Pyramid Comment

This journal takes an alternative view on current affairs and other subjects. The approach is likely to be contentious and is arguably speculative. The content of any article is also a reminder of the status of those affairs at that date. All comments have been disabled. Any and all unsolicited or unauthorised links are absolutely disavowed.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

MP Expenses - Severance

The continuation of revelations threaten to take these columns below the depths of recovery. Unless an MP or minister is prosecuted or summarily dismissed immediately causing a by-election, no further entry will appear.

  • Both the head bitten off from the body and spat out or the body bitten off from the head before spitting it out have the same end result: severance.
The concept of reward by allowing a miscreant to continue in office and not standing down until the

NEXT ELECTION

and still being paid a salary, enjoying increased pension rights (comparatively the publicly funded 1/40th accruement for every year as opposed to the private 1/60th) and the uninterrupted flow of expenses for that year is a disgrace and fails all the tests of morality. The appalling story of Baby P is that of the failed child protection services of the London Borough of Haringey. Dreadful though it is, it is (hopefully) a single case, but the MP expenses explosion and the revealed arrogance of the accused as though it were the expectation from office and then pathetically attempting to justify everything because it's (all together now) 'in the rules' citing The Green Book, when everything is clearly NOT in the rules. Failing to pay taxes as though it's a minor indiscretion after the tax return has been actioned by accountants and then claiming this as an expense is incredible enough, but then the Chancellor of the Exchequer as head of the tax system, cannot

  • a) be bothered
  • b) is not sufficiently able
to fill in his own complex return that he has forced everyone else to do and without recourse to recovery of any costs is a example of incredibly obnoxious hypocrisy. If Darling was actually forced to attempt filling out the form, he should be able to detect and possibly understand the difficulties. Of course, if the fear and control are the more important features then it's

only to be expected


Finally,

Be aware that being asked to pay-back
and agreeing (in principle) are a very long
way from actually doing so. Ask yourself:


...is it likely to be "given back" quite so readily?
After all, it was such hard work to
obtain it in the first place. Indeed,
an expenses paid phone call...
... and simply ask a nodding donkey

Enough, subject closed as the stench
from the cesspool is unbearable

Friday, May 29, 2009

MP Expenses - Damage Limitation

David Cameron began his career in public relations after the 'normal' prep school, Eton, Oxford route through early life.

Today, the right noises are heard to be made, but those that people are perceived to want to hear. The appearance of acting tough only disguises the real avoidance of decisive action. Those MPs accused of profligacy are not being summarily dismissed. They are being shown the most lucrative door from which to exit: pass GO and collect the rewards of disgrace. Cameron is an MP and MUST be aware of the behaviours and all the (lucrative) attractions as well.

  • What do MPs actually do to 'earn' their money? Having a (publicly funded) property (dealing) in London or nearby avoids any lengthy commute so shortening the day when any other commuters must spend personal unpaid time getting to and from the dangerous capital that some MPs apparently find just too daunting. Write a few letters on behalf of constituents, attend parliament occasionally and ...
?

  • This property speculation also takes place in other British constituencies outside London. To possess a 'second home' (wherever it may be) appears to be mandatory.

It is very difficult to imagine that Cameron was unaware of the activities that have sunk the parliamentary process so deep that it is not recoverable. Damage limitation is a calculated way forward and a few 'sacrificial heads' should demonstrate real action. This is politics, but the attempt is failing. The host is NOT as gullible as the parasite imagines.

  • The trust of the voting public has been betrayed by those who have abused the system for personal gain. The very many people who provided those elected few with a key to the till.
  • Some of the amounts involved may be small where others are obnoxiously large, but both types are claimed by grasping individuals because it's there to supplement a low salary (£64,766 and upwards). The entire system has been developed to misdirect the public into believing MPs and ministers do not enjoy special arrangements when the public sector has very restrained pay increases. Pampering MPs at public expense by subterfuge.

Disclosure of Expenses

The Andrew MacKay/Julie Kirkbride duo serves as an illustration of the contempt. The Tory MPs are married to each other, yet adopt their separate names.

  • Should a women submit a PhD thesis for the doctorate degree, and that women subsequently marries, she would not adopt the married name professionally. The designation 'Dr' could not be used. The title is associated with the name of the individual onto whom the degree was conferred. In the case of MPs there is no such situation and the use of separate names has no foundation, but it does have the benefit of hiding any professional association.

