Time was when the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance, named because it is not an alliance of taxpayers, but an Astroturf lobby group dedicated to demonising Government of any kind, claimed to be “non-partisan”. Back in the day, TPA talking head Susie Squire admonished LBC’s Gammon Emeritus Nick Ferrari when he suggested she may be a conservative, which she was. But all of this has changed, although the TPA’s hypocrisy has not.
More recently, the face of the TPA was Chloe Westley, who is a declared conservative, and had so little problem with Government waste that she has now joined in the process. Still, the pretence has to be kept up that the group has taxpayers’ interests at heart, and so has come the TPA’s latest Friday Thoughts, aimed at Commons Speaker John Bercow.
“DID YOU KNOW that John Bercow claimed £367 of taxpayers' money on a chauffeur-driven car to Luton in 2013, so that he could give a speech on how MPs were restoring their reputations after the expenses scandal?!” howls their Twitter feed, showing considerable desperation by linking to the Daily Brexit, still called the Express.
So Speaker Bercow booked a taxi from Westminster to Luton and back six years ago. The amount claimed probably included waiting time at Luton while the speech was given. Colour me cynical, because I am cynical, but, so what? And then a more significant thought occurs - £367 pales into insignificance compared with one politician’s waste.
That politician is alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, and the litany of waste he has accumulated during his two terms pretending to be London’s Mayor, and his subsequent return to Parliament, tots up to rather more than £367. Including all the probably wasted preparation for a No Deal Brexit, it goes well into the billions.
As London’s Mayor, to use Bozo’s own happy phrase, he “spaffed up the wall” millions on a study for a new airport in the Thames estuary which was never going to get built, millions on a fleet of 1,000 vanity buses, millions on a vanity cable car which now has no regular users at all, hundreds of thousands on water cannon which were never used and had to be sold off for scrap, and a six-figure sum on the activities of one Jennifer Arcuri.
Then there’s the tens of millions he wasted on a Garden Bridge that will, thankfully, never be built. Now Bozo is PM, he’s overseen billions wasted on No Deal Brexit preparations, and even £100 million blown on a “Get Ready For Brexit On October 31” advertising campaign that has had to be pulled - because it won’t be happening.
John Bercow would have had to add a whole string of zeroes to his £367 to compete with the money-wasting antics of Bozo The Clown. So what has the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance had to say about that litany of waste? But you know the answer: Nothing. Nix. Nil. Nada. Zilch. Zip. Zero. Not a sausage. Bugger all. Silence.
Why the hypocrisy? Simples. Bercow is a hate figure of the right-wing press, who will eagerly publish the TPA’s nugget of naysaying. But Bozo The Clown is one of their own, a journalist, someone who’s going to keep them sweet. He’s their pal. He’s also a right-wing Brexiteer, just like his press pals, and just like the TPA. So he gets a free pass.
The TPA never was about highlighting Government waste. But you knew that already.
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