.. and still I’m loving every minute of it.


The details of “bullying” and “intimidating” behaviour towards IPSA workers and volunteers, published by the watchdog in response to Freedom of Information requests, are likely to heighten fears that many MPs have still not accepted the changes made to their expenses system since its widespread abuse was disclosed by The Daily Telegraph more than a year ago.

One thing is for sure. Every time any new legislation is proposed, it’ll be measured by the IPSA yardstick, to see if we’re going to be treated in the way they themselves so despise.

Given how completely indistinct this new bunch are from the old bunch, it’s only a matter of time.

At least the message seems to have sunk in with tired old has-been Tom Harris.

IPSA was born out of panic. It is proof positive that whatever the failings of a headless chicken, it can at least piece together legislation when it’s joined by 649 other headless chickens.

The worst possible time to legislate is in the middle of a crisis; the worst people to draft that legislation are the very same individuals whose behaviour has caused that crisis in the first place.

MPs do not deserve any sympathy for the mess in which we now find ourselves. Nor will we receive it. The mess is entirely of our own making and it is up to us to sort it out. IPSA was an expensive and unnecessary mistake. You should not compound your own mistakes by repeating them or by refusing to admit it was a mistake in the first place.

I wonder when it’ll dawn on the rest of them, if ever.



And the wind cries Muahahahaaaaaaaary

I last wrote about Tom Harris and his moaning about the MPs expenses system on May 21st.

His stream of incredulity about IPSA has continued unabated, ever since. He seems completely incapable of understanding that his pain is merely a reflection of the culture of petty and vindictive bureaucracy that New Labour spent 13 years inflicting on the other 60 million of us.

A bureaucracy that is obviously and deeply flawed, and yet is so imbued with a sense of its own infallibility, that it can shift the burden of proof away from the bureaucracy, onto you, the punter.

A bureaucracy that can drive you to distraction with its defiance of simple common sense, then cry abuse and pull down the shutters the moment they detect your pulse go above 72.

And no feasible avenue for appeal or restitution. Sound at all familiar to anyone?

So I shall leave Obo to put him back in his box this time, which he does with inimitable aplomb.

That’s exactly what 13 years of Labour government have made every occasion of dealing with the civil service like for the rest of us. It is exactly how life is for the rest of us, and it’s like that for exactly the same reason: Labour, with an unassailable majority, introduced an endless sea of badly-drafted, badly-thought-through, knee-jerk law to cope with things because that’s all they knew.

At the time, I said that I didn’t think IPSA was going to be a good idea, because, like every other fucking thing you cunts did in power, it was a knee-jerk solution cobbled up by a couple of fuckwits who lived their lives in the political bubble. I was quite happy for you guys to claim legitimate expenses through the old system. You guys took the fucking piss and in a frantic fit of being seen to be doing something, this half-baked, fatuous cock-up was created.

This is exactly how every fucking law you cunts drafted turned out for us: driven by the need to have a soundbite, you rammed legislation through without debate and without thought while remaining entirely immune from the consequences.

Read the rest.


Greeting fae Glesga

The penny hasn’t dropped for wee Tommy Harris yet.


AS PLANNED, the new body overseeing MPs’ expenses is going the extra mile to make it as difficult as possible for us to do our job.

Good. Do you know why it’s good? Because it reminds you what we all go through when claiming business expenses, or undertaking any other routine admin activity.

Every organisation that has a thousand customer facing staff has 400 other people responsible for making it impossible for the customer facing staff to do their jobs. Making them unable to deliver on their obligations to the customer in a satisfactory manner. Just ask Obo.

Those ‘trolls’ or ‘business prevention officers’ are all on the company payroll to administer rules and regulations that emanate, directly or not, from government.

Someone, after all, has to be responsible for the 10,000 or so fuel receipts my company expenses team now receives every month, subsequent to a C&E/HMRC rule change around 2007.

Someone has to check that the sandwich I bought for lunch was bought far enough away from my branch office to be eligible for reimbursement. I once bought a sandwich 40 miles into a 200 mile journey to a customer site. My claim was denied. Had I bought my lunch at the next motorway services, I would have been reimbursed.

Tom continues:

I understand that the rule is based on a misunderstanding, or perhaps a deliberate misinterpretation, of a Customs and Revenue rule that people who work from an office based in their private homes can offset only a maximum of 85 per cent of their home phone calls for tax purposes.

I know all about that too. Misunderstanding, or perhaps a deliberate misinterpretation, of a Customs and Revenue rule is a battle I frequently have to do.

Last year, I flew to Glasgow, picked up a hire car, went to the customer site, did my work, returned the car to the airport and flew home.

I was taxed on this hire car as a benefit in kind, because the expenses monkey had either misunderstood the rule, or erred on the side of caution lest he be punished for a lax interpretation himself.

I know he was wrong, because I asked a tax accountant. If the hire car had been at my home address, in lieu of the car I already had an allowance for, it would have been a BiK. It wasn’t and it wasn’t.

I lost the battle, but won the war. I was never reimbursed, having been taxed at 40% on a hire car that was a logical and reasonable business expense, but it never happened again.

At a briefing held by Ipsa last week, a very senior, very highly-paid official (not being familiar with the scheme he’s paid to oversee, the only question from MPs he was able to answer was that he was in the “£80,000-£90,000″ pay band) was unable to justify this petty little rule.

I expect it frustrated you Tom, that his attitude was “and nor do I have to, sonny”.

Welcome to the real world.