MacKay has been an MP since 1997 and with wife Kirkbride have both claimed second home allowances. MacKay for a London flat and Kirkbride for a second (main) home in Bromsgrove. The main Bromsgrove residence was 'flipped' to become a technical second home.

  • It's staggering to now understand that this 'trick' was not 'realised' for what it was by the Fees Office. This demonstrates (apparent) collusion and MUST be explained. For without it this joker card could not possibly work. It would be rapidly uncovered, but was successfully kept from public scrutiny.
Until now

    • The term 'flipping' is used in the United Kingdom to describe a technique whereby a Member of Parliament switches a second home between several houses, which has the effect of allowing the maximisation of taxpayer-funded allowances: MailOnline. Refurbish and (fully) equip a property using these ACAs, then 'flip and equip' another. It's sustainable flouting of the system using the system and is morally indefensible, but allegedly works 'within the rules', but could only work with the apparent collusion of the House of Commons Fees Office. Clearly, none of this is 'within the rules'.

MacKay is still the sitting MP for Bracknell, and Kirkbride the sitting MP for Bromsgrove. The concept of (forced) standing down at the next election and yet acquiring ALL the BENEFITS has the effect of leaving the constituents without representation for potentially an entire year, unless a general election is called sooner. The public anger displayed by the respective constituents is very hostile. This has led to the standing down, but NOT until the NEXT GENERAL ELECTION. This is not atypical.

  • This is analogous to the monkey grasping the reward inside a jar. The closed hand cannot be removed from the jar. The only way for release is to let go of the reward. The monkey cannot do this and is consequently trapped. The only way for a grasping MP to acquire release is to let GO of the grasped rewards. They are not capable of doing the obvious.

Disclosure of expenses
Kirkbride expenses
Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill

  • Kirkbride was one of 98 MPs who voted to keep their expenses details secret. Curiously, Andrew MacKay's name does not appear.
Elliot Morley (former agricultural minister) accidentally managed to secure £16,000 for a mortgage that had been settled. Bill Wiggin (Tory whip) made £11,000 through an "honest mistake" and dozens of others have profited from phantom mortgages. As a penalty for being caught out and punished, these honourable individuals enjoy a further year of profiting through expenses and salary until the next general election before standing down. They are not being dismissed immediately as any 'normal' person would.

Family ties

Bill Cash, a senior Conservative MP, claimed more than £15,000 in taxpayer-funded expenses to pay his daughter rent for her London flat – even though he owned a home closer to Westminster. The daughter apparently had aspirations for a career as a future MP. The actions suggest a conspiracy to defraud and any such career has been destroyed before it happened. Maybe. However, politics being as sordid as it is this might NOT be the expected penalty. Twisted as it is, the opposite could still happen.



According to Private Eye, every fortnight sees over 4000 benefit fraud investigations being launched, but in the last fortnight, NO fraud investigations into MPs have been launched.

Future potential of MP salaries
Pay rises capped
- this could be another Thatcher (1985) misdirection (see below)

"Generous exit packages will not be available as an
alternative for those who don't want to do a good day's work. We will not reward failure"

This joker card has been played before.

  • Margaret Thatcher in 1985 set the precedent by deluding the public into thinking public sector pay was being restrained yet pumping up MP benefits. An indirect 'salary' increase was cynically engineered. Salaries were hailed as being held back, but other tricks were going on. An Additional Cost Allowance change allowed MPs to begin claiming their mortgage costs rather than hotel bills and rent. So was created the property speculation monster. Tony Blair (Labour) extended this Thatcher (Conservative) concept to London-based ministers since they were always whingeing of not being paid enough.

FOR SALE: MPs' expenses

Thursday, May 28, 2009

MP Expenses - Further Into The Future

But on it goes. And on... as a growing black hole

David Cameron makes the right noises, but at the moment that's all it seems to be. A possible problem for Cameron is his background. This could theoretically place him so far adrift from 'ordinary people' that he is genuinely unable to recognise the temptation put in the path of the weak parasites that have been unmasked even though he claims to understand the general outrage. The system is still filled with menace and possibly always has been. The current national political crisis is Cameron's wake-up call and what actually happens next will be the make or break of the entire political system.

