Friday, May 29, 2009

Dizzy Asks if Nick Clegg Passes the Smell Test

We've heard a lot about Conservative MPs having to pass the "smell test". What would you think about an MEP who flew to Brussels each week on budget airlines, but then claimed the full cost per trip (est £900), as he was fully entitled to under the rules? What would you think if he then put all that money aside to run his office? Does that pass the "smell" test? It's what Nick Clegg admitted to doing on 5 Live this morning, and it's no doubt what MEPs from all parties do. Thankfully the rules change next month so they will only be able to claim the actual cost in future, after a long fight by Dan Hannan among others. Dizzy has the full story HERE.


Anonymous said...

slightly different as it seems he didnt make personal gain from it. It went to his office costs.

Harri said...

So basicaly he is a thief?

If i tried that scam i would be fired with immediate effect, no passing go, no collecting 200 quid or in the case of MPs... thousands.

I would also have to explain to the HRMC if i have declared this as untaxed income.

Well anyone know if Calamity Clegg has has to do the same, just this one incident alone should see Clegg hand in his resignation with immediate effect... NOTHING will change.

Blood just about at boiling point now? oh just stop the ride i want to get off.

Anonymous said...

He's got a blog with unmoderated comments. Tell him what you think.

Robert said...

We have his word it went to cover his office expenses.

What is a politician's word worth now a days?

strapworld said...

Iain, I listened to the same R5L interview. He was so so gushing. Machine gun delivery! Which always makes me wince.

However I agree with Dizzy but it was also what he said about the present expenses scandal and him paying back £80 for telephone calls he 'knew' he should not have claimed for!

The Theft Act 1968, section 17(1), states that someone is guilty of an offence: 'a) Where a person dishonestly, with a view to gain for himself or another, or with intent to cause loss to another, destroys, defaces, conceals, or falsifies any record or document made or required for any accounting purpose,

or 'b) In furnishing information for any purpose produces or makes use of any account, or any record or document. . . which to his knowledge is or may be misleading, false or deceptive.'

But now let us, in the issue of the other MP's, also consider Section 15 of the Theft Act 1968. Which states 'Any person who by any deception dishonestly obtains property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it, commits an offence!

Now Clegg has admitted a possible Section 17 Offence for the telephone calls and, possibly, his Euro expenses.

BUT, For the life of me I cannot understand why the Police are dithering when they have this Act which, in the case of the majority of the Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet, they have got them 'bang to rights GUV'

get them all before the beak?

Or has this Labour Government thrown out the Theft Act as they threw out so many excellent Victorian laws- which worked!

Fausty said...

I think it's a case of the EU using the expenses system to bribe MEPs to do the EU's bidding. MPs were only too happy to force through the Lisbon Treaty because when their HoC careers faltered, they could look forward to a stint in the EU, and pick up an extra pension or two.

30 pieces of silver.

I think you have to blame the EU for employing this cynical tactic of keeping politicians sweet and pliable. The EU has a corrupting influence.

Demetrius said...

As nearly all the stuff we smell these days is synthetic petro chemical dangerous filth, he would certainly pass on that test. Perhaps that is our problem. All our politicians are synthetic people with synthetic beliefs.

Anonymous said...

And get a 45% pay rise in lieu.

Half the truth, Iain, is as bad as no truth.

Anonymous said...

And get a 45% pay rise in lieu.

Half the truth, Iain, is as bad as no truth.

A view from a Pleb said...

The flat rate distance based flying expenses may be going, but MEP's salaries are to be increased by 45% (in Sterling terms,) according to Nigel Farage on Question Time last night.

Anonymous said...

If I did that at work I would get the sack - and deservedly so!! He most definitely does not pass the smell test - in fact this stinks !!

dizzy said...

@strapworld I got to where I was going and missed the bit about telephone bills.

Major Plonquer said...

Nick Clegg is one to talk. Its people like him who give Liberal Democrats a bad name.

Unfortunately I suffer from dailysex (dyslexia) and whenever I read Liberal Democrats I always see 'A Baldric Molester'. Now that stinks.

More of Major Plonquer's wisdom here

God help us!! said...

You're wasting your time if you think anyone's gonna get excited about someone ripping off the EU, particularly when it's something that Nigel Farrage admits to too, and everyone else would if asked.

What both Farrage and Clegg appreciate and you clearly do not is that the British public see the whole EU as a total ripoff and if some of that comes back this way, then well and good.

No one cares about ripping off the EU, indeed I suspect both Clegg and Farrage have polled evidence that the British public see it as a point in their favour that they're using EU resources to fund their party machine.

Dimoto said...

