Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Lord Paul - laughing stock

Poor Lord Paul. Suspended from the House of Lords and forced to pay back £40,000 of expenses based on a 'main residence' which was actually a room in a hotel he owned, in which he'd never spent a night.

According to him, it's all the fault of Parliament and that pesky English language.

He said the House of Lords had no guidance on the meaning of 'main residence' until March 2010 and believes the perspectives and standards of 2010 should not have been applied to 2005.
He added: “I believe that the provisions which applied then on the designation of principal residence were wholly unclear.

I see. I wonder whether it was the word 'main', or 'primary' or 'residence' which foxed him. He seems to have managed to fill in the forms with enough understanding to claim £40,000. And obviously, in 2005 it was OK to steal from the taxpayer. Back in those days, highwaymen roamed the, er, highways, justice was a matter of trial by combat and ducking stool were the latest in forensic crime investigations.

To be honest, I'm beginning to wonder if the terrible mess this country's in can be traced to a literacy problem in Parliament. After all, if a man whose job it is to scrutinise every word of every law before it's passed can't even understand 'main residence', it's unlikely that he understood much of what he was voting for or against. I wonder what reading-age he has.

On the other hand, perhaps Lord Paul is a lying corrupt sack of shit. After all, a man doesn't acquire £500 million  - yes, half a billion pounds - by being illiterate. Maybe he's just selectively illiterate. Like when it comes to claiming £40,000, or just under 0.01% of his fortune from the taxpayer.

Still, at least he has his pride:
“First and foremost, my honesty and integrity have been upheld. I have never tried to claim anything which I did not believe I was honestly entitled to claim at the time.


Blossom said...

Wouldn't it be refreshing to have a politician admit that he was winging his expenses? Aren't most employees, in positions where they can claim expenses, tempted or prone to fiddle? My experience is, the more someone earns and is able to buy for himself, the more he's likely to fiddle. At the risk of making a sweeping statement, with some people the more wealth they have, the greedier, meaner and less scrupulous they become.

£40,000 is nothing to this man. He didn't claim it because he needed it-he claimed it because he thought that he could get away with it. Ethics didn't come into it.

As voters in the UK, we can take but a small amount of pleasure in seeing these scrounging opportunists try to make out they are too dumb to be let out on the streets without their helper because this is seen as preferable to them admitting the truth- that though they acquired their positions in government after promising to represent and support their constituents, their real intent was to milk Britain Inc. for their own gains.

And really! If you have wealth of £500,000,000 and you're scrounging after £40,000, shame on you. That would be like me firking down the side of my mate's sofa for spare change!

The Plashing Vole said...

Shameful, isn't it.

It strikes me that the richer you are, and the more senior your position, the more opportunities you have to claim expenses. I don't know anyone who can claim for turning up to work. I wish my employers would pay for all the books I buy for academic purposes…