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29 April 2008

Lisbon Treaty in the Bundestag

Germany worries as well as all the other countries of Europe, even if not for the same reasons!

23 April 2008

MEPs vote for Cover Up

Cover up and corruption continues as usual, this report is in the Daily Telegraph.

Happy St Georges Day

19 April 2008

Celebrating the death of Democracy and the end of parliamentary supremacy.

09 April 2008

Ireland fighting back through song

Evil Men Indeed

05 April 2008

British MPs continue to learn from their EU colleagues

The following details of expense summaries for a few Westminster MPs, released yesterday, comes from The Independent, linked here.

In 2003-04 Mr Prescott was living in grace-and-favour accommodation at Admiralty House in Whitehall. He did not claim anything towards a mortgage on his constituency home in Hull. But he received £20,057.44 under the ACA in 2003-04, including £7,657.82 towards repairs and maintenance and £2,953.06 for utility bills. Stocking his larder cost the taxpayer precisely £4,000.

In the same year, Mr Blair claimed £174.41 towards food, while Mr Brown, the former Tory leader Michael Howard, and Charles Kennedy, the former Liberal Democrat leader, paid for all their own provisions.

Overall, Mr Blair received £15,489.78 under the ACA, which included £4,523.72 towards his mortgage payments and £5,235.80 in utility bills. He also received the £116 cost of a television licence.

In 2003-04 Mr Brown notched up a £11,826.81 bill to cover flights between his Scottish constituency and London. But Downing Street sources last night expressed surprise at this figure, saying that a typing mistake may have occurred.

Separate figures covering 2005-06 showed that Mr Cameron recouped £21,293.86 of his mortgage payment costs as the value of both his properties boomed. He also claimed £65.50 for "telephone and communications", bringing his total ACA claim to £21,359.36. The cash went towards paying for his home in his Witney constituency in Oxfordshire. The Tory leader also owns a house in Notting Hill, west London.

The next highest mortgage claims were made by two other senior members of Mr Cameron's team – George Osborne, the shadow Chancellor, who claimed £18,360.52, and William Hague, the shadow Foreign Secretary, who got £18,626.

A Tory spokesman said it supported publication of the details and reiterated that all three men had complied fully with the rules on expenses. But one Liberal Democrat MP said: "Is it really right that the system allows Mr Cameron, who isn't exactly hard-up, to pay off the mortgage on a big house in the countryside."

Mr Brown's total ACA payment of £18,680.52 in 2005-06 included £4,981 for cleaning, as well as £4,918 for repairs, insurance and security, £2,385 for food, £2,132 for service and maintenance and £1,941 for "TV subscriptions/licence and internal upkeep".

The claims were released after the Commons decided not to fight a freedom of information order. However, it is still resisting calls for more details of claims to be released. The Commons authorities are taking that battle to the High Court, arguing that revealing details such as MPs addresses would breach their privacy and be a security risk.

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