With all the row over recent expenses claims, it's my belief that people are missing the real point - what's matters is not whether claiming the expenses was justified, but whether or not they got cool stuff with the money. I am perfectly willing to accept an MP claiming £40, 000 on expenses if he spent it on a jet-ski, but £2,000 on carpet cleaning? What a waste.
Friday, May 15, 2009
With this in mind, I have set out to grade the various expenses claims offered by those who seek to represent us.
Alistair Darling - D
£2,339 on 'magnolia carpets'? Really? For that kind of money, you could have at least got an interesting colour. Unless you meant Magnolia as in the movie, in which case it's probably just an uninteresting mishmash of stuff that people pretend to like because it makes them look smarter than they are. Also, if you're going to spend £765 of other people's money on a bed, you could at least do better than Ikea.
Hazel Blears - C
£5,000 on furniture in three months - based on the apparent MP predilection for Ikea furniture, Hazel has probably bought 787 Jeff chairs.
Andy Burnham - B
Not sure how much he claimed for, but he did write a note claiming that a divorce would be imminent if his expenses claim was not processed quickly - probably because he hadn't bought enough chairs.
Paul Murphy - A
Spent £35 on a toilet roll holder. People say that this was an extravagance, but he had to make sure it matched his platinum towel rail.
John Prescott - A
Paid for his toilet seat to be repaired twice in two years. I don't need to add a joke here.
Bob Marshall-Andrews - A
I may have no idea who this guy is, but after he spent £1,300 on an intercom, brass name plaque and other 'entryway adornments', I do know that he has a nice door. By the way, what on Earth are 'entryway adornments'? A sign saying 'You don't have to be unethical to work here, but it helps!'?
John Reid - A+
Spent £29.99 on a 'black glitter toilet seat.' He's not planning to invite John Prescott round any time soon.
David Willets - C
Claimed for £80 to 'change light bulbs in bathroom'. Under this logic I recently claimed for £20 for 'Putting rubbish in the bin'
Douglas Hogg - A+
Spent £2,115 to have a moat cleared. Recently won award for 'Best Conformer to Conservative Party Stereotype'.
Nick Clegg - B
Claims for calls to Colombia and Vietnam may explain Mr Clegg's recent tendency to carry around large quantities of suspicious white powder, and his increased popularity in the Commons.
Chris Huhne - E
Regularly claims for milk, chocolate biscuits and 'fluffy dusters'. How often do you need a new fluffy duster? Either he has a very dusty home, or he is some kind of silicon-based lifeform that enjoys eating dusters. The jury's out on that one.
Sir Menzies Campbell - A+
Spent around £1,500 on a new king-sized bed. Are you taking notes, Alistair Darling?