Thursday, May 14, 2009
Who's Winning the Politics of Expenses Scandal? So far, Dave and the Telegraph
Elliot Morley's 'mistake' lay in carrying on receiving £800 a month for mortgage interest on his Scunthorpe house, when the mortgage had already been paid. He has repaid the money but I would think there is a prima facie case of something against the law there notwithstanding.
Ann Widdicombe has noted that the parties are engaged in a 'bidding war' to out 'tough' each other on how to respond. And it has to be said Cameron has been winning this hands down. Brown, as always, has been disastrously leaden footed in his responses and has allowed Dave to dance around him with specific plans and to play the sweeping, unanswerable trump card of the 'payback' cheques for his offenders. Though I note it's in some cases the tabloid headline horse manure or lightbulbs sums which are being repaid while the tidy little profits from 'flipping' are nestling, secure, for the time being in the bank accounts of the MPs concerned.
There can be no doubt newspaper which has scooped their rivals bigtime on this is the Daily Telegraph. While the rest of Fleet St hesitated, they plunged in, bought the probably stolen material and have been on trebles all around ever since. I noticed a brilliant little feature they have added to their coverage: videos showing MPs apologising or otherwise commenting or explaining their views on the expenses issue. Top form stuff.
Let's hope the Speaker does the decent thing and resigns before he does any more damage to Parliament's reputation.
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