Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lib Dems limp on expenses

I'm not sure what's happened to the Lib Dems this election. I've barely seen them at all. Even their election broadcast was just a watered down version of the Tory one. At least the expenses scandal is their opportunity to shine so it was with eager anticipation I opened my paper today to see what joys awaited.

Whilst we had Hazel Blears cheerily waving around a cheque for over thirteen grand, paying us back for the tax avoidance she'd just been caught in the act of (why gee, how generous) gaining valuable column inches in the process, the Liberal Democrats total saga isn't even enough to wrap your chips in on day one.

What we have got is Lembit Opik paying back £40. £40! The man's stepped out with weather and cheeky girls, surely he should be hiring teams of Egyptian labourers to constantly dig moats and then fill them in again.

Chris Huhne bought some dusters for his pergola. I don't even know what a pergola is but I do know it's exactly the sort of thing I expect a Lib Dem to buy dusters for. What next - an inappropriate packet of polos?

Mind you Menzies Campbell bought a king size bed. I bet he did the dirty bugger, but the thought that his London home should have a bed in it is hardly scandalous. I mean his constituency is way up in Scotland so we can't expect a man his age to go without sleep entirely can we? Just give him a cardboard box and he can make himself comfortable.

Only their leader, Nick Clegg, has anything approaching the requisite trousering we've come to expect. Where's the grandeur of the claims for tennis courts and chandeliers? Where's the otherwordliness where you are so "brainy" that you need to pay someone to screw your light bulbs in for you?

Do you know what I think? I think Liberal MPs have an inferiority complex, so they don't think they deserve the luxuries that Tory and Labour politicians have been lavishing on themselves.

Michael Gove's wife, Sarah Vine author of 'Walking Backwards in High Heels', has a column actively bragging about her spending. She told us in January "Like it or not, shopping is part of our cultural DNA: we can no more resist the urge to spend than we can the need to eat, clothe ourselves or tap our toes to Dancing Queen."

Where is the yellow equivalent? Julia Goldsworthy's rocking chair? Hardly, she didn't even charge for the slippers and Horlicks that went with it.

Whilst people might welcome an end to the never ending hand wringing I think it shows a distinct lack of character on the part of Lib Dems. Just another opportunity they've missed I guess.


James said...

I dunno, obviously there are fewer Liberals, so it's only to be expected that there'll be fewer of them, say, charging us for their daughters' student flats.

mish said...

David Howarth seems particularly poor at this, even for a LibDem.

'[David Howarth] is one of the few MPs not to have a second home and claimed nothing for hotels, mortgage payments or rent, utilities, council tax, cleaning or gardening, according to his website.

'Mr Howarth said: "I decided to travel in every day, rather than set up a second home in London, because I hoped it would keep me more in touch with my family and with my constituents, which I think it has."' (Source: Cambridge Evening News).

On his website you can view his full expenses breakdown.

Jim Jay said...

These lib dems are clever aren't they? Cynically not fiddling his expenses just to gain electoral advantage!