Wednesday, 20 May 2009


Tony Blair claimed more than £10,600 for a new kitchen for his home in his one-time Sedgefield constituency. It emerged that the former Premier was warned that he and his wife Cherie could face the bailiffs over an unpaid water bill. Northumbrian Water informed them that they had fallen £147.11 into arrears. A letter from the company to Mrs Blair said: 'We appreciate that you may be experiencing some financial difficulties.'

Prime Minister Tony Blair's former constituency home in Trimdon where he had a new kitchen worth £10,600 fitted

I see … something costing nearly 11 grand that YOU are paying for, is paid no problem; but something costing less than £150 that HE has to pay for … a warning for non-payment.

That article’s a good one – well worth a visit, and Blair isn’t the only one it has information about.

But let’s take a closer look at the financial shenanigans surrounding that house and that Prime Minister shall we? Shall we? Oh yes, I think we shall indeedy…

Tony Blair took out a mortgage of almost £300,000 on his constituency house – double its estimated value – to help fund his growing property empire.

The unusually generous arrangement, revealed in a breakdown of MPs’ expenses, was last night condemned by critics who said it highlighted how politicians could use their taxpayer-funded second homes as ‘cash machines’.

I have to ask – could YOU get a 200% mortgage?

Mr Blair bought Myrobella, in Trimdon, County Durham, when he won his Sedgefield seat in the 1983 General Election.

In her recently published memoirs, Cherie Blair said they bought it for £30,000 ‘and then spent the same again doing what was absolutely necessary’.

But documents released this weekend under freedom of information legislation show that in 2004 the pair were claiming back interest payments on a mortgage totalling £90,449.73, indicating they were claiming for a loan in excess of the £60,000 cost of buying and fitting out the property.

More than merely “in excess” – that’s a full 50% "in excess". If YOU tried that you’d be done for FRAUD; and as it’s taxpayer money we’re talking about, you WOULD do some serious indoors time. 30 grand’s worth of Benefits cheating, or tax evasion – what would that get you? After all, it all comes out of that pot marked “Taxpayer Money”. YOUR money.

Let’s sum that up: he buys a house for 30 grand, spends another 30 doing it up. Total – 60 grand. Fair enough so far, I suppose … but then he claims – out of YOUR money – for a mortgage of 90 grand. Over the years, the house increases in value to 150 grand (well, it increases in price – but is that the same thing as value? Never mind: that is, as they say, a whole other argument to be saved for another day). Then to fund another step in his property empire he takes out a mortgage on this 150 grand house for … 300 grand.

I think we are looking at a major criminal here (and that’s before taking a million murdered Iraqis into consideration).

At the time of the remortgage, Mr Blair was negotiating the £3.6million purchase of the five-bedroom Georgian house in Connaught Square, Central London, which has become his main base since leaving Downing Street.

Financial experts were puzzled at how he managed to secure financing on his Prime Ministerial salary.

Apart from the Trimdon home, which is still registered in his name, his property portfolio also includes two Bristol flats bought in 2002 for £260,000 each and a stately home in Buckinghamshire that cost him £4million this year.
(and the Connaught Square house)

Go read it all here:

Now then – shall we take a closer look at Blair’s property empire? Yes we shall. It all starts with that house in County Durham, pictured above …

Not only has the property increased in value ten-fold, it has provided the bedrock collateral for a property portfolio of which a Russian oligarch would not be ashamed. This includes the Blairs' £4million mansion in London's Connaught Square with its £800,000 mews cottage, two flats in Bristol and Sir John Gielgud's former country estate in Buckinghamshire, recently bought for around £5million. (and don’t forget the original house in County Durham, which he still owns)

You may wonder how on earth Blair arranged this. After all, while the former Prime Minister can now earn £500,000 a month from international speaking engagements, until a year ago he existed on his salary as an MP and then Premier - as well as on Cherie's legal work.

However, the truth is that the couple's ability to build up their property portfolio is thanks partly to Parliament's scandalously ill-policed generosity towards our public representatives.

