Friday, September 25, 2009

Has the Telegraph Mole Donated His Fee to Charity?

I don't mind admitting that the Telegraph book revelation this morning was slightly less, er, impactful than had been expected. The whole thing seems to be covering old ground. Nothing wrong with that, but if the biggest point of interest is that the leaker was a serving soldier, it's not quite the big deal putting the book out under a massive embargo would imply.

However, it's interesting to read the man's motives, which will prove embarrassing to the government.

Workers who processed the MPs’ claims included serving soldiers, who were moonlighting between tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan to earn extra cash for body armour and other vital equipment.

The soldiers were furious when they saw what MPs, including the Prime Minister, were claiming for and their anger convinced one of their civilian colleagues that taxpayers had a right to know how their money was being spent. The mole who leaked the data has told his story for the first time, in the hope that it will shame the Government into finally supplying the right equipment for the thousands of soldiers risking their lives in Afghanistan.

“It’s not easy to watch footage on the television news of a coffin draped in a Union Jack and then come in to work the next day and see on your computer screen what MPs are taking for themselves,” he said.

“Hearing from the serving soldiers, about how they were having to work there to earn enough money to buy themselves decent equipment, while the MPs could find public money to buy themselves all sorts of extravagances, only added to the feeling that the public should know what was going on.

“That helped tip the balance in the decision over whether I should or should not leak the expenses data.”

One of the expenses that particularly enraged staff was Gordon Brown’s claim for a Sky TV sports package, which cost £36 per month.

But it was the position of the soldiers, who had used their annual leave to find temporary work as security guards, that caused the most outrage. “As the days progressed the soldiers joined in the conversations and became as angry as those doing the editing,” the mole said.

“Everyone in that room was of the same mind. This was our money and these were our employees, effectively, but no one could hold them to account.

“Pretty much everyone working in that room was being paid a pittance to do their job. Meanwhile the MPs were being well paid and claiming a fortune on their expenses, yet what have they done for us in the last 10 years?

“That was why I leaked the information: because the British public deserves better.”

Indeed it does. I stick to the view that the mole performed a public service by leaking this to the Daily Telegraph, and the Telegraph were right to publish, even if some of the stories were reported in an unfair and lurid manner. Many MPs were correctly banged to rights, but there were quite a few innocent victims too. I am thinking mainly of those MPs who weren't mentioned but who were all tarred with the same brush.

So, yes, the mole did the right think and performed a public service, but we should also remember that he was paid handsomely for the information. The actual figure has never been revealed, but the sum of £70,000 has been mentioned. UPDATE: It has been confirmed that he was, in fact, paid £110,000.

I would like to think that bearing in mind what he says about his motivations, he has donated this money to Help for Heroes.

You can order the Telegraph book HERE.


71 comments:

DespairingLiberal said...

Ho hum. As I said yesterday, the breathless anticipation in the Dale/Staines rumour mills about this stunning book turned out to be, er, puff pieces for a Torygraph expenses scandal reblurb.

Is there any factual evidence to support the "soldiers processed MPs pay" story? So far, none has been put forward and it sounds a bit like an urban legend. I agree it would be brilliant and very just if true though!

Anonymous said...

A question I have pondered myself.

Don't let this go until we know.

AP said...

I should imagine that 70k doesn't even begin to compensate Private Mole for the anxiety he must have suffered about the consequences of being outed by the witch hunt for the leak source. He risked his army position for that.

Whats the betting that HMRC are watching the tax returns of every person employed on the expenses team for 'unusual emoluments'.

Big brother has us by the knackers.

The Boiling Frog said...

According to Andrew Pierce of the Telegraph this morning, they paid £110,000

golden_balls said...

I suppose we should wait until after the weekend to pass final judgment on this book but so far i'm less than impressed.

At least you've admitted that you went OTT when describing this book.

Who was your orignal source who gave you this groundbreaking scoop ?

Oliver Arthurs said...

It doesn't explain why he felt it necessary to leak ALL MPs' expenses. Why not just the Labour ones? The Conservative MPs outed did not deserve the public opprobrium heaped on them.

If he had any dignity he'd donate the money to the Conservatives' election campaign.

albertmbankment said...

I think it's utterly futile, and even slighty hairy-heeled, to discredit the actions of the leaker by effectively seeking an assurance that he/she made a payment to a charity of your choice. No, I know that's not *your* motivation, but that's very much the way it reads.

