Witterings from Witney has highlighted this piece from Paul Waugh of the Evening Standardski (whose blog is poorly attended considering the very pertinent articles he has been submitting lately).
Former Labour MP Jane Griffiths (Reading East) appears to have applied a large amount of plastic explosive to the it's-the-system-and-not-our-fault-at-all defence. They (Labour, at least) seem not only to have been aware of what was going on and cognisant that it was immoral, but were also complicit as highly influential MPs insisted the gravy boat was not to be rocked.
"I don't drive a car, I never have, so didn't claim any mileage allowance for travel in the constituency. My whip said to me 'You don't claim mileage, why not?'
"I said 'well, because I don't drive a car'. He said 'You must get a taxi sometimes?' I said 'I do sometimes but not that often'. '
"No,' he said, 'There's an allowance of £250 per month for taxis and you don't have to give receipts, you just fill in a form that says £250 for taxis. And he said 'I want you to claim that'.
"So I did because it would get the whips off my back telling me to claim for things. So I had that money that morally I shouldn't have".
That's a cool £3,000 a year effectively stolen from the taxpayer. Over a four-year term, that's £12,000. Will Ms Griffiths now tell us who the whip was? Or does she fear that Plod will be at her door too?
Bless her for speaking up about it, albeit a little late. However, Waugh asks a valid question. We need to know the whip involved or the accusation can very easily be batted away as 'sour grapes' by Labour, seeing as Griffiths was deselected in 2004.
Spill the beans, Jane. Let's see if Carter Ruck will be given a new commission or not.
Furthermore, on her blog, she exposes another Labour MP, Martin Salter from neighbouring constituency Reading West, as having claimed for a non-existent property for four years, and claims this was edited out by the programme makers.
Scratch under the surface a touch, and it's becoming more apparent why Labour have always favoured high taxation.