Telegraph near the bottom of the barrel?

Cover of An Honourable Deception, featuring a ...

It seems quite exciting, at first glance, this latest drip in the seemingly endless drip-drip-drip of the Daily Telegraph's revelations of MP's expenses. The headline shouts:

"Clare Short makes excessive claim for mortgage payment"

Directly beneath this exciting statement, the Telegraph adds:

"Clare Short, the former international development secretary, admitted claiming thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money to which she was not entitled within months of standing down as a Cabinet minister"

Game on! We've got a story here. The BBC are already headlining this shocker. Pass me that pitchfork. We march at midnight. .

But .. wait .. hang on.

Those without Attention Deficit Disorder, and without Anything Better To Do, can read further, when the magic begins to wear off. A good story is spoiled by the tedious intrusion of, dammit, facts.

Several years ago, she over-claimed on her mortgage, having become confused (bless) on the difference between interest payments and principal repayments.

The over-claims were picked up by the fees office

".. in May, 2006, when she was asked to provide a mortgage statement. A month later she wrote, agreeing to repay £8,436"

Clare Short is a silly bitch, and CF couldn't care less if she lives, dies, or ascends to the skies in a golden chariot, but quite frankly, this is a non-story. She paid the money back promptly, three years ago.

And this was worth holding on to for eight, long, tiring, repetitive days?

That noise you can hear is the scraping of the bottom of the barrel.


Obnoxio The Clown said...

The problem is that there is focus on the big cons, not the fact that most MP's have got at least one dodgy claim.

I fear too many of them will be getting away with it.

Alan W said...

It's been commented upon that today's Telegraph looks like a bit of a lash-up, lacking the coherency of previous days. It looks a bit like a bunch of small stories hurriedly cobbled together to fill spaces.

And no word about Balls.

Dare I mention "injunctions"?

Fausty said...

Labour MPs don't do humility. Like Speaker Martin, they have a sense of entitlement that goes way beyond their capabilities and usefulness.

I look forward to the TPA and Mail prosecuting their precious little socks off.

Paul Halsall said...

I agree some MPs - from all parties - seem to have acted like pigs at the trough. But the total amount concerned is just under £16 million per year for ALL the MPs together. This is a really small amount in context. About the cost of a a military helicopter perhaps.

Meanwhile the Telegraph is owned by those weird brothers who live in a fake castle off the coast of Sark and have every interest in seeing our elected representatives reduced in power.

The alternative to Parliament is not freedom, but exclusive control by the very rich and very powerful - think of somewhere like Dubai, where thousands of workers live in block-houses while the rich live in palaces.

Anonymous said...

So Paul Halsall, you seem quite happy for MPs to take taxpayers money and spend it on fripperies.

I'm certainly not. If the alternative to parliament means no government at all, then so be it. The Belgians seemed to function quite nicely without one.