Thursday, June 18, 2009

Westminster Expenses : They work for you, are paid for by you, have possibly stolen from you, but they feel they are not accountable to you

House of CommonsWestminster publishes MPs expenses online with most details blanked out. The House of Commons has finally published MPs expenses online, however many of the details have been blanked out, because while we as taxpayers are paying MPs salaries and their expenses, we are it seems not entitled to see what we are paying for, or by the looks of it, any returns the country actually gains by allowing politicians to claim for all & sundry from us, the taxpayer.

MP Phone BillAn MP’s British Telecom reminder blacked out – would you pay a bill if it landed through your letterbox in this state ?. While members of the House of Commons seemingly can get anything & everything paid for by the taxpayer, from mortgage interest, to second homes allowances, to telephone bills to the removal of moss from their umpteenth house, or duck houses and repairs to swimming pool boilers .. the ones paying it – us, are not entitled to see exactly where the money is going and what the justification is for their huge expenses to the country, particularly in these crushing financial times.

For a couple of samples of today’s publication of expenses from Westminster, via Freedom of Information (in other words, the blacked out version, as opposed to the Telegraph ‘warts and all’ version) we see among the Scottish contingent, Alex Salmond claiming for mortgage expenses and a rather costly envelope folder, as well as curtains & bedding .. with Scottish Conservative MP David Mundell keeping the First Minister company on mortgage expenses, which I'm sure probably most of the country would like to join in with, having mortgages, bedding, curtains, food, and letter folder contraptions paid for out of thin air out of other people's taxes & hard work.

A sample of First Minister Alex Salmond’s Westminster Expenses as an MP :

Alex Salmond Expenses examples

A sample of South of Scotland MP David Mundell’s Westminster expenses :

David Mundell Mortgage expenses

Virtually all the documents have blacked out parts, leading one to conclude democracy, transparency and accountability have most definitely been blacked out in the entire country. I wonder where politicians learned that little trick from ? It surely couldn’t be the legal profession, could it ? … and lets not forget Kenny MacAskill, Scotland’s Justice Secretary is busy trying to keep the Law Society of Scotland exempt from Freedom of Information laws, just in case we begin to find out many of the dirty secrets of Scotland’s less than honest legal profession : MacAskill’s ‘no intention to include Law Society in FOI review’ allows lawyers to keep scandals & criminal records hidden from public scrutiny

Telegraph front pageIf it had not been for the Telegraph newspaper, we would have been none the wiser on crooked politicians expenses claims. Exposing this organised ‘thieving’ from the country of course, fell to the Telegraph newspaper, rather than Freedom of Information legislation, because as we now see in today’s release of expenses information from Westminster, it would not be possible to see who had been flipping homes, and who was claiming what for which property. It is therefore clear that FOI legislation will have to change because it is being used to deceive rather than empower, just as we have seen the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission use FOI to cover up scandalous workings within its increasingly bizarre operations of allegedly regulating the Scottish legal profession.

I reported some rather secretive goings on at the SLCC where similar blacked out documents were issued to hide controversial information here : FOI disclosures censored to law journalists as MacAskill’s legal complaints commission prefers secrecy to public accountability

David Mcletchie taxiMSP David McLetchie was among those politicians caught out at Holyrood claiming thousands for expenses. MSPs might like to think they are whiter than their Westminster counterparts, but as we know here in Scotland, that is most certainly not the case. While MSPs expenses are now published online, again, it took pressure from newspaper investigations such as those in the Sunday Herald to force the changes at Holyrood which Westminster will now have to go through.

You can read more about MSPs expenses milking in an earlier article, here : First Minister Alex Salmond admits he's not 'whiter than white' over Westminster expenses scandal as questions arise over £800 food allowance claims

If you want to find out more about your own MP’s expenses at Westminster (and there is a lot to find out !), click the following link which leads to the BBC News website :

MPs' expenses: Find your MP

and the main story from BBC News :

MPs' expenses made public online

The expenses claims of every MP for the past four years have been published, but with some key details blacked out.

Commons authorities have published the details after a long-running Freedom of Information battle.

