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Wednesday 25 March 2015

Sarah Vine - Stacks Of Money

Following my calling out of her appalling hypocrisy of writing a sneering denunciation of Mil The Younger’s kitchen arrangements, while she and her husband had, unlike the Labour leader, not been content to pay for their own, but charged it to expenses (before being forced to pay the money back after the scandal over expense payments broke), Sarah Vine found herself also given the full treatment by Private Eye.
Maybe not as many stacks of money as Sam's husband, though

This was followed by yet more adverse comment, and that by Observer food writer Jay Rayner tipped Ms Vine over the edge. She declared that he should not be commenting publicly, because, dammit, they were both journalists: “Jay, you of all people - and to think you used to be a colleague on the Mail On Sunday” she whined plaintively. It just wasn’t fair, and never mind her husband Michael “Oiky” Gove’s expense claims.

Gove had, in the three years before the expense scandal hit, claimed more than £66,000 of them. He “even claimed for a £34.99 foam cot mattress in Feb 2006 from Toys 'R’ Us – despite children’s equipment being banned under Commons rules”. But Ms Vine was adamant: the Private Eye piece was a “twisted interpretation”, and the Milibands claimed less because they “have stacks of money”.

And at that point, the bullshit detector began to scream long and loud. Gove was a well-remunerated servant of Rupert Murdoch at the Times for nine years before entering Parliament. He and Ms Vine bought their Kensington home back in 2002 for £430,000, which suggests they must have been able to demonstrate their income was more than sufficient to cover mortgage repayments.

Gove also managed to shell out £395,000 for a constituency home near Guildford soon after becoming an MP. Again, the mortgage lender would have needed proof that he had the means to keep up the repayments. And while we’re talking “stacks of money”, while in the process of moving house, “he stayed for a night at the Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa, charging the taxpayer more than £500 for a single night’s stay”.

The thought enters that by this time, especially with Ms Vine remaining a well-paid columnist for the Times, and of course more recently the Mail, it was not just the Milibands who had “stacks of money”. And one might have felt a little more sympathy for Ms Vine’s predicament if her husband had not taken such a sneering and dismissive attitude to the less well off, especially on the subject of food banks.

Poor forced to use food banks? They've only got themselves to blame for making bad decisions, says Michael Govetold the Mail, and the headlines aren’t going to get any better elsewhere. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that Gove and Ms Vine have no room to call anyone else out for having “stacks of money”, and that the only person making a “twisted interpretation” of the situation is the pundit using those words.

Sarah Vine and her husband - a study in ultimate greed, chutzpah - and hypocrisy.


Alex Talbot said...

Spot on, couldn't be happier than to hear that the repulsive Ms Vine is feeling the heat. Well you know what they say, if you can't stand the heat...

rob said...

She laid on the whine in the words that she wrote
That she and her husband were fearfully used
Whilst writing with venom, that others might quote
She gives it, yet takes it like she's been abused

Sarah, Sarah
Michael Portillo wanted to change your mind
Sarah, Sarah
So easy to write harsh, so hard to be kind.

She and her husband take cash from the plebs
The tax fund contributes to their way of life
Yet still she whinges like a cast off celeb
That others have it better than a Minister's wife.

Sarah, Sarah
Private Eye think that you've twisted the facts
Sarah, Sarah
Bloody hell, I just think you're cracked!

organic cheeseboard said...

Chief Whip salary is £145,492 (without anything else like payment for journalism etc). Vine's Mail salary will likely be around 70-100k a year, without her other interests. Their London house, when they tried (and failed?) to sell it in 2012, was valued at £1.35mil, so is likely worth about £1.6mil today. Even if their other house hasn't increased in value at all (and it almost certainly has), they're clearly worth either the same, or more, than the Milibands according to property ownership.

I understand the point of these attacks - to try to make the Milibands look like they're moneyed and not 'average people' - but everyone knows this anyway.

What's funniest about her spat with Jay Rayner was its demonstration that she considers herself and Gove untouchable because they're journalists - she got the hump with Rayner because he is a former colleague and thus, apparently, owes her loyalty. This, of course, is true to an extent - Gove's contacts have protected him from exposure, as have those of Boris Johnson.

She also berated Rayner (educated at the University of Leeds) for living in an 'ivory tower', but she is a UCL graduate and married to an Oxford graduate and perennial contributor to Newsnight Review when it was on. Bizarre.