The PalArse of Westminster


Exposing the hypocrisy, greed and incompetence of our "respected" elected political "elite".

Saturday, 31 March 2012


The government, having caused a petrol shortage by encouraging panic buying, is now telling everyone that they no longer need to stock up on petrol.

Why did they create this fuss in the first place?

Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin has the answer:
"My feeling is this was to try to take people's minds off donors, the Budget and pasties - and the Government added to the heat on this.

But really there should not have been any move to encourage people to buy more than they normally buy without consulting the industry first. I think that was the mistake."
When policies fail, politicians seek diversions!

George Shows Signs of Strain

Oh dear, less than 24 hours as Bradford West's newly elected MP and George Galloway is already showing signs of strain and exhaustion.

Yesterday he Tweeted:
Shattered but happy after the Blackburn triumph.”
When it was pointed out that he was in fact MP for Bradford, not Blackburn, he showed further signs of "strain" by claiming that his account had been hacked.

Another "mistake" (doubtless brought on by strain and overwork), for it was quickly pointed out to him that his "Blackburn Tweet" had been made from his iPhone (ie his account hadn't been hacked).

Friday, 30 March 2012

The Dangers of Hubris - Bradford West

Lobby correspondents had been briefed by the Labour Party that Ed Miliband would swoop into Bradford West this morning to celebrate the victory of the Labour candidate in the by-election.

One small problem, Labour didn't win!

Instead the seat was taken by George Galloway, standing for Respect. He crucified Labour winning by 10,140 majority, a swing of 37%.

Let us trust that the people of Bradford West retain the same enthusiasm for their new MP, in the coming months, that they are displaying today.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Tory Tax Avoidance Hypocrisy

Last week in his Budget statement, George Osborne said:
I regard tax avoidance and, indeed, aggressive tax avoidance as incredibly repugnant.”
For good measure he added that the Government would come down “like a ton of bricks” on those who seek to avoid stamp duty.

Step forward Andrew Mitchell, the International Development Secretary, who invested funds in DV3 Ltd a network of privately owned firms which is now at the centre of a tax avoidance case.

One of the subsidiaries of DV3 Ltd purchased the lease on the Dickins & Jones department store building in central London in October 2006 for £65.1M.

A month later, the subsidiary sold the lease to a partnership, also controlled by DV3, for £65,100. The company maintained stamp duty was calculated on the lesser amount, reducing the rate from 4% to zero.

HMRC challenged the transaction alleging it was a case of “aggressive tax avoidance” but lost at a tax tribunal in February 2011.

It is appealing the decision.

Taxes are, after all, only for "little people" and pasty eaters!

Dorset Police Close Petrol Stations

Well done Francis Maude and the coalition government, see what you have done!
"Dorset Police is advising members of the public not to panic buy fuel following reports of traffic congestion at petrol stations around the county.
Chief Inspector Nick Maton said: “There is no disruption to the fuel supply in the UK and members of the public should not panic buy.
“The actions of some motorists in queueing irresponsibly at petrol stations is causing danger to other road users.
“Police are taking action, requesting petrol stations to close temporarily in order to keep traffic flowing.
“Once the queues have dispersed, the petrol stations may re-open for short periods.”
"To clarify, Dorset Police is not closing all petrol stations in the county.
“Dorset Police will only be requesting the closure of the petrol stations worst affected by congestion in order to keep traffic flowing.

"Requests of this nature will be made direct from Dorset Police officers to designated petrol stations where necessary.
Oh for the halcyon seventies, when we had shortages of sugar, potatoes and toilet rolls caused by panic buying!

Coming soon: Martial Law!

Run on Jerrycans

Not only had the coalition government caused panic buying of petrol and pasties, but it has now also caused a run on jerrycans.

Halfords says it has a seen a rise of 467% in demand for jerrycans.

How not to "manage" a crisis!

Don't Panic!

Congratulations to the coalition government for providing an object lesson in how to turn a drama into a crisis, by causing panic buying of petrol and a petrol shortage in the run up to a possible tanker drivers' strike.