How dare anyone make moralistic judgments about another person's attitude to charity. There is, for example, a self-righteous and hair-shirty tone to much of the press and popular comment on City bonuses. As you will probably know, Iain, but many don't realise, the "City" (both the institutions and the individuals who work there, and the ancient foundations such as the livery companies) are stupendously generous, and most discreet, in their charitable giving.

The leaker has performed an invaluable service to the country. He/she has provided the country with months of outrage and comedy, in equal part. He/she has taken an immense personal risk in disclosing this information, if only terms of privacy and career. There have been intermediaries to reimburse. He/she will have incurred expense, and endured months of worry that he/she will be exposed.

I really don't think it's your, my or anyone's business what or any proportion of the Telegraph's money has gone to charity, let alone Help for Heroes. It's his/her business whether any or all of it goes to Help for Heroes, a donkey sanctuary, Darfur, a holiday-home or simply a spectacular party. Indeed, a large and mischievous part of me hopes that it's the last of these.

Anonymous said...

In the New Labour world of funny money £70,000 seems like a drop in the bucket. It's the salary of an MP who does nothing because the power is in Brussels (less expenses of course).

Penfold said...

A man of principles, he'll go far.
As far as Old Bailey on a charge of tax avoidance no doubt knowing the apoplexy that Gordo and Labour are experiencing.

Hope he filled in the Gift Aid form.

Scary Biscuits said...

It's a capitalist society. He took the risk and went to the trouble of exposing hypocritical MPs who care nothing about soldiers' lives. He's entitled to keep all he can get. Society has also benefited by the disinfecting sunlight he has brought. It's a win-win; don't deny him his profit, unless you want us all to live under communism or the Taliban.

Martin said...

The biggest point of interest is clearly wrong. From the text you quote its clear the mole wasn't a serving soldier, but he felt sympathy for them.

H Johnston said...

Iain the link for Help for Heroes is wrong.

It should be www.helpforheroes.org.uk

For anyone interested, the official Help for Heroes book has now been published, and is available from here: http://bit.ly/TwqRd

strapworld said...

Despairingly Liberal, Hold your horses! The weekend is nigh, the book may have far more interesting revelations. One should never be too hasty to criticise.

But, there again, you are a Liberal so criticising is second nature!

Anonymous said...

"Many MPs were correctly banged to rights"

Not one MP has been banged to rights. Not one MP has been charged with any crime.

True Belle said...

Surely there must have been a collective conscience. What was the opposition thinking about?

Did no one ever question the 'rules'- did no one pause and say 'this surely can't be right'

It is rather like food waste- what a scandal it is to throw good food away when there are so many who are on the breadline/starving.

Doesn't anyone have that nice old fashioned embarassing feeling called GUILT?

Doesn't anyone know the value of anything?

( PS What has happened to the pound ?)

Were the military quaffing ' horses necks' in the Military clubs moaning and groaning. Did any officer care sufficiently untill a few months ago?

Soldiers have always been served badly by their leaders. Through out time - ALWAYS- even their food not compo is abysmal.

Soldiers are always hungry, and make do via the NAAFI-
Their treatment is and has been an utter disgrace. Why? Because they are expendable and there will always be a lad who needs to become part of a fighting team and earn a Queens shilling!

Michaela said...

Iain- The £110k figure, not £70k, was admitted by Andrew Pierce this morning

Michaela said...

"We paid £110,000 to the source.

"And let me just say, so far the taxpayer has been reimbursed by MPs £500,000, and there will be more; we have got a much better Commons as a result of it; and I think the Telegraph took the decision not lightly, but we were given 24 hours to read that file - it blew our minds when we saw what was in that file."

I Squiggle said...

Having read the various stories about this, the mole was not ‘a serving soldier’. He was one of a number of Parliamentary Staff seconded to The Stationery Office to redact all the expenses. Given the sensitive (don’t we know!) nature of the work, security staff were hired in. And some of those were moonlighting squaddies. It was their reaction that allegedly convinced the ‘mole’ to sell the stuff on. Nice justification, but its just that if he kept the wonga.

Ed the Shred said...

Andrew Pierce on the Today program said the amount was £110k that was paid to the 'whistleblower'.

albertmbankment said...

I leave quite near Aldershot, and occasionally take my young sons there to buy bits'n'bobs from one of the Army surplus stores in the town. The proprietor has told me with disgust of the soldiers who are buying stuff from him, because the standard issue kit is so lamentably inadequate for the conditions in which they are required to serve.

Perhaps the incoming Cameron government could announce an immediate enquiry (not necessarily public) into the equipment provided to the forces: kit, weapons, vehicles, everything.

