Sunday, May 30, 2010

one Laws for the rich....

The usual suspects of ConDem politicians and sycophantic journalists rush to assure us of the Good Nature and Honest Intent of David Laws, the arch slasher of the coalition, who we are earnestly informed should not be made to suffer too long for his 'attempt to keep his personal relationship a secret', and that the £40,000 he falsely claimed was not a great deal of money and far less than he might have claimed. Laws had been living with his partner since 2004 and claiming housing costs for 'renting a room'.

Meanwhile on Friday a Norfolk mother, Sarah Riley, was imprisoned for falsely claiming £10,000 in housing benefit over a period of 7 years after negletting to inform the authorities that she had started a relationship.
Jailing her for 20 weeks, judge Alasdair Darroch, told her he accepted that prison would be devastating for her but said: “This is a very large sum of public money and there was dishonesty going on for a long period of years.”

He accepted her relationship with her partner had not been stable but said: “I'm unable to avoid a prison sentence.”

Apparently Class is no longer an issue in 21st century Britain.


Dave E said...

David Laws' £40,000 of illegally claimed expenses is more than 3 times my annual income.

Anonymous said...

It's three times my *maximum* ever annual salary.

I'm more prolie that you!

Dave E said...

Well done Alec, I bow to your proliness and hereby award you the 'Prolier Than Thou' award.

Anonymous said...

I spent the afternoon laying leeks and onions and beets so I can eat this autumn... that's how prolie I am!

That said, I did set aside some space for asparagus roots which won't be ready until at least next year, so I realize I ain't that desperate.

Henry Wood said...

The link you give says she falsely claimed more than £76,000 in benefits so it appears she was not jailed over a false claim £10,000 as your story suggests. I suppose it makes a better blog story and suits your party line to only mention the housing benefit part of it.

Changing information/facts in this way is what makes so many blogs worthless.

Anonymous said...

The emphasis was on her being gaoled, and the housing benefits directly comparable to Laws' "rent".

Even the second figure you quote is less than twice that which Laws wrongly claimed for; which was a paltry amount compared to his personal fortune.

Anonymous said...


Even if it was £76,000 it's far less than some MPs who only had to stand up and say "I'm a thief and I'm sorry" in front of a room full of thieves who weren't sorry because they weren't getting nabbed at the time.

Can I infer from your post that you are OK with ordinary women, or indeed men, being jailed for stealing money from the government, but perfectly OK with the Lords and MPs stealing far more and getting away with it?

Henry Wood said...

To tris:
No, you can infer no such thing from my post and if you had read it properly you would not be asking such a question.
My point, which I will repeat for *your* benefit, is blogs should be as accurate as possible when they post what are claimed to be facts. Otherwise they become just like the red top tabloids - altering a story to suit their point of view - and *in my opinion* then become just as worthless and untrustworthy as a lot of today's mainstream media.

darren redstar said...

its my blog, its my opinion.

Henry Wood said...

darren redstar:
As it happens I quite agree with your opinion. I think the jail sentence on the woman was an extreme and harsh punishment especially as this seems to be the first time she has ever broken the law.

My original comment was regarding your apparent statement of fact that a Norfolk woman was imprisoned for falsely claiming £10,000 in housing benefit. She wasn't. She was jailed for fraudulently claiming £76,000 benefits and no matter what anyone's opinion, there is a vast difference between £10K and £76K.

I can no more ask you to print the truth in your blog than I can ask the editors of the Sun, Mail or Mirror to print the truth. But so long as you make your blog public and invite comments I am free to comment on the content. However, commenting on a blog where the editor cannot see the difference between facts and opinion seems a waste of time so I doubt if I'll bother you again.
Thank you for your time.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wood:

I think the point is that it hardly matters what the amount is. A theft is a theft. And people like this woman are sent to prison whilst people like Jackie Smith only have to admit to being thieves and rather stupid, in front of a whole pile of thieves and rather stupid thieves at that.

It doesn't seem fair to me.

But it was ever thus. I just wish that by the 21st century we'd have sorted that out.

Not my place to reply to the fact that you won't be back, but it seems you are rather easily discouraged....