Clegg admitted to this - he didn't need to. I have no problem accepting that Nick Clegg is relatively clean (he is just a clueless politician who should be trying to prepare his party to become the main opposition, but is instead playing the same old opportunist LibDem game).
Many major companies give per diem expenses, and many hard-up/scroogy employees take advantage.
This is just another distraction, wake me up when you have something to say about the bulk, lumpen Labour fraudsters.

Anonymous said...

As Hannan explained on Question Time, or I thought he did, you could only receive the maximum. If you spent less, the EU still gave you the full money.

If Clegg flew first class because of that, would he pass the smell test? Doubtful.

I think he was between a rock & a hard place. I suppose he could have given it to charity, though.

Anonymous said...

Didn't make personal gain? He is now leader of the LibDem party. A member of the Privvy Council and eventually will be Lord Clegg.

All thanks to 'his office' bumming up his MEP activities and then getting a seat in Parliament.

"cynical tactic of keeping politicians sweet" -- the EU do better than this and actually pay organisations like Greenpeace and WWF to lobby them. They then use this to say they are 'consulting' the public and that following Greenpeace, WWF etc etc policies are what the public want and say how democratic the EU is.

A scam.

WV is 'pussee' -- is this what Prescott calls Rosie Winterton?

Roland Deschain said...

I'm sure I recall hearing that you can't reclaim only the actual cost of travel and that some MEP who tried to do so was actually hauled over the coals for making an "incorrect claim".

Perhaps other wiser people can confirm?

Anonymous said...

Iain, you know very well that this is a non issue.

What did you want him to do? Simply pocket the cash instead like the other MEPs including the Tories? He didnt, instead using the money for a better office to serve his constituents. Is that something to comaplain about, i think not.

Why don't you concentrate on the real dodgy ones like Kirkbride etc.

Anonymous said...

anyone noticed the prominence of alistair campbell's blog link? I would have thought Chip would have been repulsed by that creature. Hhmm. Seems the Old Boys Club transcends everything.

Iain Dale said...

Anonymous, perhaps it had escaped your notice that the blog links are in alphabetical order.

ukipwebmaster said...

Speaking of MEPs allowances:

Thats News said...

Clegg is a hypocritical Hoon.


Hattersley attacks Brown as does Commonwealth

Anonymous said...

Why have a link to Campbell's blog at all? This man has done more to distort the truth, and lower the political backdrop, than perhaps any other individual.

Campbell is a nasty piece of work - and he will do everything in his power to smear the Tories.

He is a vicious bully.

Roger Thornhill said...

Considering the money taken for the flights was not given by consent (i.e. tax/theft) I wonder if they will accuse someone of stealing stolen goods?

Thomas Rossetti said...

Say what you like about Clegg, but he does allow some stunning criticism on his blog. I have just been reading the comments now. They are extraordinary! I thought ConservativeHome was pretty relaxed but this is something else.

Anyone who wants a laugh should check out

Thomas Rossetti said...

Oh, and I disagree with "Anonymous" about Campbell's blog. Like Clegg, he does at least allow people to criticise him on it. It's pointless to pretend your enemies don't exist and even more pointless to ignore what they have to say.

John Prescott's blog, on the other hand, only allows comments saying what a wonderful man he is. There are consequently only about six after each post.

New Labour may have been bad... but Old Labour was worse.

Anonymous said...

..yes, but why proactively endorse your enemies' views? surely there is no link from the conservative homepage to the labour homepage?

maybe it's just me, I just find it bizarre that a conservative would give valuable space to a nasty piece of work like Campbell.

Just my opinion.

Iain Dale said...

You really don't "get" the blogosphere do you? Loads of lefty and LibDem sites link to me. I link to blogs I read regularly. My blog is my territory, not a political party's.

Anonymous said...

Harri you need to work in transport. It was common in the private company I worked for years ago, to claim the then 50 pounds per night hotel allowance and find a cheap B&B, and pocket the difference. One of the perks HGV drivers with sleeper cabs used to have was a £75 per night hotel allowance, but of course they used the cab and treated the 75 quid as a tax free bonus - until the IR stopped it.

Anonymous said...

just my opinion, Chip. Don't get your knickers in a twist!

Anonymous said...

Still think the worst Lib Dum by miles is Lembit O'Pickled. He tried to get us to pay for his negligence in not paying his council tax ( and this from the housing spokesman ), he tried to claim for an extraordinarily expensive TV and worst of all, put his flat up for rent AND claimed for the allowances at the same time, whilst merrily trying to pass it off as SAVING the taxpayer money! Unbelievable. Why is this dodgy "MP" not being outed? His pathetic defence on the front page of his local newspaper defy belief. He actually praises himself, spins and lies. Why on earth is this silly paper, the County Times, buying in to it????