Seemingly thanks to government advice, as people start queueing at petrol stations and some petrol stations start to ration supplies, UK petrol sales have risen by 43% within the space of a week.

Meanwhile Francis Maude's daft advice that people should fill jerrycans has been withdrawn. Roads minister Mike Penning said that Maude's advice had been "a mistake by the cabinet minister. He didn't understand the size of a jerrycan. He has apologised since".

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The Mystery of Cameron's Pasty

David Cameron claims that he recently had a pasty from the West Cornwall Pasty store at Leeds station.

Yet, the media reports that the West Cornwall Pasty store at Leeds station closed 31 March 2007.

Why do politicians try to create "street cred" by telling lies that are so easily exposed?

Francis Maude Loves Jerrys II

Further to my earlier article today about Francis Maude suggesting that people store jerry cans of petrol in their garages and cars, Sky news reports that the firebrigade union are quite rightly telling him to withdraw this daft suggestion.

Pasty Panic Buying

Reports are coming in that queues are forming outside of bakeries the length and breadth of the UK, as people panic buy pasties; they will be using their jerry cans of petrol to warm them up up.

Cameron will be holding an emergency Cobra meeting to discuss the crisis.

Francis Maude Loves Jerrys

The government, wounded by the poor response to its pasty taxing budget and the Cruddgate scandal, is seeking ways to divert the voter's attention.

What better way than to stir up fear of a petrol shortage, caused by the looming petrol tanker drivers' strike?

Therefore over the past few days government minister shave been upping the ante, and trying to cause fear and alarm in the general public; by training troops to drive petrol tankers, advising people to fill up, calling a Cobra meeting and now step forward Francis Maude who is advising people to keep a jerry can full of petrol at home.

Aside from the fact that encouraging panic buying is irresponsible, and will cause unnecessary shortages at the pumps, to advise people to store petrol in cans at their homes and in their cars is dangerous.

Does Maude not remember last summer's riots?

Does he really want there to be unguarded cans of petrol sloshing around the place?

What would the HSE say?

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone!

No, I have not skipped a few pages in my diary, I am merely following the example of our "respected" political elite who have risen from Westminster for the Easter recess (which will last three weeks).

Easter, for those who pay the politicians' wages (ie everyone else), is still ten days away!

Incidentally, in case you were wondering, Parliament will sit only 21 days during the next 75 days.

There's value for money for you!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Georgie Porgie and The Greggs Pasty

George Osborne has just told the Treasury Select Committee that he cannot remember the last time he bought a pasty from Greggs.

They have not asked him the last time he had caviar, which of course attracts no VAT.

George Osborne - "Briefs" Not "Leaks"

George Osborne, having presented the most leaked budget in history, has defended the leaks by telling the Treasury Select Committee that the risks of leaks were heightened because of the fact that the government is a coalition.

He has also claimed that specific tax policies, rates and reliefs weren't leaked; "only" the “general experiences of future government intent” can be/were "briefed".


When I was a lad, anyone leaking the slightest detail about the budget would have been flogged.

People In Glass Houses

Congratulations to Chris Leslie, Labour's shadow treasury spokesman, for inadvertently outing one of his own.

Leslie was quite vociferous this weekend when he took the "moral high ground" and told one of Murdoch's papers that Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, “should have known better” than to accept £1,500 worth of hospitality at last month’s Bafta celebrations in these austere times.

However, as the Telegraph points out, Leslie neglected to check that no one from his side of the House had also enjoyed some of the free hospitality.

Step forward Harriet Harman, the shadow culture secretary, who along with her chief of staff also attended the awards dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel (vale £1,300).

Advice to Leslie:

"People in glass houses..etc".

Monday, 26 March 2012

Peter Cruddas Offers Business Advice

Peter Cruddas offers advice to Steve Godwin, a young person who has been supported by The Prince's Trust Business Programme, watch it here.