Sir John Butterfill has generously, and only allegedly since it describes a proposed future action, agreed to pay back £60,000 capital gains tax he failed to pay. A signed and returned tax return that declares 'nothing to pay' cannot be so easily rectified. It is an offence to lie to H.M. Revenue & Customs. But the law seems to only apply to lesser mortals who are threatened with the penalties of imprisonment for failing to pay tax. Tax returns are not usually outsourced either. Cabinet ministers seem to be under the delusion that displays the contemptible arrogance of the right to these 'freebies' that are not available to anyone else. There is absolutely no case to charge as a legitimate business expense and set it off against any personal tax liability. Recent history has some obvious examples of politicians and others who display this delusion. They set themselves up as the pillars of society and behave as the lowest part of any foundation. To be effective is to be buried. Or it should be. 

It's nauseating.
It's obnoxious.
It's politics.

Cherie Blair
Tony Blair

In the same way that Alistair Darling as Chancellor of the Exchequer, and who controls HM Treasury, has provided the lead example for millions of lesser mortal taxpayers to follow and avoid paying their taxes. The outcome of the penalties will now set a precedent in English law. The ramifications of that which have been unleashed is extremely far reaching. The till has been (apparently) closed, though in all probability only temporarily.

Politicians have been so duplicitous in the past that no one believes anything that they say. Many have lost all (quite rightly deserved) credibility. It's unfortunate that those who offer integrity must suffer as a result. However, it is still difficult to accept that silence demonstrates absolute no complicity. Staying silent allows the pig to feed at the trough uninterrupted.

Brown, Gordon: Exit Strategy
Devil's Advocate
Weblogs

The number of MPs who have announced their intention to stand down 'at the next general election' is growing. These people must exit NOW without passing GO and not collecting the automatic salary (£64,766) AND FULL pension rights. This must ALL be forfeit and the second home profiteering that the likes of Julie Kirkbride allegedly made. They are incapable of leaving the trough without a final gobful of the swill. After all that has been revealed recently, they won't go quietly. Like Michael Martin, they are removed 'kicking and screaming' with zero dignity.

The last dregs are still not enough and even a parasite
would surely be driven by its own conscience.

Clearly, MPs are a different breed

The husband (Andrew MacKay) allegedly claimed on the London flat as a second home and Kirkbride (the wife) claimed on the 'main home' in Bromsgrove designated another second home. The flat was extended at a cost of £50,000 to create a bedroom for her brother (Ian Kirkbride) who is apparently registered as living at this address and had also registered this as the address for his position as a director of his company. Office equipment was charged to the taxpayer ostensibly for MP Kirkbride's exclusive use. The user of this equipment is brought into contention and the suggestion could be reasonably levelled that Ian Kirkbride (brother) used equipment funded by the taxpayer to run a separate business concern that has nothing to do with any taxpayer involvement. This would be minimally the misappropriation of funds. What makes the entire Kirkbride business so appalling in it's depth is the tacky attempt to justify the claims as being (probably) 'within the rules'. Claiming for two second homes in total £170,000 over 4 years is highly demonstrable of manipulating the system to obvious personal advantage. This equates to an average £42,500 annually when the ceiling is ONLY £23,083 at 2008 'allowances'. It is clearly a double claim made by two different people.

What is incredible is the arrogance displayed in assuming that it would never be discovered.

  • It's a disgrace and the call for 'the other' Kirkbride TO GO is itself vindicated and David Cameron can no longer support the MP. The woman has disgraced the party and Cameron personally and must not be seen to profit from the removal:

SUMMARY SACKING
TODAY


But, of course, standing down 'at the next general election'. That is contemptible, but should only be expected from a trough dweller. The swill is so heavily contaminated that it can probably never be purified.


This failure to act decisively will
come back to bite Cameron

Credibility has already been lost

But what would we do without MPs if they went today? We'd survive and (eventually) be landed with possibly with a higher quality politician (oxymoron).

Monday, May 25, 2009

MP Expenses - The Future

There is no realistic future for British politics. Many cabinet ministers/MPs of various persuasions have seen to that.

Full list of MPs investigated
MPs' Expenses
Additional Cost (Second Home) Allowance - How it works
MPs' Expenses: The Detail (Explanatory Notes)

  • Select the appropriate tab to examine the data
Ministers At The Trough Of Contempt
Brown, Gordon: Exit Strategy
MPs' Expenses: cash secrets
Westminster Trough Of Hypocrisy

Since in politics correction of past events rarely happens and forward looking to effectively ignore all 'wrong doings' is enabled, the future will demonstrate what might happen and what possibly never will happen, certainly in the way that is currently being publicly discussed. Look to tomorrow and not today and never yesterday. David Cameron claims he will use a scrutiny panel to examine the expense payments of MPs going back four years. Any erroneous payment will be forced to be returned. With interest and other penalties? It's a start.

