Friday, May 29, 2009


Bill Cash. Bill. Cash. Cash. Bill. We’re Billed For Cash.

You can’t write about every single MP the Torygraph accuses in the extended expenses saga – even they’re taking weeks and weeks over it with dozens of writers, so you’d just never keep up with all the guilty, the dodgy and the smeared. However, some are just gifts. Tory MP Bill Cash’s dodgy claims may be less memorable than Tory duck houses, Tory servants’ quarters or Tory moats, but let’s face it, not only will both parts of his name put both of tonight’s satirical news quizzes into paroxysms of delight, but it also couldn’t happen to a nastier git.

A Tory dinosaur of the old school, ironically one of those closest to the Torygraph’s own dark soul – against Europe, gays, modernity and, well, everything, except money – Bill Cash has been paying, by which of course I mean we’ve all been paying on his behalf, for a flat in London owned by his own daughter.

Now, I’ve said before that a member of an MP’s family working for them isn’t necessarily crooked, and that a lot of the time it even gets a better deal for the taxpayer – but that isn’t the point. Because it inevitably looks crooked, it has to stop. The same applies to paying members of their family with our money for their property. If Mr Cash – who sits for a constituency in Staffordshire and so, if he has a home there as he should (I don’t know), would undoubtedly need a second home in London to do his duties there, too – had paid market rent to his daughter for a flat she would otherwise have rented out to a stranger, because he needed a second home in London… Well, that would have been seized on by the Torygraph, but it wouldn’t have been wrong. Sensible on a personal level, very foolish on a political level, but I wouldn’t point the finger.

But what’s this? Bill Cash already has a home in London. One that he owns outright, and that’s in fact closer to the House of Commons than the one he’s renting! But he doesn’t live there… Because he lets his son live there, rent free, and so Bills the rest of us to stump up the Cash for a flat he doesn’t actually need.

And playing musical flats with your family because you want to give a gift to one of them with public money is morally outrageous. That’s the Cash point.

Read John, too, for the best headline on this story.

Dirty Cash – We Don’t Want You

Bill Cash is a clear case of the sort of wrongdoing, a deliberate scam on the taxpayer, that would be tackled by Nick Clegg’s proposal yesterday to let voters recall and kick out crooked MPs.

David Cameron has said that Mr Cash faces “serious questions” over the Bill. You bet he does. But even if Mr Cameron stops him standing as a Conservative MP at the next election, taxpayers will still have to stump up the Cash to foot the Bill (yes, all right, I’ll stop now) to keep him in employment for the next year, or however long it takes for Mr Brown to reach for the vote-handled revolver. Is Mr Cameron going to back Nick’s plan for voters to take down crooks rather than have to wait for one chance every four or five years? Don’t hold your breath.

You may wonder why Mr Cameron seems so down on Bill Cash in particular, when he’s been noticeably gentler with some of the other Tory crooks. When Julie Kirkbride announced yesterday that she would stand down – though she’ll carry on pocketing her constituents’ cash until the election rather than doing the decent thing and going now – Mr Cameron was full of praise for her, and clearly wanted her back. Can he really be so shallow as to prioritise a pretty, media-friendly (until this week) face, while Bill Cash is an ugly old stick with a braying voice? Well… He probably is, yes. But there’s another possibility.

Bill Cash is in many ways the John the Baptist of Mr Cameron’s anti-European Conservative Party, the one that’s about to form a tiny group in the corner of the European Parliament with the nutters, extreme homophobes and parties that say President Obama’s election is “the end of white man’s civilisation”. Mr Cash was ranting on against Europe back when that reasonable, open-minded Mrs Thatcher was in charge and being far too wet and internationalist for his liking. Now the Tory Party’s caught up with Bill Cash’s frothing, what could possibly go wrong for him? Simple. Bill Cash is the John the Baptist of the Tory Party. Imagine how John the Baptist – dirty, smelly, out in the desert, no social graces, ranting and raving and upsetting everyone in sight – would get on with the Pope. Dripping with jewellery. Incredibly rich. Living in a palace. And you no longer have to ask why Bill Cash and David Cameron don’t mix.

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So, no chance of David Cameron being Jesus in this analogy (or at least thinking he is) then?

It really is quite awful that poor Bill Cash has finally got his comeuppance. Quite awful. My awfulness register is clearly showing a reading of "quite awful".
Or maybe cameron will act as salome in this one?
I feel your pain, Paul ;-)

I thought skipping straight to the Pope would conjure up a more appropriate image. Besides, he's not the messiah...

And I really don't want to see him dance.
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