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No expense spared

Press make no allowances after receipt of MPs’ claims

Daily Telegraph editor Will Lewis and some sporks

Daily Telegraph editor Will Lewis spent £500 on stock photos of sporks before realising that no MPs had claimed for sporks on expenses.

As Daily Telegraph circulation soars, journalists from newspapers throughout the UK have spent nearly a fortnight leaping into first-class trains to report on the perfidity of our parliamentary representatives from every luxury hotel in Westminster.

The Telegraph claims that it acted in the public interest by paying what was likely hundreds of thousands of pounds for documents detailing every MP’s expenses claims, when they could instead have given that money to the Inland Revenue to make up for dozens of MPs’ allowances, before setting a worthwhile news agenda for the period.

However, those in the business world, or indeed journalism, beneath the fake, circulation-boosting ire, consider MPs’ expenses to be small fry. ‘This whole “scandal” is ridiculous,’ laughed fired banker Sir Fred Goodwin. ‘Even if the scallywags use their whole allowance, they don’t even break £90k in wages. I get that from my pension every couple of months!’

Labour

Monday saw the first attacks on the government. Gordon Brown had hired a cleaner rather than spending Prime Ministerial time sweeping Number 10 himself. Chancellor Alastair Darling showed reassuring financial competence, ‘flipping’ his second home annually to perform maintenance on whichever one looked the most ramshackle.

However, some Labour MPs were repentant. Communities’ secretary Hazel Blears explained in a BBC interview that, as a career politician, nothing mattered to her except the views of her dear constituents. She said that she had realised people were ‘really angry’ and so, even though she had complied with the rules to acquire her £13,000 tax windfall, that paying it back was ‘the right thing to do’ to make sure that she gets voted back in.

Conservative

Expense fiddler buys Stradivarius with taxpayers’ money: bows to public pressure after fretting, returns it ‘no strings attached’. Returns strings after further public pressure.

David Cameron was quick to step up to the podium and look Prime Ministerly, condemning those in his party who made spurious claims on the very day that those claims were leaked to the press. Cameron, who is rich enough not to need the cash, has turned his £24,000 allowance into the same number of votes at the bank of political expediency.

The Tories hit hardest by the expenses furore have been the rich ones’ ducks, who have been left so alienated by the mainstream media’s attacks on their way of life that they have threatened to vote BNP at the next election. ‘Bloody cuckoos,’ moaned one mallard, ‘They come over here, steal our nests, and then the tabloids take our duck hotel away from us, leaving us out in the rain. “Nice weather for ducks?” My feathery arse. We’ve moved to Michael Ancram’s heated swimming pool.’

Liberal Democrats

Leader Nick Clegg was caught out with apparently excessive expenditure on improvements to his second home. He argued that this was making the taxpayer money, as he has promised to return any profit he makes in the sale of the property to the expenses office.

Following this obvious endorsement of property speculation, Lib Dem MP Marvin Wilcox explained that it might be worth giving MPs an allowance they would be allowed to use for other types of financial speculation. ‘After all,’ Wilcox explained, ‘We could make a killing investing the whole lot in BAE next time the government’s due to push through another deal or two with the Saudis!’

 

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