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Monday, 26 July 2010

NHS spunks �7.5k on porn room • The Register

NHS spunks �7.5k on porn room • The Register: "Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust has incurred the wrath of the Sun by spunking �7,500 on a 'special room' kitted out to help chaps deliver vital supplies of man oysters.

The trust's fertility centre shared the cost of 'computer equipment worth �4,625, flat screen TVs costing �2,225 - plus �500 of blue movies' with private outfit North West Fertility."

That's where you cash is going. It's slipping through fingers, and not yours.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Google Reader (287)

Google Reader (287): "The first sleaze row of the new government deepened today when a millionaire Tory donor, who successfully lobbied for the cancellation of a government loan to a promising engineering company, admitted he had wanted to invest in it himself.

Labour accused Andrew Cook – the Tories' largest donor in Yorkshire, who subsidised David Cameron's flights in opposition to the tune of �54,000 – of a conflict of interest after he wrote to the Conservative business minister Mark Prisk in May to warn that an �80m state loan to Sheffield Forgemasters might be illegal under EU law."

Time to get politicians and civil servants out of the decision making process.

You can't bribe all the electorate all of the time.

Monday, 19 July 2010

The Lib Dem MP, the Radio 3 DJ and his dog - Telegraph

The Lib Dem MP, the Radio 3 DJ and his dog - Telegraph: "Tessa Munt, the MP for Wells claimed a single resident’s discount on her council tax, telling her local council she lived alone in her constituency home.

However, the electoral register shows that Mrs Munt is one of three people registered to vote at the Somerset address."

Yet another one on the take....

Friday, 16 July 2010

BBC News - Tory peer Lord Taylor facing expenses prosecution

BBC News - Tory peer Lord Taylor facing expenses prosecution: "Lord Taylor of Warwick has been charged with six counts of false accounting in relation to alleged dishonest claims he made for �11,000 in subsistence costs."

I'm not surprised. Any barister who thinks that its the police who decide to prosecute or not, instead of the CPS is likely to have a very odd view of expenses as well.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

The mystery of Lord Mandelson's finances - Telegraph

The mystery of Lord Mandelson's finances - Telegraph: "The mystery of Lord Mandelson's finances"

There is no puzzle about the owner of the house: Lord Mandelson. There is no secret about its value: Land Registry records show that in 2006 he bought the place for £2.5 million, including stamp duty.

The mystery has always been how he could possibly have afforded it.

The price was around 16 times his then-income as a European Commissioner, a mortgage which, even in pre-credit crunch days, no lender would have contemplated.

Sources close to the then Mr Mandelson suggested at the time that he used a bequest from his late mother, Mary, and sold his shares in an advertising agency.

But probate files show he received only £452,000 from his mother's estate; a search at Companies House disclosed he sold the shares a year after buying the house; and Land Registry records of his previous property dealings in London and his former constituency of Hartlepool show that he could have amassed no more than around £1.15 million in equity to put towards the purchase.

Added together, all that would still have left Mr Mandelson at least £1 million short. He did take out a mortgage – reportedly for £750,000 – to cover most of the gap.

But in a 2009 interview he let slip that he had paid it off completely after just one year.

The normal place to look for politicians' earnings is the declarations of interests they are obliged, under the rules, to make.

Mr Mandelson's declarations list only modestly-paid work for newspapers and magazines, and a number of speaking engagements.

Quite. There is something grossly wrong where those resposible for the law ignore it, and people become multimillionaires at the public's expense.

BBC News - Mark Reckless MP sorry for being 'too drunk to vote'

BBC News - Mark Reckless MP sorry for being 'too drunk to vote': "A Kent MP has apologised for being drunk in the House of Commons and missing a vote on the Budget.

Mark Reckless said he did not feel it was appropriate to take part in the vote in the early hours of Wednesday because of the amount he had drunk.

The Conservative MP for Rochester and Strood told BBC Radio Kent: 'I made a mistake. I'm really sorry about it.'"

See what happens when you subsidise drinking. We should have penal rates on drinking in the house. It's the same logic that applies to drinkers of Diamond White.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

MPs gain �130 expenses by talking until 1am - Telegraph

MPs gain �130 expenses by talking until 1am - Telegraph: "More than 500 members debated the Finance Bill into the small hours last week, triggering for the first time a new rule that entitles MPs – even those with taxpayer-funded second homes – to claim up to �130 for a hotel room if a session has continued beyond 1am.

The nine-and-a-half-hour debate also prompted extraordinary scenes at the House of Commons, where MPs were seen by observers “getting very drunk indeed” in subsidised bars before returning to vote in the chamber, where they were accused of being “well-refreshed”.

John Randall, the deputy chief whip and Tory MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, was rebuked by the Speaker for making repeated interruptions and was accused by Angela Eagle, the shadow Treasury minister, of having “enjoyed rather a liquid evening”."