The addresses that claims relate to - and correspondence - have been removed on privacy and security grounds.

This means it is not possible to see if MPs "flipped" second homes - a key part of the Daily Telegraph's revelations from its leaked version of the data.

MPs have said some details, like addresses and travel patterns, have to be withheld for security reasons .

But other details have been removed in the official version such as Prime Minister Gordon Brown's claims for his Sky television subscription - despite the fact it was published last year, also under the Freedom of Information Act.

The uncensored details obtained by the Daily Telegraph have led to weeks of revelations and a slew of resignations from MPs.

On Wednesday Treasury minister Kitty Ussher stepped down amid reports that she changed the designation of her constituency home to avoid capital gains tax.

Ms Ussher said she acted within the rules but wanted to protect the government from further embarrassment amid public anger about expenses.

The BBC's political editor Nick Robinson said that if the full uncensored claims had not been leaked to the Telegraph, then MPs like Miss Ussher would still be in their jobs.

Among Daily Telegraph revelations that do not appear in the blacked out versions of MPs' receipts are:

  • Andrew MacKay - From the official receipts it would not have been possible to know the Tory MP claimed for a second home without having a main constituency home.
  • Margaret Moran - The Labour MP who claimed £22,000 for dry rot on her second home. The receipts do not show her second home was in Southampton -100 miles from her Luton constituency.
  • Sir Peter Viggers - Tory MP who tried to claim £1,645 for a "duck island", the official receipts show no evidence of the unsuccessful claim.
  • Hazel Blears - The former Labour minister claimed second home expenses for three different properties in a single year but the redacted receipts do not show this as addresses are blacked out.

Heather Brooke, one of the campaigners who brought the Freedom of Information case, told the BBC the official publication was a "substandard version".

She pointed out the High Court had ordered that second home addresses be published - MPs rejected this in a later Commons vote, arguing it would jeopardise their security.

"It's the only way to police effectively whether there is a second home and whether the mortgage exists whether it's been paid off or not and they are still claiming. It's really the only way we can hold them to account on that second home allowance."

'Seismic changes'

She said the security argument had been "totally discredited" adding: "I can see that avoiding embarrassment has been the key motivating factor of what's been deleted."

And Maurice Frankel, of the Campaign for Freedom of Information, also said the official version was a "very poor substitute": "The mood of the House of Commons was that they did not want any of this information to be published and, failing that, as little as possible."

But cabinet minister Hilary Benn told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "The argument for keeping bank details, phone numbers and addresses confidential I think is a fair one."

But he said the system needed to change: "That's why we've seen seismic changes, that's why Parliament has already taken steps to alter the rules why Christopher Kelly's committee will look at what the new system will be."

He added the problems were the result of self regulation - now expenses would be audited independently.

For the Conservatives, shadow Commons leader Alan Duncan said: "I think the black ink is justified where it is things like ex-directory phone numbers ... and personal details and bank accounts."

He said changes had been made to ensure MPs could not "play around with the second home address in order to extract as much money as possible out of the system".

Exclusions

But he said "at the very least" addresses should be properly audited.

"Whether the exact address should be put up which would allow people to walk up your front drive I think is a grey area - but the verification of the house and the consistency of the house that is registered is important."

More than a dozen MPs have said they plan to stand down since the furore over expenses began and many have had to repay money - more than £300,000 has been repaid.

Claims made by all 646 MPs under three different allowances since 2004 have been published alphabetically on the Parliament website with thousands of receipts made available in a series of PDF files.

The Telegraph's reports focused largely on the additional costs allowance, designed to cover costs associated with second homes.

WITHIN THE RULES

£24,000-a-year Additional Costs Allowance, which covers the running of MPs' second homes

£22,193-a-year Incidental Expenses Provision, which pays for running an office

£10,400-a-year Communications Allowance, which funds websites, newsletters, stationery and postage

The paper highlighted the practice of "flipping" - by which some MPs switched the designation of their homes and claimed allowances for several properties over the four year period and other claims that were within the rules - but questionable.

Last year, the Commons agreed to blank out certain information considered sensitive including addresses and all communications with the Fees Office. MPs have been able to suggest further exclusions.

