What dirt will £300,000 buy you?
May 8, 2009 2 Comments
My local MP Angela Smith said in todays Basildon Recorder that Gordon was the man to save the economy (the same edition that regretfully informed inhabitants of Essex that the BNP is fielding candidates in all 75 Essex wards next month). But Brown’s efforts may well be for nothing if he doesn’t inject the country with some reasons to trust his party.
The information leaked today concerned expenses. The telegraph bought the stolen disk containing MP’s expenses, which was being dangled in front of the media’s noses at a high price.
The disk showed details of Gordon Brown paying his brother Andrew £6,000 for cleaning his Westminster flat, but Brown, although seen to be defending the allowances system, admits the system must be changed.
The disk also reported;
“Justice Secretary Jack Straw claiming his full council tax despite receiving a 50% discount from his local authority, and Prime Minister Gordon Brown claiming for the same plumbing bill twice within six months.”
As the Guardian reported;
“Labour MP Sir Stuart Bell, a member of the commission, said the information was being offered to national newspapers for up to £300,000 in March and that a hunt had been launched to find the mole.
Bell said: “All of the receipts of 650-odd MPs, redacted [edited] and unredacted, are for sale at a price of £300,000, so I am told.
“The price is going up because of the interest in the subject.”
Peter Mandelson, who by this has been accused of “defrauding” the taxpayer, on the back foot tried to claw away difficult questions by asking what kind of questions the public will be asking about the tories’ expenses. But this is not a game of well they did it, Mandy!
The police have been called to investigate and find the mole who stole and sold the information, while some see this as a grave error, and have come out in defence of the telegraph for purchasing stolen goods, arguing that it was in the public’s best interest (see link above telegraph bought…).
The police will not be unfamiliar with high-cost purchases of dodgy information, reports have just been fed through that police paid informants £750,000 in four years for information on Plane Stupid!, the bubblegum protest group who seem to encapsulate everything older people hate about teenagers; hubris, close contacts, disposable money (not income), and media attention.
I’m sure more on this will emerge by Monday, providing it is not obfuscated by ten more scandals and leaks.