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Going, going .....

Sequin | 10:11 UK time, Friday, 22 May 2009

Labour have held onto a council seat in the Salford constituency of Hazel Blears, the Communities Secretary. Are you surprised? Relieved? Do you think Hazel Blears has been victimised over her expenses claims? Or do you think she deserves everything she's getting? How do you feel about the way that her friends suggest a political vendetta is being waged against her by number ten? They arrive at that view because of the full backing that has been given by the Prime Minister to two other Cabinet ministers - Geoff Hoon and James Purnell who are also reported to have paid no capital gains tax on London properties they sold.

Just curious.

Ed's doing Any Questions tonight - we'll be trying to establish contact with him on his journey to Sheffield.

See you later


  • 1. At 10:39am on 22 May 2009, DI_Wyman wrote:

    How do you feel about the way that her friends suggest a political vendetta is being waged against her by number ten?

    I may be wrong, but isn't it because under HMRC guidelines Geoff Hoon and James Purnell were not obliged to pay tax but Hazel Blears was?

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  • 2. At 11:15am on 22 May 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Hazel blears - Not bothered.

    Geoff Hoon - Not bothered

    James Purnell - Not bothered

    What I am bothered about is all these MPs announcing that they will be standing down at the next election once they have been named in the expenses scandal.

    What I would like to know is why are they allowed to continue to be paid and claim expenses for the next year? As if making this announcement should somehow lesson the pressure on facing up to their collective years of dis-honour!

    The rest of us would have probably had to visit James Purnell's Dept of 'We are here to make you feel really bad about yourself for claiming your pittance of poverty entitlements through no fault of your own known as welfare benefits'

    Why should I give a toss about any of them?!

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  • 3. At 11:18am on 22 May 2009, Fearless Fred wrote:

    DI_Y (1) I believe you are correct. Messrs Hoon and Parnell were advised that they had no Capital Gains Tax liability following the sale of their homes. Ms Blears (as I understand it) switched her second home in HoC parlance to be a flat in London, which she sold some five months after the switch. However, she had NOT changed the flat to be her second residence in terms of her taxes. That meant that she was able to avoid paying the 40% CGT. Strictly, this is okay by the letter of the law, but certainly not in the spirit. That's what caused the outrage, that idea of having two "second" homes by not changing the tax status of the flat.

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  • 4. At 11:32am on 22 May 2009, vainly_here wrote:

    I never knew Hazel Blears was a Blairite, but I guess she does wear the grin.

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  • 5. At 11:58am on 22 May 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    From the accounts so far, Hazel Blears was at fault, and one might say that she has recognised the fact by writing a cheque to cover the CGT that she failed to pay at the time.

    However, should the PM decide to demote her in any reshuffle that he may be planning, I'd comment that I believe she's been the architect of her own fate. Frankly, if I'd mocked my own boss in the way that she has, I'd expect to face consequences. For all her chirpiness, she comes across in pretty well everything she does as a very ambitious lady, with her eye on the main prize. Nothing wrong with that, and there are doubtless many others who have similar ambitions, but it does not do to let others see your hand in the game of poke that is politics.

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  • 6. At 11:59am on 22 May 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Oops, not a game of poke (though that might be fun!) - my fingers slipped and it should, of course, read the Game of Poker.


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  • 7. At 12:08pm on 22 May 2009, DI_Wyman wrote:

    Nah Big Sis, version one is better!

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  • 8. At 12:43pm on 22 May 2009, DI_Wyman wrote:

    This is a quite good site to browse.

    And quite interesting results can be found.

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  • 9. At 1:51pm on 22 May 2009, annasee wrote:

    Since everyone is taking this expenses business so seriously, I researched our local MP's (Lib Dem) expenses. He seems to have published his last 3 months online already.

    What I found out was that his expenses appeared modest in the extreme,(given the amount of travelling between here and London he has to do). They were also rather boring. No moat, no duck pond, no trees, no dog food. I'm feeling seriously let-down, and wonder if I should complain to someone?

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  • 10. At 1:53pm on 22 May 2009, annasee wrote:

    DIWy - I've just followed your link. You've been spending time on a site called "The Public Whip"???

    I think the Naughty Step might have a "reserved" sign on it, just for you!

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  • 11. At 2:06pm on 22 May 2009, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    Why is it not possible to find out the guests for Any Questions easily on the web, in the way it IS possible for Question Time ??

    And why oh why have Today gone down the route of super-duper webcams in studio ?

    What next ? Watching Sequin furrowing her brow at obfuscation by a politician ?

    Eddie rolling his eyes at a 'steaming pile of PR twaddle' ?

    Surely it is only a matter of time before the 'green ink' brigade starting writing in to complain of a lack of impartiality ?

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  • 12. At 2:44pm on 22 May 2009, steelpulse wrote:

    Eddie is doing "Any Questions", Carolyn.

    Quick - someone draft an Early Day Motion - late this afternoon - and get it signed by several 100s of listener.

    A member of the Any Questions audience can ask Speaker Mair to stand down from PM in favour of someone who can bother to make herself available on May 22 2009 and is ready for the YouTube generation.

    No Eddie isn't. You are - allegedly - thinking of Boob(as in errors of course - nowt sexist meant lol) - the BoobTube generation and he is more than ready for that - A Masters - but I will say no more. lol

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  • 13. At 3:21pm on 22 May 2009, DI_Wyman wrote:

    annasee 10, LOL, yes but only for research, honest!

    Anymore Naughty Step time and the old farmer giles will start up again.

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  • 14. At 4:22pm on 23 May 2009, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    That title for the thread, "Going, going", used to be followed by "gong" and be used to show what happened to MPs who were to retire from the Lower Chamber of the House and be promoted to the Upper Chamber by being put into the next Honours List.

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