Other information published on Thursday includes the incidental expenses provision for office costs and the communications allowance - Parliament had been ordered to publish them by the High Court.

Labour has referred MPs accused of making questionable claims to an internal disciplinary panel, which has barred five MPs from standing at the next election.

The Tories have asked all its MPs to submit their claims to an internal panel for scrutiny, with a handful of MPs either being forced to stand down or choosing to retire.

The furore has led to interim changes to the second homes allowance while the Committee of Standards in Public Life is holding an inquiry into expenses and will recommend changes to allowances rules.

Gordon Brown has said oversight of MPs expenses must be handed over to an external regulator as part of a root and branch reform of Parliament.

The Daily Telegraph's assistant editor Andrew Pierce told the BBC they would publish the entire list of claims submitted by the cabinet on Friday and every MP's expenses on Saturday - to allow people to draw their own conclusions about what had been "censored".

"I suspect it could be that more MPs will be considering their position and maybe their party leaders will be considering whether they are really fit to be an MP," he said.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

too bloody right !

its our money so lets see the detail and stuff foi !

Anonymous said...

Good title,says it all really.

Anonymous said...

Look at Alex Salmond !

http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/bsp/hi/mpexpenses/html/679.stm

2007-2008
Total expenses £139,233
of which second
home allowance £14,130 !

Just as bad as the rest.

Anonymous said...

and another !

Eric Joyce

http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/bsp/hi/mpexpenses/html/698.stm

2007-08
Total expenses £187,334
of which second
home allowance £22,466 !

Why are these people still in jobs ??!

Anonymous said...

Westminster publishes MPs expenses online with most details blanked out. The House of Commons has finally published MPs expenses online, however many of the details have been blanked out, because while we as taxpayers are paying MPs salaries and their expenses, we are it seems not entitled to see what we are paying for.

Yes Peter and it is the MP's lawyers who will fight tooth and nail to prevent prosecutions of our unaccountable MP's.

Anonymous said...

The BBC's political editor Nick Robinson said that if the full uncensored claims had not been leaked to the Telegraph, then MPs like Miss Ussher would still be in their jobs.

Nick Robinson is correct, just like Douglas Mill if he had not been proven dishonest, in blocking claims against the Law Society Master Fund.

Anonymous said...

If it had not been for the Telegraph newspaper, we would have been none the wiser on crooked politicians expenses claims.

In light of what has happened here there can be no justification whatsoever, for self regulation to continue in any profession. We taxpayers are voting for people who think we owe them a blank cheque. They are greedy, undemocratic, patronising crooks who prey on the taxpayer, like a parasite on it's host.

We are back to the same old problem, self regulators are self rewarders, they cannot be trusted to act decently, and they have the title in the commons the Rt Honourable MP for ________.

I am at the stage I believe there is no point in voting at all, money grabbing parasites on both sides of the border who are in politics for self gain, nothing else. The French would have beheaded them years ago.

Anonymous said...

Goodwin offers £4.7m cut in pension AOL News Thursday, 18 June 2009, 10:48 GMT

The Royal Bank of Scotland has confirmed that former boss Sir Fred Goodwin has volunteered a "substantial reduction" to his controversial pension.

Sir Fred's annual payout will fall from £555,000 to £342,500 a year, after his pension pot is cut by £4.7 million.

Despite leading the bank to the brink of disaster, his overall pension package was worth £703,000-a-year, but Sir Fred has already taken out a lump sum of £2.7 million.

Chancellor Alistair Darling said: "I'm very glad that RBS have now resolved the matter with Sir Fred Goodwin.

"I think that Sir Fred, in handing back part of his pension, is doing the right thing."

Mr Darling, who was speaking during a visit to Sheffield, said: "What I want to do now is to make sure that we rebuild RBS and all its banking operations, that's absolutely essential, not just for the bank but for the thousands and thousands of people who work for that bank and for the economy as a whole."

Why did Brown not sack you Mr Darling, another one of the greedy buggers who profess being in politics for the good of the electorate.

Peter Cherbi said...

