and lecture us about family morality when the woman he had his Christmas dinner with hacked the phoned of murder victims? And when his fellow MPs smash and grabbed their expenses claims?
How dare he come to our city when he and his greedy banker friends have all ready laid it ruin?
The pointless destruction of recent days will achieve nothing if we fail to learn from it. It is no coincidence that such rage, greed and despair surfaces in towns and cities abandoned to recession, and with some of the poorest education services in the country – all set against the backdrop of unattainable celebrity bling culture.
There is an alternative: stop the tax dodging and invest in green growth and jobs for all. How else are we to teach our children to share and to treat others with respect?
A Cabinet of Looters
Most of them were already millionaires, but here’s what they allegedly tried to ‘loot’ from the taxpayer before the MPs’ expenses scandal broke in 2008/09:
David Cameron, Prime Minister: £82,450 over four years on a mortgage for his £750,000 home in Oxfordshire (he already owns a £2m property in London), claimed for his TV licence, and £4980 on cleaning, and £680 on cutting back a wisteria plant
George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer: claimed £100,000 over six years in mortgage payments, ‘flipped’ his second home and allegedly avoided £54,000 in Capital Gains Tax,
Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury: took advantage of a loophole to avoid paying capital gains tax on the sale of the south London property for £300,000 in June 2007 (having claimed over £37,000 on the flat), claimed £2,113 for a new boiler, £2,094 for a sofa and two chairs, and £332 for a new washing machine.
Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister: £2,600 on a new kitchen, £5,857.63 on decorating and £760 for the repair of a garden path.
William Hague, Foreign Secretary: claimed £61,995 in taxpayers’ cash to help pay for a £1million second home in London – while pocketing around £800,000 a year from part-time jobs
Chris Huhne, Energy and Climate Change Secretary: claimed for a £119 Corby trouser press, delivered to his London home despite his second home being in Hampshire, and a £5,066 bill in 2006 for external repainting including preservatives for fences and garden items.
Ken Clarke, Justice Secretary: a £1,024 cleaning bill, and a £1,079 insurance bill (neither with receipts), and over £52,000 in second home expense claims over four years
Oliver Letwin, Minister of State, Cabinet Office: Over £2,000 in repairs to his tennis court; claimed hundreds of pounds to have an Aga cooker serviced regularly.
Eric Pickles, Communities and Local Government Secretary: billed the public purse for up to £200 a month for cleaning, and £280 for his monthly grocery bill. Claimed for a second home despite only living 37 miles from Parliament
Andrew Lansley, Health Secretary: changed his designated second home in order to claim more expenses; and sold it once it had been refurnished and renovated at taxpayer expense
Francis Maude, Cabinet Office Secretary: claimed almost £35,000 in mortgage interest payments on a London flat that he bought, close to a house he already owned and then rented out.
Michael Gove, Education Secretary: ‘flipped’ his second home, after he spent more than £7,000 on furnishing a London property over five months in 2006, before switching his allowance to a Surrey property and claiming more than £13,000 in moving costs. He is also reported to have claimed £500 for one overnight stay at a hotel.
Sir George Young, Leader of the Commons: claimed £127,159 in second home expenses on his London flat between 2001 and 2008, claimed £699 on a washer-dryer and £449 on a dishwasher. - Andrew Fisher Blog