Saturday, 23 May 2009

Recommendations for the next expenses scandal

Like many people, I am enormously disappointed by the revelations of MPs' use of their expenses. These are the people we have elected to run our country, and what do they do? Blow all our cash on their houses. I expect better. After all, this is massively, deeply, offensively dull. Blast it, I want more imagination than farting about on the property market. If all they wanted to do was waste other people's money on homes, they should have become estate agents, and been more popular, to boot.

Ashamed by these revelations, I have felt compelled to assemble some recommendations for the sort of things I want to see next time there's an expenses scandal. Please add your own, and eventually perhaps our collective recommendations could be sent to, I don't know, the Telegraph?


£1,000 Customised snow-plough for shovelling poor people from the path of gigantic car.

£16,000 Installation of secret passages in Gothic hilltop abode.

£10,000 Live-in grape-peeler. Grapes not included.

£15 Megaphone for increasing volume of English when speaking to foreigners.

£2,000,000 Para-military operation to take over small African country.

£12,000,000 Research grant for development of giant, heavily armed, robotic Margaret Thatcher.

£350,000 Underground lair, plus hot-tub.

£17 Subscription to The Chap magazine. Complete absence of irony: priceless.

£2 Tipping the houseboy for turning off Have I Got News For You particularly promptly.

£2,000 Cleaning of moat. Oh, wait...


£250,000 Bribing the watchdogs not to take action for continuing to trade under the now inappropriate name of 'Labour Party'.

£100,000 Bribing publishers to remove 'nationalisation' from all major dictionaries. Cost includes a year's supply of pencils.

£3,000 Gordon Brown's smiling lessons. Costs expected to continue.

30p Packet of crisps for making 'bang' noise, in attempt to remove more elderly Tory opposition.

£6,000,000 Flying in spare coal mine from Russia.

£9,000 Addition of priest hole to London abode, since crypto-Catholicism seemed to work for the last fellow.

£10,000,000 Research grant for time machine to take us back to 1997, when it all seemed to make sense.

£5,000 Exit plan.

£50 Boxed set of Rebus DVDs.

£10 Pornography. Oh, wait...

Liberal democrat:

£17,500 Bribing the Greens not to win an embarrassingly larger number of votes. Price includes collection of attractive canvas shoulder bags.

£600 Yogic flying lessons.

£5 Bucket, for the catching of tears.

£11.99 Politics for Dummies. Paperback edition.

£4.50 Catnip and ball of wool for sickeningly cute party political broadcast.

£25,000 Cheeky Girl delivery and maintenance.

£200,000 Hiring performers of popular music from the land of youth for Obama-style rock and roll extravaganza. Accidental hiring of Clifford Richard.

£22,000 Commissioning historian to write account of past Liberal glories. Accidental hiring of David Irving.

£50 Trouser press. Oh, wait...

Obviously it's easiest to come up with entries for the Tories, because with the disconcerting, certain-he-must-be-up-to-something exception of David 'I thought I'd signed up to New Labour' Cameron, they're basically a collection of cackling villains from Victorian novels. On the other hand, Labour are slightly more difficult because they don't seem to have an ideology any more. It's harder still to come up with anything for the Lib Dems, but not necessarily because they've been less villainous: I just end up feeling slightly sorry for them.

Just for the record, I know these aren't all personal expenditure items, and that many are instead party funding issues. Sorry about this - I did start out with the best of intentions, but became slightly carried away. Which, incidentally, is the same explanation some of the MPs have been giving. Frankly, this list could go on for ages, long after it ceases to be relevant (a bit like the Conservatives, then?).

Incidentally, I want this year's all-MP pantomime special to be a re-make of The Good, The Bad And The Ugly. In fact, they could do it every year, but switch around who plays whom, and possibly change the ending a bit (alright, a lot) depending on how depressingly influential the Daily Mail was that year.

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