Yes, indeed .. quite a rip off for the country from politicians, and quite a rip off in terms of transparency to have just about every detail imaginable blacked out.

I have updated the article with examples of a couple of politicians expenses - one from the SNP and one from the Conservatives, just to keep the balance.

Please feel free to spot & comment on more expenses fiddling here in the comments section ... and remember to use your vote wisely at the next election !

Anonymous said...

Aye I think I need new curtains too !

I wonder if wee Eck can come along with me to pick them oot an charge the taxpayer too ?!

Anonymous said...

With the shit I have taken from doctors, lawyers and now these MP's I am voting for the British National Party, give them a chance, because this lot are criminals.

Anonymous said...

People should not be surprised at the MP's expenses scandal. This is what humans do when they act in secret. Claim for everything you can.

The fact that MP's do not think they have done anything wrong, speaks volumes about the culture self regulation creates. Self regulators will always put their own interests first, and this is the reason self regulation must now end for all professions.

If you think MP's are crooks I can assure you doctors, lawyers and accountants are one hundred times worse. Please never trust any of them, they are the most evil professionals in society.

Anonymous said...

MSP Slams Crown Office Handling Of The Rosepark Case

May 28 2009 by Alastair McNeill, Hamilton Advertiser

THE CROWN Office was under fire from a Lanarkshire MSP this week over their handling of the prosecution of the Rosepark care home owners.

Hamilton North and Bellshill MSP Michael McMahon welcomed last week’s announcement of a Fatal Accident Inquiry into the blaze in which 14 elderly residents lost their lives.

However, he expressed doubt this week over assurances which he said had been given to him by Solicitor General Frank Mulholland that the criminal prosecution of the Rose-park owners had been part of a ‘strategy’ from the outset.
A third attempt to prosecute Thomas Balmer (61), his wife Anne (60) and their son Alan (34) was thrown out at the High Court in Glasgow last Tuesday.

Judge Lord Matthews had described as “fatal” to the prosecution the decision to indict the Balmers, of Royal Gardens, Bothwell, as the surviving partners of the now-dissolved Rosepark Care Home.

Mr McMahon said this week that it was now difficult not to see the Crown Office’s prosecution of the case as flawed and a waste of taxpayers’ money.

He said: “I have always worked on the basis that the Crown never saw this coming. Someone somewhere hadn’t done the necessary work to see that the paperwork was in order. I have never been disabused of this idea.
“I was given the idea that the Crown Office went into this thinking they had a case to bring and it fell down because something hadn’t been done properly.
“Last week the First Minister took umbrage when I said in Parliament that the prosecution pursued had been a mistake.”

“The Solicitor General later reassured me that there had been no mistake and the Crown Office had pursued the prosecution as a strategy from the outset.

“As far as I’m concerned the families expected to see a legal prosecution. I was told they were pursuing a legal prosecution and the legal prosecution failed. That does not seem to me to be a strategy.

“What they are trying to get me to believe is that they pursued a legal action which they knew was doomed from the outset.

“I don’t know if that is a better situation than somebody making a mistake.”

Mr McMahon added that it appeared to him that a huge amount of public money had been spent to pursue a case which had little chance of success.

He commented: “If they knew a loophole existed, it raises doubts in my mind about the strategy they had been pursuing all along.
“During all this time they could have held a Fatal Accident Inquiry. They have been telling families that they’ve been pursuing a legal action, yet one which they knew was doomed.
“I have to ask if the prosecution wasn’t a mistake, then why didn’t they go for an FAI during their prosecution strategy?”

Now I would not put my mother in a care home.

Anonymous said...

so much for Saint Alex.I cant even get a bloody mortgage and we are paying his ! DISGUSTING and the tory weed too

Anonymous said...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/8107603.stm

How stupid is this ? Alex Salmond costs the taxpayer £14,100 in legal fees to try and impeach Tony Blair and the fees get paid to Blair's wife ? hahaha what a jerk !

Blair impeachment bill defended

First Minister Alex Salmond has defended a £14,100 legal fee claim for an attempt to impeach Tony Blair as prime minister, over the Iraq war.

The details emerged as expense claims of every MP for the past four years were published, but with some key details blacked out.

