Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail,
Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may sell wheat, making the measure sold small, and the measure bought great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?
That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the sweepings of the wheat?
The LORD hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, "Surely I will never forget any of their works".
Let's start with the works of Margaret Moran, shall we ?
Labour MP for Luton, seen here attempting to justify the unjustifiable.
Most MPs on the fiddle (i.e. nearly all of them) flip their 'second home' (which attracts all kinds of expense goodies) between their London home and their constituency home.
This convent schoolgirl flipped her second home between the two in traditional style, but then flipped it last year to a third house in Southampton, 90-odd miles from Westminster and 100-plus from Luton, which was owned by her lover and which she'd just become part-owner of. Immediately she claimed expenses of £22,500 for dry-rot treatment.
Now an uncharitable person might assume that when her paramour discovered the dry-rot, they jointly hatched a plot to get the taxpayer to stump up for it. You just can't stop cynical people having ridiculous ideas like that. That an MP could behave in such a way is of course unthinkable.
On 10 May 2009 she defended her expenses claim on the BBC Politics Show as follows:
Margaret Moran: "I have to be able to have a proper family life sometimes which I can't do unless I share the costs of the Southampton home with him (her partner, Booker)."
Andrew Sinclair: "But why should the taxpayer pay for your home in Southampton when clearly you are not using it for work?"
Margaret Moran: "Well, I... I... I...you could argue that I use it to be able to sustain my work. Any MP has to have a proper family life.
Two points. Strange that she needs to go to Southampton when Mick Booker's Companies House address is given as Luton, and he's also on the electoral roll there, sharing a house with a voter called Margaret Moran. Mick does (or did) indeed work in Southampton - and from this 2002 photograph he's more prepossessing than his mercenary mort. Is Health and Safety Officer at Southampton Uni a more important job than an MPs ? Can't he get up to Luton to keep Margaret suitably sustained and serviced ?
Maybe she had to go down to Southampton Docks to give him a tug.
Second, and this is the one that gets me, is this nagombi about "family life". She's got no kids (like so many other 70s Sociology grads). What family ? Does sleeping with someone constitute a family ? Perhaps we should all have got bigger student grants back in those liberated, unGodly 70s days ? After all, we all had families ... some of us more than one ...
"Well, I... I... I...you could argue that I use it to be able to sustain my work."
For God's sake ! Mark Oaten could have said the same thing about his rent-boys ! Lord Lambton could have said the same thing about his prostitutes - and his dope for that matter. Perhaps we could indeed all do with a quickie to sustain us - but how many of us charge it to the taxpayer ?
What do her fecund, pious Muslim constituents see in her ? I suppose God is the Knower.
This fubsy, fraudulent fornicator is a disgrace even to the disorderly House that is the Commons.
UPDATE - I was going to mention Blears Capital Gains Tax shenanigans, millionaire Shaun Woodward's claims, Jack Straw's dodgy Council Tax deals, the Repairs of the House of Ussher. I haven't the heart. Apart from a few saints like Hollobone and Dennis Skinner, the main difference seems to be that some are bigger crooks than others. Oh, and did you know that all Blair's expenses were "accidentally" shredded ? And that Thursday was a good day to bury the news that Labour's dodgy Abrahams contributions won't be prosecuted ?
I've always been, in Neville Chamberlain's words, a man of peace to the depths of my soul. But I don't know. I'm starting to think that all those ranting commenters looking for lamp posts and hempen rope may not have been as mad as I thought.
UPDATE2 - the first Tories are in. Michael Gove and Francis Maude look in trouble.