As I said yesterday, as soon as you are abiding by the same rules as the rest of us, I’ll support any plea for a relaxation of the rules 100%.


Parent and Child Parking

After a slow start to the day, Tom Harris has managed to light my blue touchpaper. And that was before he accused me of being a fucking Tory**.

In fact, I was fairly relaxed about his analysis of the titular issue, until this:

I don’t want to encourage or exacerbate our transition to a selfish*** society by behaving like those I see arrogantly manoeuvring their work vans and two-seater sports cars over the “pram” logo painted on the monoblock.

A comment preceded by the statement:

That’s not me being sanctimonious

ROFL. Oh yes it is Tom.

In any case, did no-one ever convey their offspring round in a work van or a two-seater sports car? Hmm?


So what about this question of parent and child parking?

Well, of course, there are arguments from several quarters.

Parents find them convenient – of course they do. Anyone would find them convenient. They’re close to the store and wider than regular parking spaces.

Women whose hitherto detectable spatial awareness was last seen in a puddle on a delivery room floor find them invaluable, considering that the arrival of their first born apparently mandated a car the size of Leicestershire.

And there are, perhaps, valid points about it being difficult to install and remove children in normal width spaces.

None of this, however, justifies the spaces being right by the store-front. All of these child-friendliness arguments work just as well if you put the P&C spaces right at the back of the car park. Such car-parks almost always have pedestrian gang ways. And supermarkets have trolleys.

No, the reason these spaces exist and are right in front of the stores is simply this: Parents spend a fortune in the sort of establishments that have P&C parking spaces, so supermarkets, leisure parks etc have no problem affording this demographic special treatment.

Accordingly, they are a commercial enticement, not the fulfilment of a civic good, which is what disabled spaces are.

So, frankly, if I want to park in a P&C space, be it because I’m a lazy twat or because I don’t want my pride & joy dinged by fuckwits, I will. And thanks to consumer choice, I think there’s a pretty strong commercial enticement for the retailer not to slap a £60 ticket on my car.

I would never, on the other hand, park in a disabled space, and would expect to be ticketed if I did.


** Okay, I admit it, I am a Tory. Unlike the Conservative Party.

*** He’s right, I am selfish. Although I didn’t know it until someone scratched the word into the boot-lid of my BMW. And no, you cunts, it wasn’t parked in a P&C space at the time :o(

No Platform Numpties

Tom Harris on fine form, and clearly of sound mind. When he can stop rattling on about Doctor Friggin Who for a minute, anyway.


The boycott is being suggested as a response to Total Politics publisher Iain Dale agreeing to interview Nick Griffin for the latest issue, a decision which resulted in the resignation of Labour MP Denis MacShane from the TP board.

And of course I sympathise. And I admit I raised an eyebrow when Iain announced on his blog that the interview was happening. But I won’t take part in the boycott, for a number of reasons.

Read on…

He concludes:

why is it always the Left which calls for boycotts? Why must that, rather than argument, be our gut reaction? That and banning stuff, obviously.

Why indeed Tom. Now about your votes on the smoking ban.


It’s difficult to tell…

whether Tom Harris’ tongue is in his cheek, or up his own arse some days…

I SIMPLY cannot understand why, as David Miliband says, the Tories are “playing the man, not the ball” with regards to Tony Blair and the European presidency.

Ahem. A lefty complaining about someone “playing the man, not the ball” … lulz are sure to follow.

Objecting to the former Prime Minister becoming the new president seems peculiarly petty and short-sighted for someone who needs the votes of former Labour voters in order to become PM himself.

looking at the opinion polls, Tom, I’m not convinced that he need worry. People remember Blair as a liar, a spinmeister, a war-monger and an egomaniac. Now he also attends the church of kiddie fiddler. The only way to cast Blair in a positive light is to stand him next to Gordon. Ah yes. Your fellow porridge slurper Brown is running a great campaign for the Tories :-)

Obviously Tony Blair is eminently qualified for the job and would do it well.

If you mean it requires a criminal ego-maniac? Sure.

You’d have to be pretty stupid to dispute that.

Stupid, am I? Play the ball not the man, Tom.

I’m looking forward to seeing you waste away on the opposition benches, finishing your political career in penurious working conditions with the least pay and benefits you’ve ever had as an MP. If your lucky, you might make it to retirement before your beloved party totally collapses through factional ideological fights and calamitous finances.



… to find myself in complete agreement with Tom Harris.

Cameron: ‘Salmond would a superfluous appendage at a wedding’

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

OUR Dave has said Alex Salmond should not take part in any televised leaders’ debate during the election campaign, and of course he’s dead right.

Having representatives of the opinion polls’ “others” category would make the whole exercise pointless (and yes, I count the LibDems among the “others”). A head-to-head between Gordon and Cameron would make sense and would be worth watching. Bring in all the others – SNP, UKIP, BNP, LibDems, Cornish Nationalists, etc – and you might hear from Brown or Cameron once or twice in the entire debate, while we’ll be privy to what British foreign policy might be under a UK government led by Alex Salmond or Nigel Farage…

I just feed dirtied. I think I need a bleach shower…


Haggis Baiting Time…

As a blogger, I was building up a certain amount of respect for Tom Harris.

This evening, his post gave me cause to examine his voting record.


Voting record (from PublicWhip)

How Tom Harris voted on key issues since 2001:

So when he posted this:

SNP dishonesty is an international embarrassment to Scotland

The headline alone was enough for me to put an alternative proposition to him:


Let’s wait and see if he’s prepared to publish it. And better still, dignify it with a response.