Monday, 27 February 2017

Who will get the taxpayer's grapefruit bowls?

Gerald Kaufman was one of the most egregious expenses cheats exposed by the Telegraph in 2009. Amongst the misuse of tax funds for his London gaff was £220 for a pair of crystal grapefruit bowls, items Kaufman claimed were 'essential' for him to perform his work as an MP.

No hypocritical encomiums here today I'm afraid. Kaufman and those like him did more to devalue and befoul our ancient Parliament than those for centuries past. Here's a litany of his tax-theft;

The former environment minister was asked to attend a meeting with officials from the parliamentary fees office to discuss details of another claim relating to £28,834 of work on the kitchen and bathroom at his London flat. He told them that the work was necessary because he was “living in a slum”, though his second home, off Regent’s Park, is in one of the most fashionable areas of the capital. He was eventually reimbursed for £15,329. 
On one occasion he asked a civil servant “why are you querying these expenses?” and on another threatened to make a complaint unless a dispute was settled by noon on the day in question. In one document, an official in the fees office noted that invoices Sir Gerald had submitted took him to “within 6p” of his annual limit. He also claimed £1,262 for a gas bill that was £1,055 in credit.
Between 2001 and 2008 the Manchester Gorton MP, one of the Labour party’s longest-serving members, claimed a total of £115,109 in additional costs allowances on his London flat, which he owns outright. In June 2006, he submitted a claim for three months’ expenses totalling £14,301.60, which included £8,865 for a Bang & Olufsen Beovision 40in LCD television. The maximum amount MPs are allowed to claim for TVs is £750.
On July 7, 2006 the fees office wrote to Sir Gerald to say: “I regret to inform you that this item falls within the not allowable category of luxurious furnishings, and as such has been rejected.” He was paid £750. In March 2007 Sir Gerald submitted a claim for £1,461.83 for a “second-hand rug replacing 24-year-old carpet”, with an additional £389.91 for “customs duty on rug”, which was paid. The receipt showed that Sir Gerald bought the rug from the Showplace Antique Centre on West 25th Street in Manhattan for $2,750. The Green Book strictly forbids “antique, luxury or premium grade” furnishings. Later that year, on Dec 29, Sir Gerald, who was knighted in 2004, submitted an invoice from ABC Carpets in Harrods for £598, which was also paid.

A note of a telephone conversation between Sir Gerald, 78, and an official in the fees office, states that his reasons for claiming £28,834 for home improvements between 2005 and 2007 were: “Old flat, facilities out of date, decrepit, health reasons, update, living in slum.” Sir Gerald added that he had “not carried out any repairs/maintenance for 32 years”.Sir Gerald was also challenged over regular claims for “odd jobs” which he submitted without receipts at a rate of £245 every month — £5 below the then limit for unreceipted expenses. He replied: “Why are you querying these expenses?” On May 18, a senior official in the fees office noted details of another conversation about the kitchen and bathroom, saying: “MP believes that I have seen a detailed breakdown of the £12,416.51 claim he has submitted [for that financial year]… MP is becoming agitated and will be making an official complaint against me, if this matter is not resolved by 12 noon today.” When detailed invoices were submitted, they included £575 for undertile heating in the shower room and £2,695 for Bosch and Miele kitchen appliances. Sir Gerald was asked to attend a meeting with officials on the matter and the fees office eventually agreed to pay him £15,329 of the £28,834. Sir Gerald accepted, saying that he wanted to “draw a line under the issue”.

In June last year Sir Gerald submitted a £1,262 claim for his gas bill, covering the period March 2006 to May 2008. The fees office pointed out that his gas account was £1,055.60 in credit, and only agreed to pay £122.46. A note in the file on July 10, 2008 quotes Sir Gerald as saying: “I received a letter from [official] saying not pay as is credit. I paid £1,252 THIS year so want reimbursing!!!”
The fees office wrote to him on July 14 to say: “You might wish to ask British Gas to repay you the credit.”

Sir Gerald’s claims between 2004 and June 2008 also included £19,200 for food — close to the maximum — and £4,692 for cleaning.

Last night Sir Gerald offered to repay the money for the rug and admitted that his claim for the £8,000 television was “a bit daft”. He said that his flat had been in need of complete refurbishment because he had “neglected” it over the years and he had overclaimed for the gas bill because he “misunderstood” the invoice. He said that his odd jobs bill was actually more than £245 a month, so he had claimed close to the limit. His food claim was “appropriate” because his job meant he often had to “spend a lot of money” eating out, he added.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Deplorables must defeat the Illiberals to preserve democracy

I think my earlier confusion about what to call the self-righteous didactic restrictive bansturbators of Guardianista bien-pensants has been solved. From now on they will simply be the Illiberals. And I am content to be counted amongst the ranks of the Deplorables - deplorable presumably because we stand for free speech, free thought, universal suffrage, secret ballots and the rule of law. 

