Socialist Worker

Miller was judged by MPs who know a lot about expenses

Issue No. 2398

 £100M Profit made by Caffe Nero since 2007 £0 Amount of tax paid by Caffe Nero on those profits since 2007

Troublemaker regular culture secretary Maria Miller was ordered to repay £5,800 for mortgage-payment claims for her “second” home. 

This was a considerable reduction in the £45,000 repayment recommended by the parliamentary standards watchdog.

The former Remploy factory killer was backed by David Cameron and pretty much nobody else by the time Socialist Worker went to press.

Though happily Miller was able to buy a converted barn for £1.2 million—roughly the same as the profit she made selling the house we paid the mortgage on.

Members of the Standards Committee who judged her are at least 

knowledgeable about expenses. For instance, Sir Kevin Barron sold his expenses-funded home for a £500,000 profit.

He then claimed £1,500-a-month to rent a London home. The flat was owned by shadow cabinet minister Jon Trickett.

This is called “contriving a tenancy” by benefit fraud investigators. 

Tory Christopher Chope claimed  £881.25 to transport a sofa 85 miles from his second home to his constituency in order to have it re-upholstered. 

We repaired his roof for £10,377 and installed a £2,600 bathroom. 

Chope also tops up the family income by employing his wife as his secretary.

Lib Dem Nick Harvey claimed £7 on expenses to attend a remembrance day service. 

Labour MP Alan Whitehead was found by the fees office to have over claimed for his mortgage interest in 2009. 

He then made a £89,400 profit when he sold his subsidised London home.

Dentist and Tory Paul Beresford designated his 

surgery as his second home, putting three-quarters of the running costs of the property on us—a total of £25,627.

Labour MP Tom Clarke designated the posh Sloane Club in Chelsea as his second home, claiming £1,500 a month while in London.

And Geoffrey Cox MP banks legal fees of almost £400,000 in outside earnings.


  • Pope Francis and the queen met last week and exchanged gifts. Pope Francis gave baby Prince George a royal orb in lapis lazuli with a silver cross.The queen presented Francis with a hamper of produce grown in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Balmoral Castle. She also gave the lucky Pope photographs of herself and Philip.

  • Former RBS boss Stephen Hester has been very generous with his time when it comes to having his portrait painted, as commissioned by his previous paymasters. He has squeezed in two sittings since Christmas to help get his oil likeness finished by summer. So what? We own RBS so are paying for the ex-banker’s portrait.?

Osborne’s friends and sibling cash in

George Osborne’s best man heads up a hedge fund which has secured profits of £36 million from the privatisation of Royal Mail. That’s the equivalent of £210,000 a day for every single day since the sale in October last year.

Peter Davies sits on the management committee of Lansdowne Partners, which snapped up shares at the offer price of just 330p. 

They are now trading  70 percent higher.

Lansdowne’s former boss Paul Ruddick was awarded a knighthood in 2012 after donating £500,000 to the Conservative Party.

  • Theo Osborne, George’s younger brother has announced plans to open an exclusive concierge service. Oligarchs only need apply for this new 24/7 concierge service—it costs between £25,000 and £50,000 a year. “We only want to take on ten families around the world,” he said, “and we’ve got two already.” Samantha Cameron is its “brand consultant”.

Putting manners on the posh kids

Young pupils at an exclusive prep school have been told they must improve their manners.

Boys at Wetherby Prep School in Notting Hill, London, were sent home for their Easter holidays with a ticking off by headmaster Nick Baker.

He wrote, “I witnessed some pretty poor behaviour from a couple of normally incredibly polite and considerate boys. 

“It was not directed at a teacher or another boy in the school, but directed towards their driver and nanny, respectively. 

“I really was taken aback by the way that these boys spoke and their lack of respect towards an adult.”

The £16,935 a year school teaches pupils who are between four and eight.

He wrote “‘I hate ending the term on a low point but I am sure you will agree that this is an important area.”

Quite so.


Fight at Farage fan farago

Troublemaker has learned more about Ukip’s Nigel Farage visit to the Reform Club in plush Pall Mall after his TV debate with Nick Clegg.   

Club members say there was “chaos” when two guests had to be restrained by club officials when Farage arrived at 10pm.

“There was lots of screaming and shouting and liberal use of the f-word,” said a peer of the realm who witnessed the fracas. “We simply do not tolerate that sort of thing.”

A Reform Club spokesman said, “The club does not comment on its own affairs”.


Cops: Injuries caused by falling down stairs

A team of fast response police officers want to be moved from the top floor of a Midlands police station. 

They keep injuring themselves when running down the stairs.

Three constables have suffered serious injuries

in the past year alone trying to get down the stairs.

Officers at Newtown Police Station in Birmingham have to walk slowly down the stairs.

One confessed, “There is a Keystone Cops element to it with officers tumbling down a flight of steps and injuring themselves before they’ve even got out of the building.”


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Article information

The Troublemaker
Tue 8 Apr 2014, 17:35 BST
Issue No. 2398
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