The very thin and almost non-existent line between tax evasion and avoidance will go nowhere, though the thickness of the line is proportional to status and the higher the alleged standing of the target, the less visible it becomes. The height of standing determines the strength of any attack: the higher the weaker, the lower the more forceful as the target can produce less resource to make any realistic defense. Double standards exist and are jealously guarded.
  • Consider: climbing over a fence to gain access to a location that avoids passing in front of a ticket office to gain lawful entry. Is this avoiding paying or taking deliberate action to evade payment and still gain unlawful entry?
There will almost certainly be no criminal action taken against any MP or minister however dark the picture may seem. Nothing usually happens, but there are rare exceptions:
The Speaker is to go (possibly rewarded by elevation to the House of Lords as is traditional, even though Michael Martin [Gorbels Mick] is the first incumbent to resign since 1695). Traditions are commonly stronger than honesty and integrity in many areas, but an 'opposition' continues to grow.

The whole system of second homes outside the London area is a complete nonsense. The concept is for somewhere to stay when on parliamentary business if the constituency is a long way from London. This can be managed quite easily by overnight hotel stays. The need for a second home in Edinburgh or Southampton is ludicrous and a complete non-starter. It is clearly enabling dealings in the property market and any profit is subject to capital gains tax (CGT).


Any profit from selling a property that has been
enhanced using public money is in
any case
morally indefensible


Alistair Darling is Chancellor of the Exchequer and apparently cannot do a personal tax assessment as everyone else has to do. The tax rules specifically exclude any expenses to be claimed for passing on this responsibility. Unless as an apparently incapable Chancellor. But it's still disallowed. The expense (that is disallowed as a business expense to everyone else) was £763.75 (including VAT). This is particularly alarming since the Chancellor is spending £billions of taxpayers' money rescuing the financial system and it would seem cannot do even the simplest of tasks. Darling attempts to justify the appropriateness of this disallowed action by failing to answer the question:

  • "Like many MPs, I employed an accountant to prepare tax returns for each of the years in question to ensure that the correct amount of tax was paid".
Nine cabinet ministers played this joker card.

H.M Revenue and Customs statement. However, 'should have paid' is not a declaration of a will to chase any failed payment. Failed payment usually involves interest added, but only to the 'normal' taxpayer.

  • The term 'flipping' is used in the United Kingdom to describe a technique whereby a Member of Parliament switches a second home between several houses, which has the effect of allowing the maximisation of taxpayer-funded allowances: MailOnline. Refurbish and (fully) equip a property using these ACAs, then 'flip and equip' another. It's sustainable flouting of the system using the system and is morally indefensible, but allegedly works 'within the rules', but could only work with the apparent collusion of the House of Commons Fees Office. Clearly, none of this is 'within the rules'.

The Green Book

Possibly the use of 'Green' is to suggest it's OK to Go. Perhaps it should become The Red Book as a cautionary and constant reminder that honesty and integrity are required to continue to be addressed as 'honourable':


Green for honesty
Red for dishonesty

  • Deliberately 'flipping' the address of a property in order to escape tax payments must be more like tax evasion rather than tax avoidance. If it's legal then the parasite has set a precedent for the host to follow.

When MPs and ministers are removed, the reward will remain the property itself. This (if actually purchased) is subsidised by the taxpayer through the interest repayments on a mortgage. Capital payments are 'not allowed', though this hasn't stopped some 'honourable' members claiming for them and apparently successfully going through 'on the nod'. In a similar way that some mortgages are phantom ones (accounting errors) and have been successfully reimbursed. The justification is so pathetic it is beyond being simply obnoxious. It is odious beyond contempt.

Almost

If any sitting MP is eventually deselected, many are of (or in excess of) retirement age for other professions. The only loss will be the sustainability of ACAs and by 'staying on' until the next election and then standing down, will return up to one year's full salary of about £65,000. Clearly they must forfeit the potentially lucrative future by being forced out NOW without remuneration of any kind.


Enough has been enough and is already too much.
It's called being summarily sacked.

