Monday, November 05, 2007

Ruth Kelly is a fucking chancer

As may have become more overtly obvious than ever recently, your humble Devil nurses a deep and abiding loathing for Ruth Kelly. You can therefore imagine my glee when, via the rather new and very pink Westmonster, I found that Ruth Kelly has been found to have abused her £10,000 Propaganda Communications Allowance*, and that Ben Brogan has helpfully provided an image of the offending leaflet.

The Mail on Sunday carries details of the allegations.
Cabinet Minister Ruth Kelly was last night forced to issue a public apology after misspending taxpayers' money on Labour propaganda.

The Transport Secretary has admitted wrongly spending her 'communications allowance' to shore up dwindling support in her marginal seat.

MPs can use £10,000 of public money to send out neutral leaflets, but are banned from using it to make party political statements.

But a newsletter from Ms Kelly to her Bolton West constituents, dated autumn 2007 and paid for by the allowance, repeatedly used the words 'Labour', 'Labour Party' and 'Labour Government'.

Splashed in the party's colours of red and yellow, the leaflet boasts of 'Labour's commitment to investing in the NHS'.

It seems pretty fucking clear-cut to me, and I do wonder what Ruth's invisible sky-fairy friend will have to say to her. She'll probably get off with a few Hail Marys...
The situation came to light after this newspaper obtained a copy of the Parliamentary Newsletter and Ms Kelly may now have to pay the money back.

Last night, she said: "There was no intention to do anything other than comply with the rules. However, I accept that greater care should have been taken over the exact wording, for which I unreservedly apologise.

"I will contact the Serjeant at Arms at the earliest opportunity and will, of course, abide by his decision on this matter.'

Mrs Kelly has a slim majority of 2,000 over the Conservatives. If, as expected, an Election had been called last month she was at risk of losing her seat.

So she decided to abuse the allownace that her party brought in, a £10,000 advantage that the incumbent MP has over any challenger, regardless of party affiliation. If she is found guilty of abusing this allowance, she should not merely have to pay the money back.

Because, and excuse me for pointing this out, but hasn't she defrauded the taxpayer? Isn't fraud a criminal offence? Or is it not fraud when it is one of our lords and masters frittering our money away on attempting to dupe the gullible into re-electing them?

Fuck paying the money back: in fact, we should refuse to take it back. We should, instead, drag the bitch through court for defrauding the taxpayer. Then we can demand that she repay the money and also fine her heavily. That'll teach her and the rest of those corrupt fucks.


* I did, of course, point out that this allowance was open for abuse, in The Big Red Book Of New Labour Sleaze (buy from the Amazon sidebar link and give me some money!). Here's my article...
Communication doesn't come cheap...

With a salary not far shy of £60,000, average expenses of some £130,000, an office running costs allowance of £20,000 and a prepaid envelope allowance of £7,000, one might be forgiven for thinking that MPs had all that they needed to communicate effectively with their constituents.

In March 2007, our elected representatives in the House of Commons voted to allocate themselves a £10,000 Communications Allowance to spend on websites and the like.

This is, essentially, a propaganda budget.

Let us leave aside the fact that apparently many MPs are so utterly ineffective that they need to convince their constituents that they are actually doing something to earn their massive salaries and attendant perks, and focus instead on what this budget is actually for.

It is a budget for MPs to tell their voters what a very fine job they are doing. It is, in other words, a £10,000 per year electoral advantage that the incumbent MP has over any challenger, thus entrenching their own position.

In other words, even though their material will not be allowed to contain party information, it does effectively help the incumbent party MP maintain the status quo, both for themselves and their party.

Labour's Jack Straw MP maintained that this was not the case. "The purpose of this allowance is to contribute to better public understanding of what this Parliament is about and what it does... It's important for the health of our democracy for the public to know more about what we do."

Straw added it was "not to become a propaganda tool for the use of incumbents" and it was time to "make clear what the rules are".

The only rule that MPs seem to understand is that they have control over vast amounts of our money and that all they have to do to gain access to it is to vote themselves a new perk or allowance. And these allowances are not even as fixed as one might hope: in 2005/06, the average claim on postage was £4,000 but Labour's Andrew Dismore claimed over £25,000.

And no matter what Jack Straw may tell us, this allowance will be used for shameless self-promotion. We are used to politicians grandstanding: and now they have more of our money to help them do so.

I hate to say, "I told you so"...

5 comments:

Roger Thornhill said...

Last night, she said: "There was no intention to do anything other than comply with the rules."


How about if she first sought to comply with the SPIRIT of the allowance? Rules, for any rational and honest person, would not even be necessary.

Anonymous said...

With the leaflet so promeniently featuring the the words 'Labour Government' she is either to stupid to understand the rules or has such disregard for them and the taxpayers.

Still I expect nothing less from these people.

Anonymous said...

She's going to get away with it scot-free to be fair.

The way the papers are reporting it is allowing her to use her "should have been more careful with the exact wording" excuse. Even to the extent that I didnt realise how outrageous it was until i saw the image above. Who else is going to see that image? Joe Average, as with so much else, probably doesnt give a fuck.

This is outright, unacceptable sleaze, corruption and fraud. And all Ruth Kelly has to do is say "I should have been more careful, soz." What the fucking fuck?!

mitch said...

I bet she got em done cheap and kept the difference too the fucking god bothering bull dyke.

verity said...

Also, she's fat. I don't trust fat people because they have no discipline. They think they can get away with "just a little bit extra", in the same manner as they think they will just have "one tiny" extra slice of cake.

Harriet Harmon's another fatty, as is Tessa Jowell.