And it's the Illiberals of course who now pose the greatest threat to Western democracy. Since June last year I've catalogued on here the shock and horror of the Illiberals that the majority of the British people didn't do as they were told. Little Owen Jones joined Polly Toynbee in a profound shriek of pain. Even Roger Scruton declared that ordinary people were too stupid to make such decisions - before contritely recanting. 

And Mick Hume in a good piece in the Mail lists the others who think that democracy cannot be trusted to the people; A.C.Grayling's eunuch-like whine, John Major, Gina Miller, Richard Branson, Tony Blair, Hilary Mantel, all making crass and unintelligent comments. The litany of hate, insults, abuse, crude stereotyping, the street thuggery, bullying, coercion and intimidation employed by the Illiberals and I suspect experienced in some form by all of us, in reality or online, tells eloquently the extent to which they are ready to abandon democratic and civilised behaviour for the totalitarian Illiberal jackboot.

And now the tame stooges of the Illiberals - the think tanks, academic institutes, professional associations, the RSA and so on - are beavering away to find novel means of subverting democracy so as to silence the voice of the majority. 

We must stand absolutely firm. We must uphold the rule of law. We must defend free and open elections and ballots, universal adult suffrage, the secret ballot, free association and above all freedom of expression, speech and thought. Our freedoms are under prolonged and sustained assault by a fanatical enemy who will stop at nothing. We stand here against the Illiberals. We stand firm. 

 

Friday, 24 February 2017

Blair's Big Tent to have a different name again

Blair's big tent, constructed over several acres to accommodate all his enemies pissing out, and otherwise known as the Millennium Dome, is set to be called something different for the next ten years in a deal reported to be worth £125m.

The venue is expected to host the European scrabble championships in 2017 and an Algarve timeshare show next year.  

That's all.


Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Martin Schulz just another bent bastard after all

The man tipped to replace Merkel as 'leader of the free world' as the wimpering Guardian would have it, Martin Schulz, a man endowed by the leftie press with virtues of humility, sanctity, mission and aptitude, now turns out to be just another bent bastard politician after all, with his great sticky hands covered in corrupt Euros. 

He's a socialist, so it should be no surprise that his aptitude was actually for diverting huge swathes of EU taxpayers' money to his chums. Yes, the man hounding UKIP and Marine Le Pen over mis-spending trivial sums of their EU Parliament party grouping money on campaigns is himself mired to his neck in shit from his chiselling corrupt peculation. 

What he's been doing is breaking all the EU's rules to appoint his chums to lucrative and obscenely well paid EU jobs. And the leaks have come not from Merkel's campaign team but from the EU's own administrative staff, revealed in Der Spiegel.

Personally, I think there's something of a whiff of a palace coup about it all. Two of the EU's several Presidents are the targets. The drunkard Juncker, whom determined efforts are being made to defenestrate before his 2019 termination date, and Schulz, have proven to be unusually incompetent even by EU standards, and all the little Daniels dependent on the vast Brussels scam for their livings are not happy.  


Sunday, 19 February 2017

In Defence of Europe

It has been NATO, of course, and not the EU that has played the principle part in maintaining peace in Europe since 1949. Indeed, it is now widely recognised that the actions of the EU in the Balkans, and in Ukraine, have acted to foment conflict rather than peace. This is tacitly recognised even by the EU Empire's fervent German press outlet, Der Spiegel; "NATO always aspired to be something more than a defence alliance. It viewed itself as the protective power of liberal democracy, the West and Western principles. It was a moral framework, the foundations for their existence. But are we certain that the West is still a community of shared values? If it's not, then what is NATO defending?"

And here we have the intellectual crisis of the Neo-Illiberals. They don't like democracy being used by people who don't share their values. They are intolerant of any political system that doesn't work the way they want. They know they are right and will bully, coerce and manipulate in order to make everyone realise this. And they simply don't understand a NATO that defends democracy, universal suffrage and the secret ballot, and the right of self-determination. They want an ideological NATO, as grandiose, idealist and theocratic as the EU Federasts themselves. They want a NATO that will be the EU's armed stormfront. 

This dichotomy therefore defines the positions of Europe's actors, played out yesterday in Munich against the background of US VP Pence's speech.  