Mr Salmond, said he claimed for £790 of the total cost, which was shared among nine members.

He said it was a legitimate expense to hold the government to account.

Commons authorities published the details after a long-running Freedom of Information battle.

The addresses that claims relate to - and correspondence - have been removed on privacy and security grounds.

'Check records'

This means it is not possible to see if MPs "flipped" second homes - a key part of the Daily Telegraph's revelations from its leaked version of the data.

The invoice for the contentious rewiring of Labour MP Jim Devine's London flat was mostly backed out.

The Livingston MP - who has been deselected by Labour from standing for the party in the next UK election - claimed £2,157 for the work in 2007.

But the invoice was from a company that did not exist and had a false VAT number and neither the company, its address or the VAT number are legible on the released document.

Mr Devine said he had done nothing wrong.

Elsewhere, Liberal Democrat Scottish affairs spokesman Alistair Carmichael claimed a £90 summons fee for late payment of council tax in May 2007.

Surgery dates

The MP for Orkney and Shetland told BBC Scotland he would check his records and, if he claimed money inappropriately, would pay it back.

And Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy has defended claims for nearly £300 for the printing of 5,000 Christmas cards in 2006.

A spokesman for Mr Murphy, who was employment minister at the time, said the cost of the cards was shared with Labour MSP for Eastwood, Ken Macintosh, and contained details of future constituency surgery dates for the politicians.

The SNP launched its legal bid to impeach Tony Blair in 2004, claiming the invasion of Iraq to be illegal.

A spokesman for Mr Salmond, who sits as an MSP and MP, said: "Given everything we know about the illegality of the war, the fact the country was taken to war on a totally false prospectus, then those parties who stood against that and held the prime minister to account for doing that are proud of the actions they took.

The legal bill - split among nine Scottish and Welsh Nationalist MPs - was paid to Matrix Chambers, the legal firm where Cherie Blair works.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what all the fuss is about, Alex Salmond on record as admitting he is not 'whiter than white'

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of bloody crooks our politicians are.None can be trusted ! NONE OF THEM !

Anonymous said...

lol @ Salmond's claims

"Letter Folder @ £1795"

Doesn't he have a secretary ? haha *sick*

Anonymous said...

Well I am really disgusted at all politicians and I dont think I will bother voting next time for any of these robbers.

I wonder how crooked lawyers fits into the scheme of things at Westminster.Maybe they were giving these mps preferred bids on properties so they could claim their mortgages on us too.Hope you look into that one Peter because I suspect anything with this mob now.They are all crooked to the last every one of them.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the links Peter.I did go to bbc and check up on my own mp and no surprise I think he is a ******* crook along with the rest and just reading some of the documents is stomach turning what they get away with.Disgusted at all of them we should be having a revolution now in this stupid country !

Anonymous said...

blears the duckhouse salmond darling all of them are just the bloody same no wonder people are not going to vote

Anonymous said...

Disgusted at all of them we should be having a revolution now in this stupid country ! TOU ARE RIGHT, IT HAS NOT DONE THE FRENCH ANY HARM.

Anonymous said...

What we are witnessing, is the political establishment looking after itself. We should remember there was a five year battle over the expenses issue, and the press revealed the truth.

Documents issued with large areas blanked out, what's the phrase, oh yes, the plot thickens. Those parts blanked out are not so much about MP's security, more about the scandal.

John Major wants the Iraq enquiry to be public. I agree with him. Clearly the issues for going to war are in the public interest. A private enquiry stinks, reminds me of the Scottish Solicitors Discipline Tribunal methods. Tony Blair went to war on lies, and Dr David Kelly the weapons inspector was the scapegoat, remember Blair is a lawyer.

People should have a look at Michael Moores Farenheight 9/11, Bush looks very uncomfortable in some shots, there is a close correlation between the Bush family and the Saudi's. Please check it out for yourselves.

Anonymous said...

I agree with what you say Peter,and also those of your followers who put this expenses mess down to self regulation.As long as politicians make the rules for themselves they will get away with what they want to,just like your nemesis the Law Society who do a good job of protecting themselves from any transparency.