So YOU bought his property empire for him. That was good of you. Could you see yourselves free to buying a property empire for me too, please? No, didn’t think so.

Country pile: Sir John Gielgud's former residence, now home to the Blairs

Mr Blair received tens of thousands of pounds tax-free, in the form of mortgage expenses payments over 20 years.

The unpalatable fact is that when the Blairs sell Myrobella - as it is assumed they soon will, given the fact he is no longer Sedgefield MP and the property market is falling - taxpayers won't be getting back a penny of that subsidy.

The Financial details concerning Myrobella are not complete. Only fragments of the Blairs' expenses were to be found in the three cardboard boxes of MPs' documents which were made public. Other Blair receipts, it has been revealed, were long ago shredded by a Westminster official - allegedly 'by mistake'. (which we’ll get back to a little further on. Oh yes we shall you know)

But enough details are in the public domain - to be set alongside comments in Cherie Blair's recent memoirs - to pose some disturbing questions about the size and legitimacy of the large mortgages taken out on the Trimdon home.

In fact, as this investigation shows, Mr Blair has claimed anything up to £200,000 of public expenses for the mortgage interest paid on his second home.

But the most worrying question is why those claims - made during the 24 years he was an MP - were based on a mortgage figure much higher than the property's purchase price.

(a purchase price which was initially, at best 60 grand, as we have already seen)

Connaught Square: £4 million mansion

Unsurprisingly, there is little criticism from within Westminster - and leading Tories such as David Cameron have been silent on the issue.

Perhaps it's no surprise, since the newly released expenses claims showed that the Tory leader - who is a millionaire in his own right - received £1,741.83 a month for the mortgage on his cottage in Oxfordshire.

But what of Myrobella? According to Mrs Blair's memoirs: 'We bought it for about £30,000 and then spent about the same again doing what was absolutely necessary. . . we moved in the following year.'

… But there is another benefit. For when the Blairs sell Myrobella, the profit will not be shared with the public purse, which helped fund the mortgage payments for so long, but will go directly to the Blairs.

Mike Warburton, senior tax partner at City accountancy firm Grant Thornton, points out that the Green Book says: 'Honourable members are expected to act honourably.'

'This is fine, but not everyone will. People will always stretch boundaries. MPs are treated very favourably, but the general public are just not aware of how much. They need to be made aware of this,' he says.

'MPs can claim mortgage interest for their second homes from the public purse, but the profit from rising property value accrues to them personally.'

So even if we ignore the mystery of why the Blairs' original mortgage was £90,000 rather than £60,000, they have reaped a handsome tax-free financial benefit from taxpayers due to the rising value of Myrobella.

So you paid the costs (and more, much more), but Blair gets the profit. Nice work if you can get it.

However, thanks to that shredder, we seem to have been denied much of the evidence concerning the Blairs' financial affairs at Myrobella …

Read it all:

Now shall we take a look at the case of the mysterious shredding and the criminal who covered his tracks? Hmmm … yes I think we shall.

Tony Blair dodged possible fire over his housing deals after hundreds of expenses claims were 'accidentally' shredded.

Documents itemising some of the then Prime Minister's receipts for 2001-02 were destroyed by Commons officials 'by mistake'.

It covered a period when he claimed for Myrobella, his Sedgefield constituency home.

It was already known that Mr Blair claimed £43,029 over a three-year period up to 2003-04.But it was not known what the money was spent on.

Can anyone please explain to me how three years’ worth of receipts can be “accidentally” shredded? It’s quite beyond my capacity to imagine. Any suggestions Red?

I’m pretty sure that in any comparable case involving me, or any other member of the public - that's YOU - we’d be looking at serious down-time for perverting the course of justice.

… the 'black hole' in Mr Blair expenses claims raise questions over what details the destroyed documents might have contained.
To increase suspicions, Westminster officials shredded the files even though they were the subject to an ongoing legal challenge.