The Wintertons

(Sir) Nicholas Raymond
(Lady) Jane Ann (née Hodgson)

Ann Winterton became Shadow (Conservative) Rural Affairs Minister in 2001, and was sacked the next year for telling the following joke at a (private) rugby club dinner:

An Englishman, a Cuban, a Japanese man and a Pakistani were all on a train.

The Cuban threw a fine Havana cigar out the window. When he was asked why, he replied:
"They are ten a penny in my country."
The Japanese man threw an expensive Nikon camera out of the carriage, adding:
"These are ten a penny in my country."
The Englishman then picked up the Pakistani and threw him out of the train window.
When the other travellers asked him to account for his actions, he said:
"They are ten a penny in my country."

Another 'joke' involved the deaths of 23 Chinese cocklers at Morecambe Bay (2004):

  • One shark turned to the other to say he was fed up chasing tuna and the other said, 'Why don't we go to Morecambe Bay and get some Chinese?'
This 'joke' was made at a dinner that was intended to improve relations between the English and Danish, but they do illustrate the calibre Ann Winterton. This is another pair to 'stand down' at the next election in complete ignominy, but nevertheless collecting a year's salary of around £65,000 each. The allegation has been promulgated that having bought a family home at taxpayers' expense this was then placed into a trust in their childrens' names. This same property was then rented back out to the parents, but charged to the taxpayer. One claim or two separate claims: one from each Winterton? In any case, minimally two bites at the same cherry. This illustrates a new form of evergreening. 'Income' sustainability. The property was valued at £900,000 and the inheritance tax avoidance is clear. This sort of trickery is highly cynical and can never be justified as a mistake or accident. It can only realistically be interpreted as a calculated and deliberate action.

What must not happen is that by standing down avoidance of any future criminal action is thwarted. What has been done, if criminal, must be properly actioned without any method of escape before trial. This is not a vindictive concept, but only natural justice. One legal system for all. Deselection and standing down before the next election must involve the forfeiture of all profits made at taxpayer expense. But the system has been designed to create a win-win-win route into retirement.

Pensions for United Kingdom MPs are regarded as one of the best schemes in the world. Retirement into obscurity has all the contemptible rewards of failure. The character of these 'honourable' people has been self-torpedoed, yet financially they are still able to win by receiving a generous pension, again at the expense of the taxpayer and the entire profit from any property dealings at taxpayers' expense. There may be a few less snouts in the trough, but the final scoop of the swill could still be rather nutritious. In retirement, these individuals will possibly obtain various (lucrative non-executive) directorships that can be viewed as conflicts of interest until being officially retired. The 'expertise' acquired during the career can then become very useful: how things work and contacts. They will probably escape with all the profits and trappings of failure. Jumping before being pushed can create the illusion of 'no issue' since the detail cannot be examined.

Fred "The Shred" Goodwin

  • They've been found out and they must go. After returning any ill-gained profit, not 'passing go' and certainly not obtaining '£200'. Promises of payment cannot be accepted.
The second homes and any proceeds
must be
forfeit in their entirety

This avoids the CGT issue since there can be no sale.

Worldwide, the focus of attention is on British politics and the farce being played out to a global audience. The damage done is irreparable. The term laughing stock is reasonably close to reality, but not quite close enough to define the ridiculous joke into which this country has sunk. Like Douglas Hogg being de-moated by stepping down at the next election. Hogg is an example of a barrister who cannot distinguish right from what is clearly morally wrong. All the activities are allegedly legal and now that the flood gates are open, the deluge is well on its way.

  • British culture has descended to beneath the pit. To rise above the brown stuff is not possible

The House of Commons Fees Office must be abolished. It is totally ineffective.

The Green Book

  • This publication needs a complete line-by-line review. Laws need to be water-tight and abuses prevented by those weak and shallow enough to succumb to milking the system. The opportunity to raise the level of British honesty has been completely reversed by setting such a grotesque set of examples. Any moral high ground has been surrendered without a fight.
  • Statute laws are mostly without major loopholes, but The Green Book is a veritable colander and is best simply abandoned since the management of the expenses system is so appalling.

