Thursday, 2 July 2009

Mexican Stand-Off

SO the Labourists have decided to go after George "Ozzy" Osborne over his expenses claims. They've started by getting unknown constituency loyalist , Laurie Burton, to make a complaint to the standards authority, according to Sky.

The complaint to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner came from the chairman of the Labour Party in Mr Osborne's Tatton constituency, Laurie Burton.

In a letter to Mr Burton confirming that he will investigate the complaint, John Lyon said: "In essence, your complaint is that between 2001 and 2003 Mr Osborne wrongly identified his main home for the purposes of his claims against the Additional Costs Allowance, and that from 2003 Mr Osborne claimed for mortgage payments that were not necessarily incurred contrary to the rules of the house."

Mr Lyon said he would write to Mr Osborne and ask for his comments.

There could be one of any number of reasons for the suspicious timing of this complaint: revenge for the Tory's huge success with the "Brown is a liar" theme, with Mandelson (who's caused huge problems for Osborne before, lest we forget the Russian yacht incident of 2008) its chief schemer. Or it is the opening salvo of a tit-for-tat exchange which will escalate and could go nuclear, resulting in vast political casualties and further constitutional fallout.

There are other possibilities, for example that this is yet another cynical, desperate Labour ploy (the complaint will most likely not be upheld) to hijack a political news agenda increasingly dominated by further terrible recession data, a growing government funding crisis, the prospect of another bank failure and the dishonesty of Gordon Brown. It will fail because, first, of the suspicion that this is a weak complaint: why, for instance, wasn't it made sooner. Second, Labour are playing a seriously dangerous game by encouraging an ethical arms race, given the scale of their own misbehaviour. This will just look like hypocrisy (which is most-likely why they've hired a mouthpiece form outside parliament to do the dirty work. They really do think we are that stupid).

So, "flat-footed" and "desperate" are the words I would use to describe this latest move from the smearist wing of the Brownite-Mandelsonian tendency. Mexican stand-offs are usually fatal for all involved. I wonder whether someone in Labour has just pulled the trigger that ends-up, when the gunsmoke clears, with 500+ corpses of MPs' careers scattered around the village. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

In the meantime at the very least someone with some kind of vision and nerve in the Labour party should tell Brown once and for all: this kind of crap doesn't work any more.


  1. To further develop a Western metaphor- Labor might have brought a knife to a gunfight here, but I doubt whether this will herald the end. That's more likely to come when the potential fraudsters are cleared or charged. If Uddin & co. aren't prosecuted, then it will be time for the Tories to weigh in. They can't so so at the moment because all those cases are effectively sub judice, so we'll have to wait.

    This has Mandelson's fingerprints all over it, and for once his nous has escaped him and it's all motivated by pure spite.

    What a set of bastards they are.

  2. Ooops, sticky keyboard.

    Couple of spelling mistales there.

  3. Why would a multi-millionaire scam £4995? It doesn't make sense. I thought something was amiss when I heard about the complaint but to find that the person who raised this is a Labour bigwig in Osbourne's constituency doesn't shock me in the slightest. Let's hope someone raises questions about the cabinet. Including Brown himself.

  4. Agree, Oik. The "Mexican Stand Off" thing was a bit of fun. But I reckon if the Labourists are dumb enough to press this one, there will be casualties.

    Not sure they will, though. Uncle Bob is dead right: the whole thing makes no sense, apart from as a pathetic piece of political revenge. My word, this government is rotten to its core.

  5. Telegraph expenses scandal,yesterdays news7/03/2009 12:40:00 am

    Let them trade punch for punch.they'll do themselves more damage that way

  6. I want to know how Brown justifies subscribing to Sky TV on the taxpayer dime. Why should we be paying for him to watch sports?

  7. Seems like Osborne let a one-off opportunity slip when he backed down over that whole Corfu thingy. I remember thinking at the time that he/they wouldn't get a better chance to rid themselves of Mandelson.

    Mandelson's presence on that yacht was far more significant than Osbourne's (although Osbourne shouldn't have been there either - isn't he rich enough???)


Any thoughts?