Erring MPs are ‘cheerleading’ heavy sentences for others
In the Guardian, John Harris compares the sentences of the ‘Facebook pair’ with those of the MPs jailed for taking tens of thousands from the public purse and those who paid back hefty misappropriated sums, and points out that some of these political miscreants are now “cheerleading for the sentencing craziness that has seized the courts.”
Those named include:
Keith Vaz, the chairman of the home affairs select committee that will play a key role in investigating the riots, who also repaid a handsome £18,949.82;
Michael Gove, lately heard bemoaning an “absence of discipline in the home and in the school”, who had to agree to pay back £7,000, spent on furniture and fittings for his house in north Kensington.
David Cameron, who repaid a £680 home repair bill;
Oliver Letwin, who returned £2,000, the cost of repairing a leaking pipe under his home tennis court;
and Hazel Blears, who had to repay £13,332 capital gains tax and said in the Commons last week: “For me, the politics of law and order and of security and protecting our citizens have . . . always been about the difference between right and wrong.”
John Harris quotes a recent letter to the Guardian from Michael Trevallion of Birmingham which has been copied far and wide:
”Why has no one suggested offering an amnesty for those convicted of stealing goods up to an estimated value of, say, £500?
“This could be called the Hazel Blears option: an offender in full public view hands into the court a cheque for the amount of the goods stolen.”
Read John Harris’ article here.
£20: the amount which Stephen Craven claimed he paid for TV looted during riots.
£1,763: the amount that MP Hazel Blears claimed from taxpayers for two TVs for her London residence.