Minor expenses may be queried, but more serious ones are nodded through. The concept of 'flipping' is ignored:

  • The term is used in the United Kingdom to describe a technique whereby a Member of Parliament switches his second home between several houses, which has the effect of allowing the maximisation of taxpayer-funded allowances: MailOnline
The mistakes it has made in identifying the problems that have become apparent are many. Approving phantom mortgages. Approving disallowed capital repayments on mortgages that sometimes do not exist when interest only payments should be involved. It is a system that encourages the interest only mortgage to be taken out as this attracts the maximum permissible subsidy. All of it. Any profit is totally kept by the mortgagee even though taxpayers' finance has been used. Not only purchasing the property but paying the running costs, furniture, equipping refurbished kitchens and bathrooms, food bills, gardening costs, Council Tax... Some of the 'discovered' receipts are a joke having scat detail scribbled on scraps of paper. Nothing official, but still accepted seemingly without question. The honourable individuals are assumed to actually be honourable and not to make any questionable claims.

The system is not necessarily rotten, but its management and the abuses certainly are. No audit has been undertaken to oversee the accuracy of claims.

  • Gerald Kaufman claimed for a TV: £8,865 (the published allowable maximum is £750).
The level of abuse is staggering. The moral standing of all of the abusers is beneath the bottom of the pit, deep under the mountain of subsidised manure for which some have allegedly claimed. In summary, just a few examples can illustrate the vile abuse and the venal and hypocritical double standards rife in British politics today:

  • 'Flipping' is to be outlawed. The term is used in the United Kingdom to describe a technique whereby a Member of Parliament switches his second home between several houses, which has the effect of allowing the maximisation of taxpayer-funded allowances: MailOnline
  • Monthly mortgage interest payments are to remain supported by the taxpayer up to £1250, but there is no justification at all for ANY mortgage support
  • Chief Whip "Nick" Brown claimed to have 'eaten' his way through £18,800 in four years (£400/month every month for 4 years). All unreceipted. An example of trust in an honourable member
  • Margaret Moran claimed £22,500 for dry rot treatment in a second home property in Southampton. Presumably, a survey did NOT reveal the extent of any problem. Or it was known and STILL the property purchased in the expectation of claiming at taxpayers' expense. A property with a known serious problem would be purchased at a substantial discount thereby increasing the eventual resale profit (at taxpayer expense). This is a deliberate and calculated action. If the main residence address was 'flipped' back to Southampton, no CGT would be payable. Other loopholes exist with CGT.
  • Hazel Blears has been apparently singled out and two others ignored for allegedly identical behaviour through the avoidance/evasion of Capital Gains Tax: the Blears CGT liability was publicly announced as £13,332 and was "totally unacceptable", but Geoff Hoon's liability amounts to £120,000 (40% of £300,000) and James Purnell (?). Purnell has demonstrated his own ability to display hypocrisy. No comment was uttered about the acceptability of this failure to pay. Vindictiveness is suggested here since Blears is not to Brown's taste, having dared being critical. The other two are apparently 'acceptable' flavours.
Brown has painted himself into a corner with that one

  • Anthony Steen claimed for forestry work on a 'few' (500) trees at his £1.5 million estate, but apparently 'cannot understand what all the fuss is about'.
"I think I behaved, if I may say so, impeccably."

That depends on the level of personal standards

"I have done nothing criminal, that's the most awful thing
and do you know what it's all about?"

Jealousy


Incredibly, Steen goes on to say:

"What right does the public to interfere with my private life? None."


The arrogance is really quite breathtaking
and it's what the British people have been
saying about government interference
in their private lives for years,
but the public does not use public money
to fund that private life


  • Ruth Kelly allegedly misappropriated public money (and not for the first time) to furnish a property in the Bolton West constituency and claimed for flood damage via the House of Commons Fees Office on the expenses system even though buildings' insurance was in force. The taxpayer-funded claim was settled without any penalty, presumably, on an insurance policy.
  • Phantom mortgages: Bill Wiggin (£11,000) and Elliot Morley with dozens of others. This seems to demonstrate complicity by the House of Commons Fees Office by assisting the claimants in these false claims. To be waved through without challenge for so long is difficult to imagine, unless a blind-eye was deliberately unfocused on the issue.
The national rage has never been greater than now:


