Monday, 18 May 2009


How does someone spend GBP18,800 on food? Even over four years. I thought food wasn't an 'allowable' expense anyway?

During my contracting days, had I tried to claim anything like that from my company HMRC (At the time still the Inland Revenue and H M Customs) would have come down on me like a large amount of red rectangular building objects. So how come UK MP's can snatch that much from the public purse without sanction? I used to claim mileage off site, yes; overnight expenses such as hotel bills (Up to fifty quid a night), yes; a Burger King for supper, with bacon butty and red bull breakfasts snatched while on the road to the next client site. Entertaining if you could prove it was job related squeaked through the books occasionally. Anything more and my accountants tended to send me cutting little reminders about the current expenses allowable under HMRC rules. Oh yes, and the downtime between jobs which you spent looking for more work, spending cash from an ever dwindling reserve. Although I shouldn't really complain, that life funded some very nice month plus long holidays in the USA and Europe. Then came ageism and the contracting downturn of 2003. Ah me. Still, it was fun while it lasted.

Then over a years work hiatus led me to take the day job spent walking the streets to pay the bills. Again, no real complaints apart from the damage caused to my feet on account of the crap footwear we were issued with. Now walking anything over six or seven miles at a stretch resurrects phantasms of pain which can almost, two years on, still literally stop me in my tracks. I'd have sued for work related injuries, but for all the time and effort I'd have to put in, I've worked out I'd still be out of pocket at the end of things. Lost working time, court appearances and all the rest. I wasn't the only one to suffer. My Doctor wrote into my medical records without prompting that my injuries were definitely down to work issued footwear.

That's all by the by. I'm just glad to see the bastards who created the economic situation leading to my work related woes begin to get their comeuppance. Blair and Brown and the rest of the New Labour crew all need a spell in chokey for what they did to the UK. But then I could see the current economic mess coming way back in '03 and '04. The same thing that every British Labour Government has ever done; tax and spend money the country hasn't got. Pissing the exchequer up the wall until the kitty was long gone. They'll never change. At least the Tories of the time never had their fingers in the public till as deeply as this current lot have. Trousers round ankles yes, but not to shaft the public finances as deeply as New Labour have.

Notwithstanding, Mrs S and I only stayed in the UK to get our girls settled into Uni. Now we're over here in British Columbia, Canada and working. We've paid our dues and their fees, and with any luck they'll be joining us to bring up the next generation of the clan.

Over here our local MP may be NDP, but I've met him, and he's a solid constituency man, not some rubber stamp party hack. Rather like the MP we used to have back in the UK constituency I once lived in. That's all rather academic.

There's nothing back in the UK I care to go back to. Although if the Parliamentary Labour party and all their special advisers were going to hang by the neck until dead in Parliament Square, London; I might be tempted to fly back and join the jeering mob. Just for a nice short holiday. That reminds me, must look at getting a new video camera with a decent zoom function.

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