Want some irony? The UK has it today, in spades. But only if that spade has been bought by an MP and claimed on expenses.
With the release of the MP’s expenses, everyone is on the hunt for the good stories – but it appears that the story will be that everything is censored. That’s going to lead off the bulletins on the radio and TV tonight, and probably the newspapers for the next few days.
Interestingly, the itemised bill for Jacqui Smith’s husbands late night viewing has been censored. (The Times have been trying to find it). So if it wasn’t for good old fashioned journalism, that little indiscretion would never have been caught. Which is precisely the point of why all these black boxes on forms are there. To protecting the MP’s embarrassment, not for their physical security.
But what have the UK press (old and new) found out today? Here’s some of the Daily Dust’s personal favourites…
Tony Blair claiming for the shredding of his mythical shredded expenses claim.
George Osborne claimed £47 for two DVD’s of a speech that he made on “Value for Taxpayers Money”. (Various sites)
Gordon Brown puts in for £176.25 for a CD full of pictures… of himself.
David Cameron looks for some tips as he buys a £10.99 book on The Penguin Book of Historic Speeches. It’s currently available second hand on Amazon for a penny.
Speeaking of a penny, Jeremy Hunt claimed 1p for a mobile phone call. It lasted 12 seconds.
Lembit Opik claimed £19.99 for “the mother of all wigs” (his description) for a charity event.
Ben Bradshaw, formerly of the BBC, asked for £30 to get an electrician to come out and plug in a Scart socket on his TV.
Yvette Cooper claims for £148.50 for costs incurred while travelling by train, but without buying a ticket. Sounds like a penalty fair, but it’s impossible so far to work out the journey it could have been on.
Anne Widdicome actually took out all her claims for alcoholic drinks when staying in Hotels. Drinks on Widders then, for having some common sense.