactic to Baroness Uddin. Lord Lipsey of Tooting says his main residence is in Wales, entitling him to claim £190,000 of expenses. Baroness Dean nominates a house in Cornwall, rather than her house in north London. 

And so it goes on, ad infinitum. All "within the rules" but that doesn't make it right.

Back in the commons it's hard-work keeping track of all the corrupt comings and goings. Smeargate blogger Guido has produced a splendid round-up. And it's not all about copper-bottomed shits of a Tory MP claiming for poppy wreaths. 

The professional ruling New Labour political class has become the State. Others have to play second fiddle. With a decade of decadence in government, it engulfs both houses in the cushy Westminster world of leather. 

Familiarity breeds contempt. Contempt breeds greed. Greed breeds corruption and the damning, damaging end-game. 

All that's left in the sordid charade, as the Orange Party has previously pointed out, is for New Labour to put up house cheerleader Hattie Harman as the 'acceptable' face of government because she's untainted by the second homes fiddle and the odd old spinner promising a "new" audit plan which was agreed days ago, already on the cards and won't be retrospective. Kind of misses the point.  

Westminster has its fair share of the good, the bad and the downright ugly. But only the ones with little to hide are quick to jump on the bandwagon of outrage. The greedy bunch of chancers have to be dragged kicking and screaming from under their toady stones.

The doomed New Labour project is rotting in its own Brown mess. The bottom has now dropped out. Brown has completely lost it. His rotten government shamed. The country and the economy are being dragged down to new depths. 

Only a general election now can clear the air. A view shared this afternoon by former commons deputy speaker, Tory Lord Naseby who said parliament had been brought "right down into the pits" and should be dissolved if the expenses scandal continues to rumble on, leaving a fresh vote and general election the only option.

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