Anonymous said...

The DT deputy editor said on radio it was £ 110,000.

Alan Douglas

Anonymous said...

Presumably the Commons can confirm or deny if the soldiers were involved? Doesn't seem hard.

Seems plausible to me.

ToryHome said...

According to Guido it's £110,000 - still money well spent!

Anonymous said...

On the Today Programme this morning I heard somebody from the book/Telegraph say that a condition of the offer of the information was that the paper agreed to publish _all_ the information on all MPs of all parties and that only the Telegraph would accept this condition.

So did the other papers all simply refuse to buy on principle, which is certainly what I remember the Guardian suggesting, or did they only want to buy if they could be partisan in their publication?

Half The Story said...

I think he is due way more than the £110k.

Think about how much has been saved overall.

He should be on 20% of year 1 savings, and 5% for years 2-5.

If this were business and he were a cost control consultant or salesman he would want a share of savings or profit.

Why should he not act for the greater good and be paid. If MPs want to make a difference they should be unpaid and all gratis then.....

Anonymous said...

Not only should he/she keep the money, he should probably get more. Ho should also be recognised in the Honours List as this person has done more for public life in this country than any of the greasy pole climbiing weasels in parliament.

VotR said...

If I was a government mole in Westminster, I'd like to think £110,000 sitting in the bank would be a good escape plan if a sharp exit became necessary.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a problem with this 'mole' receiving some remuneration. £110,000 would be some small nestegg in the event of being discovered and subsequently losing job, maybe being prosecuted and needing legal representation. That he performed a public service in leaking the information would be no protection.

Anonymous said...

The security guards at Parliament are all vetted up to their eyeballs and are not casual agency staff drafted in on a whim.

Plenty of them are ex-squaddies, but the idea of a serving soldier moonlighting on a two-week contract to guard one of the most protected buildings in Britain stretches credulity to breaking point.

Which in this day and age means it's almost certainly true, but I'd like to know how much cross-checking the Telegraph did before stating it as fact.

Carl Gardner, Head of Legal said...

I think he or she is entitled to the money, too: the mole took a legal and career risk in the public interest.

I'm interested in the anger around the PM's Sky package, because I felt the same, and was amazed he got away with it so easily. Of course it's a relatively small amount, but the question has to be what on earth it has to do with his work as an MP. He can watch Sky News free. To me, his was one of the small claims that reveals so clearly the greedy, grasping attitude many MPs had to our money.

As for MPs being treated unfairly - I'm not sure any has, really. There are one or two who've complained they've been treated unfairly - but that's a different matter. Brian Binley is an example. But his self-justification seems pretty thin to me, as well as absurdly exaggerated in its language about the Stasi. I also note he hasn't answered the questions put to him in comments. There are a fair few critical ones, to be fair, but I had to badger the editor of the Cornerstone blog to publish mine. To be fair again, they said they'd lost the comment. I accepted that at the time.

They now though seem not to publish any comments of mine, even after e-mails asking them why not - I get no reply. I'm not a natural supporter of Cornerstone, but I'm not the sort of blogger whose disagreement with people's views automatically means I disrespect them, or engage unreasonably with them, either. I can't think of a sensible reason why my comments should be moderated out.

Brian Binley's unimpressive complaint of unfair treatment, his failure to respond to people's comments, the difficulty of having my own comment published in the first place (something I'd have let lie had my further comments appeared or had I had replies to any subsequent e-mails), and subsequently having reasonable, if critical, comments simply left in cyberspace - all this has reduced my respect for Cornerstone and the people behind the Cornerstone blog.

andrewha said...

And has the Telegraph donated any percentage of the extra revenue it got from the circulation boost of the story to Help for Heroes?

Phil said...

So, if the book is now being released is that the end of the scandal. Do we assume that the expenses system is now in order and all MPs have a clean conscience?

Somehow I doubt it. Maybe the book should bear the subtitle of Volume 1

True Belle said...

I wonder how many of Cameron's PPCs have been/are in the Territorial Army/or have held commissioned/non commissioned positions ?

I wonder how many PPCs have WORTHWHILE jobs at present, and how many have strong personal values .

I wonder how many have PIGGY BACKED on the shoulders of others into being PPCs or are they all Johnny come lately ?

I think that our armed forces are the 'LUNGS' of Great Britain- We can breathe and sleep sweetly knowing people like that are made from the 'right stuff'. GOVERNMENTS must show they care deeply about our service people.

IT is not just up to HM to bestow medals and recognition is it?