He advises Steve not to go after "big customers".


"Because they will try to control you".

Pity he didn't follow his own advice!

Cruddgate - Cameron Changes Tack

Despite initially resisting pressure to publish the names of those who have dined with him in his flat at Number 10, David Cameron has now changed tack and said that he will publish details of all donors he has had dinner with in his Downing Street flat.

Given that this was inevitable, why on earth the the Tory party spend so much time resisting this?

Cruddgate - A Question of Privacy

The government is currently refusing to disclose details of private meetings between David Cameron and Conservative party donors, following the Cruddgate debacle.

Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, has stated that demands for lists of visitors to Cameron's flat in Downing Street are unreasonable. The Tories are sticking to the line that Cameron's flat is used as his family home and the prime minister foots the bill, not the taxpayer, therefore these dinners etc are private.

That is fair enough IF the people who visit Cameron in his flat are visiting him as David Cameron "friend/acquaintance", rather than as David Cameron leader of the Tory party/Prime Minister.

It's not just what you do, but what your are seen to do and who you do it with that counts.

BTW, who paid for the renovation of the flat that Cameron and family occupy rent free?

Oh yes, that would be the taxpayers!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Cameron Suffers Memory Lapse

The BBC reports that David Cameron has criticised Peter Cruddas, the party's former treasurer, for boasting that a big enough donation could lead to high-level access.

He said Peter Cruddas' claims, filmed by undercover Sunday Times reporters, were "completely unacceptable". Mr Cruddas quit hours after publication.

The PM pledged a "party inquiry" into the claims that £250,000 would get donors a private dinner with him.

Ahem, may I draw Mr Cameron's attention to my earlier article today:

".. if you go to the Tory Party's own website you will see that they openly offer dinner with Cameron, and others, in exchange for monetary gifts eg:

The Leader's Group

The Leader's Group
Annual membership:
£50,000 Chairman: Howard Leigh
The Leader’s Group is the premier supporter Group of the Conservative Party. Members are invited to join David Cameron and other senior figures from the Conservative Party at dinners, post-PMQ lunches, drinks receptions, election result events and important campaign launches.

The only difference being that the site does not ask for the £200K that Cruddas was allegedly soliciting

Crudarse Resigns

The media are leading with the story about the resignation of the Tory Party's co treasurer, Peter Cruddas.

His crime?

Allegedly he was soliciting for donations of £200K or more, in exchange for dinner invitations with the Prime Minister and George Osborne.

He was filmed allegedly telling undercover reporters that making a large donation would be "awesome for your business", and that "things will open up for you".

All very spivvy maybe. However, quite why the media are so excited by this "revelation" is rather baffling me.

For if you go to the Tory Party's own website you will see that they openly offer dinner with Cameron, and others, in exchange for monetary gifts eg:

The Leader's Group

The Leader's Group
Annual membership: £50,000 Chairman: Howard Leigh
The Leader’s Group is the premier supporter Group of the Conservative Party. Members are invited to join David Cameron and other senior figures from the Conservative Party at dinners, post-PMQ lunches, drinks receptions, election result events and important campaign launches.

The only difference being that the site does not ask for the £200K that Cruddas was allegedly soliciting.

Here is the text of his resignation statement (which ignores the fact that the Tory Party does offer paid access to Cameron et al):

“I only took up the post of principal treasurer of the party at the beginning of the month and was keen to meet anyone potentially interested in donating.

“As a result, and without consulting any politicians or senior officials in the party, I had an initial conversation with Zenith. No further action was taken by the party.

“However, I deeply regret any impression of impropriety arising from my bluster in that conversation.

“Clearly there is no question of donors being able to influence policy or gain undue access to politicians.

“Specifically, it was categorically not the case that I could offer, or that David Cameron would consider, any access as a result of a donation.

“Similarly, I have never knowingly even met anyone from the Number 10 policy unit. But in order to make that clear beyond doubt, I have regrettably decided to resign with immediate effect.”