Beyond question then – perverting the course of justice. Where are you constable Constable?

Here is a photofit of the suspected robber. If you see him do not approach - call constable Constable, or Crimestoppers.

The claims and receipts, relating to Mr Blair's final year in office, were destroyed even though there was an ongoing legal bid to have them published.
Westminster officials say the documents were destroyed by mistake, as they did not realise they were the subject of a legal challenge.

Well Mr Westminster Officials sir, I believe you, but I’m sure there are millions who don’t. Those pesky British have become so cynical haven’t they. I wonder why?

It is already known that Mr Blair claimed £43,029 over a three-year period. But it was not known what the money was spent on.
Court papers have now revealed that files covering claims of Myrobella, his Sedgefield constituency home, were destroyed by Commons officials after they rejected a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

Expenses campaigner Norman Baker MP said: "How convenient that some of Tony Blair's expenses have been shredded. "

Very convenient indeed.

Speaker Michael Martin squandered almost £200,000 of taxpayers cash in his failed attempt to keep the accounts secret.

In the judgment, Sir Igor Judge, Lord Justice Latham and Mr Justice Blake said: "We are not here dealing with idle gossip, or public curiosity about what are in truth trivialities.

(That’d be judge Judge then – should work well with constable Constable)

"The expenditure of public money through the payment of MPs' salaries and allowances is a matter of direct and reasonable interest to taxpayers."

They do say a fish rots from the head …

Here we have something that, taken in the round from its beginnings up to the present day should be subject to a CRIMINAL investigation. And what is constable Constable doing? You tell me – because I can’t see that he’s doing very much at all. How very much unlike the time the Chairman of the British National Party was put on trial TWICE, on the same charges each time, with a potential penalty of seven years in jail – and who can doubt he’d have been given every last minute of that seven years? – all for the heinous crime of … what? Stealing tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds of YOUR money? Ordering the cold-blooded murder of a million innocent Iraqis in their own country?

No – he uttered seven words at a private meeting – “Islam is a wicked and vicious faith”.

Go figure. It’s beyond me.

We now hear stories that it is feared some M.P.s are contemplating suicide – no, not out of remorse for their crimes of the kind detailed here, but because we the public have found out about them. Further to those suicide fears a psychiatrist has been retained for “counselling”, should the individuals concerned feel the need to talk about it. MORE expense to you the taxpayer.

There has been a fair bit of discussion in recent years over what to do with the spare plinth in Trafalgar Square. I have a suggestion: we should build a gallows on it, then make it freely available to any public official with suicidal tendencies. Sell tickets to watch.

Once those so inclined have disposed of themselves, and the rest of the corrupt crew think that they are free and clear, and the worst that can happen to them is that they might get slung out on their ear by the electorate at the next election, at which point they can live out their days on their million pounds+ publicly-funded index-linked pensions, we should dismantle the gallows on the spare plinth … and replace it with a de-luxe version of la Madame so we can work our way through the rest of them. Sell tickets to watch that too.

Ok, we couldn’t do that in real life, but I can daydream can’t I? Join me in that daydream – it’s a wonderful one when you hate them as much as I hate them.

And as a final word – let’s mention hate. Our opponents have a slogan: “Hope not Hate”. Well I’m a former serviceman and I can tell you for an absolute hard fact that when you’re up against it, if you’re reduced to hope, then you are finished, kaput. Hate is much better; at the very least it gives you direction and inspiration to action. A little bit of hate can get you a lot further than a whole lot of hope. Hope generally gets you no further than about six feet … down.

Hate may not change much in the end – you may still end up skewered – but you’ll have felt a lot better in those moments beforehand. Hope is just a counsel of despair.

Here, go and pick a little extra light reading for yourselves. There’s a good selection to choose from:



red said...

Hate? that sums you up. Keep the North West Fascist free. Say no to NAZI SCUM

Sir Henry Morgan said...

Well Red - are you saying you DON'T hate those scumbags Blair and his crew?