Friday, 15 May 2009

Decisive, isn't he?

My estimable opponent, old Lazarowicz there, has had an interesting couple of days. First he dived head first into the abuse of expenses story when he wanted to give money back before the Telegraph got to him, leading the unicycling blogger to speculate on what else the Telegraph might be bringing up, but Mark managed to start a few rumours about himself by saying:

"I know people have said to me, or behind my back, that work that has been done
in my (Edinburgh] home has been public-funded, but that is not the case

That's why it is so important that we get our reputations cleaned up and out of the mire.

"I have a family home in Edinburgh and have never claimed a penny of taxpayers' money for that. I own a small (London) flat which I have maintained moderately. I believe I can defend all this spending."

You can tell it's a small London flat, the mortgage interest is only £15,000 a year - must be tiny. But why make the comment about his Edinburgh home when he hadn't been asked? It makes him look like he's hiding something, and no-one had even suggested that he was in the frame before he dashed forward to repay some money that no-one had noticed.

There's another thing - he claims that this legal battle for which he thought he'd better repay £2,675 "certainly took a year or so, and it did cost more than £5300". Except he links to two expenses claims, one totalling £265.73 and the other £2,702.50 - a total of £2,698.23, and he thinks that £2,675 is half of that.

Maybe it's his own dodgy arithmetic that's worrying him so much? Or did he double-claim?

If all that wasn't bizarre enough, he's now saying that he 'over-reacted' in deciding to pay back what he shouldn't have claimed in the first place. He claims to have been bounced into refunding the taxpayer by the actions of other people in London. Surely we deserve a better representative than someone who is bounced into making decisions by an "hysterical atmosphere" or someone who thinks that his behaviour is fine because it "pales into insignificance against some of the things that have come out"?

Having cast a quick glance over the bits of information about his claims that are in the public domain, it appears that they are not vastly unreasonable - but he didn't know that, or claims not to have known that, and you have to question whether someone who has such a lack of faith in his own judgement should be sitting in any legislature.

What we need is a new MP for Edinburgh North and Leith - but I would say that, wouldn't I?

1 comment:

subrosa said...

Mr Robertson has blotted the SNP copybook but hopefully labour won't play on that. The SoS for Scotland seems to have come out as well as Pete Wishart although I haven't seen the details. Does Murphy receive an EU payment?