Brussels Wants to replace NATO with a militarised EU - A European military alliance as allowed for by but not yet enabled by Article 42 (2) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU). Juncker has signalled that he sees this starting as a 'soft' military capability - airlifts, peacekeeping, border security, maritime patrol and SAR - geared at projecting power and showing the flag rather than in maintaining heavy armour pointing East. Undoubtedly this will also involve the strengthening of capacity by the EU Gendarmerie to subdue any outbreaks of democracy within the EU. Argues that up to half of existing (target) 2% defence spends should go to the EU military alliance with the remaining 1% to a reformed NATO. 

The EU's house magazine Der Spiegel echoes this approach; "In the medium-term, Europe must be capable of sufficiently defending itself and providing for its own security. What is most needed in order to make that happen is unity. If Germany and other Europeans now spend more on defence, they will also have to increase their military cooperation as well as massively expand the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy. Europe's alliance should not replace NATO, but it must enable Europeans to stand by each other if the Americans will no longer do it."

And this could define Europe's flashpoint of the future. An EU nation, backed by NATO upholding liberal democracy and the UN upholding the right of self-determination, moves to break out of the EU after a clear referendum. The EU, in seeking to use whatever means possible to prevent such secession, mobilises its own military alliance, including French nukes under Brussels command.  

UK & USA Want a full 2% defence spend to go to NATO to maintain an effective military shield against Russia and also paradoxically to build co-partner forces with Russia to face Islamist threats to our common southern borders. Want no modification of NATO or UN structures and will seek to keep down or veto EU efforts at militarisation.

France Will be asked to give up her UN seat to the EU and her Nuclear potential to EU command. These issues may surface in the forthcoming election, and candidates including Mme Le Pen asked to make their positions clear

Germany Is struggling with her identity like never before. The nation has a huge inbuilt resistance to becoming a militarily strong player, but alone amongst the EU's partners has the financial strength to do so. Pouring money into Juncker's 'soft' military alliance is one option - pouring money into expanding French military capacity another, though this will stick in the craw of German voters. Germany's terrier-like resistance to giving away even a pfennig of her savings may well act in the UK / US interest - for without German gold, the EU's ambitions will come to nought.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Blair struggles to rise from the political grave

The most loathed ex-politician in Britain is scrabbling to rise from his political grave; Blair, whose mummified features can barely raise a plastic smile these days, is sufficiently mentally deluded to think he can lead a successful minority coup against Brexit. With even his most crooked and morally corrupt ex-supporters having deserted him, he is bereft of any effective support and driven only by a zombie-like primal urge to cause trouble. 

He has so far escaped prison for his mendacious Iraq adventures, though the possibility of crowdfunded private legal action against him is growing, and he may yet find himself in the dock in 2017. His Brexit performances may be an attempt to distract from having to face justice.

Blair has also announced plans to set up his own Disinformation Service to drip his own venomous version of reality onto social and mainstream media. Apart from the editorial staff at the Guardian, few will be gulled (or gulled again) by Blairthink.

There has also been no confirmation to date that Blair's efforts at resurrection are inspired by secret cash from George Soros, whose own seditious attempts to subvert democracy both in the UK and in America are bringing him perilously close to arrest. 


Thursday, 16 February 2017

Extraordinary arrogance of deluded Brussels fools

Like a partner in an ugly divorce who just won't realise they have no say in their ex-partner's share of the split, the EU just won't leave go of the UK's assets. Proof if ever proof were needed that the rest of the EU has been doing far better out of Britain's membership than we have. We can't escape the clutches of their Federast courts for years to come, they claim. And we must pay them at least €60bn when we leave, to make up for their reduced income. Now they say they want to keep our fish. 

In a leaked document published by the Guardian, the EU makes the mistake of seeming to claim as a right that which can only be granted by the UK - access to resources within our 200 mile economic territorial waters. We will manage our own fish stocks to our best advantage - that can be anywhere from fishing 100% ourselves to licensing others to fish it. And we may use that power to negotiate licenses directly with the nations involved, including Denmark and Holland, rather than with the EU. 

Of course it will take years to build our fleets up again - not only boats to be built, but men to train, skills to acquire. And the management of fish stocks to assure our future prosperity to be achieved. If there is one red line for the British people, it is regaining total and absolute control of our waters. No conditions. No restrictions. Any foreign boat that fishes in our waters after we leave must do so with our explicit consent or be seized, have its crew imprisoned and its catch forfeit. That's international marine law. 

Really, the sooner those deluded fools from Brussels realise they're dealing with a sovereign independent nation and one with warships to boot (though not nearly enough) and not some cowed Euro-Satrapy, the better.

In fact, Mrs May could send the appropriate signals by ordering now the building of ten new fisheries patrol vessels, suitably armed and equipped to carry Royal Marines boarders, and new fisheries patrol drones. The foreign aid budget is rich in resources - and fisheries patrol can be said to be a form of foreign aid.