Young serving people become institutionalised and afraid of being branded troublesome- service records and all that are a good CV for civvy life but stand to incur the wrath of higher authority.

Look how full our prisons are now, many many ex service people with severe problems are clogging the system up, because service aftercare is a dinosaur!

Martin said...

The BBC wheeled out Limpdick Opec to attack the mole. Limp Dick (he of the £2000 plasma TV on expenses) made all sort of accusations including wanting to know if the mole had donated the money to charity.

Why he BBC thinks a vile piece of human waste like Opec is somehow seen as a good choice is beyond me.

brianinthetamarvalley said...

A point that EVERYBODY seems to forget is that if it hadn't been for that lady, Heather Brooke, taking on the House of Commons and with great determination winning, none of the gory details of the MPs expenses would have seen the light of day!

Hamish said...

Iain,
You have updated the figure the mole was paid, but have not corrected your outrageous suggestion that the mole was a serving soldier.
So, you think serving soldiers should donate any extra earnings to charity.

Anonymous said...

Oliver Athurs -

How utterly ridiculous. All MPs have their snouts in the trough, and if this story is true then the mole did the right thing in showing them all up, not using this for partisanship. Your statement is part of the arrogance that is echoed in people like Duncan and the assorted Tory backbenchers who couldn't see what all the fuss was about

Anonymous said...

"The Conservative MPs outed did not deserve the public opprobrium heaped on them." says Oliver Arthurs at 10.12 am. What utter nonsense. Even the few not guilty of bending the rules are guilty by association- of letting it happen. Name one who stood up at the time that this information was being chased by Heather Brooke who said we do not want to let you see it because it is shameful - not one. And of course they knew for goodness sake ask yourself why soldiers were employed to guard what was a simple clerical process in the first place - they all knew they had something to hide.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I am being a bit dense but if a serving soldier was serving as a security guard in the House of Commons why has he processing expenses claims?

If he was not serving as a security guard but as an admin assistant, what qualifications do soldiers have to do this?

This story does not quite ring true

I Squiggle said...

@anon at 11.06

The security was not required at Parliament. It was at the Stationery Office HQ in South London, and extra security was hired for the duration.

Anonymous said...

Just to say - as a centre-left libertarian reader of this blog, once again I appriciate Iain's rather balanced coverage here - this soldier felt obliged to pass on this information as a public duty.... and for a fat fee....

English First said...

Cowardly senior BBC correspondent says, “It’s barmy ... Public servants can be sacked for membership of the BNP and yet the BBC wants to give them airtime with the main political parties.”

But its ok for Public Servants to thieve and lie though!! ie Politicians.

These stupid individuals, who incidentally are salaried by people just like me, just don`t get it do they? Arrogant fools!

English First said...

MP`s and some political commentators just don`t get it, do they?

EVERY single member of The House was guilty, either directly or indirectly!

They are thieving, fraudulent liars and the majority of decent people will, like me, be wondering how these crooks are still allowed to walk the streets!

I am an ex serviceman and I can tell you the story is true!

Members of the armed services past and present are unanimous in hating politicians! they have for years.

Plans are already afoot to regain our democracy. Just around the corner may well be a very British revolution!

I Squiggle said...

To recap. The Mole wasn’t a serving Soldier. Allegedly some serving soldiers were employed as temporary/extra security while the redacting was being carried out at the South London HQ of the Stationary Office. About 20 people employed on the job, made up of seconded Parliamentary Staff SO staff and temporary Agency staff. Plus the security. It appears (although not explicitly stated), that the Mole was one of the seconded Parliamentary staff.

It might be helpful to read the story as printed this morning in the DT and a partially repeated here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/6229051/MPs-expenses-leaked-over-failure-to-equip-troops-on-front-line-in-Afghanistan-and-Iraq.html

Victor, NW Kent said...

I can see no earthly reason why the mole should be expected to donate the fee to a soldier's charity. If he/she did then that is his/her business and not ours.

A great risk was taken as the establishment, even at village schools, wreaks vengeance on whistle-blowers - always.

Anyone who is employed by the State, in any way, is expected to stomach malpractice and keep quiet.

Anonymous said...

Something smells here. There are plent of ex-army types in the HoC espocially in the messaging section where a sort of ex-army, ex guards regiments mafia seems to operate, but from anecdotal knowledge via pals who are in HM Forces, i cannot see any serving squaddies 'moon;lighting' in what is a very tight security concious environment. I expect truth will out at some point, but by then the caravan will have passed on......

trevorsden said...

