Opinion | Privilege Implies Join the Gravy Train

Opinion – Privilege Implies Join the Gravy Train

According to the newspaper reports in TRNC, many municipal workers have not been paid for months, while ‘the powers that be’ are buying ‘top spec.’ Range Rovers, X6’s, ‘Cayennes’ & Mercs with gay abandon, thanks to Erdogan’s generous profligacy with Turkish taxpayers’ money.

But it’s just the same in the UK.

Latest scandal: Nadhim Zafawi, Tory rising star, has been found out claiming nearly £6000 expenses from the taxpayer for heating his “second home”. Included in that was the heating and electricity for his 20-horse stables and the mobile home of his stables manager – both of which are one of his businesses. It was, he said, “an oversight”. He “apologises unreservedly”, and is going to pay it back. I find it incredible that it was an oversight; maybe the bill for his stables manager’s mobile home, but for the stables as well? If he had not been rumbled by the press, he would surely have kept pocketing the money, would he not? He is a millionaire (and another of Cameron’s cronies) and he even claimed 31 pence for paperclips, 53 pence for a hole punch, and other minor items of stationery. We are told that he has three London flats, which he lets out, and a £5 million pound mansion in Putney. His has been one of the most vociferous voices denouncing those on benefits for getting too much money from the state. This is the shape of politicians today. 341 of our MPs have been claiming for their energy bills from the taxpayer. No wonder they don’t care how much the bills go up. And, of course, they’ve “done nothing wrong”.

But that is not all. Police and Crime Commissioners are another Tory-generated scandal. It has emerged that, so far, the 41 PCCs have collectively billed the taxpayer over £120,000 expenses, for what is only a part-time post. The most expensive has been our local one, Stephen Betts, paid £70,000 pa, and his deputy, Jenny McKibben, paid £56,000 pa. Quoting from the Sunday Mirror:

Together they racked up £6,914.01 in expenses, including £14.40 for driving to a “colleague’s funeral” and £81.20 for a two-day visit to the Royal Norfolk Show. Mr Betts claimed £3,000 for his commute to work. (Betts says he will repay it)

Avon and Somerset PCC Sue Mountstevens, on £85,000 a year, claimed 267 hours of chauffeur-driven trips, totalling £3,761.70.

Gwent PCC Ian Johnston put in bills for a £200-a-night hotel and a £105.56 flight. His deputy Paul Harris billed for a car wash.

Durham PCC Ron Hogg, who last week warned that more police cuts were “inevitable”, submitted a £4.90 receipt for a pasty.

Kent PCC Ann Barnes billed £17 for a taxi journey, writing: “Taxi taken due to carrying confidential papers and being a heavy load.”

Northamptonshire PCC Adam Simmonds claimed £1,100.15 for a four-day trip to Stockholm. And Cheshire PCC John Dwyer even claimed 30p for parking.

This is without the cost of electing the PCCs, and at a time when our police have been cut back to the bone! Not only that, but one NHS secretary wrote to the press just last week to say that she has to provide her own paper, pens, and other stationery items – “the NHS has no obligation to provide them” – because the NHS has no money; and like all NHS employees, has seen her pay held down, pension reduced, have to work extra hours for nothing. There is little wonder why people here have become so cynical about our politicians. Once, our MPs became MPs in order to serve the country. Now they merely wish to serve themselves – and with big servings.

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