I think you probably summed it up quite well when you said transparency and accountability has been blacked out in Britain.That is the reality of life but it doesn't mean we should accept it and people like you and the media who expose these scandals actually do us a lot of good and give a much needed kick into touch for some of us who have ignored things too long.

Anonymous said...

Someone said Alex Salmond admitted he wasn't whiter than white ?

Hell I'd say he's blacker than black with all that black ink floating around his MP chums !

Anonymous said...

If you have been injured at work, and you sued you would need medical reports.

The doctors, lawyers and your family doctor and your employer are all insured by Marsh UK Royal Sun Alliance. So your injuries were covered up to protect these professionals insurers. Your GP must never be trusted if you sue your employer, and do not expect to win. You cannot with this insurance arrangement.

Anonymous said...

For a good example of what these people think of US you should have seen Eric Joyce on Newsnight !

Really amazing (and very very very weird !)

Anonymous said...

Yes what a rip off I agree Peter and no one is whiter than white when it comes to politics ! They are all crooked,probably learned all their tricks from the legal profession from which many of them come from !

Anonymous said...

It is time the British people revolted, get rid of these bastards who are stealing our money. Give them the longshanks treatment.

Anonymous said...

AOL NEWS £500,000 in expenses repaid by MPs
Last Updated: Friday, 19 June 2009, 05:36 GMT

Expenses claims and supporting receipts featuring large blacked out areas

MPs have paid back nearly £500,000 of taxpayers' money in a bid to quell voters' (WILL NOT WORK) anger since the expenses scandal broke.

The news of the total paid back came as the House of Commons continued to be accused of an attempted cover up (END SELF REGULATION NOW) after the official release of MPs expenses was heavily censored.

Figures released by the Commons authorities show £478.615.07 has been returned by MPs (CAN WE TRUST COMMONS AUTHORITIES)? who broke rules or who decided to hand back cash in a bid to quell constituents' anger.
-----------------------------------
Remember they are paying money back because we found out. If we had not they would still be robbing taxpayers. Politicians like the professions must never be trusted again. Robbing corrupt bastards who are above the law.

The police who cannot legally strike are being robbed too, they should remember that.

Anonymous said...

Personally I think this lot INCLUDING SALMOND are taking us for a bunch of mugs.

They should only be allowed so long serving as an mp or msp and then be forced to quit because its very clear to me plenty are just in it for the money.

Anonymous said...

BBC NEWS

Page last updated at Wednesday, 17 June, 2009, 17:19 GMT 18:19 UK

MPs' expenses: Jimmy Hood

Parliament has published the details of MPs' expenses. The documents cover financial years from 2004 to 2008 and have been released in response to requests under the Freedom of Information Act.
Labour MP for Lanark & Hamilton East
Hood, Mr Jim
2007-08
Total expenses £156,260
of which second
home allowance £19,353

Anonymous said...

VEXACIOUS LITIGANTS ARTICLE.
THIS PERSON IS CORRECT.

"If you are talking about the actual cases at hand I think you will find Mr Cherbi is correct. Most or all of the vexatious 6 were indulged enough with court time obtained by legal firms for just long enough to give them a chance to begin an action for fees recovery before the litigant was judged vexatious".

SO TRUE, THE LAWYERS MADE THEIR MONEY AND THEN A DRACONIAN ACT IS USED TO STOP THE CASES IN THEIR TRACKS. MOST TYPES OF LITIGATION FOLLOW THIS PATTERN, THE LEGAL PROFESSION MILK THE LEGAL AID FOR A LONG AS THEY CAN, THEN THE CASE IS KILLED OFF BECAUSE OF PROFESSIONAL LOYALTY AND

ADVOCATES
LAWYERS
JUDGES
SHERIFFS

THE LAW SOCIETY FOR SCOTLAND INSURE THE ABOVE THROUGH THE MASTER INSURANCE WITH MARSH UK ROYAL SUN ALLIANCE. PEOPLE OF SCOTLAND YOU CANNOT WIN A LITIGATION BATTLE AGAINST A LEGAL PROFESSIONAL, THE LAW SOCIETIES INSURERS (AND LAWYERS THROUGH THEIR PREMIUMS)WOULD BE PAYING YOUR DAMAGES. FROM THE LAWYERS POINT OF VIEW IT IS LIKE TURKEYS VOTING FOR CHRISTMAS.

