Tuesday, 23 June 2009

The One That Is Really Underwhelmed. . .

So John Bercow is the new Speaker. You'll forgive me if I don't break out the bunting just yet, as it appears to me that the MPs have voted for someone who will look after them, rather than presiding over the changes that are so desperately needed.

Let's have a look at his record.

In 2004, while in Michael Howard's shadow cabinet, he wrote to wrote to Tony Blair praising the then prime minister's "outstanding statesmanship."

Hmmmm. Really? I always thought Blair's biggest fan on the Tory benches was David Cameron. Not a great way to endear yourself to the boss.

Last month, The Daily Telegraph disclosed that Mr Bercow “flipped” the designation of his second home between London and his constituency when he sold two houses in the space of a year, enabling him to avoid paying capital gains tax (CGT) on the profits from either sale.

Ahhh, so, that is why so many MPs voted for him, he really is one of them, isn't he?

He denied any wrongdoing but said he would pay £6,508 plus VAT to HM Revenue & Customs to cover the tax he could have been asked to pay on the sale of one of the homes.

So why pay them back? Come on man, have some courage in your convictions. If you've done nothing wrong then challenge them to take you to court. Paying cash out and then saying you're innocent just makes you look a bit of a tit.

And isn't the phrasing there lovely? Could have been asked? You can almost imagine a Revenue wonk in the style of Sgt. Wilson saying 'would you mind terribly paying some tax?' When was the last time the taxman asked? Demand is a more fitting word. And Could have asked? 'Well, we could ask you to pay it, but we've so much cash swilling about in here, we really don't see the need.' No, that seems unlikely to me.

The Tory MP for Buckingham also claimed almost £1,000 for the cost of hiring an accountant to fill in tax returns.

The Darling Manoeuvre. Tax need not be taxing. Just flip your house to avoid CGT and then get the proles to pay for your accountant to make it all pukka. Nice one.

So why the Tory dark faces last night? Are we to believe that they feel a trougher has derailed their plan to clean up the House? Can't be that. Cameroid could have scuppered Bercow's Speaker campaign in an instant by calling for a party investigation into his flipping.

Perhaps it is because whilst he is one of them, he isn't 'their' man. It's not fair, Labour have had a Speaker that did what he was told, why can't they have one?

Or is it that after the previous weeks of electoral disaster for Labour, the Tories are now unsure how to react when the person Labour wants to win an election actually goes and wins it?

Mr Bercow paid back £1,470.62 he claimed on his office expenses but it was not disclosed what the repayment was for.

But just as with everyone else, it was no doubt the result of a mistake. The only time you'll see a building holding so many people who have made so many mistakes is when you drive past the local prison. Those prisoners, in the main, will blame the system and poor choices. Although to be fair to the criminal class, some of them will admit that they done it and it was a fair cop. Not one MP has managed that yet.

Criminals - more honest than MPs.

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