Hopefully Geoff Hoon, along with quite a few other MPs, will have to ask himself 'Who can I turn to, when nobody needs me' come the next General Election after this little snippet of news.
To deliberately buy a house and 'convert' it into offices, transfer the title to your wife, then claim 'rent' for said offices payable to the new owner is nothing but fraudulent use of public money.
The Conservative Party should not try and make 'political capital' from this story as they, too, have a few 'skeletons in the closet'. For an MP with a reported personal fortune of £7million to claim Additional Costs Allowance is itself a scandal. To do so and also then claim a home, from which he voluntarily left, as his 'main' home is again, in my opinion, fraudelent use of public money.
Dr. Eamonn Butler of the Adam Smith Institute has an interesting article in the Mail on Sunday which can be read here. The table produced in this article does not appear in the print edition, however in the print edition are three tables, headed Top 20 MPs by multiple of average constituent's pay; Top 20 MPs by expenses and Top 20 MPs by total income.
Of table one the 20 are all Labour; of table two 12 are Labour, 4 are Conservatives and 4 are Liberal Democrats; and of table 3 19 are Labour and 1 Conservative.
Whilst it is generally accepted that the scandal of MP's allowance and expenses claims were 'all within the rules' - rules which they themselves drew up - one can only hope that if there is any justice in the world they will all be singing Van Morrison's lyrics come the next General Election.
Three words from these lyrics are actually quite appropriate as they are: Beg, Steal, Borrow.
As far as I am concerned MPs can 'beg' forgiveness for having devised rules to 'steal' from the electorate; and to 'borrow' a well known phrase, hopefully come the General Election they will be told - with a few notable exceptions - to 'go practise procreation'!
Snow walls of old Japan
2 hours ago