Well, it's finally happened—one of our thieving politicians has been put in jail for stealing our money, with malice aforethought. David Chaytor—a lying, dishonest little weasel—has been jailed for 18 months for diddling the taxpayer out of £20,000.
Ex-Labour MP David Chaytor has been jailed for 18 months for fraudulently claiming more than £20,000 in expenses.
Chaytor, 61, the former MP for Bury North, last month admitted three charges of false accounting.
He submitted bogus invoices for IT consultancy work and claimed rent he never paid on homes owned by his family, the court was told.
I have been waiting so long to see one of these bastards behind bars that I should be cracking open the champagne—except, given the extortionate level of taxation, it must be cava—but there is a cloud hanging over this whole affair.
18 months is not nearly long enough.
Let us look at the litany of quite calculated fraud engaged in by this former bastion of the Labour Party shall we?
The court heard that Chaytor was paid £12,925 for rent on a flat near Westminster between 2005 and 2006 which he owned, using a fake tenancy agreement with a "Sarah Elizabeth Rastrick" - his daughter's first and middle names.
He claimed £1,175 over 12 months but the court heard he did not pay out any money himself.
He also claimed £5,425 for renting a cottage in Summerseat, near Bury in Lancashire between September 2007 and January 2008. A police investigation discovered it was actually owned by his mother, Olive Trickett, who had moved into a nursing home in May 2007 because she had dementia.
The claim for IT support services, made in May 2006, came as "something of a surprise" to the man named in the invoice - Paul France - the court heard, because he had not billed the former MP for any work. Mr France was a Labour member who did voluntary work at Chaytor's office.
I can only agree with Prosecuting QC Peter Wright who, as reported by Guido, told the court...
“We say Mr Chaytor knew the rules, why else would he produce false documents?”
Quite so: David Chaytor planned and executed this fraud quite deliberately, and with malice aforethought.
Chaytor probably didn't think that he was doing anything really evil though: like most other people in this country, he probably thought of it as just "government cash"—magic money that just falls from the sky.
The truth is that every single pound that he stole—each one of those 20,000 pounds—was, in fact, the proceeds of some ordinary person's hard work. At the National Minimum Wage rate, David Chaytor stole over 3,372 hours—at 40 hours a week, that's over 84 weeks—of our work, our skills, our experience.
That's 18 months of someone's life stolen by this dishonest bastard: Chaytor has not even been sentenced to that long in jail. And don't forget that, assuming good behaviour, David Chaytor will be free in 9 months.
Some might criticise my hard line, citing the fact that Chayor is "facing a large legal bill for both his defence and the costs of bringing the prosecution against him".
Good. I hope that he is bankrupted and lives his twilight years in penury.
Apparently, the judge took into account the fact that Chaytor pleaded guilty to the charges: let us remind ourselves, however, that prior to his plea, he and his fellow ex-MPs tried their very best to stay out of the courts.
They wasted their time and our money on judicial reviews and appeals designed to ensure that they should not face any legal sanction at all—they argued, quite literally, that they were above the law.
It was only when it was finally ruled that the law applied to these scumbags as it does to the rest of us that Chaytor finally pleaded guilty—presumably because he not only knew that he was guilty, but because he knew his guilt was irrefutable.
Because of the convoluted run-around that Chaytor and his mates gave the justice system—at our expense—I believe that no mitigation for a guilty plea should have been allowed for.
But perhaps that is because I am a vindictive little Devil who thinks that Chaytor is simply the most egregious tip of a very big iceberg, and that a really punitive sentence would also have served as a severe warning pour encourager les autres.
Still as we are reminded, there are some more trials to come yet—and hopefully we shall see some more of these thieving bastards imprisoned over the coming weeks.
So, let us put aside the disappointment of Chaytor's ludicrously light sentence and focus, instead, on the fact that one of these venal scum is now inside.
So, let us raise our glasses of cava, and yell, in triumph, "oh frabjous day! Callooh, callay!"
UPDATE: given the withering silence of the Leftie blogs, quite the most stupid comment on this whole affair comes from Iain Dale's sort-of blog, in a post detailing the topics for discussion on his LBC show this evening.
7pm: I think David Chaytor should have been punished heavily, but not by sending him to prison. What good will it do apart from appease parts of the media?
For fuck's sake, do I really have to spell this out? What it does, Iain, is show that the law applies to everyone—even MPs who think that they can get away with fraud.
How can I put this any more simply?
David Chaytor committed fraud; as I have outlined above, he quite deliberately falsified documents in order to steal £20,000 of other people's hard-earned money. The maximum prison term that Chaytor could have been sentenced to was seven years; in fact, he was sent down for a ludicrously lenient eighteen months, of which he will serve nine.
And you think that he has been punished heavily? Hardly.
And sentencing a fraudster to jail is not done to "appease parts of the media", Iain (although that might be a side-effect): it is done to hammer home the point that the bastard has broken the law and deserves to be punished.
Is that clear enough for you?