I see no reasopn why DL should dispute the 'soldiers processing' story.

But my reading is the leaker was a civil servant who was upset by the soldier's reactions.

The broad logic is understandable - Brown was getting his SKY Sports subscription paid and soldiers were being blown up because of lack of helicopters.

This gets us no nearer the real problems
1 - the system put MPs up to it
and
2 - the party selection systems need to improve (I think the Tories have started with this. labour seem stuck with rotten boroughs.)

Lady Finchley said...

What a bunch of bull-crap. If you believe that I have some swamp land in Florida for sale.....

Anonymous said...

Iain, I really think you ought to remove the link to buy the book until it has been confirmed if the profits will or will not go to charity.

At the moment I have the uncomfortable feeling that this man has jumped on a very noble cause to justify his profiteering.

Carl Gardner, Head of Legal said...

Oliver Arthurs's comment at 10.12 -

It doesn't explain why he felt it necessary to leak ALL MPs' expenses. Why not just the Labour ones? The Conservative MPs outed did not deserve the public opprobrium heaped on them.

is I think one of the most narrowly partisan comments I've ever seen. Partisan to the point of embarrassing most conservatives, I would have thought.

Anonymous said...

I have just ordered a copy from my local library, much the cheapest way to get hold of a book.

Anonymous said...

To those who say it is unlikely that soldiers seeking to earn some extra would have been employed, may I just remind them of the multiple times illegals have been found working as 'security' guards in multiple government ministries. They don't check, they don't care, they don't have an effing clue.

I don't know the truth of this, nor does anyone until concrete evidence is supplied, but I don't find it the least bit implausible and govt statements are about the last I am going to believe.

Norton Folgate said...

£110k for exposing the reality of our corrupt,crooked,dishonest lying politicians.

AN ABSOLUTE BARGAIN!

Thomas Rossetti said...

I think you are wrong to say that all MPs have been tarred by the same brush in this scandal. Several MPs, who claimed little or no expenses, came out of it rather well. From what I remember, George Galloway was one of the few non-claimers.

In terms of the money that has been paid to informants and money that the author has made, I think there's a fair amount of professional jealousy about. Other journalists are just annoyed that they didn't get the scoop.

If I wrote a successful book about a murder, would you expect me to donate all my royalties to the victim?

Twig said...

"Many MPs were correctly banged to rights, but there were quite a few innocent victims too."

The "innocent victims" presumably knew what the parasites were doing but chose to remain silent.

Maybe a visit to some of the poor kids in Selly Oak Hospital would make the "innocent victims" feel less sorry for themselves.

I don't care what Mr. Mole does with the money, didn't come out of the pockets of taxpayers and it didn't deprive our service personnel, unlike the MP's expense claims.

Anonymous said...

Thoms Rosetti

From what I remember, George Galloway was one of the few non-claimers.

That is because he is hardly ever there. As of September 2009 he still has one of the lowest attendance records in parliament at 8.4% as a total of 93 attendances of a possible 1113

The Grim Reaper said...

Lord Iain from the "Nationally Renowned" LBC said "Many MPs were correctly banged to rights..."

Really? Name me one MP who's now doing porridge at Her Majesty's pleasure. Name me one MP who was thrown out of Parliament and public life as a result of this.

You've gone very quiet, Iain...

Fred said...

I look forward to buying a copy of the book in our local charity shop in due course!

Osama the Nazarene said...

Damned with faint praise!

I on the contrary think the man performed a great service to his country and is worth every penny he got, £40K of which would have gone to the tax person. Its a free society if he chooses to spend his money that's fine, if he chooses to hand some over to his mates that's also fine.

It was not him who tarnished all MPs with greed and sleaze,it was the Laborgraph which did that. He cannot be held responsible for the way they presented the information he provided.

I do agree that the Laborgraph should have provided a list of "saintly MPs" but believe this list would have been considerably shorter than you imply.

Sir Edward Heath said...

Perhaps you should only be allowed to stand for our Parliament if you have done three years of military service. That will be about 95% of current prospective MPs standing down tonight then. Hee Hee! Hee!

Just think - plenty of jobs for the rest of us when this comes in.

All ex-military in jobs and the MPs will be in prison instead!

This idea also fits with a new policy idea from my new Sir Edward Heath Policy Foundation - that is three years of compulsory military service for everyone. You can join up to serve any time between the age of sixteen and twenty-one, but you MUST join up before the age of 22. It "works a treat" in Israel. You commence service as a graduate or a school leaver. Your choice. It would cost "a bomb" but so does our national debt. So, why worry.