THIS IS WHAT EVERY LITIGATION LAWYER IN SCOTLAND WANTS KEPT SECRET. THEY ARE NOT GOING TO LAY THE BOOT INTO THEIR OWN INSURERS FOR YOU. BUT LIKE THE MP's THEY MILK EXPENSES, WITH LAWYERS IT'S LEGAL AID. LEAD THE CLIENT UP THE GARDEN PATH OF INJUSTICE, THAT'S HOW LAWYERS WORK.

WAKE UP YOU CANNOT WIN AGAINST A LAWYER UNDER THE CURRENT SYSTEM, THIS CONFLICT ON INTEREST PROTECTS MARSH UK ROYAL SUN ALLIANCE BECAUSE YOU MAY GET A LAWYER, SO THE LATTER CAN MAKE MONEY BUT YOU WILL NEVER GET TO COURT. THIS IS THE STRANGLEHOLD THE LEGAL PROFESSION WANT TO MAINTAIN, BECAUSE IT IS EASY MONEY, AND THEIR INSURERS BENEFIT. ONLY THE CLIENT HAS NO CHANCE OF WINNING.

Anonymous said...

BBC NEWS

NEVER TRUST A LAWYER THEY ARE CROOKS

Jail term for former councillor
A former Conservative councillor who stole £70,000 from a disabled client who depended upon him as a close friend has been jailed for 27 months.

Disgraced Iain Catto, 41, offered to look after the finances of Francis Fleming, 59, after he became partially paralysed following a savage assault.

Catto, who was sacked from his job as a solicitor for gross misconduct, was regularly taking money from Mr Fleming.

Catto pleaded guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to the theft.

He was stealing sums of £11,000 and £9,000 at a time between December 2002 and 2004 from the criminal injuries pay-out his client had received. (NEVER TRUST A LAWYER FOLKS).

He even sold some of his victim's shares to get more cash.

Sheriff Kathrine Mackie told him: "You callously took funds from Mr Fleming to support yourself when you knew that he depended on that money and you. It was a gross breach of trust." (WELL SAID SHERIFF MACKIE).

Mr Fleming's son Frank MacLennan, 42, hit out at the sentence outside the court. (YES THEY SHOULD HAVE THREW THE KEY AWAY. YOU LAWYER CROOKS OUT THERE, YOU WILL GET CAUGHT SOONER OR LATER).

He said: "That is not long enough for what he did to my father. He should have been given at least three or four years." (30 WOULD BE BETTER).

Bank statements

Edinburgh Sheriff Court had heard that Catto, a member of Lothian Regional Council from 1990 to 1994, frequently asked Mr Fleming to sign blank cheques pretending to look after his finances and had bank statements sent to his home address.

Mr Fleming, who was left partially paralysed and impaired following an attempt on his life in 1968, trusted the solicitor so completely he even gave him a key to his Craigentinny Road home in Edinburgh.

Meanwhile, Catto was buying himself airline and train tickets for the UK and abroad, hotel rooms, restaurant meals, computer software, £300 worth of goods from Oddbins and expensive haircuts. (BAD CHAP THIS CATTO).

Catto carried on with the scam until he was found out by Mr MacLennan, who moved from Inverness to Edinburgh to look after his father in July, 2004.

Mr MacLennan said outside of court: "He bled my father dry. We had been planning to move to Spain but now that idea is gone. He lied to my dad and me from the start.

"Although he has repaid the money he cashed in shares that were earning my dad an income. I discovered the stealing when I saw my dad writing blank cheques and looked into it.

"I feel very angry and my dad is devastated and hurt. He considered him to be a very close friend and depended upon him." (PEOPLE OF SCOTLAND NO LAWYER IS YOUR FRIEND, YOU CANNOT DEPEND ON ANY OF THEM, PROFESSIONAL ROBBING SCUM).
Story from BBC NEWS: