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Bexley Labour Party - Hypocrites?

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Labour hypocrisy
Labour hypocrisy

The Labour party sent me the leaflet on the left in July 2009. It tells me that the former Conservative leader of Bexley council, Ian Clement, entertained five of his councillor colleagues “at your expense” and asks me to “keep this card and don’t forget what the Conservatives have done in Bexley, when you come to vote in May 2010”.

Mr. Clement is a naughty boy who spent a lot of money on his taxpayer (GLA) funded credit card that may have been outside the terms and conditions under which it was provided. He is now being prosecuted for entertaining his friends and colleagues to meals at a cost of £227. If that is all that could be legitimately pinned on him I am “surprised” (in Mr. Clement’s own reported words) that public funds are being squandered on this mini-scandal.

Contrast that with what the Labour hypocrites get up to.

MP for Thamesmead & Erith. John Austin claimed £23,083 expenses while Ian Clement was living it up to the tune of £227. The Daily Telegraph reported that he was the clear winner out of all 646 MPs in the ‘buy a flat, do it up at our expense, sell it on; repeat as often as you can’ stakes.

The Telegraph reported that he claimed £10,000 to decorate a flat 11 miles from his main home, made a profit of £30,000 when he sold it and bought a new flat a whole 1.5 miles away. The stamp duty was paid by you and me and then he claimed £15,000 to bring it up to his standards. He sold that at a fat profit and did the whole thing over again. You can read the Telegraph’s full report here. All that profit is in addition to the expenses claim.

Meanwhile the Conservative MP for the neighbouring constituency, David Evennett, claimed nothing at all. That’s it. Not even his food or his toilet rolls. How anyone could claim for toilet rolls for a second home beats me. I know that MPs produce it in huge quantities but surely it is the same amount whether they are sitting on their home throne or the tax payer funded one.

Mr. Evennett’s Labour predecessor Nigel Beard, thrown out by the electorate in 2005, wasn’t such good value. According to a reply to a Freedom of Information request he claimed for a second home, £400 a month for food, £248 a month for cleaning, another £106 a month for ‘service charges’ and £1,263 for tree cutting and the repair of fences and gates. There was another £910 for a brick wall. It would seem that local Labour politicians are all in the job to enjoy the perks and take cheap shots at their rivals.

Does the local Labour party take us all for fools? We know that politicians of all persuasions tend to lack any morals but surely the bloody big crack pots shouldn’t be stupid enough to call the tiny kettle black? And poke their hypocrisy through everyone’s letter box for all of us to read!

September 2009

Further research suggests that I was unduly lenient on Ian Clement, not only was he convicted of misappropriating £227 he also has to repay more than two thousands of pounds to Bexley council which he had wrongly claimed and which Bexley council have tried very hard to cover from the public gaze. My understanding is that the matter is still in the hands of the law so I will say no more until things come to a head - if they do.

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