The Lady Scotland affair rumbles on, with the noble Baroness having dodged paying tax on her housekeeper's wages.
A Mail on Sunday investigation has discovered that Britain’s most senior lawyer flouted a series of basic regulations.
We can reveal that she failed to deduct income tax from Loloahi Tapui’s wages for the first ten weeks of employment. And Ms Tapui claims the Peer did not give her payslips or a formal employment contract.
The Baroness first faced calls to resign after it was disclosed that she had employed Ms Tapui, 27, without correctly checking her immigration status. She avoided the sack but was fined £5,000 by the UK Border Agency.
Now our inquiries have prompted fresh questions about her judgment.
Baroness Scotland wrote Ms Tapui’s weekly pay cheques to the housekeeper’s husband, solicitor Alexander Zivancevic, from her Coutts bank account.
Ms Tapui asked her to do this, saying she did not have a bank account, which should have made the Peer suspicious of her employee’s immigration status.
Ms Tapui also claims she was never given a written contract or wage slips, contravening the Employment Rights Act 1996.
She adds that the Peer only clarified her tax position after the MPs’ expenses scandal broke in May.
Let me make it quite clear—again—why these breaches are significant (because, let's face it, your humble Devil does not think that cheating the taxman is of any moral significance): first, it is because Lady Scotland is the government's top legal adviser and, second, because she has helped to draft and push through many of these laws.
These laws have been used to harass and punish many ordinary, hard-working men and women of this country.
And because our law-makers must—must—live under the same laws that they make for us. We already know that they have given themselves exemptions from some laws—this is absolutely beyond the pale but, alas, entirely legal.
So, where they have broken laws that do apply to them, as well as us, they must be hounded and harried with exactly the same fervour as we would be.
This is not purely out of spite (although, I'll grant you, there' s most definitely some) but because, if the laws are bad, then these bastards might be moved to change them and thus benefit us all.
That is the general argument.
In the case of Lady Scotland in particular, her inability to abide by the law—presumably, we assume, out of ignorance—throw serious doubt on her ability to do the job of Attorney-General.
And the news of two high-profile cases of government illegality—in the share capital case and in the video rating system—provide further evidence of her unfitness for the job.
Baroness Scotland has got to go—for reasons that are both ideological and practical.