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As everyone knows Jesse Norman and I don’t exactly get along but….

This is ridiculous:

Yes, it was foolish in the extreme for Nadhim Zahawi MP to outsource his expense claims to his staff, and not scrutinise why they were so high. It’s what people sometimes do when they’re incredibly busy, but that’s no excuse. At a time of austerity, with the cost of living ever on the up, this brings all MPs, and indeed Parliament itself, into even greater disrepute. No one could condone it.

But it would be madness if this anger, however justifiable in the present case, had the effect of driving people like Nadhim Zahawi out of politics. Let’s be clear: Nadhim is a friend and colleague of mine. I have only known him properly since we entered Parliament in 2010, but I suspect it is clear to anyone who knows him that this is a good and honourable man.

Perhaps three and half years isn’t long enough for Our Jesse to work out that all that Hon Member and Right Hon Member stuff is in fact that very British sense of sarcasm coming out. For as is obvious to everyone no one actually honourable would be capable of being elected to Parliament. Thieves, spivs and twisters the lot of ’em.

And quite remarkably the comments section seems to agree…..

16 thoughts on “As everyone knows Jesse Norman and I don’t exactly get along but….”

  1. Does anyone know if the State sets a minimum number of years you have to know someone to certify they have a fit and proper character, e.g. for passport applications? Is it longer than 3.5 years?

  2. The article comments are wonderful. I’ve read hundreds so far and every one of them is blazing with outrage against these two puke MPs.

    At least they aren’t fooling anyone.

  3. We are ruled by Laws, they are guided by rules. They get to apologise and ‘move on’, we are prosecuted, possibly jailed, and have a criminal record.

    It is incredible to me that MPs think they can get away with this shit. Do they exist in such a closed system that they are unaware of what people think of them? How could this be possible?

  4. If I was a company director, and I submitted false information to HMRC, could I apologise and move on if I pointed out that my staff did it, not me?

  5. It was popularised by Blair, and has a very specific meaning: bury and forget all about rampant political corruption.

  6. If you read the original article (not the Jesse Norman one) the fuss is about not having a separate electricity meter for the stables. So Nadhim Zahawi’s clerk submitted a claim for the whole electricity bill assuming that it was for the house (for which a claim should have been submitted).
    How many clerks own horses? How many know or guess that modern stables have electrical heating (I should not – it’s an inefficient and horribly expensive method)?
    I am no fan of Jesse Norman (not so long ago I turned down a dinner invitation because he was speaking) but this comes down to an honest mistake by the clerk.

  7. Nope. When I was a company director I was responsible for any errors in my company accounts, even those caused by the accountant in a complex area of tax.

    The MP is responsible for his staff. Any chancer can try the “sorry it was my staff” line.

  8. I can believe that Zahawi didn’t know he wasn’t being billed separately for the stables, and the clerk didn’t realise it mattered. But Zahawi will have signed the expenses claim, and busy as he is he should check the major items and spotted that nearly six thousand pounds a year in energy bills is too much.

    I agree with Jesse Norman (perhaps a first) that Zahawi shouldn’t be driven out of politics. Rather he should be suspended from the House without pay until the salary forfeited amounts to ten times the amount he overclaimed.

  9. “I can believe that Zahawi didn’t know he wasn’t being billed separately for the stables, ” …. People know how their bills are being paid, people know that electric heating is expensive. I find it unlikely that someone has a swingeingly expensive stable electricity bill and does not know about it.

  10. The phrase “move on” is always a flag warning us that that is precisely what ought not to be done.

    Quite. I have experience with both contractors and colleagues who, when asked why they haven’t done something they were instructed to, or fucked something up, immediately talk about “moving on”. There are good reasons why they don’t want to hang around and talk about it.

  11. And another thing. I can see why an MP is permitted to claim for costs arising out of a home (e.g. in the environs of Westminster) which he needs only because he’s an MP.

    But why can he claim for his ordinary household electricity? How is that the expectation of an honest man?

  12. “But why can he claim for his ordinary household electricity?”

    I suspect it is linked to MPs having the ability to pass laws.

  13. Rob, yes.

    But why are we all bleating about the fraud being slightly larger than ‘the rules’ allow, when the problem is ‘the rules’ allow fraud?

    I can’t get my head around the fact that A bloke of previous good character gets into parliament, sees his colleagues have obligingly passed laws allowing him to stiff the taxpayer for the electricity bills that he’d have to pay for anyway, and he says to himself, “yeah, I’m cool with that”. I mean, WHAT?

    We’re so busy whinging about duckhouses, we don’t see the gigantic scale of their dishonesty.

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