Not only that, but to rub it in, you've paid for the boozing.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Afghan citizens paid $1bn in bribes for public services last year, study finds | World news |

Afghan citizens paid $1bn in bribes for public services last year, study finds | World news | "Afghans paid nearly $1bn (�658m) in bribes last year, according to a new survey that reveals that corruption in the country has doubled since 2007.

The study by the monitoring group Integrity Watch Afghanistan showed that the average value of bribes paid in 2009 was $156. The average per capita income is $502 per year."

156 / 502 = 31%

Cheaper than the UK tax take of over 50%

Who says corruption is bad?

Lord Blagger

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Climate Gate Corruption

It's a whitewash. What a surprise. In order to keep the money rolling, you can't have the science critised.

29th May 2008: ―Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise. He's not in at the moment - minor family crisis.
Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don't have his new
email address. We will be getting Caspar to do likewise”.

So the report says?

Muir Russell says that they "have seen no evidence of any attempt to delete information in respect of a request already made", noting two emails relating to deletion including the famous one cited above:

Rock on. Black is white. White is black, and I've got a lollypop stuck up my arse.

Next, trick. Inquiry didn't consider the science.

Conclusion. The science is sound and unaffected by fiddling with the data.

Yep, that's two lolly pops and a stick of rock being inserted into my anus as we speak.

BBC News - China executes top Chongqing official for corruption

BBC News - China executes top Chongqing official for corruption: "China has executed the top justice official in the city of Chongqing as part of a crackdown on corruption."

Would work wonders in the UK,

Nicolas Sarkozy at centre of criminal investigation over 'illegal donations' - Telegraph

Nicolas Sarkozy at centre of criminal investigation over 'illegal donations' - Telegraph: "Nicolas Sarkozy was at the centre of a criminal investigation today following claims that he regularly received illegal payments from France's richest woman."

Should have learned the lesson from Blair

Monday, 5 July 2010

BBC News - Two French junior ministers quit over perks

BBC News - Two French junior ministers quit over perks: "Two French junior ministers embroiled in separate spending scandals have resigned from the government.

President Nicolas Sarkozy and Prime Minister Francois Fillon had decided that the two ministers must go on Sunday, a government spokesman said.

Overseas Development Minister Alain Joyandet was criticised for spending 116,500 euros (�96,153) on a private jet to fly to the Caribbean for work.

Greater Paris Minister Christian Blanc spent 12,000 euros on cigars."

Meanwhile, the House of Lords drinks itself to oblivion at your expense.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

MPs' expenses: Former Labour MP Frank Cook claimed for DIY items bought in USA - Telegraph

MPs' expenses: Former Labour MP Frank Cook claimed for DIY items bought in USA - Telegraph: "Frank Cook, a former Labour MP, claimed twice on his expenses for DIY equipment bought in America where his second wife, an exiled princess from Laos, lives.

Mr Cook, who represented Stockton North until this year’s election, billed the taxpayer for carpet underlay, a universal saw, wall hangings and a swivel cleaner that he said were for his constituency office.

Instead of receipts, he submitted a credit card bill that showed that the items were bought in the United States. At least one item was purchased by Princess Somsangouane Baldinger, who lives in Arizona, on their shared account. Five weeks later, the MP submitted a second claim on his parliamentary expenses for the same items – this time on his additional costs allowance (ACA), which was intended to pay for the upkeep of the London flat he designated as his second home."

No doubt he wanted some shag pile to deal with carpet burns

Friday, 2 July 2010

MPs' expenses: Nadine Dorries pays �50,000 of allowances to close friend - Telegraph

MPs' expenses: Nadine Dorries pays �50,000 of allowances to close friend - Telegraph: "MPs' expenses: Nadine Dorries pays �50,000 of allowances to close friend
A Conservative MP whose parliamentary expenses are under investigation by the Commons sleaze watchdog paid more than �50,000 of public money to a close friend"

Expect more of this as a way round the expenses system

BBC News - Kenyan MPs vote to join world's best paid lawmakers

BBC News - Kenyan MPs vote to join world's best paid lawmakers: "MPs in Kenya have voted to boost their own salaries, making them among the world's best paid politicians.

Under the new legislation, the Kenyan prime minister will take home over a third more than his British counterpart.

He will also earn almost 10% more than the US president. The vote has provoked anger from the general public and the media, correspondents say.

The parliamentarians have voted to be paid a basic $44,000 (�29,000) a year.

But extra allowances can bring the salary up to up to $126,000 (�84,000) after tax - a rise of 18%."

Don't tell the Lords or the MPs. They will do a Cameron. ie. You can't have people in the public sector paid more than the prime minister. In this case it will be that they are poorly paid compared to third world Mps.