Hero. A word you will never heard associated with a modern MP. Pity.

Joe Public said...

Probably 99% of non-directors in Commerce & Industry would get sacked for fiddling expenses.

HMRC take a dim view of companies allowing employees allowance that they don't tax.

It's about time MPs got treated like the rest of us.

Equality & Discrimination seem to relate only to gender, sexual orientation & skin-colour.

Old Holborn said...

Come on Iain, you're just annoyed that you didn't get to publish the book (and thereby buy a new Audi S5), didn't get the scoop and half your mates were shown up to be troughing bastards who should be in prison.

David Hughes said...

Typical, I'm afraid, of the Daily Mailygraph - they took the milch cow to the parlour too often when they broke the story and didn't have the balls to go for the throats properly.
Now, using subterfuge, re-hash the same shit !
Why not use the information to carry on nailing the buggers? Do us a service rather than make money, and keep the names in the public eye - in case they haven't noticed, there is an election coming ( and, fortunately, a Gordon going).
The Telegraph now has, since the Barclay Brothers took ownership, become a broadsheet Daily Mail - using people who couldn't get to the top in Dacre's heap of ordure.
Oh dear ! Guardian - Toynbee and that white haired, moustachioed idiot; Times - Rupert "Vested Interest" Murdoch; Independent - boring, left wing & not independent.
Where do we read for unbiased reporting - the Yorkshire Post, I suppose.

Houdini said...

Plenty of them are ex-squaddies, but the idea of a serving soldier moonlighting on a two-week contract to guard one of the most protected buildings in Britain stretches credulity to breaking point.

No it isn't, especially in London. I worked occasionally for New Scotland Yard as an SCO specialising in firearms, while a serving soldier. Soldiers serve as security at various official functions and residences, as serving soldiers, all for ED pay; extra duty. Parliament is literally two minutes from Wellington Barracks and if there was a requirement for more security, for whatever reason, they would be asked if they wanted it as an extra duty and would be asked to volunteer for some extra cash. It is official moonlighting that civvys might not fully understand.

Apart from other extra moonlighting in the likes of Harrods as security as a serving soldier, which is unofficial and has always gone on, particularly in London.

So many people...so little real knowledge.

Houdini said...

Should add that I believe the mole should get the money and keep it too. He could be caught yet and out of a job, and why should the Telegraph have such a massive rise in sales without remunerating the person responsible? The MPs deserved all they got and this is one of the best public services done by anyone in many years.

Armchair said...

Don't agree.

This guy will get one chance in his life to grab 110K in one go and this was it.

Good luck, enjoy it and well done for doing it.

I Squiggle said...

@ Houdini

I tried, I really tried - see my previous comments. I was trying to point others here to the fact that the squaddies involved weren’t doing the redacting but were doing the temporary security – and not at the Houses of Parliament. Anyway, like you, I have personal experience of being a squaddie ‘unofficial’ moonlighter. God, what fun it was; the stories I could tell would possibly restore Iain’s hair. I say that because I once had to clear the extensive basement of a guy that reckoned he had invented a miracle hair restorer. He hadn’t. Which was why he was having to sell his pad and the wife was a very bitter woman who had to pay me in cash, in advance, each morning, and instructed me to ignore the pleas of her husband and bin everything. Which was great, because she didn’t know that previous occupants had been the progenitors of the ‘Oz’ magazine. Older readers here might remember the rag, and even though it was decades after the ‘event’, multi back copies, recovered and sold off, paid a few bills, I can tell you.

Where were we again, and why so many commas?

True Belle said...

I was just wondering if HMG could also employ soldiers to oversee good behaviour in troubled schools?

A few squadrons/brigades of Royal Marines who would appreciate extra dosh could be the answer to many a harassed head teachers prayers.

The police could then get on with policing!

Houdini said...

A few squadrons/brigades of Royal Marines who would appreciate extra dosh could be the answer to many a harassed head teachers prayers.

Marine squadrons etc.?

The police could then get on with policing!

Yep, we really need more police to chase and fine motorists on the thinnest of basis..ohhh, you mean real criminals? That wouldn't do as H&E would object.

Quietzapple said...

Stale . . self serving.

Duly Tele grist.

True Belle said...

Houdini

Okay, I see your point, yep bring on the Commandos to sort out irritating inconsiderate school run mums, drivers using mobile phone , boy racers, drivers who are not insured, etc etc, and then the police can get on with policing unruly brats in schools!