British politics (almost) ends here

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Capital Gains Tax

Capital Gains Tax
This relates specifically to MPs and their 'expenses'.
Capital Gains Tax is a tax on capital 'gains': if you sell or give away an asset and it has increased in value, you may be taxable on the profit, the 'gain'. This doesn't apply when you sell personal belongings worth £6,000 or less or, in most cases, your main home. This suggests that ('in most cases' - the technical disclaimer that will possibly distinguish 'Them' from 'Us') CGT is payable on the profit made from a second home and when this property is subsidised either partially or totally by the taxpayer then the gain is made, quite literally, at taxpayer expense. This implicates the distinction between tax avoidance and tax evasion. Allegedly, Hazel Blears is 'supported' by Gordon Brown. The claim made by Brown is that the law and the parliamentary rules have not been broken. Blears allegedly defined her second home as the main residence for HM Revenue & Customs tax purposes and as the sale of a main home does not attract CGT none was payable. However, as far as the Fees Office was concerned, the second home was defined as the same property thus allowing claims to be made funded by the taxpayer. This property was subsequently sold at a profit of £45,000. Property that had been subsidised by the taxpayer. Consequently, any financial gain (profit) does not belong to Blears or certainly not in its entirety. In this example, tax avoidance or evasion ('avaison' or 'evoidance') both implicate technical fraud: flipping addresses for the attraction of financial gain, either by the 'avoidance' of CGT as would be declared on a tax return or acquiring ACA (second home). If nothing has been accepted as breaking the law, why was the behaviour unacceptable? What was so unacceptable that was legally acceptable according to Brown's (undefined) interpretation? This all sounds like rhetorical mushroom feeding jargon. 'Capitalism Is Good' - The New Mantra
A case of both having the cake
and gobbling it ALL up

Monday, May 18, 2009

MPs' Expenses: There's More To Come

Speaker refuses to resign (Financially Stuck To The Spot) Ben Chapman overclaimed £15,000 on mortgage Benedict Brogan (Daily Telegraph) Police criminal inquiries
  • Ann Widdecombe "no MP should be allowed to blame the system" and has backed police to investigate any cases where fraud was suspected and has been "reeling with disbelief" at the "horrors" that had been exposed.
  • Police should be called: "I'm afraid that where there has been deliberate fraud, and I choose my words carefully, where there has been deliberate fraud, I would say some of these cases must surely amount to that. The same standards should apply to us as they do to anybody else."
  • "If you are claiming for a mortgage that has been paid off a couple of years ago, there is no doubt that that is wrong."
Latest developments (On Line)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Speaker Is Financially Stuck To The Spot

The Speaker of the House of Commons is unlikely to resign. The stakes are too high for the man. The sign of money (£100,000) ensures that he will never go voluntarily. This is the golden goodbye at stake.

  • Outrageously, it's being suggested that Mr Martin will merely promise to stand down at the next election - thereby qualifying for a £100,000 'golden goodbye' and avoiding the risk of a Labour by-election defeat in his Glasgow seat.
Pig really do fly Even with the highly (deserved) negative publicity, the thick-skinned can easily ignore 'criticism'. To spend public money in the attempt to protect the MP classes from the revelations that have since become public knowledge is scandalous. Yet he won't go. To attempt to deflect attention from issues of public (taxpayers') interest is appalling. And if he did fall on his sword, the very thick skin would not be penetrated by that very ineffective object.

Additional Cost (Second Home) Allowance - How it works
MPs Expenses: The Detail


  • Select the appropriate tab to examine the data
Ministers At The Trough Of Contempt
Brown, Gordon: Exit Strategy
Speaker's scapegoat
MPs' expenses
MP Expenses
MP Expenses - Escalation

It is almost certain that he will be around until the dissolution of parliament (any day now?). The shame and disrepute levelled against the UQ (aka UK) Ltd is enormous, but will make no difference. The amount of £100,000 as a golden goodbye is just too much to even think of sacrificing.

British Constitution And Politics

Ministerial Revelations Keep Coming
Additional Cost (Second Home) Allowance - How it works
MPs Expenses: The Detail

  • Select the appropriate tab to examine the data
Ministers At The Trough Of Contempt
Brown, Gordon: Exit Strategy
MPs' expenses

The Constitution of the United Kingdom prevents the monarchy from becoming involved in politics and the government has priority over the monarchy when it comes to 'running' the country. Her Majesty's government has seniority when it comes to power and so makes a mockery of the pretense of power. The monarchy has no power, yet it consumes an enormous amount of expense.

Rule Over Us

The system does NOT allow a British monarchy to dissolve a government even in extreme circumstances that brings the UQ (aka UK) Ltd into disrepute and an entire nation can be shamed by the actions of some of its MPs and ministers. Everybody else has too much power and the 'ordinary' British citizen has absolutely no voice. The country entered into an 'illegal' war and the British people are internationally blamed for the actions of the government. It's a national disgrace.